Best running trainers for women: 16 to buy from £70

Don’t be confused by the jargon – I’ve tried the newest trainers and these are the ones actually worth investing in

The NHS’s ‘Couch to 5k’ app had over a million downloads during the first lockdown in 2020. We’ve become a nation of runners, and if you’re one of the keen beans now lacing up regularly, know this. One of the simplest ways you can improve your running is by investing in the right kit. Hence this handy guide to the best running trainers for women.

I’m a health editor who runs marathons for fun, so I’ve tested all of the running trainers below for you over 5km, 10km, and half marathon distances. Keep reading for an honest review of which are worth your investment – and which aren’t.

Shop the best options from the likes of Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, and more, but also a few more purse-friendly trainer alternatives, too. I’ve run in all of the shoes included, so they have my seal of approval as the top running trainers you can buy.

While we’re on the topic – do check out our guides to the best workout leggings, best sports bras, best exercise headphones, and best home workout equipment, while you’re here. There are loads of my favourite fit kit in them which, again, I can guarantee is worth the investment. Oh, and our guide to running tips for beginners may help if you’re at the beginning of your running journey.

In the meantime—happy running.

Why is investing in a pair of running trainers so important?  

Yeah, surprisingly enough your old Converse aren’t the best bet for your morning miles. Wearing incorrect trainers can increase your risk of injury and encourage poor running form.

Think about it: if you wear super flat Converse for your 5km, your foot arch won’t have adequate support, your joints won’t have proper cushioning as your body hits the floor, and your hips, knees, Achilles and tendons will likely have to work harder to over-compensate. End result? Likely injury, if you run regularly (aka three times a week or more).

What should I look for in a women’s running shoe? 

Adequate cushioning 

When you hit the floor during a run, you’re putting as much as three times your body weight through your foot. Think about that for a second – it’s a lot. Making sure you’ve got proper cushioning underfoot is vital.

Appropriate weight 

Again, this one’s fairly common sense and worth thinking about pre-investing in running trainers. The lighter your shoe, the easier it’ll be for you to move quickly in them, right? You’ll be smashing that 5km PB in no time. That being said, if you’re a distance or marathon runner, making sure you’ve opted for a shoe with proper support for the mileage is key, so it may be best to opt for a slightly heavier shoe.

A design for the right terrain

In short, are you someone who’s going to be running on pavements home from work or heading out to the countryside for steady miles come the weekend? If it’s the former, invest in road shoes; the latter, trail shoes. Road shoes are more cushioned, to protect your body from the impact of the concrete, and trail shoes have more grip and support, for muddy trail routes.

Scroll our round-up of the best running trainers for women now.

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