We Asked 137,000 Runners For The Best Running Shoes of All Time

This article is an ode to GOAT running shoes — the all-time favorites of the running shoe enthusiast community.  The oldies-but-goodies. The pairs of shoes that we loved running in, that we look back on with nostalgia and compare every new pair to. Some would say – these were the best running shoes of all time.

Maybe it’s the beat-up sneakers you trained for your first half marathon in, the race-day pair you last PRed in, or the shoes that originally made you fall in love with the sport. 

While we certainly have our personal favorites at HMG, we also wanted to hear which running shoes are most beloved by the masses. So, we asked the Subreddit RunningShoeGeek with 137,000 running shoe fanatics about their favorite running shoes of all time. Here’s what they said.

Reddit Picked The Best Running Shoes of All Time

Out of the 110+ running shoes mentioned, it was the following eight pairs of GOAT running shoes that received the most praise. From simple daily trainers to tried-and-true race-day kicks, these are the fan-favorite running shoes that runners just can’t get enough of.

Credit: /r/RunningShoesGeek

8. Adidas Adizero Prime X Strung 

Heel Drop: 9 mm | Weight: 9 oz | Carbon Plate: Yes | Launch Date: September 2022

Current Model: Adidas Adizero Prime X Strung and Adidas Adizero Prime X Strung 2

In eighth place for the community-voted GOAT running shoe, the Adidas Adizero Prime X Strung is a super shoe that has gained a loyal following in just the year and a half since its launch. Featuring an efficient-yet-comfortable design, the Prime X Strung delivers an incredibly smooth, flight-like experience that’s incomparable to any other shoe on the market.

From heel to toe, this shoe is packed with technology: It has an aggressive rocker that almost throws runners forward. Even on easy runs, runners can’t help but go fast in this shoe. 

Composed of Lightstrike Pro foam, the midsole is extremely cushioned, which makes for a comfortable and energetic ride. Most notably, it has an impressive stack height of 50 mm. While this is 10 mm over the legal racing stack height for professional runners at World Athletics events, non-professional runners are free to race in this couch of a shoe. 

While the $300 price tag is steep, this shoe is proof that you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for a powerful, light, and snappy super shoe, the Prime X Strung is worth the splurge — as evidenced by its hefty praise among the running community. 

The Prime X Strung 2 is still available on the Adidas website and features a lot of the same innovative technology as the original model. 

Photo: StockX

7. Nike ZoomX Invincible Run 1 and 2

Invincible Run 1: Heel Drop: 9 mm | Weight: 9.7 oz | Carbon Plate: No | Launch Date: January 2021

Invincible Run 2: Heel Drop: 9 mm | Weight: 10.2 oz | Carbon Plate: No | Launch Date: June 2022

Current Model: Nike ZoomX Invincible Run 3

The Nike ZoomX Invincible series also got a lot of love, although runners were divided between whether it was the Invincible Run 1s or the 2s that deserved a spot on the shelf. While some swear by the 1s for their softness and bounciness, others prefer the 2s for their added stability. 

Supporters of the Invincible Run 1 swear there’s no better feeling than experiencing this shoe’s extraordinary spring. With its cushy ZoomX midsole, this shoe is lively, bouncy, and fun — all the things we love in a daily trainer. Ideal for long runs, this shoe makes it easy to go the extra mile. One fan shared the “OG Invincible Run was magical,” and several other runners echoed this sentiment throughout the thread.

Although the Invincible Run 1 brings a lot to the table, its main downfall is its lack of stability. But the Invincible Run 2 makes up for this with its wider base and extra foam. Therefore, the 2s seem to deliver a steadier, more comfortable ride, which makes it easy to “eat up miles,” as one runner put it. Plus, they’re extremely durable with some runners claiming to have logged over 1,000 kilometers in their 2s.

Each version has its perks, but it’s clear that Nike has done a great job on their Invincible Run line. We’ve heard good things about the most recent iteration, the Invincible Run 3, as well, so it might be worth a shot if you’re a fan of this shoe line. 

Photo: Nike

6. Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 1 and 2

Turbo 1: Heel Drop: 10 mm | Weight: 7.9 oz | Carbon Plate: No | Launch Date: August 2018
Turbo 2: Heel Drop:
10 mm | Weight: 7.2 oz | Carbon Plate: No | Launch Date: July 2019

Current Version: Nike Pegasus Turbo

It seems like almost every other runner of the 137,000 in the group mentioned either the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 1 (aka the Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 Turbo) or 2s, so both definitely deserve a shoutout. While there are some slight differences between the two models, they’re both excellent all-around trainers. 

