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10 Best Running Shoes for Beginners: Find Your Ideal Start!

Heorhii Rysak
2023-08-07

Are you a beginner runner looking for the perfect pair? Choosing the right footwear is crucial for comfort, performance, and preventing injuries. But with the vast array of options available, where do you even start? We’ll guide you through our top picks that offer the ideal balance of support, cushioning, and durability to suit novice runners. These selections are based on rigorous testing, expert advice, and real-world feedback from beginners like you.
With the right pair of shoes, you’re setting yourself up for success.

Quick Answer

Name of products

ASICS Kayano 29 Running Shoes

Brooks Ghost 15 Running Shoes

New Balance FuelCell Rebel V3 Cushioned Running Shoes

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Advantages
 

🔥 Knit upper wraps your foot with a sock-like fit
🔥 Redesigned external heel counter 

🔥 LITETRUSS technology

🔥 3D Fit Print for a secure fit
🔥 Soft and lighter-weight DNA LOFT V2 cushioning

🔥 Segmented Crash Pad for a smooth, stable ride

🔥 FuelCell foam for a propulsive feel
🔥Lightweight engineered knit upper with no-sew overlays
🔥 Gusseted tongue for a sleek fit

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Rated by our team

Our Top Picks

ASICS Kayano 29 – Best for Beginners

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Brooks Ghost 15 – Top Training Shoe

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New Balance FuelCell Rebel V3 – Best for Everyday Running

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HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 9 – Top Neutral Running Shoe

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Mizuno Wave Rider 26 – Best Running Shoes for Men

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Brooks Glycerin Stealthfit GTS 20 – Top Cushioned Running Shoes

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Altra Paradigm 6 – Top Stability Running Shoe

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New Balance Fresh Foam X 860 v13 – Top Race Shoe

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Asics Gel-Kayano 29 – Best Shoe Made in the USA

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Running Shoes for Beginners Review

ASICS Kayano 29


Rating: 9.5*

Details:

The ASICS Kayano 29 is designed for innovative performance, making it ideal for beginners in running. Its AHAR outsole provides unmatched durability, suitable for various terrains and frequent use. The shoe features a midsole with 3-D space construction, offering targeted support and cushioning essential for new runners. With Forefoot Flytefoam Blast Plus technology, it ensures efficient energy return, in line with sustainable practices. Comfort is a key aspect, maintained through traditional Gel in the heel. The Dynamic DuoMax support system, stretching from heel to arch, helps counter pronation, a common challenge for beginners. Additionally, the Litetruss cushioning in the design allows for smooth heel-to-toe movement, facilitating an easier and more enjoyable running experience for those just starting.

Key Features:

  • GEL™ technology cushioning
  • FF BLAST™ PLUS cushioning
  • Engineered mesh upper
  • OrthoLite™ X-55 sockliner
  • DUOMAX™ support system

Technical Characteristics:

  • Heel Drop: 10 mm
  • Weight: Approximately 309g (10.9oz)
  • Support Type: Stability
  • Surface: Road

Pros

Cons

  • Exceptional Support and Cushioning

  • Advanced Energy Return

  • Durable Outsole

  • Sizing Adjustment Required

  • Higher Price Point

Brooks Ghost 15

Rating: 9.3*

Details: 

The Brooks Ghost 15 is a great running shoe for beginners. It’s comfortable, making it perfect for everyday training. If you tend to land on your heels when you run, this shoe has got you covered with good support. It’s a reliable choice for all your runs and fits nicely on your feet. The latest version, the Ghost 15, has a new kind of cushioning in the middle of the shoe called DNA Loft v2. This makes the shoe a bit heavier but gives you a more stable feel, which is good when you start running faster. Although it’s a bit less cushy for slow runs, this shoe is a good mix of comfort and practicality. It’s ideal for beginners who want a shoe that works well for regular training and feels good to wear.

Key Features:

  • DNA LOFT cushioning
  • Segmented Crash Pad
  • 3D Fit Print upper technology
  • Soft transition zones

Technical Characteristics:

  • Heel Drop: 12 mm
  • Weight: Approximately 281g (9.9oz)
  • Support Type: Neutral
  • Surface: Road

My experience:

With the Brooks Ghost, 15 sneakers have been exceptional. Their responsive cushioning provides comfort during runs, and the seamless fit adapts to my stride. Durable and stylish, they’ve been upheld through miles and varied workouts, making them a staple for my fitness regimen. When I started running long distances, they were perfect for the task.


