The Best Sports Shoes – Buying Advice, Ranking, and Reviews 

It’s easy to say sports shoes: they exist for every sport. And, for each sport, they exist for different levels of practice. In this guide, we have examined, mainly, models designed for gymnastic activity, even in the simplest form of long walks. To laze on a bench or go to the market, sneakers or comfortable ankle boots are enough, for the purchase of which a guide should be of a completely different kind. We thus came to select the first two classifieds: Nike Revolution 4, a model that can now be purchased at a good price, suitable for fairly intense and varied sporting activity, and a slightly more expensive alternative for more frequent activity, Adidas Supernova. Following, more specific brands and types, for activities on the road and on rough terrain, and finally the cheaper model, suitable for leisure time. Because as soon as we talk about sport, the advice is really needed, to orient yourself in an offer that now adapts not only to the type of activity but also to the way in which you rest your feet.

The 5 Best Sports Shoes of 2020

Buying guide – How to choose the best sports shoes?

A shoe for each foot: whether you play low-intensity sports or are tireless marathoners, the choice of footwear to run or jump with can save you from unpleasant accidents or unnecessary expenses. We explain, in short, what to look out for when looking for the best sports shoe. A guide that compares prices, but also and above all performance. Remembering that in this field we are all “Cinderella”: only you would know how to recognize your ideal “shoe”.

Street, gym, or trail

The offers on the market are many, and the first question to ask, to understand how to choose a good sports shoe, is: how and how much will I use it? The shoe is essential to reduce possible trauma to the joints and the entire bone, and can also have an impact on performance.

The main components to pay attention to are the upper, which is the external part of the shoe, then the midsole, the shell, which wraps the heel, and, finally, the tread, which rests on the road.

The models can vary a lot according to the surface on which you are doing activities: road, dirt and mountain paths, or gym. In general, for the gym, the tread must be particularly flexible, preferably divided into two parts, the breathable upper, the midsole sufficiently cushioned.

Those who run on the road should choose models that are robust enough to withstand the stresses of the asphalt, but if you have to face long distances, the shoe cannot be too heavy.

CrossFit fans, unlike runners, should opt for models with as few shock absorbers as possible, to better stress and strengthen the foot and muscles.

A1, A2, A3, that is: how do you run?

There is a precise qualification of running shoes, based on their weight but also on the support they can give to different foot postures. In the A1 category, we find models of less than 250 grams, recommended for those who run at a rather high pace and need a shot.

The superior model, A2, does not exceed 295 grams and is dedicated to those who compete at slower speeds and, perhaps, need to correct some support defects.

Shoes in the A3 range, weighing more than 300 grams and equipped with robust shock absorbers, give even more comfort, and also allow the use of customized insoles. These are shoes without corrective details suitable for most runners.

Finally, the A4 models are particularly robust, suitable for protecting and supporting the foot and ankle and stabilizing the run. For the mountains and rough trails, it is better to switch to the A5: breathable, waterproof, with reinforced tread and soles with the right grip.

Weighing: How to Choose Shoes Based on the Scale

In addition to weighing the shoes, it will be good to weigh ourselves. Even the scales can give us useful tips on which sports shoes to buy. Men up to 65 kg and women up to 45 kg are considered light.

Medium is those who weigh between 65 and 80 kg if a man and between 45 and 65 kg if a woman. We must consider ourselves “heavy” above these numbers. Different tables for a child, which vary according to age. The greater our weight, the more solid the midsole, the shell, and, in general, the upper must be, which must support and contain our stresses.

Shoes and insoles can also correct any defects in pronation: this is the natural movement of the foot inwards, at the moment of support, which serves to unload the weight of the body and cushion the impact.

There is so-called neutral pronation (without substantial defects), a hyper-pronation, too much inward, and a hypo-pronation, too much outward.

You can understand what your fault is by checking the way you wear the soles. However, not a few experts advise those who do intense running activities not to resort to corrective shoes but to learn independently to place the foot correctly.

The 5 Best Sports Shoes – Ranking 2020

1. Nike Wmns Revolution 4 Eu, Women’s Running Shoes

Main advantage:

These shoes know how to combine, at an affordable price, quality of materials, elegant design, versatility, and resistance. A great choice for indoor and outdoor sports activities.

Main disadvantage:

This model cannot meet the most intense and specialized training needs. The upper fabric and sole do not make it suitable for prolonged use on the road or dirt.

Verdict: 9.8 / 10

Nike quality in a well-balanced product, able to satisfy a large audience of sportsmen and also to meet those looking for, simply, shoes for mild outdoor activities.

Description of Main Features

The shoe for “everyone”

The definition of sports shoes is very broad and generic, which is why we decided to reward a model that could adapt to the widest range of needs, at a fairly affordable price.

