Today, we’re going to be diving into 18 of the best everyday running shoes.
For us, daily trainers are:
- Shoes that you’re going to get the mileage in.
- Shoes that are fun to run in.
- And shoes that feel good on your foot.
Daily trainers might not be the lightest and/or have the latest technology sometimes. These are the staple bread-and-butter trainers that a lot of us can rely on for, hopefully, injury-free training.
By the way, this has been a really good year for daily trainers. We’ve seen a lot of great updates to classic legacy lines and it’s just been a very exciting time to be a runner.
I’m going to put the shoes in no particular order, except for one, and then I’ll pick the winner at the end.
Sounds fun? Let’s dive right into it….
Best Everyday Running Shoes
Asics Novablast 2
The Novablast came out of nowhere. A lot of people, including myself, definitely got the vibe that this shoe was kind of a casual shoe and not really meant to be run in. But once I got it on my feet, all those thoughts disappeared because the Novablast is a serious running shoe.
The V2 is a solid update to a shoe whose first version had some problems. There’s just a lot of updates that bring the Novablast 2 into the forefront.
- Lowered the drop from 10mm to 8mm.
- Added some more structure into the shape of the midsole to make it a little more stable.
- Leveled up the outsole.
- Made stance a little bit wider.
Why the Novablast is good for you
The new squishy and energetic FlyteFoam Blast is super fun. The better-fitting double-layered upper, gusseted tongue, and lacing system all make the Novablast 2 a great do-it-all everyday running shoe.
If you’re looking for a shoe to do it all on the roads from long-distance runs, to slow plods on weekends, to getting that up-tempo speed workout during mid-week, this is a really great option.
It does provide you with plenty of life, a lot of fun, and plenty of comfortable miles underfoot for those long days, shorter days, and faster days.
However, I will want to designate the Novablast more as a training shoe and definitely not a race-day shoe.
Overall, I just don’t understand how this shoe can do all of those things.
The Novablast is such a solid daily shoe if you’re running on even road surfaces. But I wouldn’t go on anywhere with uneven camber.
Last but not least, the Novablast 2 is an ideal shoe if your joints need that extra cushion. This is a shoe for those with normal foot strike and if you have any pronation issues and you really need a lot of underfoot support, just avoid it.
- V2 is more cushioned in the Forefoot than V1
- V2 has better rear cushioning stability than V1
- Luxurious upper feel and fit
- Beautifully versatile and breathable
- Cushioning offers a springy, responsive, smoother, energetic ride
- Slightly heavier than V1
FlyteFoam Blast Midsole
The FF Blast midsole material that Asics brought in 2020 is super-cushioned but it does not feel like getting stuck in quicksand.
The Novablast has all these miracle properties of being a super cushioned shoe that’s nice and soft and squishy but it also springs back pretty quickly so you’re not paying a huge speed penalty for all that comfort, which is normally the tradeoff you’re making when it comes to super comfortable shoes.
The FlyteFoam Blast doesn’t take away anything from the running experience. I think it enhances it and it does really make the shoe super fun.
The Novablast 2 definitely gives you that softness without losing that lateral stability that people had an issue with in the Novablast 1 and other shoes that are really cushioned and squishy.
Related: Asics Novablast 2 vs 1
The Novablast 1 has this super crazy weave and all this extra stuff on top of stuff. Asics could have really dialed the upper back a couple of levels and opt for a regular solid upper instead.
The great news is the Novablast v2 has a much better upper compared to the original Novablast. Asics just minimized it a little bit and now it just feels more concise and better on foot.
With this soft and comfortable double-layered mesh upper and the gusseted tongue, you get a really solid lockdown and really great midfoot support.
The Novablast is also fairly accommodating through the mid and forefoot so you’re not only going to get locked in but you get some good movement for your toes up in the front.
The squish, tightness, responsiveness of the foam, the reduction in the pod on the bottom, as well as the additional width through the midfoot allows the shoe to be a lot more comfortable underfoot. It doesn’t fight you or want to roll your foot in a certain direction.
Overall, I think Asics just absolutely hit a home run with this fantastic all-around do-it-all daily trainer. It just knocks the first version out of the water.
Nike Pegasus 38
The Pegasus line is one of the most traditional daily trainers. It has been one of my favorite shoes perennially every single year. Whenever a beginner runner asks me what shoe they should start with, the Pegasus is usually the place where I start them because it can do it all.
Nike made a lot of changes, which is really bold for a shoe that’s been around for this long. Now it’s all React foam which is one of Nike’s new foams that I’ve particularly enjoyed especially in this daily trainer category.
Why the Pegasus is good for you
The Pegasus 38 is a very viable and versatile option at a really reasonable price. You can find it on sale in almost every single colorway and every size.
While I don’t think the Pegasus does quite as well on very long runs as the Pegasus typically has in prior years, I feel like it does a lot better on some of those speedier efforts. It’s a shoe that you want to use for your daily training but also for some of your faster days.
Many people out there don’t just run on roads. They run on a variety of different surfaces and terrain, and a shoe that can withstand all of those things and perform relatively well on them is obviously going to be higher up the list.
