Physical activity as we age is an effective remedy for cardio health, muscle strength, coordination, and balance. However, the chances of injury to mature bones and bodies undoubtedly increases. Wearing the best running shoes for older runners can help reduce that risk and keep you moving.
Our Top 7 Best Running Shoes for Older Runners
1. Brooks Ghost 12 Running Shoe
This lightweight shoe has plenty of support and cushioning providing a smooth ride on the track, road, or trail. Loaded with Brooks patented features, it offers a secure fit and keeps you stable during your runs.
- THIS MEN'S SHOE IS FOR: Neutral runners looking for a lightweight shoe and a smooth ride without sacrificing cushioning. Whether you’re a Ghost loyalist or are lacing one up for the first time, you’ll find plenty to like.
- SUPPORT AND CUSHION: The neutral support type provides high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Ghost 11
- BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning work together to provide a just-right softness underfoot without losing responsiveness and durability - yet it feels lighter than ever.
- SMOOTH, STABLE RIDE: No matter how your foot lands, our Segmented Crash Pad - an integrated system of shock absorbers - will cushion every step and stride for smooth heel-to-toe transitions.
- SOFT, SECURE, FIT: The newly engineered mesh and 3D Fit Print practically disappears on your foot with strategically placed stretch and structure.
2. Saucony Cohesion 12 Road Running Shoe
Saucony designs sports shoes with many technological features. The Cohesion 12 has its GRID system, incorporating stability and cushioning into the sole for comfort and support. Lightweight and flexible, these could be your perfect running partner.
- Successor to the Cohesion 11
- Grid technology with VersaFoam cushioning
- Durable rubber outsole for even your toughest workouts
- Supportive rubber overlays
3. Asics Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoes
Gel located in the heels adds extra cushioning to these shoes, which also detail lugs on the outsole for traction. The low top design has a removable sock liner allowing you to fit orthotic insoles if you need to. Patented High Abrasion rubber in strategic places on the outer sole provides durability.
- Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System: Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition to midstance.
- Removable Sockliner: A sockliner which can be removed to accommodate a medical orthotic.
- Trail Specific Outsole: Reversed lugs provide uphill and downhill traction on all types of terrain.
- AHAR Outsole: Acronym for ASICS High Abrasion Rubber. Placed in critical areas of the outsole for exceptional durability.
4. Brooks Glycerin 17 Running Shoe
With styles for women and men, Brooks brings us a running shoe that has IDEAL Pressure Zones to distribute shock absorption evenly. A breathable, flexible upper keeps feet locked down while hugging them like a glove.
- SHOE SIZE: "B" = Medium width, "D" = Wide width, "2A" = Narrow width
- THIS SHOE IS FOR: Neutral runners obsessed with softness and cushioning. Sleeker than in the past, this shoe will appeal to people who love tons of cushion but — until now — haven’t loved the style.
- SUPER-SOFT CUSHIONING: The DNA LOFT cushioning provides a soft, luxurious feeling underfoot without losing responsiveness or durability, while the OrthoLite sockliner provides premium step-in comfort.
- THE PERFECT FIT AND FEEL: The plush feel of an internal stretch bootie surrounds your foot and moves and expands with your stride. The engineered mesh upper and 3D Fit Print technology only enhance the fit.
- SMOOTH TRANSITIONS: The DNA LOFT transition zone makes every move from heel to toe feel incredibly soft and smooth.
5. New Balance 990 V5 Sneaker
The 990 range from New Balance is a popular choice of running shoes for men and women. Version 5 is no exception with its blown rubber outsole, classic style and superior support and stability. A pigskin and mesh upper with a padded collar help keep feet comfortable.
