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The 5 Best Running Shoes For Beginners

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When it comes to athletic shoes, it’s always best to try them on to get the right fit — but there are a few things you can look for if you’re a new runner ordering running shoes online. In most cases, the best running shoes for beginners are road-running shoes because they can provide the right amount of comfortable cushioning, support, and tread to help you balance and grip whether you’re running on a treadmill or pavement. But not all feet are alike, and depending on the shape or your arch and pronation, you may want to choose a shoe that’s designed for your foot — or slip some insoles into your basic running shoe.

There are three types of arches (medium arches, flat arches, and high arches), a medium arch is the most common, but flat or high arches may benefit from a more specialized shoe. But you’ll also want to think about how your foot hits the ground. If your arch collapses and causes your ankle to roll inwards, that is called overpronation. Those with flat feet, may be more prone to overpronation, but someone with a high arch can also experience this. If your ankle rolls outwards, that is called underpronation or supination. People with high arches are more at high risk of this. Ideally, your feet shouldn’t lean in or out, that indicates you have a natural pronation.

Whatever your arch type, jumpstart your routine with these five pairs of running shoes that are fantastic for beginners.

1

The Overall Best Running Shoe For Beginners

Well-reviewed by critics and boasting more than 15,000 positive Amazon ratings to date, Brooks’s Ghost 13 shoes are a fabulous choice for any neutral runner (aka anyone who isn't an overpronator or supinator) who wants to invest in an overall great pair of shoes for road running and gym workouts. The lightweight shoe features supportive yet soft cushioning and a Segmented Crash Pad outsole for increased shock absorption. A stretchy mesh gives it a secure fit.

With dozens of colors and patterns to choose from, you’re sure to find a hue that’s right for you.

Positive Amazon review: “Like running on air [...] Love these sneakers. Wore them for the first time to the gym tonight. Ran a few miles. So light and comfortable. Good support. Didn’t need to be broken in.”

  • Available sizes: 4.5 — 13 (wide, standard, and narrow sizes)

2

The Best Budget Running Shoe For Beginners

The Brooks Ghost 12 is my top pick, but if you need a cheaper (but totally solid!) pair for road or treadmill running, try the ASICS Gel-Excite 6 Shoes. ASICS is a reputable brand and known for having great affordable options and this pair reaffirms that. The AmpliFoam Midsole provides durable, soft cushioning, the Rearfoot GEL technology cushioning system absorbs shock and smooths your transition as you step, and the breathable Ortholite Sockliner cushions your foot while managing uncomfortable sweat. These shoes are best for neutral runners, not overpronators or supinators. They’re available in 16 colors.

Positive Amazon review: “I’m a runner and these shoes are amazing! So comfortable and supportive. Makes for very natural stride.”

  • Available sizes: 6 — 11.5 (wide and standard sizes)

3

The Best Running Shoes For Beginners With Flat Feet Or Overpronation

If you have low arches, or flat feet, give the ASICS Gel-Kayano 26 Running Shoes a try. Runners with low arches tend to have overpronated feet, meaning their feet roll inwards as they step. These shoes are designed for low arches and overpronated feet, and the Dynamic DuoMax Support System offers extra stability and helps to manage overpronation. The full-length SpevaFoam 45 provides a soft, comfortable platform and FlyteFoam Technology gives the shoe lightweight, continuous cushion, as well as some bounce. The AHAR sponge outsole is lightweight but can withstand lots of wear, and the jacquard mesh uppers are breathable (and available in 21 colors!). ASICS has also added reflective details to improve your visibility in low-light conditions.

For extra comfort, consider also purchasing one of the best insoles for flat feet.

Positive Amazon review: “Great running shoes for flat feet! [...] I have overpronation, and these shoes support my arches really well. I haven’t had any running injuries since buying them!”

  • Available sizes: 512 (wide and standard sizes)

4

The Best Beginner Running Shoes For High Arches

Brooks offers a lot of great options for anyone with high arches, but this pair of Glycerin 18 shoes tops the list because of its cushioning. If you have high arches, less of your foot hits the ground as you run, which means you may benefit from a shoe with extra cushion to absorb shock and support and protect your foot. The Glycerin 18 prioritizes cushion and makes it feel like you’re “running on clouds,"“according to many reviewers. It features soft yet responsive DNA LOFT cushioning and a contoured, moisture-wicking OrthoLite sockliner that adds to your comfort as you run. The upper is made of a breathable mesh with 3D Fit Print technology.

Positive Amazon review: “These are my favorite Glycerin’s yet. This is my 3rd pair and definitely like the styling, the color, the comfort and fit are perfect as usual. I have a high arch and these runners have always been fantastic for me but the 18 is even more comfortable than the 17 and 16. Definitely highly recommend this running shoe.”

  • Available sizes: 512 (wide, standard, and narrow sizes)

5

A Pair Of Editor-Approved Running Shoes For Beginners

Amy Biggart, Bustle Commerce Editor, calls adidas’s Ultraboost DNA running shoes as her “go-to sneakers for tons of activities, but since I’ve recently started running for the first time, I always reach for them.” She explains that the soft knit upper as “easy to slip on” and fits well as she moves, and “the soles are so responsive that I really feel myself bounce back on the treadmill.” In addition, she’s worn them for HIIT, dance, and strength training exercises, making them a truly multifunctional shoe. Biggart attests, “They’re super versatile for people looking to get into running but who also have other exercise they like to do.”

  • Available sizes: 512 (standard sizes)