8 Best Running Shoes For Beginners In 2024

Embarking on a running journey can be exhilarating yet daunting for beginners, especially when faced with the overwhelming task of selecting the right pair of shoes from a widely available options.

With over a decade of experience in sports footwear consulting and numerous marathons under my belt, I bring to you an expertly curated list aimed at making your first steps as comfortable and injury-free as possible.

The perfect shoe is not just about aesthetics; it’s your most crucial gear piece, designed to enhance each stride while protecting your body from the impact of pounding pavement.

The plethora of choices needn’t leave you baffled any longer. This article cuts through the marketing noise, presenting eight handpicked running shoes that tick all the boxes for newcomers – comfort, support, and durability – based on concrete data like heel-to-toe drop measurements and cushioning materials used.

Dive deep into this guide crafted specifically for beginners’ runners – because every mile counts toward success on your newfound path. Ready? Let’s find your fit!

Key Takeaways

  • Selecting the right running shoes as a beginner is crucial for comfort, proper fitting, and support to avoid pain and injuries.
  • Key features to look for in beginner running shoes include proper fitting with enough space for toes, understanding different types of running shoes like neutral, stability, lightweight, and trail running options; and recognizing the importance of cushioning and support for a comfortable run while protecting your body from impact.
  • The top 8 recommended running shoes for beginners in 2024 include Nike Pegasus 40, Hoka Rincon 3, Saucony Triumph 21, Mizuno Wave Rider 27, On Cloudmonster, Brooks Ghost 15, New Balance Fresh Foam 680v7, Adidas Supernova+, and Asics Gel-Cumulus 25. Each shoe has unique features tailored to provide comfort and support for new runners.
  • Factors to weigh when considering specific models such as the Brooks Ghost 15 or Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 include pros like exceptional cushioning but potential cons including limited color options or insufficient support for overpronators.

Essential Features to Look for in Beginner Running Shoes

A variety of running shoes displayed on a track field.

When choosing running shoes as a beginner, it’s crucial to prioritize proper fitting, understand different types of running shoes, and consider the importance of cushioning and support for optimal comfort and performance.

Importance of proper fitting

Shoes that fit well make a big difference for new runners. Your feet will be happy and you can run without pain. To stop your toes from hurting, leave space the size of your thumb between them and the shoe end.

Try shoes that are half a size bigger if your toes touch the front.

Knowing if you need special shoes for how you walk or run is also key. Some people’s feet roll in when they step (overpronation), while others have flat feet or high arches. The right shoes help with these issues, letting you run better and stay safe.

Understanding different types of running shoes

Picking out running shoes can be tricky. You need to know what kind fits your feet and running style.

  • Neutral running shoes are great for most people. If you run in a normal way, where your foot does not roll too much in or out, these are a good choice.
  • Support or stability shoes help if your feet roll in too much when you run. This is called overpronation. These shoes give extra support on the inside to stop this from happening.
  • Some shoes have extra cushioning to make each step feel soft. This is good for long runs because it keeps your feet feeling comfy.
  • Lightweight shoes might be best if you like to run fast or race. They help you move quickly but don’t have as much cushioning.
  • Trail running shoes are built for off – road paths. They have tough soles with lots of grip to keep you safe on uneven ground.
  • Motion control shoes are super sturdy and perfect if your feet roll in a lot when you run, which can happen if you have flat feet.

Importance of cushioning and support

Cushioning in running shoes is like a pillow for your feet. It keeps them comfy while you run and helps soak up the shock when your foot hits the ground. Good support makes sure that your foot does not move around too much inside the shoe.

This can prevent sore feet and other injuries, especially if you’re just starting to run.

Shoes with both cushioning and support are important because they help keep your legs and joints safe. They act as a buffer against hard surfaces, reducing stress on your body every time you take a step.

Running should feel good, not painful, so choosing shoes that protect you is smart. Now let’s look at some top shoe choices for beginners!

Top 8 Running Shoes for Beginners in 2024

A lineup of top 8 running shoes for beginners on display.

