The Ultimate Guide To Buying the Best Running Shoes for Women
Need to find the best running shoes for women? There are thousands of options in the shoe category that you must be comparing in order to find the best shoes for running and practicing purposes.
You can find sneakers, joggers and best long distance running shoes from various brands, but there has to be a clear set of features and qualities that you must be looking for in order to enjoy the comfort, support, and durability of the best shoes on the market. Which features are important or should be considered important?
We must say there are some general features that are needed in all kinds of shoes and some are specific to the needs of the user and the specific purpose for which the shoes have been designed or provided as well.
Sometimes it seems confusing when people try to distinguish between running shoes and walking shoes and buyers don’t know what is the difference between best rated running shoes and walking shoes or sneakers? How running shows are different from that of the walking shoes and which of the features differentiate between these two types of shoes.
- The difference is quite noticeable because running shoes come with more support on the lateral sides as well as on the arches support area and offer heavier soles for better balancing out the body weight which is not common in the simple walking shoe which are usually low profile with lesser bulk on the sole.
- A running shoe is basically a shoe designed to carry an impact about 2-3 times more as compared to the total body weight during the running cycle while stabilizing the foot posture through lateral and arch support.
- These shoes have more overall cushioning, heavier soles, come with variable arch heights, and provide high-end support as a whole to support landing on heels and a comfortable foot transitioning towards the toe for easier and faster take-off while running.
Table of Content
Things To Consider When Buying The Best Running Shoes for Women
For women, the shoes are specially made to keep their feet safe from getting twisted or hurt when practicing hard and running as fast as they can. To make sure the shoes are safe, comfy and are reliable to support the feet during the brisk running practices, it is better to consider the following things as some of the most important features you must be looking for in a running shoe:
Consider a Reliable Shoe
Make sure you don’t end up buying a shoe that has no apparent reliability assurance and is not specified by the manufacturer about having certain features that are necessary for a running shoe including the durability, the size, the materials, the cushioning, support and type of the gait its supports. If these are vague or there is no information regarding these aspects, you may ignore such an option immediately and look for more reliable ones.
Durability and Easy to Wear
- Durable, long-lasting shoe is always desired by most of the runners. In addition to that, the closure and fitting should be good enough to carry out without a glitch.
Look For The Size and Other External Features You Need
- At first you need to look for the right size of the shoe and make sure to analyze the external aspects like the closure, the collar, the upper material, and design, etc. you may need to look for a larger size or bigger width if you have bulkier feet or you may go for a normal size or true size if you have an average size foot.
Toe Width and Length
- The toe of the running shoes has to be a bit wide and roomier because during the gait cycle when the foot transitions between the heel to the toe area, the toe need more space to expand and move forward for easier and faster running.
Consider Looking For The Right Arch Support
- Arch support can be neutral, higher or low depending on the natural shape of the foot. Make sure you know if you are flat-footed, feet with a higher arch or your feet have a neutral arch positioning. Depending on the way your foot rests on the ground you can determine the kind of arch support needed in your shoe to avoid under-pronation and over-pronation problems.
Heel Area and Support
- The best shoe that supports the running process some with a cradling, higher and comfortable heel support for better pushing the foot and can bear with the impact the foot has during the landing of the feet on the ground. Most running shoes have sturdier, comfortable and bouncier heel to enable people to take care of the fast and hard impact on the heel area.
Flexibility and Firmness
- Flexibility and firmness should be known because you need a supportive design to avoid twisting of the feet whereas a flexible upper and the sole supports easier gait cycle with least effort required.
For Whom These Running Shoes Are Made For?
Many people think that running shoes are equivalent to the usual walking shoes and the sneaker you wear during the evening or morning walk. But the fact is that not all shoes are made at the same standard to fulfill multiple needs. Rather, running shoes are specially designed to match and support the needs a runner has.
Because of the fact these shoes come with heavier padding in the inside and flexible soles and upper to support the brisk transitioning of the foot. They have specific arch support to keep the foot comfortable and supported to lower the fatigue level.
So the construction and design of the shoe are suitable for those who have a regular routine of practicing and running. These are good for athletes, for runners, and for sportsmen who have tough workout routines on the ground as you can find best workout shoes for women having the features that help in better running, better support and comfort as well.
For those who need shoes for a daily walk only, these may appear to be bulkier than an average walking shoe.
How Should Running Shoes Fit?
- A running shoe should offer a right fit on your feet because too loose or too tight fitting of the shoe may hinder easy running and may cause fatigue and pain in the feet and legs.
