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The 26th iteration of the Gel-Kayano brings big changes, including a sleeker look, more stability for overpronators, and a snug mesh upper with an external heel counter for a locked-in feel. All this—plus a longer medial plate that extends from the midsole to the heel—comes with the intention of providing more motion control and a sturdier ride. Two types of lightweight foam at the heel (for added bounce) and toe (for forward propulsion) give the shoe plenty of cushion and support. Plus, the women’s version has an extra 3mm of midsole height to reduce strain on the Achilles.
Studies on foot shape have shown that women’s feet aren’t just smaller, narrower versions of male feet—there are differences in overall shape that affect shoe fit. Women’s feet tend to be comparatively wider in the forefoot, with a narrower heel. Running shoe makers take this statistical difference into mind when designing their shoes, and generally build their shoes with different heel shapes and sometimes different heel materials between the two models of the same shoe. Companies like Altra, with its Fit4Her technology, specifically design shoes that anatomically mirror a woman’s foot.
First off, women’s shoes share a few features based on characteristics that may or may not apply to you. It’s possible you might prefer a “men’s” shoe, just as some men might feel more comfortable in a “women’s” shoe. The designs of the shoes are just based on general group tendencies—such as that women have less muscle mass than men and tend to weigh less as a result. For this reason, women’s shoes often have a lighter and softer midsole to make up for the lower degree of impact put on the shoe with each stride.
We chose all the shoes in this roundup based on feedback from the women on our test team, as well as test results from our RW Shoe Lab. We also researched the market, surveyed user reviews, spoke with product managers and designers to find the best of the best. Every shoe was evaluated over the course of hundreds of miles, with attention given to overall performance, comfort, ride, longevity, value, and yes, even style—because who doesn’t want to feel like they look good, even alone on a trail? Here are our favorite running shoes for women this year.
If you have flatter feet then running shoes with more cushioning is the way to go. Having extra material to absorb impact on ground strike will translate into more distance and less fatigue. Runners with a more neutral foot type can make selections that are considered more “middle of the road”. Make sure you also check the way that your old shoes wear on the outsole, this can tell you a lot about the way you step.
The 26th iteration of the Gel-Kayano brings big changes, including a sleeker look, more stability for overpronators, and a snug mesh upper with an external heel counter for a locked-in feel. All this—plus a longer medial plate that extends from the midsole to the heel—comes with the intention of providing more motion control and a sturdier ride. Two types of lightweight foam at the heel (for added bounce) and toe (for forward propulsion) give the shoe plenty of cushion and support. Plus, the women’s version has an extra 3mm of midsole height to reduce strain on the Achilles.
This is a common complaint that can be easily remedied. First, look for running shoes for women that have uppers that are as seamless as possible. This keeps skin irritation down be not having seams that can rub on your feet as you run. Secondly, if you know you ankle area is a trouble spot, look for additional cushioning in that region to help keep your feet comfortable. Finally, runner’s best friend: Leukotape. Place on problem spots before they cause discomfort, it stays put through the entire run and won’t unstick because of sweat or rain.
Speed-seeking. Responsive. Comfortable. New Balance is proud to offer an entire collection of women’s running shoes that are designed with the most ideal, responsive run in mind. Mindfully crafted features that both elevate and emphasize your strengths, each shoe is specifically designed to support, protect, and cushion while creating the ultimate, responsive ride, run, and experience.
Versatile and comfortable, we offer women’s flats in a rainbow of colors, styles, materials, and shapes. From pointed toe boxes and studded accents to open frames and foldable styles, we offer a great selection of women’s flats for you to shop. Need a different size or color? With free shipping and returns on eligible items, it’s easier to stock up with a rainbow of pairs of flats for every day of the week.
We chose all the shoes in this roundup based on feedback from the women on our test team, as well as test results from our RW Shoe Lab. We also researched the market, surveyed user reviews, spoke with product managers and designers to find the best of the best. Every shoe was evaluated over the course of hundreds of miles, with attention given to overall performance, comfort, ride, longevity, value, and yes, even style—because who doesn’t want to feel like they look good, even alone on a trail? Here are our favorite running shoes for women this year.

The women’s casual boat shoe driving moc is a true Twisted X original! Handcrafted in durable fabric and full-grain leather, the boat shoe driving moc makes an unforgettable statement about true comfort and style in casual footwear. Blending together a traditional boat shoe profile, moc toe design, and integrated comfort technology that provides timeless quality and style. The SD foot bed, composite XD insole, and the Twisted X driving moc outsole combine to produce one of the most comfortable casual shoes you can find. From a relaxing stroll to spending the entire day on your feet, our driving mocs will have you redefining comfort.
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