The Best Running Shoe Brands

Posted on 06 August, 2021 by Jens Jakob Andersen

At RunRepeat we specialize in reviewing running shoes. We’ve now analyzed more than a million reviews from 33 brands which include reviews from more than 2,000 running shoes from the last decade. Here’s our analysis of what the best running shoe brands are.  

Overall, we recommend not focusing on fancy logos, but specific models. Every year, even the best running shoe brands launch running shoes that fail. If you’re looking to buy a new pair of running shoes, take a look at our guide to the best running shoes, or our overview of running shoes.

That being said, some brands generally receive better reviews than others. 

The best running shoe brands

Below is a matrix that plots each running shoe brand against reviews and popularity. Some less known brands produce great products, and some of the most well-known brands are the least liked. If you’re more interested in this, check our analysis on how expensive running shoes are not better.

Popularity vs reviews of road running shoes

The Corescore is a 0-100 score that incorporates user and expert reviews into one score number.

Below is a table illustrating the same as the matrix.

Rank Brand Avg. Corescore Number of reviews Link to shoes
#1 Topo Athletic 87.1/100 6,254 Topo Athletic running shoes
#2 Brooks 85.9/100 576,543 Brooks running shoes
#3 Hoka One One 85.2/100 189,450 Hoka One One shoes
#4 On 85.1/100 60,749 On running shoes
#5 Salomon 84.9/100 251,641 Salomon running shoes
#6 Altra 84.8/100 78,389 Altra running shoes
#7 Saucony 84.4/100 220,387 Saucony running shoes
#8 Vibram FiveFingers 84.2/100 57,454 Vibram FiveFingers shoes
#9 361 Degrees 83.7/100 1,083 361 Degrees shoes
#10 Mizuno 83.4/100 69,747 Mizuno running shoes
#11 Newton 83.3/100 3,254 Newton running shoes
#12 Nike 83.0/100 554,041 Nike running shoes
#13 Inov-8 82.9/100 13,634 Inov-8 running shoes
#14 Skechers 82.7/100 29,534 Skechers running shoes
#15 La Sportiva 82.5/100 6,196 La Sportiva shoes
#16 Asics 82.4/100 1,340,229 Asics running shoes
#17 New Balance 82.3/100 347,676 New Balance shoes
#18 Vivobarefoot 82.0/100 3,717 Vivobarefoot shoes
#19 Under Armour 81.9/100 276,207 Under Armour shoes
#20 Adidas 81.9/100 387,444 Adidas running shoes
#21 Puma 81.6/100 74,509 Puma running shoes
#22 Merrell 81.5/100 97,613 Merrell running shoes
#23 Arc'teryx 81.4/100 670 Arc'teryx running shoes
#24 Dynafit 79.9/100 544 Dynafit running shoes
#25 The North Face 79.0/100 3,197 The North Face shoes
#26 Reebok 78.4/100 37,671 Reebok running shoes
#27 Scott 78.0/100 452 Scott running shoes
#28 Salming 73.7/100 99 Salming running shoes

Best running shoe brands based on user reviews and expert reviews, separately

Some brands are loved by experts, but less liked by users and vice versa. The illustration (and table below) shows how each brand scores from users and experts separately. 

User vs expert reviews

This table shows the ranking of each brand based on user reviews and expert reviews.

Rank Users Experts
#1 Brooks Topo Athletic
#2 Under Armour Salomon
#3 Newton Newton
#4 Puma Inov-8
#5 Salomon Skechers
#6 The North Face 361 Degrees
#7 On Hoka One One
#8 Mizuno Arc'teryx
#9 Saucony Puma
#10 Nike On
#11 Asics La Sportiva
#12 Skechers Dynafit
#13 Adidas Altra
#14 Merrell Merrell
#15 Topo Athletic Brooks
#16 Hoka One One Saucony
#17 361 Degrees Salming
#18 New Balance Adidas
#19 Reebok Nike
#20 Scott Asics
#21 Altra New Balance
#22 La Sportiva Scott
#23 Vibram FiveFingers Under Armour
#24 Inov-8 Mizuno
#25 Vivobarefoot Vibram FiveFingers
#26 Dynafit The North Face
#27 Arc'teryx Reebok
#28 Salming Vivobarefoot

For the trail lovers: the best brands

Same analysis as from above, just for trail running shoes. We’ve only included brands with at least 4 trail running shoe models.

Popularity vs reviews in trail running shoes

Again, consider taking a look at the specific trail running shoes that are best rated.

Rank Brand Corescore Number of reviews Link to shoes
#1 Topo Athletic 86 3,022 Topo Athletic trail shoes
#2 Altra 85.3 34,627 Altra trail shoes
#3 Salomon 84.9 250,525 Salomon trail shoes
#4 Brooks 84.6 14,164 Brooks trail shoes
#5 Hoka One One 84.3 30,989 Hoka One One trail shoes
#6 Nike 84.3 18,708 Nike trail shoes
#7 Inov-8 84.2 11,115 Inov-8 trail shoes
#8 On 84.2 1,298 On trail shoes
#9 Vibram FiveFingers 83.4 13,375 Vibram FiveFingers trail shoes
#10 La Sportiva 82.7 6,212 La Sportiva trail shoes
#11 Saucony 82.3 45,092 Saucony trail shoes
#12 Under Armour 82 8,760 Under Armour trail shoes
#13 Asics 81.8 357,495 Asics trail shoes
#14 Arc'teryx 81.4 675 Arc'teryx trail shoes
#15 New Balance 81.4 92,466 New Balance trail shoes
#16 Vivobarefoot 81.2 1,338 Vivobarefoot trail shoes
#17 Adidas 81.1 41,476 Adidas trail shoes
#18 Merrell 81 56,677 Merrell trail shoes
#19 Scott 80.3 416 Scott trail shoes
#20 Dynafit 80.1 523 Dynafit trail shoes
#21 Mizuno 79.5 1,028 Mizuno trail shoes
#22 The North Face 79.1 3,122 The North Face trail shoes
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.