Chances are this whole coronavirus pandemic business has led to you getting really into exercising. Or just drinking red wine lololol. But if you’re a keen fitness person in iso, you may have returned to running. And for that, my friend, you need running shoes.

No, normal trainers will not suffice – that is, if you’re taking the whole running thing seriously. Running shoes are designed differently – both for support and for comfort. A lot of regular trainers are clompy and don’t protect you from the lil’ missteps running can bring. I know – I face-planted wearing my old, shitty trainers recently. Thanks, worn down grip. NOT.

A few quick things to look for:

  • shock absorption cushioning. Running is hell on the old joints.
  • checking the measurements against your own foot. Feet swell when they’re hot, so it’s advisable to do this at the end of a day.
  • support if you need it, especially around the heel. If you have heaps of pains from running, it’s best to go get fitted by an expert as opposed to buying online.
  • lightweight materials. Running with heavy shoes on is no bueno.

Here are some grand newbies, and some old classics for ya.

1. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37, $180 (coming 2nd June)

Created back in 1983 as a shoe for “every runner”, this new release of the Air Zoom Pegasus features new and improved cushioning on the midsole, as well as a forefoot Zoom bag which is twice as thick, allowing for better rebound and return – basically, you’ll be quicker on your feet.

2. Under Armour HOVR Machina

UA HOVR Machina Mens Running Shoe, $220

The Machina, which comes in a Mens and Womens design, has a bunch of nifty benefits like a super stable heel counter (the rubbery bit on the back there)a solid rubber outsole that helps cover off high impact zones on the shoe, so they last longer, and a “sprint spike-inspired speed plate” so you take off quicker. Nice.

3. Reebok Nano X

Reebok Nano X Womens Training Shoes, $190

These are *technically* training shoes, but Reebok have gone to great lengths to ensure it performs brilliantly as a running shoe as well as your gym staple.

Think stuff like a compression moulded midsole, which gives long-lasting cushioning and a smoother stride, and lightweight foam cushioning so they aren’t heavy on your feet.

4. Nike Joyride Flyknit

Nike Joyride Flyknit Mens Running Shoe, $250

I have these, and if you’re serious about running multiple times a week casually (by which I mean, not like an athlete who is training for the Olympics) the price point is worth it. They’re a weird feeling at first – extremely cushioned and bouncy – but that’s the foam beads moulding to your foot, giving maximum support where you need it (and bouncing you along that jog, too).

5. On Running Cloud

On Running Cloud Womens Shoe, $199.95

I have to say, I’d never heard of these until I started researching for this article. But they have amassed hundreds of top ratings online. The key hook is the tech in the soles, which are designed in sections (“clouds”) to provide soft, cushioned landings. So, great for protecting joints.

6. Nike React Infinity Flyknit

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit Mens Running Shoe, $230

Designed for all types of runners, there’s a reason the Infinity Run Flyknit has amassed rave reviews globally. Primarily it’s about the design of that sole – it literally looks like something you want to run in, right?

7. Adidas Swift Run

Adidas Swift Run Unisex Shoe, $150

I love Adidas for their sock-like feel – these are no exception. The material hugs your foot so you feel super stable without it feeling tight or uncomfortable.

8. ASICS Gel-Kayano 26

ASICS Gel-Kayano 26 Platinum Womens Running Shoe, $270

These are a bit more serious when it comes to running shoes – they’re specially designed for road running, with rear gel tech that helps with shock absorption, and tech in the midsole to avoid pronation.

9. Reebok Zig Kinetica

Reebok Zig Kinetica Womens Running Shoe, $180

How COOL do these look? Those cool lines aren’t just for show – most are targeted support zones to keep you feeling stable and in the zone, while springy cushioning keeps you moving. I for one need springy cushioning to bother continuing a run, lol.

10. Under Armour HOVR Sonic 3

UA HOVR Sonic 3 Womens Running Shoe, $180

The most popular women’s UA running shoe, HOVR Sonic 3 is for runners looking for flexibility, cushioning and versatility – so, basically all rookies. The big hooks here are the blown rubber under the front & high-abrasion rubber under the heel that help absorb ground contact.

11. New Balance Fresh Foam

New Balance Fresh Foam Womens Running Shoe, $200

New Balance really honed in on the cushioning tech for Fresh Foam, meaning a super comfy run and protection from shock. Particular attention has been paid to the midsole, which gets the most cement time really.