10 Best Black Running Shoes in 2021

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on

Best overall

Thanks for making our daily runs nice and stable, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21! The upper hugged our feet well, and the midsole is balanced - it's neither mushy nor too rigid. It just kept our motions in check, preventing any excessive movements. It's certainly not a light shoe, but having tested its precursors, we can say that Brooks is heading in the right direction! Apart from support, what stood out to us also is its tank-like durability.
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Already in its fifth version, the Nike Revolution is a budget-friendly shoe we think runs best if you're a runner who logs less than 10 miles per week. It's not durable, and it's not responsive, but if you're new to running, it's a good start. Just don't expect something that will wow your feet. Overall, it's a daily trainer for neutral runners who don't want to dig deep into their pockets.
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Best road

If you want a shoe that screams comfort, we couldn't recommend the Brooks Ghost 13 enough! It's a neutral daily trainer that's padded so generously all throughout, it felt like a couch to our feet. It didn't make us run fast, but it made our feet stable and protected from all the pounding on the pavement - easily, this is our champion on long, easy-paced runs!
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The Ghost 14 from Brooks really fits the bill as the shoe for all runners. It's a workhorse that's comfy enough for easy days, responsive for tempo sessions, and is heavy-duty to handle light trails. Overall, a no-fuss daily trainer that will work for all your runs!
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Best trail

The Altra Lone Peak 5.0 is a trail shoe that will make run with confidence! It's sturdy underfoot, supportive, and it's got the right blend of comfort and responsiveness. Throw in any terrain, and this show will bite its way through them!
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A road shoe or a trail shoe? For us, it's a little bit of both in the Pegasus Trail 2 from Nike! While it shines in short-distance runs on light, hard-packed trails, and is decent in mid-distance efforts, its plush cushioning just felt more fitting for the pavement rather than the trails. This is a shoe where comfort and protection reign!
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Best Nike

If there's one thing we can't take away from the Pegasus 38, it's that it's the GOAT of all workhorse shoes in our arsenal! It oozes with plushness, stability, and pop, doing it all from slow days, tempo sessions, and gym workouts even. If you want to run with fun, take the Pegasus any day!
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In the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2, our feet just felt locked in place! And even after rough wear testing, this daily trainer proved itself a durable shoe. It's loaded with lots of cushion that's not too soft nor too rigid, making it supportive and ideal for heavy runners. As a daily running shoe, it sticks to what it's designed to do - it's not going to make you run fast, but it does offer a smooth, easy ride.
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Best budget

If we were stuck with only one running shoe that can do it all, without a second thought, we'd pick the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37. It's a workhorse, and it does its job too damn well! It can handle daily runs, long miles, and it doesn't do less in tempo sessions either. Even better, it's comfy and bouncy, generating a fun ride whatever the pace!
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It's affordable and durable, the Alphanounce+ is a daily running shoe we'd highly recommend if you want one shoe for running and cross-training. It can handle easy miles, and when you want to push the pace a bit, it can too! Where this shoe stands out, however, is in the comfort arena. While it may not be our winner for neutral daily trainer, it surely does it for us as a great-value shoe!
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Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.