We asked 19 male runner, 16 Test pairs of running shoes on asphalt roads and quiet, snow-covered paths. With their help we came to the conclusion that the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 the best neutral shoe (cushioned shoe for runners with normal rolling behavior) for the most men is. The traditional model is well suited for recreational athletes, its sole cushions and springs well; the breathable upper material gives the foot enough grip. In addition to neutral shoes, we also recommend shoes for runners who place particular value on support and guidance (so-called stability or stabilization shoes) and also low-drop running shoes, i.e. shoes in which the height difference between the heel and forefoot, the so-called heel, is very low. The test was carried out by Wirecutter.com carried out in America. For this reason, German products that are not available in the USA may be missing. You are reading the German translation.
Update 20. 3. 2020: The product recommendations remain unchanged, we have updated the prices.
Top recommendation for a men's running shoe: Mizuno Wave Rider 21
Our tester liked the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 particularly good – it is suitable for shorter runs of less than an hour as well as for long distances. The Wave Rider 21 has a breathable mesh upper and a padded sole, which nevertheless enables a pleasant springy run. Some testers mentioned that the Wave Rider 21 feels a bit heavy, and there has also been some discussion about whether its fit fits the size, especially in width. But these objections were not enough to drive this versatile workhorse out of the top spot.
The second place men's running shoe: Under Armor Charged Bandit 3
If the Mizuno is sold out in size or you prefer lighter, less padded running shoes, the Under Armor Charged Bandit 3 an excellent choice. The testers raved about the excellent fit, the seamless, stylish upper with a fabric look and the dynamic feeling while running. One tester described him as “a solid all-rounder”; the only point of criticism was the weaker cushioning sole compared to the Mizuno.
Also a running shoe recommendation for men: Asics GT – 2000 6
If you are looking for a stable running shoe , which mitigates the pronation (inward rotation of the foot), we recommend the Asics GT – 2000 6 . The heel and toe area are well padded, the shoe offers a lot of support and good springback at the same time. The upper material encloses the foot well “without slipping or pressing it anywhere,” according to a tester. The fit corresponds to the size; According to another test runner, the forefoot feels “comfortably spacious”.
Also a running shoe recommendation for men: Altra Escalante
The Altra Escalante is a good choice for runners who like the most authentic barefoot feeling; it belongs to the natural running shoes. The flexible sole of this model is flat, the heel and toe have no drop, so they are the same height. The woven upper offers your forefoot more space than comparable models. The testers praised the Escalante as light and stable, with enough cushioning to give their feet a grip, but without enclosing it too tightly. However, if you prefer a thicker cushion and a more stable shaft, you should consider our top recommendation or the second place running shoe.
Why you should trust our men's running shoe test
For this article and our ladies running shoe test our testers ran almost 5 in total. 500 kilometers, which is the distance between Portland, Oregon and Miami, Florida. For the men's running shoe test 19 Men in five weeks almost 3. 00 0 km back – that's almost the same as 160 km per tester.
I also talked to five experts to find out what the L Aufschuhdesign arrives (and what doesn't) and how to find the right shoes for you:
I started with Jim McDannald, DPM , a podiatrist, running trainer and wirecutter employee based in Montreal.
I spoke to Melanie Kann , a former sports shoe seller and running trainer from New York. Her almost encyclopedic knowledge of every brand and practically every shoe sold has helped to transfer a very long list into a clear test field of pointe shoes.
My conversation With Paul Langer, DPM , podiatrist at Twin Cities Orthopedics and partner in a running shoe store, Fleet Feet Minneapolis , gave me insights into research results that show how Running shoes affect (or do not affect) athletes' performance and risk of injury.
Jolan Browne, DPT , head physiotherapist in NYU Running Lab at the NYU Langone Orthopedic Center, explained the biomechanics of running.
Finally I talked to Golden Harper , co-founder of Altra Running . Harper's family was in the running shoe business, so he started taking shoes apart at a young age. As an adult, he developed a shoe with reduced heel cushioning for himself and his friends (he said this shoe felt more natural and comfortable). This shoe became the Altra shoe company, which specializes in no-drop shoes (VF Corporation, the Utah-based parent company of North Face and Timberland, recently bought Altra). Our testers had no contact with Harper when creating this article – they chose the Altra Escalante as the best low-drop running shoe regardless of the conversation with the founder.
I also read scientific studies on running shoes and sports injuries; I was supported by Wirecutter's science editor Leigh Krietsch Boerner . And I read a lot of articles about street running shoes, including stories from Runner's World , Wired and The New York Times (the parent company of Wirecutter).
