The Best Running Shoes You Can Buy in Fall 2023
Check Out The Top-Ranked Trainers On LetsRun.comBy LetsRun.com
With over 200 training shoes on the market, figuring out which shoe you want to run in can be a challenging endeavor. For the same reason, reviewing and ranking such a high volume of shoes is next to impossible without high-quality data to point the way.
Our shoe review site, BetterRunningShoes.com, is the only one to use data from thousands of in-depth shoe reviews collected from the most experienced and knowledgeable runners in the world to determine the best shoes on the market.
What makes our shoe review site different? First, we inspect all of our reviews to ensure they are genuine. Second, we account for uncertainty: if only a small number of reviewers have reviewed a shoe, our scoring process refrains from scoring it too highly or too lowly until more data is available. Finally, we consider who is reviewing a shoe when determining how much it should sway our rankings. If a specific shoe is disproportionately reviewed by runners who tend to rate shoes higher or lower than the average reviewer, we statistically adjust our scores based upon that information.
You can be confident our top-rated shoes really are the best.
Below we present the top shoes of Fall 2023.
Note: This analysis is based upon our rankings at the time of publication in September 2023.
- Top 5% In Cushioning
- Top 5% in Durability
- Top 10% in Comfort
- Great cushioning, yet responsive.
- Not record eligible (45mm stack height exceeds World Athletics' 40mm limit)
The #1 rated training shoe on LetsRun.com is the ASICS SUPERBLAST. In recent years, professional distance running has been transformed as shoes with super high stack heights and carbon plates have set world record after world record. Now much of that technology has made its way over to everyday trainers and the ASICS SUPERBLAST is the epitome of that trend.
The fact that the ASICS SUPERBLAST is our #1 rated shoe shows the game has definitely changed. It has a 45mm stack height, making it one of the highest-riding shoes on the market (its stack is so thick that it is ineligible for World Athletics races), but it doesn’t have a carbon plate. This shoe pulls off the rare quadruple in the rankings: It receives high marks overall and in cushioning, comfort, and stability.
ASICS produced this top-rated shoe by combining its specialty foams in a unique way. The shoe has ASICS’ supershoe racing foam, FLYTEFOAM Blast Turbo, in the midsole. Stacked above it is the firmer FLYTEFOAM Blast+, designed to give the shoe stability and durability. Despite its 45 mm stack height, the SUPERBLAST still weighs in at a modest 8.4 ounces.
“The shoe is definitely extremely cushioned and soft, but I don’t feel like I’m losing myself when the foam compresses and it gives me a nice springback,” said one reviewer.
A 40-mile-per-week neutral pronator who titled their review “Unmatched Lightweight Comfort” said, “I haven’t touched a pair of ASICS shoes in years and am seriously impressed by how they’ve changed. I wear this shoe [for] all my long and recovery runs but have also found them responsive enough to cruise through tempos without feeling weighed down and bulky.”
A concern with other shoes with specialty foams is durability. While some reviewers expressed concerns, the shoe ranks in the top 5% of the LetsRun.com durability rankings.
If you’ve got the cash and want to spring for a luxurious training ride, this is your shoe. The innovation found in this shoe doesn’t come cheaply. Its $200 price tag puts it in a price class previously reserved for carbon-plated “supershoes.” If you are looking for value, check out our best shoes for under $100.
- Maximum cushioning
- Top rated in comfort
- Lightweight compared to peer shoes with as much cushioning.
- Not everyone loves heavy cushioning.
The Bondi’s monster cushioning is reflected in its stack height of 43 mm. This is 3 mm thicker than both the Bondi 7 and the Clifton 9, but 2 mm shorter than the top-ranked ASICS SUPERBLAST. Reviewers love this cushioning; the shoe falls in the top 1% of comfort scores and top 5% of cushioning scores.
The cushioning, however, does not come for free as it adds some weight. The Bondi 8 tips the scales at 11.1 ounces, compared to the 9.1 ounces if the Clifton 9, and 8.4 ounces of the SUPERBLAST. That extra heft does buy you some durability — the Bondi 8 ranks in the top 10% of durability among all shoes, far out-ranking the Clifton 9, which reviewers do not rate as particularly durable, placing it in the bottom 25%.
If you want max HOKA cushioning at a lower price point than the SUPERBLAST, the Bondi 8 is likely a great match for you.
- Great all-around neutral trainer
- Top 5% in comfort AND durability
- Great cushioning for a more traditional type of trainer
- Holds up for 400+ miles
- Some reviewers have durability concerns.
In an era of super foams and supershoes, it is refreshing that a very traditional trainer ranks as the #3 shoe on LetsRun.com, the Brooks Ghost 15.
One reviewer called this the “Toyota Camry of Shoes” and meant it is in the most flattering way possible: it is a reliable workhorse of a shoe that does everything well. The Ghost 15 has excellence without the flash.
Reviewers report that this shoe is super comfortable (top 5% of all shoes) and super durable (top 5%). That is a lethal combination. Throw in great cushioning (top 25%) and this is the shoe every shoe company dreamed of designing 10 years ago.
With super foams and big-stacked extreme cushioning shoes hitting the market, not everyone wants a traditional trainer. But for those looking for a superb shoe with a reliable ride, the Brooks Ghost 15 delivers on all fronts.
- Big cushioning in a lightweight frame
- Top-rated in comfort
- Rated below average on durability and value.
The HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 9 is the most popular shoe made by HOKA ONE ONE and one of the most popular shoes on LetsRun.com. At the time of publication, the Clifton 9 was rated by LetsRun.com readers in the top 1% of shoes on comfort and top 5% in cushioning. With a 40 mm stack height, the Clifton 9 weighs in at only 9 ounces.
The Clifton 9 is a great option for runners who want a highly cushioned and comfortable shoe.
Reviewers don’t love everything about the shoe, however. They consistently ding it for its durability and value for the dollar.
- Top-rated stability shoe
The ASICS GEL-Kayano 30 is ASICS’ flagship stability shoe. The Kayano is a mainstay of the stability shoe market, and the Kayano 30 appears to have revived the product line’s reputation for quality. Previous versions rated below average to average, but the 30th version has climbed to the top of the shoe market. The shoe stands out for its durability (in the top 1% at the time of publication), but it also has high ratings on comfort (rated in the top 10%). Runners looking for a solid stability shoe will likely be happy with the GEL-Kayano 30.
- Some reviewers like it less than the Triumph 19.
- Poor durability
- Reviewers think it's ugly.
- Reviewers unimpressed with its appearance
- Reviewers like the Ghost 15 more
Check out our entire shoe review site at BetterRunningShoes.com where you can sort by type of shoe (super shoes, trail, spikes), dimension (comfortable, cushioned, durable, neutral, stability, etc), by brand, or even see the most popular shoes or best shoes under $100, most cushioned shoes under $100 and most durable shoes under $100.
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