The Nike Revolution 4 has earned the first place in the standings for their versatility and for the excellent value for money, especially guaranteed by the various online offers. The breathable fabric that surrounds them, as well as the flexible and reactive sole, makes them suitable for training in the gym, but they can easily accompany you on gentle road runs during the milder seasons.

The attention to design will not make you disfigured even if you decide to use it as a sportswear item for a quiet walk outdoors or for normal informal activities of daily life.

Elegant and discreet, you can take advantage of them for any occasion without too many regrets, thanks to the proposals on the Net that make this model available at half the original cost.

The shoe is suitable for both men and women, and is on sale with a wide range of sizes, from 35 to 45, without forgetting the half sizes that can make the difference between complete comfort and an imperfect fit, especially when doing sport.

Design and materials

The production house calls them running shoes, but they are even more suitable for gym activities. They are not particularly suitable for those who love loud colors, extravagant design, and perhaps want to be immediately noticed in a gym.

The Nike Revolution 4 that we recommend, although available in four different colors, remain sober and elegant, made of lightweight mesh to ensure maximum breathability. The Mesh is in fact a perforated fabric, widely used in sports materials. Of course, if the weather is particularly harsh or you face heavy rain, this is not the shoe for you. However, there is also a winter version.

The material on which the footrests, the midsole, is composed of a particularly soft foam, which should return a pleasant feeling of comfort, but also provide the right elasticity for your training or your run.

The sole is made of rubber with shaped pods, suitable for use on different surfaces.

Man, woman, child and… newborn

It seems that the Nike Revolution wants to accompany you from the cradle. This line of shoes exists for women, men, children, but is also on sale in a version for the little ones, with numbering from 17 to 27.

The line for boys also offers the shoe in pink, while for women the range available is black with the white band, white with white band, and, finally, a shade between gray and white with a fluorescent pink band.

When you shop online, make sure that next to the product name there is the abbreviation Eu (which stands for Europe), or you may have some problems with the numbering of the shoes.

However, this model contains more than one review of enthusiastic customers, why it ranks in the top sales positions on e-commerce sites. In absolute terms, of course, it’s not the cheapest shoe you can find, but you always have to evaluate how much and how you will use it.

A sports shoe is still a piece of clothing in which you will stay for a long time, in which you will probably sweat, which you will subject to greater efforts than you would with a moccasin. As far as possible, it is best to rely on a medium to a high-quality product.

2. Adidas Supernova Running Shoes

These shoes are full of approval among those who use them, mainly, to train in running, with constant and intense rhythms. We do not recommend them as walking shoes for plantar fasciitis, considering the price and important technical specifications.

Compared to the Adidas Supernova models that preceded it, however advisable for those who want to save a little while guaranteeing excellent quality, this shoe has significantly improved cushioning. This makes it particularly suitable for long workouts at medium rhythms.

The special shape of the sole allows it to be effective on the road, but also on paths and dirt roads, where they can demonstrate remarkable qualities of stability. These shoes can easily exceed the threshold of 600 km, even with intense use, and retain the qualities of elasticity and comfort. The reason they are forgiven for being slightly (and relatively) heavy.

Enthusiastic acclaim also received the upper, made of a resistant and breathable fabric, which guarantees an extraordinary fit and total comfort. It deserves this position among the best sports shoes of 2020.

Here, in summary, the main advantages of this model of shoes, and the weak points, from versatility to price.

PRO

Running everywhere:

Cushioned and stable, made of breathable and resistant fabric, suitable for road racing but also valid on dirt surfaces and trails.

Amortized:

The Adidas Supernova Glide 9 are particularly cushioned thanks to the patented Boost system, in particular in the heel area, and guarantee dynamism and comfort.

Resistant:

After intensive use, exceeded the fateful 600 km, they still demonstrate efficiency and quality. An investment.

Versus

High price:

The price of this model is not for all budgets, it is true, but we must remember that it is a shoe destined to resist and high performance.

3. Mizuno Wave Rider 22 Women’s Running Shoes

The Mizuno Wave Rider 22 are also perfect shoes for running, mainly on the road. They are available in versions for men and women, with a weight, respectively, of 283 and 241 grams.

In this review, we can only detect excellent manufacturing materials: from the X10 carbon rubber tread to the blown rubber on the forefoot, ideal for good cushioning.

Overall, the design and structure guarantee flexibility and elasticity, without affecting the strength of the shoe. The mesh upper fits perfectly and offers total comfort even over long distances, for which this shoe was designed.

The aesthetic element has also been carefully taken care of: the Rider 22 are available in a wide range of bright colors and offer interesting textures and patterns. The price is high, but if you want to try the excellent quality already widely demonstrated by this brand and this line in particular, you can opt for the Mizuno wave Rider 21, for sale at cheaper prices.

