10 Best Running Shoes For 5K Races Reviewed in 2019
Whether you’re training to run a 5k, or you’re just running for fun, the right pair of running shoes can help the miles fly by. Choose one of the best running shoes for 5K below and you’re good to go.
If you’ve ever visited a local running shoe store, you’ve certainly been welcomed and confused by that giant wall displaying all the best running shoe brands, newest releases and updates.
Well, don’t worry. Out of the hundreds of running shoes out there, we’ve selected and reviewed the 10 best.
Let the scrolling begin …
10 BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR 5K – REVIEWS
ASICS GEL KAYANO 24
What did Asics change about this wonderful series? Not too much because they know runners love the consistent fit and feel of the Kayano.
Here’s what they’ve added though.
They’ve introduced a Meta Heel Clutch at the back of the heel to really hold that heel in place while you’re running and give you the perfect fit without any slipping.
They’ve also rolled the collar down on the heel as well. Rolling the collar down prevents any irritation and friction that you may have experienced in a previous heel version.
Asics went with the Jacquard mesh on the upper. It’s super soft, super sleek and super seamless so you don’t feel any irritation. It has a little bit more volume to the fit as well.
On the medial side, they continued with some internal taping to really hug and support your foot as it goes through motion. They’ve even taken the tiger stripes away from the medial side of the shoe.
The Kayano 24 features a FlyteFoam midsole that runners have come to love with the Kayano 23 with a SpEVA upper layer for that super soft cushioned ride.
The midsole features Dynamic DuoMax technology on the inside with a sloped post to keep you supported all the way from heel to toe.
The women’s version still features the women’s specific cushioning so it’s going to be a little bit softer on their foot. The men’s version still offers the standard Asics 10 mm drop while the women’s has a 13 mm drop to offer that little bit extra support for the Achilles.
The outsole of the Asics Gel Kayano 24 features AHAR (Asics High Abrasion Rubber) on the heel area to really allow for a durable heel strike while the forefoot of the outer sole features DuraSponge which is going to give you a little bit more cushion at propulsion.
- Not many colors available.
Altra is known for their zero heel-to-toe drop shoes that allow the runners to run in the most natural stride.
If you are an Altra fan, the Escalante is a must have for 5k races up to half marathons. For those on the fence, this is definitely a must try.
Let’s see what new features the Escalante brings to the Altra experience.
The Escalante uses Altra’s Ego midsole that provides a responsive energy return feel while still being well cushioned. It gives the shoe a nice bouncy feel and makes running just that much more enjoyable.
New to Altra is the engineered knit on the upper. It is soft and stretchy but still supportive enough to keep the foot locked down. This is a nice feature and I hope to see this in other Altra running shoes in the near future.
This stretchy upper and the wider toe box also work great for people looking for good shoes for their bunions.
Like the rest of the Altra shoes, the Escalante also uses the foot shape outsole. I am not a fan of how it looks, but I am a big fan of how it feels.
My feet were able to fit the shoe perfectly and my toes had enough room to splay out. The pods on the outsole give good grip and work well enough on roads, concrete and grass.
The Escalante works well for those looking for neutral lightweight cushioned road runing shoes. If you’re looking for lower drop running shoes, this one might fit the bill.
Up until now, my favorite Altra so far has been the Torin 2.5 which I thought was a great shoe. Well, with this new Ego cushioning set up and the new knit upper, the Escalante has become my new favorite Altra and one of my favorite shoes that I have tried so far this year.
As far as some negatives about the Altra Escalante, I’m not a huge fan of the way it looks. Also, if you’re not used to running in a zero drop running shoe, this shoe might take some time to adjust to.
- It takes times to get used to the zero drop feature.
NIKE ZOOM FLY
The Zoom Fly is part of Nike’s Breaking 2 series. So what does the Zoom Fly has to offer?
Let’s find out.
The upper of the Zoom Fly is made up of Fly mesh. Like it’s the case with many other Nike shoes, the Zoom Fly is lightweight, breathable and is able to support your foot without any major irritation.
The shoe also uses Fly Wire to secure the fit in place, which works pretty well.
The heel cup has some structure to it and is actually supportive. It doesn’t cause any irritation or rubbing and you won’t have any issues with the shoe slipping.
