Best Lightweight Running Shoes

running shoes

Purchasing lightweight running shoes indicates one thing, that you are serious about speed. While regular shoes tend to concentrate on comfort or durability, or style, a lightweight running shoe is about running at a fast pace. This doesn’t mean that lightweight running shoes can’t also be comfortable or durable, but the main focus is on weight, which allows you to travel faster.

In this article we are going to take a look at 7 of the best lightweight running shoes that are currently available. These shoes will be light, comfortable, durable, and will look good while you’re wearing them. We’ll give each factor a rating, and you can then pick the one that best suits your needs.

If, for example, you are looking for the fastest shoe possible, then you might not care whether they look good. if you are mostly interested in durability, then maybe you’ll be okay with a little more weight in the shoe. Hopefully you get the idea.

Best Lightweight Running Shoes Chart

Running ShoeHow lightweight is it?ComfortDurabilityStyleTotal
Altra Escalante

4/54/55/53/516
Speedform Slingride TRI

4/54/55/53/516
Adizero Tempo 9

3/55/54/55/517
Merrell Trail Glove 4

5/54/54/53/516
Hoka One One Tracer

3/55/54/54/516
New Balance SONIV1

4/54/54/53/515
GOmeb Speed 4

5/54/54/52/515

We will now take an in-depth look at the 7 shoes that we’ve covered in the table above. This will help you to make your decision based on how the shoe lives up to the four categories we have evaluated them on: How lightweight they are, how comfortable they are, their durability, and how stylish they are. Obviously, style is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s still something that can be evaluated.

Best Lightweight Running Shoes #1: Altra Escalante

Altra is a shoe company with a pretty unique origin, it was started by three men called Golden Harper, Brian Beckstead, and Jeremy Howlett in 2009. They created shoes with zero drop by cannibalising running shoes from big sporting companies and melting down the outsoles using a toaster oven.

While the technique was clunky and inelegant, it worked. But you can’t make a business by melting the shoes of your rivals and selling them. So the three founders started to create their own shoes. The company is now well established and their unique shoes could soon be as popular with serious runners as some of the bigger brands out there.

The Escalante shoe is low in weight, and the build of the shoe helps to make them very durable. The shoes are springy and combined with the low weight you will be able to run very fast in them. They would also be great for playing sports in, or for performing plyometrics in. The shoes are surprisingly comfortable, with an incredibly soft upper.

The main benefit of these shoes is their effect on performance. They have been designed to increase traction, to splay the toes on impact, and to maximise the push off. The midsole is very responsive to the runner, and this will really help you get the most out of your shoes while running.

Style wise, they’re okay. The shoes are not as stylish as a Nike or Adidas shoe, but then Altra is more focused on effective shoes that prevent injury and improve performance, rather than shoes that look good. If you aren’t too concerned with fashion then these are the perfect shoes for you.

Best Lightweight Running Shoes #2: Under Armour Speedform Slingride Tri Running Shoes – SS17

Under Armour is a company in Maryland that sells sports clothing and footwear. They have been operating since 1996 and have grown massively in the last few years. The company focuses on improving performance (just like Altra) and their products are often aimed at gym goers, runners, and athletes.

The Speedform Slingride Tri Running Shoes are made for both comfort and performance. They are also surprisingly durable, using Dyneema (the world’s strongest fiber) to keep the shoes in good condition for a long time. They fit very well too, using speedform technology which creates a precise fit and can help a lot when running.

The shoes are very lightweight with a typical men’s shoe weighing just 242g. There is a heel drop of just 6mm, and neutral arch support. The shoes are really comfortable, with a padded tongue, and two-piece charged cushioning (two types of foam layered on top of each other). Like the Escalante, these shoes are let down a little when it comes to style, they look okay but not exactly cool.

Best Lightweight Running Shoes #3: Adidas Adizero Tempo 9 Running Shoe

Adidas make great shoes, there’s nobody who would argue with that. They have almost a century of expertise and make some truly beautiful shoes. Adizero were built for stability and for performance, they are lightweight, comfortable, and flexible.

The shoes weigh 269g for a men’s size 9 which is a little heavier than the previous two shoes. But the extra weight allows for more comfort. The shoes utilise dual-density boost cushioning which not only increases comfort, but also affects stability. The shoes have a fantastic torsion system from the heel to the forefoot that can improve stability even further, and they use stretchweb along the underfoot which improves flexibility.

