Allison Graaff/November 2021/
5 minute read

How To Choose Running Shoes

Lace up with confidence after finding your perfect match. From new runners to seasoned marathoners, use our running shoe finder to choose your ideal shoe.


If you were to ask 100 runners what makes a good running shoe, you’d likely get 100 different answers. Distance, running surface and performance preferences all play a role in what people look for in running shoes, creating an overwhelming amount of options to choose from.

To find the right pair for you, consider which features are important for your running habits.

  • Where do you run?

If you’re running in the city, you might favor a responsive, cushioned shoe. If you favor the trails you might choose a shoe with durable traction and support. If you're looking for treadmill running shoes that you can use for squats and burpees, you’ll likely want a cross-trainer. 

  • What level of cushioning do you like?

More cushioning delivers more comfort and energy return, but it can also mean a heavier shoe that is higher off the ground. Less cushioning lets you feel the ground as you run. Everyone is different, so determine what feels good to you.

  • Do you need specific support?

If your ankle and foot rolls inward, that means you overpronate. If your weight rolls to the outside of the foot, then you supinate. These movements can cause pain or discomfort, and you might benefit from a shoe with specialized support to keep your foot in a neutral position.


Now that you know the basics for finding the right fit, it’s time to dive into finding the perfect shoe for your running style. From the most cushioning to race-day favorites, we’re breaking down all the categories so you can find your perfect match.



These are your cushioned, everyday trainers and versatile running shoes. They make for a great beginner’s running shoe—those who are lacing up for the first time as well as seasoned pros who want a springy shoe for recovery runs. These shoes have more cushioning that lifts them up off the ground for exceptional energy return and comfort.

Ultraboost DNA


Choose Ultraboost if you want the most cushioning.

The Ultraboost broke barriers when it launched in 2015, thanks to its iconic Boost midsole and exceptional comfort. The Ultraboost DNA carries on the spirit of the original, holding onto the qualities that made it a classic while adding modern touches.

Constructed from thousands of expanded foam particles, Boost is our most responsive cushioning technology ever—returning all the energy you put in. The breathable, sock-like Primeknit upper hugs the foot for support, and the heel frame and precision stitching in the forefoot add both stability and control with every landing. From subzero to melting hot days, Boost delivers consistent performance, making it a great year-round trainer. 

In addition to the technology, Ultraboost DNA crosses over into streetwear with its sleek silhouette and cool colorways. 

To find your ideal Ultraboost fit, read our Ultraboost sizing guide.

Ultraboost 21


Ultraboost 21 improves on the classic model’s cushioning with more Boost. 

The Ultraboost 21 features 6% more Boost in the midsole for even more cushioning and energy return. Made to achieve the perfect balance of weight, comfort and responsiveness, it is built with Primeblue, a high-performance recycled material made in part with Parley Ocean Plastic. 

Like the original Ultraboost, this updated model emphasizes versatility and comfort—making it a great cross-training shoe for people who are just getting into running, as well as a great recovery running shoe for more advanced runners.

Solar Glide


Choose Solar Glide if you want a distance shoe with cushioning and energy return.

These long-distance running shoes come in men’s and women’s versions for the perfect fit. The midsole features Boost cushioning for maximum energy return no matter how far you’re going. To keep your stride stable and balanced, a stability rail and molded heel work together to guide the foot without restricting natural movement. The lightweight, breathable mesh upper keeps you comfortable for the long haul, making these great neutral running shoes for runners who are starting to build up their distance.


For runners looking to clock big mileage, look for shoes that offer the perfect combination of lightweight cushioning, breathability, and lightness. These shoes offer versatility from distance training to race day. 



Choose SolarBoost for a distance shoe with more cushioning.

Designed for long distance runs, SolarBoost provides lasting comfort, energy return and support. Inspired by NASA technology, the engineered mesh upper lets your foot breathe and expand while precise stitching reinforces the toe box and amplifies the shoe’s responsiveness. It also features a fully surrounding Control Rail for stability. The SolarBoost is a great distance training shoe for runners who want more energy return and cushioning.

Adizero Boston


Choose Adizero Boston for a lightly cushioned race day shoe.

Created for one of the most famous marathons in the world, the Adizero Boston remains a go-to race day pick whether you’re taking on Heartbreak Hill or not. With a close-to-ground midsole, you’ll experience a responsive, energized stride from start to finish. The newest edition of the Adizero Boston 10 uses Lightstrike Pro foam for a fast, snappy feel, giving every step more energy than the last. The lightweight textile upper supports your feet with exceptional breathability and a locked-down fit that keeps pace.


Ultra-light shoes that keep up with your need for speed and are the go-to choice for intervals and speed training.

Adizero Adios


Choose Adizero Adios if you’re trying to achieve a race day PR.

Originally designed by master Japanese shoemaker Toshiaki Omori, the Adizero Adios is a favorite among racers who crave speed. With its lightweight, neutral construction, every step from a mile to a marathon feels unhindered. The Adizero Adios features a Lightstrike Pro midsole for that signature snappy feel. The feather-light, breathable mesh upper offers support with a locked-down fit that keeps up with racing and fast training.



Choose SL20 if you want a lightweight speed trainer.

Feel fast, run fast, be fast. Experience feather-light propulsion in the SL20, which features a Lightstrike midsole that delivers the optimal balance of lightweight cushioning and responsiveness—giving each step an energized, snappy sensation. The airy mesh upper keeps the shoe feeling breezy, creating a reliable choice for tempo runs and speed training. It nicely rounds out any runner’s training rotation.


When neutral running shoes don’t give you the support you need, turn to stability shoes with extra support to correct your stride.

SolarGlide ST


Choose SolarGlide ST to get your favorite running shoe features with extra support.

Distance runners, rejoice. Like the neutral version, the SolarGlide ST features the same breathable mesh upper to make every mile a breeze. The SolarGlide ST is perfect for people who need supportive shoes for overpronation. The Boost midsole delivers that iconic energy return that runners love, while the Stable Frame guides the foot for stability with every step.


For runners who trade the city streets for the wilderness, pick up a running shoe built with a durable outsole and support for uneven terrain.

Terrex Two Ultra Primeblue Trail Running Shoes 


Choose Terrex Two Ultra Primeblue if you’re hitting the trails.

Take your run to the wild in these trail running shoes that are made for exploring. Featuring our most responsive cushioning technology, the full-length Boost midsole returns energy regardless of temperature, so you can trail run in any condition and distance. The Continental™ Rubber outsole flexes with your feet for a comfortable, adaptive run and delivers grip and traction for any surface. The sock-like Primeknit upper adapts to your foot for support and breathability. This shoe is also made with Primeblue, a high-performance recycled material made in part with Parley Ocean Plastic.


A good rule of thumb is to get new running shoes every 300 to 500 miles, or roughly every four to six months if you average 20 miles per week. After thousands of steps in the same shoe, the cushioning in the midsole can become compressed, limiting its energy return and support. At the same time, the tread of the outsole wears down, which reduces traction, and the knit upper can stretch out, losing its supportive capabilities. You’ll feel and see the difference, and that’s how you know when to replace your running shoes.