The Best Shoes for Outdoor Running: Our Top 8 Picks

Running outdoors is an excellent way to stay active, get some fresh air, and clear your mind. However, before hitting the pavement or trail, it’s crucial to have the right pair of shoes that can provide comfort, support, and safety during outdoor runs. In this guide, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about choosing the best shoes for outdoor running.

Shoes for Outdoor Running

Factors to Consider

When it comes to selecting shoes for outdoor running, there are several factors that you should consider. These include durability, breathability, support, cushioning, and traction. The following are some of the things to keep in mind when selecting shoes for outdoor running.


Running shoes must be durable enough to withstand the wear and tear that comes with regular use. Look for shoes made from high-quality materials that can withstand different types of terrain.


Running shoes should also be breathable to keep your feet cool and dry during runs. Shoes with breathable mesh upper material are perfect for outdoor running.


Shoes that provide excellent support help prevent injuries during running. Look for shoes with a supportive midsole and heel counter that can provide stability and control.


Cushioning is also essential when selecting shoes for outdoor running. Shoes with adequate cushioning absorb shock, reducing the risk of injury.


Finally, traction is essential when running on uneven surfaces like trails with loose rocks. Shoes with good traction provide stability and prevent slips and falls.

Our Top 8 Running Shoe Picks

With all these considerations in mind, our in-depth research, expert reviews, and customer feedback bring you eight recommendations of the best shoes for outdoor running:

ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23

This shoe provides excellent cushioning with its FlyteFoam technology providing a soft yet responsive underfoot feel allowing longer distance runs without much strain on joints and reducing risk factors such as shin splints or plantar fasciitis. It’s also breathable and durable, making it a perfect choice for outdoor running.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

For those looking for stability while still having a lot of responsiveness, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is an excellent choice. It features their DNA LOFT crash pad which helps relieve pressure points, making it perfect if prone to overpronation issues. It’s also lightweight and durable, making it suitable for outdoor running.

Hoka One One Clifton 8

A popular option among runners due to its lightweight construction combined with maximum cushioning. The cushioning is provided by Hoka’s Meta-Rocker technology that helps propel forward movement with ease whilst minimizing impact upon landing. Its durable construction and breathability make it a top choice for outdoor running.

Saucony Ride ISO 2

Offering flexibility thanks to its EVERUN topsole layer, it also features optimal shock absorption via its PWRFOAM midsole material providing consistent energy return throughout your run, thus keeping your feet feeling comfortable even during long-distance pushes. Its durable outsole and breathability make it perfect for outdoor running.

New Balance Fresh Foam X Beacon v3

This New Balance model features a sleek design that combines style with performance, delivering an ultra-plush ride from heel-to-toe utilizing their data-driven design elements to enable dynamic footstrike patterns suitable across varying terrain types such as road, gravel paths, and dirt trails. Its lightweight construction and durability make it a top choice for outdoor running.

Nike Air Zoom Structure 24

This shoe has been designed specifically for runners seeking both stability along with ample arch support using Flywire cables integrated into the midfoot. These ensure a snug fit whilst maintaining a natural range of motion and movement. This combo aids in swift strides during interval training sessions. Its durable outsole and breathable construction make it a great option for outdoor running.

Salomon Speedcross Trail Shoe

If off-road adventures pique your interest, then Salomon’s Speedcross Trail Shoe could be up your alley. This shoe is crafted from a Gore-Tex waterproof fabric upper. A complete deep lug outsole patterned surface offers reliable grip even when conditions are wet and slippery. Its durable construction and exceptional traction make it a top choice for trail running.

Altra Lone Peak 5 Trail Running Shoe

Offering a zero-drop platform that promotes a more natural gait, the Altra Lone Peak 5 Trail Running Shoe is a great option for outdoor running. Its ultra-durable sole protects against sharp rocks, branches, and other obstacles you might encounter while traversing tough terrains. The Lone Peak 5 features a spacious toe-box allowing toes a bit more flex and wiggle room, contributing to an overall enhanced feeling of balance, control, and footing alignment.


Choosing the proper footwear before taking on any form of physical activity cannot be understated, especially regarding high-impact activities like outdoor running where the lower extremities take a lot of blunt force impacts. It’s essential to take into consideration the terrain you will be running and make sure the shoe you choose will protect you from injury.

Outdoor Running Shoes
Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

The ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21, Hoka One One Clifton 8, Saucony Ride ISO 2, New Balance Fresh Foam X Beacon v3, Nike Air Zoom Structure 24, Salomon Speedcross Trail Shoe, and Altra Lone Peak 5 Trail Running Shoe are all excellent options for outdoor running, depending on your needs and preferences.

Choose a pair of shoes that provides the right balance of support, cushioning, and traction to keep you comfortable and safe during your outdoor runs. If your going to be off-trail a lot, check out the types of hiking boots, in case you might need something different. Happy running!

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