The best men’s and women’s running trainers in 2020, tested in the lab and on the road
Buying good running shoes is something quite important for the community of runners who go out to exercise every day. The more experienced they are, the more arguments they have for it. On the other hand, if they are not, it can be a bit difficult to find good shoes to start running and that are also cheap.
Some people know that there is a technical range of running shoes . You know that this range includes all those models that incorporate, to a greater or lesser extent, the best materials and all the technological developments of the most cutting-edge brands. And he also knows that they are rather expensive … At this point, it must be clarified that running shoes of the technical range can be divided into three large groups: daily training shoes (those used on a daily basis), competition or flying shoes (those that are used to compete when one is fine, fine) and mixed shoes (those that are good for training that is said “of quality” and eventually also to compete).
On the opposite side, there are people who do not know that there are specific running shoes. He hardly knows that not all shoes are more or less the same and of them, what most catches his attention is usually the brand ( Adidas , Nike , New Balance , Mizuno , ASICS , Brooks , Saucony , …) the design and / or colors.
But by now we already know that not everything is black or white, so we are going to attack a somewhat forgotten segment of running shoes in online media. They are those shoes that have absolutely everything (I repeat: absolutely everything) that a running shoe needs , although it is not necessarily the latest of the latest or the most advanced, but not the most expensive either.
Running shoes (second price)
They would be those shoes that we can call second price and that are ideal to start running . In fact, we could classify this selection as the best running shoes for beginners, although this is not necessarily the case. Let’s see why.
They are those shoes that have a specific sole for running (Waffle design, flex grooves, longitudinal line to guide the tread, durable materials) although not the most expensive. Those that have a specific midsole for running (cushioning material, stability elements, perhaps auxiliary cushioning systems), although they are not the most technological. Those that have a specific upper or upper cut for running (breathable, light mesh, with reinforcements, support elements and perhaps also reflective ones,…) although it may not necessarily be with the most cutting-edge materials.
We have given a place in this article to many of these shoes and a visibility that they usually do not have, with which we intend to increase the range of possibilities when choosing cheap running shoes . Go for it:
NEW BALANCE 680
From the hand of New Balance comes this 680v5 result. This is a well cushioned shoe, capable of supporting runners with strong builds. The midsole is characterized by incorporating ACTEVA technology to absorb the impacts produced when running. In addition, in the heel area there is an Abzorb unit that mainly achieves similar benefits to ACTEVA but resists impacts better and for longer, which is very important for most runners who tend to enter from the heel when running. The drop that the New Balance 680v5 has is 10mm, valid in a daily training shoe even having dropped 2mm from previous deliveries.
The sole has solid rubber to provide durability against wear and tear. Generous studs will ensure traction, while two transverse grooves favor the flexibility of the shoe. In the upper cut, a mesh combines heat-sealed reinforcements on the instep with sturdier ones sewn on both the toe and the heel. The weight remains at 314 grams for the men’s model and 245 for the women’s. The official price of New balance 680v5 is $ 90 ASICS GEL-EXCITE
For a budget-priced shoe, ASICS Gel-Excite 6 is quite complete. For starters, the midsole has left SpEVA® behind to now use AMPLIFOAM ™ as a cushioning compound for the footprint. In addition, it includes a GEL ™ capsule, one of the best cushioning systems available, for greater comfort when walking. This capsule is no longer in the front area, but the Japanese brand centers it in the heel area, where it works well.
On the sole you can see the studs in waffle design, built with solid rubber. Between them, two large transverse grooves in the metatarsal area will favor the flex of the shoe. A longitudinal line that runs from the heel to the toe allows you to guide the footprint during the transition phase. For the heel area, AHAR + material has been used, which incorporates carbon to increase the durability of the sole.
Above, a Jacquard mesh is responsible for keeping the feet comfortable, secure and ventilated. Inside it includes an Ortholite® insole to keep feet dry longer. Some reflective elements manufactured by 3M for ASICS will contribute to the visibility of these Gel-Excite 6, whose official price is $80 .
MIZUNO WAVE SPARK
Mizuno Wave Spark 4 is a very light sneaker, barely 255g for men and 210g for women, but which nevertheless retains good reinforcements that make this model a good option for protection and durability with low weight. And although Mizuno considers it a shoe to start running, but it does not skimp on technical resources.
