What is usually associated with the word meditation is sitting alone in a place of seclusion. But then, lots of folks meditate through other means, and many runners find mindful running as peace-producing, mind-clearing, and profoundly calming. If you are one of them, you can agree on the notion that running days can be turned into a space for reflection and exploration. However, you cannot sense that running in asphalt, for instance, is a moving meditation in its own right if you are constantly distracted by incorrect or poor footwear. To that end, you need shoes for asphalt running that match your shape, stride, and even fashion sensibilities.
The best bet to combat hard asphalt surfaces is a pair with extra support and tons of cushioning. To help you in your search, we’ve listed and reviewed the best asphalt shoes for running, along with a guide to read sizing labels. These are:Hoka One Challenger ATR 5
- New Balance 860v10
- New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon
- Brooks Ghost 11
- Brooks Glycerin 15
- Under Armour HOVR Infinite
- Nike Epic React Flyknit
- ASICS Gel-Cumulus 20
- Altra AFM179F Paradigm 3
- Hoka One One Bondi 5
- Hoka One One Clifton 6
- Adidas UltraBoost 20
- Mizuno Wave Creation 19
- Nike’s Zoomfly 3
- Saucony Triumph
- Brooks Glycerin 18
All of these running shoes feature optimum support and adequate cushioning.
The season to welcome the great outdoors needs shoes that connect your body well to the running surface. There’s a wide range of shoes for asphalt running in the market, but your shoe of choice should guarantee maximum reliability for the whole running session. When planning to run on asphalt, the type of shoes that you should be on the lookout for are neutral, stability, and motion control shoes. These shoes possess the cushion that you need to get rid of structural foot problems.
Read on to learn how to decode the numbers and letters on the inside of running shoe tags.
- Length – The length is the numerical size of your foot. Shoes manufactured from the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Japan follow metrics in centimeters.
- Width – Running shoe sizes range from narrow (AA) to extra wide (EE). Other mainstream brands have medium sizes- M, B, and D.
- Sex – Some running shoes indicate if they’re for women (W) or men (M). However, other shoes have unisex sizing.
BEST WOMEN SHOES FOR ASPHALT RUNNING
Hoka One Challenger ATR 5
Some running shoes tend to be heavy on the side; yet, the Hoka One Challenger ATR 5 manages to provide heavy cushioning while still being lightweight. It should be noted that these shoes weigh only 7.7 ounces. The toe box is equipped with thermoplastic polyurethane, while the outsole is reinforced with 4 mm lugs. The said lugs offer better propulsion and traction for every step. Also, the upper of these shoes is layered with a double-mesh that filters matter and fine particles. While the upper overlay is covered with synthetic material, it can only resist a few drops of water. For ultra-running, the Hoke One Challenger ATR 5 has a great level of comfort, keeping your feet seemingly fresh.
New Balance 860v10
This classic running pair is well-loved by hikers and runners alike. If you give this one a chance, the somewhat impressive fashion will come as no surprise. The fit is specially engineered for average foot-size runners. With the rubber outsole, you are comfortable wearing the New Balance 860v10 even on wet grounds. The midfoot is snug, but just enough to hug your feet wonderfully and comfortably. Other remarkable aspects are the most comfortable uppers and little pops of color variations. If rain cloud with ginger pink color sounds like your thing, this one has it.
Another asphalt shoes for running from New Balance, the Fresh Foam Beacon, has gained high responses for being not squishy and soul-sucking. It has a bit of firmness that compliments the cushion nicely. The upper is constructed of an engineered mesh with a forefoot double jacquard. On the other hand, the heel imitates your heel and ankle a bit more naturally. As New Balance calls it, this footwear is a work of art. The top of the heel flares out away from your foot, saving you from the struggle of getting your Achilles rubbed hard. Overall, New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon just locks and holds your feet better.
