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Best Running Shoes for Older Runners in 2021

 

Running is a great way to exercise, and it’s easy for people of all ages. While other forms of working out seem to be primarily for the “kids,” it is exceedingly common to see runners in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and even 80s completing marathons and other road races.

If you are an older runner, you probably already recognize the importance of the right footwear while running. The proper amount of support and cushioning will go a long way toward protecting you from injury and keeping you pain-free. But which running shoes should you choose?

We think the Brooks Glycerin 19 is the best shoe for older runners. It’s well-cushioned, feels great, and provides nice support for neutral runners. But depending on how much cushioning you need, the amount of support, and other factors, we know some shoes will work better for some than others.

In this article, we have done the work for you, selecting and reviewing the best running shoes for older runners in several different categories. Let’s dive in.

Top 4 Best and Favorites

 

Brooks Glycerin 19

 

  • DNA LOFT cushioning
  • OrthoLite sock liner
  • 3D Fit Print technology
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Hoka One One Bondi 7

 

  • Full-length EVA midsole
  • Engineered open mesh construction
  • APMA award
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

 

  • GuideRails holistic support system
  • BioMoGo responsive cushioning
  • 3D Fit Print technology
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New Balance 990v5

 

  • ENCAP midsole technology
  • Supportive midsole and Ortholite cushioning
  • Increased comfort and stability
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Best Overall

1. Brooks Glycerin 19

Our top choice for best overall running shoe for older runners: the Brooks Glycerin 19.

One of the most important features to look out for when selecting a running shoe (especially for older runners) is cushioning. The Brooks Glycerin 19 has plenty of it. The shoe features tons of DNA LOFT cushioning to offer maximum plushness underfoot while maintaining durability and responsiveness.

The midsole cushioning is enhanced by a full-length rubber outsole that decreases the weight of the shoe and improves traction.

Greater step-in comfort is offered by the OrthoLite sock liner. The shoe also features a DNA LOFT transition zone, which makes the experience of transitioning from heel to toe amazingly smooth and soft.

The interior liner of the shoe surrounds the foot with plushness, and expands with your stride. The fit is enhanced by 3D Fit Print technology and the engineered mesh upper. The double jacquard stretch mesh has been updated for greater structure, flexibility, and breathability.

This is a shoe that checks every box, combining superb cushioning and excellent support with maximum comfort and fit. If you are looking for a shoe that performs superbly in every category and that will prolong your running years, this is it.


PROS:

  • DNA LOFT cushioning increases degree of softness and plushness underfoot
  • OrthoLite sock liner offers greater step-in comfort
  • DNA LOFT transition zone increases softness and smoothness while transitioning from the heel to the toe
  • 3D Fit Print technology and engineered stretch double jacquard mesh upper enhance fit and offer more structure, breathability, and flexibility

CONS:

  • Not designed for those with flat feet
  • Some runners feel it’s not as plush as prior Glycerin models

 

 

Most Cushioned Shoe

2. Hoka One One Bondi 7

The Hoka One One Bondi 7 is the most cushioned running shoe we tested. Hoka One One, a company founded in France and now headquartered in California, specializes in “maximalist” running shoes that have oversized outsoles and hence a great deal more cushioning than other running shoes.

Out of all of Hoka One One’s already extremely well-cushioned road shoes, the Bondi 7 is the most cushioned. The compression molded full-length EVA midsole and Meta-Rocker technology provide the runner with a balanced, smooth ride that will be consistent for any type of distance. So no matter how short or long your run may be, the Bondi 7 will keep you comfortable.

The Bondi 7 has the distinction of winning an American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) award This is testament to its effectiveness, safety, and quality in promoting foot health and allowing for the normal functioning of the foot.

The Bondi 7 features an engineered open mesh construction that optimizes comfort and breathability. An updated rubber outsole optimizes durability while reducing weight. Also, the beveled heel offers increased durability and a smooth transition. The internal heel counter and Lycra comfort frame offer comfortable support and a locked-in fit.

If you are looking for a shoe that maximizes comfort and cushioning, you can’t go wrong with the Hoka One One Bondi 7.


PROS:

  • Most cushioned running shoe we tested
  • Compression molded full-length EVA midsole and Meta-Rocker technology provide balanced, smooth ride
  • Beveled heel with internal heel counter and Lycra comfort frame offers increased durability, smooth transition, comfortable support, and locked in fit
  • Engineered open mesh construction optimizes comfort and breathability while updated rubber outsole optimizes durability while reducing weight

CONS:

  • A tad bulky
  • Unique look and style not for everyone

 

 

Best Stability Running Shoe

3. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

The Adrenaline GTS from Brooks just keeps getting better. It was always an excellent running shoe, but the 21st version makes our pick for the running shoe that offers the best stability.

The stability of this shoe comes from the GuideRails holistic support system that protects your knees by keeping your feet stable while running. This stabilizing system helps protect you from knee injuries. The GuideRails system also provides the runner with smoother transitions.