Despite not having any Pébax plate, it does benefit from the Wave design of the midsole materials for structured and stable cushioning. The material used is nothing less than U4icX, commonly used in high-end shoes, which is capable of providing soft and reactive cushioning.
Underneath, on the sole, the rubber used is X10, the most resistant to wear and tear of the Japanese brand thanks to the addition of carbon, with which durability is guaranteed. At the top, the mesh is open and highly perforated, so the breathability of Wave Spark 6 is guaranteed. The support too, since it has synthetic leather reinforcements all over the surface, especially on the midfoot, reinforcing that important area and on the toe, protecting the fingers. From behind, a buttress will stabilize the ankle when it hits the ground with each stride. DynamotionFit is the technology that is responsible for keeping the foot well caught in any phase of the step. The official price of Mizuno Wave Spark 4 is $ 80 .
adidas Duramo 9 is a quality shoe, but at a reasonable price. In the midsole it incorporates the new Cloudfoam material, leaving behind Adiprene® that Adidas has used for decades to guarantee the cushioning of the footprint. This Cloudfoam compound is distributed throughout the midsole and makes it a comfortable model. The drop is 9.5mm. The insole uses EVA and this increases comfort a little more.
The sole incorporates AdiWear ™ technology, which serves to combat wear and tear in this area of the shoe. It is positioned in such a way that the points of greatest friction are covered. The transverse grooves not only facilitate the flexibility of the shoe, but also cause a slight emptying of material that results in lightening some weight to the whole. In fact, it remains at a paltry 294gr for the male finish and 239gr for the female.
The upper cut uses a lightweight and breathable mesh, constructed in one piece, while, on the inside, a lining helps to make these Duramo shoes even more comfortable. Something remarkable is a double row of buttonholes so that whoever wants to have more options to organize the loop. The official price of Adidas Duramo 9 is $ 55.
Nike Downshifter 9 is a shoe with a very elegant presence and smooth lines. That look hides a shoe that is characterized by soft cushioning and strong support.
The support is provided by a breathable and light mesh that hides straps inside. The laces pass through them, in such a way that, when the runner closes the loop, these straps close on the midfoot, holding it tightly so that it does not move inside the shoe during the tread. This mesh is very dense at the back to better support this area, while it is more open in the area of the fingers where more ventilation is required.
Phylon is used in the midsole, a compound that provides soft cushioning, very much in the line of Nike, and in which it works on a 10mm drop. This midsole is combined with a sole with interesting features: To begin with, it has a hexagon stud that allows it to pull well in any direction. Under the metatarsals it incorporates two large transverse grooves that favor flexibility during the tread. Now it is the turn of the longitudinal line that runs through the shoe from the heel to the very toe and which is responsible for guiding the foot during all phases of the tread. The material used is solid rubber, a type of rubber with a good relationship between adhesion and durability. The official price of Nike Downshifter 9 is $ 60.
NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM ARISHI
New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi v2 is one of the softest running shoes in this ratio. It is thanks to the Fresh Foam technology of the midsole, where New Balance has found a great formula to obtain an effective cushioning, soft (but not “chewy”), and stable, from the point of view that it serves for a neutral footprint. Fresh Foam uses a series of shapes to provide more softness or firmness depending on the area of the foot and the pressure it will exert on the ground when it hits it while running. The drop of the midsole is 8mm.
The mesh stands out for having two differentiated areas. The back, very collected on the ankle, with enough force to hold it…; and the midfoot and especially the front, with wide open holes that allow great breathability to keep your feet cool. In addition, in this Fresh Foam Arishi v2 there is the circumstance that he dresses very well in casual clothes, which can be carried on the way to, or returning from the training place.
The sole has a waffle design taken to the maximum expression as there are dozens of studs distributed throughout it, with incisive shapes, for good traction on all types of surfaces, even if it were dirt. At the rear New Balance has a piece following the entire contour since here the wear is greater and thus guarantees better durability.
This can be classified as another very light shoe since it only weighs 258g in the men’s finish and 204g in the women’s finish. The official price of New balance Fresh Foam Arishi v2 is $ 85 .
The Joma company, born in 1965 and today with a presence in more than 70 countries, is positioned as the first national sports brand and in the top ten of the world ranking, offering us such ambitious proposals as Joma Hispalis 9, a saga this Hispalis, which is so good results have given thousands of runners who have trusted them. The new delivery is a totally renewed model that arrives with a 12mm drop and a weight of 310gr in their case and 264gr in theirs.
