Best Running Shoes for Beginners 2024

Every runner is a beginner at some point. However, there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding how to get started.

Choosing the correct pair of running shoes plays a significant role in how you progress and how much you enjoy running.

Our expert reviewers researched and tested running shoes ideal for beginner runners. They’re also shoes that can progress with you as you start jogging longer distances and increase your speed. Here’s our guide to the best running shoes for beginners for 2024.

Choosing the Right Running Shoes

The right running shoes are different for everyone. However, you’re more likely to run more often when you have comfortable shoes that fit right.

Our The Right Fit™ program is designed to help you find the best running shoes for your specific needs. We’ll assess your gait, pronation, foot shape, running goals, and various other factors to find the best beginner running shoes for you. We’ll also recommend other gear to help you get started with your new running hobby.

Our Review Process

Our Marathon Sports reviewers are avid runners and team members. They thoroughly researched and tested all the running shoes on our list for fit, durability, cushioning, and comfort.

Our reviewers looked for shoes with a soft upper, a thick midsole for impact protection, and ample traction. They also considered factors like breathability, a snug fit, and stability when deciding between the best running shoes for beginners. 

The Best Beginner Running Shoes for 2024

The following are the 10 best beginner running shoes, as determined by our experts.

Brooks Ghost 15

Brooks Men's Ghost 15 - Black/ Blackened Pearl/ White
Brooks Men's Ghost 15 - Black/ Blackened Pearl/ White
Brooks Men's Ghost 15 Black/Black/Ebony lateral side
Brooks Men's Ghost 15 - Flintstone/Peacoat/Oak
Brooks Men's Ghost 15 - White/Black (110393)
Brooks Mens Ghost 15 Run Proud lateral side
+20
Sale

Brooks Ghost 15

Men's Shoes
original price:$139.95 price:$109.95 – 139.95
brooks-womens-ghost-15-running-shoe-black-black-ebony
brooks-womens-ghost-15-running-shoe-black-black-ebony
brooks-womens-ghost-15-running-shoe-black-blue-aruba
Brooks Women's Ghost 15 - Peacoat/Pearl/Salt Air
Brooks Women's Ghost 15 - Blue/Peacoat/Pink
brooks-womens-ghost-15-running-shoe-st.patricks-day-edition-green-orange
+16
Sale

Brooks Ghost 15

Women's Shoes
original price:$139.95 price:$109.95 – 139.95

The Ghost is one of Brooks’ most iconic and best-selling running shoes. Now in its 15th edition, the Ghost is the best it has ever been. Our reviewers praised the Ghost 15 for its soft yet lightweight DNA LOFT v2 cushioning and breathable engineered mesh upper. The Ghost is a neutral daily trainer that offers smooth transitions, a snug fit, and all-around comfort for short jogs, long-distance runs, and walking. Start slow and work your way up; the Ghost 15 is ready for it all.

HOKA Clifton 9

HOKA Men's Clifton 9 Blue lateral side
HOKA Men's Clifton 9 Blue lateral side
HOKA Men's Clifton 9 Black/White lateral side
HOKA Men's Clifton 9 Coastal Sky/All Aboard lateral side
HOKA Men's Clifton 9 Harbormist/Black lateral side
HOKA Men's Clifton 9 Vibrant Orange lateral side
+9

HOKA Clifton 9

Men's Shoes
price:$144.95
HOKA Women's Clifton 9 - Airy Blue/Ice Water
HOKA Women's Clifton 9 - Airy Blue/Ice Water
hoka-womens-clifton-9-running-shoe-chalk-violet-4
HOKA Women's Clifton 9 - Black/Black
HOKA Women's Clifton 9 Black/Copper
HOKA Women's Clifton 9 Black/White lateral side
+15

HOKA Clifton 9

Women's Shoes
price:$144.95

The HOKA Clifton 9 is another neutral running shoe with plenty of cushioning for comfort and impact protection, whether you’re running short or long distances. The engineered knit upper holds the foot in place while remaining light and breathable, and the gusseted tongue always stays in place. The HOKA Clifton 9 is ideal for beginners due to its ideal fit, undeniable comfort, and durable outsole that’s ready for anywhere your new hobby takes you.