Pros

Cons

  • Optimal Comfort for Daily Training

  • Versatile Support for Heel Strikers

  • Balanced Luxury and Performance

  • Sacrifice of Comfort for Speed

  • Limited Focus on Leisurely Runs

New Balance FuelCell Rebel V3

Rating: 9.2*

Details:

The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 is a fantastic shoe for beginners who run regularly. It’s really light and has a flexible front part, which means it can easily adjust to different ways of running. The best thing about this shoe is how soft and comfortable it feels, no matter how fast or slow you run. In the latest version, they’ve made it even better by adding more rubber on the bottom. This means the shoe will last longer, even with lots of use.

They also put in a thicker cushion in the middle of the shoe, so your feet feel extra comfy, especially on long runs. The wider base of the shoe helps keep you stable, making it a dependable choice for everyday running. Whether you’re trying to run faster or just want to be comfortable on your runs, the FuelCell Rebel v3 is a great choice. It shows that New Balance is really good at making versatile, high-quality running shoes, especially for those just starting out.

Key Features:

  • FuelCell foam for a propulsive feel
  • Deconstructed heel counter
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Ndurance rubber outsole

Technical Characteristics:

  • Heel Drop: 6 mm
  • Weight: Approximately 204g (7.2oz)
  • Support Type: Neutral with high energy return
  • Surface: Road

Pros

Cons

  • Versatile Performance

  • Exceptional Comfort and Cushioning

  • Enhanced Durability and Stability

  • Lightweight Trade-Off

  • Specificity for Everyday Running

HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 9

Rating: 9.1*

Details:

The Hoka Clifton 9 is a great running shoe for beginners who prefer a neutral style. It has a unique design that fits snugly and includes a special midsole, called the Meta-Rocker, which helps you move more efficiently while running. This shoe is really cushioned, making it super comfortable, especially for slow, relaxed runs. In this latest version, they’ve added even more foam in the midsole, making it extra soft and comfy. The updated CMEVA midsole also makes the shoe feel gentler on your feet compared to earlier models.

The Clifton 9 shows Hoka’s dedication to creating an excellent running experience. It’s perfect for beginners who want a shoe that’s really cushioned and comfortable, especially for slower runs.

Key Features:

  • Full-compression EVA midsole
  • Early-stage Meta-Rocker geometry
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Flat-waisted geometry for stability

Technical Characteristics:

  • Heel Drop: 5 mm
  • Weight: Approximately 247g (8.7oz)
  • Support Type: Neutral
  • Surface: Road


Pros

Cons

  • Maximalist Cushioning

  • Enhanced Midsole Foam

  • Stability and Support

  • Narrow-Fit Design

  • Specificity for Leisurely Runs

Mizuno Wave Rider 26

Best Running Shoes for Beginners

Rating: 9.0*

Details:

The Mizuno Wave Rider 26 is a fantastic choice for beginners in the world of running. It’s designed to offer a balanced feel, making it great for those who are just starting out. The shoe features a unique technology called the ‘Wave Plate,’ which provides a smooth and stable ride. This means you’ll feel steady and comfortable as you run.

The Wave Rider 26 also has excellent cushioning, thanks to its well-designed midsole. This cushioning is both soft and responsive, giving you a nice bounce as you run, which can be really encouraging for new runners. The shoe is also built to last, so you can count on it as you gradually increase your running distance and frequency.

Overall, the Mizuno Wave Rider 26 is a reliable and comfortable shoe that’s ideal for beginner runners. It offers a mix of stability, cushioning, and durability, making it a solid choice for those just getting into running.

Key Features:

  • Mizuno Wave cushioning technology
  • U4ic midsole for comfort
  • AIRmesh upper for breathability
  • X10 outsole for durability

Technical Characteristics:

  • Heel Drop: 12 mm
  • Weight: Approximately 290g (10.2oz)
  • Support Type: Neutral
  • Surface: Road

Pros

Cons

  • Comfortable and Functional Design

  • Solid Investment

  • Versatile Performance

  • Lacks Immediate Captivation

Brooks Glycerin Stealthfit GTS 20

Best Running Shoes for Beginners

Rating: 8.8*

Details:

The Brooks Glycerin GTS 20 is an excellent running shoe for beginners, especially those looking for extra comfort. It combines the best features of long-distance and speed-focused shoes. This makes it perfect for new runners who want a shoe that feels stable and cushioned, but also lets them move easily and quickly.