Obviously, stability is not the only thing this shoe does well. It features excellent cushioning, stacking BioMoGo responsive DNA cushioning above a DNA LOFT Crash Pad to offer cushion underfoot as well as spring.

The Adrenaline GTS 21 features 3D Fit Print technology in an engineered, streamlined mesh upper. It offers proven structure without any excessive bulk, wrapping around the arch of your foot to offer it a secure fit.


PROS:

  • GuideRails holistic support system offers great stability
  • DNA LOFT offers cushioning and just enough spring
  • Comfortable and secure upper

CONS:

  • May be too soft for some runners

 

 

Best for Wide Feet

 

4. New Balance 990v5

If you are a runner with wide feet, you may be struggling to find running shoe options tailored to meet your needs.

Enter the New Balance 990v5. It’s a classic, excellent running shoe with a selection of widths, ranging from extra narrow to extra extra wide. It’s our choice for the best running shoe for wide feet.

The shoe features a blown rubber outsole as well as ENCAP midsole technology that offers maximum durability and support. The dual density collar foam enhances comfort and support. The ENCAP PU ring with EVA core further increases durability as well as comfort and stability. All of this is designed around a classic 12 mm drop.

The shoe is built with breathable mesh and suede for a classic, timeless appearance that does not deter from its functionality. The supportive midsole and Ortholite cushioning insert offer comfort all day long.


PROS:

  • Offers widths ranging from extra narrow to extra extra wide
  • Blown rubber outsole as well as ENCAP midsole technology offer maximum durability and support
  • Supportive midsole and Ortholite cushioning insert offer comfort all day long
  • Made in the US

CONS:

  • A bit expensive
  • Not be as breathable as other shoes

Top Running Shoe for Ankle Support

5. ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23

When it comes to ankle support, we have found the best running shoe to be the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23. This shoe is made for neutral- to under-pronators.

The shoe features Flytefoam technology, an ASICS energetic foam formulation that offers maximum bounce due to its unique elastomer compound. The same technology is used in the midsole to offer superb responsiveness and bounce back no matter the distance. In this model, Flytefoam has been extended through the full shoe.

The 3D SPACE CONSTRUCTION offers a unique formula of varying densities along different parts of the top sole. Different sections offer different levels of support. In addition, the men’s and women’s shoes feature different levels of support to better mirror the differences in gait.

The Rearfoot and Forefoot Gel technology cushioning system reduces shock during toe-off and impact phases. Your foot can move on multiple planes while transitioning through its gait cycle.

The ASICS High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) is positioned in critical portions of the shoe’s outsole to offer exceptional durability. This outsole rubber makes the shoe lighter and softer, providing flexibility, overall comfort, and a plush, balanced ride.

The premium Ortholite X-40 sockliner provides higher rebounding properties in addition to a higher degree of breathability and superb moisture management, while the 3D Print upper maximizes comfort and forefoot support. The shoe also features reflective material to enhance visibility and safety in lower light conditions.


PROS:

  • Flytefoam Propel technology offers maximum bounce due to its unique elastomer compound
  • 3D SPACE CONSTRUCTION for customized feel when running
  • Rearfoot and Forefoot Gel technology cushioning system reduces shock during the toe off and impact phases
  • ASICS High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) is positioned in critical portions of the shoe’s outsole to offer exceptional durability

CONS:

  • May not be wide enough for some runners

 

 

Best for Pavement and Concrete

6. Hoka One One Clifton 8

We found the Hoka One One Clifton 8 to be the best running shoe for pavement and concrete.

The compression-molded full-length EVA midsole and Meta-Rocker technology on the Clifton 8 provide the runner with a balanced, smooth ride. The shoe enhances stability with its flat-waisted geometry and full ground contact design.

Like the Bondi 6 described above, the Clifton 8 has twon an American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) award. This honor recognizes the shoe’s effectiveness, safety, and quality in promoting foot health. Honorees are known to allow for the normal functioning of the foot.

Reinforced eyestays and high-abrasion rubber zones have been strategically placed to reduce overall weight. Also, the embroidered reinforcement minimizes the number of layers and provides midfoot lockdown as well as support. The moderate beveled heel offers a smooth transition.

If you want a shoe for pounding the pavement (literally), the Hoka One One Clifton 8 is our top choice.


PROS:

  • Compression molded full-length EVA midsole and Meta-Rocker technology provide balanced, smooth ride
  • Enhanced stability due to its flat-waisted geometry and full ground contact design
  • Embroidered reinforcement minimizes the number of layers and provides midfoot lockdown as well as support
  • APMA award

CONS:

  • May be less durable than other top running shoes

 

 

Top Lightweight Running Shoe

7. Saucony Kinvara 12

For the best performing lightweight running shoe, you need look no further than the Saucony Kinvara 12. The shoe has been engineered to be as lightweight as possible to increase your efficiency and break your PRs.