- Comfortable wide toe box
- Ride us stable
- Fits wider than Pegasus 37
- Offers a cushiony yet peppy toe-off
- Upper is padded & hugs your foot
- Grippy but not ideal for off-road running
React is springy and lively and it’s going to also hold up for hundreds and hundreds of miles. Inside that React foam, they’ve also changed the Zoom Air unit. Now it’s one giant Zoom Air pocket in the forefoot, which, for me, changed the mechanics of this shoe a little bit to make it a little bit more speedy of a shoe.
If you really like to get some feedback from your shoes when you’re running, you’re going to get that little bit of feel from that Air unit in the forefoot.
The previous version did have some heel slippage and some people complained that the toe box was a little bit too narrow. With the 38, Nike opened up the volume in the toe box a little bit and the new lacing system makes sure your heels stay locked in.
This is the Shield version of the popular Pegasus classic designed for daily training in wet conditions. A lot of runners have to train in rain or on wet surfaces and that’s when you can reach for the Pegasus Shield.
Its water repellent upper prevents any moisture from reaching your feet and its storm tread outsole provides great grip on wet surfaces.
I like the Pegasus Shield so much because it’s such a versatile shoe. You can use it for tempo runs because of its springy Zoom Air unit and you can also use it for longer runs because its React midsole doesn’t bottom out.
The Nike Pegasus 38 is cushioned in a more dense way due to the React foam, but it comes alive in the mid to forefoot with that Air Zoom pocket.
The upper works fine with no bells and whistles. It’s a bit thicker of an upper and so it might suit people over the winter period when things start to get a little chilly.
There’s gallons of grip in the outsole, which makes the Pegasus a really decent daily choice.
Related: Nike Pegasus vs Structure – Neutral vs Stability’ish
Hoka Mach 4
The Hoka Mach 4 is an interestingly bold addition to what has been a fairly mediocre lineage of versions. The previous Mach versions were fun but never really exciting and were overshadowed by shoes like the Clifton, Rincon, or Carbon X series from Hoka. The great news is the Mach 4 does stand out.
- A new stretchy mesh upper.
- An updated solid wider platform.
- A slightly extended heel reminiscent of the Clifton Edge.
- A redesigned soft yet punchy midsole.
- A rubberized outsole foam layer for lightweight ground contact.
All these updates seem to be the perfect combination for long training days or easy efforts where distance is the focus.
Related: Hoka Mach vs Clifton
Why the Mach is good for you
The Mach 4 is one of my new daily trainers that are really good at a lot of things. It’s great for long distances and it’s great for short distances. It is soft while not being too soft that you lose all sorts of ability to pick up the pace and speed.
If you’re just looking to log long miles or if you’re getting some big mileage goals in your weekly training, the Mach 4 is going to do a great job of getting you the distance without interfering with your gait.
The underfoot cushioning is both soft and comfortable, which is great for long-distance runs, but it also has a bit of snappiness to it just enough to separate it from a shoe like the Rincon or the Clifton.
It’s beefier than the Rincon and so it’s not quite as light or as flexible or as fast but also not designed for those really faster days where the Hoka Carbon X or a carbon-plated running shoe might come in handy.
The upper is a bit more accommodating and so if you do have wider feet, it could potentially work for you.
Overall, the Mach 4 just does a lot of things right and is a really comfortable shoe for going long distances or as a daily trainer.
Related: Asics Novablast vs Hoka Mach
- Amazing responsiveness/cushioning combination
- Soft underfoot but not mushy
- Offers a smooth & lively ride
- Achilles tab designed to prevent irritation
- Upper is soft, super comfortable, & fits like a glove
- Offers great lockdown
- Helps you pick up the pace if you need to
- Lightweight for the cushion it packs
- Not the most durable outsole
- Long laces for small feet
The Mach 4 has two types of the ProFly foam. The midsole is a little bit softer closer to the foot and a little firmer closer to the ground, which gives a nice and snappy feel. To better explain how this midsole feels, just imagine a bit stiffer Rincon or a bit softer Clifton.
One thing I really like about the Mach 4 that sort of separates it from the Mach 3 and Mach 2 is its wider stance. It’s not a real stability shoe. It’s just literally a wider platform that provides more stability on the road surface and it’s not collapsing laterally or immediately.
So, for those long efforts where fatigue begins to take control of your step, the Mach is going to keep you in line and it does a really good job just providing you with that little additional confidence underfoot.
In the past, the Mach series was one of those that was just a throwaway and no one really cared about it, but the Mach 4 took people by surprise. It’s just an overall soft cushioned ride good for long miles.
The upper fits great, it’s breathable even though it doesn’t look that breathable. It’s got a thin tongue that’s gusseted on the sides.
Altra Escalante 2.5
There’s the Escalante 2.0 and the 2.5. With Altra, the .5 iterations are minor updates to the uppers while the midsole performance normally stays the same.
Related: Altra Escalante vs Torin
Why the Escalante is good for you
I reach for the Escalantes on either my longest run days or my recovery run days and it does really well there. It can also definitely pick up the pace just a little bit, but I don’t think this is really a speedier shoe and it’s definitely not something that I really enjoy at faster paces.
I didn’t really feel the Escalante loves being in that pace although the upper feels very nimble and fast. The midsole foam just feels like a daily trainer. It’s at regular easy/moderate paces where I and the Escalante get along the best.