- Heritage Style: The 990v5 is an iconic sneaker, built with a pigskin and mesh upper in a classic running silhouette designed to look amazing anywhere from morning run to runway
- Supportive Fit: Venture on, wherever the day takes you, with the New Balance 990v5 lifestyle shoe. An ENCAP midsole combines lightweight foam with a durable polyurethane rim to deliver all-day support
- Helps Protect Ankles: Designed for all-day comfort, these everyday running shoes from New Balance also include dual-density collar foam that offers support and comfort for your ankles
- Built to Last: These New Balance everyday shoes are designed with a durable blown rubber outsole that stands up to daily wear and helps provide comfort in every step
- Made in the USA: Manufactured in the US for over 75 years and representing a limited portion of US sales, New Balance MADE is a premium collection that contains a domestic value of 70% or greater
6. Nike Flex Rn 2018 Low-Top Sneakers
Nike tends to be in the frontrunners with many when it comes to sports footwear. Their Flex RN has a breathable upper with a flexible, lightweight sole. Patented Flywire cables integrate with the lacing system for a secure fit, and midsole cushioning reinforces comfort.
7. Hoka One One Gaviota Running Shoe
Hoka design shoes with a thicker than average sole loaded with patented features to support and cushion runners’ feet. The rocker bottom promotes stability and encourages a natural gait. These shoes have the APMA seal of approval.
No products found.
Review of the Best Running Shoes for Older Runners
Your everyday sneakers might not make the grade for running. They could lack adequate support and cushioning for your joints. Here are seven of the best running shoes for older runners.
1. Brooks Ghost 12 Running Shoe
Brooks has been trading for over a hundred years. Starting out, they manufactured ballet and bathing shoes—gradually evolving into the realms of basketball, baseball, football, and running.
Their Ghost 12 is available in ranges for men and women. The sizes run from 7 to 15, and 5 to 12, respectively. The men’s shoes are available in four width fittings from narrow to extra-wide, and the ladies three, narrow to wide.
Fifteen colors for men and over thirty for women means you can easily match your shoes to your running gear.
Cushioning in these shoes comes from patented BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft. These work in unison, giving you a soft landing underfoot with each stride. It’s both durable and lightweight, easing stress on your feet and joints.
For shock absorption, you can thank the Segmented Crash Pad. This is described as an integrated system of shock absorbers helping your transition from heel to toe with every footstrike.
The uppers include Brooks 3D Fit Print, it’s designed to place structure and stretch just where your feet need it the most. Combined with breathable mesh, it encompasses your feet, delivering stability.
The outer sole has impressive traction and proprietary Flex Grooves to allow your foot to bend naturally.
You may find you need to size up in these shoes; they appear to run short and narrow.
|Brooks has many years of experience in the footwear market. Their Ghost range offers plenty of cushioning, support, and flexibility for older feet. A wide variety of sizes and colors are on offer for men and women.|
- Patented cushioning.
- Impact resistance.
- Broad range of sizes, widths, and colors.
- Flexible outer sole.
- Sizes may run small.
2. Saucony Cohesion 12 Road Running Shoe
Saucony is another company that has excelled in the production of running shoes for over a hundred years. They aim to make running shoes for all ages to promote and empower good health.
Styles are on offer for men and women in many subtle colors. The sizes range from 7 to 12 for ladies and 7 to 14 for men. Both have two widths to choose from, regular and wide.
GRID technology with Versafoam is placed in the soles of these shoes to cushion your feet. It also provides stability in the heel area.
The breathable uppers are made from mesh with overlays for support. They allow air to circulate, keeping feet fresh and dry.
Support for feet and arches is neutral, and the durable rubber outsole helps absorb shock as you run or walk.
Some find the toe box in these shoes a little on the narrow side, so they might not be suitable for very broad feet.
|Saucony has been a trusted sports shoe brand for many years. Their Cohesion running shoes make a smart choice for older runners with plenty of cushioning, and support. The uppers allow feet to breathe and the rubber outsoles are durable.|
- Proprietary GRID cushioning with Versafoam.
- Durable rubber outsole.
- Neutral support.
- Breathable mesh uppers.
- Not wide enough for some.
3. ASICS Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoes
Japanese company ASICS has been around since 1949, although they didn’t enter the US Market till some 28 years later. Their footwear ranges are now firm favorites with many.
