8 Best Running Shoes For Beginners - Trail, Minimalism & More

8 Best Running Shoes For Beginners - Trail, Minimalism & More

Everyone looking to start running has one important question on their mind - which are the best shoes to buy? It's definitely not easy to decide, which is why The Outdoor Journal's Editorial Director and 8-time Ironman finisher Gael Couturier is tying your laces and giving you the clearest possible answer to every runner's favorite question.

4 best running shoes for beginners.

As a beginner you would want a protective and durable shoe. Something in the middle range, between super-light minimalism and racing flats, to big, heavy, tank-like shoes that counter over-pronation. I'd choose the following running shoes for beginners:

nike air zoom pegasus 3

1. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 31 – One of the most famous running shoes ever is back, ladies and gentlemen! As usual, you’ll get that legendary smooth responsive ride, a similarly impressive impact protection and a new mesh where the elements are built in instead of stitched on, which reduces the weight and potential irritations. All in all, it is still a lightweight trainer that most of us can use. However, heavier runners should consider a different shoe... Price: 100$


2. Asics Gel-Cumulus 16 – This Japanese shoe has been a classic trainer for beginner runners all over the world for many years. Here's a shoe you can blindly purchase without thinking twice. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. The new Cumulus is well cushioned, very comfortable and also quite durable. Last but not least, these are also relatively cheaper running shoes for beginners: Price: 115$ (Approx.)


3. Puma Faas 1000 – To some of us, Puma seemed to have abandoned endurance running these past years to focus on football and Usain Bolt. But the Faas series they launched a few years ago never stopped improving. This lightweight model (250 g) is an ideal candidate to check out if you’re a runner who's not sure what to buy. It’s almost risk free as the shoe has enough cushioning, outside grip and an overall great fit. It's also good for runners with wider feet. Price: 130$ (Approx.)

4. Adidas Adizero Boston Boost 5 – Coming up on the next fall-winter line, this is to me the perfect shoe for the light runner (male or female). I’m 68 kg and 175 cm tall, and this is the shoe I wear on my Ironman races - when I have to run a marathon after being tired already from a long
bike stretch (180 k). The Boston, named after the oldest marathon in the world, lives up to its incredibly responsive ride and overall dynamism. A great shoe to improve your times. Price: 120$ (Approx.)

3 best shoes for trail running

More grip, more protection but also more weight. You need those if you’re serious about hitting a rocky and muddy trail. If the trail is smooth and compact, stick to road shoes, they’ll do the trick.


1. Salomon Fellraiser - Salomon has a history of making the best trail running shoes. Coming from the mountain in France, the creators of that entirely new shoe (and the sponsored athletes testing it) came up with deep lugs (remember the Speedcross model?) allowing you to stand still in any steep or loose surface. Built to deal with all that’s nasty out there on the trail. Ideal for the monsoon season. Price: $110 (Approx.)

mizuno wave ascend 8

2. Mizuno Wave Ascend 8 – A long-time favorite for me, I used this shoe extensively on all the reconnaissance runs I did for our event Run The Rann, in the Great Rann of Kutch, western India. And they were difficult, hot and thorny. These shoes survived the cut. Great cushioning, great protection, awesome resistance to the elements. The downside of all those great features is its weight: 310g. Price: 110$ (Approx.)


3. Nike Zoom Wildhorse – Finally coming out this summer - five long years after Nike last produced something interesting in trail running - this lightweight model has a Free shaped platform, and soft lugs underfoot that allow a comfortable ride on soft trails or even some roads. This shoe is built to go fast and give a feel of the terrain below you, so it’s not super protective if you’re hitting lost trails in the hard Himalaya. Price: 110$ (Approx.)

3 best shoes for fast runners

Those shoes are made for the advanced runners, who're ready to score a personal best, or are thinking about moving to minimalism.

Skechers GOrun Meb speed 2

1. Skechers GOrun Meb speed 2 – You want fast? This Meb Keflezighi (top US marathoner) signature model gives you fast. It also has all the right ingredients needed to cook up a modern speed shoe : light (170g), responsive, with a nice comfy flexible mesh. Price: 115$ (Approx.)

Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 2

2. Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 2 – For shorter distance, this is my shoe. Whether I'm racing a short distance triathlon, a 10K or even a half-marathon, the Adios (I love the name) is a shoe that brings me speed, comfort and trust. I know I can run a good race on any given day with a pair of these on my feet. Because they still protect me from the road, yet make my feet feel very, very free. Thank you, Mr. Adidas. Price: 140$. (Approx.)

1 best shoes for minimalist running

New Balance Minimus Zero V2 running shoes

1. New Balance Minimus ZeroV2 –12 mm of rubber between you and the ground, that’s all you’ll get. And that’s all you'll need if you’re game for the experience. Trust me on this : once you’ve gone minimalist, you won’t go back to heavier running. To be able to wear these shoes without getting injured, you need to be light, with a good natural gait and running form. If you're just starting out with these, go easy the first few months, in order for your feet and tendons to adapt to this type of running. I personally train in these once or twice a week in the park by my house in South Delhi. Price: 110$. (Approx.)