How do I pick the Best Running Shoes for Beginners?

Photo by Mustafa Khayat

Beginner’s Guide to Running Shoes

Well, this is our complete, spectacular, totally fabulous and comprehensive guide to doing just that. Strap in and get ready – you’re in for some crash-course learning!Alright, so you want to start running but you don’t know what shoe to pick. We’ve all been there. How do you decide on the best running shoes for beginners?

Quick Guide – Our Top Picks


ImageNamePriceBest FeatureBuy
Reebok PheehanReebok PheehanCheapYou’ll be hard-pressed to find better value than this. A great shoe for your money!Buy on Amazon
ASICS GEL-Blur33 2.0ASICS GEL-Blur33MediumA great all-rounder, this shoe is up there with the luxury buys for a much more reasonable price-tag.Buy on Amazon
ASICS GEL-Nimbus 14ASICS GEL-NimbusLuxuryLuxury in running shoe form. It’s hard to pick just one best feature, but this shoe’s comfort make it like running on clouds!Buy on Amazon


ImageShoe NamePriceBest FeatureBuy
Reebok PheehanReebok PheehanCheapThe Pheehan is a great shoe for those who don't want to spend too much - cheap and cheerful, a great all-rounder.Buy on Amazon
ASICS GEL-Cumulus 14ASICS GEL-Cumulus 14MediumThe GEL series are all pretty comfortable - we've got to say, ASICS know how to make a comfy shoe!Buy on Amazon
ASICS GEL-Kayano 19ASICS GEL-Kayano 19LuxuryThis shoe is breathable, comfy and has a great cushioning system - it'd be hard to pick just one!Buy on Amazon

What to Look for In a Running Shoe

When you’re choosing a running shoe, there are a number of things you’re going to want to take into account in order to decide what’s best for you:

  1. Width – How wide are your feet? Most running shoes will cater to most foot widths, but just make sure the brand of shoe you want is available in your size. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget.
  2. Type of Running – Are you an urban runner, or do you like trail running? They make special shoes for running off-road, but you definitely don’t need a dedicated pair. If in doubt, go for an all-rounder and get a pair of generic ones!
  3. Cushioning – Do you want your shoes to be comfy, or to feel like you’re running barefoot? Different shoes are going to have completely different feels, so if in doubt check out the reviews to get an idea of what other people think.
  4. Looks – Let’s face it, you want a shoe that looks good. This shouldn’t be at the top of your list but, hey, who doesn’t want sexy kicks? What kind of style do you like?
  5. Special Features – Do you need anything special from your shoes? Do you have bunions, or plantar fasciitis? Are you an overpronator?  Do you want a shoe that is super-lightweight? Don’t worry – you’ll already know if you need a specialist shoe and we’ve got special guides for each. If not, then read on.

Remember,  running shoes are different for women and men. Men’s shoes tend to be wider at the front and larger in general. You can definitely run in men’s shoes as a woman, but it might be difficult to swap if you’re a man!

Best Running Shoe Brands

There are 4 main brands of running shoes, and while these are by no means the only people who make running shoes, they’re a good place to start. The shoes these guys make are reliable, so you know you’re getting a good buy.

  1. ASICS – Our favourite company and one of the biggest, ASICS make great running shoes. Their GEL range consistently tops our charts – if you want to shop by brand, these guys are not a bad choice.
  2. Nike – The high-street label are famous for their running gear, and their running shoes are just as stylish. Watch out though – whilst some are absolutely top-knotch, some are just designed to look good.
  3. Brooks – Brooks make shoes with some excellent cushioning technology, and are among the comfiest on the market. Trail runners in particular love them.
  4. Reebok – For those of you shopping on a budget, Reebok make shoes that are great value for money. They might not be as high-tech as ASICS or Brooks, but their shoes are perfect for beginners.

Anatomy of a Running Shoe

Men’s Health have an excellent interactive diagram that helps explain all the different parts of a running shoe. Check out this video for a great breakdown as well:

It’s always good to learn about what your shoe’s made of!


Well, hopefully that was all helpful!

Reebok Pheehan
If you’re still not sure which shoe to go for and you’re on a budget, then we’d definitely recommend the Reebok Pheehan to start off with. It’s cheap, it’s tried and tested and it ain’t a bad shoe at all!

So there we have it. That’s our roundup of the best running shoes for beginners. We sure hoped it helped! Have you found a really good running shoe to start off with too? If so, leave a comment below. Thanks and much love from all of us here at Jogging Boots!

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