If you are a professional or recreational runner eager to start the new season, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve prepared the most comprehensive selection of the best men’s running shoes money can buy in 2022.
The shoes on this list will take your game to the next level and help you beat personal records. So, if you want to be faster than ever, let’s check them out.
- BEST RUNNING SHOES IN 2022: OUR EVALUATION METHODOLOGY
- – COMFORT
- – DESIGN
- – PERFORMANCE
- – COST
- 1. NIKE ZOOMX VAPORFLY NEXT% 2
- 2. HOKA® SPEEDGOAT 4
- 3. NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM 880V11
- 4. MERRELL VAPOR GLOVE 5 – LOW
- 5. NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 38
- 6. SALOMON WILDCROSS 2 GORE-TEX
- 7. MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 25 2E
- 8. BROOKS RUNNING ADRENALINE GTS 22
- 9. ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 23
- 10. SAUCONY ENDORPHIN SPEED 2
BEST RUNNING SHOES IN 2022: OUR EVALUATION METHODOLOGY
Nowadays, retailers offer an endless array of models and designs of running shoes. As a result, choosing the ideal option can be tricky, especially if you are new to running. The best course of action if you are buying a new running shoe is to take the time to consider the following elements:
As we all know, uncomfortable shoes are a nightmare, and no one wants blisters or painful feet. So, start by checking the overall comfort. For instance, the cushioning on the tongue can play a crucial role in reducing lace pressure, so double-check these elements as well.
Besides breaking speed records, most recreational runners want to look good while wearing their new running shoes. Thus, they have to consider the aesthetic aspects, such as color, shape, logo, and many others. In this case, no universal rules can apply, so use your personal preferences to buy the models you like the most.
Of course, there’s no point in buying high-quality running shoes if you don’t plan to perform at your best. So, aspiring runners should check the shoe’s terrain compatibility alongside energy returns provided by the soles. In other words, look for models suitable for your experience level and the area where you plan to exercise.
Last but not least, throw a glance at the price tag because high-end running shoes can reach staggering prices. For that reason, compare several models to make an informed decision and get your money’s worth. For instance, we included models from various price ranges to meet many runners’ needs.
1. NIKE ZOOMX VAPORFLY NEXT% 2
Experienced runners know it’s best to start fast and finish even faster. For that reason, we’ll open the list of the best running shoes with the global leader in footwear and sports apparel. After all, Nike, Inc. has been around since 1964, creating an army of fans worldwide. Of course, Nike’s running shoes are famous globally, with many pro athletes choosing this brand.
For example, the second generation of Nike ZoomX VaporFly delivers unrivaled performances and features an eye-catching design. As such, this famous model will leave an impression on anyone while pushing you towards your PB. The VaporFly Next 2 is suitable for marathons and 10Ks, or any other racing category. Thanks to the redesigned structure, this running shoe offers maximum versatility and flexibility regarding surfaces and terrains.
Notably, the full-length carbon plate provides responsiveness and an excellent energy return. In other words, it will add bounce to your step. On the other hand, Nike ZoomX VaporFly Next 2 also features a reinvented upper mesh for extra breathability. Plus, the soft fabric cradles the foot, reducing discomfort and fatigue.
As expected, these premium running shoes also come with forefoot reinforcements for extra security and durability. A spacious toe area offers a roomy fit, while the internal foam in the heel area provides additional cushioning. If that’s not all, we should also mention the grooves on the sole for multi-surface traction in any weather.
2. HOKA® SPEEDGOAT 4
The second entry on our list comes from a relatively young French company with the full name of Hoka One One. Of course, most shorten this to Hoka, but the essence remains: this manufacturer knows how to make top-quality athletic shoes. Moreover, Hoka running shoes are famous for their lightweight construction and ultra-durable materials.
As the name says, Hoka Speedgoat 4 is the fourth iteration of an award-winning running shoe. Interestingly, Hoka named this model after Karl Speedgoat Meltzer, the iconic ultrarunner.
So, given that they cherish the legacy of such a legend, the Speedgoat shoes have a reputation to maintain. And they perform this task brilliantly, thanks to their 3D printed overlays and a breathable mesh upper. Likewise, the gusseted tongue comes with strategic cutouts for increased ventilation.
Hoka Speedgoat 4 features a lightweight foam midsole and a wider forefoot for improved stability and maximum comfort. Most importantly, this model comes equipped with the famous Vibram Megagrip outsole for a secure grip in wet or dry conditions. In addition, zonal rubber inserts work in combo with 5mm lugs to ensure stability on any surface. So, if trail running is your passion, Hoka Speedgoat 4 is the best running shoe you’ll find.
3. NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM 880V11
The previous brand was a younger one, so we decided to once again go back through time. Namely, the following company has more than a hundred years of experience, given that it appeared in 1906. Over the years, New Balance changed its name a couple of times, but the quality remained. So, that’s why the cool-looking Fresh Foam 880v11 model more than deserves a spot on this list.
Available in dozens of colors, this model is among the best-looking athletic shoes out there. Then again, New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11 offers much more than good looks, including a responsive top-bed foam and a double jacquard mesh. As a result, the double-layer midsole provides ultimate comfort and cushioning.
Arguably, New Balance Fresh Foam is the most durable running shoe on this list because this workhorse of a shoe has a molded heel counter and a blown rubber outsole. In other words, everything about the Fresh Foam 880v11 running shoe is there to provide maximum longevity and resilience.
Thanks to a 10mm drop and the responsive foam, this model pushes you forward without affecting stability. More importantly, you can choose between standard, wide, narrow, and X-wide models to suit the shape of your feet and find the ideal running shoe.
4. MERRELL VAPOR GLOVE 5 – LOW
It’s about time we introduced something different, and we opted for a minimalist running shoe from Merrell. This iconic American brand has been around since 1981, gathering experience and making high-performance athletic shoes and hiking boots. Of course, Merell also produces sandals, jackets, hoodies, and backpacks, but we’ll focus on the fifth iteration of the Merrell Vapor Glove trail running shoe.
Believe it or not, this barely-there model weighs only ten ounces (260 gr), ranking it among the lightest shoes in 2022. As expected, ultra-light shoes improve performances, especially with long-distance running. The Vapor Glove 5 mimics the shape of your foot and reduces discomfort or fatigue.
Another noteworthy aspect of these running shoes relates to Eco-friendliness. Namely, Merell opted for 100% recycled materials in the laces and the top sheet. The mesh lining features a 40% recycled fabric. In addition, the Vibram Ecostep comprises 30% recycled rubber, thus making Merrell Vapor Glove 5 an ideal trail running shoe for Eco-conscious runners.
Also, we should mention the innovative Merrell Barefoot 2 technology to provide stability and keep the foot in its natural position. Likewise, the fifth generation features a stretch collar for effortless on and off.
5. NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 38
After a specialized shoe like the Merrell Vapor Glove 5, we return to an all-around model that provides an excellent price to value ratio. Over the years, Nike Pegasus has reached legendary status within the runners’ community, and model 38 continues down the well-trodden path.
In essence, Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is a classic daily trainer for recreational runners. At the same time, this workhorse, with its responsive construction, will also benefit pro runners.
Since Pegasus 38 comes with a wider forefoot, it provides extra space for the toes. Thus, the shoe will feel comfortable during long-distance sessions. Likewise, the foam in the tongue will boost the points for comfort and softness.
Of course, Nike Air Zoom running shoes are famous for the bounce they give to your step, thanks to the renowned Nice React technology. So, expect the same from Pegasus 38, given that durable foam and the extra cushioning are as responsive as they get.
Overall, this running shoe is an excellent option for beginners who need a versatile running shoe at an affordable price. Most importantly, Nike offers these shoes in dozens of colors and many sizes while allowing you to choose between the Regular and Extra Wide fit.
6. SALOMON WILDCROSS 2 GORE-TEX
The following model should be right up your alley if you enjoy running in muddy and soft terrains. After all, Salomon is a French brand famous for its high-quality sports equipment and outdoor-oriented clothing. Established in 1947, Salomon also has plenty of experience in the business, so it’s no surprise they make top-quality running shoes.
As the name says, the Wildcross 2 features waterproof GORE-TEX technology, allowing you to run in almost any weather. And even though they only come in black, these trail running shoes have sporty lines to make them attractive and eye-catching.
The second generation of the Salomon Wildcross shoe has a higher heel than the first iteration. Also, Wildcross 2 comes equipped with a new upper and the award-winning Contagrip technology for an all-terrain grip. In addition, the SensiFit system provides stability and security by cradling the foot in a snug fit.
The rugged Salomon Wildcross 2 is among the best running shoes for muddy terrains because it features Chevron lugs for multi-directional grip and improved traction. Meanwhile, the high-rebound midsole gives a significant energy return pushing you forward. The OrthoLite insole provides cushioning and boosts the points for comfort.
7. MIZUNO WAVE RIDER 25 2E
You guessed by now that we have a weak spot for tradition and heritage. That’s why the following entry on the list of the best running shoes comes from a 115-year-old company founded in Osaka, Japan.