ASICS Gel-Cumulus 25

Asics Men's GEL-Cumulus 25 Sheet Rock/Sun Peach lateral side
Asics Men's GEL-Cumulus 25 Sheet Rock/Sun Peach lateral side
Asics Men's GEL-Cumulus 25 Black/Carrier Grey lateral side
Asics Men's GEL-Cumulus 25 White/White lateral side
Asics Men's GEL-Cumulus 25 Lime Zest/Whisper Green lateral side
Asics Men's GEL-Cumulus 25 Midnight/Cilantro lateral side
+5
Sale

Asics GEL-Cumulus 25

Men's Shoes
original price:$139.95 price:$109.95
Asics Women's GEL-Cumulus 25 Black/Pink Rave lateral side
Asics Women's GEL-Cumulus 25 Black/Pink Rave lateral side
Asics Women's GEL-Cumulus 25 Sheet Rock/Papaya lateral side
Asics Women's GEL-Cumulus 25 White/White lateral side
Asics Women's GEL-Cumulus 25 Whisper Green/Pink Rave lateral side
Asics Women's GEL-Cumulus 25 Midnight/Papaya lateral side
+5
Sale

Asics GEL-Cumulus 25

Women's Shoes
original price:$139.95 price:$109.95

ASICS designed the Gel-Cumulus 25 for optimal comfort, and that’s what beginners need. This year’s edition features two more millimeters of FF BLAST™ PLUS cushioning, making it the most cushioned Gel-Cumulus yet. That means beginner runners enjoy long-term comfort and softer landings. Two outsole rubbers combine to provide grip and durability, while the OrthoLite X-30 sockliner offers all-around comfort. The Gel-Cumulus 25 is ready to run straight out of the box, making it even easier for beginners to just lace up and go. Learn more about the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 25 from our experts in our comprehensive ASICS Gel-Cumulus 25 Review.

Saucony Ride 16

Saucony Men's Ride 16 - Hydro/Black
Saucony Men's Ride 16 - Hydro/Black
Saucony Men's Ride 16  Black/White lateral side
Saucony Men's Ride 16 Fossil/Palm lateral side
Saucony Men's Ride 16 Marigold/Lava side view
Saucony Men's Ride 16 white/gray side view
+2
Sale

Saucony Ride 16

Men's Shoes
original price:$139.95 price:$69.95
Saucony Women's Ride 16 Fossil/Pool lateral side
Saucony Women's Ride 16 Fossil/Pool lateral side
Saucony Women's Ride 16 Black/White lateral side
Saucony Women's Ride 16 - Rose/Black
Saucony Women's Ride 16 - Sprig/Peony
Saucony Women's Ride 16 - Soot/Basalt
+6
Sale

Saucony Ride 16

Women's Shoes
original price:$139.95 price:$69.95

The Saucony Ride 16 is another classic all-around running shoe that was updated in 2023. It’s a top-quality neutral running shoe featuring the ideal balance of comfort, cushioning, and durability. Comfort comes from the PWRRUN foam midsole that’s softer than ever and new higher sidewalls that help the foot fit snuggly into the shoe. It’s a shoe most runners love the moment they put it on. The Saucony Ride 16 can be a long-distance running shoe, walking shoe, and everyday trainer. Its versatility makes it ideal for beginners.

Mizuno Wave Rider 27

Mizuno Men's Wave Rider 27 Pearl Blue/White lateral side
Mizuno Men's Wave Rider 27 Pearl Blue/White lateral side
Mizuno Men's Wave Rider 27 - Ebony Illusion/Blue
Mizuno Men's Wave Rider 27 - Navy Peony/Sharp Green
Mizuno Men's Wave Rider 27 - Snow White/Granite Grey
Mizuno Men's Wave Rider 27 - Surf The Web/White

Mizuno Wave Rider 27

Men's Shoes
price:$139.95 – 150.00
Mizuno Women's Wave Rider 27 - Snow White/Nightshadow Blue
Mizuno Women's Wave Rider 27 - Snow White/Nightshadow Blue
Mizuno Women's Wave Rider 27 Pearl Blue/White lateral side
Mizuno Women's Wave Rider 27 - Ebony/Snowcrest
Mizuno Women's Wave Rider 27 - Eggshell Blue/White

Mizuno Wave Rider 27

Women's Shoes
price:$139.95

Experienced runners and newbies alike love the Mizuno Wave Rider 27, known for its comfort and performance. It offers a 12-millimeter drop that’s perfect for beginners who may still be refining their technique and need a bit of extra padding on the heel. Meanwhile, the Mizuno Wave plate disperses energy throughout the shoe, providing additional cushioning and stability. 