The shoes look beautiful, particularly the gray one. They’re perfect for people who want to run fast and look good doing it. An excellent all-round lightweight running shoe.

Best Lightweight Running Shoes #4: Merrell Trail Glove 4

Merrell is an outdoor clothing and kit suppliers that have been running since 1981. They are quite well known in the running community for providing excellent shoes for difficult terrain. In other words they make shoes for the great outdoors. If you are looking for a lightweight running shoe for cross country runs, or even for short/medium hikes then Merrell are the company to go to.

The Merrell Glove 4 Trail Runner is an excellent lightweight running shoe. It is designed to be “sock like” in terms of how it feels to put on and walk or run in. It has a Vibram sole which helps cushion your feet without increasing the weight of the shoe too much. The shoes only weigh 230g. The upper is made of mesh and there is also a breathable mesh lining around the shoe.

They let themselves down a bit when it comes to style, they just look completely uncool. This shouldn’t bother you when you’re running down a mountain in some of the most comfortable and lightweight shoes available, but it may bother you when you’re on the road training!

Best Lightweight Running Shoes #5: Hoka One One Tracer

Hoka One One are known for making some of the most comfortable running shoes around, because of this they are seen as the perfect shoes for new runners. They aren’t often seen as great light weight running shoes because their emphasis on cushioning that can increase weight. But the Tracer is a surprisingly good racer.

This is due to the Hoka One One shoe being very flexible, lightweight, stable, and designed to help get runners more on their toes. This is because the shoes have increased cushioning in the heel, and in the midsole.

The shoes may be a bit pricey, particularly compared to the Nike Air Zoom Speed Rival 6 shoes that we reviewed earlier. But they are comfortable, very durable, and will really help you run fast over long distances. Perfect for slightly overweight runners who want to run fast but in comfort.

Best Lightweight Running Shoes #6: New Balance SONIV1 Running Shoes

New Balance is a shoe company that was founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1906. They are known for being quite pricey, but also for being well made, and full of technology that is cutting edge. Their light weight running shoes are no exception. The shoes we are looking at today are the New Balance SONIV1 running shoe.

These shoes are supposed to be some of the lightest out there, and are markedly lighter than other shoes by New Balance. They weigh just 238g and have a 6mm heel drop. The midsole is excellent, nice and firm which helps improve the stability. They use Revlite technology which is designed to help keep the shoe light while making it incredibly responsive to your running style and needs.

There is a solid rubber outsole which when combined with the Revlite midsole makes for a really cushioned yet powerful shoe. Speaking of cushioning, it’s surprising just how cushioned these shoes are considering the weight. Perfect for runners who plan on travelling longer distances.

The shoes are really easy to put on, and due to the design of the laces, you won’t even notice they are there while you are running. This makes it great for people who occasionally get pain in their upper foot while running, and for people who need to get their running shoes on fast (possibly tri-athletes).

Best Lightweight Running Shoes #7: GOmeb Speed 4 Racing Shoe

Founded in 1992, Skechers is one of the newer shoe companies on the market. They have built a great reputation over the last few years for high quality, stylish, and effective running shoes. Their GOmeb Speed 4 racing shoe is a great example of their approach to performance. Weighing in at just 196g, these are the lightest shoes on this list.

This will help make them fast and easy to run in, though this does slightly affect how comfortable you will find them, particularly on longer runs. That being said, the shoes are still comfortable, and are also durable. They will last a lot longer than shoes that are as light weight as these should be expected to.

The only thing that lets these shoes down is the aesthetics, these are some ugly looking shoes! The charcoal and teal design is the closest they have to acceptable looking shoes, while the worst is probably the red and orange colour combination.

The shoes are breathable, with a GOknit upper being used to provide air to your feet. The insole is excellent, and the weight of the shoes is definitely an advantage in shorter runs. Overall these are a decent pair of running shoes, that should really help you over 400-5k distances.

Final Thoughts

The Adizero Tempo 9 Running Shoes from Adidas are the highest scoring shoes on our list, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the greatest shoes for you personally. If you are looking for the most comfortable shoes out there, then it’s a toss up between the Adizero and the Hoka One One Tracers. The GOmeb Speed 4s are the lightest shoes, and therefore the best for running fast short distance runs, while the Adizero may be better suited for longer distances.