209 best competition running shoes

Based on reviews from 1,465 experts and 110,819 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to competition running shoes. Updated Jun 2020.

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    1. Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 - White Lime Blast White
    2. On Cloud - Black
    3. Altra Superior 4.0 - Gray / Red
    4. Nike Free RN 2018 - Black
    5. Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 - Black
    6. Nike Free RN Flyknit 2018 - White/Black
    7. New Balance 1400 v6 - Black Pink Zing
    8. Skechers GOrun Razor 3 Hyper  - Grey
    9. Nike Odyssey React Flyknit 2 - Wolf Grey/Platinum Tint/Light Armory Blue/White
    10. On Cloudflow - Black Asphalt
    11. Altra Escalante 2.0 - Gray
    12. Altra Escalante 1.5 - Gray/Yellow
    13. Nike Flex Experience RN 8 - Gris Cool Grey Black Reflecting Silver White 012
    14. Adidas SL20 - Black
    15. On Cloud X - Black Asphalt
    16. Merrell Vapor Glove 4 - Orange
    17. New Balance FuelCell Rebel - new-balance-fuelcell-rebel-d94a
    18. Skechers GOrun Ride 8 Hyper - Navy
    19. Merrell Trail Glove 4 - Black
    20. Saucony Kinvara 11 - Blackout
    21. Merrell Agility Synthesis Flex - Black
    22. Hoka One One Rincon - Blu
    23. Asics Gel Quantum 90 - Imperial/White
    24. Saucony Freedom 3 - Blackout
    25. Skechers GOrun Fast - Valor - Black
    26. Hoka One One Carbon X - White
    27. Hoka One One Hupana 2 - Black Sky Blue
    28. Saucony Fastwitch 9 - Black White
    29. New Balance Summit Unknown - Orange Black
    30. Hoka One One Tracer 2 - Blue

    Why are competition shoes versatile?

    best competition running shoes
    Best Competition running shoes - May 2019

    • The minimal platforms of race shoes can also be used for speed workouts, cross training and casual purposes.
    • Their lightweight concept is a perk when using the shoes to improve minimalist or barefoot-like running.
    • Some competition shoes are used for sports activities, like tennis and golf. Their nearly-aggressive outsole can either be customized with a unique spike configuration or already have better grip and traction for normal running and performance training.

    What are points to remember when getting a versatile competition shoe?

    • Weight. The weight of a race shoe is one of the important parameters to consider, especially if you want to beat your speed record. Lightweight platforms will keep the runners light on their feet and help them improve their speed and performance in marathons. Lighter shoes also signal lesser features, which improves the overall flexibility that is needed in speed workouts and racing.
    • Fit. the fit is an important factor, given that runners would want a shoe that would closely mimic their foot motion. This further improves flexibility and lets the runner enhance his natural range dynamics in the process. A comfortable fit would also guarantee a better performance during racing.
    • Responsive midsole. Forefoot striking is the best way to improve one’s speed and racing performance. A responsive and firm midsole can guarantee better energy return properties and faster turnovers on the track or trail.

    How to find the best competition running shoes

    • Features and construction. The best race running shoe should have the ideal construction and necessary racing features. Some of the factors to consider include the amount of cushioning, support, comfort weight and fit.
    • Know your preferences and expand your research. It is important that you know exactly your running shoe preferences. When you do your research, do not focus on big brands. Consider looking into other brands as they might have manufactured a racing shoe that is perfect for you.
    • Read reviews. Many professional runners took time to write several race running shoe reviews. You can read few reviews and learn how the shoes perform based on the first hand experiences of the runners. This will help you decide which shoe is best.

    15 best competition running shoes

    1. Merrell Agility Synthesis Flex
    2. Skechers GOrun Razor 3 Hyper
    3. Altra Superior 4.0
    4. Nike Free RN Flyknit 2018
    5. Asics Gel Quantum 90
    6. On Cloudflow
    7. Nike Free RN 2018
    8. Saucony Kinvara 10
    9. On Cloud
    10. Hoka One One Mach 2
    11. Nike Epic React Flyknit 2
    12. Altra Escalante 2.0
    13. Nike Flex Experience RN 8
    14. Nike Odyssey React Flyknit 2
    15. Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2
    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.

    jens@runrepeat.com