The 11 Best Women’s Running Shoes to Buy in 2018

Outfit your feet right with the most comfortable sneakers for your needs

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One of the great things about running is you don’t need much gear to get going. No need for racquets or balls, clubs, or pads—all you need is a good pair of running shoes, and you’re ready to go. The key word, however, is “good.”

The right pair of running shoes is essential. Not only can they help you run better, but they can help prevent injury and keep you running longer. With the athleisure trend hotter than ever, stores are stocked with sneakers galore from haute couture to bargain basement knockoffs. Just because they look like running shoes or are super cute, doesn’t mean they’re meant for running though. It’s vital that you get a quality running shoe that’s right for your feet.

Whether your feet are narrow or wide, you’re looking to tackle a ton of miles or just want to jog around your neighborhood once in a while, there’s a running shoe out there for you. Here are the top running shoes for women.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Brooks Womens Adrenaline GTS 18

Brooks Womens Adrenaline GTS 18

Courtesy of Amazon

Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoes have consistently topped the lists of best running shoes for years, and this version (the 18) definitely keeps them in place. Lightweight yet supportive and cushioned, they’re Brooks’ number one running shoes. The soles are designed with their Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar® to help keep your body properly aligned as you run, and they’re ready to go the distance with energizing cushioning, no matter how far you want to go.

Runners rave about these shoes saying they are comfortable, supportive, and durable. And while, of course, you should choose running shoes based on function rather than fashion, we have to admit that we love them for their sleek design and great color choices as well.

Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Saucony Women's Guide 10 Running Shoe

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that usually strikes the heel or bottom of the feet. It often plagues runners, and the wrong running shoes can aggravate the condition. Strong support and cushioning are key, which is why these shoes from Saucony are such a strong choice for runners with plantar fasciitis. The plush cushioning is evenly distributed throughout the shoe to absorb impact, and the Tri-Flex outsoles are designed with flexibility and traction in mind.

They come in a wide variety of sizes, including narrow and wide options, to ensure you get the proper fit. They do tend to run small though, and many suggest ordering a half size larger than you regularly wear in running shoes. Customers say they’re lightweight and comfortable, and they like the wider toe box in this latest version of the shoe.

Best for High Arches: Brooks Womens Glycerin 16

The foot’s arch is designed to support the body, and when that arch is unusually high or low, it can cause problems. To prevent injuries and ensure comfort, people with high arches need shoes that provide adequate support of the arch to make sure that the heels and balls of the feet don’t have to take on extra weight. The Glycerin model from Brooks delivers this and more.

Now in its 16th version, this widely touted shoe offers responsive cushioning throughout the length of the shoe as well as transition zones on the treads to make striking the pavement softer and smoother. The new DNA Loft cushion is described by the company as “a finely calibrated mix of DNA from air and rubber engineered to provide a soft feeling underfoot without losing responsiveness and durability.” Customers say they deliver just that. Described as light, comfortable and bouncy, many believe this is the best version of the shoe yet.

Best for Trail Running: Salomon Women's XR Mission Running Shoe

When you’re hitting the trails, you need a pair of running shoes that can handle the tougher terrain. These from Salmon get top marks from trail runners all around. The soles are equipped with their Contra Grip tread to provide traction on uneven terrain, and cushioning throughout the shoe helps absorb impact. A special lacing system allows you to adjust the tightness of the shoes with a single pull. They’re durable yet lightweight enough not to weigh you down, and they can easily transition from road to trail and back again.

Runners rave about them, saying they’re versatile, supportive, lightweight and comfortable. Some note, however, that they tend to run large and can take a bit of time to break in well.

Best for Overpronaters: Brooks Women's Addiction 13

If you tend to overpronate (roll your feet inwards) as you run, you want a shoe with strong stability to correct that and prevent possible injury. (Hint: you can tell if you overpronate if the inner tread of your shoes near the ball of your feet is worn).These shoes from Brooks offer that stability with an Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar® designed to support the foot and control pronation. They’re equipped with maximum cushioning to help absorb the impact as you put in the miles, yet still lightweight enough to make you feel like you’re flying (or something like that).