Naturally, our runners love the Mizuno Enerzy Foam midsole, which offers softness without sacrificing responsiveness. New runners can also feel safe knowing these shoes will be around for a while, protected by the X10 outsole’s durable, high-traction surface. 

It improves on previous models of the Mizuno Wave Rider with a lighter, even more breathable upper composed of engineered mesh made from recycled materials, another benefit for new eco-conscious runners. 

The Wave Rider 27 also features an upgraded heel fitting to keep your foot snugly in place. It also helps support Mizuno’s partnership with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. A pair weighs 8.8 ounces for women and 10.5 ounces for men. 

On Cloudmonster

On Running Men's Cloudmonster All White lateral side
On Running Men's Cloudmonster All White lateral side
On Running Men's Cloudmonster - Frost/Cobalt
On Running Men's Cloudmonster Iron/Hay lateral side
On Running Men's Cloudmonster Dust/Vapor lateral side

On Running Cloudmonster

Men's Shoes
price:$169.95
On Running Women's Cloudmonster - Acai/Lavender (61.99026)
On Running Women's Cloudmonster - Acai/Lavender (61.99026)
On Running Women's Cloudmonster - Frost/Cobalt
On Running Women's Cloudmonster Nimbus/Hay lateral side
On Running Women's Cloudmonster Undyed White/Creek lateral side
On Running Women's Cloudmonster Dust/Vapor lateral side

On Running Cloudmonster

Women's Shoes
price:$169.95

On Running is another brand dedicated to the sport. The Cloudmonster offers abundant CloudTec® cushioning that provides more energy return and underfoot comfort than ever. The CloudTec® propulsion is something new runners may not feel at first, but they’ll start to appreciate as they begin running faster and farther. The Cloudmonster shoe is incredibly lightweight yet temperature resistant and durable. The upper and sockliner are also made from recycled materials, so you can feel good about what you’re putting on your feet. Beginner road runners can’t go wrong with this daily trainer that truly feels like running on clouds.

New Balance Fresh Foam 880v13

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam X 880 v13 Aluminum Grey/Crimson lateral side
New Balance Men's Fresh Foam X 880 v13 Aluminum Grey/Crimson lateral side
New Balance Men's 880 v13 lateral side
New Balance Men's 880 v13 lateral side
New Balance Men's Fresh Foam X 880 v13 Black/Brick Red lateral side
New Balance Men's Fresh Foam X 880 v13 Aluminum Grey/Mercury Blue medial side
Sale

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13

Men's Shoes
original price:$139.95 price:$109.95
New Balance Women's Fresh Foam X 880 v13 Blue/Green Aura lateral side
New Balance Women's Fresh Foam X 880 v13 Blue/Green Aura lateral side
New Balance Women's 880 v13 lateral side
New Balance Women's Fresh Foam X 880v13 - Black/Silver
New Balance Women's Fresh Foam X 880 v13 Marine Blue/Bright Cyan lateral side
New Balance Women's Fresh Foam X 880 v13 Black/Pink Moon lateral side
Sale

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13

Women's Shoes
original price:$139.95 price:$109.95

The New Balance Fresh Foam 880v13 is a favorite among our reviewers for its unrivaled versatility. The Fresh Foam X cushioning offers the impact protection beginners need to remain comfortable, while the NDurance outsole provides durability mile after mile. The New Balance Fresh Foam 880v13 features an engineered mesh upper, offering a custom-like fit, breathability, and long-term comfort. Some running shoes are clearly made solely for running, but the New Balance Fresh Foam 880v13 is as stylish as it is functional.

