5 Best Running Shoes for Women

5 Best Running Shoes for Women

Whether you’re tackling a half-marathon or just a normal run, finding a good pair of running shoes for women is essential before your feet hit the pavement.

A study from Tulane University School of Medicine found that 60% of female runners stumble upon some sort of running injury because of old, worn, or improper running shoes.

Now that you're researching women's running shoes, what else will you need? According to running coach and blogger at Lazy Girl Running, Laura Fountain, says you won't need much more than a comfortable t-shirt and leggings to get started.

Because we don’t want you to get hurt, we’ve spent hours testing and researching hundreds of running shoes for women. The ones we found are the absolute best. We considered their comfort, breathability, fit, price, and style.

Now, on to our list.

Why trust us: Faveable has spent thousands of hours researching, interviewing experts, and testing products to come up with carefully selected lists trusted by millions of consumers since 2013.

5 Best Running Shoes for Women

  • 5. Brooks Ghost 11 Women's Running Shoe
  • 4. Saucony Women's Cohesion 10 Running Shoe
  • 3. ASICS GEL-Kayano 21
  • 2. Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit Running Shoe
  • 1. ASICS Women's Gel-Nimbus 18 Running Shoe

Best Running Shoe for Speed

#5

Brooks Ghost 11 Women's Running Shoe

Best Running Shoe for Speed: Brooks Ghost 11 Women's Running Shoe
81 % Editor Score
80 % User Score
26 Bought
Expert Ratings

Best Cheap Women's Running Shoe

#4

Saucony Women's Cohesion 10 Running Shoe

Best Cheap Women's Running Shoe: Saucony Women's Cohesion 10 Running Shoe
83 % Editor Score
82 % User Score
23 Bought
Expert Ratings

Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet

#3

ASICS GEL-Kayano 21

Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet: ASICS GEL-Kayano 21
Comfort
9.5
Breathability
9.5
Fit
8.5
Value
9.5
Overall
93%
93 % Editor Score
87 % User Score
147 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Great for Plantar Fasciitis
  • Support for ankles and knees
  • Best Running Shoes For Flat Feet
  • Comfortable

Supportive and stable without the bulk. These are great sports shoes for women with flat feet. 

Narrow toe box.

Expert Ratings

Comfort

9.5 / 10

The cushion in the heel is unbeatable and a great shock absorber. Like we said before, the GEL-Cushioning System is seriously the best, especially if you have flat feet. Your feet will love the comfort this cushion provides especially if you often have pain while running. This is especially helpful to overpronators because it offers a beneficial platform that helps maintain a more neutral step.

 

Breathability

9.5 / 10

ASICS has integrated a ComforDry™ X-40 sockliner which provides moisture management and a high level of breathability. 

 

Fit

8.5 / 10

Nobody's perfect - these shoes do run a bit small in the toebox. The good news is, you can order a half-size up and choose from three different width options. 

Value

9.5 / 10

The price is competitive to most running shoes out there. ASICS is the best brand on the market, so we think the price is fair and definitely worth it. Many reviewers mentioned, "Completely worth the money, plantar fascilitis is getting better".

Overall Editor Score

9.3 / 10

Best Lightweight Womens Running Shoe

#2

Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit Running Shoe

Best Lightweight Womens Running Shoe: Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit Running Shoe
Comfort
9.5
Breathability
9.5
Fit
9.5
Value
9.0
Overall
94%
94 % Editor Score
91 % User Score
137 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Snug fit
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Sporty, stylish look

Supportive and comfortable without the extra bulk. 

For neutral runners so if you need a lot of support these shoes aren't for you. 

Expert Ratings

Comfort

9.5 / 10

A molded sockliner mimics your foots shape for added support and comfort. Reviewers mention, "They're like walking on clouds." 

Breathability

9.5 / 10

The mesh material that these shoes are made of is soft and breathable which allows air to continuously flow through the shoe. This is a good thing because hot, sweaty feet can cause unwanted blisters. 

 

Fit

9.5 / 10

The fit feels like you're wearing a sock with a sole, literally. If you don't like a lot of bulk weighing you down, you'll definitely love these shoes. 

 

Value

9.0 / 10

Ouch. These Nikes are a bit pricey but not too much more than the average. They're not cheap, but if you're willing to spend the extra dollars, you'll have endless color options and sexy looking feet.