I have a lot of fitness as far as I'm concerned -related articles written for wirecutter. I am also a running trainer with certifications from USA Track and Field and the Road Runners Club of America, and I run in regional competitions. As a woman, of course, I don't wear men's shoes, so I have my employee Chris Heinonen asked to organize the tests for this article. Chris is 1, 80 meters tall and wearing a US size running shoe 12 (German size 46). He started running shortly after college when he was “pretty out of shape”; 15 Years later he runs everything from short distances to marathons. He claims that running in Portland, Oregon, where he lives, “is best because you can often meet and compete against Olympic and World Champions there while running.”
Who is this article for?
This article is aimed on the one hand at amateur athletes who run to stay fit; on the other hand also to more ambitious amateurs who regularly take part in competitions. A good pair of shoes is essential for hobby athletes, the wrong shoes can cause blisters, broken toenails or worse. The models in this guide have been selected to cover a wide range of sporting activities: shoes that are the only pair of recreational runners, or an all-round option for competitive athletes who need a shoe for light or recreational runs. Some runners may find these shoes not padded enough for long runs to be too heavy for races.
These recommendations are also suitable for (Nordic) walkers; if you go to the gym regularly, however, you should apply different criteria: If you work a lot on weights or move on the elliptical machine, it is better to wear shoes with a flatter sole and less lateral stability.
For this article we have not tested any shoes that meet special requirements , e.g. extremely light shoes, shoes with a lot of cushioning or shoes with a particularly stable construction. These are usually quite expensive and more suitable for niche applications.
How we chose the men's running shoes for the test
Our first pre-selection resulted in almost 90 pair of shoes, so we turned to our experts asking them to evaporate this list. Then we have the ratings on Runner's World , Running Shoes Guru , Competitor Running and RunRepeat and used on Amazon as a further criterion.
We were looking for shoes that both soft steamed as well as springback are (“rebound” effect). These two properties often contradict each other: Additional damping swallows the kinetic energy rather than being returned. If shoes were explicitly advertised as combining both properties, we included them in the test field. If possible we preferred lighter models; however, our experts pointed out that shoes are generally becoming lighter and lighter. Usually, most running shoes have a sole on the heel 10 mm to 12 mm is thicker than the forefoot. Most of the shoes we kept on the list fall into this scheme; But since some runners prefer less heel cushioning and a flatter sole, we have included a few options with little or no heel drop (low or no-drop shoes).
The Price was also important to us, so we have the limit at around 120 Euro drawn – you get good all-round shoes, special shoes are like said considerably more expensive. Our final list included 16 Shoes from 13 Companies: 12 neutral shoes (three with 5 mm or less heel) and four stabilizing shoes.
So we tested
We have ordered every shoe on our list in triplicate:
- Chris tried a pair of each shoe model in size 46 from (or in 47 if the smaller size was not available) and ran in most of them at least a mile.
- He recruited three similarly tall male runners to try on and test all shoes. They rated the fit and comfort when trying it on for the first time and then took one or two pairs of shoes home with them for a running test.
- Also took 16 other male Runner aged 21 to 59 years in the test. Most of these testers run in two recreational running teams: Team Red Lizard in Portland, Oregon, and The Hellgate Road Runners in Astoria, New York. Each tester ran in two pairs of shoes over a period of five weeks, with the only condition that they were around 25 km should be covered. Each tester ultimately ran on average 85 km in every pair of shoes – so we definitely had no laziness in the team!
Most of our testers are competition runners. So they could bring in their extensive experience. Nevertheless, we urged them to take the needs of hobby joggers into account when evaluating them.
Our testers rated the shoes three times: the first try on, after the first run and at the end of the five weeks. Have been rated:
- Damping: The ability of a shoe to absorb or mitigate impacts was critical. We asked the testers to rate both the thickness of the cushion and the quality of each shoe.
- Springback: We defined this as “a rebound effect, that drives you while you run. ” Our testers rated both how much they felt this effect and whether they liked what they felt.
- Comfort: According to our experts, running shoes should be used during the race feel light and “weightless”. We asked the testers to include this feeling in the rating.
- Soil feeling: Running shoes must protect your feet from the ground. However, you should also be able to feel the unevenness and the structure of the floor through the sole so that you can compensate for it during the race.
- Fit: The testers paid attention to how the length, width and fit of her shoes changed over time. They noted how long it took for a shoe to break in.