On the Net, in any case, there are offers able to buy with considerable savings.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 22 are not for everyone. This table shows the essential reasons for choosing them or looking elsewhere.

Pro

Attractive design:

They are available in different colors and declined in two different production lines for men and women, with different weights for the same numbering.

Resistant and cushioned:

The shoe is made with top-quality construction materials, which guarantee cushioning and resistance for sustained and prolonged workouts.

Versus

Price:

The price a bit high in absolute terms, although in the average compared to the quality offered. You can save money with previous models of the same line.

Not suitable for dirt roads:

This shoe is designed primarily for road running, although it is suitable for mild training on dirt roads.

4. Inov8 Mudclaw 300 Unisex Trail Running Shoes

The Inov 8 Mudclaw 300 are shoes intended for specific use: trail running. They are designed to support the foot in cross country or mountain runs.

There is no weight difference between men’s and women’s sports shoes, about 300 grams. In this type of shoe, the structure of the sole and the tread are particularly important, as they must prove solid and light.

The Inov 8 is perfect on muddy and slippery surfaces, thanks also to the presence of 8 mm studs that allow you to maintain grip even in difficult situations.

Cushioning is important, but it shouldn’t be overdone, as it can compromise stability on rough terrain. The Eva midsole, in this case, overlaps a moderately flexible inner sole to which a protection plate is added, in the central area.

The outer fabric, although synthetic, is breathable, but also sufficiently waterproof, without detracting from the comfort of the foot. One of the best choices for trail running and one of the best-selling models in its market niche.

The Inov 8 Mudclaw 300 can delight trail runners. But be careful to evaluate the pros and cons, compared to the expectations of such a demanding product:

Pro

Ground grip:

The design of the soles, the material used and the 8 mm studs guarantee grip even in mud and on slippery ground.

Waterproof fabric:

The waterproofing treatment used on the upper allows keeping the foot dry. Essential detail for cross country or mountain races.

Versus

Not suitable for the road:

Not a defect, but a specific: the cushioning system and the flexibility of the sole are designed for dirt roads.

Beware of the grip:

Some users complain about a slightly less efficient grip on walls and obstacles than in mud. However, this is a detail.

5. Fexkean Men Women Sport Sneakers

The Fexkeans are at the bottom of the standings, but in the race as an outsider. We have left room for an economical, fashionable model, available in a wide range of colors, but which, even judging by the reviews received online, does not disappoint in terms of quality. It is clear: those who carry out demanding workouts and have specific needs must turn to the upper floors of the list, but the Fexkean, among the best- selling models online, are sports shoes in all respects.

The system of pads under the sole serves to cushion the step but also gives it a jaunty air just enough.

The different colors are cheerful but never excessive. Even those who have chosen this shoe for running or doing gym activities are very satisfied.

The price is among the lowest for a shoe that is still suitable for gymnastics, but it will also bring closer those who are looking for comfortable shoes for plantar fasciitis long hours of standing work and need comfort, perhaps just for walking not far from home. You can wear them in overalls, but also simply combined with casual clothing, sure to remain elegant.

That’s why you might decide which Fexkeans are for you, evaluating their limits, but also their many qualities.

Pro

Design:

Available in a wide range of colors, it has a young and fun design, but not cheeky and, moreover, functional for various indoor and outdoor sports activities.

Good price:

They allow you to spend less than thirty euros for a shoe that gets excellent reviews also on the quality front, with a decent cushioning system.

Versus

Amateur:

This type of shoe is not suitable for challenging training sessions, although sufficiently solid and efficient.

Grip and tread:

Sole and tread are clearly designed to adapt to a mild sporting activity and to make everyday life comfortable. But don’t ask for more.

Sports shoe maintenance and evaluation

Your ideal shoe is not eternal: wear and, why not, possible changes in your body (weight, muscle tone or foot shape) will make it retirement sooner or later. There are some precautions to extend the precious years of service, but you need to know how to grasp the signals of your body and of the shoes themselves to know when it is time to change.

The 5 Best Sports Shoes of 2020

The average life of a shoe: when to say goodbye

According to authoritative reviews, a pair of running shoes should last between 600 and 800 kilometers. An average life that can be quite short for those who train regularly (less than 4 months) and lengthen a lot for the more moderate.

Traces of wear are particularly visible, of course, on the sole, but also in the midsole.

This carries out the important cushioning activity, and if you see it particularly squashed and not very elastic it is likely that it will no longer perform its function in the best way.

The same consideration applies to gym shoes, which must always offer the right push and flexibility, without ceasing to protect the joints.

If your physical activity simply consists of a few long and quiet walks or occasional visits to the gym, you can count on your shoes for well over a year, but for this reason, you may decide to invest a few additional euros at the time of choice.

