7 Best Running Shoes For Women, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2023

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic on
7 Best Running Shoes For Women, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2023

Physical strength aside, having the right pair of running shoes is the key ingredient in having an amazing run. For women, there are thousands of options available, which makes the selection part a bit of a drag. 

But fret not, this list trims down your options down to the ten best shoes from various categories. We have personally tested all these women’s running shoes to make sure they are worthy of choosing.

How we test running shoes

Our top picks for the best running shoes for women are NOT products of cherry-picking. First, we buy them with our own money. Second, we put them through paces with at least 30-50 miles of test runs.

They also go through a series of tests in our independent RunRepeat shoe testing lab, including: 

  • Cutting each shoe into pieces to see what’s inside
  • Measure its parts in various parameters like breathability, flexibility, softness, strength, etc. 

And to see how they rank against other running shoes, we calculate their CoreScore through thousands of expert and user reviews.

Best running shoes overall for women

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

CoreScore

87
Great!
4.4 / 5 from 9,883 users
87 / 100 from 23 experts

Pros

  • Wider than Pegasus 37
  • Very stable ride
  • Peppy toe-off
  • Hugs your feet
  • Padded upper
  • Very durable (400-500miles)
  • Grippy even on dirt roads
  • Legit workhorse
  • Doubles as a gym shoe
  • A joy to run in

Cons

  • Runs warm
  • Above-average weight

Verdict

Almost reaching its 40th version, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus still remains as our go-to workhorse. That said, we just can’t get enough of it! 

If you want a bang-for-the-buck running shoe, this is THE shoe. It’s an all-rounder that gets the job done excellently. 

Whether you’re running easy or tempo, clocking up serious miles, or training in the gym, it won’t fail you. Even better, the Peg is available colorways, so you can strut around town in style.

What makes the Pegasus 38 the amazing shoe that it is is its balance of comfort and responsiveness. In our lab tests, we found that it’s 18% softer than the average running shoe, while having some pop, thanks to the Zoom Air pods. 

It’s crazy bouncy and propulsive, even though it’s heavier than the average shoe, it doesn’t feel like it. From the initial step to our last, its springiness made our strides come to life. 

A plus is its durability. It’s got some touch of stiffness underfoot, it’s hard to even gash it. 30 miles of rough wear testing later, the outsole remains free from scratch. 

It’s no wonder why the Nike Pegasus 38 tops this list. It’s a reliable workhorse that doesn’t break the bank. Even better, it’s a serious Nike performer.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 full review

Best road running shoes for women

Brooks Ghost 14
Brooks Ghost 14

CoreScore

92
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 123,206 users
91 / 100 from 22 experts

Pros

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

Cons

  • Lacks breathability for hot summer days
  • Not the best for long distances

Verdict

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!
Brooks Ghost 14 full review

Best trail running shoes for women

Salomon Sense Ride 4
Salomon Sense Ride 4

CoreScore

86
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 4,074 users
86 / 100 from 11 experts

Pros

  • Fits wider feet
  • Energy-efficient ride
  • Great lacing system
  • Doesn’t weigh you down
  • No heel slip
  • Insane grip
  • Really durable

Cons

  • Runs ½ size longer
  • Needs breaking in

Verdict

Grip reigns king in the Salomon Sense Ride 4. Not once did we lose our step during steep climbs. Even better, it paced us. 

It’s hard not to love the Salomon Sense Ride. It nails it in the comfort department, it almost even feels like a proper road shoe. The upper is so darn airy and soft, we want to keep it on forever. 

But what really won us over was the ride. It’s so lively and peppy, we were as quick AF! And we wouldn’t let the opportunity to run some tests slide. With our durometer, we scrutinized its firmness - the main reason behind its responsiveness - and found that its midsole is 31.7% more rigid than the average. 

Trail-ready is not enough to describe the shoe’s outsole. It’s a solid tank. It’s very firm at 81.5HC (vs. the standard 75.1HC), it’s more than ready to take a beating and crush everything underneath. 

Despite its toughness, it never taxed our feet, which took us by surprise. More than fast, the Salomon Sense Ride is also a fun shoe. 

