When it comes to finding the
lightest running shoes which still keep your feet and joints protected, it's essential to look for options incorporating gel, foam, or both in the insole for shock absorption, since most brands do away with heavy rubber outsoles for their lightweight styles.
Here's the difference between gel and foam: Usually,
gel provides more shock absorption than foam, while foam provides more stability than gel. However, both are great options when it comes to padding, and it's even better if they're used together in one running shoe. Still, foam does have one downfall: It tends to wear down more quickly over time. The foam support can also vary depending on how long you've been running, as well as the temperature outside. For breathability, look for mesh inserts within the outer linings.
Beyond being comfortable and easy to run in, studies have shown that
lighter shoes can help you run faster — but to be considered lightweight, they need to weigh 10 ounces or less. Scroll on for four great options that fit the bill. There's sure to be a lightweight running shoe to suit your needs. We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
The Overall Best: A Lightweight Running Shoe That Uses Gel & Foam For Support
sneakers combine silicone-based gel and foam cushioning to give you the benefits of both: stability, comfort, and longevity. The outsole of each sneaker is made with high-abrasion rubber for added durability and grip, and the areas of high impact are strengthened to provide ample shock support. Asics' famous FlyteFoam Lyte technology also provides airy cushioning within the midsole for ultimate comfort, and the upper is lined with breathable mesh. At 9 ounces, they are slightly heavier than other lightweight running shoes on this list. They're available in over 20 colors. What fans write: "I was in need of a new pair of running shoes. I love ASICS, and I’ve been a fan of their products for years. This style is my ultimate favorite. Lots of cushioning gel and comfortable fit make these a big win! They feel as if they were made just for me." Weight: 9 ounces Available sizes: 5 — 13 (with wide sizes)
The Lightest Pair On The List With Cloud-Like Foam For Comfort
running sneakers by Adidas are the lightest on this list, coming in at just 6 ounces. These don't use gel within the insoles or outsoles — but they do use a special type of foam. The cushiony EVA Cloudfoam sock liners provide both support and comfort throughout the midsole and heels, molding to your feet as you move. The thin rubber outsoles also offer stability, while the mesh upper lining offers lightweight, breathable coverage. These sneakers are available in over 15 colors, including both bright and neutral tones. What fans write: "I absolutely love these running shoes. They are extremely light weight, feels like you are running on air yet with support. Super cute, look exactly as pictured & are true to size." Weight: 6 ounces Available sizes: 5 - 12
A Lightweight Pair With An Extra-Flexible Sole
running sneakers by Saucony use the brand's proprietary PWRRUN midsoles that are not only 28% lighter than standard EVA foam, but also longer lasting. The outsoles are flexible for easy movement, and the outer linings feature mesh designs. Each footbed is designed to cradle the shape of your foot and at only 6.9 ounces, these are the second lightest on the list. Similar to the previous option, these don't use gel. These are available in seven different colors, and the black pair is available in wide sizes. What fans write: "Fit well and comfortable from the start. I’ve run about 25 miles on them already and the weight and fit felt great." Weight: 6.9 ounces Available sizes: 5 - 12 (with wide sizes)
These Lightweight Sneakers Made With Road Running In Mind
Torin 4 running shoes are advertised as road running sneakers, and customers have worn them for long-distance jogs and marathons. Each shoe features a zero-drop platform, which ensures that your heels and toes are the same distance off of the ground (mimicking how your feet naturally move when barefoot). The midsoles are also made from a responsive, light EVA foam called Quantic. The shoes are also lined with mesh inserts that are light and breathable, and they come in at 7.6 ounces. Just keep in mind that the zero-drop platform might take some getting used to. These are available in three colors. What fans write: "Wonderful running shoes. Light weight and good for road racing. I have and always will be an ALTRA fan. Great for your feet. Great for running." Weight: 7.6 ounces Available sizes: 5.5 - 12