For the right fit you may consider the following aspects:
Look For The Comfy, Cushy, Snugly Fitted Heel
- Slightly higher, cushier and cradling heel design makes it perfect for the running process as it absorbs the landing impact on the foot and keeps it safe from getting hurt.
What Is Heel-to-toe Drop?
In a running shoe, it is often specified about how much heel to toe drop is expected in the shoe. it means the difference of the heel height as compared to the toe box. For a shoe that has a zero heel to toe drop means the toe and the heel are at the same level whereas if the heel is higher, it has a higher heel to toe drop.
Lower heel to toe drop offer a close to equal impact on the whole foot whereas higher heel to toe drop means your heel hits the ground first during running and then later the force is transferred to the foot for quicker and faster push through the foot. There should be a reasonable heel-to-drop in the running shoe because too high or too low drop means your foot may experience pain.
Like if the heel is at 25mm from the ground and the toe is 20 mm there is a 5mm heel to toe drop. Whereas with a heel and toe both and 20 mm means zero drops. Mostly 8-16mm heel to toe drop is considered noticeable and is chosen by the runners depending on their own fit and comfort.
Do You Need a Female-specific Shoe?
Women have narrow feet as compared to the males but they need more space in their toe box to cope with the toe pressure. That is why we can say that gender-specific shoes could bring in more benefits as compared to using unisex shoes that fit both genders.
A female specific shoe helps in keeping the narrow heel fitted comfortably and offer better tow box space for women to cope with the difference in pressure distribution on their foot soles.
We can say that women should go for a female-specific shoe if they are looking for higher level performance.
Neutral vs. Stability Running Shoes
There is another situation that determines how you select the best long distance running shoes women depending on the type of gait women go through while running on the ground. The neutral and the stability shoe determine their suitability to the kind of gait the women have.
The neutral shoe is the ones that have cushioned inner with a neutral design to support normal gait cycle whereas the stability shoes are the ones that have been designed to support the feet that over-pronate or push more towards the inside while running.
Stability shoe helps lower the inward push and keep the feet supported to lower the fatigue and pressure on the feet and enhance the speed and performance of the runner.
Best Running Shoes for Women Reviews
For your convenience we have listed some of the best running shoes available on the market so that you can find the best without losing your mind:
BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR WOMEN UNDER $200
1-Brooks Womens Launch 4
The first thing runners need is the perfect pair of shoes that let them go beyond their original speed without taking them to the risk of getting hurt. So these Brooks women launch 4 shoes are perfectly designed for the runners who need gravity-defying performance in their shoe for lesser weight, more power and a lighter impact on the feet.
The support type is neutral and it is considered to be one of the best neutral running shoes for women and this works perfectly with a normal gait cycle. So, it would not be a good one for over-pronation and under pronation conditions. The shoe offers comfort and support at the same time so that the runner feels easy and comfortable while running as fast as it is possible for them.
The lightweight yet durable cushioning make sure the shoe stays lighter in weight but perform better in all cases.
The stretchy mesh fabric allows airflow and keeps the shoe fitted snugly on the feet so that it stays in shape and keep it performing at the best.
In addition to that the padded collar and the tongue along with the lace-up closure make sure the foot stays safe inside the shoe while keeping the comfort level as best as possible.
The footbed is removable that make sure you can insert the one that keeps your feet comfortable and well in shape for better performance. The cushy sole midsole makes sure to enhance the flexibility whereas the BIOMOGO DNA material provides long-lasting comfort.
The midfoot area and the heel area are designed for quick and easy heel-to-toe gait cycle so that it keeps the runner flowing the gait in an active manner. For an extra spring-on toe box assure easier and quicker bounce.
2- ASICS GEL-Venture 5 Women's Running Shoe
ASICS GEL venture 5 is another perfect running shoe provided in the GEL venture series. This shoe is made up of synthetic materials of international grade and makes sure to match the needs of most of the runners who are in need of comfortable and supportive shoes.
The upper of the shoe make sure to allow more air flow so that the shoe stays breathable and avoid sweating. In addition to the flexibility and synthetic overlays makes it durable and easy to it on the foot to keep it snugly fitted and easy on the foot.
The collar and the tongue area are heavily padded and make sure it would not increase the weight of the shoe as well. The heavy padding keep the foot in place and comfortable enough during the running cycle.
It is a neutral running shoe that is perfect for normal gait runners so would not be good if you are a runner that over-pronates or have the problems like under-pronation during the gait cycle.
BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR WOMEN UNDER $160
The gel cushioning make sure to cuddle and cradle the foot in an easy way so that it can get through the pressure and impact cycle easily.
