7 Best Lightweight Running Shoes For Men in 2022

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Lightweight Running Shoes For Men in 2022

For speed freaks and competitive runners, whether on the road or the muddy trails, the lighter the shoe, the better it is. We all love that barely-there feel while having that needed support and protection.

With a high-performance lightweight running shoe, you will get a boost in pace and challenge the pros on race day or at least beat your PB.

We've rounded up 200+ of the best men's lightweight running shoes on the market, from Saucony to Nike to Brooks, to make sure that you've the perfect footwear for your speed training sessions or the coming race. But how do you know you’ve the right pair? This guide can help you. Ready? Set, go.

How we test running shoes

We do our due diligence and handpick all the men’s shoes on the market today that weigh less than 8.8 oz (250 grams) in US size 9. We don’t discriminate when it comes to brands (around 30 of them out there) in this initial selection process. What is most important is how they fare and perform when we put them into our rigorous evaluation process, which involves the following:

  • We buy all the running shoes from our own pocket to avoid any taint of brand loyalty and bias.
  • We cut the shoes into essential parts in our testing lab, like we really dismember a shoe into little pieces.
  • We then measure 30+ parameters of a particular model and closely check their midsole construction, breathability, and durability, among others.
  • We go outside and run at least 30 or more miles for each pair, in various speed training and racing conditions. We evaluate each model based on our own personal experience.
  • We collect more information from shoe experts and regular users. We reduce all their feedback in a summary.

To conclude the whole process, we assign each pair of shoes a CoreScore from 0 to 100. The top-rated models go straight to our best picks in different categories.

Best men's lightweight running shoes overall

Hoka One One Mach 4
Hoka One One Mach 4

Corescore

92
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 8,554 users
94 / 100 from 28 experts

Pros

  • Glove-like fit
  • Perfect lockdown
  • Has an elf tab
  • Lightweight
  • Balanced 
  • Superb comfort
  • Extremely stable
  • Large reflective elements

Cons

  • Stiff for an everyday trainer
  • Not a tempo shoe either
  • Break-in period needed

Verdict

The Hoka Mach 4 is what we consider a do-it-all daily running shoe that shines in medium to medium/fast days. It's touted as a fast shoe, but we didn't find it speed-inspiring. It's light and nimble, but not mushy, making it a shoe that's comfortable enough for daily runs and capable when the pace is pushed. What's surprising is that this Hoka doesn't skimp on padding, but it's one of our ultralight shoes!
See our full review and facts

Best road lightweight running shoes for men

Saucony Endorphin Speed
Saucony Endorphin Speed

Corescore

93
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 4,594 users
92 / 100 from 28 experts

Pros

  • Fast & responsive
  • Cushioned especially for the long runs
  • Spring, trampoline effect
  • Excellent durability 
  • Featherweight like a race shoe
  • Breathable
  • True to size
  • Perfect foot lock
  • Incredible value

Cons

  • Needs adaptation period 
  • Questionable grip on wet surfaces

Verdict

Among all the shoes we've tested, nothing comes close to how the Saucony Endorphin Speed fits the bill as a speedster that can certainly go the distance! Whether it's a 10K, half marathon, or marathon, you can set PBs in this baby! Might feel weird while walking or jogging, but becomes a perfect fit when you really pick up the pace. It's made for speed, and it sticks to that!
See our full review and facts

Best trail lightweight running shoes for men

Saucony Switchback 2
Saucony Switchback 2

Corescore

87
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 864 users
88 / 100 from 7 experts

Pros

  • Secure lockdown from the BOA
  • Rock plate gives protection
  • Solid grip 
  • Light and nimble
  • Durable outsole
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Lacks breathability and drainage

Verdict

A minimalist trail shoe from Saucony, the Switchback 2 is a great runner that can take you from the road to the trails. Whether you're out for a light trail run or picking up the pace, it will help you feel fast and nimble. The shoe provides just the right amount of protection and grip to let you have that ground feel and cruise confidently on moderate and mellow terrains.
See our full review and facts

Best Nike lightweight running shoes for men

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2

Corescore

91
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 320 users
89 / 100 from 16 experts

Pros

  • Insanely lightweight
  • Very breathable 
  • Bouncy
  • Responsive 
  • FAST
  • No break-in period needed
  • Good grip on dry surfaces

Cons

  • Not ideal for wide feet
  • Unstable
  • Forefoot strikers only

Verdict

The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2 is probably one of the fastest shoes on the market, but it has some problems that I think the majority of runners will agree with. It’s unstable, a bit too narrow still, looks ridiculous and hits the pocket book hard. If your job is to run fast, or you’re a sponsored athlete I think these shoes may be the tool to help you win, but for the average joe who wants to drop 2 minutes off their 5K time, it may be too much tech in a shoe designed for the 1% club.
See our full review and facts

Best Asics lightweight running shoes for men

Asics Noosa Tri 13
Asics Noosa Tri 13

Corescore

92
Superb!
4.7 / 5 from 7,207 users
87 / 100 from 10 experts

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Perfect fit
  • Do-it-ALL shoe
  • Lightweight
  • Springy ride
  • Spacious toebox
  • Secure lockdown
  • Good ground contact
  • Durable
  • Great straight out of the box

Cons

  • Not for wet surfaces
  • Bold design is not for everyone

Verdict

A triathlon shoe, the Asics Noosa Tri 13 is a standalone that made our road runs fun and fast! It's comfortable enough for long days, it's agile for the speedier runs or races, and is equally perfect for short-distance efforts. Although very cushioned, we never felt any dragging. And like a true Asics, this shoe is built to last!
See our full review and facts

Best value lightweight running shoes for men

Under Armour Flow Velociti Wind
Under Armour Flow Velociti Wind

Corescore

91
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 290 users
90 / 100 from 25 experts

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Very comfy
  • Real-time coaching
  • Flexible
  • Breathable
  • Looks

Cons

  • Runs small
  • Pricey

Verdict

The Under Armour Flow Velocity Wind is a great alternative to those who want a light, comfortable and responsive shoe with a little tech flair to spice things up. It does deliver the promise of fast, durable, and light. When used correctly, it can actually help improve running dynamics and promote healthier running.
See our full review and facts
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.