Picking the right running shoes is key for new runners. Comfort and support help you run better and stay safe. Here are the top 8 picks:

  • Nike Pegasus 40 – A great shoe for any beginner, Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 offers a soft React foam midsole that helps your feet feel good while running. It also has an engineered mesh upper that lets your feet breathe.
  • Hoka Rincon 3 – This shoe is very light, which makes it easy to run in. The cushioning is just right and gives your legs help with each step.
  • Saucony Triumph 21 – It’s got PWRRUN+ foam in the midsole, giving you a smooth run every time. The upper part fits well and moves with your foot.
  • Mizuno Wave Rider 27 – You’ll get a quick, responsive feel with this shoe’s special wave plate inside its sole. It also holds up well over many runs.
  • On Cloudmonster – True to its name, this shoe feels like running on clouds due to unique cushioning technology. Plus, it looks cool and different from other shoes.
  • Brooks Ghost 15 – A favorite among beginners for its reliable comfort and solid build. This Brooks shoe has soft cushioning without being too heavy.
  • New Balance Fresh Foam 680v7 – Enjoy plush comfort with New Balance’s Fresh Foam midsoles that make each step feel soft and protective.
  • Adidas Supernova+ – This Adidas option provides good energy return through Boost foam technology, helping you move forward easier as you learn to run longer distances.
  • Asics Gel-Cumulus 25 – Known for gel technology in the heel area, Asics Gel-Cumulus supports runners who need extra care there while offering a gentle ride overall.

Brooks Ghost 15: The Comfortable Classic

A pair of Brooks Ghost 15 shoes placed on a running trail.

The Brooks Ghost 15 is a tried and true running shoe known for its comfort and support. With plush cushioning and a secure fit, it’s an excellent choice for beginners. To discover more about this classic running shoe, keep reading!

Features & Description (Brooks Ghost 15)

The Brooks Ghost 15 is designed for comfort and support, making it an ideal choice for beginner runners. With DNA LOFT V2 cushioning and a 12mm drop, these shoes provide a stable and comfortable feel for your feet as you hit the road.

The mesh upper allows for breathability while providing a secure fit, promoting foot health during your runs. These features make the Brooks Ghost 15 suitable for individuals seeking to improve their physical fitness, especially those who value comfort and stability in their running shoes.

If you’re looking to start your running journey on the right foot, the Brooks Ghost 15 could be the perfect companion. Its emphasis on cushioning and stability ensures that beginners can focus on building their endurance without worrying about discomfort or potential injuries caused by inadequate footwear choices.

Pros & Cons (Brooks Ghost 15)

Continuing from the features and description of the Brooks Ghost 15, let’s delve into its advantages and potential drawbacks to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your running needs. Here’s a comparison in a straightforward HTML table format:

Known for exceptional comfort and cushioning, ideal for beginners.Limited color options may not appeal to all runners.
Incorporates DNA LOFT V2 cushioning for a soft and responsive ride.May feel heavier than other lightweight running shoe options.
12mm drop provides a smooth heel-to-toe transition.Some runners might find the cushioning too plush for their taste.
Suitable for various activities, from jogs to long-distance runs.Pricier than some other beginner options on the market.
Features a breathable engineered mesh upper for excellent ventilation.May not provide enough support for runners with specific foot conditions.

As you consider these pros and cons, remember that the best running shoe is one that matches your individual preferences and supports your journey toward better fitness.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40: The Reliable All-Rounder

A photo of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 surrounded by scenic running trails.

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 is a versatile option for beginner runners, providing reliable support and cushioning for a comfortable experience. If you’re looking for an all-around running shoe that can keep up with your training, read on to learn more about why the Pegasus 40 is worth considering.

Features & Description (Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40)

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 is perfect for beginners looking for a versatile and reliable running shoe. It features bouncy and durable React foam, providing a smooth and responsive ride that is especially helpful for those just starting their fitness journey.

With its classic low-profile silhouette and neutral ride, the Pegasus 40 is suitable for all kinds of runs, making it an ideal option for new runners. This shoe offers a comfortable fit and balanced ride, accommodating various running preferences while ensuring optimal comfort even during long workouts.

Designed to cater to beginner runners, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40 maintains its place as an all-rounder with a focus on versatility. Whether you’re taking up jogging or embarking on training for your first 5K run, this shoe supports your efforts by delivering both comfort and performance in one package.

Additionally, designed with the latest technology to provide a smooth and responsive experience, this running shoe aids in reducing lower leg discomfort and blisters – promoting overall foot health as you commence your fitness journey.

Pros & Cons (Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40)

Building on the impressive features of the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40, it’s important to weigh the advantages and potential drawbacks this shoe brings to the table for novice runners. Evaluating the pros and cons will help you decide if this model is the right companion for your running journey.


