Unlike stability styles, neutral running shoes are made for runners who don’t need additional support or motion control. They offer cushioning, yet they’re not designed to alter the runner’s stride. Since there are tons of options on the market, we created a guide to some of the best neutral running shoes you can buy — from classic road runners to trail-ready styles. They’re designed to offer a happy medium between a super soft and firm feel underfoot, while allowing the feet to breathe thanks to aerated uppers.
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1. Brooks Ghost 12
This sneaker is equipped with Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning for the perfect blend of softness and responsiveness.
Pros: A Segmented Crash Pad outsole offers shock absorption. An engineered mesh and 3D Fit Print upper is designed with strategically placed stretch and structure to feel like a part of your foot. They come in four widths and a variety of colorways.
Cons: This shoe may fit narrow.
2. Under Armour Micro G Pursuit
With a lightweight mesh upper, this UA sneaker is breathable and includes foam padding placed around the ankle collar and under the tongue.
Pros: The die-cut EVA sock liner in this shoe has slight arch support and the Micro G foam midsole creates a supported impact zone. Meanwhile, tire-inspired outsoles provide ultimate flex and superior traction. These also come in a plethora of colorways and extra-wide widths.
Cons: These shoes may tend to fit tight.
3. Saucony Freedom ISO 2
This shoe features an ISOFIT dynamic upper that adapts to the shape and motion of the foot, creating a socklike feel. Breathable engineered performance knit gives support and allows for freedom of movement.
Pros: An EVERUN midsole provides enhanced energy return and continuous cushioning throughout your run. A streamlined support frame delivers an ideal heel fit and hold. Highly durable Tri-Flex crystal rubber outsoles offer reliable traction. They also come in an assortment of other colorways.
Cons: Some wearers may find the toe box a little too roomy.
4. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v9
These sneakers have a breathable mesh upper with a no-sew application that helps prevent irritation, while the bootie construction promotes a snug, secure fit.
Pros: This style comes in four width options and seven colorways. Fresh Foam midsoles deliver a lightweight, plush underfoot feel and a more natural ride. An Ortholite footbed provides cushioning and arch support. Outsole flex grooves allow the foot to move more freely.
Cons: It may fit narrow.
5. Asics Gel-Nimbus 20
This style’s FluidFit upper combines multidirectional stretch mesh with stretch reinforcements that adapt to the foot for a customized, glovelike fit.
Pros: These also feature seamless construction for reduced irritation and a highly breathable Ortholite footbed for plush underfoot comfort. FlyteFoam midsole technology provides exceptional bounce back and responsiveness. Guidance Trusstic System technology enhances gait efficiency while delivering structural midfoot support. Rearfoot and Forefoot Gel cushioning minimizes shock during impact and toe-off. An exoskeletal heel counter provides improved support. These come in wide and extra-wide widths as well as a range of colorways.
Cons: They may run slightly small.