The Escalante has got a foot-shaped toe box which gives your toes a lot of space to spread around in there. Overall, the Escalante is a shoe that just loves to eat miles and that’s why it’s on this list.
- Decent amount of cushioning offers a lot of rebound & softness and good energy return
- Ride is enjoyable, really responsive, & quite a forgiving
- Has a comfortable natural foot shape design (wide in the forefoot)
- Design promotes a slightly faster cadence than normal
- Helps off-load pressure on the ball of the foot
- Seamless, comfortable,breathable, & soft sock-like knit upper
- Stretchy enough and accommodates most foot shapes
- Traction is very good on paths and roads
- Great aesthetics
- Zero-drop feature takes some getting used to
- Upper might feel sloppy at really speedy runs
Altra Ego Midsole
Altra Ego foam was a real surprise to me. I was thinking this zero-drop Escalante was going to be a minimalist feel and I was going to feel like there wasn’t enough to support and protect me as I was going for my run. But boy was I wrong and I was pleasantly surprised.
The Ego midsole is nice and bouncy and I really like how lively it is. I took it on a lot of 20-mile runs and it did fantastic. For me, I didn’t require much of a transition for the zero-drop feature. It just felt like a nice little extra stretch in my calves.
But for you, you might need to transition to Altra shoes carefully to get accustomed to the zero-drop features if you’re used to higher-drop shoes.
New Balance 1080v11
The 1080 is a daily trainer that’s a little bit on the cushioned side because it’s got so much stack height underfoot. It’s not as cushioned as a max cushioned shoe might be and it’s certainly not light or performance-tuned enough to be in the speed shoe category either.
The 1080v11 fixed a couple of things that needed some improvement mainly the heel fit. The Fresh Foam X is delightful.
Related: New Balance 1080 vs 880
Why the 1080 is good for you
The 1080v11 seems a little bit more of a daily trainer-oriented. You can use this shoe for easy runs, moderate distance runs, and longer distance runs. So, for me, the 1080v11 shines in all of those easy-to-moderate paces because it just lets you put in the miles comfortably that you don’t have to think too much about the shoe.
However, it’s not going to give you that recovery shoe love that you’re looking for when you really need something that’s extra accommodating.
So for those days when your feet are a little bit banged up from the long run before and you want something that’s really going to pamper your feet, I’m not getting it that from the 1080 anymore although I did feel I got that from the 1080v10.
But even if you take it out on some of the speedwork and some of your recovery runs, I feel like the 1080v11 can handle easy relaxed paces all the way up to about marathon pace. If you think about it, that’s a pretty big sweet spot for this shoe.
Related: New Balance 1080v11 vs v10
- Plenty of extremely comfortable Fresh Foam X cushion that feels livelier than previous FF
- Responsive, springy, & surprisingly fast
- Amazing blend of cushioning & flexibility
- Forefoot is more flexible than v10
- Smooth heel-to-toe rocker sensation
- Lightweight for the amount of cushion it has
- Great for serious mileage & faster paces
- Wide stable platform
- Really breathable upper that hugs your feet
- Very comfortable heel collar
- Great grip
- Narrow toe box
- Very flexible upper
If you want a shoe to chew the miles comfortably, this is the shoe for you. It still feels lively enough underfoot that you can pick up the pace a little bit.
It gives you everything you need. It’s got plenty of rubber on the bottom, it has a nice and breathable upper, it’s stretchy and so it can accommodate a lot of different foot shapes.
I still feel like it’s a springy shoe and I still feel like it’s a very cushioned shoe. It doesn’t feel like it’s a foam that’s degrading or I feel that it’s changed that much over time. I still feel like I’m getting pleasant softness to the shoe but also a nice bounce to it as well.
Related: New Balance 1080 vs Saucony Triumph
Saucony Endorphin Shift 2
The Endorphin Shift is the third in a capsule collection of shoes from the Endorphin series. The Endorphin Pro is more of the racer, the Endorphin Speed is the fast workout shoe that can also be used for racing. Then the Endorphin Shift is supposed to be the Endorphin’s spirit in an everyday training version.
Why the Endotphin Shift is good for you
The Shift is built for daily training miles and it does a completely competent job at those slower-paced efforts. It combines PWRRUN cushioning in the midsole with the SpeedRoll technology to try and offer versatility when clocking up the miles.
It’s not a shoe that I would pick for a fartlek day, but for longer days and even for picking up the pace just a little bit, I think the Shift can certainly handle it.
If you need a little higher cushion that does not feel mushy, this is a good shoe for you. It feels a little firm after the first runs, but the midsole starts to break in a little bit and it becomes really fun to run in.
Related: How To Break In Your Running Shoes
- Deep cushioning & sleek design
- Great stability for the stack height
- SpeedRoll rocker encourages a consistent smooth stride and saves energy
- Excellent heel support & stable rockered ride
- Breathable comfortable upper with great foot lockdown
- Comes with two pairs of laces
- Heavier than Shift V1
- Lost the heel and tongue pull tabs
- Outsole durability
Cushioning & SpeedRoll
The midsole foam is all PWRRUN and the shoe has a gigantic amount of it and you do definitely feel a little bit taller when you’re running in this shoe.