The upper is fairly simple and that’s the beauty of it. There’s not much to it but it works. It keeps the shoe light and it feels fantastic.
The midsole uses Nike’s Lunarlon foam. Lunarlon is typically known for being on the softer side of cushioning.
Considering the shoe is supposed to be a bit more on the performance side, using Lunarlon, which isn’t necessarily the most responsive, seems to be a mystery here.
But while running on the shoe, you’ll still feel the response is still there somehow, which is strange for a shoe with such a stack height.
The shoe features a carbon-infused nylon plate. This plate almost acts as a layer that creates a slight propulsion effect.
The shoe gives you a slight push forward with every step you take. It kind of puts you on the midfoot and really helps you maintain momentum.
The fit of the Nike Zoom Fly is pretty true to size and it’s great for longer runs when your feet need that extra space.
The outsole uses the Rubber Traction Pattern that grips well and it seems very durable. It covers the entire forefoot and parts of the heel area of the shoe.
The shoe is not very flexible at all, but in the way the shoe was designed, it really doesn’t hinder the ride. The shoe still feels fast, still feels comfortable and it definitely gives that performance running feel.
Now, could you use the Zoom Fly as a daily trainer? Sure. But I think it would perform well more as a faster tempo day shoe.
For those who like a more natural ride, the shoe may have one issue. The nylon plate isn’t too evasive, but you can tell that it’s there.
With all that said, the Nike Zoom Fly is light, fast, cool, and it works for most runners.
- The toe box is a bit roomier for narrow feet.
With a 10 mm heel-to-toe offset, the Hyperion is a racing flat designed for the neutral to underpronating runner.
It is one of Brooks’ iconic racing flats. Those who have known Brooks for a while, Brooks had a Hyperion racer way back in the day and they’re paying homage to that amazing racing flat.
Now they’re calling their new lightest fastest shoe on their line the Hyperion.
The Hyperion features a completely woven upper which makes it very thin, close to foot, lightweight and super soft on the inside.
The upper just prevents the foot from getting too hot alleviating blistering. It also has no seams and has laser-etched perfs just to make sure that you’re getting that breathable snug sock-like fit experience ideal for your 5K race day needs. There’s also a padded collar for additional comfort.
Utilizing a lightweight BioMogo DNA midsole, this racer offers reliable cushioning that dynamically adapts to every step along the way.
On the inside, there’s a soft fabric lining for a great next-to-skin feel. There’s a foam footbed that provides extra comfort and support down there.
Down at the bottom, there’s a durable outsole. A midfoot transition zone creates a fast foot transition while the forefoot propulsion pods give the shoe a springy ride and promote optimal energy return.
Also, the omega flex grooves allow for more natural forefoot movement and fluidity.
Leave your opponents in the dust with the fantastic Brooks Hyperion racer.
- Not a good option for runners who need more arch support like overpronators.
- A bit narrow for wide feet.
NEW BALANCE 1400V6
The purpose of the New Balance 1400v6 is for racing 5Ks and half marathons. And if you need a speed shoe for a typical training or something for the tracks when you don’t want to wear spikes, these are likely to get the job done.
The 1400 series has been one of the best racing shoes around. The 1400V5 was probably one of the best racing shoes out, but New Balance seems to improve upon that with this newest model.
So let’s see what this newest model is all about.
The 1400V6 uses an Air Mesh upper that provides amazing breathability while keeping the foot secure in a natural feeling way.
Some shoes keep your foot locked in with the use of excess overlays or external cages, but the support in the 1400 is built in seamlessly within the mesh upper.
It seems that New Balance have found that sweet spot of keeping the shoe simple and functional without all the extra nonsense.
The fit of the upper is also nice. Some racing style shoes can get a bit snug at times, but the midfoot on the 1400v6 is secure but not tight and the toe box is wide enough for a comfortable fit.
The tongue feels a little bit thinner compared to the V5, but this really doesn’t cause any issues. Though it’s thinner, you won’t notice any irritation or tightness from the laces.
The hook-up is supportive and there’s a little padding around the heel which adds to the comfort of the shoe.
The midsole uses New Balance’s Revlite foam. This foam is considered to be the more responsive faster foam that New Balance has.
Revlite in New Balance shoes can vary as far as how it feels. In some models, it’s ok, some are good and some are just bad.