The insole comes with a removable liner so that you may customize it using the orthotics needed for your feet to stay in shape and easy as well.
The ASICS rubber sole features high abrasion materials making sure the shoe would not slip and keep the feet stable on the ground without any compromise. In addition to that, the outsole is perfected to provide outclass traction through unique design and grooves that keep it flexible and reliable at the same time.
BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR WOMEN UNDER $280
3- ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 Women's Running Shoe
This ASICS GEL Kayano 23 running shoe features high-class design and durable materials in the form of a perfect running shoe for better performance on the ground.
The fluid fit mesh upper makes the air flow into the shoe to keep it cool and dry whereas the flexibility of the fabric help in keeping the shoe fitted easily and comfortably with the foot.
ASICS shoe also features the unique I.G.S construction technology that keeps the impact guidance system working actively for the distribution of the pressure throughout the sole in a balanced manner. This type of design makes sure the foot stays away from twisting and extreme pressure on a single area.
The midsole features Fluidride construction that assures better bounce back and cushioning that keeps the weight to its minimum while giving the power to walk and run at a much faster speed.
The fluidity design makes sure the shoe fits comfortably on the foot and keeps it comfortable for the foot to stay accommodated in its best form and posture. With a customized glove-like fitting, the foot is guaranteed of having better comfort and support with least pressure on all areas.
In addition to that, the unique heel clutching system provides improved and high-end support so that the pressure is lowered and the foot transitions smoothly through the heel to the toe and give enough bounce back for easier running.
The shoe comes with rearfoot as well as forefoot gel, cushioning that keeps it even more luxurious during the running phase.
4-Keds Women's Original Champion Canvas Sneaker
Keds women’s original sneaker is surely a computable sneaker that also works perfectly fine when it comes to finding a running shoe. Though it appears more like a sneaker than the high-speed running shoe it still complies to the safety and comfort standards that make it better for running as well.
It is made up of durable and flexible canvas making it comfy and easy to use for the runners who need support and flexibility while on the go.
The shaft is low top from the arch making it easier for the runner to accommodate the foot with all the speed and pressure components during the gait cycle.
The low-top design with the lace-up closure makes it easier to snugly fit in the foot so that it would not twist and turn and will keep up with the speed during the run.
BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR WOMEN UNDER $60
The cushioned lateral support and the ortholite insole make it easier to wear on during the practice hours for those looking for low-profile shoes.
BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR WOMEN UNDER $80
5- Skechers Performance Women's Go Walk 3 Slip-On Shoe
This is more like a casual slip-on shoe rather than a running shoe but it supports running and walking quite efficiently.
The upper is made up of mesh fabric that is flexible and keeps the inner of the shoe airy and dry whereas the flexibility of the shoe assures better and easier wear.
The rubber sole offers sturdier outsole making sure you can walk or run easily for a long time to go. The FitKnit structure makes the shoe lightweight and easy to put on whereas it easily keeps the sweating issue away.
The integrated GoGa pillars make sure the shoe feels flexible and GoImpulse constructions offer easier transitioning.
The shoe also features memory foam padding on the heel and edging to provide a custom fit for an easier walk on the ground.
It is easier to wear, comfortable to walk in and keeps the wearer comfortable and active while running or walking.
6-Saucony Women's Cohesion 10 Running Shoe
Saucony cohesion running shoe is the ideal running shoe for women who are looking for utmost comfort and cushioning throughout their workouts. It Provides flexibility, cushioning, and great comfort for long distance walkers and everyday trainers.
The perfect design of the shoe provides the right level of arch support as it expressively contours to the foot.
Some shoes, when worn for long, give you soreness and arches at the toe. But the mesh material used in the design of this running shoe makes it very comfortable. No matter the type of arch you have, you will find the soothing feeling of this shoe convenient and comfortable enough.
They come in different sizes, which means that you will certainly get your right feet, irrespective of your foot size. Moreover, despite its contouring and comforting features, Saucony cohesion shoe is very affordable compared to other shoes in the same quality range.
BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR WOMEN UNDER $150
This shoe comes with Softsol athlete sole, which provides more supportive cushioning for a very long period of time. If you have been having pains or arches after walking or running for some miles with a running shoe, this product removes all those issues.
The running shoe is also designed to cater for people with different pronation. So no matter the type of pronation you have, the impressive design, side support, and arch support will keep you comfortable.
Moreover, the shoe is extremely lightweight. The lightweight design makes it one of the best choices for long distance walk and everyday use.
BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR WOMEN UNDER $300
7- ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano Running Shoe
The popularity of ASICS product is certainly unquestionable. This is because of the brand’s desire to offer high-quality running shoes for sports lovers and athletes looking for greater comfort.
This ASICS Gel-Kayano model has a meshed design that keeps the feet comfortable all day long. With the impact Guidance Technology used in its design, you will improve your foot’s natural gait. You will have a smooth and comfortable movement from heels to toe-drop.
The rubber sole on the shoe makes it lightweight and easy to walk on. ASICS Gel-Kayano provides exceptional durability and reduced weight because of the Fluidride midsole. This technology provides ultimate cushioning and bounce-back properties that keep your movement steady and sleek on any surface.
The arch support for this shoe is also great. This is made possible with the Heel-Clutching system technology. It ensures better heel fitting environment and improved support to your heel, allowing you to enjoy your workout with no arch. It provides greater toe spring as it holds both your heel and entire feet.
The running shoe is also very durable. You get to use this shoe for many years before thinking about a replacement. That is exactly why they have provided 2 years warranty on the product.
If you are looking for a premium quality running shoe that can provide the right comfort and cushioning for your feet, this ASICS model is impressively made to provide such comfort.
Although it may be pricier than other models, you shouldn’t place so much emphasis on that. The overall quality definitely outshines the price anytime.
8-Brooks Womens Launch 4
High and low pronators are always looking for the right type of running shoe that will not cause pains. And Brooks Women’s Launch was specifically designed to provide ultimate comfort.
The mesh material used in its design provides a cushioning effect on all sides of the foot. Along with the mesh design, it also comes with a synthetic sole. This gives you a smooth gait on any type of running surface.
It gives you a flexible response to cover long distances without any feeling of discomfort or arches on the foot. Moreover, Brooks Women’s’ running shoe is extremely lightweight. That is why it is recommended for runners and athletes.
When it comes to running competition, having a lightweight show will certainly enhance your gait and help you cover longer distances. A heavy shoe will certainly drag your feet back, which is the last thing you need in a competition.
BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR WOMEN UNDER $100
Even if you are just working out on your own, it’s important to have a comfortable shoe that doesn’t feel heavy on your foot. That is exactly the main benefit of this running shoe.
The air mesh fabric used in the construction of the shoe provides moisture management and optimal breathability. With soft fabric lining, padded tongue, and lace-up closure, you have found it very easy to wear or pull off the shoe.
There is a blown rubber at the forefoot that provides great heel-to-toe-drop.
BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR WOMEN UNDER $70
9-ASICS Women's GEL Running Shoe
Here is another premium quality running shoe model from the ASICS brand. This has one of the simplest designs to provide the right comfort for your workouts. ASICS GEL-venture provides everyday comfort and great fit, no matter your level of foot pronation
This is made possible with its rugged outsole and industry-leading GEL cushioning technology. It provides comfort on the foot on different terrains.
If you are looking for a performance-enhancing athlete shoe, you won’t have any issues with this model. Some running shoes can stay uncomfortable on the foot, especially after using them for several miles. But a lot of professional athletes have tested this model and seen its overall cushioning effect.
With a synthetic sole, it helps runners get the right balance and improve their agility on any type of surface. It also comes with a detachable foam sock liner to keep the foot very comfortable for a very long period of time. Just like every other high quality running shoe models, this one has a mesh design with durable outlay.
There is a loop in the shoe that helps you untie the shoe easily. You don’t need to fumble with laces and get into trouble when you tie them too strong. With minimal unlacing, the shoe slips off your foot easily.
10-Salomon Women's Speedcross Running Shoe
Despite its considerably low cost, Salomon Speedcross is a true definition of comfort. The shoe comes with water-resistant nylon mesh to keep it safe even under wet conditions. It has a rubber sole and a synthetic material that makes it lightweight and very comfortable for a long period of time.
If you are looking for a running shoe with exceptional grip and great heel support, you can never go wrong with this product.
The synthetic fabric keeps the shoe free of moisture, preventing irritation to your foot skin. Salomon speed cross has an easy Quicklace system to allow you to easily pull off the shoe with minimal stress.
The new design of the forefoot gives you more comfort as it reduces the chance of twisting your ankle. The design of certain types of running shoes can increase your chance of injuries.
BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR WOMEN UNDER $140
That is why you need to stick with shoes having the perfect cushioning technology to prevent such accidents. Interestingly, the Speed cross model is lightweight and has the right cushioning for any type of foot.
If you are a stylish individual who craves for fashionable design, you will love the overall design of the Salomon women’s’ running shoe. Unlike some other rugged looking shoes, this model is something you will be proud to show off anytime.