The Gel-Venture 6 comes in styles for women and men. Sizes available range from 7 to 15 for men, and 5 to 14, for women. Men have the choice of extra-wide and regular options, while women regular and wide.
There’s an array of colors including, greens, blues, greys, and blacks, many detailing contrasting laces and soles. In total, there are 23 designs for men and 27 for women.
Shock absorption comes from Gel cushioning in the heels, which also provides support for your feet. The sock liner is removable should you need to use custom orthotics in your running shoes.
On the outer soles, patented AHAR (ASICS High Abrasion Rubber) is placed strategically in high wear areas. It also features reverse lugs, providing sufficient traction when going up and down inclines.
These shoes include a secure lacing system and breathable mesh uppers. Neutral arch support is built-in. A loop is placed in the collar of the heel, which should make putting them on and taking them off less fuss.
It seems these shoes run about a half size smaller than regular street shoes, so be prepared to size up.
|ASICS brings us a shoe with shock-absorbing gel cushioning in the heel, and reverse lugs in the sole providing grip. Breathable, lightweight uppers keep feet dry, and the sock liner is removable.|
- Gel in the heel for impact resistance and cushioning.
- Traction on slopes from reverse lugs in the soles.
- AHAR reinforces high wear sole areas.
- Breathable, lightweight mesh uppers.
- Might need to size up.
4. Brooks Glycerin 17 Running Shoe
This is our second choice of running shoes for older runners from Brooks. The Glycerin 17 is a lightweight option with a superior plush feel on the feet.
The men’s sizes range from 6.5 to 17 in regular and wide fittings, and the women’s are available in 5 to 12, with regular, narrow, and wide fittings. There are nine colors on offer in each of the styles.
Patented DNA loft creates extra-soft cushioning under your feet while maintaining durability and responsiveness. A removable Ortholite sock liner bolsters the padding on offer.
An internal stretch bootie hugs your feet and expands and moves with every stride. Outside this, you have an engineered double jacquard breathable mesh upper constructed with 3D Technology to enhance the fit. It provides structure to the shoes while still offering flexibility.
A transition zone in the sole makes the transfer of weight from heel to toe feel smooth and soft. Impact is absorbed by Ideal Pressure Zones, which disperses it throughout the feet and body.
It’s possible that different color selections may vary slightly in sizing. If you find the color you choose doesn’t fit, it could be worth trying an alternative shade. Some also feel the cushioning in these shoes is too much for them.
|The Glycerin 17 from Brooks offers cushioning and support for your feet. Breathable mesh uppers have an inner sock to hug your feet, and impact zones absorb shock. The insole is removable, allowing the use of custom orthotics.|
- Internal bootie.
- Pressure Zones to absorb impact.
- DNA Loft cushioning.
- Neutral support.
- Some find these shoes too soft underfoot.
5. New Balance 990 V5 Sneaker
New Balance is a well-established company in the US with more than 100 years of experience manufacturing shoes. They are proud of the fact that they’re still producing many of their shoes on home ground.
Styles for men and women are offered in different widths—narrow, regular, wide, and extra-wide for both, with a further triple extra wide for men. The sizes range from 6 to 16 for men, and 5 to 13 for women. There are a number of different colors on offer for each.
The uppers are made from pigskin suede leather with synthetic overlays. They allow your feet to breathe, keeping them fresh and dry. An ortholite insole provides cushioning, and the ENCAP midsole is designed for comfort and support.
The blown rubber outsole absorbs impact and provides traction on most surfaces. It’s also durable and supportive.
This shoe is an upgrade on the 990v4 with the ortholite insole; however, some find this is not as supportive as previous models.
|New Balance is proud of these made in the USA running shoes for older runners. They offer plenty of support and cushioning, as well as an extensive size and width range. Suede leather uppers hug the feet and allow them to breathe.|
- Triple X-wide available in men’s larger sizes.
- Leather uppers.
