Skip the heavy lifting and go straight to what’s best. Just Get This is our no-nonsense guide to the gear you need, now.
We often pound our running shoes into the ground for far more miles than they're made for, partly because finding the perfect new pair is a hassle. Running shoes are highly personal — different models support different running styles, and all our feet are unique. What's more, the options are endless and always updated.
The best place to buy a running shoe is at your local specialty running store, where you can try on multiple pairs and test how they run on a treadmill. But if you are going to buy them online, we recommend the Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite.
Why? Simply put, the Lite version of the brand's ever-popular Gel-Nimbus line is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. It's equally capable on long, marathon-distance training runs as it is on a quick after-work lap around the neighborhood. It isn't a bad choice for speed work if you need one shoe to do everything — though we recommend a dedicated speed shoe for serious training — because its construction focuses on both lightness and support.
Asics shaved the Gel-Nimbus Lite down to 9.7 ounces by filling its midsole with Flytefoam, its lightest foam to date. It's cushy enough to spend all day in and provides plenty of energy return to bounce from one stride to the next. The foam layup includes pockets of the company's Gel tech in the forefoot and heel for extra cushioning, and the upper is an airy mesh that'll keep your feet from overheating.
Even so, this running shoe is wholly supportive and has excellent heel hold without being constrictive. Its combination of cushion and support with a light and airy feel, a familiar heel-to-toe drop of 10mm and good grip in all conditions makes the Gel-Nimbus Lite a safe bet for almost every runner. (Plus, if you find the buying process a pain, we've logged a few hundred miles — and one marathon — in our test pair and they're still kickin'.)