Guying Guide For Buying The Best Running Shoes For Women
For choosing the best running shoes for women you may need to follow up with the following steps to make sure the one you get fits you perfectly. So here are the things you may compare and notice before finalizing the shoes:
- Correct sizing
- Suitable arch support
- Easy to wear
- Cushioning and comfort
- Toe box width
- Shoe Width
Other Factors to Consider
Other Factors You May Consider In Your Shoes Are:
Look for the outsole if it is capable of running on the type terrain that you will be running on. Make sure to look for better tracking and terrain friendly design with grooves and patterns that may help in avoiding slipping off the ground.
The midsole is one of the key components making the shoe comfortable and supportive for runners. So, if you can find EVA midsole and suitable arch support then it would be a plus point.
Frequently Asked Question (F.A.Q)
Which features of the running shoe are the most important ones to consider before buying?
The size, heel-to-toe drop and arch support, heel cushioning and toe box along with other comfort features are some of the most important things you must not ignore.
Should I use a walking shoe for daily running practice?
A running shoe is thicker and has a higher heel as compared to the walking shoe. If you try to use a walking shoe for running it may not give the support and comfort as needed.
Is snug fitting important in a running shoe?
Of course, it is important because if the shoe is loose and does not fit in properly, it will let your foot twist and turn causing injuries and may hurt your feet.
What kind of running shoe should I choose if I have over-pronation, splints or plantar fasciitis issues?
Make sure to choose a stability shoe instead of a neutral shoe because it helps in avoiding over-pronation and other issues causing pain in the feet.
Why it is important to look for the kind of outsole the shoe has?
The outsole in the shoe plays an important role in determining the stability of the foot on the ground. Most of the running shoes come up with well-designed and durable outsoles that feature rugged surface, non-slip material and make it sure the shoe will have a good grip on the ground.
Should I always buy a shoe using my true size number or not?
Buying a shoe online may be hard if you are not sure which number would be perfect for you. Normally it is recommended to order one size larger if the shoe design is narrow or else if you have bulkier feet, a wider version should be ordered in order to get a comfortable fit. You may also refer to the fit percentage of the shoe to determine if you should order larger or wider shoe instead of your true size.
Buying too large or too small in size is not a thing to do when buying shoes online. It better to stick to your true size with a wider option or half or 1 size bigger shoe can be the best depending on the design of the shoe that you have chosen to buy.
How long should a running shoe last?
A running shoe with a durable construction and high-quality materials would last for up to 4 to 6 months if you use it while running 80 miles a day. Though it depends on the quality and design of the shoe and its materials, it also depends on the way you wear it and uses it on a daily basis. If you have a heavier body, frequent use and have some foot positioning issues, the shoe may or may not last longer than 4 months.
In which ways running shoes help run better, faster and easier?
Running shoes are designed to match the needs of the runner in many different ways. The heel clutching system, and cushioning, proper arch support, toe box width, cushioning throughout the sole and impact absorption are some of the features to assure the foot stays impact free. The running shoe always provides energy to let the foot transition easily and quickly with a sufficient push force.
Is it possible to insert orthotics in a running shoe?
Yes, for some reasons if you need to insert orthotics to support your feet, you can insert orthotics and insert any sole support in your running shoe.
What kind of fit should I look for in my running shoes?
The shoe should fit in the foot snuggly but there has to be some room in the toe area as well as the heel should comfortably yet snuggly capture the heel and ankle area with sufficient padding on it. It should not be tight or not too loose rather a comfortable snug fit is the best for the user who has to run consistently.
What are the advantages of zero drop in a running shoe?
For over-pronators, it is best to use zero drop shoes because in such cases they need to have natural foot posture that maintains while they are running. The zero drop assures that your foot will have a consistent and stable support across the sole and you will not experience fatigue and sore muscles while wearing the shoe during running and walking.
How closure affects the running shoe performance?
Most of the running shoe comes with lace-up closure and this assures snug fitting and firm closure to keep the shoe intact with the foot no matter how fast and hard you need to run during practice. There are some shoes which may have a slip-on style but most commonly the running shoes are designed with a lace-up closure for better fitting and closure.
We can conclude that when there is a need to find the best running shoes for women, it is better to make sure they are well-fitted and comfortable, with specialized heel and toe construction for accommodating the fast transitioning during the gait cycle. Arch support and cushioning as well as lightweight padding also play an important role in making the shoe suitable for active runners. Here, we have discussed almost each and every feature and options that will surely help the buyers to choose the best one that keeps them running at their best without fatiguing their muscles.