11 Best Women’s Running Shoes for 2018

11 Best Women’s Running Shoes for 2018

Getting in your daily run doesn’t have to be a big production. You don’t need to be on time for a class. You don’t need to perform maintenance on all your gear. You don’t need to drive to a gym or workout facility. All it takes is some comfortable clothes and a pair of shoes. Before you head out the door to a race, a workout, or on a leisurely long run, check out the list below of the best women’s road running shoes as determined by the votes of thousands of women who run.

Number 11

Brooks PureCadence 7

Brooks PureCadence 7

There’s a three-way tie on this list for the best brand of running shoes for women: Altra, Brooks, and New Balance each place two models in the top eleven. Where the PureCadence 7 stands out from all other models is its natural ground feel: With just 22 mm of cushion under your heel, the PureCadence wants you to feel the road, even while it provides mild support for runners who prefer some extra stability. The PureCadence is also light enough to put a little extra snap intoyour faster runs and road workouts.

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Number 10

Newton Gravity 7

Newton Gravity 7

If you need the best women’s long distance running shoes and price isn’t your primary concern, the Newton Gravity 7 is a premium trainer for runners with a neutral footstrike that has gained fans quickly. The Gravity combines a springy midsole material with Newton’s Action/Reaction lugs in the forefoot, while the soft heel cushion transitions smoothly to a moderately soft forefoot with a full 23 mm of cushion under your toes. Or in plain English: Your feet will enjoy supremely comfortable impact absorption as you hit the ground, and the energy from your landing will be channeled back into relaunching you into the air.

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Number 9

Nike LunarEpic Low Flyknit 2

Nike LunarEpic Low Flyknit 2

For the best street running shoes, it’s hard to beat the combination of athletic pedigree and fashion-forward design that Nike brings to the table. As for the LunarEpic Low Flyknit 2, it’s hard to beat its versatility. The sole, a combination of Nike’s Lunarlon and Phylon midsole materials, provides reliable cushion and a smooth ride, while the Flyknit upper will hug your feet without rubbing or constricting at any point. And it all comes in a package that’s light enough for uptempo runs and faster workouts.

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Number 8

Hoka One One Tracer 2

Hoka One One Tracer 2

If your road running goals include a starting line and a finishing sprint, Hoka has what you need. At just 6.7 ounces in a women’s size 8, the Tracer 2 is built for speed (and the lightest of all the shoes on this list). The sleek 4 mm offset between the heel and toe height promotes a midfoot footstrike and is a great match for ambitious paces. Although the Tracer 2 is categorized as a neutral shoe, it includes better than average stability features.

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Number 7

Asics Gel DS Trainer 23

Asics Gel DS Trainer 23

Other models on this list have been around a few years. Maybe two or three, maybe seven. But the Asics Gel DS Trainer 23 has proven its worth as a moderately supportive, lightweight, uptempo trainer since the mid-1990s. With each iteration, the DS trainer has been adapted for newer midsole materials or more modern manufacturing processes, helping it to become the fast, light, responsive trainer it is today. If you’ve got speed on your schedule, try on a pair of DS Trainers.

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Number 6

Balance 1260 v7

Balance 1260 v7

What the New Balance 1260 v7 promises runners is maximum cushion and maximum support, and loyal fans have come to rely on the 1260 for impact absorption that can last the miles. Stability features and extra cushion are also the characteristics of great walking shoes, so if you’re looking for the best run/walk shoes for women, the New Balance 1260 is a prime candidate.

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Number 5

Brooks Levitate 2

Brooks Levitate 2

In running shoe tech, the 2010s have been the decade of energy return. All the major shoe companies and gee-whiz startups have poured research funding into putting as much bounce as possible back into your stride. With its DNA AMP foam, Brooks has found a midsole material that stacks up bounce to bounce with anything from Adidas, Saucony, or Altra. Runners will appreciate the famous Brooks fit of the Levitate 2, its excellent stability in a neutral shoe, the consistently soft landings in the heel and forefoot, and all the energy the Levitate bounces back into the liftoff of each stride.

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Number 4

Altra Escalante 1.5

Altra Escalante 1.5

Women who are looking for performance will find a lot of options on this list, including shoes with a traditional 10 mm offset like the DS Trainer, the low 4 mm drop of the Tracer 2, and the zero-drop purity of the Escalante 1.5. The Escalante is nearly as light as the Tracer, and thanks to Altra’s use of EGO foam, it has outstanding energy return. The Escalante’s excellent cushioning and responsiveness have made it one of the standout racing shoes for runners who have discovered the advantages of zero-drop shoes.

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Number 3

New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v3

New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v3

With the Vongo, New Balance must be doing something right, but until you try them on, it’s not immediately obvious what it is. The Vongo is in the company’s Fresh Foam lineup, known for its smooth and soft ride, and the Vongo’s sole transitions from a soft heel to an even softer forefoot. But the Vongo is also a highly supportive platform that matches the 1260 in stability. And it does without the tradition 8-12 mm offset typically found in stability trainers. Its 4 mm drop is instead usually associated with startups like Altra, Newton, and Hoka. What is it about this combination that has so many runners raving about the Vongo? Try on a pair. You’ll see.

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Number 2

Mizuno Wave Paradox 4

Mizuno Wave Paradox 4

You can keep your bouncy foam. For the best road running shoes, 2018 is the year of the Wave, at least as far as Mizuno is concerned. Mizuno designs the soles of its running shoes around the thermal plastic Wave plate that stores the energy of impact and returns the energy back into your stride—and also adds stability that no foam can match on its own. The Paradox 4 puts a full 32 mm of sole between your heel and the pavement, a full half centimeter more than any other shoe on this list, which gives the Paradox highly effective and reliable cushioning.

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Number 1

Altra Intuition 4.5

Altra Intuition 4.5

The Altra Intuition 4.5 is built for versatility. Not too firm for easy runs, not too heavy or too squishy and unresponsive for running fast. Of course it comes with the wide toe box that Altra shoes are known for, so there’s plenty of room to let your toes move. Whether it’s for an easy run or a faster road workout, sometimes a happy medium is exactly what you need.

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or get it on Amazon