It seems like almost every other runner of the 137,000 in the survey group mentioned either the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 1 (aka the Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 Turbo) or 2s, so both definitely deserve a shoutout. While there are some slight differences between the two models, they’re both excellent all-around trainers. 

The Turbo 1s and 2s are both known for being light enough for speed runs but also cushioned enough for long runs. They feature ZoomX foam paired with React foam, a combination that makes these shoes lively and springy. While Nike’s elite road racing shoe, the Vaporfly, also features ZoomX foam, the Turbo 1s and 2s were made to cater to the everyday runner.

That being said, the Turbo 2s have some upgrades that set them apart from the 1s. Most noticeably, the uppers on the Turbo 2s are slightly thinner, lighter, and more breathable. The Turbo 2s also feel firmer and more stable than the 1s. For these reasons, some prefer the Turbo 2s. 

All in all, the Turbo 1s and 2s are both beloved for their simple but effective designs. New iterations of these shoes are still going strong today, but several runners surveyed claimed that the newer releases pale in comparison to the originals. 

The ASICS Novablast 1 the best running shoe of all time voted by the subreddit RunningShoesGeek.
Photo: ASICS

5. ASICS Novablast 1

Heel Drop: 10 mm | Weight: 9.2 oz | Carbon Plate: No | Launch Date: March 2020

Current Version: ASICS Novablast 4

If you’ve ever experienced the magic of Moon Shoes, you have a pretty good idea of what the ASICS Novablast 1 feels like. Wearing this shoe, you won’t just run — you’ll bounce through the air with energetic strides. 

Providing an experience unlike any other running shoe, the Novablast 1 is the reason that several runners originally fell in love with the sport. “I wasn’t really into running at the time [bu​​t] trying the Novablast really changed something in me,” shared one fan of the shoe. 

Utilizing ASICS’ signature FLYTEFOAM technology, the Novablast 1 was created in hopes of providing a comfortable and smooth underfoot for runners. This springy sneaker’s plush cushioning guarantees a soft landing and helps athletes run comfortably mile after mile.

The midsole stack can take some getting used to for runners who’ve never worn a highly-cushioned shoe before. However, it’s worth overcoming the learning curve to experience the feeling of being propelled forward in this shoe.

Unfortunately, the Novablast 1 is no longer available on the ASICS website.Your next best option is the ASICS Novablast 3, which are also well-loved for their bouncy feel and increased stability.

The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% 1 the best running shoe of all time voted by the subreddit RunningShoesGeek.
Photo: Nike

4. Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% 1

Heel Drop: 4 mm | Weight: 7.4 oz | Carbon Plate: Yes | Launch Date: July 2020

Current Version: Nike Alphafly 3

A race-day favorite, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% 1 is next-level fast. And we’re not just saying that: It’s so fast that Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge has made it his signature racing shoe. He even wore the prototype when he ran a sub-2-hour marathon in 2019. 

With maximum cushioning from Nike’s ZoomX foam and a carbon plate, this shoe feels like you’re bouncing on a trampoline with every step. Built for a forefoot strike, the ZoomX encourages athletes to run on their toes. In turn, runners improve their running efficiency, which ultimately helps them run faster.

Furthermore, the Zoom Alphafly also contains two highly-innovative Air Pods toward the front of each foot. Acting as a suspension system that compresses under pressure, the Air Pods help runners conserve energy.

Featuring an upgraded version of the Flyknit material, the Zoom Alphafly is composed of Nike’s Atomknit material which helps to make the shoe stronger, thinner, and more breathable than ever before. Thanks to its comfortable, lightweight design, this shoe delivers an incredibly speedy performance. 

While the technology behind this pair of shoes is clearly impressive, the most important thing is how the shoe feels — and most runners who’ve experienced the Zoom Alphafly will tell you that they feel absolutely amazing. One seasoned runner in our survey declared that it’s their favorite running shoe over 37 years of running shoes. “Currently on pair #4 of the Alphafly,” they stated. Several other runners chimed in and reiterated this idea, sharing that they’ve also repurchased this shoe multiple times.

You can’t find the first version of the Zoom Alphafly on Nike’s website anymore. But, if you’re hoping to experience the power of this shoe for yourself, you might be able to score some off StockX or eBay.

