Running is perhaps one of the most simplistic forms of exercise, but finding the right pair of footwear to match your feet is often quite difficult. Manufacturers cater for all kinds of athletes nowadays, including those who under or overpronate and neutral shoes are sometimes forgotten about.
Neutral runners do not require as much enhanced stability or motion control, with versatility and comfort being of greater importance.
I have put together a list of the best neutral running shoes on the market, suiting those who hit the centre of the foot when exercising.
The features and price range among the products discussed ranges, although they are all suitable for neutral runners looking for mild support in order to aid their performance. Let’s get things underway by taking a look at the first pair of shoes in my list.
The 3 Sound is the latest in the DynaFlyte series from Asics, with its new FlyteFoam midsole offering excellent cushioning, as well as ensuring that there is even distribution from the front of the foot at all times.
A flexible mesh upper ensures breathability in all conditions and I found during testing that this feature also helped my dynamism and full-ground contact.
Asics’s famous gel technology can be found from heel to toe, with the shoes Impact Guidance System enhancing the natural gait of the foot. The ortholite sock-liner also provided excellent moisture control whilst running in wet conditions, along with Asics’s high rubber abrasion technology that is found in important areas across the shoe to increase durability.
The DynaFlyte 3 is available in a range of colours making them one of the best-looking shoes for neutral runners on the market to date. The price point of this product also means that it is accessible to most serious runners, especially when you consider the quality materials and technology involved.
The next evolution of ASICS' unstoppable range. Faster, lighter and more durable than ever before, the DYNAFLYTE 3 still comes with the iconic ASICS GEL cushioning to give you ...
The Epic React is one of the latest additions to Nike’s range of running shoes, having been designed in order to enhance the feeling of moving forward, as well as making this form of exercise as fun as possible. The Nike React is incredibly responsive, meaning that the more effort you put in, the more you will get from the shoes.
I found that the foam outsole kept its shape well, even on long-distance runs, ensuring that your feet are not in danger of pronation. Nike’s flyknit technology on the upper also helps to lock-down the foot at all times and ensures a comfortable, slipper-like feel.
Weighing in at just 239g (UK size 9), the Epic React Flyknit is perhaps as close to running barefoot as you will find and is still able to offer excellent durability thanks to its foam structure.
The Nike Epic React is available in endless colourways for a good range of customisation. You can also choose to go with the version featuring an ankle collar, which I found helps to maximise comfort. These shoes are suitable for both short and long-distance runs, as well as a range of under-foot conditions.
The Kinvara range from Saucony has been around for almost a decade now, with the latest version utilising a minimal design in order to produce one of the most lightweight running shoes in their range.
Saucony’s “EVERUN” technology is also used in order to allow for excellent feel underfoot, making it one of the best neutral running shoes today.
The upper on this shoe is hugely flexible, with its woven heel providing just the right amount of support and structure. I also found that the Flexfilm which is melded to the upper also helped to create a seamless, glove-like fit during testing.
Saucony has also introduced rubber pods in key areas, offering good durability, without adding significantly in terms of weight. Weighing in at just 213g, the Kinvara 9 is the perfect option for neutral runners, with the 4mm heel-to-toe offset also delivering a much more natural feel.
The company has long produced some of the best-quality running shoes around, and despite not having the brand name of some of the other products in this list, are well worth the investment thanks to their ever-increasing research and development for neutral runners.
The Glycerin 15 offers supreme comfort, whilst also offering runners a lightweight and cushioned shoe, perfect for those with a neutral style. Pressure zones help to evenly distribute impact, which I found also helped maintain a consistent running pattern during testing of the shoes.
A mesh upper, featuring four-way stretch will expand with your foot during runs, as well as providing excellent ventilation. I also found that comfort levels did not reduce when running long distances with the Gylcerin 15, whether it be on the street or in the gym.
Brooks has extended the midsole drop to 10mm on this version of the Gylcerin range, however, this has little effect upon their suitability for neutral runners, as they remain hugely flexible, as well as offering users with excellent power transfer.
Weighing in at around 260g, these are slightly heavier than some of the other shoes discussed in this article, although this small difference has little effect on their performance.
Available for both men and women in a range of colours, Brooks has long been known for developing affordable, long-lasting running shoes, making them a solid investment.
A smooth ride is the focus in the Brooks Glycerin 13 running shoes, which incorporates Super DNA for maximum cushioning, while the Ideal Pressure Zone outsole design and Segmented ...
The Mizuno Wave Rider 22 is all about comfort and cushioning, making them more than suitable for neutral runners. The lightweight mesh upper helps to ensure that they are both lightweight and breathable, while Mizuno’s wave technology provides an equal amount of both cushioning and stability.
The Wave Rider 22 is a shoe that caters for all types of individual, including those who enjoy running over short and long distances. I also found during testing that the perforated midsole on these shoes ensured for a soft landing on the heel, perfect for a neutral running style.
Having worn products from the Wave Rider Series in the past, I believe that the 22 is a little wider than previous shoes, meaning that it will potentially cater for those with slightly wider feet, better than those with narrow feet. The price point and style make this an excellent choice for any potential buyer.
While the products discussed above are suitable for neutral runners in general, there are a number of factors that can also have an impact upon appropriateness for you.
As a neutral runner, you do not require a large amount of stability, no matter what surface it is that you are on. As a result, it is more important to go for comfort and cushioning, with more and more brands offering specific shoes for neutral runners.
The “Barefoot” feel will also make for a more enjoyable run more often than not, as well as adding all-important breathability. Shoes with huge levels of stability are actually likely to mean that your running style changes in terms of pronation.
Regardless of what type of runner you are, it is hugely important to find a shoe that fits correctly. Purchasing the wrong size shoe or a product that does not meet your foot type is only going to cause discomfort, as well as potential injuries. I would recommend ensuring that you have a small amount of room in the toe area, whilst maintain lock-down on the sides and heel of your feet.
Your budget is likely to be determined by a number of factors, although it is worthwhile investing in a good quality pair of running shoes if possible. Whilst a higher price doesn’t always mean better quality, brands charge a higher rate due to the advancement in materials and technologies involved.
Even many of the most experienced runners are likely to be unaware of what kind of running style they actually have, so it is worth carrying out a gait analysis at your local running store is possible. By doing this it will give you a much better understanding of whether you are in fact a neutral runner, or whether you either over or under pronate. This is usually a service that is offered free of charge.