Best Neutral Running Shoes 2023: Top Choices for All-Around Performance

Running is a popular form of exercise that provides numerous health benefits, from improving cardiovascular health to strengthening muscles and bones. With the wide variety of running shoes available, it can be an overwhelming task to find the perfect pair for your needs. For those with a neutral gait, which means the foot lands evenly without rolling inward or outward, neutral running shoes are the ideal choice. These shoes provide the right balance of cushioning, support, and flexibility while accommodating the runner’s natural stride.

Neutral running shoes have evolved over the years, with advancements in technology allowing for more specialized and comfortable options for runners. The materials used in these shoes focus on providing ample support without restricting motion, while also ensuring durability and responsiveness. This makes neutral running shoes an excellent option for both new and experienced runners looking to maximize their performance.

When considering a neutral running shoe, it’s essential to pay attention to several critical factors, such as cushioning, breathability, durability, and fit. A good shoe should offer adequate cushioning to absorb the impact of each step, while also remaining light and breathable to keep your feet comfortable and dry. Durability is also crucial, as these shoes need to withstand the wear and tear of regular running. Finally, an appropriate fit is crucial for preventing injuries and maximizing performance, so it’s essential to consider factors like shoe width and sizing as well.

To help you navigate this vast selection of neutral running shoes and find the perfect pair for your needs, we have conducted thorough research and testing. Our recommendations are based on a comprehensive analysis of various factors, taking into account the features that are most important to runners. Stay tuned as we dive into our top picks for the best neutral running shoes on the market today.

Best Neutral Running Shoes

We’ve carefully researched and compiled a list of the top neutral running shoes on the market. Browse through our selections to find the perfect pair for your running needs.

Brooks Men’s Levitate StealthFit 5

Brooks Men’s Levitate StealthFit 5

These shoes are a fantastic choice for neutral runners in search of comfort, stability, and durability.


  • Secure yet flexible StealthFit upper design
  • Responsive and springy midsole
  • Long-lasting, high-quality construction


  • May feel constricting for wide feet
  • Sock-like fit could be a concern for some
  • No heel closure type

Right off the bat, we could feel the difference in the fit of the Brooks Men’s Levitate StealthFit 5 as we slipped them on. The StealthFit upper design offers impressive flexibility and security, adapting to our foot shape and movement. This snuggly sock-like fit may not be for everyone, but we appreciated how it gave us a locked-in feeling.

The responsive, springy midsole is a feature we look for in a good neutral running shoe. During our runs, the Levitate StealthFit 5 offered a satisfying, energizing bounce that helped us push through our workout. Additionally, we found that the shoe’s overall quality and construction were top-notch. These shoes are designed to last, making them a solid investment for a committed runner.

Our only concern with these shoes is that they may not be the best choice for those with wider feet. Some of us found the fit to be a bit constricting and required time or specific tools, such as shoe expanders, to break them in comfortably. This means that if you have wide feet, you may need to consider the sizing and fit carefully. The lack of a heel closure type might also be a concern for some runners who prefer additional heel support.

In summary, the Brooks Men’s Levitate StealthFit 5 is an excellent choice for neutral runners seeking a shoe with a flexible yet secure fit, a responsive midsole, and durable construction. While those with wide feet may need to be more cautious about sizing and fit, these shoes ultimately provide a reliable choice for long-lasting running experience.

Brooks Women’s Ghost 14 Neutral Running Shoe

Brooks Women's Ghost 14

These versatile running shoes are a great fit for those seeking comfort, support, and style in their neutral running shoes.


  • Comfortable and supportive fit
  • High-quality materials
  • Aesthetically pleasing design


  • Shoelaces may be too short for some
  • Mild break-in period for some users
  • Sizing may feel different compared to other brands

We recently had the pleasure of testing out the Brooks Women’s Ghost 14 Neutral Running Shoe and were impressed by the level of comfort and support offered by these shoes. The 100% synthetic construction not only adds to the shoe’s durability but also contributes to its lightweight feel, allowing for effortless movement during runs and other physical activities.

While the design of the shoe is both modern and chic, the main focus here is clearly on functionality. The rubber sole provides excellent traction on various surfaces, making it a reliable choice for outdoor running enthusiasts. Additionally, the cushioning is outstanding, offering excellent impact absorption which is particularly beneficial for those suffering from back pain or other related issues.

However, it’s important to mention that some users reported minor problems with the shoelace length and the initial break-in period. The shoelaces might feel a bit short, especially for those who prefer to lace up all the way and double-knot, requiring a possible lace replacement. Moreover, a few users experienced blisters during the first few runs, but the issue seemed to settle after the shoes adjusted to their feet.

