A great shoe is essential for a great run. And there are lots of great shoes around. However, when you are looking for that perfect running shoe, there are so many factors that come into play:
- How much bounce do you want?
- Do you run on the tarmac or prefer rough terrains?
- Are you picky about the way your shoes look?
There is a myriad of details that can determine your final choice.
In this post, we will try to make this choice a bit easier by introducing you to 20 running shoe brands worth buying and their best-selling running footwear.
So, what are the best running shoes in 2021? This is what we are here to discover.
What Are the Best Running Shoe Brands in 2021?
Let’s get started. Below, we will go over 20 famous sports shoe brands that have excelled in the industry and try to figure out which shoes are best for running.
Adidas creates footwear for those who love to be outdoors. The company was founded back in 1949 and has since produced some of the world’s most popular sneakers and performance footwear. One of the company’s most popular pairs is the famous Ultraboost, featuring motion capture technology. All of the company’s sneakers are known for their signature design features, and the company’s three-stripe logo is one of the most recognizable in the world.
Best running shoes by Adidas for 2021: Ultraboost 20, Adizero Boston 9, Supernova, Adizero Pro, and Solarboost 3.
Nike has a reputation for its running sneakers, and the brand’s Free Run series is known for offering the lightness and comfort of a barefoot experience with full support for your arches and ankles.
Nike dates back to 1964 and is named after the Greek goddess of victory. In addition to the footwear’s stellar performance, it is also known for its bold design patterns and bright colors. The brand’s famous logo (swoosh) is a symbol of speed, movement, power, and motivation.
Best running shoes by Nike for 2021: ZoomX Vaporfly Next%, Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2, Air Zoom Winflo 7, Air Zoom Terra Kiger 6, and Air Zoom Pegasus 27.
New Balance has been producing performance footwear ever since 1906 with a strong focus on performance and foot support. The company’s Fresh Foam series features supreme comfort and arch support thanks to its cutting-edge design and soft cushioning. New Balance makes the type of shoe that can motivate you to push yourself further.
Best running shoes by New Balance for 2021: New Balance Fresh Foam 860v11, New Balance FuelCell Prism, New Balance Fresh Foam More Trail, New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo, and New Balance FuelCell RC Elite.
Asics is a popular footwear brand among both professional athletes and amateur joggers. The label’s name comes from the Latin “anima sana in corpore Sano” (“a healthy soul in a healthy body”).
Asics sneakers offer support and agility for both jogging and everyday walks and are known for the special technology used in their FlyteFoam Propel sole.
Best running shoes by Asics in 2021: Gel-Cumulus 22, Gel-Nimbus 23, GT-1000 9, Metaracer Tokyo, and NovaBlast.
Reebok has kept men and women active on their feet since 1958. Till today, the company’s footwear delivers superior performance for every skill set, pairing it with attractive designs.
The brand is particularly known for its Nano series, which has been perfected for over a decade since its initial release and features a woven textile upper and lightweight cushioning from heel to toe.
Best running shoes by Reebok in 2021: Reebok Forever Floatride Energy 2, Reebok Floatride Run Panthea, Reebok Endless Road 2, Floatride Energy Symmetros, and Reebok Floatride Run Fast 2.
Hoka One One is a French company specializing in athletic footwear, and its mission is to help accelerate your running performance. The brand is named after a Maori phrase meaning "fly over the earth". Hoka One One footwear initially gained popularity among ultramarathon runners due to its stability and enhanced cushioning. Thanks to these features, Hoka One One sneakers have quickly become known among the general public and are now among some of the most popular sports shoes.
Best running shoes by Hoka One One: Carbon X, Speedgoat 4, Bondi 7, Rincon 2, and Clifton 7.
Mizuno is a niche footwear brand that uses
SmoothRide Support Wave technology to craft the perfect running shoe. The company’s shoes feature reinforced heels, are well-ventilated and breathable, and come with comfortably flexible constructions.
Best running shoes by Mizuno in 2021: Wave Horizon 4, Wave Inspire 17, Wave Sky 4 Waveknit, Wave Rider 24, and Wave Creation 20.
This German brand was established in 1948 and has since won over the hearts of many professional and amateur joggers. An interesting fact about the company is that it was founded by Rudi Dassler, whose brother Adi is the founder of Adidas. The company excels in the sports footwear field by making shoes that offer extensive protection while helping maximize athletic performance. Among Puma’s best-selling models, you can find sneakers that are a great fit for both short jogs and full-on marathons.
Best running shoes by Puma in 2021: Tazon 6, Super Elevate, Carson Runner, Faas 500 v4, and Ignite Ultimate.
Altra Footwear is a company that specializes in running shoes. The brand was launched relatively recently, in 2009, and has since been creating state-of-the-art footwear for active people. The brand’s most popular models feature the famous FootShape toe box, which allows your toes to spread out evenly across the ground — this results in better stability and helps maintain balance on the move. Altra Footwear emphasizes the impact of each step and how the right shoe can help you go further, faster and safer.
Best running shoes by Altra Footwear in 2021: Olympus 4, Escalante 2.5, Lone Peak 4.5, Torin 4.5 Plus, and Solstice XT.