If you are looking for the perfect shoe to set a new personal best, the Kinvara 12 may be the one for you. Its PWRRUN cushioning provides lightweight responsiveness for long and short distances alike.

Its sole is flexible to allow you to transition quickly between landing and take off, and the lightweight upper conforms to the shape of your foot to offer you the optimum feel and fit.


PROS:

  • Extremely lightweight shoe
  • Upper conforms to the shape of your foot to offer you the optimum feel and fit from each angle
  • PWRRUN cushioning provides lightweight responsiveness which allows you to run either long or short distances

CONS:

  • May not provide enough support for some users
  • Not as durable as other shoes

 

 

Widest Toe Box Running Shoe

 

8. AltraTorin 4.5 Plush

If you need a shoe with the widest possible toe box, turn to the AltraTorin 4.5 Plush. Its Footshape Toe Box technology ensures that your toes will have enough breathing room during every run.

The shoe features a premium outsole and midsole for a responsive, lightweight, and incredibly smooth, balanced ride. The knit upper is breathable and comfortable and the shoe overall has been engineered to be more lightweight.

The shoe features balanced cushioning for maximum comfort. FootPod technology creates a durable, supportive, stable outsole. The insole is made of premium PU to create a footbed sculpted to the shape of your foot.


PROS:

  • Balanced cushioning for maximum comfort
  • FootPod technology for a durable, supportive, stable outsole
  • Footshape Toe Box technology ensures that your toes will have enough breathing room during every run
  • Knit upper is breathable and comfortable
  • Lightweight

CONS:

  • May wear too quickly for some users

Best Value Running Shoe

9. Brooks Launch 8

For the best value for your money, the Brooks Launch 8 wins hands down. It offers premium performance, cushioning, support, and stability for a highly reasonable price.

The BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning as well as the rebound rubber featured in the Launch 8 offer comfort without the extra weight, so you can increase your speed. The Midfoot Transition Zone is specially designed to allow you to transition quickly and smoothly from heel to toe.

The mesh upper is made of one piece, with an almost seamless construction internally. This construction allows the shoe to feel extra lightweight and breathable.


PROS:

  • BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning
  • Midfoot Transition Zone is specially designed to allow you to transition quickly and smoothly from heel to toe
  • Almost seamless internal construction and one piece mesh upper provide lightweight, breathable feel

CONS:

  • None

 

 

Top Walking Shoe

 

10. New Balance 577

Last but certainly not least is the New Balance 577, which is our pick for the best walking shoe. This shoe will eliminate as much foot fatigue as possible, keeping you comfortable no matter where you go or what you do in them.

The midsole is made of PU for cushioning and stability, and the Abzorb technology offers further cushioning in the heel section with its superb shock absorption. The solid rubber outsole enhances durability and stability, and the leather upper offers breathability and durability.

If you need a solid, reliable walking shoe that you can take to your 9 to 5 or around the neighborhood for a brisk walk, this is the pair for you.


PROS:

  • Abzorb technology offers maximum cushioning in the heel section with its superb shock absorption
  • Midsole is made of PU for cushioning and stability
  • Solid rubber outsole enhances durability and stability

CONS:

  • Design may not be to everyone’s taste

 

FAQ

Q: How long should an older runner run?

A: In terms of distance, it depends on the runner. If you have already gotten used to distance running, your basic physiology hasn’t really changed, so you can continue to run your favorite distances. If you usually run shorter distances, you can stick with that. But there is nothing stopping a healthy older runner from marathon distances or more.

One rule of thumb is the 10% rule: that is, if you are planning to increase your running distance, time, or intensity, do your best to add at most 10% in distance, time, or intensity from week to week.

Q: What features should running shoes for an older runner have?

A: The primary features that older runners ought to be concerned with when shopping for running shoes are cushioning and support.

Proper support in a running shoe will help maintain the correct stride and running posture, which will limit the chance of injury.

Sufficient cushioning will help to make up for the decrease in elasticity as one gets older, and it will also reduce the amount of wear and tear that is suffered by the knees, ankles, and other joints while running, which also helps to prevent injuries.

Q: After how many miles should older runners change their shoes?

A: Older runners should change their shoes every three hundred to four hundred miles. This also depends on the terrain on which they run. If you run on tough terrain like trails or rough roads, you may need to change your shoes toward the low end of that range or even before that.

One way to determine when your shoes should be replaced is by looking at the tread of the sole. If the sole is worn down, the shock absorbency and cushioning is definitely worn out as well, and the shoe should be replaced.

Q: Is there an age older runners should stop running?

A: There is not a hard and fast rule for this; many runners continue running at a fairly high level well into their seventies and eighties. Running has countless benefits and may actually extend your lifespan.

The key is not to overdo it. Take a break after running long distances, and do not increase your running distance by over 10 percent every week. Stretching will also serve to preserve the flexibility of your joints and limber up your muscles.

The Wired Runner