Ask almost any runner, and they’ll tell you that running is a relatively inexpensive sport. After all, it’s just you and your running path. However, you can also ask the same runners what their most important piece of gear is, and they will undoubtedly tell you it’s their running shoes.
While running can be inexpensive because you don’t need any equipment, running shoes are an essential piece of gear, and they’re not cheap.
Because such an important piece of gear can be expensive, it’s important to consider the best running shoes. One way you can find which running shoes are the best is to use Reddit. Reddit is chock full of information, opinions, and feedback from real-life users.
This article will review what shoes Reddit has deemed the best, divided into two basic types: road and trail running. Let’s talk about it!
How to Find the Best Running Shoes on Reddit
Finding the best shoes on Reddit can feel a bit like going down a rabbit hole. You may spend hours combing through posts and comments if you’re not frugal with your time.
To narrow down your search, you can try the following subreddits:
Alternatively, you can use the search bar to search the term “best running shoes” and view results from several subreddits at once.
Of course, everyone has their own opinion, so it’s important to consider the top features you’re looking for in a running shoe. This will help you narrow down the pair that’s right for your needs.
With that in mind, let’s break down Reddit’s picks for the best running shoes.
#1 Best Overall: Saucony Endorphin Speed
- Rubber sole
- A reimagined S-curve winged nylon plate centers and supports your foot better for daily training
- Updated geometry gives you a smoother ride and more pop and spring for serious speed
- A fully redesigned upper delivers a comfortable fit from heel to toe
- White with black trim
The Endorphin Speed shoe is the most talked about and considered the most beneficial for all types of runners according to Redditors.
Runners on r/RUnningShoeGeeks rave about this shoe. Based on comments such as this, Reddit users feel this is the best “one size fits all” running shoe.
Even if every Redditor doesn’t agree, everyone can agree that the shoe is stylish while functional. It has a comfortable shape, helps runners increase their speed during their daily runs and workouts, and has a light, springy feel. Redditors report that the running shoe is also breathable yet durable.
Currently, there are three versions of the Saucony Endorphin shoe. While most commenters agree any version of the shoe is near perfect, some people report that the sizing may run smaller than some are used to. Also, those who run with their heel hitting the ground first may find the shoe isn’t for them. However, if you’re a forefront runner, this may be the shoe you’ve been looking for.
Best Trail Runners: Altra Lone Peak
- Rubber sole
- RUNNER'S WORLD 2023 AWARD WINNER: Best Trail Shoe
- With the MaxTrac outsole and multi-directional TrailClaw lug pattern for grippy traction, you can focus on the trail in front of you
- Balanced Cushioning platform places the heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground, which encourages low-impact landings
- The FootShape toe box allows the toes to relax and spread out naturally
- Highly responsive and comfortable Altra EGO midsoles provide the support needed for high-intensity trail days
Looking at the most mentioned running shoe analysis, you may think trail runners aren’t popular. As user bradymsu616 states, “Y’all need to spend some more time running on dirt. Not a single trail shoe in the Top 30.”
We were also surprised that trail runners didn’t make the list. However, it does make sense if many runners don’t have access to trails. But, for those who do, Redditers who trail run choose the Altra Lone Peak as their favorite.
Like the Saucony shoes, there have been many updates and versions with Lone Peak 7. While some of the past versions of the Altras have had some people considering a different brand (we’re looking at you, Lone Peak 5), many find the wide-toe box and super-grippy bottoms make the perfect trail runner.
On Reddit, most users state they like the extra room that Altras are known for. Also, Redditers say that the trail runners are a “Durable and comfortable shoe that just works,” as user scott_c86 says.
In our experience, Lone Peaks offers enough traction to give you the confidence to charge rocky hills easily. Their water-resistant construction makes them a great all-weather choice, too.
The Altra brand’s wide toe box and zero drop profile make it unique. The wide toe box allows your toes to spread out as they naturally would, which is especially helpful for those whose feet swell. Altra’s zero drop will also help runners suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Best for Racing and Marathons: Nike ZoomX Vaporfly
- Rubber sole
- An internal foam pod at the heel gives you extra cushioning
- Light padding on the tongue helps reduce lace pressure at the top of your foot
- The laces loop through lightweight side supports that eliminate the need for an arch band, helping to reduce the shoe's weight
- A wider toe area gives a roomier fit
- Flexibility grooves on the sole give you multi-surface traction in a variety of weather conditions
- Total Orange/Black
While the Saucony Endorphin Speed and Altra Lone Peaks are the most popular running shoes on Reddit, they’re not the only ones Redditors swear by. The second most mentioned shoe on r/AdvancedRunning is the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly.
This shoe is most talked about for those who love to race and need a snug fit with a durable build to perform well. The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly is lightweight and runners say the shoe is soft and bouncy and perfect to lace up for road marathons. Some even say they’re suspiciously fast.
Best Lightweight: New Balance Rebel v2
- Rubber sole
- FuelCell foam delivers a propulsive feel to help drive you forward
- The stylish mesh upper is lightweight but durable
- The deconstructed heel counter provides support without added weight
- Molded collar foam helps lock down the foot
- NDurance rubber outsole technology provides superior durability in high-wear areas to help get more out of the shoes
- White/Virtual Sky/Virtual Sky
According to Redditors, the next best running shoe is the New Balance Rebel v2.
Redditors love that they are lightweight and perfect for those who prefer low-profile shoes. The flexible forefront makes them a great choice for road runners, but some say they’re not the best for heelstrikers. Additionally, if you suffer from blisters, we should note that you can’t use a heel-lock lace on these running shoes. Other than that, the New Balance Rebel v2 is an excellent fit for easy and long-run training days.
Finding Running Shoes for You
Finding the best running shoes can be difficult, especially if you’re new to the sport. As some Redditors know, the best running shoes are the ones that work for you. And while most runners know there is no one best shoe, there is the best shoe for you.
If you live near a store selling sporting goods, specifically running shoes, you can ask the employees to help you. Explain to them what your needs are in a running shoe and how you typically train. If you know you’ll only be running on paved surfaces, then you can opt for a shoe that has the stability or padding you need. However, if you’re going to be running on rocky, uneven surfaces, you’ll want to look for a shoe with more traction. Shoes like Altra Lone Peaks offer superior traction for all surfaces, wet or dry.
With help from a professional, you can also find out if you pronate or supinate. And, because not all brands size the same, you can be sure the shoes you want fit perfectly. Try on at least a couple of pairs to get the perfect fit. Be sure to try both shoes on and walk around with them to get your initial thoughts. Remember that you may need to go up a half size, especially if your feet swell while running.
Finding Running Shoes Online
If you can’t make it to a store to find the best running shoes, narrow your online search the same way. When looking for running shoes online, you’ll want to consider your speed and terrain and how much stability or cushioning your foot needs.
You can read customer reviews and what people say about the shoes you’re considering on Reddit. If you’re feeling social, you can make your own Reddit post explaining what you’re looking for and ask for advice. Most people are happy to help while sharing their experiences of what works and what doesn’t.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©AlexMaster/Shutterstock.com.