This shoe is designed to make your transitions smooth, giving it a light and breezy feel, despite its size. Even though the outer part of the shoe may wear out over time, its main quality – a mix of luxury cushioning and solid support – stays strong. The Glycerin GTS 20 stands out by offering the comfort of a long-distance shoe and the agility of a faster shoe, all in one.

By choosing the Glycerin GTS 20, you’re picking a shoe that not only feels great but also helps you as you start your journey in running. It’s about comfort, support, and helping you reach your running goals.

Key Features:

  • DNA LOFT v3 cushioning
  • Stealthfit construction for a snug fit
  • GuideRails® holistic support system

Technical Characteristics:

  • Heel Drop: 10 mm
  • Weight: 10.5 oz (298 g)
  • Support Type: Stability
  • Surface: Road

Pros

Cons

  • Cushioned Stability

  • Seamless Transition Design

  • Luxurious Comfort and Support

  • Outsole Wear

  • Weight

Altra Paradigm 6

Best Running Shoes for Beginners

Rating: 8.7*

Details:

The Altra Paradigm 6 is a top-notch choice for beginners looking for stable running shoes. It’s a big improvement from its previous version, offering maximum cushioning that feels like a brand-new experience with every step. This shoe combines Altra’s best features, resulting in a very comfortable run.

As you run mile after mile, the comfort of the Paradigm 6 stays consistent, thanks to the thoughtful updates made to its design. The shoe’s maximum cushioning gently cradles your feet, providing exceptional stability. This makes it a fantastic option for beginners who need extra support as they build up their running distance.

Choosing the Paradigm 6 means you’re not just getting a pair of shoes; you’re starting a running journey with the promise of comfort, rejuvenation, and the confidence that your feet will be well-cushioned throughout your runs.

Key Features:

  • EGO™ midsole for responsive cushioning
  • FootShape™ toe box
  • GuideRail™ support feature
  • Balanced Cushioning platform

Technical Characteristics:

  • Heel Drop: 0 mm
  • Weight: Approximately 318g (11.2oz)
  • Support Type: Stability
  • Surface: Road and trail


Pros

Cons

  • Max-Cushioned Comfort

  • Renewed Design

  • Exquisite Stability

  • Weight

New Balance Fresh Foam X 860 v13

Best Running Shoes for Beginners

Rating: 8.6*

Details:

The New Balance Fresh Foam X 860 v13 is a great race shoe, perfect for beginners. It’s a kind of trainer that offers a comfortable and lively feel, helping to improve your running. Whether you’re doing a relaxed long run, a recovery session, or a faster workout, this shoe can handle it all. It’s especially good for slower-paced runs.

In this latest version, the v13, New Balance has made some changes. They’ve introduced a new upper part of the shoe and a new midsole, making it more comfortable and lighter. The cushioning is a bit different now, striking a good balance between being responsive and supportive.

With the Fresh Foam X 860 v13, New Balance has created a race shoe that combines quickness, comfort, and versatility, suitable for various running styles. It’s more than just a shoe; it’s a well-engineered product for athletes, especially beginners who are looking for top-notch performance in their running journey.

Key Features:

  • Fresh Foam midsole cushioning
  • Medial post for stability
  • Engineered mesh upper
  • Ultra Heel design

Technical Characteristics:

  • Heel Drop: 10 mm
  • Weight: Approximately 326g (11.5oz)
  • Support Type: Stability
  • Surface: Road

Pros

Cons

  • Versatile Performance

  • Innovative Design

  • Adaptability Across Running Styles

  • Cushioning Trade-Off

  • Specificity for Slower Paces

Asics Gel-Kayano 29

Best Running Shoes for Beginners

Rating: 8.5*

Details:

The ASICS Gel-Kayano 30 emerges as the quintessential American-made shoe. A pinnacle of stability trainers, it stands out in a league of its own. Rooted in ASICS’ rich heritage, the Kayano 30 has been meticulously reimagined for its 30th edition. The outcome is a harmonious blend of adaptability and stability, ensuring unparalleled comfort through every mile. This comprehensive overhaul solidifies the Kayano’s legacy as a trailblazer in the realm of stability footwear. As the best shoe born in the USA, the Gel-Kayano 30 is a testament to ASICS’ commitment to innovation, comfort, and unwavering support for runners who demand the absolute best in performance and reliability. It’s not just a shoe; it’s a manifestation of American craftsmanship at its finest, propelling athletes toward their running aspirations.

