The Best Running Shoes for Beginners: Start Your Journey on the Right Foot

5 pairs of running shoes


Starting a running journey as a beginner can be both exciting and overwhelming. One of the most critical decisions you'll make is choosing the right pair of running shoes. The right shoes can enhance your comfort, prevent injuries, and provide the necessary support as you progress on your running path.

The quality of running shoes is not only determined by their price. What matters is finding a shoe that fits your feet and meets your specific needs. It's essential to start with a middle-ground shoe and gradually progress from there. As you accumulate more miles, your preferences for running shoes will evolve. Your endurance, pace, and ability to cover longer distances will improve, and so will your understanding of the type of shoe that suits you best. You may not like everything about a particular shoe, but it will give you a clearer idea of your preferences for future choices.

In this article, we will look into some of the best running shoes specifically. designed for beginners, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable start to your running adventure

Considerations before you buy running shoes

  • Comfort is Key:

    When starting your running journey, prioritize comfort above all else. Look for shoes that fit well, allowing room for your toes to move freely. A snug, but not tight, fit around the heel and midfoot is essential to prevent slippage and ensure stability. Consider trying on different brands and models to find the perfect fit for your feet.

  • Cushioning for Impact Absorption:

    As a beginner, your body may need some time to adjust to the impact of running. Choose running shoes that provide ample cushioning to effectively absorb shock and minimize the impact on your joints. Cushioned shoes provide a softer landing, making your runs more comfortable and minimizing the risk of impact-related injuries.

  • Versatile and Neutral Shoes:

    When starting out, it's generally recommended to choose neutral running shoes. These shoes offer a balanced level of cushioning and support, catering to a wide range of foot types. They don't impose excessive stability features or pronation control, allowing your feet to naturally adapt and develop strength over time.

  • Visit a Specialty Running Store:

    Consider visiting a specialty running store where experts can assess your gait and foot biomechanics. They can offer valuable guidance and recommendations based on your individual needs. Professional advice can be particularly beneficial for beginners who are unsure about their running shoe requirements.

  • Transition:

    If you've been inactive or have never worn running shoes before, it's important to transition gradually. Start with shorter runs and gradually increase your mileage as your body adjusts to the new activity. This gradual approach allows your muscles, tendons, and ligaments to adapt and minimize the risk of overuse injuries.

The Best Running Shoes for Beginners

  1. Brooks Ghost

    First on my list is the the Brooks Ghost because that was my first running shoe and I loved it!
    Brooks Ghost is a fantastic choice for beginner runners, offering comfort and cushioning that will have you enjoying your runs from the start.
    With its DNA LOFT V2 cushioning and 12mm drop, the Ghost 15 provides a stable and plush ride. The padded heel collar and breathable mesh knit upper ensure a comfortable fit, while the versatile design makes it suitable for daily training and long-distance runs.
    While it may not have cutting-edge technology, the Ghost 15's reliable performance and neutral ride make it a popular and dependable choice for runners of all experience levels.

  2. Hoka Clifton

    Second on my list is the Hoka Clifton because that was my second road running shoe. I loved this shoe and I also love the trail shoes from Hoka.
    The The HOKA Clifton is an exceptional shoe for beginners, offering versatile performance that evolves with your training. Packed with a lightweight foam midsole, it boasts extra cushioning, making it one of HOKA's lightest and most energetic models.
    Despite its lightweight, the midsole remains incredibly soft and smooth, providing a comfortable step for new runners and those returning to the sport.
    The engineered mesh upper ensures a soft and breathable fit. Moreover, the Clifton easily handles any run, making it a reliable choice from the first miles to race day.
    The Hoka Clifton, a popular option for beginners, combines a favorable weight-cushion ratio, a breathable upper, and an improved midsole for added bounce. Although not ideal for speed runs, it offers maximum comfort. Its neutral daily training design with a rockered ride delivers a cushioning and lightweight feel.

  3. Asics Gel Cumulus

    The Asics Gel Cumulus is a versatile running shoe that excels at short and long distances. It's a favorite among beginners and experienced runners, offering a reliable and consistent performance.
    It provides exceptional comfort with its cushioned design, featuring Pure-GEL technology and Flytefoam Blast + cushioning for impact absorption. The lightweight construction ensures a comfortable yet responsive ride. The soft mesh upper and padded heel collar provide a plush step-in feel. The solid construction and tacky outsole ensure a strong grip on various surfaces. Its dependable traction makes it a popular choice for worry-free runs.
    If you have wider feet, it's advisable to try on this shoe to test how it fits, as it may feel slightly narrow.

  4. Mizuno Wave Rider

    The Mizuno Wave Rider is a great choice for new runners seeking a comfortable, reliable, and supportive shoe. With its ample cushioning and great energy return, every run feels soft and spring-like.
    The shoe excels at faster speeds, making it a versatile option for varied training sessions. The bio-based Wave plate, integrated within Mizuno's responsive Enerzy midsole foam, ensures a smooth ride and unbeatable comfort during long walks and runs. Its well-padded heel and stretchy, breathable air mesh upper offer instant comfort and a blister-free experience.
    In short, the Wave Rider provides a reliable, cushioned feel that will put a spring in your step.