Customers say the fit is fantastic, and they’re comfortable and supportive for running as well as everyday use.

Best for Flat Feet: Nike Womens Air Zoom Pegasus 35 Running Shoes

When your feet are flat you need a running shoe that will provide extra support for your arch and help correct overpronation, which often occurs in people with flat feet. The Nike Air Zoom delivers just that. The cushioning in the newest version of the shoes is a combination of the company’s Zoom Air and a new foam specifically developed for women runners that are springy and responsive.

The shoes’ upper is made of mesh, which is stretchy yet supportive, and the back collars turn out so you don’t have to worry about them rubbing against your ​Achilles as you move. Overall, these shoes are designed to send your soaring, no matter if you’re a beginner or have a massive medal collection.

Best for Wide Feet: HOKA ONE ONE Women's Clifton 4 Running Shoe

When your feet are on the wider side, you want a shoe that makes room for them. Running in shoes that are too tight can prove painful and even potentially do damage to your feet, which is why so many wide-footed runners love the Hoka Clifton shoes. Be warned, these shoes look a little different from traditional running shoes, as they’re bigger and have fairly thick soles, but the fit and feel can’t be beaten, according to devoted fans. The forefront is designed to be wider, and the shoes come in wide sizes as well.

As clunky as they may look, customers say they’re actually surprisingly lightweight. The thick cushioning offers great support for long mileage, and some say it feels like you’re walking or running on air.​

Best for Narrow Feet: Adidas Performance Women's Energy Boost 2 W Running Shoe

Finding running shoes for narrow feet can be a challenging…feat. The Adidas Boost, however, is an answer to many a  narrow-footed runner’s prayers. The upper part of the shoe is made of four-way stretch mesh and provides a sock-like fit. The insoles are also removable, which is great if you find yourself needing an orthotic insert as well.

The company’s special BOOST foam boasts that it can store and return more energy than any other foam material, and a midfoot torsion bar provides support and stability. Runners sing the praises of these shoes, saying once you try the Boost you’re hooked and will never want to run in anything else again. “This shoe feels like walking and running on clouds,” one reviewer wrote on Amazon.

Best for Bunions: Altra Escalante Running Shoes

Bunions are a bummer, and unfortunately, runners often have to deal with them, particularly if they wear shoes that don’t fit right. Because bunions typically occur on the toes, it’s important that runners with bunions wear a shoe with wider toe box, which Altra, a relatively new name in the running shoe game, is known for. Their Escalante is a favorite among runners.

The knit upper portion of the shoe holds your foot in snugly, but the shoe’s unique Foot Shape™ toe box let the toes spread out naturally. These shoes are also tailored especially for female feet with Fit4Her™ technology. Customers say they’re flexible, lightweight and comfortable.

Best for Achilles Tendonitis: Mizuno Women's Wave Rider 19 Running Shoe

Achilles tendinitis is a painful condition that occurs when the tendon, which connects your heel bone to your calf muscles, gets inflamed. It can make for painful running, and running in the wrong shoes can make it even worse. The best type of running shoes for runners suffering from it are those that support the achilles tendon like these Mizuno Wave Riders.

They provide solid support and cushioning to help protect the achilles tendon, but they’re also lightweight and built for speed. While they’re designed to be roomier in the toe box, some report that the shoes do run a bit narrow, so you may want to size up. Overall, runners say these shoes are functional, comfortable and a great, go-to shoe whether you have problems with achilles tendonitis or not.

Best for Long Distances: ASICS Women's Gel-Nimbus 18 Running Shoe

When you’re going the distance, you want a shoe that can keep up, and the ASICS Gel-Nimbus consistently gets high marks for doing just that. Cushioning from heel to toe helps reduce impact, and the company’s FluidFit technology in the upper adapts to your foot for what promises to be a glove-like fit. They also use a special heel-clutching system to ensure that your heel sits in the shoe properly without slipping and sliding.

Runners of all levels rave about these shoes, even those with issues like plantar fasciitis. They say they’re comfortable right out of the box, with no need to break them in. Many note, however, that they run small and suggest sizing up as much as one whole size.

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