Key Features:

  • GEL™ technology cushioning provides excellent shock absorption
  • FF BLAST™ PLUS foam technology offers lightweight cushioning and a responsive rebound
  • Dynamic DuoMax™ Support System enhances stability and support with reduced weight and increased platform comfort
  • OrthoLite™ X-55 sockliner improves step-in comfort
  • Engineered mesh upper optimizes breathability and offers a supportive and adaptable fit

Technical Characteristics:

  • Heel Drop: 10 mm for men’s models, 13 mm for women’s model
  • Weight: Approximately 309g (10.9oz) for men’s model, 258g (9.1oz) for women’s model
  • Support Type: Stability, designed for overpronation
  • Surface: Road
  • Fit: Standard width for men, standard and wide for women
  • Lacing: Traditional lace-up design

Pros

Cons

  • Stability and Adaptability

  • Heritage and Legacy

  • American Craftsmanship

  • Weight

Criteria for Choosing Running Shoes for Beginners

For a beginner in running, choosing the right running shoes is crucial for comfort, performance, and injury prevention. Here are key factors to consider:

  1. Proper Fit: Shoes should fit well without being too tight or too loose. There should be about a thumb’s width of space between the end of the longest toe and the front of the shoe.
  2. Cushioning: Good cushioning helps absorb impact and provides comfort, especially important for beginners as their feet are not yet accustomed to the stress of running.
  3. Support: Depending on your foot type and gait, you may need more or less support. Overpronators (feet roll inward) may need more stability, while underpronators (feet roll outward) may need more cushioning.
  4. Flexibility: Shoes should allow for natural foot movement. Too stiff shoes can lead to discomfort and injury.
  5. Durability: Look for shoes that are built to last, especially if you plan to run frequently or on rough terrain.
  6. Breathability: Good ventilation keeps feet dry and comfortable, reducing the risk of blisters and other discomforts.
  7. Weight: Lighter shoes can be more comfortable and less tiring, especially for long runs. However, they should still provide adequate support and cushioning.
  8. Terrain Specificity: If you plan to run on trails, consider shoes with more grip and protection. For road running, look for shoes with good cushioning and bounce.
  9. Price: While it’s worth investing in a good pair of shoes, there are options available at various price points that can meet a beginner’s needs.
  10. Personal Preference: Ultimately, the best shoe is one that feels right for you. Comfort, style, and personal preference play a big role in your choice.

It’s often recommended for beginners to visit a specialty running store where they can get advice and possibly a gait analysis to help them choose the right shoe.

About us

Our core objective is to cultivate trust and reliability in product evaluation, guaranteeing accurate and unbiased results. We’ve structured our review method into essential phases to guarantee thorough examinations.
To begin with, we delve deeply into the product, exploring its specs, features, and user reviews. Such an investigation helps us grasp the product’s purpose and gauge its value to all users.
Next, we obtain the product for detailed scrutiny. Our seasoned review team assesses various aspects, including its performance, longevity, ease of use, and unique attributes. We aim to offer a comprehensive review highlighting both its strengths and weaknesses.
During our evaluation, we also factor in real-world user feedback. Gathering customer reviews from a range of sources, we consolidate diverse opinions to get a holistic view. This methodology affirms our findings and results in a well-rounded review.

Conclusion

For beginners in running, the right pair of shoes is a crucial step on the journey to achieving your goals. The best running shoes for newcomers aren’t just about famous brands or looks; they’re essential for protecting your feet, supporting your steps, and helping you build stamina. Key qualities to look for include comfort, stability, and durability. These features help you enjoy running, reduce the risk of injuries, and ensure that every step you take is effective. Brands like Brooks (with models like the Ghost and Glycerin), New Balance (notable for the Fresh Foam series), Altra (known for the Paradigm), Hoka (with the Clifton), and Mizuno (with the Wave Rider) offer shoes that meet these criteria. Choose your shoes wisely to ensure they support you throughout your running journey.