If you ask a group of runners about the best running shoes in 2020, you’ll likely wind up with some wildly varying opinions. But when it comes down to it, most of us want the same thing out of our number one companion on the road: support, durability, and comfort.
Finding the right shoe for you is primarily based on your training regime. Are you a long-distance runner or a sprinter? The endurance athlete needs a very different shoe compared to the interval runner. Do you prefer clean conditions or a bit more… untested? If you prefer to really surround yourself with nature and hit the trails, our trail running review article might be worth a read.
Working alongside a range of clients we’ve narrowed this list down to the 5 best running shoes for your goals. If you already know what you’re training for, feel free to skip ahead to the category that resonates the most.
The Best 2020 Running Shoes For The All-Rounder
These shoes are for the runner that won’t be placed into a box. Maybe sometimes you’ll do the power-pole to power-pole neighborhood sprint. But then, on Sundays, you might enjoy a 10-mile cruise. If your running regime is more versatile, these are the top shoes for you. These shoes were tested for durability, cushioning, and support.
Underarmour Charged Escape 3
You can expect a great deal of comfort with these neutral shoes. At 9.8oz, you’ll receive a speedy session with maximum support for your feet. The heel to toe drop is 10mm (which is typical for running shoes), making them a neutral option for most people. They’re super trendy, aesthetically pleasing, and extremely durable for the price tag. I’ve logged around 250 miles with mine, and they’re still going strong.
These are my go-to running shoes (but in pink, of course), and I like the support I feel in these shoes compared to lighter weight shoes. Other runners also attest to the secure and form-fitting feel. Commonly used for HIIT, weight training, tennis, and running, the Underarmour Charged Escape 3’s are renowned for their comfort and competitive price tag.
The Best Running Shoes in 2020 For The Interval Trainer
HIIT training is all the rage these days. If you like to mix up your sessions with sprints and periods of walking/cooldown, you can safely say you’re an interval trainer. You want to push your VO2 max during your training to increase your overall fitness level. If you run less than 20 miles per week (and tend to stick to a faster pace), consider investing in these top-notch running shoes. We’ve targeted shoes based on their speed performance and shoe responsiveness. These shoes will help you run on your toes during your interval sprints.
Brooks Hyperion Elite
The Brooks Hyperion Elite running shoes are the cream of the crop for speedrunning. If you’re an interval training athlete, you’ll be striving to push your maximum range each high-intensity set. These speed-boosters will get you there. They’re incredibly lightweight at 6.9oz, and feature a smaller mid-sole drop of 8mm to help you stay light on your feet during your speedy sections.
Keep in mind; these definitely aren’t for your long runs with a use-by date shorter than 100miles. However, you’ll enjoy speed and style with Brooks’s top-of-the-range Hyperion Elite model. These have an MSRP starting at $250, so they’re mostly reserved for those who are serious about maximizing their training sessions.
The Best Running Shoes 2020 For The Endurance Athlete
Do your friends think you’re crazy because you wake up before the crack of dawn on the weekend to get those miles in? It sounds like you need a shoe that won’t give you those dreaded blisters mid-marathon. While it may seem that an ultra-marathon runner would opt for lightweight, it’s more critical to purchase for comfort.
When looking for the top running shoes for the endurance athlete, we compared the amount of cushioning and the durability for our long-distance runners. Here are the best endurance shoes on the market in 2020.
Mizuno Wave Rider 23
The Wave Rider provides an ultra-cushioned bounce in your step on those long, hard runs. It has a dual-compound mid-sole to prevent you from overpronating as your muscles get fatigued. The knit upper will also give you breathability past your 20th mile.
The shoe provides excellent shock absorption, and they’re cushioned from heel to toe. They have solid ratings (as of June 2020), and one reviewer even noted they lasted over 800 miles (although I strongly don’t recommend you try this at home, folks). Overall, the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 easily surpasses its competitors in the endurance running field.
The Best Treadmill Running Shoe in 2020
Maybe you live in a cold and rainy climate, and road running just will not do for you. Treadmills are an excellent option for the busy bee that won’t let the weather get in the way of their training. Here are your perfect running companions if you prefer to stay indoors.
The best bit about running on a treadmill? The smooth surface allows you to opt for a lightweight shoe and challenge your speed. Unless you have a specific ankle or alignment issue, you can choose a general shoe that doesn’t require the support of the other counterparts on the list.
Nike Zoom Winflo 6
Designed for speed on the track & field, the Nike Zoom Winflo 6 is the latest in the Nike range for smooth surfaces. It’s lightweight, but it still has enough cushioning for a treadmill surface. The earlier version received rave reviews on Amazon. And now? Nike has increased the support with its newest model.
The Winflo 6 has two cushioning units for that much-needed arch support while remaining light at 9.53oz. For the runner that needs comfort, arch support, and less bulk – the Nike Zoom Winflo 6 is an excellent choice.
The Best Value For Money Running Shoe
For the avid budgeter, brand names and the latest models aren’t a priority. But there are still many lesser-known brands that don’t cut on quality. Usually, runners on a budget are beginners, so we tested the best value running shoes for comfort and support. Rest assured, these are not the kind of shoes that’ll leave your feet in shreds. While there is a newer model available, we still found that these are the best value for the money.
Saucony Cohesion 12
The Cohesion model is a low budget shoe under the Saucony brand. That said, you can still expect the cushioning and comfort of a good quality running shoe. The heel cushioning is 29mm, and forefoot at 17mm. They have a 12mm heel drop, which is on the higher side, but this is generally good for newer runners or heel strikers.
They are typically well-received with comments about their durability, comfort, and stability. If you’re happy to sacrifice the latest models and aesthetics for a more affordable price, the Saucony Cohesion 12 is a great place to start your running journey.
Where Will Your New Kicks Take You?
Now that you have the 5 best running shoes to choose from let us know what your post-lockdown goals are. Many of us are just happy to be out and about walking, while others will be training to be at the start line when marathons open again. We won’t hear the starting gun of the Boston Marathon this year, but this doesn’t mean we will ever stop running towards our goals.