If you’re up for shoes with a boatload of versatility, the Brooks Ghost 11 is just what you need. Customer reviews claim that the pair is essentially a must-have for beginner and professional runners. This reliable neutral runner can compete with other shoes that offer full cushion for most distances while staying light. At an affordable price point, you can get a sleek sole unit and an attractive upper. In the past years, it features a full, thick layer of Brook’s DNA foam, but the new version has added DNA loft foam under the heel. The foam is designed to be more responsive and softer than the previous DNA material. This original DNA material offers the rest of the midsole a cushioned ride through your toe-off. Furthermore, a segmented crash is added on the midsole to offer flexibility while you pick up the pace. These new materials keep the redesigned version breathable and efficient as ever.
Brooks Glycerin 15
Advertised to offer the ultimate softness and supreme comfort, the Brooks Glycerin 15 doesn’t disappoint neutral runners. Even when the DNA Gel midsole has been replaced with an all-foam one, it still carries forward the notable qualities of the original version. All the materials used in the creation of these shoes are worth the price. The upper is made of a soft and slightly stretchy single mesh component. Also, a network of high-density printed overlays is reinforced on the upper. While the pair is in motion, the stitched-on components act as a toe bumper and run vertically up the heel center. What’s more interesting is the tongue-tied loop, a precautionary measure for possible tongue slides.
Under Armour HOVR Infinite
The Under Armour HOVR Infinite shoes are designed with maximum efficiency in mind. Whether you are simply taking meditative runs or training for a marathon, these shoes provide the right amount of cushioned heel collar and high energy return (HOVR) foam to keep your feet stay fresh and healthy. It features a Record Sensor Technology in the form of a removable chip. This chip is inserted in the insoles of Under Armour HOVR Infinite and is responsible for tracking your speed, distance, stride length, and cadence. By uploading the data into the Under Armour MapMyRun app post-run, you can view your recent stats and even compare it to your previous stats. This connectivity aspect is the main reason why many runners are glued to these shoes.
Nike Epic React Flyknit
Nike is a big name in the sports product market because they have the best technology and equipment to boost performance. When it comes to looks, their shoes are designed with a high sense of fashion that some women only order a pair just for wearing around. The Nike Epic React Flyknit is not an exception. Women find its shape hot and top-notch that they become the cynosure of all eyes every time they run. The pair features an upper part, which is made of fabric and elastic yarns. The midsole uses React Foam Technology, which gives you a well-cushioned and soft running experience.
The design of this pair is inspired by the Northern Lights. It features an aesthetic appeal at affordable pricing. While the previous model used a plastic support truss under the arch, this latest model relies primarily on a vertical sole grove that bolsters the shoe’s midsole. It also supports a layer of Gel cushioning that absorbs shock way better than foam. For several wear-testers, the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 20 offers a cozier new sock-liner and high-performance comfort. The pair is best recommended to suit runners with slender feet.
BEST MEN SHOES FOR ASPHALT RUNNING
Altra AFM179F Paradigm 3
If you want to try out max cushion shoes for long comfortable days on the road, the Altra AFM179 Paradigm 3 is the one for you. Based on overall performance, these shoes give your money a good run. The upper is constructed of strong materials that flawlessly hold together well. As far as inner tech specs, the pair is designed with Altra’s go-to ZeroDrop technology. This design fosters a more running form as the forefoot and heel hold the same distance from the ground. Besides, the Foot Pod technology aligns the midsole and outsole patterns to the tendons of your feet. Thus, you can flex and move your feet more naturally, keeping your toes free and happy.
With a stack height of 37mm in the heel and 33mm in the toe, this cushioned toe from Hoka One One promises extreme comfort for any distance. It features a redesigned upper with seamless construction and engineered mesh. It also features an early Stage Meta-Rocker technology, which is popular in Hoka models. The midsole has a very soft EVA foam that accommodates the whole length of Hoka One One Bondi 5. As with other running shoes, most of the outsole is covered in high abrasion rubber material. Given the thickness of the midsole material and outsole rubber, you can out hundreds of miles on these shoes.
Hoka One One has long been praised for cushioning on the regular, and Clifton 6 does not disappoint. The cushioning is largely the reason why many runners have expressed their enthusiasm for these shoes. The features that help the shoes support a great run are full compression EVA midsole and moderate heel level. Throughout the upper, alternate fabrics and venting make for cool shoe details. There is also a pull tab which you can use for easy entry.