Lastly, as sizing might feel slightly different compared to other brands, we recommend trying a pair on before making a final decision. Once you’ve found the right size, we believe the Brooks Women’s Ghost 14 Neutral Running Shoe is an excellent option for those looking to invest in a high-quality, comfortable, and stylish pair of running shoes.

Brooks Women’s Launch 9 Neutral Running Shoe

Brooks Women's Launch 9

We recommend the Brooks Women’s Launch 9 Neutral Running Shoe for its comfort, support, and durability – perfect for any neutral runner.


  • Exceptional comfort and cushioning
  • Great support for neutral runners
  • Durable and long-lasting


  • May not be suitable for those needing extra arch support
  • A bit pricey compared to some other options
  • Some users may need to size up for a comfortable fit

When we used the Brooks Women’s Launch 9 Neutral Running Shoe, we were immediately impressed by the comfort and cushioning it offers. The fabric-and-synthetic material feels soft against the skin and provides that much-needed cushion on long runs. For neutral runners, the support in this shoe is perfect, helping to maintain proper foot alignment and preventing any discomfort during our workouts.

We appreciated the durability of this shoe, too. After weeks of regular use, we didn’t experience any significant signs of wear and tear on the rubber sole. The fact that these shoes are made in the USA or imported also gives us confidence in their quality and longevity.

However, it’s worth noting that these shoes may not provide enough arch support for those with specific arch-related issues. If that’s a concern for you, it might be worth considering a different Brooks model with more targeted arch support. Additionally, while we find the Launch 9 to be a great investment, it may be a bit pricey for some users. Lastly, based on our experience and the feedback from others, it might be a good idea to size up, especially if you prefer a roomier fit or have wider feet.

In summary, the Brooks Women’s Launch 9 Neutral Running Shoe is an excellent choice for neutral runners seeking a comfortable, supportive, and durable shoe for their training sessions. Just be aware that you may need to size up and consider the price tag before purchasing.

Brooks Men’s Ghost 15 Neutral Running Shoe

Brooks Men's Ghost 15 Neutral Running Shoe

We recommend the Brooks Men’s Ghost 15 for those seeking a comfortable and durable neutral running shoe, perfect for various types of terrain.


  • Exceptional comfort and cushioning
  • Versatile for different running surfaces
  • 3D printed uppers eliminate hotspots


  • May cause pressure on the Achilles tendon for some users
  • Slightly heavier than other running shoe options
  • Memory foam may not suit everyone’s preferences

After putting the Ghost 15 to the test, we immediately noticed the high levels of comfort and cushioning this shoe provides. The memory foam envelops the foot, feeling like you’re walking on air. This enhanced comfort made our long walks and runs on concrete surfaces much more enjoyable.

We appreciate that the Ghost 15 is suitable for various surfaces, including roads, sidewalks, gravel paths, and grass. Whether we were hitting the pavement in the city or venturing off-road, the Ghost 15 provided a consistent level of performance and stability.

One standout feature of the Ghost 15 is the 3D printed uppers, which have no seams, leading to zero hotspots. This design ensured a comfortable fit right out of the box, eliminating the need for a break-in period.

However, it’s worth mentioning that some users may experience pressure on the Achilles tendon due to the shoe’s design. This issue was not a universal problem, but could be a cause for concern for a few wearers.

We also noticed that the Ghost 15 is slightly heavier than other running shoe options on the market. Though it’s not a deal-breaker, the weight difference may be worth considering for those who prefer ultralight running shoes. In addition, the memory foam may not suit everyone’s preferences, especially those who prefer a firmer, more responsive feel.

In conclusion, the Brooks Men’s Ghost 15 is a versatile and comfortable option for neutral runners, offering excellent cushioning and support. However, it may not be perfect for everyone, especially those who prefer a lighter shoe or a firmer feel.

Brooks Women’s Trace 2 Neutral Running Shoe

Brooks Women's Trace 2

We believe the Brooks Women’s Trace 2 is a great choice for those seeking a comfortable and supportive neutral running shoe.


  • Exceptional comfort and support
  • Durable rubber sole
  • Stylish design with various color options


  • May need to size up for a perfect fit
  • Limited availability in wide sizes
  • Can be a little pricey compared to other brands

Having recently tried the Brooks Women’s Trace 2 Neutral Running Shoe, we instantly noticed the high level of comfort and support it provides. The rubber sole offers a fantastic balance of cushioning and durability, making it perfect for those who cover a lot of ground.

One thing that stood out to us was the variety of colors available, without sacrificing the professional and sleek look. The shoe’s fabric-and-synthetic composition also adds to its overall appeal. We appreciate that Brooks has catered to a wide range of preferences while still maintaining the shoe’s performance capabilities.