- Sole and guide: A good running shoe should stabilize the entire foot of a runner without constrictions, pressure or chafing. It shouldn't feel too soft or too firm. To achieve this mix of fit and comfort, the testers were asked to rate both the upper and the sole separately.
- Weight: We preferred in the pre-selection already lighter shoes; but a gram value on a scale is initially just an abstract number. Our testers should also rate the subjective “weight” of the shoes on their feet.
- Design: Many runners pay attention to whether their shoes are attractive, that's why we have the testers asked for their opinion on the look of the running shoes.
Here we tested
Our testers ran almost 3. 00 0 kilometers in all weather conditions over asphalt – in the desert climate of Las Vegas as well as under the Florida sun to the bitter cold of the wintry northeast and the rain and wind of the Pacific Northwest. The runners ran mainly on asphalt paths, but occasionally also on gravel roads, ash tracks, snow and ice. Since the tests took place in January, some runners also switched to the treadmill.
Detailed test report: Mizuno Wave Rider 21
The Mizuno Wave Rider 21 was chosen by our testers because of its generous cushioning and good grip as the best all-rounder. Particularly noteworthy is the 12 mm detonation of the Wave Rider 21 (ie the height difference between the heel and forefoot area), which was described by more than one tester as “sufficiently stable” and “lively”. Another tester wrote: “The [Wave Rider 21] footbed cushions well and supports my arch perfectly.”
Most of our testers agreed that the Wave Rider's mesh upper 21 fits snugly and holds the heel firmly in place – this is positive because too much slip in this area is a common cause of blisters. Several testers noted that the Wave Rider 21 felt narrower than other shoes, but most were satisfied with the fit and comfort. (If the shoe feels tight to you, you can order it in a wide instead of the normal version). One tester said he didn't feel any pressure marks on his somewhat wide feet when wearing these shoes (he felt pressure points in the other shoes he had tested for us). The testers also praised the breathability of the mesh material and the overall “solid” construction of the shoe. They also expected a long service life. (We will check this in long-term tests.)
Reviewers from Runner'sWorld like the Wave Rider 21 also: “Our testers found it difficult just to highlight one outstanding quality – there are many of them. ”He also received a rating of 90 / 100 at RunRepeat; this specialist publication praised the cushioning, support, springback and comfort of the shoe.
The Wave Rider 21 is in six colors and at Amazon in sizes 39 to 47 available. The shoes are also offered in versions for normal and wider feet, although not all colors are available in the wide version. The only difference between the Wave Rider for men and women is its size, so that even men with small feet can use the women's versions.
The main issue raised by some testers was the fit regarding US size information. The Japanese company Mizuno converts the European shoe sizes to US sizes somewhat differently than other manufacturers, so Mizuno shoes are somewhat small in the US market. The recommendation also applies to European buyers that they use the Wave Rider 21 should definitely try on before buying.
This shoe felt heavy for some testers. One commented, “The weight of the shoe was actually a bit lighter than the other shoe I tested, but it felt heavier in my hand and foot … I think that has to do with it that the balance of the shoe tends slightly towards the heel. ” Another tester, who also noted a certain severity, wrote that he “would not sacrifice comfort and cushioning in favor of weight”.
Detailed review: Under Armor Charged Bandit 3
At the Under Armor Charged Bandit 3 particularly liked the seamless, very elastic toe box and the contoured heel counter that guides the foot well. “With some other shoes, you can feel the foot bump into the upper when you turn the foot or step on an edge, but this shoe felt almost like part of my foot,” wrote one tester. Although looks aren't everything, the testers found that the shoe's woven look made it one of the most beautiful specimens in the test field. They also liked the smooth, “lively” feel and light weight of the shoe. The difference between the heel and toe area of the bandit is 8 mm.
Runner's World Tester are also fans of the Charged Bandit 3 and call it a “moderately soft shoe that is also suitable for light jogging training”. His low price also earned him the “Best Buy” recommendation. The impressive rating 95 / 100 on RunRepeat also speaks for itself.
The upholstered cushions of the Charged Bandit 3 are a bit thin – that's why the ranking for second place comes from. The testers also noticed a “subdued” feeling on the ground, which was somewhat surprising given the thinner profile of the sole. The testers also expressed concerns that the relatively smooth sole of the shoes could lose traction on slippery surfaces (however, no one slipped in our tests).