Overall Editor Score

9.4 / 10

Best Women's Running Shoe Overall

#1

ASICS Women's Gel-Nimbus 18 Running Shoe

Best Women's Running Shoe Overall: ASICS Women's Gel-Nimbus 18 Running Shoe
98 % Editor Score
96 % User Score
27 Bought
Expert Ratings

Faveable Ratings: 5 Best Running Shoes for Women

5 Best Running Shoes for WomenComfortBreathabilityFitValueOverall
ASICS Women's Gel-Nimbus 18 Running Shoe Thumbnail
Best Women's Running Shoe Overall
#1ASICS Women's Gel-Nimbus 18 Running Shoe
Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit Running Shoe Thumbnail
Best Lightweight Womens Running Shoe
#2Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit Running Shoe
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.0
94
ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 Thumbnail
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
#3ASICS GEL-Kayano 21
9.5
9.5
8.5
9.5
93
Saucony Women's Cohesion 10 Running Shoe Thumbnail
Best Cheap Women's Running Shoe
#4Saucony Women's Cohesion 10 Running Shoe
Brooks Ghost 11 Women's Running Shoe Thumbnail
Best Running Shoe for Speed
#5Brooks Ghost 11 Women's Running Shoe

Faveable Expert Tips

How are running shoes supposed to fit? How do you know if your shoes fit properly?

Keep in mind, your standard running shoe size is typically a half size bigger than your normal, everyday shoes. Your running shoes should fit snug in the heel and midfoot with enough room for your toes to wiggle around. A good test is to press your thumb down around your toes. Your toes should be between a half thumb and full thumb’s width from the top of your shoes. If you are still unsure about what size shoe you should get, you can always get sized. Many running stores have experts who can size you. Some even let you take the shoes on a test run around the block. How cool is that? There are also some great tutorials that show you the best way to fit your shoes properly.

How tight should my running shoes be?

For comfortable, injury-free running, your running shoes should be slightly larger than your normal, everyday shoes. Your feet should be able to wiggle around but it should still feel slightly snug in some areas. There should be a glove-like fit around your midfoot. This area should be snug while still being comfortable. And, there should be little or no slipping at the heel. A shoe that is too loose or too tight at the heel will leave you with blisters after even a short run. The bottom line: you shouldn’t have to break in your running shoes. They should feel comfortable the moment you put them on.

How long do running shoes last? How often should you replace them?

Most people think they can keep running in their shoes until they essentially fall apart. However, this isn’t the case. The cushioning in your running shoes is made of air cells that absorb the impact while you run. Eventually, these air cells run out of air. This means that as you run, your feet are no longer protected upon impact. You may as well run barefoot at this point. Running without some sort of protection can cause serious injuries, like stress fractures.

So, how do you know it’s time to swap for a brand new pair? Just like a car, it’s important to keep track of your mileage on your running shoes. Sound crazy? It’s not. Most running shoes last anywhere between 300-500 miles. So if you run 15 miles a week, a decent pair of shoes should last you 6 months.

Can I wash my running shoes? How do I wash my running shoes?

This question is frequently asked (and frequently debated). The short answer is: yes you can wash them. Sweat, dirt, and mud accumulates after every run, eventually you have to wash them (especially if they start to smell). However, it’s important not to wash them often. This can cause your shoe to breakdown faster.

Using a baby wipe or damp cloth, wipe the outside of your shoes to remove any tough dirt or grime. Before throwing your shoes into the washing machine, you want to make sure to remove the insoles and liners, too. It’s best to wash them separately. You can also choose to remove the laces or keep them on. Sometimes removing the laces cleans them more effectively because the entire lace can be cleaned. To wash your running shoes, you can place them directly into the washing machine with detergent. No, we’re not kidding. Just be sure to wash them on the shortest, most gentle, cycle. And, don’t even think about putting them into the dryer! Instead, stuff your shoes with paper towels or a cloth, and let them dry for a couple of hours. Stuffing them helps keep the shape of your shoe.

What are some of the best running shoe brands?

There are a few running shoe brands that consistently stand out from the rest. Their reliability has earned them trustworthy reputations among passionate runners everywhere. According to The Active Times, Asics, Brooks, New Balance, and Newton are some of the best. The best brand for you really depends on the needs of your feet. If you are looking for a minimalist shoe, Newton is the best in this category. For those with wider feet, New Balance is a good option because of the big toe box design. For the rest of you who are somewhere in between, try either Brooks or Asics. Brooks is known for their reliability and consistency while Asics is known for their comfort.

