Best Running Shoes for Women 2022

We know that the hunt for the perfect running shoe can be a daunting one for many women out there. There are so many choices and so many things to take into consideration before you purchase.

To help simplify your search, we have created the ultimate guide to help you find the right running shoes: from the things you need to consider before you purchase, some common terminology you’ll encounter as you search, and finally our list of the 10 best running shoes for women.

With our help, you’ll have no problem finding the right pair to that will maximize your running performance and offer you the support you need.

Where to Begin

Before your start hunting for running shoes, there are a few things to know about your feet before you begin.

  • Arch. You can narrow down the types of running shoes that will work correctly for your feet by looking at the arch of your feet, as this will tell you how much support you need from the shoes.

If you have a high arch, and therefore less flexible feet, you’ll need the minimum level of support.

If you have a medium arch, you’ll need a medium level of support.

If you have a low arch, you’ll need the maximum level of support for your feet.

  • Gait. Your “gait” refers to your movement: the way that your feet strike the ground and the way that you move your limbs as you run. Having your gait analyzed before you select your running shoes is a great idea. Specialists will look for the way your body moves in order to understand where you need support.  They will check your foot strike (if your feet are hitting the ground on the heel, midfoot, or forefoot), your pronation (if your foot hits the ground on the inner part of your foot) or supination (if your foot hits the ground on the outer part of your foot), your posture, your alignment, and your overall technique. Some have you run barefoot to find out where your body will naturally move your feet in order to keep you safe and upright, subsequently allowing them to see the mistakes that your body is naturally making.
  • Usage. Each runner has specific needs from their shoes, so it’s best to think about where you’ll most likely be running while you have them on. Here are some common running surfaces:
    • Track
    • Pavement/Road
    • Outdoors or Indoors
    • Treadmill
    • Trails
    • Sand or Grass
    • Mix (Your feet take you over a variety of surfaces during the course of your run!)
  • Mileage. How often will you use the shoes? Think about how many miles you run in a week (or even per day) in order to help you narrow down your options.
  • Multiuse. Some use running shoes for sports or activities other than running. Although this is not recommended, it does happen. If you plan to use your running shoes for work, walking or other sports, then you might consider a different shoe completely.

If you do opt for a running shoe, remember that you might end up wearing it out faster. In this case, you might not want to invest as much money into a top-of-the-line running shoe. Those shoes are specifically designed to help runners enhance their performance, while an everyday routine doesn’t require the same results. Think before you buy! It’s worth the time and effort investigated beforehand versus regretting your purchase afterward.

Top 10 Running Shoes for Women Table

PictureNamePriceRating (1-5)
Picture
Name
Price
Rating (1-5)
4132C8r8GFL. SL1101. ASICS Women's Gel Kayano 20 Running Shoe$$$4.7
411bVPDyXzL. SL1102. Salomon Women's Speedcross 3 W Trail Running Shoe$$4.7
41RqSuHdDDL. SL1103. Nike Women's Free Flyknit 4.0 Running Shoe$$$$4.7
41YKc7NmrvL. SL1104. ASICS Women's Gel-Nimbus 16 Lite-Show Running Shoe$$$4.7
51fEW4z9L0L. SL1105. Saucony Women's Cohesion 8 Road Running Shoe$4.7
51jPyS8dp9L. SL1106. Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 14 Running Shoe$$$$4.7
81cYvG1ATaL. UX6957. K-Swiss Women's Tube Run 100 Running Shoe$4.6
41pWgZ XKRL. SL1108. adidas Performance Hyperfast Running Shoe$4.6
41PPLGwth4L. SL1109. Skechers Performance Women's Go Run Ultra Running Shoe$$4.6
513CDNn%2ByBL. SL11010. adidas Women's Powerblaze Running Shoe$4.5

Types of Shoes

There are a variety of running shoes on the market today. You’ll most likely see the following as you search:

  • Minimalist – These are lightweight and don’t offer much arch support (some people don’t need it which is why they choose this type).
  • Stability – More arch support for those with some overpronation problems.
  • Barefoot – Minimal amount of protection. A particular option for runners with very specific running goals in mind.
  • Cushioned – These have a higher level of shock absorption and offer more stability. Great for trail running.
  • Motion Control – For those with low arches or with severe overpronation.

A Few General Tips

  • It’s a good idea to try on running shoes at the end of the day. After you’ve been walking around or using your feet throughout the day they tend to swell a bit, so you should try on shoes when your feet are at their largest size. This will help you to find properly fitting shoes instead of shoes that are too small.
  • Make sure to bring along any shoe inserts that you use on a daily basis, such as orthotics. They will need to fit properly in your running shoes, as well.
  • Remember, don’t purchase a pair of running shoes based on aesthetics! Your feet will be wearing your shoes, not your eyes. If you find the right pair of shoes but don’t like the color, there are usually other color combinations to choose from. Many of the shoes above come in different colors, so don’t worry if you aren’t fond of the particular ones you see before you.
  • Sometimes the best running shoes for women are actually men’s running shoes. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the women’s section, try heading to the men’s section. Some men’s shoes will work well on women’s feet, so you could use that as plan-B if you can’t seem to find the right fit for you. In general, men’s shoes are wider and some women have better luck with them. If you see a pair that you like above, then you’ll most likely find the same style and model designed for men. It’s worth a try if you really like a pair!
  • Didn’t order the right size? It’s pretty easy to ship them back and exchange them for the right one. Check the company’s exchange policy before you order to see how they handle this.