The Under Armor Charged Bandit 3 is available in numerous colors and patterns. There are three width variants (medium, wide and extra wide), whereby the colors are limited in the larger widths. Like our top recommendation, this shoe is unisex designed, so that men with narrower or smaller feet can take a look at the eight women's sizes.
Detailed test report: Asics GT – 2000 6
If you are looking for a stability shoe, we recommend the Asics GT – 2000 6 , which our testers particularly appreciate for its extreme comfort: padded heel collar combined with a soft but supportive sole with 10 mm detonation. A tester normally wears orthoses and could walk well in the Asics even without his insoles. He praised how good the Asics felt and how smooth the transition from heel to toe was – and that his feet didn't hurt after the run. Another tester raised the “noticeably springy” feeling and the good protection of the GT – 2000 – Couple emerging on the sidewalk.
Our testers also estimated the accuracy of fit. “The toe box is pleasantly spacious and my heel sits nicely on the back of the shoe,” said one runner. Another emphasized that the standard width feels “right” to him.
The sixth version of this shoe only came out shortly before our article, so that not too many tests from specialist magazines were available yet. A tester from Running Shoes Guru gave the new version 6 four out of five stars and called it a “workhorse among running shoes that offers stable support and solid comfort for many miles”. Sounds right to us.
Although the Asics GT – 2000 s not that heavy and chunky to the touch like the other stability shoes, it is still not a good shoe for fast runs or races.
A tester considered it unsuitable for the treadmill; another said: “Not really a racing shoe for me as it is neither light enough for short distances nor robust enough for long races”.
Den Asics GT – 2000 6 is only available in one standard width and five color combinations Despite the lack of a wide variant, these shoes will probably fit many runners because the toe box is relatively wide. Asics shoes are mostly unisex , whereby the women's shoes are both narrower and smaller. Again, men can try out the women's sizes if necessary.
Detailed test report: Altra Escalante
If you are looking for a lighter shoe, the Altra Escalante with low drop (low detonation, so very flat sole) is ours first choice. Those of our test runners who preferred to walk in low and no drop shoes loved the Escalante. Like all Altras, the Escalante shoes are characterized by their completely flat sole, so the foam is uniformly thick everywhere. Compared to a neutral shoe, the heel area is therefore less padded. One tester remarked: “For me, the padding is the most important and there is clearly not enough of it here, but the shoes still feel wonderful. Feet and knees cannot complain!”
Note: We interviewed Golden Harper, co-founder of Altra, as part of our research for this article. However, our testers had no contact with Harper during the tests – they chose the Altra Escalante as the best low-drop shoe regardless of the discussions.
Our testers are not the only ones who liked this shoe. It was also in the Runner's World voted Editor's Choice; RunRepeat gives the Escalante a 95 / 100 and places it in the top 3 of its running shoe ranking thanks to its “optimal cushioning”, its low weight and elegant design. According to a critic from RunRepeat, the Escalante “has managed to convert a number of followers from other brands to Altra”. If you are considering a no-drop shoe, try it.
The Escalante (like all Altra shoes) has a very spacious toe box ; According to the Altra website, this is intended to provide enough space for the toes throughout the movement and to prevent chafing or blisters in the forefoot area. “At no time did I feel pressure or friction on my toes – amazing!” wrote a tester.
All of our testers played with the idea of ordering shoes half a size smaller, although they were well aware that Altra deliberately made the toe box spacious designed. With this model, you should choose the size according to the length of your foot, not the width – and definitely try on the shoe before buying. In addition, the change from the thicker heel area of a neutral shoe to a no-drop shoe takes some getting used to – the calves are subjected to much greater stress here. Therefore, start your running training more slowly and gradually increase the training units if you are not used to low-drop shoes.
Altra designs women's shoes differently, so we cannot guarantee that the Escalante in small sizes is also suitable for men.
More men's running shoes in the test
The Adidas Supernova was a hot candidate for 1st or 2nd place, but the running shoe has a narrower fit and it took too long for the shoes to break in. Afterwards, however, the testers praised the well-supporting padding of the supernova with an explosion of 10 mm and the well resilient running behavior. Nevertheless, it was not enough for a top position – the reason a tester puts it this way: “These shoes remind me of a fluffy bedspread. You jump in, love the softness, but then you realize that it is too cozy.”
Most testers liked the Brooks Ghost 10 because of its comfortable fit and the feeling that you could start running right away. In fact, the model is the best running shoe for women. However, many of our male testers felt that the upholstery of this model was too much of a good thing. “I liked how much cushioning [die Brooks] I got, but it was at the expense of a real feel for the ground,” wrote one tester. “They absorbed the energy extremely well when they performed, but hardly rebounded.” Another minus point: A tester said that after a rainy day his couple more than 24 had taken hours to dry.
