7 Best Neutral Running Shoes in 2023

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic on
7 Best Neutral Running Shoes in 2023
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Neutral running shoes are intended for people with neutral pronation, when the foot is not rolling inwards excessively. These shoes have no additional stabilizers or foot guiding features.

Making up around 85% of the running shoe market, there is more than plenty of neutral shoes to choose from. We have personally tested over 100 of these shoes from 30+ brands to pick out the cream of the crop.

Be it a go-to daily trainer that you’re after, a race-day shoe, or a rugged trail option, we’ve got our top picks in five different categories.

You can also learn more about pronation and other nitty-gritties of running shoes in the bottom section of this guide.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to educate, not to make any medical diagnosis or recommendation.

How we test running shoes

There are thousands of good running shoes out there. But we know how to pick the great ones.

How? We are a team of running shoe fanatics equipped with a shoe testing lab and a set of strict criteria:

  • Every shoe gets cut into pieces and is measured on 30+ different parameters, from cushioning softness to upper breathability to shoelace slippage.
  • Our testers log 30-50 miles on average to test each pair in a variety of conditions.
  • We do not receive shoes for free, all products are purchased with our own money to keep us unbiased.
  • Our system aggregates all available expert and user reviews on every single shoe.

Our findings are then summarized in a CoreScore. It is a number from 0 to 100 which helps to compare each shoe against 1700+ other neutral running shoes.

The top picks make it to this list.

Best neutral running shoes overall

What makes it the best?

The PUMA Deviate Nitro is back with a significant update that makes an already great shoe even better. It’s really comfortable, which is not always the case for carbon-plated shoes, and it’s extremely versatile. As a result, we have a real do-it-all companion to take on the road for every run, not to mention the quality-price ratio, which basically makes it a no-brainer.


  • Great all-rounder
  • Super-smooth and responsive ride
  • Plush cushioning
  • Comfy upper
  • Grippy outsole
  • Above average durability
  • Fairly priced


  • Heavier than other similar shoes
  • Not many colors available
Full review of PUMA Deviate Nitro 2

Today's best price

Any color
Black (37680701)
Azul (37680709)
Orange (37680712)
Black (37756701)
Black (37680711)
Sunset Glow (37680703)
Amarelo (37680705)
Bianco (37680704)

Best neutral running shoes for race

What makes it the best?

Top-tier race shoe from Adidas gets an update. In 2020 V1 won a ton of praise and world records with its carbon rod (and plate) design and Lightstrike Pro midsole. The super shoe category was once owned but just one brand but in 2021 there’s some serious contenders for best in show.


  • Breathable
  • Responsive
  • Carbon rods
  • Soft midsole
  • Laces stay tight
  • Price


  • Runs narrow
  • Unstable at slow speeds
Full review of Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2.0

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Any color
Sonic Ink Screaming Green Ftwr White (FY4082)
Legacy Indigo/Turbo/Sky Rush (GX3117)
Pulse Lime/Real Teal/Flash Orange (GX3124)

Best neutral trail running shoes

Hoka Tecton X

What makes it the best?

The Hoka Tecton X is Hoka's first carbon-plated trail running shoe. To justify the name, it just might have started a tectonic shift - that's how much it is loved by runners. It's positioned as a speed-ready, racing and training companion to the Hoka Speedgoat 5. Thanks to the dual-plated design, it shines at fast paces, especially the ultra ones. On top of this, it's a max-cushioned running shoe that keeps the feet protected without weighing them down.


  • 2 carbon plates: very propulsive ride
  • Insanely stable
  • Looks fast and runs fast
  • Lightweight
  • Very cushioned & responsive
  • Worth the investment
  • Room for feet swelling
  • Grippy
  • No break-in
  • Vegan materials used


  • Not for technical terrains
  • Might accumulate mud
  • Expensive
Full review of Hoka Tecton X

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Any color
Persimmon Orange - Radiant Yellow (1123161PORY)
Thyme Fiesta (TFST)
Blue (SBDP)

Best neutral running shoes with wide toebox

Brooks Revel 5

What makes it the best?

An affordable trainer that's got the makings of advanced running shoes? Hello, Brooks Revel 5! It's a smooth and lively jack-of-all-trades that will keep your feet comfy and bouncing. It can push the pace, eat up half-marathon distances, and breeze through your daily runs!


  • Fits like a dream
  • Accommodating stretchy upper
  • Efficient transitions
  • Surprisingly peppy
  • Laces stay tied tightly
  • Low to the ground
  • Durable construction
  • Great deal
  • Do-it-all shoe
  • Impressive weight
  • Breathable


  • Not for long runs
  • No reflective details
Full review of Brooks Revel 5

Today's best price

Any color
Black/Ebony/Amparo (005)
Black/Grey/Blue (053)
Black/Ebony/Crystal Teal (091)
Ebony/Alloy/Metallic (025)
White/Peacoat/Blue Shadow (153)
Titan/Peacoat/Flame (498)
Pageant Blue/True Blue/White (403)
White/Black (121)
More colors

Best neutral lightweight running shoes

What makes it the best?

If we can pick a shoe that screams fast, the Endorphin Pro 2 is THE shoe! Made for race day, you can't go wrong with the Endorphin - it's carbon-plated, snappy, rebounding, light, and just everything speed-oriented. It will bolt you forward in your competition, so prepare to take off at lightning speed! If you want to beat or set new PRs, this is the shoe.