  5. New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v13

    The New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v13 is the perfect choice for beginner runners, providing a well-cushioned and supportive ride.
    Its Fresh Foam midsole offers a soft and comfortable experience, complemented by a firmer insert for pronation support. The seamless mesh upper ensures a comfortable fit, while the durable rubber outsole withstands extensive training. This shoe balances everyday comfort and supportive transitions, allowing beginners to explore their preferences.
    This shoe is especially ideal for heel strikers, with a highly cushioned sole that supports the foot's rolling motion and reduces injury risk.
    One downside of this shoe is that its material lacks breathability, making it unsuitable for warm-weather running.
    Overall, this shoe has a generous fit, reliable performance, and versatile use for long runs and fast workouts, making the Fresh Foam 880 v13 an excellent option for beginners. Best for: Heel strikers in cooler weather.

  6. On Cloudgo

    Combining a minimalist look with an easy fit, the On Cloudgo is a great choice for new runners.
    These running shoes stand out with their unique aesthetic and exceptional performance, offering a premium experience. Whether you're jogging on city streets or running errands, the Cloudgo has everything you need to kickstart your running journey. With CloudTec elements providing superior comfort and the Speedboard ensuring soft landings and explosive takeoffs, every stride feels amazing.
    Moreover, the sleek design effortlessly pairs with jeans, making it versatile for casual outings. As a neutral daily trainer, the Cloudgo fills an important role in On Running's lineup, catering to beginners and those seeking a lighter option alongside their stable neutral Cloudrunner model.
    Best for: Runners looking for a lighter shoe.

  7. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus

    The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus, now in its 40th iteration, is a classic workhorse that offers a comfortable and versatile running experience. Nike's React foam and double Air unit in the midsole provide a springy and bouncy ride. The wider forefoot and breathable mesh upper ensure comfort.
    Whether you're a beginner or an experienced runner, the Pegasus delivers a balanced and smooth ride. The Zoom Air bags add cushioning and responsiveness, suitable for different speeds and distances. Its well-designed upper and secure lacing enhances comfort.
    While it may be slightly heavy for speed runners, its durability and traction make it a reliable daily trainer.

  8. Altra Torin

    The Altra Torin is a high-stack, neutral, zero-drop running shoe designed for comfort and performance.
    Running shoes typically have greater heel cushioning than the toe area (this difference is called drop). On the other hand, the Altra Torin has the same amount of cushioning from heel to toe(zero-drop), promoting a more natural movement and mimicking a barefoot experience. While they require an adjustment period, they help strengthen muscles and improve foot acclimation.
    With a stack height of 30mm in the heel and forefoot, it offers a plush and cushioned ride. The Altra EGO MAX midsole foam provides a supportive and responsive feel without adding extra weight.
    The shoe features a wide toebox, allowing for natural toe splay and enhanced comfort. The updated upper with engineered mesh offers breathability and a soft feel.
    The Torin is lightweight and versatile, making it suitable for long runs or extended periods on your feet. It's a go-to choice for runners seeking a balanced and comfortable running experience.

  9. Adidas Supernova+

    The Adidas Supernova+ is a responsive and comfortable training shoe designed for beginner runners.
    With Boost foam in the front of the midsole, it offers excellent cushioning, while the mesh upper provides support and ventilation. It's a durable and stable option, suitable for all types of runners, with neutral arch support and breathability.
    While it may require a longer break-in period of around 10 to 20 miles, it delivers reliable performance. Weighing 312 grams, it's slightly heavier than regular trainers but offers ample underfoot protection.
    The Supernova+ is a workhorse shoe with a firm ride and traditional training shoe characteristics, making it a reliable choice.

  10. Saucony Ride

    The Saucony Ride is a perfect running shoe for beginners and beyond.
    Experience lightweight cushioning and a soft, bouncy feel with its full-length PWRRUN foam midsole. The improved midsole geometry enhances flexibility, ensuring a smoother ride. Its lightweight and breathable upper offers a secure fit for various foot shapes.
    Whether you're starting slow or picking up the pace, the Ride delivers unmatched comfort and efficient transitions. This no-frills, neutral trainer provides a balanced and stable ride that will carry you through many miles of running joy.


  • As a beginner in running, prioritize comfort and the perfect fit for your feet.

  • Look for shoes with ample cushioning to absorb impact and reduce the risk of injuries.

  • Opt for versatile and neutral shoes that allow your feet to adapt naturally.

  • Consider seeking expert advice at a specialty running store to ensure the right shoe choice based on your individual needs.

  • Finally, remember to transition gradually into running to allow your body to adjust and minimize the chance of overuse injuries.

Happy running!