To top it all off, its traction is a certified winner. On loose, rocky, and hard-packed terrain, we were surefooted as hell.

Salomon Sense Ride 4 full review

Best women's running shoes for overpronation

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

CoreScore

92
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 117,911 users
90 / 100 from 18 experts

Pros

  • fits true to size
  • secure fit
  • great stability
  • gusseted tongue
  • soft but not mushy
  • superb durability
  • no lace bite

Cons

  • not for speedy runs
  • could be lighter

Verdict

Overpronation, if not aided with the right pair of stability shoes can be a nightmare. And if you’re looking for the best of the best among all the support shoes in our arsenal, nothing comes close to the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21. 

It’s not your typical stability trainer. They tend to be firm and stiff, becoming overbearing to the feet. But not the Adrenaline. It hits the sweet spot between comfort and support, even neutral runners can enjoy it. 

From the bottom up, this shoe has stability written all over it. The upper conforms to the contours of the feet, they remain locked in place. The sidewalls only took everything up a notch. It guided our feet and knees, keeping everything centered for a wobble-free run. 

Like a true Brooks, the Adrenaline GTS 21 is tough. It’s so sturdy, you can get 400-500 miles out of it. 

At 10.2 oz, it’s a hefty shoe. But with all the perks it comes with, we don’t mind one bit. And as opposed to its precursors, it’s a commendable weight loss. Safe to say, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is heading in the right direction.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 full review

Best women's running shoes for race

ASICS MetaSpeed Sky
ASICS MetaSpeed Sky

CoreScore

90
Superb!
4.4 / 5 from 487 users
94 / 100 from 22 experts

Pros

  • Bouncy and responsive
  • Fast
  • Fantastic grip
  • Ultra breathable
  • Stable even at slower speeds
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Perfect fit
  • Superb foot lockdown
  • Fits wider feet

Cons

  • Not so durable
  • Expensive
  • Not for cold weather
  • No heel tab

Verdict

When it comes to racing flats, the ASICS MetaSpeed Sky is king. Of all the race-day shoes we’ve tried, nothing beats it to this day. 

It’s as elite as elite can be. Everything about it just screams fast. It has a carbon-fiber plate that literally launched us forward, and a bouncy midsole that pushed us to our next step. 

And the fit is downright awesome. From the rear to the midfoot, our feet were locked securely in place. Up front, we had ample room for our toes to wiggle. 

Even after some foot swelling, we never felt restrained in the shoe. 

Whether it’s an easy or fast-paced run, it’s a solid 10/10 in stability. And our lab test results only proves this further. In our durometer test, it showed that it’s 22.5 HA firm. Meaning, it’s a touch rigid, making our runs surefooted, despite its insane bounce. 

We love to get down to the nitty-gritties. But even to the tiniest details, the ASICS MetaSpeed Sky has perfected everything. And if you want to outrun the competition, we can’t recommend it enough.

ASICS MetaSpeed Sky full review

Best value running shoes for women

Brooks Revel 5
Brooks Revel 5

CoreScore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 15,495 users
91 / 100 from 5 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • 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

Cons

  • Not for long runs
  • No reflective details

Verdict

Brooks Revel 5 is the shoe that proved to us top quality does not always mean expensive. Its comfort is even along the ranks of high-end shoes on the market. Scratch that. It’s even better. 

The shoe’s foam is very plush and soft, our feet were kept cozy upon lace-up down to the last mile. And if we had to choose one shoe for our easy runs, picking the Revel up is a no-brainer. 

For long hauls, it doesn’t cut corners on protection. It absorbs impact so well, our feet and legs didn’t even need recovery after. It even felt like we could push another mile! 

For such a plush ride, we weren’t expecting it to perform in tempo runs. But it’s got some tricks up its sleeve. It had some pep, it was easy to push forward. 

At 8.7 oz, it’s way lighter than other running shoes (average at 9.4 oz). It weighs like a feather, we completely forgot about it on the run. 

And if you think it swears off strength, the Revel 5 is here to change your mind. At 79HC firm, the outsole is made to last.

Brooks Revel 5 full review
Author
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.