The right shoes are the most important investment for a runner. The ideal pair can shave minutes off of your best time, and help avoid sprains and other injuries. When choosing a pair, consider the terrain you'll be on and personal needs (such as cushioning or stability). All of the shoes listed below are available for both men and women.
Nike Flyknit Lunar 2: Nike made it's editor-favorite Flyknit Lunar even lighter and stronger, according to Sneaker Report.
Saucony Mirage 3: The ultralight weight of the Mirage makes it well suited for speedwork and racing, as well as everyday training, according to Running Shoes Guru.
Saucony Virrata: The Virrata made Outside's Gear of the Year list, calling it a featherlight option with traditional fit and feel.
Best for Trail Running
Brooks Cascadia 4: The Cascadia 4 won top spot for trail running shoe at Fitness magazine for the grippy silica coating found on the outsole, to improve traction on loose surfaces.
The North Face Single Track-Hayasa II: Rock protection and a trail-specific outsole make this shoe a top pick, according to I Run Far.
Saucony Outlaw: Backpacker testers made the Outlaw their favorite shoe for long trail runs because it has an almost barefoot feel.
Best for Cushioning
Saucony ProGrid Triumph 6: Fitness Magazine rated the Triumph the best cushioned shoe owing to it's extra shock-absorption in the midsole.
New Balance 890 v3: Blog Critics most liked the snug and secure fit, with additional protective foam around the ankles.
New Balance Fresh Foam 980: Not only do these feel like slippers, they hold up on the pavement according to DC Fit Crasher.
Adidas Energy Boost: Gizmodo listed the springy midsole as living up to its hype.