7 Best Road Running Shoes in 2023

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Road Running Shoes in 2023
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The number of road running shoes is three times larger compared to trail running shoes. Thus, buying a pair can be an overwhelming task, especially if you are new to running.

We have tested over 100 road running shoes in our lab and on a variety of wear tests. If you want nothing but the best, see our top picks from five different categories of road shoes. From a versatile daily trainer and a budget shoe to a premium speed and racing option.  

This guide dives into the nitty-gritty of road running shoes. Scroll down to learn about 3 primary things to consider in road shoes as well as runners’ FAQs.

How we test road running shoes

At RunRepeat we know the difference between good and great shoes. 

How? Thanks to our independent shoe testing lab and a meticulous approach to reviewing running shoes:

  • We use durometers, scales, calipers, a custom smoke machine, and even a saw to cut each shoe open and measure every aspect of it, from upper breathability to outsole durability.
  • Our team of dedicated shoe fanatics runs 30-50 miles a week to test every new release from over 30 brands.
  • Our system collates thousands of expert and user reviews from all over the web to reflect all these opinions in the final score.
  • We purchase all running shoes with our own money to ensure transparency.

Our verdict is summarized in a CoreScore, a number from 0 to 100, which reflects how good a shoe is compared to 1500+ other road running shoes.

The best ones end up on this list.

Best road 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
Azul (37680709)
Orange (37680712)
Black (37756701)
Black (37680701)
Black (37680711)
Sunset Glow (37680703)
Lime Squeeze (37680705)
Bianco (37680704)

Best road 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

Today's best price

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

Best road running shoes for speedwork

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

Best road 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/Crystal Teal (091)
White/Black (121)
Black/Grey/Blue (053)
White/Oyster/India Ink (182)
White/Peacoat/Blue Shadow (153)
titan/peacoat/flame (498)
Pageant Blue/True Blue/White (403)
Bluetiful/Navy/Irish Cream (471)
More colors

Best stability road running shoes

What makes it the best?

The Kayano 29 from ASICS is a stability running shoe that goes from brick-like to foot-friendly. Now on its twenty-ninth iteration, the ASICS Gel Kayano offers support that mixes in more comfort. And if you're looking to clock up the miles for your next road run, its impact-eating midsole and tank of an outsole will help you reach new distances.


  • Stable but not harsh
  • Cushy for long miles
  • Awesome impact protection
  • Supportive fit
  • Glides you forward
  • Lighter than it seems
  • Built to last


  • An oven for the feet
  • Expensive
Full review of ASICS Gel Kayano 29

Today's best price

Any color
Black/Sky (1011B440007)
Electric Blue/White (1011B440400)
Deep Ocean/Cherry Tomato (1011B440401)
Metropolis/White (1011B440021)
Black/White (1011B470002)
Sheet Rock/Amber (1011B440020)
Spice Latte/Black (1011B440600)
White/Velvet Pine (1012B272100)
More colors

Road running shoes with best cushioning

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
White/Black/Amparo (145)
Grey/Blue/Red (078)
Titan/Teal/Flame (488)
Black/Blackened Pearl/Blue (056)
Grey/Alloy/Oyster (067)
Black/Blue/Nightlife (069)
Green Gecko/Blue/Black (310)
Grey/Titan/Maize (029)
More colors

Best road running shoes for long distance

On Cloudmonster

What makes it the best?

The On Cloudmonster is the brand's max-cushioned running shoe that "changed everyone's mind." From firm to forgiving, it's a new take that's perfect for daily training and long runs. True to its name, it has a "monstrous" amount of foam that will keep your feet protected and comfy all day. So much so that you can take it out on your walks as well.


  • All-day comfort
  • Bouncy cushion
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • Protective for long runs
  • Stable when cornering
  • Weighs less than it looks
  • Grippy on wet roads
  • Can work on light trails
  • Perfect lockdown
  • Built to last
  • Sustainable upper


  • Firm for recovery days
  • Not for wide feet
  • Expensive
Full review of On Cloudmonster

Today's best price

Any color
Frost/Cobalt (6198653)
Black (6199025)
White (6198243)
Eclipse/Turmeric (6198656)
Grey (6198244)
Frost Surf (6199023)
Acai Aloe (6199027)
All White (6198434)

Comparison of the 7 best road running shoes

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Users rating
Best price
# of colorways

Are road running shoes necessary?

You might be considering using your gym trainers or your trusty sneakers for road running. This may seem like a good idea at first, but keep in mind that these shoes are not specifically designed for you to run in.

Differences between running and training shoes.png

Road running shoes are structured in such a way that your feet get the needed support and cushioning. These shoes are prepared for repetitive heel-to-toe movements as they provide you underfoot comfort.

On the other hand, training shoes are designed for comfort and stability on the sides of your foot. Because workouts involve a lot of side-to-side movements, these shoes are built with additional support in the lateral sides.


Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 (road running shoe) vs. Nike Metcon (cross-training shoe)

3 factors to consider when choosing a road running shoe

What is your goal?

One simple way of categorizing road running shoes is according to the purpose they serve the runner:








If you want speed, have a look at speed training shoes or competition shoes (for a race day). Being lightweight is their primary advantage in helping you move faster. More premium models are equipped with high-rebound cushioning technologies like Nike ZoomX and Saucony PWRRUN. The elite ones also employ a carbon plate that helps to create a propelling ride.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 is one of the best-rated trainers for speed training and even race days.


Meanwhile, long-distance running shoes are packed with features to support longer runs. They are well-cushioned to keep the feet comfortable throughout the run. With a slightly wider forefoot, these shoes accommodate swelling with the prolonged duration of running.

Well-cushioned, maximalist running shoes are your best bet on half-marathon and beyond.


long-distance daily trainer (left) vs. marathon race shoe (right)


One last classification of road shoes according to purpose is frequency. If you see yourself running very often, or using your running shoe a lot, you should get daily running shoes. The more cushioning the shoe has, the greater the comfort level.

Look for a comfortable, tried-and-tested daily cruiser with lasting cushioning and durability.

What is your foot type?

Another factor you need to consider in selecting your road running shoe is the type of gait that you have. Wearing a road running shoe with the correct arch support is also useful when traversing rough and rigid surfaces, like gravel.

If you have high arches, a neutral shoe will provide the right amount of support for you. This kind of road shoe has ample cushioning that adds comfort and prevents pain when running. The cushion also provides shock absorption, which is something your foot might lack.

On the other hand, if your feet are in any way overpronating, a good road running shoe maybe something in between stability or motion control shoe. Both these shoes aid the foot in correcting overpronation by providing varying degrees of arch support.

Arch types and recommended shoes.png

Frequently asked questions

Do I need separate shoes for trail running? Why?

Although there are many running shoes that claim to be versatile and useful for various terrains, it is still recommended to have separate pairs for road running and trail running. Here is our guide for choosing trail shoes.


Road shoe upper (left) is about lightness and breathability. Trail shoes (right) prioritize foot protection and durability.


The outsole rubber on road shoes (left) is only meant for asphalt or consistent hard-packed surface. Trail shoe outsoles (right) are more hard-wearing, grippy and have a special lug pattern for rocks, mud, snow, etc.

The surface you run on can affect the way your shoes wear. Some road running shoes may not be sturdy enough to handle the rough and rocky paths, and they may also not be grippy enough for mud and puddles. 

Conversely, trail shoes may also pose more harm than good when used for road running.

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.