Ask the Shoe Expert: 13 Best Running Shoes to Try This Year

Looking for a list of the best running shoes to help you go the distance in 2024?
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In the past few years, running shoes have gone through huge changes and advances. 

  • It wasn't too long ago, carbon-plated shoes didn't even exist. 
  • The upgrades in shoes mean performances have skyrocketed, but the best running shoes of 2023 aren't just carbon-plated shoes.
  • Now trainers are more durable, faster, and have more cushion.

After fitting more than 1,000 runners for shoes at a specialty running store, I compiled a list of the best running shoes to try this year.

🥇How did we pick the best running shoes for the list?

Keep in mind, there is no overall best running shoe.
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Each running shoe has a specific purpose, and it's hard to compare a speed work shoe to a daily trainer.
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To find the best running shoes to try, we looked at:

  • The shoe's purpose and if it achieved the purpose. 
  • Intended for racing, the upgrades between the Hoka Rocket X1 to the X2 landed it in the best running shoe category because it's a much faster shoe than it was. 
  • The Mizuno Wave Rider 27 is one of the best running shoes of 2023, because after 27 versions it's a consistent daily trainer you can count on.
  • Plus, as we know on Weeviews, what works for me may not work for you. 
  • Everyone's feet are different. That's why we encourage you to write your own reviews!

👟What are the best running shoes to try this year?

We put the best running shoes to try this year into SEVEN categories:

  • Best Affordable Running Shoe
  • Best Daily Trainers
  • Best Super Trainers
  • Best Speed Work Shoe
  • Best Race Day Shoes
  • Best Max Cushioned Shoe
  • Best Trail Shoe

👟Best Affordable Running Shoe

I'm so old, I remember when most daily trainers were just under $100, and high-cushioned trainers were $120-$150. 
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Boy, times have changed. But there's still at least one budget-friendly shoe that works.

Atreyu Base Model
  • Review here
  • Price: $110
  • Weight: 9.3 oz.
  • Drop: 6 mm drop

You probably think: How can a $110 shoe be on the best running shoes to try list> 
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We have to start with the most affordable shoes! 
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You would never guess Atreyu's Base Model is "cheap". 

  • It's comfortable and versatile. 
  • If you miss "the old days" of running shoes and want something that's lightweight and you can feel the ground, the Atreyu Base Model is a great option.

👟Best Daily Trainers

The daily trainers are the shoes you can rely on for the bulk on your mileage. 
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They might not be the most glamorous, but they are the workhorses of the running industry. 
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You can't train without a daily trainer. 

361 Centauri
  • Price: $130
  • Weight: 9.8 oz
  • Drop: 9 mm

At just $130, the 361 Centauri is one of the cheaper options on the best running shoes list.
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What makes it so great? 

  • This brand-new shoe from 361 has plenty of traction.
  • It's also got substantial cushion that you're able to take it out for long runs. 
  • The wide base fits several different foot types...
  • And can handle almost any kind of run, which is why it makes the best running shoes list.
Hoka Clifton 9
  • Review here
  • Price: $145
  • Weight: 9.1 oz
  • Drop: 5 mm drop

The Hoka Clifton has been one of the most popular running shoes since it debuted 9 versions ago. 

  • It's light and designed for the daily training. 
  • This version features a plush upper and updated EVA midsole that keeps it lightweight and soft.
On Cloudsurfer
  • Review here
  • Price: $160
  • Weight: 9.1 oz.
  • Drop: 7 mm drop

When the Cloudsurfer debuted, they couldn't keep it in stock.

  • It's a great daily trainer that fits wider than average, and it's even my mom's favorite running shoe. 
  • It's the shoe you can bring when you don't know what kind of run you'll do. 
  • Maybe you just want an easy run, or maybe you decide to pick up the pace. The On Cloudsurfer can handle it all.
Mizuno Wave Rider 27
  • Review here
  • Price: $139.99
  • Weight: 9.9 oz
  • Drop: 12 mm

The Mizuno Wave Rider 27 is one of the best running shoes to try this year and one of the most popular.

  • Mizuno as a brand fits narrow and rides firm, but there aren't a lot of shoes that do that. 
  • You can pick up the pace or run easy depending on your needs. 
  • After 27 versions, the Mizuno Wave Rider 27 is as popular as ever, which lands it on the best running shoes to try list. 
  • If you're looking for a narrow-fitting, durable, consistent trainer, it's one of the best.

👟Best Super Trainers

What is a super trainer? 

