10 Best Men's Running Shoes for Spring 2019

Spring is in the air, which means lightweight clothing rooftop bars, and, finally, long-distance runs in the wide-open air. And whether you're pounding the pavement or hitting the trail, there's really only one piece of gear that's absolutely essential: a great pair of running shoes. This year, instead of dusting off the beat-to-death Nikes, treat yourself to a sparkling new pair of kicks.

White/gray running shoes with blue laces photo

1 of 10

Hoka One One Mach 2

This extraordinarily lightweight, responsive road runner is an update on what's become our favorite shoe for speed training (tempo runs, intervals, and the like) and racing. Like its predecessor, the Mach 2 uses a dual-density midsole—with a soft heel and firm forefoot—so it absorbs impact, but delivers springy rebound after landing. Brand-new is the soft open engineered mesh upper, which makes it even more breathable and comfortable for those long, sticky summer runs to come. Altogether, it's an out-of-this-world combination that'll have you running at, well, mach speed. ($140; hokaoneone.com)

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Light blue sneaker with black Nike swoosh photo

2 of 10

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35

At 35 years young, Nike's oldest running shoe proves that age doesn't have to slow you down. The Pegasus may be an everyday workhorse trainer, but it takes advantage of trickle-down tech and design elements from some of the company's most elite (and, yes, expensive) offerings to put an extra pep in your step. Its striking beveled heel and silky-smooth rockered sole, for example, mimic the sought-after $250 Zoom Vaporfly 4 Percent and its quick-stepping, curved carbon-fiber plate. Add to that a heel-to-toe layer of springy Zoom Air foam, and you have a shoe that's faster and smoother than ever. ($120; nike.com)

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Black running shoe with dark purple Brooks running logo photo

3 of 10

Brooks Glycerin 16

For big-boned guys who need that extra cushion for the pushin' off, the new Glycerin delivers in spades. Brooks' plushest trainer retains its super soft DNA Loft midsole—a dreamy blend of air, rubber, and foam—and enhances it with an Ortholite sockliner that uses crush-resistant open-cell PU foam to guarantee long-lasting, pillowy padding that won't break down in the first 300 miles. All that padding can bog you down, though, so reserve these shoes for long, easy distance and slow-going active recovery days. ($150; brooksrunning.com)

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Dark gray New Balance sneaker photo

4 of 10

New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon

One look at this chunky trainer—with its thick slab or Fresh Foam cush—tells you most of what you need to know about the Beacon's ride: it's soft! What you can't see at first glance, though, is just how light and lively it is. Slide your foot into the sock-like engineered mesh upper and prepare to be blown away as the miles tick by easily. Because this latest "Ground Contact" version of the brand's popular foam is more durable than previous versions, it can hold up to the wear and tear of asphalt without a lot of heavy rubber protection. That means more foam, more spring, and less weight, making this one of the best all-around road shoes available. And, at $120, it's also one of the cheapest. ($120; newbalance.com)

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Black and gray running shoe photo

5 of 10

Altra Torin 3.5

If you're unfamiliar with Altra's zero-drop, foot-shaped shoes that are intended to allow for more natural running—with toes splayed and level with the heel—the Torin offers a good introduction. The company's most popular road shoe is soft enough for pounding out half-marathon-plus distances, but light enough (at 9.1 ounces in a men's 9) for high-turnover speed workouts. A new quick-dry mesh upper shaves grams off last year's model, while boosting airflow and breathability, so it feels even more like natural barefoot running, but with pillows strapped to your feet. ($125; altra.com)

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White and orange sneaker with blue Reebok logo photo

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Reebok Floatride Run Fast

It's all in a name with the Run Fast, a supremely nimble racer that weighs less than 7 ounces, yet still boasts considerably more cushioning and bounce than your cardboard-thin racing flats. The magic is in the Pebax-based Floatride foam, which is much lighter than standard EVA, allowing for thicker foam underfoot without weighing you down. A considerable heel-to-toe drop gives you a sense of speed and forward momentum that, when paired with its barely-there weight and incredible energy return, can propel you to new PRs. Still too heavy? Further lighten your load—and your wallet (it's $250!)—with this shoe's featherweight sibling, the 3.5-ounce Run Fast Pro. ($140; reebok.com)

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Gray running shoe with red laces photo

7 of 10

Columbia Montrail Caldorado III OutDry

A dozen years after acquiring pioneering trail shoe brand Montrail, Columbia makes some of the best trail runners on the market. The Caldorado is their all-rounder, beloved for its relatively low weight, comfortable ride over long distances, and versatility in many terrains. Despite a gear closet stuffed with trail shoes, this is the one we reach for time and again to tackle long, 20-plus-mile days in the mountains. What sets this version apart is its seamless OutDry waterproof upper, which locks out wet stuff better than Gore-Tex, and breathes better, too. Rainy day? Soggy trails? This is your ticket to bone-dry feet. ($145; columbia.com)

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Charcoal gray running shoe photo

8 of 10

Merrell Agility Synthesis Flex

The lightweight, responsive Agility Synthesis Flex is a great shoe for moving fast on smoother, buff trails, where rocks and roots aren't an issue. It feels almost like a trail racing flat—fast, nimble, and light on padding—with a midsole whose dual-directional grooves are designed to promote flexibility and ground feel. The "natural" feel philosophy extends down to the grippy rubber outsole and its 5mm "skeleton-inspired" lugs that mimic the bones in your feet. Overall, it's a comfortable, quick, and snappy shoe that excels on dry, smooth trails. ($110; merrell.com)

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All-black Adidas running shoe photo

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Adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic XT

From the ground up, this low-profile shoe was built to charge hard over tough, technical terrain. It starts with a thick, full-length Continental rubber (yes, the same company that makes car racing tires) outsole with deep lugs that really take a bite out of terra firma. Next up, a layer of bouncy Boost foam protects your feet from sharp rocks and gnarly roots. On top, an abrasion-resistant, welded bootie locks out pebbles and promises durability for the long haul. The Agravic XT is, overall, a fast, aggressive shoe that keeps your feet in close contact with the ground at all times. For additional wet-weather protection, $30 more buys you the Gore-Tex-upgraded version. ($140; adidas.com)

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Black and gray shoe with yellow-orange sole photo

10 of 10

Salomon Sense Max 2

This trail runner beefs up the cushion on the wildly popular Sense Ride, so you can log even more miles or, if necessary, transition smoothly from singletrack to pavement. The Sense line was built to the specifications of mountain running phenom Kilian Jornet, to have less bulk and performance shaping, and this shoe embraces that tradition while adding a thicker Vibe midsole for a more comfortable ride. Virtually everything else—snag-free Quicklace, sticky Congtragrip rubber, and Profeel Film mesh that filters out rocks and dirt—remains unchanged for your trail running pleasure. ($150; salomon.com)

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