Going for a jog is one of the best things you can do for your body and is linked to benefits far beyond physical strength and appearance. This quick, efficient, endorphin-producing activity can help you feel better, reduce anxiety, and improve overall health. That said, it’s important for women to make sure they’re wearing the best running shoes to support their feet and the rest of their body when out for a jog.
Exercising regularly is important for everyone, but studies show that women enjoy some benefits in particular more than men. In fact, when it comes to burning fat, a study out of England finds fitness and females go hand-in-hand. Researchers from the University of Bath say that women who are physically fit burn more fat when exercising than healthy men. “Our study found that females typically have a greater reliance upon fat as a fuel source during exercise than males. Understanding the mechanisms behind these sex differences in fuel use may help explain why being female seems to confer a metabolic advantage for insulin sensitivity, an important marker of metabolic health,” explains lead study author Ollie Chrzanowski-Smith.
Another study shows how post-menopausal women experienced fewer hot flashes after taking part in a 20-wee exercise program. On average, the women reported feeling happier and more physically and mentally fit – with fewer hot flashes — as a result of the exercise program.
But even if you don’t have time to do a more intense fitness program, just getting your feet moving even for a little while can be highly beneficial. One recent study out of University of Tsukuba in Japan found that just 10 minutes of moderate intensity running each day increases blood flow to the part of the brain that regulates our mood and ability to carry out complex mental tasks. Another study from scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases found that cardiorespiratory exercise is linked to brain health, particularly in reference to gray matter and total volume — two areas of the brain involved in cognitive decline and aging.
If this wasn’t reason enough to venture out of the house for a quick mood boost, research also indicates something truly remarkable. A recent study from Australia, Austria, Finland, and Thailand performed a comprehensive analysis on available evidence, and concluded that any amount of running significantly lowers one’s risk of death from any cause.
Like any exercise, getting started is often the most intimidating part, but investing in a solid pair of running shoes can help you get the most out of your workout, and help prevent possible injuries. StudyFinds set out to find which women’s running shoes were best overall. For our findings, we visited nine of the leading expert websites to see which footwear was rated the highest. Our list is ranked based on the most-recommended running shoes across these health sites. Click here for our report on the best men’s running shoes.
The List: Best Running Shoes For Women, According To Pros
1. Lululemon Blissfeel
Lululemon is well-known for its luxury athletic wear, so it’s no surprise that when the company debuted its first running shoe on the market, it was an instant success. Lululemon’s Blissfeel women’s running shoe is well-loved for its breathable design and sleek look.
“New running shoe releases are described as a ‘game changer’ very frequently and are rarely that different from whatever came before. But athleisure label Lululemon’s first running shoe is – in my opinion – worthy of the accolade. They’re definitely more of a lifestyle runner’s shoe than a speedy racing shoe, but if you’re in the former camp, you won’t be disappointed,” The Telegraph writes.
Lululemon analyzed over a million female foot scans to design the shoe that reviewers have come to know and love.
“Prioritizing comfort, they offer a tailor-made fit and feel with a moisture wicking liner and padded tongue and heel which wrap your feet in comfy support,” Women’s Health writes. “As well as boasting a stylish design, typical of Lululemon, with a tough, breathable mesh upper the Blissfeel winter version has reflective details for dark winter runs. These get a thumbs up from us.”
2. Hoka’s Clifton 8
Hoka’s Clifton 8 women’s running shoes are a bestseller thanks to their midsole foam, thick sole and shock absorption.
“The Clifton is an ideal everyday road runner that can still hold its own on the occasional trail as well. The neutral shoe feels light enough to keep up with casual speed runs, but it really thrives when you’re pushing distance or regularly clocking runs over six to seven miles,” writes Self.
Health experts agree that this neutral shoe is a great pick for those looking for a solid everyday shoe with a smooth ride.
“It seems like everyone is wearing Hoka One One shoes these days, and the reason is simple: They offer best-in-class shock absorption,” Glamour writes.
3. Adidas Ultraboost 22
If you’re looking for a great durable running shoe made for roadrunning, the Adidas Ultraboost 22s are the perfect place to start. The eco-friendly shoes were specifically designed to fit the female foot, designed with a narrow heel.
“This iteration’s ladies’ version is developed by a team of female runners, biomechanists, and designers who’ve combed foot scan data from across the globe. The result? Adidas was able to create a new women’s-specific last with a narrower heel and lower instep,” Runner’s World writes.
The Ultraboost 22 also delivers 4 percent more energy return than its predecessor, the Ultraboost 21, and provides more reliable traction.
“This shoe’s upper is made with a high-performance yarn which contains at least 50 percent Parley Ocean Plastic—reimagined plastic waste, intercepted on remote islands, beaches, coastal communities and shorelines, preventing it from polluting our ocean. The other 50 percent of the yarn is recycled polyester,” Sports Illustrated writes.
4. New Balance Fresh Foam
New Balance’s line of Fresh Foam running sneakers tops many experts’ list of best picks for its good grip, stability, and endless variety of colors and styles.
“Cushioned, stable, lightweight – three words we love to hear when it comes to trainers that’ll more than do the job,” Women’s Health writes. “A running staple, New Balance Fresh Foam is a style that’s been around for aeons – fortunately for us, they just keep making it better. This particular style has enough support for long-distance runs whilst the foam and cushioning helps you pick up speed too.”
Due to its extra support and cushioning, the Fresh Foam line is a great option for those running on terrains that may not be smooth or flat.
“The top of the midsole is lined with forgiving foam, and the engineered mesh uppers include strategic embroidery for added support,” Travel and Leisure writes. “Under foot, the textured outsole provides ample grip on wet surfaces and slightly uneven terrain, and little reflective accents will keep you visible on runs at dusk or dawn.
- Runner’s World
- Women’s Health Magazine
- Travel and Leisure
- Sports Illustrated
- The Telegraph
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.