But all that PWRRUN foam does have a little bit of a weight penalty. Overall, the Shift doesn’t feel like a heavy shoe because the weight is distributed relatively well.
Saucony is using their SpeedRoll technology in their Endorphin line. With the Shift, Saucony is going with this mega thick stack height but they want to make sure that it doesn’t feel like too clumsy of a shoe.
They’re doing things in terms of shaping or molding the shoe in a certain way so that way it’s much more fluid and I definitely felt that in this shoe. You’re going to feel like you’re gliding from the midsole forward on this shoe, which is really pleasant.
The outsole features a modest level of rubber around the main areas of abrasion to help improve the durability of the shoe and help with the traction on varied surfaces.
Up top, there is a lot of padding and cushioning, which makes sense with its goal being a plush everyday shoe. The tongue is a little bit padded, which is a good thing for this type of shoe and there’s a moderate amount of padding around the heel cup.
The other thing that was particularly unique about the Endorphin Shift 1 is that gigantic TPU heel cup/counter. This was designed to give the shoe a little bit more connection and stability from the heel cup all the way down into the midsole foam.
But Saucony seems to have listened to the runners and got rid of that gigantic piece of TPU in the Shift v2. There’s still some TPU around the heel but it only covers half of the heel counter now.
In addition, the Shift features some elements of stability specifically around the heel and arch section of the shoe offering a subtle level of guidance for runners to help ensure a consistent level of support.
Overall, this beautifully designed upper is very comfortable up top, but it’s a little bit on the warmer side as well.
Saucony calls the Shift the shoe for easy-going runs that makes any run feel easier. Again, the Shift sits in the Endorphin range as sort of the slow daily workhorse with the Speed being a more versatile faster training to race-day shoe and the Pro as the full carbon-plated race shoe.
Related: Saucony Endorphin Shift vs Speed
Skechers Go Run Razor 3+
The Skechers Go Run Razor 3 was just a really fun fast shoe that worked in a lot of environments. Well, I’m happy to announce that the Razor 3+ has changed a couple of things but still holds true to the previous version.
Featuring the same great Hyper Burst midsole we came to love in the Razor 3, the 3+ really only changes a few things. The upper has been simplified by reducing the welded overlays and changing up the stitch of the mesh, which makes for a slightly roomier and more comfortable upper.
Why the Razor 3+ is good for you
The Razor 3+ maintains its presence as a super-fast and fun road flat for long efforts where you’re looking to pick up the pace.
It is a little bit more versatile and just fun especially if you’re picking up the pace or looking to get a little bit of tempo effort in there.
But if you’re running intervals or fartlek where you’re playing around with some of your speed and paces, being able to have a shoe that you can also run in some of those slower speeds is helpful as well.
It will certainly make many of you looking for a fantastic half or full marathon shoe with plenty of flexibility very happy.
If you don’t like the carbon plates or the nylon plates that you’re finding in shoes and you just want something simple, flexible, comfortable, soft, and responsive, this really fits into that mold.
Basically, this shoe just wants you to keep moving forward and it has plenty of flex so your foot and your shoe aren’t going to fight each other and you’re not relying on that snappiness of a last or a carbon plate or anything like that.
- Impressive weight to cushion ratio
- Great Hyperburst cushioning setup that can handle long distances
- Bouncy & explosive midsole ride
- Super lightweight
- Form-fitting breathable upper
- Razor 3+ is more durable than 3
- Insole is non-removable
- Relaxed upper lacks structure for fast efforts
- Narrow toebox
Midsole & outsole
The Hyper Burst midsole is awesome. It carries over into the Razor 3+, but it looks slightly different not just in color but in actual consistency.
However, the feel of the Razor 3+ is phenomenal. It’s soft, resilient, responsive, super flexible, and bouncy, but it doesn’t get in the way. It’s sort of this perfect amount of stack under both the forefoot and the heel that really allows you to roll through your foot strike without being too intrusive or forcing your foot to flex in a certain way.
In terms of the landing area and how much foam there is in the heel, I feel like there is a little bit more cushion in the back of the shoe. So, if you’re doing more of a full foot strike going from heel to toe maybe in your recovery jog, in between intervals, or in your easy runs, I think the Razor 3+ is a great option.
The outsole includes a bit more of the Goodyear rubber on the medial instep. The lacing and tongue feature a few tweaks and the shoe has gained a few grams of weight, but honestly, it’s negligible and you’ll hardly notice it.
What really shines in the Razor 3+ is how much of a slipper that this shoe feels like on your foot.
What I also love about the Razor 3+ is just how flexible it is. It’s not that the Razor 3 wasn’t flexible, but I’m feeling like I’m getting more flex out of the shoe and that leads to a better ground feel.
Skechers has removed the welded overlays on the upper. As a result, the upper is slightly more accommodating up through the toe box, but you might lack a little bit more precision in that midfoot fit. So, with the removal of the welded overlays, this upper truly becomes that slipper-like feel that I mentioned already.
The Go Run Razor 3+ is a fantastic update from the Razor 3. It’s a fun fast shoe that’s going to work in a lot of different training environments whether you’re looking to train long or just train fast in racing environments.
