Best Beginner Running Shoes Reviewed & Rated

If you are thinking about taking up running, or have just begun running, you may be overwhelmed by the abundance of running gear you have to choose from.  Everything from GPS watches, to compression socks, to energy gels, to even Road ID identification bracelets; but running doesn’t have to be that complicated. The most basic piece of equipment you need is a good pair of running shoes. In this review, we’ll talk about what to look for when purchasing your first pair of running shoes.

Featured Recommendations

Asics Gel Venture 6
  • Asics Gel Venture 6
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Gel Cushioning System
  • Price: See Here
 
Saucony Cohesion 10
  • Saucony Cohesion 10
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Versatile design
  • Price: See Here
 
Asics Gel Excite 4
  • Asics Gel Excite 4
  • 4.4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Gel Cushioning System
  • Price: See Here

Because there is such a wide selection of running shoes available, I have put a premium on affordability in this review. As a novice runner, there’s no reason to spend $100-$200 on a pair of running shoes. That’s why all of the shoes in this review are available for under $60, and most are between $30-$40. Even at that affordable price, all of the shoes in this review are excellent quality made by well known, major brands.

 

10 Best Beginner Running Shoes

 

1. Asics Gel Venture 6

The Asics Gel Venture 6 is an excellent all around running shoe. It features a gel cushion in the heel for added comfort. The Venture 6 is a versatile shoe, equally suited for pavement or trail running.
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Comfort
The Asics Gel Venture is the most comfortable shoe in this review, without doubt. It comes with a gel cushion for the rear of your foot which makes heel strike barely noticeable.

Style
The Venture 6 looks stylish, plain and simple. It has great design and beautiful lines to compliment the great fit. Add to that a wide selection of color combinations, and you have a shoe that's built to be noticed.

Cost and Value
The Venture 6 is affordable, priced below $50 in most sizes. The quality and comfort that you get in this shoe is greater than most shoes you find priced at over $100.
Pros
  • Rearfoot Gel cushioning
  • Rugged Outsole
  • Removable Sockliner
Cons
  • Shoe is narrow, not for wide feet

2. Saucony Cohesion 10

Runners know the name Saucony. If you aren't familiar with it, they are a brand that's been around since its founding way back in 1898. Saucony makes serious running shoes at an affordable price.
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Price
The Saucony Cohesion 10 is one of the least expensive shoes in this review, selling for less than $40. However, they do not cut corners with quality, as this is also one of the most comfortable running shoes.

Arch Support
The Cohesion 10 provides excellent support to the arches of your feet, allowing you to have a comfortable footfall and a more natural stride. Combine this with the ankle support, and you have an extremely comfortable shoe that fully supports your feet.

Cost and Value
At less than $40, the Cohesion 10 is one of the most affordable shoes in this review. But don't think that that means cheap. The Saucony brand is well know by avid runners for their quality.
Pros
  • Low price
  • Breathable mesh
  • Removable sockliner
  • Superior arch and ankle support
Cons
  • Runs 1/2 size small

3. Under Armour Micro G Assert 6

The Under Armour Micro G Assert 6 is a beautifully designed, affordable running shoe. If you are worried about a heavy shoe weighing you down, this is the shoe for you. At barely 9 oz, this is one of the lightest shoes in this review.
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Weight
The Micro G Assert 6 is an extremely lightweight running shoe, barely over 9 oz. Running shoes at this price that are as lightweight are difficult to find.

Breathable Mesh
The mesh upper allows air to circulate around your foot, drying sweat and generally keeping your feet dry. This reduces foot odor as well as reducing friction that causes blisters.

Cost and Value
The Micro G Assert 6 will cost you between $50-$70, depending on the availability of the size you require. This is higher than most shoes in this review, but is still a good price for a beginners pair of running shoes.
Pros
  • lightweight
  • durable
  • breathable mesh
  • removable sockliner
Cons
  • Sizes run small
  • Narrow toe

4. Nike Revolution 3

4. Nike Revolution 3
The Nike Revolution 3 is a distinctly Nike running shoe. The familiar "swoosh" is prominent on the side. As far as support, It provides comfortable support to your ankle, and a soft foam cushioned midsole. Available in a myriad of colors, per usual with a Nike product.
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Color Availability
As with most Nike products, the Revolution 3 is available in nearly every color in the rainbow. Amazon offers 30 color combinations. The colors range from black and grey, to bright orange and neon green.

Construction
The Nike Revolution 3 features a rubber outsole for excellent traction, combined with a mesh upper for increased breathability. This combination not only provides excellent support, but looks great.

Cost and Value
Unfortunately, this shoe can get expensive depending on what color you prefer. But if you aren't picky, you can get the shoe for between $50-$60.
Pros
  • Mesh upper for maximum breathability
  • Soft foam midsole
  • Nike quality
Cons
  • Price

5. Puma Tazon 6 FM

5. Puma Tazon 6 FM
When I think of the brand Puma, i think of soccer cleats. But Puma makes all sorts of athletic shoes, and the Puma Tazon 6 FM is an excellent all around athletic shoe. It is advertised as a running shoe, and it can certainly fill that need, but I consider it to be more of a cross-training shoe.
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Versatility
The Tazon 6 FM is a great shoe if you like to run, but also need a shoe for the gym, or the occasional pick up basketball game. It provides the support needed for any physical activity, and has durability to withstand wear and tear from cross-training.

Affordable
The Tazon 6 FM is a great looking shoe at a great price. You can expect to spend less than $50 for a pair of these all around workout shoes.

