Best Running Shoes 2023
As Podiatrists, probably the most common question we get asked by clients is “what is the best running shoe for me to wear”?
With so many running shoes on the market at the moment, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by choice.
Unfortunately, the answer to “what is the best running shoe to wear” is, well, it depends.
There is no such thing as a perfect shoe
There is no such thing as a perfect running shoe for everyone to wear as are no two people that are the same.
You can probably find a perfect shoe for you but that shoe may not be perfect for someone else.
We all move differently, we do different activities, have differently shaped feet and we like the feel of different shoes and shoe materials.
I don't believe it is possible for a Podiatrist to tell you that this or that shoe is the perfect one for you.
There are too many variables between human bodies to be able to 100% say Shoe X is the best one for you.
I have had many clients try on a shoe I thought would be great for them however, it just didn’t feel “right” for them.
Having said this though, we can certainly help steer you towards a style of shoe that will be most suitable for you.
How do I pick the right shoe for me?
Certain foot types, movement patterns and running styles benefit from different shoe characteristics.
Also, if you have a running-related injury, the right shoe characteristics may help you heal that injury and get you back on the roads and trails again.
As a Podiatrist, one of our main roles is to assess the way your body moves and the way you run to identify where certain running patterns contribute to foot or leg injuries.
Once this is done, we can direct you towards certain characteristics of a shoe that can assist with injury management and optimal performance.
Our top tips for finding the right shoe for you.
1. Get your shoes fitted at a technical running shop.
Technical running shops just sell running shoes.
The shoe fitters in these stores are trained to understand the tiny details of all their shoes in stock and work with Podiatrists to help you find your best shoe.
Many times these fitters are runners themselves and have personally tried many of the shoes they sell.
2. Find a shoe that fits your foot shape
Each brand of running shoe is slightly different in size and shape. For example, a size 9 D fitting in one brand may fit the same as a size 8 2E fitting in another brand.
Trying on a broad range of shoes will help you find the shoe that fits your foot shape the best.
3. Pick a shoe that matches the terrain you run on
If you tend to run on roads mostly, a trail shoe with wear out more quickly as it is not designed for the surface you are running on.
Also, if you try to run on a technical trail with a road shoe, you may find that it does not have enough grip and stability for that type of terrain.
4. Get your Podiatrist's recommendations
Our Podiatrists can give you advice about the specific characteristics you need based on your running style, biomechanics and history of foot and leg problems.
Some people will do better with more cushioning, a higher heel height, a rocker sole or a specific combination of other shoewear characteristics. Let us help you find what you need.
5. Pick a shoe that feels right for you
If the shoe does not feel comfortable with your first steps, it is unlikely that it will feel more comfortable the more you use it.
A great shoe should feel comfortable from the moment you put it on.
The best shoes for 2023
Our Podiatrist Damon Morrish is a self-proclaimed running shoe nerd.
His wardrobe is stacked full of a number of different styles of running shoes and he has put together a list of his personal favourite running shoes in 2023 by category.
Just remember what I said before: not all of these shoes will work for you due to the way you run, how far or fast you run or the shape of your feet.
1. The All-Rounder - Nike Pegasus / Brooks Ghost
Nike Pegasus: currently up to model 39 and has been around for almost 40years. It’s a great all-rounder that will suit many distances and speeds of running.
Brooks Ghost: (currently model 14) repeatedly comes in as one of the top overall shoes as it works well for a lot of different foot types.
2. The Wider Fit: New Balance 880
New Balance’s 880 is a consistent performer, with NB not experimenting too much with this model. It has remained a stable option for the wider-fitting foot for many years.
3. The Stability Option: Brooks Adrenaline / Glycerin GTS
Brooks introduced their new support system (the guide rails) that operate like bumper bars in bowling. They sit at each side of the heel and provide extra stability, unlike most support shoes which use an ‘arch support’ on the inside of the foot only.
4. For Trail Runners: Hoka Speedgoat / Salamon Sense Ride
Speedgoat: A favourite among many trail runners, this plus shoe gives lots of cushioning underfoot and a tread to grip the roughest terrain.
Sense Ride: Top 3 most popular running shoe brands in the US, this shoe has a highly durable outsole and a kevlar lacing system.
5. For Longer Runs: Nike ZoomX Invincible / On Cloudmonster
Nike ZoomX: Max cushioned shoes ensure comfort and shock absorption on every step into your long runs, Nike’s Invincible contained an entire midsole of their highest performing foam to date, the ZoomX.
On’s cloud Monster: is exactly as it sounds, a monster midsole for supreme cushioning and support on your longer runs.
6. Speed work: Saucony Endorphin Speed
A highly responsive lightweight shoe that comes with a new winged plate that helps support your run from toe-off to landing, it’s everything you need to push your pace with ease.
7. Rocker bottom shoes: Hoka Bondi / Asics Glideride
Hoka first introduced the running world to the concept of a rocker-based shoe, with the Bondi being one of their most popular shoes.
Maximal cushioning with a forefoot rocker to aid propulsion can help with a number of foot and leg problems.
Asics came to the party with a forefoot rocker more recently with their ‘ride’ series.
The Evoride and Glideride have a relatively aggressive forefoot rocker for rapid toe-off and a fun speedy feeling.
8. Cross-training: On CloudX
For the most part, cross-training shoes are few and far between these days, however, one shoe that is great for different types of training is the On CloudX.
This shoe uses a ‘cloud tech’ cushioning system, meaning the midsole is made up of a number of small bubble-type pods. Because these clouds use much less material, the overall weight of the shoe is significantly reduced without sacrificing stability and comfort.
The makeup of the shoe makes it a perfect fit for gym work, HIIT workouts and shorter runs. Now, I wouldn't run a marathon in the CloudX, but for some shorter tempo runs or interval work, the shoe holds its own.
9. The zero-drop shoe: Altra Escalante Racer
A ‘zero-drop’ shoe is a shoe that has a 0mm heel-to-forefoot offset. Zero-drop shoes put the ankle in a more flexed position and can create more stretch to the calf muscles at the back of the leg. Use with caution if you have not tried these before.
10. The super shoe: Nike Vapourfly Next%
A super shoe is a new style of shoe that has highly responsive foam combined with a carbon fibre plate. This type of shoe is often used by elite athletes trying to shave seconds or milliseconds of their personal bests.
We are here to help
As you can see from the list above, there are so many different options when it comes to choosing a running shoe.
If you are wondering what running shoe suits your running style, the first thing to do is book an appointment with one of the Podiatrists at Complete Podiatry for a comprehensive assessment to identify your specific shoe requirements.
Once this is done, we will develop a structured management plan that outlines our best advice for what shoe will work with your running technique, the best shoe shop to help you and the qualities of the best running shoe for you.
I'll love to talk to you about how we can help you build an amazing life from the feet up!
Director of Complete Podiatry