If you’re doing a 10k, half marathon, or marathon, this shoe will be able to cover all your bases especially at that tempo effort or where you’re looking to set PRs and that sort of thing. Don’t let the ‘S’ from Skechers performance fool you, the shoe packs a big punch and will make many of you very happy.
Hoka Rincon 3
Right out of the box, the Rincon 3 soars as far as cushion-to-weight ratio. It is everything I’d hoped for in the latest in the Rincon lineage continuing on building a low-profile cushioned and lightweight road trainer.
While the Rincon 3 may look the same as the Rincon 2, there are a handful of hardy updates that contribute to an overall improved shoe.
A redesigned mesh upper allows for improved breathability complemented by a new lighter and thinner tongue, a thinner heel loop, and reinforced lace holes. The fit is on the narrow side and the Rincon doesn’t have a wide platform.
The squishy midsole is just a tad bit softer underfoot, but the addition of more outsole squares is a much-needed improvement.
Overall, the new Rincon 3 keeps what worked in the previous two versions and then improves upon them ever so slightly.
Why the Rincon 3 is good for you
The Rincon 3 is a fantastic daily trainer when you’re looking to add long miles and short miles and you just need one shoe to sort of do it all. It is one of the better shoes at being a speed shoe and a daily trainer, but it definitely feels fun and fizzy at higher paces
Get ready for plenty of miles with endless joy especially when you go out the door and you don’t really want to think about how long, how far, or how fast.
So, I guess for those of you who are really put off by the direction the Adidas Boston 10 is going, I feel like the Rincon 3 is the shoe that you should be looking at.
- Great Hoka cushioning
- Energetic, responsive, smooth, stable, & secure cushioned ride
- Very comfortable & versatile
- Swallowtail is effective against bottoming out
- More durable and lighter than the Rincon 2
- Offers more outsole rubber coverage
- Impressive cushioning/weight/price/performance ratio
- Vegan materials
- Traction is better than before
- Less durable than other daily shoes
- Non-gusseted tongue
- Fits narrow in the midfoot
The midsole is compression-molded EVA, but it does look quite a bit different than before. Hoka changed the formulation of this EVA to make it a little bit more like the foam composition that’s in the Clifton to increase durability which was a big concern from versions 1 and 2.
The cushioning is super soft and extremely lightweight. It’s actually very similar to the Rincon 2’s midsole, but I do say it has a bit more squish underfoot. So, whether they redesigned it or changed the durometer, the new midsole is great and extremely comfortable and manages to keep the weight down.
Comparing the Rincon to the Clifton, the midsole foam feels a bit more firm of a ride. It’s not going to get comfortable or feel like the shoe makes a lot of sense until you really start picking up the pace a little bit.
For those of you that don’t like a lot of road feel, the Rincon gives you a sensation like you’re running almost on a treadmill because it’s doing such a good job of being a very cushioned ride.
Compared to version 2, there’s just a little bit more outsole rubber on version 3. It is enough and it is located in places that are higher wear. Ultimately, what that does is contribute to a higher sense of durability, which is good.
Durability is bound to be a concern to some people with this Hoka and as such the Rincon 3 may be one that’s best used sparingly throughout your daily training.
I’d probably focus it on road or pavement use only to help prolong the cushion within the midsole and slow down the wear and tear to the outsole rubber. I think if you’re a lighter runner, the Rincon 3 will last a great deal longer.
While Hoka is calling this an aggressive redesign, the Rincon 3 still continues the tradition of being cushioned yet lightweight and I think Hoka is one of the best in the business as far as that ratio.
Nike Vomero 16
The Vomero 16 is a reminder of why I fell in love with Nike shoes years ago. This is a blast from the past with a little bit of the future injected into it.
Finally, we have a piece of footwear from Nike which has Zoom X incorporated into the midsole that you can use for your daily runs. What’s even more beautiful is this midsole hasn’t got the excessive bulk of the Infinity Run for example.
Why the Vomero 16 is good for you
The Vomero is kind of like a textbook definition of what I think a daily trainer should be. This is a really solid daily trainer and it does have a lot of range because it’s not that heavy. It can handle easy days and it’s a great long-run shoe.
You can crush the miles on a frequent basis with veritable ease. The midsole is like a pillow of cushion underfoot that cradles your foot and feels really smooth for easy-run daily training.
The Vomero has one of the most comfortable uppers on a shoe I’ve tested out over the course of the year. The toe box is nice and wide, which for a long-run shoe, that’s the exact kind of update that I would want to see in the toe box.
However, given the weight, the armor in the midfoot, and all the puffiness and the cushioning, the Vomero is not intended to be the shoe that you also take for your hardest workout.
You can take it for a long slow distance type of run, but I really wouldn’t want to take it for something where you’re trying to get to threshold pace, 10k pace, 5k pace, or faster than that in a workout.
- Great Zoom X/Air Zoom unit combo
- Performs really well from daily moderate pace miles to long runs to recovery runs
- Offers a lively, springy ride
- Upper material is plush, super comfortable, breathable, & secure
- Heel is stable & forefoot is flexible
- Impressive outsole durability
- Full rubber coverage & lugged outsole grips really well
- Heavier than the V15
- Might feel too wide for narrow feet
If you are nostalgic for what Nike running shoes used to be but want it with some updated technology, the Vomero 16 and the Pegasus 38 are definitely shoes that you should look at.
