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Best Running Shoes for Beginners

Best beginner running shoes

When looking for your first set of running shoes it is very easy to get overwhelmed. The review articles can appear highly technical and often confusing. Many running shoes often tend to be out of your price range and deliver benefits that you may not even understand. What you really want is a reasonably priced pair of running shoes that will be comfortable and durable. This article aims to help you find exactly that.

Check our comparison table below on the best running shoes for beginners for a quick answer on which running shoe you should buy. Continue reading for more useful information.

What to Look for in a Beginner Running Shoe

There are a few things that you want to look out for when purchasing your first pair of running shoes. How comfortable are the shoes? How durable are they? What is the traction like (how well do they grip the surface that you are running on)? How breathable they are is another consideration. 

Don’t focus on speciality shoes like, and don’t try to buy the most expensive pair on the market, as this will be a waste of money. The main thing you want is a pair of shoes that will allow you to run pain-free, as this will keep running fun while you learn the ropes.

In this article, we will be assessing our running shoes based on five criteria: Comfort, durability, traction, breathability, and value for money. Here is a quick rundown of each criterion and why we use each one to review your shoes.

  • Comfort – This is a measure of how comfortable your feet feel while you run. It looks at how well the shoes fit, how effective the cushioning is, and how the shoes feel over long distances. Owning an uncomfortable pair of shoes can be a nightmare as it can really suck the fun out of any run.
  • Durability – This gives an indication of how well the running shoe has been designed and made. How well it will handle the wear and tear of your daily run, and how long it should last. A good pair of running shoes should be aiming to last 250-350 miles. Newer running shoes may not need to be as durable, as they are something of an introduction, a test to see how well they are suited to you. 
  • Traction – How well does your shoe grip the road as you run? Can you run in wet conditions without slipping and sliding? This is very important as poor traction can be quite dangerous, particularly for new runners. 
  • Breathability – Shoes that have bad air circulation will lead to very hot and sweaty feet. Not only can this be unhygienic, but it can make your runs less comfortable and far less enjoyable. Shoes with a good mesh upper are very popular, but shoes that are too breathable can suffer with a lack of waterproofing. 
  • Value for Money – This does not mean finding the cheapest shoes available, it means finding shoes that are well worth their price tag. Shoes that are high in quality, will last you a long time, and have a price that reflects that. The shoe may be very cheap or very expensive, but either could be good or bad value for money depending on how they perform. That being said, running shoes for beginners are rarely too expensive as it’s a brand new hobby and you don’t want to break the bank before you’ve even decided whether you enjoy it or not!

Now that we have explained how we are reviewing each running shoe, we can start to rank them. Our table will take a look at five of the best running shoes for beginners, assessing them on the five criteria mentioned above. Each criterion will be scored out of five, with a total score of 25. 

Best Running Shoes for Beginners

Best Running Shoes for BeginnersComfortDurabilityTractionBreathabilityValueTotal
Adidas Duramo 9 4555423/25 Check Price
SKDOIUL Running Shoes4444521/25 Check Price
AiEles Running Shoes4445522/25 Check Price
York Athletics the Henry5554423/25 Check Price
Hoka One One Clifton 75544422/25 Check Price

As you can see, all five running shoes are very close in terms of score, with two scoring an amazing 23 out of 25. We have two very inexpensive running shoes (SKDOIUL and AiEles) two very comfortable running shoes (York Athletics and Hoka One One) and an ideal all-rounder from Adidas

Which shoe suits your needs best will really depend on what it is that you want from your running shoe. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at each shoe in turn, to help you find your perfect match.

Best Beginner Running Shoe #1: Adidas Duramo 9 Running Shoes

Of the big brand running shoe companies, Adidas is often the fairest priced. Combine that with the very high quality they offer, and you’ve got yourself an amazing beginner’s running shoe. The Adidas Duramo 9 running shoe looks absolutely beautiful, which is always a plus. 

It’s also highly comfortable, and offers incredible durability, traction, and breathability. While no Adidas shoe is going to be as cheap as the non-brand running shoes (numbers 2 and 3 on this list) they are still great value for money. 

Overall, the Adidas Duramo 9 running shoe is an excellent all-rounder, which suits new runners who have a decent budget and want a shoe that looks and performs very well. 

Best Beginner Running Shoe #2: SKDOIUL Running Shoes

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0967TC8GJ/


If you are completely new to running, then the idea of spending a large amount of your pay cheque on a pair of shoes may seem pretty crazy. Luckily, there are many smaller brands out there that can offer a quality run at a fraction of the price. SKDOIUL running shoes are a perfect example of that. 

The shoes are ridiculously well priced, hence their 5/5 score for their value for money. They are comfortable, surprisingly durable considering the price, and they offer decent traction and breathability. 

Overall, these shoes are a great introduction to running, and should last you long enough for you to establish what type of runner you want to become. They are also great as gym shoes or for casual sporting use. A great pair of shoes.

Best Beginner Running Shoe #3: AiEles Running Air Shoes

Like the SKDOIUL running shoes above, the AiEles running air shoes are an absolute bargain! This is mostly down to them not being a big (and therefore recognisable) brand. They are clearly modelled on a pair of ASICS running shoes but can’t offer the same quality. That being said, they are a small fraction of the cost.

They are very comfortable, with a really decent air cushioning system. They are very breathable thanks to a mesh upper, and they have decent durability. Like the SKDOIUL running shoes, the AiEles are perfect for someone who is running for the first time and just wants something comfortable to keep them happy during those first educational runs. 

Best Beginner Running Shoe #4: York Athletics The Henry Lightweight Running Shoes

Unlike the previous three running shoes, the York Athletics shoe (The Henry) is not inexpensive, it instead represents a considerable investment for a pair of running shoes. But when you look past the price (no more than a decent pair of Nike shoes) you will see one of the best running shoes for beginners out there.

The Henry is an amazingly stylish running shoe that is also comfortable, durable, and breathable. They also provide excellent traction, meaning that you can run them in most conditions and terrains. Whether you can bring yourself to put these running shoes through mud is up to you (they really are beautiful to look at).

These shoes are great for beginners because they are so comfortable, and they will work really well in the gym or on the road. They are also highly fashionable, so could be worn while socialising (in case the running comes to a halt). 

There are a variety of different materials to choose from, you can get a mesh running shoe from York Athletics if you plan on running longer distances and want more breathability. They also offer soft and leather styled running shoes, for a more old school run. Great for colder weather or running indoors. 

Best Beginner Running Shoe #5: Hoka One One Clifton 7 Running Shoes

The final running shoes on our list are the Hoka One One Clifton 7 running shoes. The most expensive running shoes on this list, but also the most comfortable and cushioned running shoes by far. We had to have at least one pair of Hoka One One running shoes on this list, as they are designed for pure comfort and are therefore the perfect starter shoe for new runners.

These shoes are highly durable and offer great traction. Their breathability may not be quite as good as some of the mesh running shoes on this list, but they will still keep your feet well ventilated during a run. 

If you want a lot of cushioning while you learn how to run then the Hoka One One Clifton 7 running shoe is certainly the right shoe for you. Just adjust your budget accordingly!