Just as the name of the company suggests, Newton Running is fully focused on running footwear. The company prides itself on using a scientific approach to the design of its shoes, aiming for better performance and ease of wear. Understanding the natural form of the foot, Newton Running creates running shoes that emphasize not only your athletic results but also how comfortable you feel during your jogs. All of the company’s shoes are made with eco-friendly materials and textiles and are, thus, safe not only for your feet but also for the planet.
Newton Running was founded in 2007 and is based in Boulder, Colorado.
Best running shoes by Newton Running in 2021: Lady Isaac, Distance 9, Motion 9, Terra Momentum, and Distance Elite.
Brooks is a sports footwear brand making shoes with advanced protection for your feet — and these are suitable for both professional athletes and occasional joggers. The brand uses
3D hex lugs offering an enhanced grip on the outside of the shoe. Plus, the shoes’ midsole is made using innovative and adaptive cushioning that guarantees better support for your arch during running and other athletic activities.
Best running shoes by Brooks in 2021: Hyperion Tempo, Catamount, Glycerin 19, Launch GTS 8, and Ghost 13.
Saucony may not be as known to the general public as some of the other sports brands we’ve mentioned above, but it is actually one of the most established brands in the footwear industry.
The company was launched all the way back in 1898 and today continues to offer stylish, affordable and technologically-advanced footwear. Its PWRRUN insoles have been particularly praised by runners.
Best running shoes by Saucony in 2021: Saucony Guide 14, Saucony Triumph 18, Saucony Endorphin Speed, Saucony Peregrine 11, and Saucony Mad River TR 2
Salomon is the best choice for runners who love exploring new terrains. The company makes footwear for all types of surfaces using their unique Gore-Tex technology, which allows for enhanced flexibility across your foot. The brand was founded back in 1947 right in the heart of the French Alps. Perhaps, this is where it has got the inspiration for creating shoes that are simply perfect for a mountain trail.
Best running shoes by Salomon in 2021: Ultra Pro,
S/Lab Ultra 3, Sense Ride 3, Predict SOC, and Speedcross 5 GTX.
Sketchers is a footwear brand that is especially popular with young people. However, beyond fun designs and bright colors lie years of research, which have allowed the brand to produce high-performing and super-lightweight sneakers. One of their most popular inventions is the Air Cooled Goga Mat insole.
Best running shoes by Skechers in 2021: GOrun Forza 4 Hyper, GOrun 7+, GOrun Razor+, GOrun Ride 8 Hyper, and GOrun Speed Elite Hyper.
Under Armour is a professional footwear company specializing in making activewear for serious athletes. Established in 1996, the company makes footwear with stable and comfortable cushioning and supreme energy return.
Best running shoes by Under Armour in 2021: Hovr Guardian 2, Hovr Machina, Hovr Velocity 3, Hovr Sonic 3, and Charged Bandit Trail GTX.
APL sneakers feature modern designs on the outside and a futuristic approach on the inside. Made with the company’s signature TechLoom Phantom 3D mesh, this footwear is built for maximum comfort and ultimate performance.
Thanks to their trendy but more subdued designs, sports shoes by APL can be just as easily worn on a run, at the gym or even to the office.
Best running shoes by APL in 2021: Techloom Phantom, Techloom Breeze, Techloom Wave, Techloom Pro, and Techloom Bliss.
La Sportiva is an Italian footwear brand with over a century of shoe-making experience. It’s founder,
Narciso Delladio, started out by making boots for farmers. He later moved on to crafting custom mountaineering boots for soldiers in World War II.
Today, La Sportiva is known for making some of the best footwear products in the world for technical mountaineering and alpine sports. However, the company also has a line of high-performance trail running shoes, easily recognizable by their scary-sounding names.
Best running shoes by La Sportiva in 2021: Mutant, Bushido 2.0, Crossover 2.0 GTX, Akyra, and Ultra Raptor.
Merrell lets you take your running to the next level. Literally. The company specializes in making trail running shoes for rough terrain using high-performance technology and custom cushioning. This makes for a soft and comfortable step (as if you were walking barefoot) even on the bumpiest of mountain roads.
Best running shoes by Merrell in 2021: All Out Crush 2, Bare Access 2, Trail Glove 5, Vapor Glove 4, and Pace Glove 3.
Inov-8 is the go-to brand for those runners who look down on training on the tarmac. Their shoes are made to be incredibly lightweight and feature custom-made grippy rubber outsoles that perform really well on specific terrains. Inspired by climbing shoes, they help keep the runner’s feet planted firmly on the ground even on particularly uneven surfaces.
Best running shoes by Inov-8 in 2021: Trailroc G 280, X Talon G235, Roadclaw 275 v2, Mudclaw G260, and Roclite 315 GTX.
On-Running may just be making the softest running shoes on the market. Their On Cloud X collection
uses a blend of CloudTec Zero Gravity cushioning with deep flex grooves. And this makes for a delightfully soft bounce and allows your feet to move holistically, maximizing your overall performance.
Best running shoes by On-Running in 2021: Cloudultra, Cloud X, Cloudflyer, Cloudswift, and Cloudflow.
And there we have it. We hope that you will be able to find your perfect running shoe among the options above. Whichever you go with, we wish you great trails and new personal records.