What are the best running shoes for long distance?

The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17 Lightweight Women’s Running Shoe are the perfect long distance shoe for neutral runners who want a lightweight shoe. This lightweight long distance shoe has shed some serious weight making it lighter than ever before. We also appreciate the new FluidRide midsole and extended Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL-Cushioning system, which improve the already comfortable ride. The nearly seamless FluidFit upper aids in preventing blisters which sets these babies apart from the crowd. So, you can appreciate a blister-free run.

The lightweight GEL-Cushioning in these shoes reduces the shock during impact and toe-off phases, allowing for a smooth transition throughout your stride and less chance for injury. A good portion of the top of these top rated women's running shoes is made with breathable mesh ensuring your feet are well ventilated and less sweaty during those long runs. These shoes come with FluidFit upper technology, which uses a combination of multi-directional stretch, mesh and stretch reinforcements to create a glove-like fit.

Not only do these running shoes come in half sizes, but they also come in three different widths: narrow, medium, and wide. However, they do run a bit small so be sure to order up a half size. The $101 price is somewhat on the competitive side, of course, but these lightweight shoes are definitely worth it. ASICS is best known in the running community for being extremely dependable and made with quality.

However, if you are one who loves to hit the trails, you might want to look into getting a trail running shoe. We have the best ones, here

What are the best running shoes for flat feet?

The ASICS GEL-Kayano 21 are supportive and stable without all of the bulk. These are the perfect running shoes for women with flat feet. Mild to moderate over pronators love this secure and stable shoe, especially if you have flat feet. ASICS integrated their Trusstic System, which significantly reduces the weight of the shoe while retaining the structure. To top it off, these shoes include the famous GEL-Cushioning System, which in our opinion, is the best cushion on the market.

The cushion in the heel is unbeatable and a great shock absorber. This is especially helpful to over pronators because it offers a beneficial platform that helps maintain a more neutral step. ASICS has also integrated a ComforDry™ X-40 sock liner, which provides moisture management and a high level of breathability.

These shoes do run a bit small in the toe box. The good news is, you can order a half-size up and choose from three different width options. The $110 price is competitive to most running shoes out there. ASICS is the best brand on the market, so we think the price is fair and definitely worth it. Many reviewers mentioned, "Completely worth the money, plantar fasciitis is getting better".

Which Nike shoes are the best for running?

The Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit Running Shoe have a snug fit, are extremely lightweight, and have a stylish look that you can wear anywhere. This shoe comes in more than 50 different colors. If that doesn't blow you away, maybe the environmentally friendly rubber outsole will. We loved the sock-like fit that conforms to your feet allowing for extreme flexibility. However, since these lightweight shoes give your feet the "barefoot" feel, you may be want to be careful with those long runs. A molded sock liner mimics your foots shape for added support and comfort. The mesh material that these shoes are made of is soft and breathable which allows air to continuously flow through the shoe. This is a good thing because hot, sweaty feet can cause unwanted blisters.

The fit feels like you're wearing a sock with a sole, literally. If you don't like a lot of bulk weighing you down, you'll definitely love these shoes. These Nikes are a bit pricey but not too much more than the average. They're not cheap, but if you're willing to spend the extra dollars, you'll have endless color options and sexy looking feet.

What are the best Adidas running shoes?

The Adidas NEO Women's Lite Racer is lightweight, comfortable, and super affordable. The tops of these best-selling shoes resemble a honeycomb and feature a mesh upper for maximum breathability. Inside is the Fit FOAM removable cushioned insole that’s made of elastic rebound foam. This insole conforms to your foot providing comfort and stability. The NEO running shoe is available in ten colors including: black, white, navy, coral, and even multi color. The best news of all is these shoes will only cost you $60. Which are a lot more affordable than other running shoes on the market.

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Article Staff

Marina is a California girl and former Idaho resident who is currently living her best life in the Seattle area with her husband and newborn baby. She has a BA in Journalism from Boise State University, as well as a M.Ed from Western Washington University.

Marina has a passion for running, hiking, brunching and, of course, all things home decor. When she isn’t writing, Marina loves to be with family and friends, preferably in the outdoors.

Marina covers everything from health and beauty to babies and women. If the product is in one of these categories, she's likely tried it. For all beauty + mom advice, she's your go-to girl. Want to be friends? Follow her on Instagram: @mrswiersma

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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5 Best Running Shoes for Women

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