- ENCAP supportive midsole.
- Blown rubber durable outsole.
- Some prefer the cushioning in earlier releases of this shoe.
6. Nike Flex Rn 2018 Low-Top Sneakers
The Nike brand is renowned globally for sportswear, including running shoes. They use many lightweight materials and patented technologies in their footwear.
There are styles for men and women in the Flex Rn model, with sizes ranging from 7 to 15 and 5 to 12, respectively. Although there is only one width option, regular, they do
come up quite wide.
The uppers are a breathable circular-knit material with lightweight synthetic overlays. Flywire cables enhance the lacing system on these shoes designed with Nikes Dynamic Fit Technology. It’s both adaptive and supportive for your feet.
The flexible outsole is made from durable rubber and sports a tread pattern that delivers solid traction. Lightweight cushioning comes from the foam midsole.
You might need to opt for a larger size in these shoes as they seem to come up about a half size too short for some.
|Well known brand Nike brings us a lightweight, supportive running shoe suitable for older runners. A Flywire lacing system and flexible knit upper enhances the overall fit. The soles offer traction and provide cushioning for your feet.|
- Lightweight but supportive.
- Flywire enhanced lacing system.
- Breathable knit uppers.
- Flexible cushioned soles.
- Might run small.
7. Hoka One One Gaviota Running Shoe
Hoka is a newcomer in the market for sports shoes, only being established in 2009. Designed by sportsmen specifically for running, they aim to make it easier.
A patented Meta-Rocker feature described by the company as “wheels for your feet” is a distinctive feature of this low heel-toe drop shoe. The sole is akin to a rocking chair base, which enhances forward motion and natural movement.
The sizes range from 7 to 13 for men and 5 to 11 for women. There are eleven color choices for men and nine for women.
A patented Active Foot Frame cradles and supports your feet, Hoka likens this to sitting in the bucket seat of a race car.
Lightweight open mesh uppers allow air to circulate so your feet can breathe, and a molded ortholite sock liner adds comfort. The flat waisted geometry and arch-lock wings enhance the stability of these shoes.
Hoka’s J-Frame utilizes foam rubber to help rebound energy to your feet while bolstering them. They feature a moderately beveled heel for a smooth transition from heel to toe as you walk or run.
These shoes are 100 percent vegan, which may appeal to the eco-conscious.
On the downside, some find the durability of these shoes questionable.
|Loaded with Hoka’s patented features, these shoes provide stability, cushioning and support. Designed to promote natural motion, they’re lightweight throughout and contain breathable uppers that hug the feet.|
- Rocker style sole.
- Cushioned and supportive.
- Lightweight throughout.
- Vegan friendly.
- Could wear out quickly.
Challenges Facing Older Runners
Old age creeps up on all of us eventually. Mentally, we may still feel like we’re in our 20’s or 30’s, but physically, our body reminds us we aren’t.
A muscle strain that might have rapidly healed when we were younger now takes longer to repair. However, maintaining your physical fitness could help prevent injury.
There are some considerations you need to know as an older runner, which include:
- Knowing your limits: Factors such as your diet, genetics, lifestyle, and current activity levels play a part in how much exercise you may be able to do. Even the most elite athletes experience a decline as they age. If you’re in any doubt about continuing or starting a running regime, check with your doctor first.
- Take it easy: Don’t go for broke and increase your distance or time dramatically. Moderation is key, so start out slowly and increase your pace and duration gradually over time.
- Set achievable goals: When it comes to running, we tend to reach our peak in performance in our late 20s and early 30s. After this, things begin to decline, so don’t expect record-breaking times. Set yourself goals that are more in keeping with your current levels of fitness.
- Give yourself recovery time: As we age, it takes us longer to recover from the effects of a good workout. Listen to what your body is telling you and allow time for recovery between runs. You could maybe opt for some strength training or a low impact activity like swimming or cycling on your days off.