As far as feel, comfort and the ride of the 1400V6, New Balance know what they’re doing.
The shoe is responsive without being too hard or stiff and it has just enough give to give you that impact protection. It also allows you to maintain your momentum once you get up to speed.
The transition during foot strike is satisfying.
The heel cushioning has a slight give but then the midfoot provides just enough bounce for a springy toe-off. Going fast in this shoe is fun and it just feels right.
Although this is a racing shoe, it works great for all kinds of speed work including on the track.
The outsole uses blown rubber throughout the bottom. While the outsoles on road shoes are typically nothing to get too excited about, the traction on this shoe grips very well on the road.
There’s also extended rubber around the high-wear areas of the shoe.
In many times, having this much rubber would bring on extra weight, but it’s something you wouldn’t notice on the 1400v6. This shoe still actually feels right.
When thinking about the negatives, I pretty much had to nitpick. For those who wear wide fitted shoes, I don’t think this comes in wides.
For those who like to run in lower heel-to-toe offset shoes, the 1400’s 10 mm offset might be too high of a drop for you. But besides that, that’s it.
- The minimalist tounge is thin and floppy
NEW BALANCE HANZO S
With a 4-mm heel-to-toe offset, the Hanzo S is a high performance road racing flat designed for the neutral runner.
A fast and aggressive road shoe with a proven underfoot feel, the Hanzo S is designed to cover distances from 5K up to the marathon.
One of the top racing flats out there, the Hanzo S is designed by Hitoshi Mimura.
Known as the king of running shoes in Japan, Mimura is a legendary craftsman of shoe design whose expertise and skills are second to none.
This is a partnership that New Balance has never really spoken about until now and they’ve chosen to tell the story in a very unique way.
New Balance has produced a manga-style graphic novel that pays homage to Mimura’s Japanese heritage.
The Greatest Race tells a story of a fearless young woman and a legendary shoe craftsman. He joined forces to save the world.
This graphic novel is a unique and bold undertaking by New Balance, and everyone who buys a pair of new Hanzo S will receive a free copy.
Everything about this shoe is geared towards keeping the weight low and the pace high.
The midsole features a blend of Rapid Rebound foam and Revlite cushioning and rubber all throughout to keep you steady over all different types of surfaces.
This racing flat offers fantastic energy return with just enough cushioning for race day.
A sticky Dynaride outsole with durable rubber zones creates excellent traction and durability when paces pick up on the roads.
The upper has a no-sew construction for the most parts of it which reduces the likelihood of irritation.
There’s a synthetic mesh design that makes sure to give you excellent durability and breathability to keep your feet cool while you’re out there on your next run. It also features Phantom fit technology.
What this means is …
When you lace up, the entire upper is going to hug your foot and give you a real secure locked in fit.
The collar has some good padding and the entire interior is lined with fabric for a comfortable fit.
You can check today’s price and reviews on Amazon.
- A half size too small
REEBOK FLOATRIDE RUN FAST PRO
Maybe it’s just me, but when I think of running shoe brands, Reebok isn’t really what comes to mind first.
When I first saw the upper of the Floatride, I could see that this shoe was somewhat inspired by the Adidas Ultra Boost.
… because it has a very similar knit material on the upper that creates a sock-like construction. I wouldn’t say that Reebok copied Adidas with this idea, but since Reebok is technically an Adidas company, I would say it’s fair game to share this technology.
So instead of calling it Primeknit, they’re calling it Ultra Knit. The Ultra Knit is light, stretchy, and super breathable that you can even see your socks through the knit if you look close enough.
Because of this, I wouldn’t recommend running in the rain or wet grass. Your feet will likely get soaked and it would be a sad day.
The cage that goes around both side of the shoe offers a bit more security and support than the Ultra Boost. You’ll definitely feel more confident picking up the pace knowing that your foot will stay in place.
The heel clutch is made up of a foam-like material and it’s kind of secure and comfortable. The combination of the UltraKnit and the heel support makes for an awesome match. This is one of the best uppers I’ve tried yet.
The outsole is very basic rubber. There are ridges on the outsole that grip well and you will not have any issues on typical surfaces. The ride of the Floatride is so smooth.
The Floatride feels much lighter than Boost but it gives you a similar sensation. You’d almost forget you’re wearing a pair of shoes.