  • Roomy fit
  • Lightweight
  • True to size
  • Insanely breathable
  • Fast & efficient
  • Responsive
  • Durable for a race shoe
  • Most comfortable race shoe
  • Price ($200)


  • Unstable heel
  • Poor midfoot lockdown
  • Learning curve
Full review of Saucony Endorphin Pro 2

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Any color
Vizi Pro (S2068765)
Scarlet/Black (S2068720)
Black/White (S2068710)
Blue (S2068725)
Yellow (S1068716)
Royal/White (S2068730)
White Black Vizi (S2068784)
Reverie (S2068740)
Orange (S2068745)

Neutral running shoes with best cushioning

ASICS Novablast 3

What makes it the best?

It's a comfy daily running shoe. It can go fast. It can go far. In the words of an expert, the Novablast 3 from ASICS "sets the standard for what a daily trainer should be." What's more, you can race in it in your next marathon too. Talk about versatility! And if you want a light shoe that won't drag you down, the ASICS Novablast 3 is the all-rounder you need.


  • Super bouncy
  • Cushy feel for miles
  • Breathable
  • Light AF
  • Ready for cornering
  • Locks you in
  • Tongue stays in place
  • Grippy outsole
  • Mad durable
  • Sets the bar for a do-it-all shoe


  • A tad too long
  • More expensive by $10
Full review of ASICS Novablast 3

Today's best price

Any color
Black/Amber (1011B458001)
Black/Island Blue (1011B458004)
White/Deep Ocean (1011B458100)
Cream/Fawn (1012B288101)
Black/White (1011B458002)
Sheet Rock/Black (1011B458021)
White/Piedmont Grey (1012B288102)
Electric Red/Midnight (1011B458600)
More colors

Best neutral running shoes for long distance

Brooks Ghost 14

What makes it the best?

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!


  • All about comfort!
  • True to size
  • Lots of padding
  • Smooth ride
  • Really stable, even on light trails
  • Great out of the box
  • Built for longevity (500 miles, easily)
  • Great grip


  • Lacks breathability for hot summer days
  • Not the best for long distances
Full review of Brooks Ghost 14

Today's best price

Any color
Primer Grey/Black/Alloy (039)
Titan/Teal/Flame (488)
Grey/Alloy/Oyster (067)
Grey/Blue/Red (078)
Black/Blackened Pearl/Blue (056)
Green Gecko/Blue/Black (310)
Grey/Titan/Maize (029)
Black/Blue/Nightlife (069)
More colors

Comparison of the 7 best neutral running shoes

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Do you need neutral shoes? 

Yes, if you pronate neutrally or if you underpronate (supinate). This is a widely-known general rule. However, novice runners might use neutral shoes as well, as shown in this comprehensive study of 927 novice runners.


Around 85% of running shoes on the market today are neutral, meaning they have no arch support. Nike Pegasus is one of the most popular neutral running shoes.

To figure out your pronation (foot mechanic), you can look at your arches and used footwear. Compare your findings with the illustrations below: 


Wet test: discover your arch type

You can also do a so-called wet test to discover the type of your arches. 

  1. Wet the soles of your feet, one at a time
  2. Stand onto a piece of paper while allowing the moisture from your feet to sink into the paper
  3. Step off
  4. Look at the shape of your footprint and compare it to the ones shown below.  

If you have a high arch, the footprint will show only the front and heel of your foot with nothing in between. If there’s a thin line connecting them, you have a moderately high arch - better than the extreme.


If your footprints look like the 2nd or the 3rd one (or something in between), you’re a candidate for neutral shoes! On the other hand, overpronators usually look for stability shoes and motion control shoes.

If all this sounds too complicated, running specialty stores have treadmills with feet-scanning options. They can easily assess your pronation and tell you which features to look for in a shoe. Going to the specialist is also always a good idea as they can implement a holistic approach.

Features of neutral running shoes

It’s easier to understand the features of neutral running shoes when the comparison is given, for orientation. 


Neutral running shoes are usually lighter than other shoes because they don’t have additional stability features. Their outsole/midsole design is simple, without rigid implementations. They are softer and allow the feet to move freely.


Saucony Ride (neutral) weighs 9.9 oz vs. Saucony Guide (stability) weighs 10.5 oz

These are general properties only. There are extremes like neutral running shoes that are maximally cushioned and weigh more than 500g.

How to recognize neutral running shoes 

If you don’t want to check the features of the shoe online or ask the store employees, here’s how you can recognize neutral running shoes.

For easier comparison, we’ll show how all 3 types of running shoes compare.


Running-shoe market dropdown by stability features

Chances are the model you choose is the neutral running shoe, given that they occupy the majority of the running shoe market.


FAQ about neutral running shoes

1. Can overpronators run in neutral running shoes?

Overpronators need stability elements because those prevent the ankle from rolling excessively inward and leading to potential pain and injury. Neutral running shoes are not recommended, especially for severe overpronation cases.

2. Can neutral pronators run in stability running shoes?

Neutral pronators might run in any kind of shoe. In theory. But why risk stability features influencing your gait or why pay for features you don’t actually need? The good news is that 85% of running shoes are neutral shoes.

3. How reliable is the arch-type/pronation test?

It’s not difficult to assess arch type or pronation. The trouble comes when we realize that science doesn’t back this widely-accepted criteria for choosing a shoe (as explained here). That’s why it’s most important to choose the shoe that is comfortable. If you have a history of injuries or are experiencing severe pain, it’s imperative to see a specialist. 

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic

Whether it's a vertical kilometre or an ultra, climbing in the Alps or exploring local mountains, Jovana uses every opportunity to trade walls and concrete for forests and trails. She logs at least 10h/week on trails, with no off-season, and 4x more on research on running and running shoes. With a background in physics and engineering management, she prefers her running spiced with data.