Illustration by Tara Jacoby

These are the four pair of women’s running shoes you were willing to take a stand for, and it’s time to find a winner.

Asics Gel Nimbus

Was about to reccommend the Nimbus line. I’m on my third pair. Two things that have kept me coming back: affordability and I can get them in size 5/5.5 (foot grew with my second pregnancy). Another perk, they have nice toned down color schemes, which is clearly of the UTMOST importance. - bitcholaporvida

Definitely ditto on the Asics. I have Gel Nimbuses from a few years ago and they’ve held up great. I have serious bunions and tend to need good arch support (thanks, ballet), and these are some of the only sneakers I’ve experienced that are both supportive AND spacious. - JudithLightning

Yes!!! Omg I can not even begin to express my love for these shoes. I have horrible knee problems and had surgery this summer. These precious gems have made getting back to running post surgery so much easier (plus my surgeon is super pleased with how I run in them and how much better my knee has been). I have tried some of the latest saucony and brooks shoes, but these are the only ones I have loved. If you like great cushion (with heavenly soft gel) and some support without being overbearing on your foot, these are for you. - Em Anne


Brooks Adrenaline

I’ve been wearing Brooks Adrenalines for twenty years or so. Occasionally, I branch out and try Brooks Ravennas or a racing shoe, but the Adrenaline has been my go-to shoe since it was introduced. Why? I used to have problems with knee pain when I ran, and that pain went away when I switched to Adrenalines. I log over 2,000 miles per year, so I wouldn’t stay with these shoes if they did not serve me well. - AllNightThing

YES, I love my Adrenalines, and they’re great for people who need a WIDE toe bed (not necessarily a wide shoe, but lots of room for toes to spread out). No blisters, no lost toenails. They’re fantastic. - schweddy


Asics Gel Kayano

Among the shoes she picked out for me was a magical shoe called the Asics Gel-Kayano 17. They weren’t the most beautiful running shoe I’d ever seen, but as soon as I tried them on, they felt different than any other shoe I’ve worn. The lacing is asymmetrical, which relieved pressure on top of the foot and minimized sock bunching. The cushioning felt solid without feeling harsh. Best of all, they held my foot in such a way that when I ran, I could barely notice my shin pain. Even though the price tag seemed a little hefty, they felt far and away better than any other shoe I’d tried, and I have not once regretted that decision. - Erin Gloria Ryan


These are a FANTASTIC stability running shoe, if you over-pronate they will straighten your stride out. If I run in anything else, even for a short period of time my knees get really messed up. - Jenn321

These are amazing, even if your over-pronation is severe. I only walk about 2 kilometers twice a week, so my Kayano 17s are still going. I wanted a second (better-looking) pair for running errands, so I bought some black and silver 21s as well. I finally don’t leave the grocery store groaning about my ankles, knees, and back. Definitely not a budget shoe, but getting the previous year’s version helps a lot with that. The 17s had been out a year when I bought them. - Maria Patenaude


Also a top contender in the men’s running shoe vote.


Nike Free Flyknit

They’re comfortable and have the perfect amount of support AND they’re really lightweight and they’re stretchy around the toes, which is nice for me because they move with my foot and I also am prone to bunions and since they are stretchy they don’t squeeze my toes. I love wearing them. - Blueberry Jones

Strong agreement. I ran in sauconys for years, custom fit at my local running shop, and never made it a calendar year without injury. Switched to minimalist shoes (these and some from new balance) and have never looked back, going on 3 years now. I only run 10-15/wk and balance with other activities but these are the bomb dot com. I’m also faster than I’ve ever been, which is surprising considering I don’t really jog for speed anymore. These are light and flexible enough that I don’t get fatigued as quickly, and I find it easier to keep a brisker pace as my “natural” gear. - mom jeans