For today’s instalment of Humble Opinions, I grilled my colleagues (and CEO lol, pls don’t fire me) to find out which pair of running shoes they swear by bc when it comes to running, you only have to take a few strides to know that not all running shoes are created equally.
Without going into the full anatomy of a running shoe (bc apparently that’s a thing), there are a few boxes your fresh kicks need to check to ensure you don’t end up with shin splints so painful you’d rather go running back to your ex.
You need a running shoe that strikes the perfect balance between support and stability, cushioning and comfort, and a heel that hugs your ankle and won’t rub you the wrong way.
Ahead, we’ve done the sweaty yards for you and decided that these are the best running shoes.
Introducing: The Best Running Shoes
New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11
New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11, $220
“I’ve only just started running and was worried that I’d cop some foot/leg/hamstring pain since I’m not used to the high impact. But these New Balance running shoes, which have special magic foam in the soles and a really supportive heel are AMAZING. I’ve had zero pain. I could run all day… if I wasn’t so lazy.” — Josie
ASICS Men’s GT-1000 9 Running Shoe
ASICS Men’s GT-1000 9 Running Shoe, $90
“When I started running again, it felt amazing until I started struggling with shin splints. The worst part was I had just got my endurance back and had to stop again. I saw a physio who recommended I get a shoe with a hard sole, along with an array of stretches to help me get back in the swing of things. I tried on a bunch of shoes with the help of a great sales rep at The Athlete’s Foot and found the GT-1000 to be the absolute best of the bunch. It has a solid sole but plenty of support when running. The pain I started to feel with shin splints was non-existent when I started wearing these bad boys. It was amazing. I’ve stuck to the brand and model ever since.” — Matt H
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38, $180
“I’ve been lucky enough to try so many pairs of joggers in my time as a wellness writer, but I always come back to the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus’. They’re super comfortable and loaded with support and cushioning so they feel like you’re running on clouds. In terms of wear-time, I run maybe 3/4 times a week and get roughly 6-8 months out of them before I usually need to invest in a new pair. They also come in a bunch of different colourways if you’re fussy about that kind of thing (lol, me).” — Bree
New Balance FuelCell Prism
New Balance FuelCell Prism, $180
“I wear a size 13 running shoe, so the first thing I look for is a good fit. I heard New Balance shoes suited bigger feet, so I gave them a shot a few years back. That was three pairs of shoes ago, and I still think they’re the best option for me. My current pair are the FuelCell Prisms, and I chose them for a few reasons: I have a midfoot strike, so I like a low drop. They’re light and responsive, which I prefer to a squishier feel. They also have a hint of arch support, which I find is handy on longer runs. On the whole, New Balance shoes aren’t stupid expensive. Plus, the kicks are bright red, which I think has shaved at least ten seconds a kilometre off my pace.” — David
ASICS Gel-Quantum 360
“I have chronic shin splints and stress fractures — they’re the most supportive shoes I’ve ever had because they’ve got a hard plastic piece in the arch of the sole and they absorb impact really well. I’ve just repurchased my 2nd pair of them!” — Linley
Hoka One One Bondi 7
“Hear me now, thank me later for making you aware of US running brand Hoka on two fronts. First, Hoka is the most comfortable yet supportive running shoe I’ve ever used — better than my previous go tos Nike and Asics. These days they have a range of sleek styles so you don’t have to go with the built-up orthopedic look, although I went the whole hog and got the Bondi 7s. Both my wife and 19-year-old daughter have also bought Hokas and similarly rave about them. Second, you’re getting in on the ground floor of the next big running brand as it breaks. Look at the shoes of the next ‘in the know’ runners you see and I bet you spot a few Hokas. I’m so confident in this, I bought shares!” — Matt R (the big boss man)
Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 2
Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 2, $215.95
“My fave running shoe is the Asics Nimbus — the classic Asics Kayano is amazing but quite solid and chunky, whereas The Nimbus has similar gel cushioning support, but is slightly lighter. I actually just ordered the Asics Nimbus Lite in the mail, recommended by my physio who specialises in running-related injuries. Different cushioning in this new Nimbus is meant to ensure a softer, smoother run. It’s a great, really reliable shoe (should work to most foot types) so a safe option if you can’t get into a store to try runners on.” — Mina
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21, $239.95
“I like my Jerry Seinfeld’s because they don’t make me feel like a geriatric when I run anymore. They might look way more sensible than the ‘Free/Boost’ alternatives but for what they lack in looks they make up for in proper supportive running tech. They’re super comfy and adaptive underfoot and my screaming knees will be forever thankful.” — Julian
ASICS Gel-Contend 7
“As a former hater of running, I’d arrive home with sore knees, shins and a real lack of the ‘endorphin rush’ that smug runners speak of. But that all changed when I purchased my ASICS Gel-Contend 7’s (D Wide). Who knew I had wide feet? Not me. But these shoes fit like a glove and are true to size. They’re bouncy underfoot, with great cushioning that acts as a shock-absorbent (plus loads of fab colour options) and got me to my first 10km run with no knee complaints at all. Wouldn’t go back to my old brands now I’ve tried these.” — Liv
New Balance ROAVs
“I started running in lockdown last year and have definitely come leaps and bounds over time with the help of these New Balance ROAVs. Their souls are super bouncy so it’ll give you that extra little bit of jump when you’re running and losing motivation. The ankle support around the back is strong and elastic-like at the same time which makes them great for mobility as well!” — Bianca
Love our humble opinions? Get around the rest of the review series here.