One of its strengths is in the midsole, which uses the Phylon compound but with two different densities (Full Dual Pulsor) so that the cushioning is as optimal as possible. Inside, a capsule made up of different perforated cells (Cell Cushion System) collaborates in the cushioning and the response of the material to be ready for a new stride.
On the sole we find Durability, a resistant rubber that will work on the durability of this part of the shoe. Flexo are the flexion lines that are articulated in the sole to aid the movement of the foot. And there is even more: Pulsor is a piece of gel that helps to absorb the impact of the tread while Stabilis is a piece of TPU that joins the rear of the foot with the front for a good transition of the tread.
Joma Sportech is added to the upper cut, mainly made of nylon, an injected rubber that helps to join the different elements without having to use seams. In the heel area there is a forceful buttress that will help stabilize the ankle when it hits the ground when running. The official price of Joma Hispalis 9 is $ 79.99 .
ASICS PATRIOT 10
ASICS Patriot 10 is another good shoe to start running. One of its strengths is precisely that the sole is not very radical in terms of the heel, so it can be used in some other alternative activity to running, such as the gym (although its strength is running).
The upper part of the Patriot 10 uses a resource known as two distinct areas: one occupies the entire front and toes and the other the entire midfoot and rear area. Thus, in the front we see an open and very breathable, but soft mesh, while in the other two the mesh also ventilates, but it is stronger since elements such as support come in here. The use of heat seals helps reduce the possibility of friction.
In the midsole we find Amplifoam, a foam that is going to be in charge of the cushioning at the same time that it helps in the transition of the tread since it is a flexible material. The drop, or difference in height between the heel and the forefoot is 10mm.
ASICS does not conceive it for a lot of jogging, for that there are already other models, but the solid rubber of the sole will provide the necessary durability. This sole does not have a longitudinal stripe as is usual in ASICS. It does have the transverse stripes to also collaborate, from the sole, in the overall flexibility of the shoe.
The weight is surprisingly low, being it only 263g in the case of their shoes and 212g for theirs. The official price of ASICS Patriot 10 is $ 60.
Saucony Clarion is a successful model of the American brand, with a great bearing as a training shoe. One of the strengths is found in the midsole with the use of PWRGrid +, an advanced Saucony compound that is used in some of its traditionally best shoes, until the emergence of Everun.
Today PWRGrid + is outperformed by other compounds, but it has not lost the fact that it is 20% more cushioned than standard midsoles and that it provides cushioning and response during the strides that occur when running. The drop that this Clarion handles is 8mm.
On the top it uses an engineered mesh for a soft but powerful support. Breathability is guaranteed by the multitude of large openings throughout the mesh in its front two thirds. A piece or buttress is reserved for the rear that will hold the ankle when it hits the ground with each stride.
The toecap is reinforced with a heat-sealed synthetic material to avoid seams, while the laces are flat and are passed through up to six eyelets, leaving a seventh free to suit the wearer.
The sole is not the typical Tri-Flex as we can see in other high-end Saucony models, but it follows the same arrow design principle that will help drive forward. It is reinforced with solid rubber and in it we find up to five transverse grooves to improve flexibility. Price $100.
Reebok Runner 3.0 is a good shoe to start running, but if it differs in something, it is that it is prepared for long workouts. Normally this type of shoe does not pretend to be the most technical to withstand all kinds of loads, but this Runner 3.0, thanks to its pressed EVA midsole, provides very soft cushioning.
The midsole has a layered design that helps this cushioning work. Above this part we have the upper cut, where a fully perforated mesh is observed in its outer layer to offer maximum breathability. On the inside is a textile layer that provides comfort. In the toe we find a heat-sealed reinforcement to protect the fingers and avoid friction… 2 × 1! In the middle zone, the logo … (I was going to say “new logo” but this one, called “Delta”, has been going on for a few years now, since it replaced the previous one, shaped like an antelope …). She said that the logo helps to reinforce the middle zone and improve support. Through the heel, the buttress that contains the ankle is very visible when it hits the ground while running.
The sole has several zones with different designs. Thus in the lower part of the metatarsals they are more incisive (although large) to have better traction. On the heel the surface in contact with the ground is greater for good durability. Reebok adds a giant heel as a “pod” in case you want to pivot with the shoe (also thinking about the gym, Reebok?). The official price of Reebok Runner 3.0 is $ 49.95.