In essence, Mizuno is a Japanese corporation focused on manufacturing quality yet affordable sportswear. And since we mentioned tradition, it’s only fair we added the 25th generation of the Wave Raider among the elite.
Besides the improved aesthetics, these versatile running shoes come with upgraded Mizuno ENERZY, a responsive, eco-friendly plate. This element disperses the impact energy, reducing stress to your calves and joints. Of course, the durable X10 carbon rubber outsole also helps with this process.
Mizuno Wave Rider 25 2E combines excellent responsiveness with top-drawer breathability. The patented mesh upper protects the feet while ensuring effortless ventilation. Most importantly, the materials are durable and resilient, capable of handling plenty of wear and tear.
Overall, these shoes weigh only 9.6 ounces and offer a 12 mm drop. So, considering the success of previous versions, it’s safe to say that the 25th Wave Rider deserves the attention it gets. If you need a cool-looking running shoe for recreational purposes, this model could be the ideal option.
8. BROOKS RUNNING ADRENALINE GTS 22
The next entry on our list also comes from an American brand, given that Brooks Sports has its HQ next to Lake Union in Seattle. The company has been around since 1914, and in the early days, Brooks manufactured bath and ballet shoes. Today, they also have high-end running shoes in their arsenal, including the Adrenaline GTS 22.
Over the years, this model created a global fan base, becoming a runners’ favorite. The latest edition of the attractive Adrenaline GTS series brings several improvements, including the supportive GuideRails technology. Besides feet, this system provides extra support to your knees and hips, allowing you to stay in your stride and continue moving.
Brooks Running Adrenaline GTS 22 also features DNA LOFT cushioning for a smooth and comfortable ride. These running shoes come equipped with a new midsole and a breathable upper.
For those looking for a reliable, budget-friendly running shoe, Brooks Adrenaline GTS could be the shoe to take your running game to the next level. After all, the balance provided by this model is up there with the best shoes for everyday runs. The added support results in extra soft landings, protecting you from injuries and aches.
9. ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 23
Still with us? Okay, then it’s time to revisit Japan and check what another renowned manufacturer has in its arsenal. Ever since it appeared in 1949, ASICS has been at the forefront of the athletic footwear segment, driving the industry forward with continuous invention and improvements.
So, that’s why we selected their bestselling model as a serious contender for the title of the best running shoe in 2022. The attention-grabbing ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23 MK is a high-quality model for road running and summer seasons. If you have high arch feet, these shoes could be the model you’ve been waiting for.
Notably, the Gel-Cumulus is a high-mileage running shoe because ASICS opted for durable, premium materials. For instance, the proprietary MONO-SOCK upper cradles the foot in all the right areas. At the same time, this model features improved GEL technology for a cloud-like feel and unrivaled comfort.
In addition, we should mention the FLYTEFOAM cushioning that will propel you forward while keeping the shoe lightweight and performance-ready. As we said, this Japanese brand is all about innovation and modern technologies, so you’ll be glad to hear that Gel-Cumulus features a 3D Space construction. This structure reduces pronation and provides targeted support at all times.
10. SAUCONY ENDORPHIN SPEED 2
Finally, we come to the oldest name on this list, given that Saucony goes back to 1898. Yes, you’ve read it right; this American brand has a 124-year history! Best of all, Saucony combines traditional manufacturing with cutting-edge technologies. For that reason, many runners will agree that Endorphin Speed 2 is also among the best running shoes out there.
As expected, the second generation of this high-quality shoe brings various improvements. Most importantly, the SPEEDROLL technology creates a responsive platform to push the runner forward and increase speed. Likewise, the ultralight PWRRUN PB cushioning gives this shoe more than enough softness.
From what we’ve seen, Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 could be the perfect option for daily runs and workouts. The full-length nylon plate ensures flexibility, while the FORMFIT technology provides a snug fit.
In total, the Endorphin Speed 2 running shoes weigh only 7.9 ounces with an 8mm offset. Of course, Saucony opted for many recycled materials, and the reinforced XT-900 outsole is abrasion-resistant and sturdy. Since breathability is vital for long-distance running, these shoes also feature a patented mono-mesh upper. Thus, the Endorphin Speed 2 has everything you could need from a modern running shoe.
From what we’ve seen, each of these models could be a worthwhile investment for the pro or recreational runners. At the same time, the likes of Speedgoat 4 from HOKA or the Pegasus from Nike attract the most attention and, arguably, stand above the rest.
In any case, you’ll receive top-quality comfort and ultimate performance if you opt for any of these best running shoes for 2022.