7 Best Road Running Shoes in 2024

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Road Running Shoes in 2024
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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 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 different categories of road shoes. From a versatile daily trainer and a budget shoe to a premium speed and racing option, we have the finest choice for you.  

This guide dives into the nitty-gritty of road running shoes. Read over to learn what to specifically pay attention to when getting new road shoes!

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, callipers, 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.
  • As a team of dedicated shoe fanatics, we run 30-50 miles a week to test every new release from over 30 brands.
  • We purchase all running shoes with our own money to ensure transparency.

Basically, the best ones end up on this list.

Best road running shoes overall

ASICS Novablast 4

What makes it the best?

After long hours in the lab and pounding the pavement, ASICS Novablast 4 emerged as the best road running shoe. It’s a neutral trainer with unmatched comfort, versatility, and reliable support for any pace and distance.

We can’t get enough of its FF Blast+ ECO foam. Running for long hours on tough surfaces still feels pleasant because of the plush and decadent cushion. It combines maximum height with pillowy goodness. Our durometer confirms it’s 28.7% softer than average. Despite this, our runs still had a lot of pop for faster efforts.

Even with the thick slab of foam, Novablast delivers a smooth and stable ride by providing extra width in the midsole for safe landings. In terms of longitudinal movement, this pair moves fluidly with our motions, which is a plus for comfort. Our bend test shows it’s 13.5% more flexible than average.

After reaching double-digit miles, we were impressed to see that the outsole had very minor scratches which was purely visual — the plushness and pop remained the same. When put against our Dremel test, Novablast 4 establishes its longevity by showing less wear than average.

Unfortunately, the upper feels too warm for tropical weather. We recommend using this pair in cooler temperatures only to enjoy its full potential.


  • Enhanced outsole offering better grip and durability
  • Improved upper comfort with premium materials
  • Upgraded tongue padding
  • Exceptional value at just £150
  • More cushion than ever before
  • Accommodates a wide range of foot sizes
  • The most stable Novablast yet
  • Retains most of its fun and energetic ride


  • Not the best for hot summer runs
  • Outsole still lacks grip in wet conditions
  • Minor weight increase compared to v3
Full review of ASICS Novablast 4

Best road running shoes for daily training

Nike Pegasus 40

What makes it the best?

The Nike Pegasus 40 is a force to be reckoned with. It superbly blends outstanding versatility, remarkable comfort, and extraordinary durability. After embarking on multiple runs and taking it apart in the lab, we crown the Nike Pegasus 40 as the best daily trainer among road running shoes.

It is the Goldilocks of running shoes! With a midsole that is 28.6% softer than average, the Pegasus 40 is more than comfortable enough for our daily runs. A real do-it-all shoe, the Pegasus 40 is a daily trainer like no other.

Our runs were insanely comfortable and enjoyable. Its heel area and dual-layer mesh upper are well-padded. Its velvety smooth upper also helped us avoid hotspots or blisters. All of these, coupled with the 8.6 mm gusseted tongue—which is 2.8mm thicker than average—make it perfect for daily runs. 

Durable and grippy—the Pegasus 40 has the perfect combination for a world-class outsole. At the lab, we tested it to be 7.8% firmer than average confirming the outsole durability. We ran on dry and wet roads, and even on light trails—and the Pegasus 40 gripped tremendously well on those surfaces.

It may be a jack-of-all-trades shoe, but it is also a master of none. Runners may look at other shoes for faster racing or more comfortable easy runs.


  • Plush and comfortable upper
  • Breathable
  • Secure lockdown
  • Has enough toe-box space
  • Not overly soft or firm underfoot
  • Good energy return
  • Great grip on most surfaces
  • Incredible durability
  • Perfect for everyday miles and LSDs


  • A generally narrow fit
  • Heavier than the v39
  • Not a very memorable ride
Full review of Nike Pegasus 40

Best road running shoes for speed training

What makes it the best?