  • Super trainers are a fairly new category of running shoe designed with maximum cushion. 
  • They help the body recover faster because there is more under your foot. 
  • Most super trainers have such a high stack height, they are technically illegal for pros to race in.
Asics Superblast

Full disclosure, the ASICS Superblast is my favorite trainer...period! So of course, it had to be on the best running shoes list.
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ASICS has stepped up their game this year with trainers and racers.

  • The ASICS Superblast has plenty of cushion but the ability to run faster if you would like to. 
  • Despite not having a carbon plate, the stack height is above 40.
  • And it propels you forward, giving you the ability to run fast or easy.
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2
  • Price: $180
  • Weight: 9.7 oz
  • Drop: 6 mm drop

The Supercomp Trainer V2 was updated to make it more versatile than the original version. 

  • It now can handle a wide range of paces making it great for whatever you are training for. 
  • The high stack height and cushion mean you can recover quickly and still feel fast. 
  • It's a great multipurpose shoe and one of the best all-around trainers to try this year.

👟Speed Work Shoe

The best running shoes list has to include speed work shoes. 

  • A new recent development is trainers with nylon or half carbon plates designed for your speed work. 
  • They are slightly cheaper and more durable than carbon-plated shoes, making them great to do workouts in so you can save your carbon-plated shoes for race day.
Asics Magic Speed 3
  • Price: $160
  • Weight: 7.7 oz
  • Drop: 7 mm

If there was an award for the most inconsistent shoe, it would be the Magic Speed. 

  • Each update has drastically changed the Magic Speed as it's finding its way. 
  • The Magic Speed 3 has been significantly improved over previous versions. 
  • It now has a full-length carbon plate and Flytefoam Blast+ designed for speed and a fast and fun running experience.

👟Best Race Day Shoes

Hoka Rocket X2
  • Review here
  • Price: $250
  • Weight: 8.3 oz.
  • Drop: 5 mm drop

The original Hoka Rocket was just OK.
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Was it great? No. But the Rocket X2 IS great.
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Hoka went all in, and the Hoka Rocket X2 has... 

  • An increased stack height
  • A new Peba midsole
  • An enhanced meta-rocker. 
  • And it looks, feels, and rides differently. 
  • Note: While the heel cup is still a work in progress, the shoe is fast.
Saucony Endorphin Elite

Saucony has a lot of fast shoes. Honestly, too many. 
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However, the Saucony Endorphin Elite is the fastest of the bunch and also one of the most expensive running shoes out there. 

  • This shoe has a new lightweight and better-fitting upper. 
  • Plus, it's made for speed with a stiff carbon plate and lower stack height. 
  • If you are someone who prefers a lower stack height but wants a carbon plate, consider the Saucony Endorphin Elite.
Nike Vaporfly 3
  • Review here
  • Price: $250
  • Weight: 7.2 oz.
  • Drop: 40mm in heel with 8 mm drop

The Nike Vaporfly (and previously the Next) has always been great. 
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It's been the cream of the crop since carbon-plated footwear debuted. 

  • The Vaporfly 3 was updated with a breathable Atomknit upper and a ZoomX midsole. 
  • It's made for speed in the half and marathon.

👟Best Max Cushioned Shoe

What is the difference between a max cushioned trainer and a super trainer? 

  • Super trainers have the ability to run fast.
  • Max cushioned shoes are designed for one purpose, and that's to run easy. 
  • You might use max cushioned shoes after a hard workout or race, or for easy miles with less stress on your body. 
Brooks Ghost Max
  • Review here
  • Price: $149.95
  • Weight: 10.1 oz
  • Drop: 6 mm

The Brooks Ghost Max is a brand-new shoe designed as the perfect partner to the Brooks Ghost. 

  • It's the Brooks Ghost, but more (or Max cushioned). 
  • This soft and durable shoe feels like a pillow under your foot, making it a great recovery run shoe. 
  • One of the best running shoes to try this year, because of how cushioned and smooth the ride is.

👟Best Trail Shoe

Hoka Tecton X2
  • Price: $225
  • Weight: 8.8 oz
  • Drop: 5 mm drop

Most people don't realize, Hoka was originally designed as trail shoes, and in recent years, it shows. 

  • The Tecton X2 is one of the best trail running shoes to try this year. 
  • The second version is lighter and more secure. 
  • The new upper material and lacing make a great race day trail shoe. 
  • With a carbon plate and plenty of traction, it's designed to run your fastest trail race yet.

Did your favorite running shoe make the list?

With so many great running shoes to try this year, it was hard to find the best.
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From carbon-plated race day shoes to all-around daily trainers, and max cushioned trainers, there are several great options.
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What's your favorite running shoe right now?

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Hollie S
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Mojave Desert, CA
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Hollie has worked in run specialty for 8+ years and fit over 1000 people for shoes. Her favorite distance is the half maratho...

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