The Vomero is very versatile in terms of pace. If you’re looking for a daily cruiser with loads of cushion and an almost plush feeling upper, the Vomero 16 is for you.
Last but not least, if you’re going to spend a lot of time on paved surfaces or if you run on a lot of dirt roads, the Vomero 16 is going to handle both surfaces really well.
New Balance FuelCell Rebel 2
The New Balance FuelCell Rebel 2 is an update to a daily trainer I remember referring to as weird yet fun.
I’m happy to report that the new version keeps a lot of what made the original fun and even improves upon the platform while maintaining its lightweight springy goodness.
The FuelCell Rebel version 2 features a few more millimeters of FuelCell underfoot than the original, which isn’t a bad thing and contributes to the shoe’s soft and bouncy ride.
The upper is a redesigned mesh doing away with the original’s single bootie-like upper and features some traditional structural elements in the heel and across the midfoot that keep the shoe locked down.
Why the Rebel 2 is good for you
The Rebel v2 is still great for short fast tempo style runs. It’s good for road races, but now I think it falls more in that all-day trainer, long-distance trainer, and a possible marathon shoe for some people all due to the fact that the FuelCell is a little bit thicker and still soft.
That’s a good thing because the Rebel now has a wider net and will bring a lot more people into that happy space when running. So, if you’re looking for kind of an all-arounder, this is going to do it.
- Super light, responsive, bouncy, propulsive, & fun ride
- Super soft ride & flexible forefoot
- Offers plenty of versatility & energy return
- Upper feels comfortable & breathable
- Can fit wide feet comfortably
- Comes in optional widths
- Midfoot support could be better
- A bit unstable for heel strikers
- Outsole durability could be better
The FuelCell midsole foam is still really good. It’s squishy and has some responsiveness to it, but we’re getting a few more millimeters of it underfoot compared to the first version, which, in my opinion, is a welcome addition.
New Balance has been marketing the FuelCell as a really responsive midsole. I think it has squish and energy return, but I wouldn’t call it the most responsive midsole I’ve ever tried not by a long shot. This shoe is just squishy, soft, and comfortable and that’s why I think this new version is really good for long runs.
The upper is completely redesigned and New Balance went back to a more traditional style upper with a tongue and a nice mesh. It’s not a super stretchy mesh and so it won’t be as accommodating as the first version as far as midfoot width and stuff like that is concerned. But it is durable, lightweight, and very breathable.
By keeping things simple and going back to a more traditional style of lacing system, I think you’re going to get a better midfoot fit with the additional padding around the heel collar and this new heel counter that does a pretty good job of locking your heel in.
Overall, the FuelCell Rebel v2 is versatile and compressive, and I think you could wear it for any sort of pace.
Under Armour Flow Velociti Wind
After a period of time where it felt like they had given up on making running shoes, Under Armour now brings us the Flow Velociti Wind.
The Velociti Wind could be my best Under Armour shoe to date. It’s a fast, lightweight, responsive, and very versatile daily running shoe that could be a tempo day option.
The zonally structured Warp upper is a very snug, very secure, and very comfortable bootie design that offers a seamless experience. But if you like having a little bit more room in the toe box, you might want to go half a size up.
Why the Velociti is good for you
The midsole is stable yet cushioned and it works really well across a range of different paces. The Velociti is a daily trainer which is going to be suitable for the majority of running that you have over the course of your week.
The Velociti does not do well when you’re doing a pure easy run. However, once you start picking up the pace just a little bit more than your kind of normal easy level, that’s when you’re starting to get into the sweet spot of the foam in terms of the way that this shoe is set up.
- Lightweight & very comfy
- Really flexible
- Upper material is breathable & wraps nicely around your foot
- Outsole grips well
- Looks great
- Runs small
- Lacks responsiveness & support
- Stitched heel might be an issue for some
The Flow midsole compound is their newest, lightest, and most responsive compound. It is kind of a more special foam that kind of provides a nice pop. It’s not maybe the most responsive compound on the market, but it feels fast and responsive and just has that propulsive feel as you go through your stride.
The shoe is a little bit of a firmer ride and if you’re looking for something that’s very squishy, these aren’t exactly going to be the right shoes for you. I’m not saying it’s a hard shoe or that it is uncomfortable, it’s just not going to give you that squish as you’re landing.
Again, the Velociti Wind does fall in the firm side of daily running shoes, and I think if like a slightly firmer underfoot feel, then the Velociti is gold.
The shoe has a smooth heel-to-toe transition, but it lacks energy return through the midsole if that’s what you’re looking for.
The ride is very smooth and a lot that comes down to that one-piece design that combines the midsole and the outsole. There is no rubber on the outsole and you’re going to run on pure Flow midsole foam. People are going to think that the Velociti is not going to have adequate traction, but it does well for all your road running needs.
This is a really underrated shoe because it’s an Under Armour shoe and that’s not what people instantly go to when they think of running.
The Velociti Wind is a nice step in the right direction for Under Armour. Again, it’s fast, it’s fun, it’s bouncy, and it’s going to be a shoe that does a lot of things very well from workout days to daily training.