You want a shoe that will help you to be the best runner you can be. Now that you’re armed with the proper knowledge when it comes to shopping for running shoes, head out there and find the perfect pair for your feet!

Top 5 Best Running Shoes for Women Reviews

1. ASICS Women’s Gel Kayano

4132C8r8GFL

We chose the ASICS Women’s GEL-Kayano 20 as best running shoes for women. It’s packed with all of the desired features from the sole to the laces, and offers runners comfort and security as they run.

Many runners like the feel that a gel-filled sole gives them, and these shoes have both forefoot and rearfoot gel systems. This is great for absorbing shock during impact (when your foot touches the ground) and toe-off (when you push back off the ground during your next stride).

The mesh used offers each wearer a glove-like fit, while still keeping the foot cool and aerated. It also has a heel clutching system, which means that your heels and ankles remain snug and supported.

The middle of the shoe as a Guidance Trusstic System, which helps enhance your gait (your movement) and provides support for the arch. This is especially helpful for those with flat arches or those who have orthotics. The latter will fit easily in the shoe to offer the custom comfort and support that your feet (and your entire body) need.

Far from clunky and heavy, these lightweight shoes will make you feel like you’re running on air.

2. Salomon Women’s Speedcross 3

411bVPDyXzL

We included the Salomon Women’s Speedcross on our top three because, apart from being a great shoe, they represent the quality that one needs for trail running. Not all runners are alike, and many of you out there find yourselves on some rough and rocky surfaces as you run. You need a shoe that can keep up, and the Salomon is definitely capable.

They effectively combine the support of a running shoe with the traction of a trail shoe, just what you need as you hit the trails. Whether you find yourself on muddy slopes or an icy downhill jog, you’ll feel secure with the rugged Contagrip sole.

Since trail running often takes one through damp or even snowy areas, you’ll be relieved to know that the upper mesh is water-resistant. There is also a mudguard that runs along the base of the shoe. Extra-moisture protection!

No fumbling with laces when it comes to this running shoe. You can quickly tighten or loosen the laces in one quick pull. Tuck them out of the way when you are done.

These shoes are great for hiking, too, but just remember that they are designed to help your running performance on trails. If you wear them regularly during runs on pavement, then you’ll wear them out more quickly.

3. Nike Women’s Free Flyknit 4.0

41RqSuHdDDL

The Nike Women’s Free 4.0 Flyknits are rather unique, as the entire body of the shoe is covered in a knit mesh. It’s like a sweater on your shoe!

These are extremely flexible and lightweight, and they hug your feet with just the right amount of pressure. The toe of the shoe has ample space, and the overall support offered is perfect for neutral runners who don’t need any extra special foot support.

These shoes tend to run on the smaller side, so when you order, think about going up a half size or maybe even a full size. Check the measurement chart carefully before you order and measure your own foot for accuracy.

These are awesome running shoes that will make you feel more like you’re running on air.

4. ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 16

41YKc7NmrvL

We have another pair of ASICS on our top five list because this company know how to make a great running shoe. They’ve been perfecting them since 1949!

One of the neat features of these shoes is that they’ve got a glow in the dark heel, which is great if you head out running in before sunrise or after dark.

It offers great cushioning and shock absorption with the rearfoot and forefoot gel systems.

It keeps your foot snug and has a higher lip than the other pair of ASICS mentioned above and doesn’t feature the trusstic system. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it just means that these shoes will work great for those who don’t need the type of support that the other pair of ASICS offers. If you are a long distance runner and/or you typically suffer from joint and muscle pain, these are the shoes for you. Wide feet, narrow feet, flat feet? Again, you’ll want a pair of these ASICS!

5. Saucony Women’s Cohesion 8

51fEW4z9L0L

If you’re looking for a quality running shoe but aren’t really thrilled at the idea of paying a fortune, then look no further than the Saucony Women’s Cohesion 8 Running Shoes.

Just as the previous pair, this also has reflectors should you head out in the early morning or late evening hours.

For high arched feet or those with pronation or supination problems, you’ll find stability in these shoes.

We suggest double-checking the manufacturer’s sizing chart and measuring your foot before you order. Remember to leave yourself a bit of extra room, maybe a half size larger, if you have orthotics.

An experienced runner and an active mom, Kelly is the research expert behind runninggearlab.com When you don't find Kelly training for her next 10k or 5k race you'll find her reading reviews and testing the latest running watch.

      Running Gear Lab
      Logo