The Best Running Shoes to Lace Up in 2024

As another year rolls around, runners everywhere are gearing up to hit the roads and trails in fresh new kicks. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the perfect running shoe? Never fear, we’ve done the legwork (literally) to bring you the best of the best for 2024.

The Workhorse: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40

If you could only have one running shoe in your rotation, the Nike Pegasus 40 would be a stellar choice. This iconic model has been a go-to for runners of all levels for decades, and the latest version doesn’t disappoint. The midsole combines Nike’s responsive React foam with snappy Zoom Air units to give you an energetic yet well-cushioned ride, perfect for everything from easy miles to marathon racing. The updated upper wraps your foot in secure, breathable comfort. But what really sets the Pegasus apart is its versatility. Whether you’re a casual jogger or a seasoned racer, heel striker or midfoot lander, the Peg has you covered. It’s the running shoe equivalent of that reliable friend who’s always there for you, mile after mile.

The Distance Demon: Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

When it comes to tackling the marathon and beyond, you need a shoe that can go the distance. Enter the Saucony Endorphin Pro 4, a long-haul cruiser built for racking up the miles in supreme comfort. The midsole is where the magic happens, with a dual-density PWRRUN PB foam setup that’s soft yet responsive. But the real star is the full-length nylon plate that adds a “pop” to your stride, almost propelling you forward with each footstrike. Heel strikers will love the smooth transition and energetic toe-off, though forefoot runners may find the geometry a bit too curved. The durable outsole can handle high mileage on roads while providing decent traction. Lace-up the Endorphin Pro 4 and get ready to make those long runs feel just a little bit shorter and easier. Just be warned – you may get hooked on that springy, efficient ride!

The Everyday Trainer: Asics Novablast 4

When it comes to racking up daily training miles, you need a shoe that can do it all while keeping your feet happy. Look no further than the Asics Novablast 4, a premium neutral trainer that delivers luxurious cushioning in a lively package. The star of the show is Asics’ bouncy FF Blast Plus midsole foam, which provides clouds of impact protection without feeling mushy or unstable. A rocker geometry encourages smooth transitions, so your stride flows effortlessly. Whether you’re out for an easy recovery run or pushing the pace on a workout day, the Novablast will cushion your footstrike and energize your toe-off. The durable outsole can handle high mileage on roads. For ladies, the Novablast is a top pick among wear testers for its versatility and comfort during longer efforts. Gents can also rejoice in the unisex fit and styling.

The Speed Demon: Nike Alphafly Next% 2

When it’s time to race and chase those PRs, you need a shoe designed for blistering speed. The Nike Alphafly Next% 2 is a rocket ship for your feet, engineered to help you run faster than ever before. Like its predecessor, the Next% 2 features ZoomX foam (Nike’s most responsive cushioning) and a full-length carbon plate to create an incredibly propulsive ride. Each stride feels effortless yet powerful, like you’re being propelled forward. For the latest version, Nike tweaked the upper with more Atomknit material for a snug, secure fit that still allows your foot to splay and flex naturally. The outsole has also been updated with more rubber in high-wear areas for increased traction and durability. While not ideal for daily training due to the ultra-responsive midsole, the Alphafly is a true race-day weapon. Lace them up and get ready to fly!

The Budget Beast: Brooks Glycerin 21

Let’s face it, premium running shoes don’t come cheap these days. But you don’t have to break the bank to get quality cushioning. The Brooks Glycerin 21 delivers premium comfort at a much more affordable price point. Brooks’ DNA Loft midsole provides a plush, protective ride that’s ideal for easy days and high mileage efforts. The rocker geometry promotes smooth transitions, while the durable outsole can handle plenty of road work. While not as responsive or speed-oriented as some carbon-plated models, the Glycerin is a reliable workhorse trainer for those who want maximum cushioning without the premium price tag. Your wallet (and feet) will thank you!

The Right Shoe for You

Of course, the “best” running shoe is highly individual based on your needs, preferences, and unique feet. But regardless of your goals, this year’s crop offers outstanding options to help you run your best. The key is to identify your primary uses (long distances, speed work, easy training, etc), cushioning needs, foot type, and budget. Then hit your local running shop and try on the top contenders to get that Cinderella “ahhh” feeling. With the right shoes on your feet, you’ll be ready to tackle 2024’s miles with comfort and confidence. Now lace up and get after it!

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