New Balance FuelCell Prism
The New Balance Prism is classified as a stability shoe, but I would certainly say that that is a bit of a misdirection. So, don’t let the Prism being a stability shoe keep you from looking at this if you don’t normally wear stability shoes.
There’s a more traditional upper that replaces the knit booty material for a more traditional fit. The midsole is enhanced with a few more millimeters of height, which is always very welcome in my book.
The heel counter has strength and rigidity while the medial side is enhanced with the denser midsole through the arch for those who need that added stability, which is something that I noticed was lacking in the Rebel above.
Why the Prism is good for you
This is an easy-day or daily trainer that’s good for someone who needs a touch of stability. If you need a lot of stability through the foot strike, you might want to look at the Hoka Gaviota, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 or 22, or the Asics Gel Kayano.
I would say that the FuelCell Prism is an absolute blast. Those of you who are familiar with stability shoes or prefer stability shoes, you’ll feel familiarity here along the medial side of this shoe.
Those of you who prefer more of a neutral shoe who like to midfoot or forefoot strike and don’t spend a lot of time through the medial side or through the arch, you’re also going to feel right at home in this shoe too.
It provides enough stability but not so much that the shoe becomes cumbersome, overbuilt, really structured, and wants to fight you throughout your entire footstrike. The Prism is well-balanced, comfortable, sporty, and springy, and I like it a lot.
- Lightweight & soft for a stability shoe
- Seamless traditional stability medial posting
- Offers a responsive, lively, soft, bouncy yet stable ride
- FuelCell midsole has plenty of cushion & energy retun
- Very versatile & can handle all paces (training, racing, workouts)
- Light engineered breathable mesh upper that holds your foot securely
- Fits comfortably
- Triathletes would enjoy the great foot opening
- Looks great
- Cushioning through the forefoot is a bit thin and firm
- Might feel dull at slower speeds
The midsole has just enough of that FuelCell foam material to give you that lovely bounce that FuelCell is known for. It’s really going to help you roll through that gait foot cycle without any interference. It’s soft, it’s comfortable, it’s bouncy, and it’s got all those good things that I came to love about the FuelCell Rebel v2 in that midsole.
One thing with the FuelCell Rebel is that it lacks a lot of structure through that medial side especially for runners who need some stability in their shoes.
The Prism has a bit denser midsole material, which is nice, but it isn’t so much that it interferes with the typical neutral road running gait.
If you are someone who likes stability elements, you will like the Prism. If you are someone who just likes a neutral shoe that does provide you with plenty of support underfoot, you’ll like it. So, the Prism is a really well-rounded shoe, which I think is a really good thing.
If you need just a touch of stability to help with your overpronation issues and your ankles rotating in too much, this shoe is a good fit for you.
But, again, if you really need a lot of stability, you might want to look at the Asics Gel Kayano for example.
Hoka Clifton 8
The Hoka Clifton 6 felt a little bit stiffer than I would have liked for a daily trainer. During the first 20 to 30 miles, the EVA foam kind of all relaxed, and then I had a really cushioned shoe that could also move really quickly.
Well, the new Hoka Cliftons 7 and 8 didn’t seem to need much of a break-in. With the Cliftons 7 and 8, I got that great speedy comfort right out of the box and I felt like it was fantastic.
Why the Clifton is good for you
I particularly like the Clifton for my long runs, my easy runs, and my recovery runs. I just had a fantastic time running in the Clifton from the moment I got it out of the box to the time that I was done running with it, and that’s why it is on this list.
The Clifton 8 works well for those of you looking for a neutral cushioned road running shoe whether for racing or for training but primarily in the training realm. But if you want to pick up the pace a little bit, the new semi-responsive midsole that’s really well-balanced is going to really work well for those speed days.
- High level of cushioning offers a smooth rockered ride
- Has a snappier ride through the forefoot
- Secure lockdown through the comfy upper
- Really more versatile than the previous version
- Toebox is nice & wide
- Grippy outsole
- Heavier than version 7
The upper is pretty relaxed in terms of being tight in the toe box. Although the Clifton is a touch more snug in the toe box than the 6, compared to a lot of other daily trainers, it still has a very generous toe box and a very comfortable upper that just screams comfort without having to rely on a ton of memory foam or just thick padding.
Saucony Kinvara 12
Saucony switched up their midsole foam to PWRRUN which is one of Saucony’s recent foams that they’ve introduced.
Why the Kinvara 12 is good for you
Typically, the Kinvara is seen as that fast daily trainer, but a lot of people also think of it as their speed shoe. They might bring it to the track or save it for their threshold days. So, the latest version of the Kinvara definitely benefits from picking up the pace and getting into that tempo range.
Gone are the days of the Kinvara that just cradled your foot in all sorts of distances and paces and just give you that soft long-distance trainer comparable shoe. Now, the Kinvara leans into that more racing environment and it wants to go quick.
It’s a fun shoe especially if you pick up the pace and you’re in those tempo realms. You can get away with running in the Kinvara for any distance from 5k up to a marathon. It’s just a really great jack-of-all-trades for me.