The Skechers GoRun Ride 7 are chic; and they have a seamless upper and plenty of padding under the soles. However, some of our male testers found this shoe too stiff. One tester said he preferred the GoRun Ride 7 for easy runs but not for races.
Go to Reebok Harmony Road there was a two-part echo. Some praised the “perfect” fit, the ultra-comfortable padding and the elastic, springy feeling while running, others complained about a lack of feeling on the ground and described the shoe as chunky. “It felt like I hit the ground with every kick,” wrote a tester. The design of the Harmony Road also displeased.
Note: After the end of our test phase, Reebok released a second version of the shoe, which did not show any significant change compared to the tested version. Nevertheless, we will keep an eye on the model for future updates.
The New Balance 880 v7 was “neither loved nor hated” by testers. Some praised the snuggly feel of the padded upper, while others said the shoes had no springback and felt rigid. One tester was less ambiguous: “They felt like coconuts on the feet. Let's see if they look for 150 km become a little softer… “
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 felt stiff and inelastic. “It took them ages to break in, but after 100 km they felt really good, “said a (clearly committed) tester. Several testers praised the sole of the shoe with 10 mm explosion and the light running sensation, others complained too little padding.
The On Cloudflow is not for everyone. The striking design with its 7mm heel sole is unique, but not enough for most testers. There was also complaint about too little comfort. Conclusion: “When I got tired in the middle of the run, I noticed the rebound less and the lack of cushioning more,” said one tester.
The Nike Air Zoom Structure 21 was a real competitor for our top recommendation , the Asics GT – 2000 6. Generally, the testers liked the stable, spring-back feeling and the slim fit. They also praised the sufficient cushioning of the sole with 10 mm detonation. However, comments like this were negative: “When my foot hit the sidewalk, the shoe stopped my swing – it was as if I were walking in bricks,” said a tester.
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18 has a jump from 12 mm and is well damped. It is very stable, but also springs well. The problem lies in the fit, which was extremely different depending on the size and width variant. A tester ordered a wide model, but noticed that it wasn't wide enough. Another ordered a standard width version, but the shoes were too loose for him and he had to wear thicker socks. A third tester said he had to tighten the shoelaces very tightly in order to lace the shoes tight enough.
The testers liked the comfortable, soft upper of the New Balance 860 v8 and the firmly padded sole with your 10 mm-blasting. They said the shoe felt stable and supportive, but not overly stiff on the feet. However, this shoe is not as versatile as some of the others in the test field: One tester noticed that he lacked the structure and padding that he would prefer for longer runs. The 860 v8 also had some weaknesses in terms of fit – even the wide variant of the shoe was too tight for a tester with relatively wide feet.
The Hoka One One Clifton 4 gave a firmer feeling than you would have expected given its well-padded exterior. The testers liked how light the hokas felt, but found the rocker-shaped sole with the drop of 5 mm not springy enough. The fit was also a problem – the shoe is too narrow at the toes and too wide at the back.
Outlook: These new men's running shoes are coming up
We will soon test the new version of our recommendation, the Altra Escalante 1.5 .
In the future we want to test light competition shoes and more padded models for long-distance runners. Our test program also includes “smart” shoes with microchips and software for analyzing the wearer's biomechanics.
- Jim McDannald, DPM, Podiatrist, treadmill and wirecutter employee in Montreal , telephone interview, 28. November 2017
- Melanie Kann, running trainer in New York City, personal interview, December 1 2017
- Paul Langer, DPM, Podiatrist at Twin Cities Orthopedics and partner in the running shoe business Fleet Feet Minneapolis , telephone interview, 23. January 2018
- Jolan Browne, DPT, lead physiotherapist in the NYU RunningLab in the NYU Langone Orthopedic Center , telephone interview, 24. January 2018
- Golden Harper, Co-founder of Altra Running , telephone interview, 21. December 2017
The entry “The best men's running shoes in the test” is German Translation of the article “ The Best Running Shoes for Men ” of wirecutter.com . The test was conducted in the United States and was first published in English on the Wirecutter website. The translation is based on the version of 6.7. 2017. The CHIP test center was not involved in the investigation. We removed products that were not available from Amazon Germany at the time of translation. This is the running shoe: Topo Fli-Lyte 2.