As a part of our Best New Running Shoes of 2018, we tested over 35 pairs of sneakers throughout the year. From there, we narrowed down our best new sneakers, pulling out the ones that were on the lower end of the spectrum price-wise, but still performed at a high-level. Whether you’re in the market for a new pair of running sneakers, or are looking to save on your next pair of gym shoes, this list is for you.
Disclaimer: A lot of these shoes are on sale right now, which is what makes them such a great deal. However, they are also all on the lower end of the spectrum as compared to many others within each brand. It’s also worth scouring the web to search for deals if you can. While there are some variations between each iteration of a shoe, just because you like version six doesn’t mean you’ll like version five. Often times brands completely re-do models so we recommend you try them out before committing.
These extremely lightweight runners are built to fit your foot thanks to a foot-shaped toe box, and a thin upper. It’s a racing flat through and through, so lace these up on days when you want to feel zippy around the track. It’s a zero drop shoe and weighs just 4.1-ounces. Since the upper is so thin, it’s easily flexible and will mold to your feet as you continue to run at a quick clip.
361’s stability shoe comes with an engineered mesh upper, a non-irritating tongue and 361’s proprietary foam, QU!kFoam, in the crash pad and forefoot. Everything about this shoe helps to secure your foot from the medial post to the overlay pattern around the midfoot, to lock your foot to the foam. The midsole and cushion are stiff enough to provide a bit of a bouncy feeling, but just hard enough that you’re not going to want to wear them all day long — it’s quite a different feel compared to some of the plush Brooks models we tested. It’s a bit of a heftier shoe at 11.2 ounces, so if you need stability and support, test these out.
Asics GT-2000 6
Everything you know and love Asics for can be found in this stability sneaker. Trussing system technology helps guide your feet into a proper gait, while rear and forefoot gel eliminate shock absorption in your hips — especially during the start of your footfall. Top all that off with a wider forefoot and you have a pair of shoes that’s overflowing with tech features to help runners go for longer. These are built for over-pronators, so if you look at the bottom of your current running shoes and notice there’s a lot more wear on the outside of your heels as opposed to the inside near your big toes, these shoes are calling your name.
New Balance FuelCell Impulse
These New Balances feature a boot-like construction that hugs your entire foot when you put them on. At first, they might feel a bit small, but once you start moving around you’ll be impressed at how normal they feel. They provide immediate feedback when on the treadmill with a goldilocks grip along the tread. The shoes are just 8.2-ounces with a 6-mm drop, they are built for speed. We found that they also double as great travel shoes — you can jump onto machines or lift weights without feeling like your feet are moving around all over the place.
Skechers GoRun Ride 7
We ran a 5K race in these and were shocked at just how plush the GoRun Ride 7 felt. The outsole didn’t look like it could handle a mix of grass, trail, dirt and concrete, but it proved us wrong. The GoRun Ride also has a 6-mm drop (similar to the FuelCell) and weighs 9.3 ounces. The two-tone knit upper is on the more minimalist side for Skechers, and it’s perfectly breathable during a 30-degree day, as well as a humid 70-degree day. The padded collar and tongue are plush touches we could get used to.
Brooks Revel 2
The Revel is part of Brooks’s neutral cushion line with BioMoGo DNA underfoot. It’s still on the plusher side at 10.2-ounces, but only $100, beating both the Glycerin and Ghost pricewise. If you typically run in those shoes and like the fit, feel and look, but need something slightly slimmer, try these. The sleek sneakers have an updated upper featuring flat-knit, heat-activated yarns that won’t stretch as you sweat.
Hoka One One Cavu
These neutral and responsive running shoes would do the trick for an early morning run commuter. The Cavu features a lower midsole than previous Hoka One One sneakers, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not cushioned enough. These handled sprints and daily runs easily, thanks to a fast turnover and a lightweight feel on the feet. With a soft heel and firm forefoot, so heel strikers can enjoy a squishy landing.