Identifying the "best running shoe" is a lot like identifying "the best car." It depends a lot on what kind of qualities you're looking for, your physical characteristics and the kind of running you're going to be doing. However, when searching through the many reviews, opinion articles and road tests, there a handful of contenders whose repeated mentions identify them as the cream of the crop.
Top 4 Women's Running Shoes
Nike Zoom Vomero 4: Designed for comfort and consistency, the Zoom Vomero 4 does not have the technological bells and whistles of some of the others on this list. The value in this shoe lies in its cushioning, overall quality and all-around performance.
Brooks Launch: Reviewers have raved about the Launch's flexibility and foot feel. Across arch types and running styles, comments on this shoe have been extremely positive.
Asics Gel-Kayano 15: Lauded for its amazing fit and excellent cushioning, this Kayano has a bigger gel pad than ever. Reviewers agree that Asics has successfully avoided the "squishy" feel that sometimes comes with a large liquid cushion.
Mizuno Wave Nirvana 5: Runners with a heavy gait and need for a high level of support are claiming this is the best Wave Nirvana since the original. This shoe won't be loved by all, but for those who fit the mold, it is the best shoe on the market.
Top 4 Men's Running Shoes
Brooks Launch: The Launch is a neutral shoe that has a light and responsive feel. Aesthetics are great, and runners can't seem to get enough of the spring the Launch puts in their stride.
New Balance 902: The 902 may be the best combination on the market of lightweight construction and breathability paired with ample support. Cushioning is a strong point, and attention to the little things, like a secure tongue lined with moisture-wicking fabric, has New Balance at the top of many runners' wish lists.
Adidas Men's Fortitude 2: The Fortitude makes the list of best shoes based on construction and value. For those looking for a well-constructed, light and comfortable shoe at a third of the price of other running shoes, the Fortitude 2 is the "bang for the buck" choice.
Asics Gel 1140: A mid-priced performer, the Gel 1140 is a lightweight and comfortable shoe. Asics offers the 1140 as a good value as well as a widely praised construction and feel in this trainer.
Best Running Shoes for Overpronators
Saucony ProGrid Stabil CS: The ProGrid Stabil provides the maximum support for those runners with a tendency to roll inward as they run. Saucony has maintained good flexibility and responsiveness, despite the corrective nature of the shoe's construction.
Nike Air Equalon: Nike has developed an exceedingly supportive shoe with the Air Equalon while avoiding the excessive heaviness sometimes associated with this type of shoe. The beveled heal paired with firm but forgiving heel and mid-sole support make this Nike a top choice for runners in need of a highly structured running shoe.