The ASICS Superblast the best running shoe of all time voted by the subreddit RunningShoesGeek.
Photo: ASICS

3. ASICS Superblast

Heel Drop: 8 mm | Weight: 8.4 oz | Carbon Plate: No | Launch Date: December 2022

Current Version: ASICS Superblast

A true “powerhouse of a shoe,” the ASICS Superblast does it all. Long run? Grab your Superblasts. Tempo run? Grab your Superblasts. Race day? Grab your Superblasts. You get the gist. 

But what exactly makes this super trainer so great? On top of its versatility, the Superblast is extremely cushioned and delivers an effortless, comfortable ride. Its Flytefoam Turbo technology allows the shoe to be responsive and easy to transition with. Yet, it’s not aggressively bouncy, either.

While other highly-cushioned shoes can feel wobbly, the Superblast manages to provide remarkable stability despite its grand stack height. Between the wide midsole and raised sidewalls, there’s plenty of support with this shoe.

Priced at $200, the Superblast isn’t as budget-friendly as some of the other daily trainers we mentioned, but it packs quite a punch for the cost. And, unlike many on our list, the Superblast is still available on the ASICS website (so stock up while you have the chance!).

The Nike Epic React Flyknit the best running shoe of all time voted by the subreddit RunningShoesGeek.
Photo: Nike

2. Nike Epic React Flyknit

Heel Drop: 10 mm | Weight: 8.45 oz | Carbon Plate: No | Launch Date: February 2018 | Current Version: Nike InfinityRN 4

Attracting a cult following for its remarkable bounciness and lightweight design, the Nike Epic React Flyknit provides a smooth ride for a budget-friendly price. At first glance, the Epic React might not seem overly sophisticated, but there’s definitely more than meets the eye here — enough to earn this shoe the second most mentions among runners surveyed.

Featuring a midsole constructed with React Foam technology, the Epic React delivers a bouncy and responsive performance for miles on end. Between the soft cushioning and the Flyknit material that contours to hug the top of the foot, these shoes are almost as comfortable as slippers.

Furthermore, you don’t have to sacrifice speed for comfort here. The Epic React is lightweight, snappy, and fast, making it a great pair to grab for any kind of training run. 

While Nike has continued its React series, most Epic React fans we surveyed said they’re still longing to experience the “same magic” they felt with the originals. If you aren’t one of the wise runners who stockpiled these shoes, you’ll have to keep searching for a suitable replacement alongside the rest of us.

The Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 the best running shoe of all time voted by the subreddit RunningShoesGeek.
Photo: Saucony

1. Saucony Endorphin Speed 2

Heel Drop: 8 mm | Weight: 7 oz | Carbon Plate: No | Launch Date: June 2021

Current Version: Saucony Endorphin Speed 3

By a wide margin, the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 was the most raved-about shoe with over 100 upvotes between the 12 comments that mentioned this shoe. Said to be the ideal mix of durability, bounciness, and breathability, the Endorphin Speed 2 earns the title of the Ultimate GOAT Running Shoe, and for good reason.

Despite being one of the most lightweight shoes on our list, the Endorphin Speed 2 has the perfect amount of padding to provide a comfortable ride. Yet, it’s still incredibly well-constructed and durable enough to withstand daily wear.

Not only is the Endorphin Speed 2 built for daily training, but it’s also race-day capable. With a nylon plate that offers a similar experience to a carbon-plated shoe, the Endorphin Speed 2 allows for incredible speed during tempo runs and races. 

While experts recommend retiring running shoes after running about 300-500 miles, the Endorphin Speed 2 has been known to push this limit. Some runners said they’ve logged 600+ miles in these shoes and they’re still going strong. While we’re confident they don’t smell as fresh as they once did, there’s something so endearing about a pair of shoes you’ve been through that many miles with. 

Many runners said they’re still “chasing the magic” of running in this shoe since the Endorphin Speed 2 is hard to come by these days. However, the Endorphin Speed 3 is available and offers much of the same bounciness as the 2s with some added stability.

Finding Your Next Pair of Running Shoes

Feeling inspired to invest in new running shoes after reading this article? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Whether you’re looking for the best half marathon shoes, a new pair of daily trainers, or race-day kicks for your upcoming marathon, our articles will help you find the perfect pair for all of your running needs.

What are your favorite running shoes ever? Let us know in the comments below!

Everything featured on Half Marathon Guide is independently selected and curated. We may receive a small commission on purchases made from some of our links.

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