PUMA Deviate Nitro 2 took our speed sessions to the next level. Pumping up our adrenaline, its stiff carbon plate exudes incredible energy return, its buttery foam oozes pure delight, and its outsole promises traction. With the lab backing up our experience, DN2 is our best speed trainer for road running.

This high-performance shoe brings the power we need to sustain faster runs. The carbon plate sprung us off pleasantly with every stride, allowing us to use our energy efficiently as we launch forward. Our bend test reveals the midsole is 102.8% stiffer than average. This rigidity generates the vibrant pop in our runs.

Deviate Nitro 2 ensures we not only run fast, but far too. It keeps the cushioning soft for a delicate sensation underfoot, creating a low-impact ride. Our durometer confirms the foam’s gentle nature that we indulged in, emerging 29.4% softer than average.

The outsole proves its reliability on any pavement we tested—wet roads, loose ground, and even light trails. It’s composed of PUMAGRIP ATR that is suited for mixed terrains. To ensure our protection and the shoe’s long lifespan, the rubber is a thick 3.7 mm.

Our actual runs tell us this pair works better as a trainer than a racer. Weighing 9.2 oz (257g), it resembles a daily trainer’s build and is heavier than the average 8.2 oz (233g) carbon-plated shoe.


  • 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 colours available
Full review of PUMA Deviate Nitro 2

Best road running shoes for race

Nike Vaporfly 3

What makes it the best?

Think devilish speed, heavenly comfort, and a cloud-like feel: this is exactly what we experienced after running a fair share of races in the Nike Vaporfly 3. This hypersonic shoe delivers unforgettable and unmatched performance in and out of the lab, securely setting our personal bests and winning the best racer title among road-running shoes.

Each stride is ignited with limitless energy from its magnificent core—the responsive ZoomX foam and the rigid FlyPlate. Both elements deliver smooth turnovers and sustain our power over long-haul efforts. The stacked and soft cushion embraced our feet with buttery goodness, as our durometer confirmed it’s 30.3% softer than average. The spoon-shaped carbon plate ensures stability and power through its rigidity. Our bend test confirms it’s 92.1% stiffer than average, shining further as we run faster.

We felt like floating through countless miles as VF3 dissipated into our feet with its barely-there weight. Our scales reveal a mere 6.7 oz (190g), transcending even the average supershoe (7.4 oz/210g). Running on clouds is an understatement as it offers top-tier breathability through its extremely ventilated Flyknit upper that’s designed intently for airflow.

The outsole provides exceptional traction on both wet and dry surfaces. However, its waffle-like pattern and midsole cutout accumulated small debris during our runs. We recommend avoiding pebbled paths for a smoother running experience.


  • Exceptionally breathable upper
  • Outstanding ZoomX cushioning
  • Superb choice from the mile to the marathon
  • Impressively low weight
  • Enhanced stability
  • Plush, cloud-like foam
  • Upgraded outsole for better grip


  • Uncomfortably large tongue
  • The heel is still too narrow
Full review of Nike Vaporfly 3

Best road running shoes with plush cushioning

What makes it the best?

The Gel Nimbus 26 truly embodies plush cushioning. It stood out among the road-running shoes we tested with its pillowy embrace and gentle yet stable landings. Our lab numbers only verified what our feet already knew—comfort is #1 for this ASICS shoe.

Running on clouds feels like an understatement. The Gel Nimbus 26 was immensely comfortable during all our runs, regardless of distance. The secret to this luxurious comfort lies in its super soft and super thick midsole. Our lab reveals its 40.4/33.5 mm mega stack stands 21.6% softer than average, erasing the harshness of the ground. Further dampening landing impact is the PureGEL technology located in the heel.

The Gel Nimbus 26 is also stable, adding to our confidence as we soared through the roads. Its vast platform is complemented by a stiff construction that resists excessive lateral movements and twists. Our manual assessment reveals a solid 5/5 rating for torsional rigidity, effectively avoiding ankle rolls.