There are those who run and those who walk

The general rules for those who run also apply to those who walk. The tread and midsole are subjected to less stress, as the impact of the foot with the surface is heavier in running and increases in proportion to the speed.

The defects of posture and pronation are felt even if you take long walks and, as mentioned, the way you wear your shoes can give you some suggestions on your walk.

Those who suffer from overpronation, that is, they rotate their foot too much inwards in contact with the ground, will notice signs of wear particularly accentuated on the toe, in the forefoot area, and near the toes. Experts recommend models that can stabilize your step and correct the defect.

Hypopronation will return worn-out footwear on the outer side edges. In this case, it is better to look for a type of shoe that is neutral, but which ensures good cushioning.

The same can be said if, on the other hand, it is the heel that is very damaged: a sign that you probably impact with insistence and too heavily on that part of the foot, when you force the run.

When it is the foot that says enough

Despite having made a careful comparison between the models for sale online and in stores, and despite having examined the various buying advice, you may have made the wrong choice of shoe. And it could be your foot that signals it to you.

In fact, there are some symptoms attributable (also) to pathologies caused by unsuitable footwear.

If, for example, you feel intense pain, which reaches the sole and toes from the heel, you could have plantar fasciitis, the causes of which are due to excessive heel stress, which can be prevented with appropriate shoes and a customized insole.

But heel pain could also be a symptom of heel spurs, an inflammation of the tendons that can be caused by shoes that are not suitable for the ground on which you train, or by excessive loads.

Wrong footwear could also give you yarrow tendinitis and other tibial pathologies, signaled, precisely by persistent pain in the tibia. In these cases, of course, it is necessary to review one’s training rhythms and undergo medical tests, but the possible damage of a worn or badly chosen pair of shoes must not be underestimated.

Frequent questions

What is the best fabric to resist water?

The waterproofing of shoes can become essential when trekking or cross-country running and in the mountains. The material that best guarantees to keep your feet dry is Goretex, which also has the advantage of allowing good perspiration and letting sweat evaporate.

The “trick” is possible thanks to the special composition of this perforated material and the arrangement of the micro-holes that make up the texture.

A small miracle is due to the expanded polytetrafluoroethylene. The microscopic holes in this substance are over a billion per square centimeter, and each of them is about 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water.

To be a perfectly waterproof material, it guarantees good transpiration, but certainly not perfect. It is not suitable for very hot temperatures, for which there are more suitable materials and shoes.

What is the best sports shoe brand?

You will read many different opinions on the subject. It is useless to deny that the most well-known brands that have been on the market for the longest time actually offer good guarantees. In addition to Nike and Adidas, Salomon, Brooks, Asics, Mizuno, Saucony are guarantee brands and the Hoka one is attracting more and more interest. If you are looking for an Italian brand, Lotto offers quality combined at more than affordable prices.

And yet, we would advise against deciding which sports shoe to buy on the exclusive basis of the product brand. We have illustrated in this guide how many subjective variables should guide your choice. The brand can be a starting point, but the doors must not be closed to any potential market offer.

Can unisex sports shoe models be trusted?

In this guide we have explained that choosing the right shoes can depend on the use you make of them and on your physical characteristics, your weight in particular. If we talk about the more technical models, it is normal to find many unisex proposals, with a numbering range that can go from 36 to 45. At certain levels of training, purely aesthetic choices take a back seat, and the fitting defects are corrected by insoles if not customized insoles.

Still, studies in this area would highlight actual structural differences between female and male feet. It would appear that women have not only thinner feet, but also lower ankles, a surprisingly wider forefoot, and an average higher neck.

What are the most cushioned shoes?

The cushioning systems are often patented by the manufacturers. Adidas, Nike, Saucony, Salomon, Asics, all offer excellent guarantees from this point of view. Research continues, so the best advice you can give is to keep yourself constantly updated.

Attention to this specific detail of sports footwear is not unjustified, as it can really make the difference between a shoe suitable for running or walking and a model that will cause you inflammation and discomfort.

I have heard of a material called Eva, what is it?

Behind the acronym, Eva hides ethylene vinyl acetate. It is a type of material, such as polyurethane, composed of polymers and which has now become almost a standard in the production of shoe midsoles.

The most technical and training shoes insert their cushioning system right into the midsole, essential to minimize joint problems caused by heavy and prolonged impact with the road and to give dynamism.

If I buy shoes online, how do I choose the right size?

The best e-commerce sites allow the quick and painless return of an item of clothing, including shoes, if it is not the right size. In any case, you can rely on customer advice, with specific questions. On the Net, you will find numerous suggestions on how different models fit, even compared to other brands. The risk, in any case, is often justified by particularly convenient offers.