Cost and Value
The Puma Tazon 6 FM won't break your budget, typically running less than $50. The quality is what you would expect from a major name brand shoe company; quality at an affordable price.
Pros
  • Versatile cross-training shoe
  • Stylish look
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Not specifically a running shoe

6. Adidas NEO Cloudfoam Race

6. Adidas NEO Cloudfoam Race
There is only one pair of Adidas shoes in this review, but they are good ones. The Adidas NEO Cloudfoam Race Running Shoe is unmistakably Adidas, with the signature three stripes logo. The shoe is named for the "cloudfoam" midsole, a soft, cushioned midsole that protects your feet from impact, so you can keep running longer and further.
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Cloudfoam
The cloudfoam midsole of the Adidas NEO Cloudfoam Race Running Shoe makes you feel like you're running on clouds. Comfortable from toe to heel.

Fit
The NEO Cloudfoam wraps your foot, and fits snug in all the right places. It has plenty of arch support to keep your foot from moving inside the shoe. Even after running, you can barely notice that you're wearing them.

Cost and Value
Depending on your size, expect to pay between $45-$60 for a pair of Adidas Cloudfoams. This is average for a beginners pair of running shoes.
Pros
  • Cloudfoam midsole and sockliner for comfort
  • Breathable knit/leather upper
  • Stylish Adidas look
Cons
  • Narrow fit; not for wide feet

7. Asics GT-1000 5

7. Asics GT-1000 5
The Asics GT-1000 5 running shoe is a no frills, but solidly built running shoe for beginners. Asics has long been a reputable name in the running shoe business. If you're looking for a reliable, affordable running shoe without all the gimmicks, the GT-1000 5 might be your shoe.
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Vivid Colors
The Asics GT-1000 5 comes in an assortment of bright, vivid colors. From neon green to bright orange and purple, this shoe will get noticed. It also comes in more traditional color schemes, such as all black, and grey/blue.

Mesh Upper
The mesh upper allows air to flow into the shoe, keeping your foot dry from sweat while running. This greatly reduces the formation of blisters, as well as reduces foot oder and fungus that causes athlete's foot.

Cost and Value
The Asics GT-1000 5 is an affordable, beginner running shoe, priced around the average for this review. It will cost you around $50-$70 depending on size and color selection.
Pros
  • Simple, proven design
  • Vivid color combinations available
  • Gel technology reduces heel strike impact
Cons
  • Snug fit, runs 1/2 size small

8. Asics Gel Excite 4

8. Asics Gel Excite 4
Another Asics shoe shows up on the list of best beginner running shoes, this time it's the Asics Gel Excite 4. This shoe is a great choice for beginners, because it's the most affordable shoe in this review, starting at just over $25. It comes with the signature Gel cushioning that Asics Gel shoes are known for.
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Price
With a starting price tag of just over $25, you can't beat the Asics Gel Excite 4 in terms of value. With the Asics name you get years of experience making quality running shoes at an affordable price.

Gel Cushioning System
The gel rear foot in the Asics Gel Excite 4 lessens the impact of heelstrike, allowing for a softer landing and maintaining a natural stride. This also reduces wear on your joints.

Cost and Value
As stated previously, the Excite 4 is the most affordable shoe in this review, starting at just over $25. You can't go wrong with Asics if you are a beginning runner, and this pair is no different.
Pros
  • Outstanding value
  • Gel Cushioning System
Cons
  • Shoes can be narrow, not for wide feet

9. New Balance 541v1

9. New Balance 541v1
If you're looking for a lightweight, durable running shoe, the New Balance 541v1 is your shoe. At just 8 oz, this is the lightest shoe in our review. Not only is this a great running shoe, but it's also perfect for walking, or jobs that require you to stand for long periods of time. The removable comfort insole protects your feet during long hours on the job.
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Removable Comfort Insole
With the New Balance 541v1, you get a removable insole, removable so that you can replace it with a custom orthopedic insole if you chose. But who would choose to with an insole as comfortable as this one?

Lightweight
Weighing in at just 8oz, this is the lightest shoe in this review. It reduces weight by being constructed of a very simple design, and using lightweight materials in its construction. If you are worried about heavy running shoes slowing you down, check these shoes out.

Cost and Value
A pair of New Balance 541v1 will cost you between $50 and $65. That is about average for this review, but on the affordable side when it comes to running shoes overall.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Removable comfort insole
  • Quality shoes at an affordable price
Cons
  • Laces are shorter than most running shoe laces

10. Under Armour Dash 2

10. Under Armour Dash 2
The Under Armour Dash 2 is an impressive looking sneaker. Under Armour products have a look that make them stand out in a crowd. At 9.45 oz, this is one of the lighter shoes in this review.
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Lightweight
Who wants a heavy running shoe? Nobody that I know. The Under Armour Dash 2 is one of the lighter shoes in this review, coming in at just 9.45 oz. This light weight allows you to forget your shoes, and focus on your run.

Style
When you wear Under Armour, it shows that you have style. The big "UA" on the side says so. The stylish look of the Under Armour Dash 2 is easily noticeable right away. Combine the style of UA with the lightweight and durable material, and you have a winning running shoe for beginners.

Cost and Value
The Under Armour Dash will cost you between $35-$60 for most sizes. This is on par with most beginner running shoes in this review. The quality and durability of Under Armour is well know, making this shoe a great value for that price.
Pros
  • Stylish
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Runs 1/2 size small

When just starting out, the vast selection of running shoes can be overwhelming. Throughout this review, we have seen some excellent running shoes that won’t break your budget. It’s easy to get distracted with all of the running accessories available, but remember that the only thing you need to begin running is a good, affordable pair of running shoes.