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What Are The Best Running Trainers?

Updated: Feb 25, 2021

a man tying his shoe laces prior to going on a run

It’s no exaggeration to say that for the regular runner the single most important item of clothing is trainers. And it’s a sensible person indeed who, when selecting trainers, prioritises performance and protection over aesthetics.

The purported benefits of running specific trainers are not to be sniffed at. According to word on the street a proper pair of sneeks can:

Reduce risk of common running injuries
Improve form (which in turn can reduce injury susceptibility)
Strengthen feet!
Offer superior supportive cushioning
Flexibility in the right places (instep)
Greater traction
Breathability which can reduce sores and blisters


Before purchasing a pair of trainers there are a few questions you ought to ask yourself first

What surface do I primarily run on?

Not all running trainers are designed to be used on tarmac. For example, Solomon’s Speedcross Running Shoe, though an excellently rated product, has been engineered for softer surfaces such as what you’d find when cross-country trail running. By contrast, Reebok’s Nanos (aka the CrossFitter’s footwear of choice) are built to offer superior performance primarily in a synthetic training environment such as a gym.

It’s for this reason why it would be unwise to purchase a pair of trainers without ensuring that they are designed to absorb the impact that you’d experience when running on hard surfaces. A cross-country or gym shoe is unlike to be as shock absorbent as a proper running trainer.

Has the trainer got sufficient heel-toe drop?

Heel-toe what? Yeah, I can’t imagine many people when buying trainers have consider heel-toe drop. I know I haven’t. However, if you are a regular runner or plan to be then heel-toe drop is something to consider.

But what is it? Quite simply the degree or tapering of the downward slope measured from the heel to the toe of the trainer. Or, put another way, the difference in the thickness of cushioning between the heel and toe. Typically, trainers have a drop of between 10- to 12mm, which provides adequate cushioning for road running.

You’ll notice that trainers designed for cross-country or gym use have significantly less cushioning at the heel and the degree of heel-drop is not as pronounced. This is because these types of trainers prioritise support and stability over cushioning and impact absorption. A good running shoe should support and stabilise, of course; but perhaps more importantly they should effectively dissipate impact so as to reduce injury risk.

Am I a neutral runner, or do I underpornate or overpronate?

Running gait looks at how the runner’s foot strikes the floor. This action, at its simplest, is broken down into three ‘types’:

1: Neutral: the foot makes complete contact with the surface and doesn’t deviate much more than 15 percent.
2: Underpronation or supination: the outer part of the heel strikes the surface first and rolls inward at less than 15 percent.
3: Overpronation: again the outer part of the heel strikes the surface first but the foot rolls inward more than 15 percent.

Most all brands or running trainers provide products that accommodate for the above three gait types. If you are not sure which type reflects your running style you can find out in one of two ways. The first: record yourself running and observe the footage. Yes, this DIY method comes with many limitations, but it can offer a rudimentary insight into your gait. The second: get a professional to conduct a gait analysis. More and more running shops offer a free gait analysis if you buy a pair of trainers from them.


1: New Balance Men's Draft Road Running Shoe (£54.99)

Trainer Spec (click image for availability)

  • Outer Material: Synthetic

  • Inner Material: Synthetic

  • Sole: Rubber

  • Closure: Lace-Up

  • Engineered mesh upper

Sleek and sharp these trainers not only look the part but also boast excellent comfort. And because of the strategic geometries on the outsole they offer superior support.

The lightweight material, moreover, will help you keep nice a nimble on your toes enabling you to focus on your run and not your next step.

Designed for running but versatile enough to use as an all-day shoe. The New Balance Draft blends performance details like breathability, engineered mesh with sleek, elegant style. So you’ll look even if, at the end of long run, you don’t feel it.

Very impressive rating: 4.5 stars with 1777 reviews.


2: Under Armour Charged Pursuit 2 Running Shoes (£49.95)

Trainer Spec (click image for availability)

  • Men's running shoes

  • Charged Cushioning midsole

  • Flexible and comfortable

  • Fast-drying outer material

  • First-class traction

These men's running shoes are for runners who need flexibility, cushioning and versatility. The engineered mesh upper is extremely lightweight and breathable, with strategic support where you need it.