- Look after your muscles: Resistance training benefits people of all ages, but it’s more important as we get older. While it won’t prevent the loss of muscle mass, it can strengthen them and reduce the risk of injury. Try out some squats, lunges, push-ups, or planks to improve your lower leg and core strength—this could help your performance when running.
- Improve your balance: Good balance helps you when running and can prevent falls and injury. Practicing Tai Chi or yoga can boost body balance as we age.
- Stay flexible: Stiffness, aches and pains tend to increase as we get older. We start to lose elasticity in muscles and tendons. Regular stretching pre and post-run or performing yoga could help maintain our flexibility.
- Invest in suitable shoes: Wearing inappropriate footwear can have a knock-on effect on our feet as we age. It can cause many foot problems and result in injuries. Make sure you choose an appropriate pair of shoes specifically for running, like those we’ve featured above. You can learn more about the differences between them in our article, training shoes vs running shoes.
Features to Look for in the Best Running Shoes for Older Runners
Wearing the right shoes for running can help prevent heel pain, shin splints, tendonitis, and injury. Some of the features to look out for include:
- Cushioning: Check for a foam insole or midsole (or both). This will help absorb the impact and stress you place on your feet and joints when running. Things like memory foam and EVA are good options to choose from.
- Shock absorption: Running takes a toll on us whether we’re young or old. Look for gel or patented technologies that will absorb the shock of your heels striking the sidewalk, track or trail.
- Stability: Make sure your shoes lock your heels in and provide a stable base for your feet. Things like a reliable lacing system, firm heel counter, and a wide toe box can help.
- Comfort and support: The chances are that with age foot issues like bunions, overpronation, and plantar fasciitis, to name a few are more likely to occur. Think about shoes that will support your individual needs—arch type or allow you to pop in orthotic insoles. Flexible uppers that will enable your feet to breathe can also add to the comfort factor.
- Lightweight: You can find shoes that are lightweight but still offer plenty of stability, cushioning and support. This can help prevent muscle fatigue when you run.
- Traction: Ensure you choose running shoes with sufficient grip for the surfaces you’ll be running on. You don’t want to wear heavy trail shoes for jogging on a treadmill.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Best Running Shoes for Heavy Runners?
If you tend to be on the larger, heavier side, you’ll want running shoes that offer stability, with a wide base and even distribution of shock impact. Of the shoes we’ve featured, the Hoka One One Gaviota and New Balance 990 possess attributes that would suit those runners carrying a substantial framework.
What Are the Best Neutral Running Shoes?
A neutral running shoe favors a natural movement of the foot. It will offer a degree of arch support, the location of cushioning tends to be heel-based, and they’re also flexible.
Unlike supination or overpronation, a neutral running style doesn’t require as much support, which means shoes tend to be a touch lighter. Again the Hoka One One Gaviota would suit, as would the Brooks Ghost 12.
If your feet roll inwards as you run, you can find a selection of shoes in our article on the best walking shoes for overpronation. It’s also likely with age that your ankles might be weaker than they were. You can find out more about the best shoes for weak ankles in this article.
How Often Should an Older Runner Run?
This depends on your fitness levels and how you feel about exercising.
Experts recommend 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise three days a week or 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week to improve fitness. It can also prevent unhealthy weight gain and reduce the risk of disabilities or chronic diseases.
Running every day when you’re older could lead to overuse injuries. To avoid these:
- Make sure you wear appropriate shoes for running like those we’ve featured.
- Increase the distance you run gradually.
- Take part in other activities like swimming or cycling in between running days.
- Make sure you warm up before a run and stretch your muscles out after.
Ready to Run
You’re never too old to start or to continue running. Wearing the best running shoes for older runners will keep you supported and cushion your feet through every stride. They can help prevent injuries and foot issues associated with this type of exercise.
Physical activity has many benefits to your health and well-being as you age, so select your shoes and hit the road. Just remember, if you have any medical conditions, or are new to running, check with a health professional first.
We hope you enjoyed our reviews, and we would love to hear about your experiences. Please leave us a comment and don’t forget to share.