The best road running shoes 2024: hit the streets at speed

The best road running shoes are lighter and faster than ever, with some leading models providing a competitive advantage on race day. However, those of us who pound the tarmac several times a week will also need training shoes that are durable enough to cope with our regimes. 

So, the best road running shoes aren’t just the fastest, but also the most comfortable and hard-wearing for mile after mile. To bring you this guide, we’ve laced up for training runs, 10ks, parkruns and longer Sunday outings and ultras putting each pair well and truly through their paces.

Of course, at Advnture, we’re gluttons for a bit of off-road running too. However, in this guide we’re concerned with road running alone. Check out our guide to the best trail running shoes for pairs that’ll grip mud and conquer mountains.

Where tarmac is concerned, we rate the Hoka Solimars and the Hoka Mach 5s as the best everyday pairs of road running shoes and we kick off our guide with these excellent pairs.

The quick list

This is the quick list, a snapshot of the best road running shoes available in 2024. To delve deeper into the features and qualities of each featured pair, see our more detailed reviews further down the page in this guide.

The best road running shoes in 2024

You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

The best road running shoe overall

Hoka Solimar road running shoes

The Solimar takes Hoka's signature style and tones it down to create a super practical everyday road shoe (Image credit: Cat Ellis)
The best everyday road running shoe

Specifications

Weight: 6.7oz / 190g (average women's)
Drop: 6mm
Colors: black/white, festival fuchsia/butterfly, blanc de blanc/blue glass and more

Reasons to buy

+
Understated Metarocker shape
+
More modest cushioning than other Hoka shoes
+
Soft but durable upper
+
Roomy toebox
+
Firm but not super stiff

Reasons to avoid

-
Outsole not the most hard-wearing
-
Not suitable for all gym work

We found the Hoka Solimar to be a great all-rounder with its toned-down Metarocker shape and modest cushioning that make it ideal for mid and long-distance races and training sessions. It also works well for gym work (provided you're not hitting the weights) and for long days of walking. If you're only going to buy one pair of sports shoes, it's an excellent affordable option.

The Solimar is a neutral, lightweight road running shoe for everyday training, and is essentially a toned-down version of Hoka's usual heavily-cushioned designs. It certainly isn't lacking padding, but it's less exaggerated than some of the company's designs. If you're not used to thick foam, or feel unbalanced running on inches of padding, we think it's a good compromise.

"They have been supremely comfortable from day one," said our run leading tester. The midsole isn't bulky, but is extended just to create a larger 'crash pad' to absorb heavy heel strikes and provide extra stability, and there's a modest 6mm heel drop.

Read our full Hoka Solimar review

The best road running shoe for cushioning

Hoka Mach 5 road running shoes

Training days are a dream with a pair of Hoka's Mach 5s (Image credit: Future)
The best cushioned shoe for training

Specifications

Weight: 8.1oz / 229g (UK women's 9)
Drop: 5mm
Colors: yellow, blue, white and more

Reasons to buy

+
Snug, secure fit
+
Well engineered tongue and collar
+
Smooth motion-controlled ride
+
Soft and responsive midsole foam

Reasons to avoid

-
Outsole not exceptionally grippy

If you're looking for a dependable road running shoe that will serve you well for everyday training and mid-distance races, the Hoka Mach 5 is the one for you. During testing we were particularly impressed by its upper, which provides a fit that's snug and secure without sacrificing breathability, and includes a well engineered collar that minimizes ingress of dirt and stones on loose surfaces.

Like most Hoka shoes, the Mach 5 is built with heel strikers in mind. Although it doesn't have the outsized sole of some of the brand's shoes, it does have a slight swallowtail encouraging your foot to roll in a controlled manner through to toe-off.

The outsole provides plenty of grip in wet conditions, even on slick surfaces, and after putting in plenty of miles there were no signs of premature wear. "This is a great all-rounder for any kind of training session," said our in-house run leader. If you're only planning to pick up one pair of road shoes, this is our top recommendation. 

Read our full Hoka Mach 5 review

The best road running shoe for racing

Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 road running shoes

If you want to shave a few seconds off your 5km or 10km personal best, this could be the shoe to help you do it (Image credit: Future)
The best road running shoe for fun and speed on race days

Specifications

Weight: 7.4oz / 210g (US women's 11)
Drop: 8mm
Colors: pink, black, white

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely light
+
Springy and responsive
+
Highly breathable

Reasons to avoid

-
Sizes come up small
-
Sole may wear quickly

The Saucony Endorphin Pro 3s are enormously entertaining to run in, and if you want to shave a few seconds off your 5km or 10km personal best, this could be the shoe to help you do it. The magic is in the S-shaped carbon plate hidden away in that thick midsole foam, which makes the Endorphin Pro 3 stiff and springy, with great energy return. In tests we particularly enjoyed wearing it for powering up hills. It boasts even thicker cushioning than the Endorphin Pro 2, which was noticeable on test and makes these even more comfortable to run in.

It's easily one of the lightest road running shoes we've ever tested, and its upper is made from two layers of fine mesh, but it still feels secure and comfortable. It's extremely breathable too; you'll feel the breeze blowing straight through your socks.

Like most Saucony road shoes, we found that the Endorphin Pro 3 came up a little small, so we'd recommend going up half a size. We wouldn't recommend it for everyday use, either; there's a lot of exposed foam, which could be susceptible to damage if you're regularly putting in long miles. One to keep for speed sessions and race days. All in all, they're "fantastic fun" according to our expert run leader.

Read our full Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 review

The best maximalist road running shoe

Hoka Bondi 8 road running shoes

If you're looking for a maximalist shoe, the super cushioned Hoka Bondi 8 is a great option (Image credit: Julia Clarke)
The best highly cushioned road running shoes

Specifications

Weight: 311g / 10.9oz (US men's 9)
Drop: 4mm
Colors: amber, gray, blue

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable and spacious fit
+
Extra breathable upper
+
Good grip in wet weather

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavier than average

The Hoka Bondi 8 is big, bouncy, and great for soaking up shocks during longer runs. It's heavier than most, but if you're looking for a maximalist shoe then it's a great option.

We found the Bondi 8's upper feels slightly roomier than that of the Bondi 7, which we found eliminated the problem of rubbing, and the foam is softer and lighter than that of earlier models. During tests, we were also particularly impressed by the grip provided by the Durabrasion rubber outsoles, which give you extra purchase on wet surfaces.

Some may find the thick, soft midsole foam feels unstable, particular when running at lower speeds, so it's worth taking a pair for a test run at your local running shop if possible, but if you like your shoes with bounce then we think you'll be pleased. Plus, on the comfort front, they're certainly plush, with our run expert saying that she "honestly can't think of a better word".

Read our full Hoka Bondi 8 review