The Reebok Floatride is bouncy and soft but it doesn’t make you like you’re walking on the cloud, as many would love to put it.
- A bit pricey.
ADIDAS ADIZERO ADIOS 4
The Adios series is one of Adidas top road racing shoes. Up into the rise of the Nike Vaporfly, this shoe was the shoe of the world marathon record. It’s a fast shoe meant for fast effort and distances like the 5K.
But I guess the real question is “does this shoe still have what it takes to be a top contender amongst the great racing shoes of today?
Well, let’s find out.
The main change of this version of the Adios is the simplistic design within the upper. Adidas decided to go with the basic engineered mesh that does exactly what it’s supposed to do and nothing else. And in a shoe like this, I feel that it hits all the marks, or at least most of them.
The Adios feels light on foot, but still feels sturdy enough to keep your feet locked down. Breathability wise, this is the best model so far. There are no excess materials or wasted space.
The tongue is just slightly padded to be comfortable for a speed effort.
The heel counter feels very sturdy and secure especially when compared to many other racing models out there.
The upper causes no hot spots, no irritation in the heel. Like I said, the upper has one job and it does it pretty well – no gimmicks here.
The Boost Cushioning
The midsole as most of you know features Adidas’ famous material, Boost with a little EVA in the forefoot. However, this is not your typical soft plush Boost setup that you get in the UltraBoost.
The ride of the Adios is much more responsive, firm, stable and very fast. The Boost still provides a decent amount of cushion, but the Adios gives you much of that faster toe-off feel.
There’s a bit more Boost in the heel that provides some good impact protection. Cushioning wise, I think this shoe is one of the best running shoes for 5K and 10K. It can obviously go up to the distance for some, but for me It would probably go to a half marathon.
The cushioning in the midfoot is good, but after a while you will feel it.
The outsole setup is almost unchanged from the previous Adios. There’s a Continental rubber outsole with the midfoot torsion system that helps guide the foot in transition.
The ride of the shoe is smooth and snappy, but it’s always been that way. The traction works well on roads or tracks, but grass is kind of slick.
The rubber itself looks thin, but given that it’s a similar setup to the Adios 3, it should get you through any race day or tempo effort.
Honestly, there’s not much to hate about the Adidas Adizero Adios 4. I think anyone who wants a race day shoe will do fine if they want a more traditional ride compared to shoes like the Vaporfly.
Is This The Vaporfly Killer?
Nope, but I don’t think it’s trying to be. Any fans of the old models will love this version.
I would prefer a little more cushion in the midfoot, but then again Adidas does have the Adizero Boston 7 for that.
The Adios 4 has a purpose, a top-end racing shoe. It can also be used for tempo runs or track workouts.
Adidas went the safe route with this shoe because they changed it just a tad and kept the things that work the same. If they give me a wider toe box I would definitely be happier.
The only issue I see worth mentioning is the toe box. The upper doesn’t stretch as much as runners with wider feet would hope and I guess you’ll have to go with thinner socks just to accommodate your wider feet. However, trying a half size bigger seems to be slightly better.
- Tight fitting
- Limited Colorways
NEW BALANCE 890V6
The 890V6 is technically the replacement for the Vazee Pace series which replaced the 890V5 prior.
It’s kind of confusing, isn’t it?
Anyway, the Vazee Pace V2 is one of a lot of runners’ favorite running shoes of all time. An now that the 890V6 is here, rejoice.
The 890V6 has an improved engineered mesh that really gives it that breathable open feel. That seems to be the trend with these new models, which is a very good thing for runners and their feet.
The shoe cradles your foot with a midfoot saddle piece that brings the shoe together for a nice snug midfoot lockdown. It really works nice once you get the lacing right.
The heel cup is pretty structured and helps to keep the foot locked in. The overall comfort of the upper is pretty similar to the Vazee Pace series, which is a good thing.
The midsole uses New Balance Revlite cushioning system. It is the responsive more springy cushioning. The Vazee pace V2 felt just about perfect as far as being a fast training shoe by allowing a lower-to-the-ground feel but still providing that smooth ride.
In the 890V6, New Balance seems like wanted to stack a bit more Revlite cushioning to add to the comfort.
The outsole of the shoe is pretty solid. As far as protection, it has you covered like Statefarm Insurance.