– Bouncy and responsive React foam enhances each stride

– Versatile design suitable for various types of runs

– Classic low-profile silhouette offers timeless style

– Neutral ride ideal for beginners and seasoned runners

– Balanced ride ensures consistent comfort and performance

– Might not provide enough support for overpronators

– High-performance focus might be overkill for casual joggers

– Design may not appeal to those seeking maximalist cushioning

– Limited colorway options could dissuade some buyers

With this comparative perspective in mind, runners can make informed decisions about whether the Pegasus 40 aligns with their individual needs and preferences.

Hoka Rincon 3: The Lightweight Contender

The Hoka Rincon 3 is known for its lightweight design and responsive cushioning, making it a top choice for beginner runners looking for speed and comfort. To find out more about this impressive running shoe, keep reading!

Features & Description (Hoka Rincon 3)

The Hoka Rincon 3 is an excellent choice for beginners as it blends lightweight design with ample cushioning and breathability. Its Jacquard Air Mesh upper provides a comfortable fit while ensuring proper ventilation during runs, promoting a more pleasant experience for the feet.

This running shoe also delivers propulsive energy return, which can be especially beneficial for individuals new to regular aerobic activity, aiding in the development of an efficient stride.

With its focus on being lightweight and supportive, the Hoka Rincon 3 encourages a smooth and well-cushioned ride without sacrificing responsiveness or durability.

Pros & Cons (Hoka Rincon 3)

When considering the Hoka Rincon 3 for beginner runners, it’s valuable to weigh its advantages and potential disadvantages.

Lightweight design makes for an effortless running experience.Some users may find the cushioning less durable than heavier shoes.
Jacquard Air Mesh upper provides excellent comfort and breathability.Runners with wider feet might feel the fit is too snug.
Midsole cushioning offers a balanced ride, suitable for various distances.Lack of specific drawbacks mentioned in provided facts, user experience may vary.
Aesthetically pleasing design caters to those also considering style.High arch support might not cater to all foot types.
Responsive feel encourages an efficient stride for beginners.May require a break-in period for optimal comfort during long runs.

Saucony Ride 16: The Smooth Operator

The Saucony Ride 16 is designed to provide a smooth and comfortable running experience, with its cushioned yet responsive design. Its PWRRUN foam midsole offers excellent support for beginners.

Want to discover more about this fantastic option? Keep reading for all the details!

Features & Description (Saucony Ride 16)

The Saucony Ride 16, known as “The Smooth Operator,” is a classic and versatile running shoe suitable for beginners. It comes with a firm EVA foam midsole that offers stability and cushioning, making it comfortable for longer runs.

Additionally, the redesigned upper provides a plush and breathable fit while ensuring security for the foot. The option of different widths adds to its appeal, catering to various foot shapes.

With its Pwrrun+ footbed, this shoe delivers an added layer of comfort and support – an essential feature especially for those starting their fitness journey. This makes the Saucony Ride 16 an ideal choice for individuals looking to enhance their physical well-being through running without compromising on comfort or performance.

Pros & Cons (Saucony Ride 16)

Building on the features and description of the Saucony Ride 16, it’s essential to weigh its strengths and weaknesses to determine if it aligns with a beginner’s needs. To aid in this evaluation, here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons.

Jacquard Air Mesh upper provides exceptional breathability and comfort.Some runners might find the cushioning too soft for high-speed runs.
Offers reliable cushioning to protect joints from impact.May not be suitable for those with very wide feet.
Ideal for beginners due to its supportive design.Aesthetic design may not appeal to all users.
Versatile shoe suitable for a variety of distances and paces.Durability could be an issue over long-term use.
Smooth ride quality, making it easier for new runners to adapt.Heavier than some other options, which may affect performance.

Saucony Ride 16 stands out as a recommended choice for novice runners, integrating comfort and support to start their running journey on the right foot.

New Balance Fresh Foam 880v13: For a Plush Run

The New Balance Fresh Foam 880v13 provides a plush and comfortable run with its cushioned support and responsive feel. If you’re looking for a smooth and luxurious running experience, this shoe might be the perfect fit for you.

Features & Description (New Balance Fresh Foam 880v13)

The New Balance Fresh Foam 880v13 is a top pick for beginners, featuring durable rubber outsoles and dual-density midsoles for essential comfort and support. The shoe offers a soft and well-cushioned ride with additional pronation support, making it suitable for those new to running.