While it provides next-level comfort, it lacks responsiveness for fast days. We recommend exploring other cushioned options that can handle speed sessions.


  • Premium all-around comfort
  • Enhanced toebox design
  • Exceptional durability
  • Best-in-series outsole
  • Ideal for long distances
  • Superb knit upper
  • Surprisingly stable
  • A dream for heel strikers


  • Increased weight
  • Limited energy return
  • Tongue lacks padding
Full review of ASICS Gel Nimbus 26

Best stability road running shoes

What makes it the best?

The Gel Kayano 30, our top pick for the best stability road-running shoe, achieves the sweet spot between comfort and support. Featuring a plush mega-stack combined with the innovative 4D Guidance System, this trainer delivers a steady and forgiving ride. 

The main star is the 4D Guidance System, consisting of a soft foam strategically placed beneath our arch that adjusts to the contours of our foot. This serves as our very own custom-made support and protection against unwanted movements. Another stability feature is the wider-than-average midsole that instills a sense of security and confidence with each step.

While most stability shoes are firm and grounded, GK30 deviates from the standard by employing a tall and plush FF Blast+ cushioning. Our lab reveals the foam rises 39.7/27.7 mm tall and is 30.2% softer than average. This heavenly combination dampens landing impact and spoils our legs with buttery goodness.

Diverging from the rigidity often associated with stability and maximalist shoes, the GK30 feels surprisingly bendable. Our 90-degree test confirms that it’s 13.8% more flexible than average, enhancing comfort and a natural feel. 

Unfortunately, we can’t say the same in the weight department. Our scales reveal it’s 10.7 oz (303g), much heavier than the 9.4 oz (266g) average.


  • Exceptionally cushioned
  • Impressively stable with 4D Guidance System
  • Lighter than it seems
  • Top-notch breathability
  • Effective maximalist design
  • Superior durability and comfort
  • Ideal for high-mileage runners
  • Ultra-plush FF Blast+ foam
  • Amazing build quality


  • Actual drop exceeds stated measurement
  • Midsole might require a break-in period
Full review of ASICS Gel Kayano 30

Best budget road running shoes

Saucony Axon 3

What makes it the best?

The Saucony Axon 3 is a reliable all-rounder, proven by our lab and run tests. Aside from its cushioned platform and impressive durability, it’s a versatile trainer that doesn’t break the bank. No doubt, it’s our best budget road running shoe.

At only £110, Axon 3 offers value beyond its price tag. It undercuts its competitors as the average daily trainer costs £140. It can keep up with its more expensive counterparts as it showed strong performance in our runs.

The Axon 3 conquered all types of runs. It’s comfortable enough for easy runs yet nimble enough for tempo days when we want to pick up the pace. Not only is it light in the pocket, but also on foot. Our scales show it’s only 8.6 oz (244g), 12.5% lighter than the average daily trainer. Our durometer also confirmed our sensations — the cushion is 22.5% softer than average, explaining its all-day comfort. 

After running around 100 miles in these shoes, there were no visible signs of wear and tear — especially in the outsole. Its 3.9 mm rubber is 0.7 mm thicker than the average, making it tough enough to take the abuse of training blocks.

Given the shoe’s low-drop geometry, we recommend excessive rearfoot strikers to explore other options.


  • Incredible value at only £110
  • Significant weight reduction from version 2
  • Impressively cushioned with PWRRUN foam
  • Fantastic durability
  • Suitable for quicker paces
  • Excellent as a daily workhorse
  • Lovely upper
  • Works for short and long runs


  • Probably too stiff for very relaxed runs
  • Slightly narrower forefoot than before
Full review of Saucony Axon 3

Are road running shoes necessary?

You might be considering using your gym trainers or your trusty trainers 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 categorising 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) prioritise 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.