However, we did notice that some may need to size up for the perfect fit. It’s essential to double-check the sizing recommendations and keep in mind that wide-size options may be limited.

Though the Brooks Women’s Trace 2 may be somewhat more expensive than other neutral running shoe options, we feel that the investment is worth it for the overall quality and performance. Additionally, the unique color combinations and stylish design make it an attractive choice for both casual wear and running.

In conclusion, the Brooks Women’s Trace 2 Neutral Running Shoe delivers exceptional comfort, support, and style for neutral runners. Despite the potential need to size up and the somewhat higher price point, we believe this shoe is a solid investment for those who prioritize quality and performance in their running gear.

Buying Guide

When looking for the best neutral running shoes, it’s essential to consider several factors that contribute to the overall comfort, support, and durability. In this section, we will discuss the main features you should pay attention to.

Fit and Comfort

A proper fit is crucial for a comfortable running experience. We recommend trying multiple sizes and brands to find the perfect fit. Make sure to wear the same socks you plan on running in, and don’t forget to leave about a thumb’s width of space between the tip of your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

Cushioning and Support

There are three types of cushioning, which vary in levels:

  1. Minimal cushioning: Offers lightweight, less cushioned shoes for a more natural feel.
  2. Moderate cushioning: Balance between minimal and maximum cushioning, providing a good level of support and comfort for most runners.
  3. Maximum cushioning: These shoes provide the highest level of cushioning and shock absorption for those who prefer additional support or have a heavier stride.

Choose the level of cushioning that matches your personal preference and running style.

Breathability and Material

The material of the upper affects how well your running shoes regulate temperature and wick away moisture. We suggest opting for synthetic mesh or knit materials that are light, breathable, and flexible.


Running shoes usually have a lifespan of around 300-500 miles. Several factors such as shoe material, running frequency, and running surface can affect the overall durability. To ensure longer-lasting footwear, look for well-constructed shoes with sturdy materials, reinforced areas of high wear, and robust outsoles.

Outsole and Traction

The outsole’s material and design can greatly impact your grip and traction on various surfaces. We recommend rubber outsoles with multidirectional lugs for the best traction on different terrains.

Feature Options/Details
Fit and Comfort Thumb’s width of space
Cushioning Minimal, Moderate, Maximum
Breathability Synthetic mesh or knit
Durability 300-500 miles
Outsole Rubber, multidirectional lugs

Once you’ve considered these factors, you’ll be better equipped to choose the perfect pair of neutral running shoes that suit your specific needs and preferences. Remember that the most important aspect is how the shoes feel during your run; don’t hesitate to test them out before making a decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of neutral running shoes?

Neutral running shoes offer several benefits, including:

  1. Improved shock absorption: Their cushioning system supports better weight distribution and impact reduction for a comfortable stride.
  2. Enhanced comfort: They have a more flexible sole, allowing the foot to move naturally and adapt to different running surfaces.
  3. Versatility: As they work well for various foot types and running styles, they make a perfect choice for new and experienced runners alike.

How can I determine if I need neutral running shoes?

To determine if neutral running shoes are right for you, consider these factors:

  1. Foot strike pattern: Examine the wear on your current running shoes. If the wear is even across the sole, a neutral shoe is likely a good fit.
  2. Arch type: Perform a wet test by stepping onto a paper towel with wet feet. If you possess a medium or moderately high arch, you may be a candidate for neutral running shoes.
  3. Consultation with a specialist: Visit a local running store or a podiatrist for personalized recommendations based on your gait and foot type.

Which neutral running shoes are recommended by podiatrists?

Podiatrists often recommend neutral running shoes from reputable brands such as:

  1. ASICS
  2. Brooks
  3. New Balance
  4. Nike
  5. Saucony

While specific models may vary, it’s essential to choose a shoe that provides the appropriate level of support, cushioning, and comfort needed for your runs.

Are neutral running shoes suitable for flat feet?

Neutral running shoes can be comfortable for some people with flat feet, as long as they don’t require additional arch support or stability features. However, runners with flat feet should consult a podiatrist or an experienced shoe-fitter to ensure they’re selecting the right footwear for their specific needs.

What are the top neutral running shoe options for men?

Some of the top neutral running shoe options for men include:

  1. ASICS Gel-Cumulus
  2. Brooks Ghost
  3. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080
  4. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus
  5. Saucony Ride

Consider trying on multiple models to find the ideal fit that caters to your unique running style and preferences.

What are the top neutral running shoe options for women?

Popular neutral running shoe options for women are:

  1. ASICS Gel-Nimbus
  2. Brooks Ghost
  3. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080
  4. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus
  5. Saucony Ride

Don’t hesitate to try different models and consult professionals to ensure the shoe you select provides the perfect balance of cushioning, support, and durability for your runs.