The blown rubber really protects the shoe and provides great traction on the roads and on the track. I’m thinking maybe because the rubber is so thick that the shoe feels a bit stiff. But I can appreciate that knowing durability won’t be a concern.
I think the New Balance 890v6 a good all-around shoe and feels better at faster paces.
- A bit on the heavy side compared to previous versions.
ASICS LYTERACER TS 7
With an 8-mm heel-to-toe drop, the Racer TS7 is a versatile racing flat that can handle anything from 5K to marathon.
As a popular racing option among competitive Japanese road runners, the LyteRacer TS 7 offers a more traditional design that is very similar to its predecessor.
In order to maintain a lightweight responsive ride, this flat continues to use a full-length SpEVA midsole. Asics has slightly altered stack heights and removed the heel stabilizer , but the underfoot feel should continue to be fast and smooth.
On the outsole, we see a modified layout with an increased number of lugs as well as slightly altered lug shape to help improve traction on the roads.
The Lyteracer TS 7 has a new upper design with suede overlays to give the shoe a softer feel that maintains a classic racer look while a new heel counter delivers a snug heel lockdown.
So that’s it. I hope our post about the best running shoes for 5k races was helpful. Feel free to leave a comment in the comment below and tell us about your experience with any running shoes you have or tried in the past.
- Runs a half size smaller.
How To Run A Fast 5K
There’s nothing like running a fast 5K. With so many events these days, I like the Park Run and more and more people are getting into them.
While it’s fun to race, turning up to a 5K every week isn’t really going to get you that super fast time you’re after. You might see improvements to begin with, but after a while your times may plateau.
So the best way to improve your time is by including some specific sessions aimed at improving your speed and threshold levels.
I would generally recommend doing a speed and tempo run per week.
A speed session is as it says really. It’s a session designed at improving your running pace. You want to do this on a flat and smooth course which does lend itself to an athletic track, but a smooth trail will do just as well.
For this speed session, I recommend you do 8 lots of 1-minute hard above your 5K pace with a 1-minute walking recovery between each.
They’re designed with short reps so that you can get the best speed out of yourself. As you progress, you can increase the duration and the number of reps.
So the next step would be something like 6 lots of 2 minutes with 1 minute recovery.
I’m fairly sure you have experienced this a few times that when you get that surge of lactic acid it can pretty hard.
When you’re pushing yourself to the limit and your muscles become overwhelmed with lactic acid, it just begins to slow you down.
So the idea of the tempo run is to bump up the point at which you start to produce that lactic acid. Hopefully, you won’t get that burning leg feeling quite as quickly.
Let’s take an example. For a runner whose 5K pace is 3.40 per kilometer, we can calculate that their tempo pace should be somewhere around 4 minutes a kilometer – that’s a round 10% of his/her 5K pace.
For this session, you can do 2 lots of 3 kilometers at tempo with a 3-minute walking recovery between each rep.
You can track your pace with a watch like the Garmin GPS watch. For those that don’t have a GPS watch, you can always run by feel and I would recommend something around 7 out of 10. This should feel hard, struggle to breathe, but manageable. So if someone added 1 kilometer at the end of the rep, you could do it.
Technique is really important in running. It can actually shave a ton of time of your 5K PR.
There are some of the few technical points which are actually really common across the board for a lot of runners.
Hips and quads
To start off with, a lot of runners tend to sit down on their running stride, which is really common for those who sit at desk all day or drive for long periods of time.
What happens is your hip flexors and your quads tighten up and when you run you sit in that position. So try and stand tall and lean forward slightly from the ankles.
What this does is it engages your glutes, which gives you a bit more stability and also a bit more power in your stride.
The next thing is your arms. You may have noticed that some runners tend to hold their arms quite high with a little movement. You should relax your shoulder and arms and swing them through. All this does is it helps with your rhythm and your balance.
To make sure you’re running at the right pace and really take your running to the next level, you can use heart rate and GPS.
It’s really common to see people heading off way too hard at the beginning of a 5K. Just monitoring your pace during training and races can make a huge difference.
What you want to take away from this section is:
- Try to set a new PR at your local 5k every week.
- Start doing a tempo session and a speed session variation.
- You need to look at your running technique.
- Your pacing can make a big difference to your overall 5K time.
How To Run A Fast 5K – Infographic