Nike Pegasus 40

Nike Men's Pegasus 40 Midnight Navy medial side
Nike Men's Pegasus 40 Midnight Navy medial side

Nike Pegasus 40

Men's Shoes
price:$129.95
Nike Women's Pegasus 40 - Black/White/Iron Grey
Nike Women's Pegasus 40 - Black/White/Iron Grey
Nike Women's Pegasus 40 Pearl Pink/White medial side
Nike Women's Pegasus 40 Deep Jungle/Black/White/Metallic Silver side view
Sale

Nike Pegasus 40

Women's Shoes
original price:$129.95 price:$89.95 – 129.95

The Nike Pegasus is arguably the most famous and popular running shoe on the market. Now in its 40th edition, the “Peg” continues to be an ideal all-around running shoe for beginners or avid runners. This year’s edition of the Pegasus includes two Nike Zoom Air units for a springy, responsive ride. It’s not considered a stability running shoe, but it does offer support in the arch area that Nike says feels like a “welcoming, gentle hug.” Medium cushioning provides impact protection and comfort while keeping the shoe lightweight and responsive.

The Nike Pegasus 40 features a single-layer mesh upper that keeps feet cool and dry. It’s a tried-and-true running shoe suitable for all levels of runners. Our reviewers gave the Pegasus 40 bonus points because, like the New Balance Fresh Foam 880v13, it has an attractive look ideal for everyday wear.  Learn more about the new “Peg” in our Nike Pegasus 40 Review.

HOKA Rincon 3

HOKA Men's Rincon 3 - Blazing Orange/Fiesta
HOKA Men's Rincon 3 - Blazing Orange/Fiesta
Hoka One One Men's Rincon 3 - White/Blue Glass (1119395-WBGL)
hoka-mens-rincon-3-mountain-spring-summer-song
HOKA Men's Rincon 3 - Black/Dazzling Blue
HOKA Men's Rincon 3 - Black/Multi
+3
Sale

HOKA Rincon 3

Men's Shoes
original price:$124.95 price:$94.95
HOKA Women's Rincon 3 - Phlox Pink/Atlantis
HOKA Women's Rincon 3 - Phlox Pink/Atlantis
Hoka One One Women's Rincon 3 - Blue Glass/Chalk Violet (1119396-BGCV)
hoka-womens-rincon-3-beauty-berry-knockout-pink
HOKA Women's Rincon 3 - Shell Coral/Peach Parfait
hoka-womens-rincon-3-running-shoe-bellweather-blue-ceramic
+3
Sale

HOKA Rincon 3

Women's Shoes
original price:$124.95 price:$99.95

You will quickly advance from a beginner to an everyday runner, and the HOKA Rincon 3 will be there every step of the way. This lightweight yet well-cushioned trainer is breathable, well-balanced, and propulsive. It features HOKA’s compression-molded EVA midsole, early-stage meta-rocker, and vented mesh upper. You’ll find an ideal balance of cushioning, comfort, and breathability with the HOKA Rincon 3, and that’s what makes it ideal for beginner runners. It’s comfortable for short jogs yet light, responsive, and aggressive to help you achieve your goals.

Saucony Triumph 21

Saucony Men's Triumph 21 Concrete/Black lateral side
Saucony Men's Triumph 21 Concrete/Black lateral side
Saucony Men's Triumph 21 - Black/White
Saucony Men's Triumph 21 - Indigo/Black
Saucony Men's Triumph 21 Sundown/Linen lateral side
Saucony Men's Triumph 21 - Fog/Bough

Saucony Triumph 21

Men's Shoes
price:$159.95
Saucony Women's Triumph 21 - Glow/Sundown
Saucony Women's Triumph 21 - Glow/Sundown
Saucony Women's Triumph 21 Bluelight/Mauve lateral side
Saucony Women's Triumph 21 - Black/White
Saucony Women's Triumph 21 - Navy/Orchid
Saucony Women's Triumph 21 - Iris/Fern
+3

Saucony Triumph 21

Women's Shoes
price:$159.95

Our team of reviewers believe the Saucony Triumph 21 to be another top choice for new runners. This running shoe is top-of-the-line when it comes to ultimate comfort. Saucony uses an innovative PWRRUN+ midsole foam that’s equal parts light, durable, soft, and responsive. It works alongside a PWRRUN+ sock liner for additional cushioning. 