- Great PWRRUN midsole & PWRRUN+ topsole combination
- Transitions and toe-offs are really smooth and poppy
- Super lightweight thanks to the strategically placed rubber
- Upper feels comfortable, breathable, & really lightweight
- Upper is secure yet a bit stretchy near the toebox
- Outsole is not very durable
- Runs half a size larger than previous models
I feel like the overall feeling that I get from the Kinvara is it’s a little bit more relaxed. It’s not quite as aggressive even though the drop is still the same as it’s been in previous years. It’s a little bit more able to handle a wider variety of paces and distances that you might want to throw at it.
The Kinvara does away with all of the cushion or the padding on the upper and just gives you a speedy experience. What you’re going to get with the upper is a good lockdown through the midfoot, a good solid hold in the heel, and a generous accommodating fit through the toe box.
Brooks Ghost 14
With a 12mm heel-to-toe drop, the Ghost 14 and 13 are some of the most popular running shoes in the world, and for a very good reason. Its upper is luxury personified and everything about it is plush. Every time I put the Ghost on, its thick padded upper molds to my feet and I never have to worry about any hot spots or unwanted lacing pressure on top of my feet.
You can wear it with any type of sock and there’s plenty of room for your feet to splay. You can use the Ghost for your easy and recovery runs.
- Quality one-piece DNA Loft cushioning underfoot
- Very versatile (long runs, short runs, slow runs, fast runs)
- Premium upper materials guarantee a secure foot lockdown
- Ride is smooth & stable even on light trails
- Comes in a wide variety of lengths & widths
- Plenty of durable rubber coverage offers great traction & grip
- A bit heavy
- Non-gusseted tongue
Brooks Ghost vs Saucony Ride
Brooks Ghost 14 vs Mizuno Wave Rider 25
Nike Tempo Next%
The Tempo Next% is the daily training companion to the AlphaFly Next%.
This is the shoe that you want to pick when your legs feel good and you want to go fast. It has a flexible composite plate inside its midsole, which helps the forefoot feel snappy. It also has these giant Zoom Air pods in the forefoot which provide explosive energy return when striking hard on the forefoot.
The Tempo has a really fun ride and it’s built to last with all the rubber on its outsole. It’s slightly heavy to be considered a true speed trainer and so that’s why I’ve categorized it as a daily trainer.
- Fast & comfortable
- Super breathable paper-thin upper with no heel slippage
- Forefoot feels explosive and responsive
- Offers a somewhat similar ride to the Alphafly
- Impressive durability for a brand-new series
- Has a sleek design
- Performs really well on fast long runs
- Might feel a bit unstable at sharp turns
- Feels clunky at slow runs
- Pricey for a daily trainer
New Balance FuelCell TC
The FuelCell TC is the only shoe that I’ve chosen that has a carbon plate in it. It’s the training companion to the RC Elite but it offers more durability and more comfort than its racing counterpart.
The FuelCell TC is the shoe that I pick up for my long weekend threshold runs which are over 18 miles. The FuelCell midsole is not only super soft, but it’s also highly cushioned so it keeps my legs fresh throughout the entire run.
The carbon plate inside of it is not overly rigid but it just stops the midsole from bending too much. So, the TC has got a really snappy ride.
Another shoe similar to the FuelCell TC is the Saucony Endorphin Speed, but I prefer the FuelCell TC because of its softer ride, which means more long-distance comfort.
- Soft FuelCell cushioning is good for a full marathon
- Offers a soft, bouncy, & propulsive ride with high energy thanks to the carbon plate
- Very fun shoe to run in
- Upper is comfortable and offers good forefoot & heel lockdown
- Upper is light, breathable, & accommodating
- Durable outsole
- Tongue is not gusseted and might slide down during runs
- Might be a bit unstable at sharp turns
- Pricey (yet affordable for a plated shoe)
New Balance Beacon 3
The Beacon v1 and v2 were lightweight tempo trainers, but the v3 now has a thicker midsole with more cushioning, which makes it an excellent daily trainer.
I choose the beacon v3 when I want a running shoe with excellent ground feel but is featherlight compared to other daily trainers.
It has minimal outsole rubber, but it has velvety smooth ride transitions. Running in the Beacon v3 is sheer pleasure and I use it for mostly easy runs.
- Velvety smooth and soft yet firm ride
- Great versatility through the midsole (great value)
- Great weight/cushion ratio
- Improved stability & breathability
- Impressive upper fits like a glove
- Has ample room through the toe box but no heel slippage
- Grippy underfoot
- Heavier than Beacon V2
- Not for narrow feet
- Traction could be better
- Outsole is a rock magnet
Best Everyday Running Shoe of 2021
Now, all these daily trainers are solid options for everyone’s running shoe rotation. However, I think I’m going to have to give the top daily trainer award of 2021 to the Asics Novablast v2.
I just think the Novablast 2 has so much more range than all the other shoes in this category and it excels at all of those different paces and distances. It’s just a magnificent shoe. No matter what I did in it, I really loved it.
The initial concern that I had that the Novablast was going to be too squishy went away relatively quickly and it mirrored out into a shoe that was just an absolute delight to run in every single time I picked it up. Congratulations to Asics for making the best daily trainer in 2021.
Related: Do Asics Run Small or Big?
That was it for this prolonged post and thanks for making it this far. I hope you learned something new today from our best everyday running shoes of 2021.
See you in the next one 🙂