If you feel that you’re running shoes are not rocking your everyday grind, better switch up to Hoke One One Clifton6.
Adidas UltraBoost 20
Inspired by the collaboration with International Space Station, the UltraBoost 20 from Adidas has everything you need in a pair of asphalt running shoes. It is a favorite among runners because of the tech-like tailored fiber placement on the Primeknit upper and heel. The thickly embroidered details around the edges add to the stability and durability. Adidas UltraBoost 20 does not only feature improved performance but design as well. With the stunning collection of colorways, you can also use these shoes for great casual wear.
Mizuno Wave Creation 19
These shoes are the newest version in the long-running Wave Creation line. Mizuno has noticeably incorporated improved Infinity Wave geometry, extra cushioning, and foot-hugging sock liner. While these shoes are intended for high mileage running, you can also use it to complete your fashion statement. Whenever you step, these shoes seem to push back and lift you. Essentially, it is as comfortable, stable, and supportive as other competing running shoes.
All you need to know about Nike’s Zoomfly 3 is that it comes with a new midsole and carbon fiber plates. These ensure that your Achilles will not be counter wrecked by the heel of Nike’s Zoomfly 3. The upper is made of translucent mesh and heavy cushioning. As you slide each foot into the shoes, the stretchy neoprene-like tongue and padded split heel counter are helpful. Both are intended to give your Achilles more room and avoid your tendons from getting irritations. A ribbon lacing system runs down both sides of the arch for a more improved lockdown. When it comes to the midsole, there are also a few noticeable improvements.
The Saucony Triumph neutral running shoe is the ideal option for beginner runners. This high-mileage footwear has plenty of cushioning without compromising weight and comfort. Accordingly, this is by far the lightest pair ever made by Saucony. As manufactured by one of the most respected names in running shoes, the Triumph is engineered with creative systems that heighten your overall running experience. Its FORMIT technology fits the midsole to your entire foot, allowing you to enjoy all-out flexibility. Even when you use the Saucony Triumph under humid conditions, your feet will stay dry because there is plenty of ventilation.
Plush and cushioned, Brooks Glycerin 18 is adept at protecting your feet from the harshness of asphalt. This new version is a seamless upper that is perfect for wide feet. With heavy padding, breathable fabric, and improved sock-liner, you can run for miles without getting your feet wet and stinky. The flexible material extends over the ankle collar and tongue, which makes putting on and removing the shoes a lot easier. Also new is the 10mm drop and ideal pressure zones, which help disperse the impact of landing every time you hit the ground. Thanks to the DNA loft foam, the midsole of Brooks Glycerin 18 returns energy with pep and bounce. Moreover, the signature design of this pair is an outsole tread pattern.
MOST RELIABLE TYPES OF RUNNING SHOES
- Neutral Shoes – These are great for normal pronators and underpronators. Neutral shoes allow the foot to move naturally during runs. Those with higher arches are called underpronators, and they benefit greatly from this type.
- Stability Shoes – Another type that’s fit for mild to moderate overpronators. These shoes combine the features of a dual-density midsole and a flexible upper.
- Motion Control Shoes – For extreme overpronators, the best running shoes are the ones that have motion control. These shoes keep the feet from rolling inward excessively. The most common components of motion control shoes are straight shape, medial support structure, and stiff heel.
Is high price tag a guarantee that a pair of shoes is better than another?
The most recommended retail price for the best running shoes is $100 or more. Shoes within this price range are usually not made of cheap materials. In other words, these shoes can guarantee frequent runners ample years of service. New versions of these shoes are released every year, giving you the chance to purchase the previous year’s model for even as low as fifty-percent less.
Is there a running pair of shoes that fits all?
People have different physiologies that it’s only natural to expect differences in needs. If you have plantar fasciitis, for example, you will need a pair of shoes that is different from those with no injuries.
Can I use my asphalt running shoes as trail shoes?
Asphalt running shoes should not be used for trails. These shoes are primarily not designed to withstand rugged terrain and nature trails.