Those purchasing the Triumph 21 for the first time will benefit from a new and improved flat-knit upper that features a new adaptive lacing system designed to keep your foot extra secure. It also offers a padded tongue and plush collar for additional comfort.

Meanwhile, XT-900 carbon rubber provides a durable sole that will stand up to as many miles as beginners can log. It’s even made from vegan and recycled materials, a welcome gesture toward sustainability. These features combine to create a top trainer that’s as suitable for a walk around the block as it is for your first big race. The Saucony Triumph 21 weighs 9.8 ounces for men and 8.8 ounces for women.

The Finish Line

As a beginner runner, you need shoes that fit correctly, protect your feet and joints from impact, and remain comfortable while you strive to achieve your running goals. Our reviewers carefully chose each of the shoes above as ideal running shoes for beginners because they tick all the boxes. Find all 10 of our best running shoes for 2024 here at Marathon Sports, and don’t forget to stop in and take advantage of our The Right Fit™ program.

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See More
Brooks Men's Ghost 15 - Blue/White
Brooks Men's Ghost 15 - Blue/White
Brooks Men's Ghost 15 Black/Black/Ebony lateral side
Brooks Men's Ghost 15 - Flintstone/Peacoat/Oak
Brooks Men's Ghost 15 - White/Black (110393)
Brooks Mens Ghost 15 Run Proud lateral side
+20
Sale

Brooks Ghost 15

Men's Shoes
original price:$139.95 price:$109.95 - 139.95
Brooks Men's Revel 6 Dawn Blue/Cayenne/Nine Iron side view
Brooks Men's Revel 6 Dawn Blue/Cayenne/Nine Iron side view
Brooks Men's Revel 6 White/Green/Red lateral side
Brooks Men's Revel 6 Black/Blackened Pearl/Grey side view
Brooks Men's Revel 6 Blackened Pearl/Blue side view
Brooks Men's Revel 6 Alloy/Primer Grey/Oyster side view
+3

Brooks Revel 6

Men's Shoes
price:$99.95
Brooks Men's Hyperion - Grey/Atomic Blue/Scarlet
Brooks Men's Hyperion - Grey/Atomic Blue/Scarlet
Brooks Men's Hyperion Gunmetal/Black/White lateral side
Brooks Men's Hyperion - Oyster Mushroom/Black Iris
Brooks Men's Hyperion Green Gecko/Red Orange/White lateral side

Brooks Hyperion

Men's Shoes
price:$139.95
HOKA Men's Clifton 9 Harbormist/Black lateral side
HOKA Men's Clifton 9 Harbormist/Black lateral side
HOKA Men's Clifton 9 Black/White lateral side
HOKA Men's Clifton 9 Coastal Sky/All Aboard lateral side
HOKA Men's Clifton 9 Blue lateral side
HOKA Men's Clifton 9 Vibrant Orange lateral side
+9

HOKA Clifton 9

Men's Shoes
price:$144.95
Altra Men's Outroad 2 Black/Red lateral side
Altra Men's Outroad 2 Black/Red lateral side
Altra Men's Outroad 2 Gray/Green side view
Altra Men's Outroad 2 Blue/Yellow side view
Altra Men's Outroad 2 Neon Blue side view

Altra Outroad 2

Men's Shoes
price:$119.95
Altra Men's Torin 5 Luxe Dark Grey lateral side
Altra Men's Torin 5 Luxe Dark Grey lateral side
Altra Men's Torin 5 Luxe Black lateral side

Altra Torin 5 Luxe

Men's Shoes
price:$159.95
Brooks Men's Hyperion Max Black/Blazing Yellow side
Brooks Men's Hyperion Max Black/Blazing Yellow side

Brooks Hyperion Max

Men's Shoes
price:$169.95
On Running Men's Cloudflow 4 Black/Storm lateral side
On Running Men's Cloudflow 4 Black/Storm lateral side
Men's On Cloudflow 4 White/Hay lateral side
Men's On Cloudflow 4 - White/Sand
Men's On Cloudflow 4 - Black/White

On Cloudflow 4

Men's Shoes
price:$159.95