Foam padding placed around your ankle collar and under the tongue ensures superior comfortable fit and feel. The sleek sockliner moulds to your foot with padding in the heel for cushioning at heel-strike, and a ‘Charged Cushioning’ midsole uses compression moulded foam for responsiveness and durability.

The running shoe is complemented by the tyre-like outsole pattern, which provides flexibility and first-class traction. The height difference between the toe and heel area is 8 mm. The shoe is made from a combination of EVA, synthetic fabric and textile.

Excellent rating: 4.5 stars with over 2500 reviews.


3: PUMA Men's Ignite Flash Evoknit Competition Running (£39.00)

Trainer Spec (click image for availability)

  • Insole material type : Manmade

  • Outer Material: Fabric

  • Inner Material: Textile

  • Sole: Gum Rubber

  • Closure: Lace-Up

These sneakers with integrated knitted sock and eye-catching heel strap offer firm support while maintaining a casual style. The IGNITE technology at the heel of the trainers provides a light, comfortable feel and good cushioning with energy recovery when running on asphalt.

PUMA’s Ignites can be worn as professional athletic footwear, or as a general every-day shoe. In addition, the superior comfort and support makes them ideal for running any distances while also providing the perfect accompaniment for the avid sports practitioner.

These trainers have an innovative, high quality material and always an original style. Furthermore, they have been engineered for the professional and amateur athlete alike.

Very impressive rating: 4.5 stars with just over 2000 reviews.


4: ASICS Men's Patriot 11 Running Shoes (£42.99)

Trainer Spec (click image for availability)

  • Mesh Upper - Provides breathable comfort.

  • Outer Material: Synthetic

  • Inner Material: Manmade

  • Sole: Rubber

  • Material Composition: Synthetic

The Asics Patriot 11 is a comfortable pair of high-top sneakers that offer enhanced breathability that will reduce sores and blisters. This feature makes the Patriot a perfect pair of running trainers.

As with all Asics products these running shoes have been fabricated from the highest quality materials meaning they will maintain their shape, durability and shock-absorption cushioning for miles and miles and . . .

Furthermore, the reinforced midsole improves stability without compromising on comfort. And the super-lightweight fabrics will make running feel a breeze.

Nearly 5 stars after over 1000 reviews.


5: Brooks Men's Ghost 13 Running Shoe (£101)

Trainer Spec (click image for availability)

  • Running shoes

  • Mesh upper

  • Outer Material: Synthetic

  • Inner Material: Manmade

  • Sole: Rubber

  • Soft and balanced cushioning

It’s not up for debate. Brooks build some of the best running trainers on the market. As a shoe manufacturer they pride themselves on developing durable, highly functional training wear. Thus, when you buy a pair of Brooks running shoes you know you’re going to get two things. Thing 1: a long-lasting trainer. Thing 2: a trainer that offers both superior comfort and support.

Brook’s Ghost 12 have been constructed from the latest fabric technology. The BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning work in synergy to create the right softness to the sole of the foot without losing reactivity and longevity, resulting in lighter than ever.

In addition, irrespective of how your foot lands, the integrated shock absorber system and the exclusive segmented Crash Pad, will cushion every step for smooth transitions from heel to toe.

And finally, the next-generation mesh upper and 3D printing practically fades on the foot thanks to the strategic position of stretch and structure right where you need the most.

Just a tip off 5 stars after nearly 1500 reviews.


To Conclude

For the avid runner training shoes are massively important and it would be a mistake to purchase trainers without first considering the opening questions (see above).

Furthermore, it would be an act of folly to compromise on quality, cushioning and stability in the hope of saving a few pounds. For investing in a decent pair of trainers could significantly reduce the wear and tear that the ankles, knees and hips inevitably suffer when we run.


(As we are very interested in user experience here at Hungry4Fitness, we would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)

Blog Author

Adam Priest is a former Royal Marines Commando, personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.

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