Its breathable mesh upper ensures a comfortable fit, enhancing the overall running experience. Highlighted as part of the updated list of best running shoes for beginners, this shoe provides plush cushioning, a comfortable fit, and crucial support for pronation.

It’s recommended as a plush running shoe suitable for beginners due to its emphasis on necessary comfort and support.

For individuals seeking an improved physical fitness regimen, the New Balance Fresh Foam 880v13 ticks all the boxes—offering durability, comfort, breathability, and necessary foot support tailored perfectly for newcomers to running.

Pros & Cons (New Balance Fresh Foam 880v13)

Continuing from the features that make the New Balance Fresh Foam 880v13 stand out, let’s delve into the advantages and drawbacks that will help inform your decision.

  • Midsole cushioning offers a plush, supportive ride for beginners.
  • Durable rubber outsole contributes to the shoe’s longevity.
  • Breathable mesh upper ensures a comfortable fit and feel.
  • Design is suitable for various foot shapes, promoting an inclusive fit.
  • Offers extra pronation support, beneficial for those new to running.
  • Some runners might find the cushioning too soft for their preference.
  • Heavier than some other beginner options, which may affect speed work.
  • Price point could be considered high for a beginner’s investment.
  • May not provide sufficient support for runners with specific gait issues.

Moving on from the pros and cons, let’s address some common questions that first-time running shoe buyers may have.

Asics Gel-Cumulus 25: The Cushioned Mile-Muncher

The Asics Gel-Cumulus 25 offers exceptional cushioning and support for beginner runners, making it an ideal choice for racking up the miles. To find out more about this top running shoe option, keep reading!

Features & Description (Asics Gel-Cumulus 25)

The Asics Gel-Cumulus 25 features advanced Pure-GEL technology and Flytefoam Blast + cushioning, delivering a plush step-in feel and comfortable mesh upper that is gentle on the feet.

Its lightweight design makes it ideal for beginners, providing a supportive and cushioned ride without feeling too heavy on the feet. The Pure-GEL technology in the heel ensures effective shock absorption, reducing impact forces during running.

Additionally, the FF Blast™ PLUS foam in the midsole offers a lighter, softer, and more responsive ride, contributing to an enjoyable running experience for new runners.

With its focus on offering a comfortable and cushioned ride for novice runners seeking to improve their physical fitness, the Asics Gel-Cumulus 25 stands out as an excellent choice for those looking to embark on their running journey with reliable support and comfort.

These features make it well-suited for individuals of all ages who are eager to enhance their physical well-being through dedicated running activities.

Pros & Cons (Asics Gel-Cumulus 25)

Understanding the features of the Asics Gel-Cumulus 25 provides a clear picture of what this shoe offers to beginner runners. Now, let’s delve into the advantages and limitations that come with choosing this model for your running journeys.

Pure Gel technology ensures excellent shock absorption.May be priced higher than some competitors, affecting budget-conscious buyers.
Flytefoam Blast + cushioning delivers a plush, comfortable feel.Some runners might find the design less appealing than other options.
Ideal for both short and long distance runs, offering versatility.Heavier weight could be a drawback for those preferring a more minimalist shoe.
Provides consistent comfort and support, benefiting long-distance runners.May require a break-in period for optimal performance and fit.
Durable construction stands up well to regular use.Wider footed individuals might find the fit too snug.

With these points in consideration, you can weigh the pros and cons to see if the Asics Gel-Cumulus 25 aligns with your running needs and preferences.

Mizuno Wave Rider 27: The Responsive Ride

Experience a responsive ride with the Mizuno Wave Rider 27, featuring cushioning and support for your beginner running journey. Ready to discover more top running shoe options? Keep reading!

Features & Description (Mizuno Wave Rider 27)

The Mizuno Wave Rider 27 is designed to provide a smooth and stable ride for beginner runners. The energy foam in the midsole strikes a balance between firmness and plushness, offering responsiveness without sacrificing comfort.

With its new heel counter and internal padding, these shoes prioritize comfort for those new to running. The roomy toe box and enhanced durability make the Mizuno Wave Rider 27 an excellent choice for beginners seeking reliable performance.

Looking at the top features of the Mizuno Wave Rider 27, we find a well-cushioned midsole with responsive energy foam, providing stability for new runners. The comfortable design includes a roomy toe box, making it suitable for various foot shapes while ensuring durability for long-term use.

Pros & Cons (Mizuno Wave Rider 27)

Moving from the features and descriptions of the Mizuno Wave Rider 27, let’s delve into the advantages and drawbacks of this shoe to see if it’s the right fit for your running journey.

Smooth and stable ride suitable for beginnersMay feel too cushioned for those preferring a firmer ride
Midsole offers a balanced mix of firmness and plushnessMight be slightly heavier compared to other beginner shoes
Enhanced comfort with new heel counter and internal paddingStyle and color options may be limited
Roomy toe box accommodates a range of foot shapesCan be on the pricier side for beginners
Increased durability for regular training sessionsBreak-in period may be necessary for optimal comfort

On Cloudmonster: For a Unique Running Experience

Experience the next level of running with the On Cloudmonster. With its innovative design and performance-enhancing features, this shoe offers a truly unique and exhilarating running experience.

Learn more about how the On Cloudmonster can take your runs to new heights!

Features & Description (On Cloudmonster)

The ON Cloudmonster running shoe comes with unique Cloudtec pods in the midsole for added propulsion, providing a springy and responsive feel with each step. Its Speedboard and large pods in the midsole contribute to stability, creating a platform that supports powerful push-offs during your run.

Weighing only 275g for men and 230g for women, this lightweight shoe offers comfort without sacrificing performance. With a 6mm drop, it strikes an optimal balance between heel and toe support, promoting a more natural stride.

The innovative CloudTec elements embedded within these shoes deliver exceptional cushioning and next-level comfort.

Pros & Cons (On Cloudmonster)

The On Cloudmonster offers a unique blend of style and function, enticing beginners with its innovative design and performance features. Here’s a breakdown of its advantages and disadvantages:

Cloudtec experience provides excellent propulsion.May be priced higher than some beginner-friendly options.
Speedboard enhances stability for effective push-off.Unique aesthetic might not appeal to all runners.
Versatile for various running scenarios.Adaptation period required for runners new to On shoes.
Lightweight design encourages a more efficient stride.Limited colorways compared to other brands.
6mm drop aligns with a natural running posture.Cushioning may feel too soft for runners preferring a firmer ride.
Breathable upper ensures comfort over long distances.Durability may vary with running conditions and frequency.
Stylish enough for casual wear beyond running.Can require a break-in period for best comfort and performance.

Exploring the On Cloudmonster reveals a shoe that not only functions well for running but also excels in everyday casual use due to its streamlined design. Moving on, let’s delve into FAQs for first-time running shoe buyers.

FAQs for First-Time Running Shoe Buyers

Learn how to determine the right size for your running shoes and if you can use running shoes for walking in our comprehensive FAQs section. Dive into all the essential information you need before purchasing your first pair of running shoes!

How do I determine the right size for my running shoes?

When determining the right size for your running shoes, prioritize comfort and proper fit. Consider factors such as midsole cushioning, breathable and comfortable upper, individual needs based on biomechanics, weight, and foot shape.

It’s advisable to get advice from a running store and consider going up half a size. Use the rule of thumb to check for proper fit when buying running shoes – ensure there’s about a thumbnail’s width between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

This will help prevent discomfort, blisters, or toenail issues during your runs.

Can I use running shoes for walking?

Yes, running shoes can be used for walking. It’s important to ensure that the shoes are comfortable and provide the necessary support. When using running shoes for walking, look for features such as cushioning and proper fit.

Running shoes often have the support needed for walking activities as well. As long as they feel good on your feet and offer the support you need, there’s no reason why you can’t use them for walking too.

Remember to prioritize comfort when choosing running shoes for any activity, whether it’s running or walking. Proper fitting is crucial, so ensure that the size is right to prevent discomfort or injuries.


In conclusion, selecting the right pair of running shoes is crucial for beginners. It’s essential to prioritize comfort, proper fitting, and support when choosing from the top recommended brands like Nike, Hoka, Saucony, Mizuno, On, Brooks, New Balance, Adidas and Asics.

The practical tips provided can simplify the process and lead to more efficient outcomes. Have you considered seeking advice from a specialized store or using a rule of thumb to check for the perfect fit? Embracing these strategies can significantly impact your running experience as an individual aiming to improve physical fitness.

Remember that every step forward starts with choosing the right pair of shoes!