Best running shoes for 10K

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A 10k run is a popular distance choice for a few reasons. It’s a gateway for runners who eventually aspire to run half and full marathons; it gives you a glimpse of what longer races feel like. Even when you’re not racing, a 10K training run is an excellent workout distance to build stamina without beating down your feet.

Running a 10K involves being on your feet anywhere between 30 minutes to a little over an hour. If you’re running sub-40, that means you’d want (not need, though) a shoe which feels fast.

On the other hand, if finishing a 10K takes an hour or more, then you need a shoe which has enough cushioning to go. In other words, it has to be a running shoe which meets the speed+endurance requirements of a 10K run.

If you’re wrapping up 10K runs in under 40 minutes, then perhaps you’d like to read our buyer’s guide for 5K races. Those models will do just fine for fast 10K races.

But for today’s list, we thought of cobbling up a list of recommended shoes which work for both categories of runners. So regardless of whether you’re running a 35 minute or an hour+ 10K, these shoes will do a splendid job.

There’s another reason to consider this list. You can also use these shoes for half-marathons, a distance where thinner racing flats could be found lacking in cushioning.

Our selection criteria is rather straightforward. The shoes below have a good blend of cushioning and fast; in other words, they’re lightweight trainers with enough midsole to go the distance.

From a category point of view, these models sit halfway between full-blown trainers (Saucony Ride, Nike Pegasus et al.) and hyper-light racers like the adidas Takumi or Mizuno Wave Ekiden.

Here’s our pick of ten best shoes for running a 10K, sorted in an alphabetical sequence:

ModelDropCheck price
adidas adizero Boston 610 mmAmazon
Asics Dynaflyte8 mmAmazon
Brooks Launch 410 mmAmazon
Mizuno Wave Sayonara 410 mmAmazon
New Balance 1400V510 mmAmazon
New Balance Zante V36 mmAmazon
Nike Lunaracer 48 mmAmazon
Nike Zoom Streak 68 mmAmazon
Saucony Kinvara 84 mmAmazon
Skechers GoMeb Razor4 mmAmazon

1) adidas Boston 6 Boost

The Boost version of the Boston debuted a few years ago, and since then it’s built a positive reputation as a cushioned lightweight trainer. The simple mesh and synthetic upper is modeled on classic racers, and the low-profile Boost midsole provides plenty of fast cushioning for  runs of 10K and beyond.

Also consider the Tempo 8 Boost if you like medial side support, or the adios 3 Boost if you want a shoe lighter than the Boston.

2) Asics Dynaflyte

For a long time, Asics loyalists hoped for a neutral version of the popular DS-Trainer. Their prayers were answered last year with the release of the Dynaflyte, a lightweight and cushioned trainer which uses the Japanese brand’s new Flytefoam compound.

If a medially-posted shoe works better for you, then buy the long-continuing DS-Trainer 22 instead.

3) Brooks Launch 4

The Launch has a little more bulk than the others on the list, but its lightweight build gets the job done. A relatively firm yet thick midsole delivers both speed and padding, and the upper has a premium fit and feel which belies its entry-level price.

In case you think the Launch 4 to be too much shoe, then consider the lighter Hyperion.

4) Mizuno Wave Sayonara 4

The Sayonara is positioned between the lighter Hitogami and the bulkier Rider 20. This gives the Sayonara 4 a decent amount of cushioning without slowing things down – just the right shoe for 10k runs.

5) New Balance 1400V5

Truth be told, we’ve been unabashed admirers of the 1400 and 1500. The 1400 V5 is the latest (and  an excellent) update to the popular 1400 series, featuring a new and smooth fitting engineered mesh, a full-length Revlite EVA midsole, and a grippy outsole.

6) New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V3

The  Fresh Foam Zante V3 is another New Balance staple suitable for distances of 10K to up to a half-marathon. Though firmer than its previous versions, it’s cushioned and speed enough for a 10k run.

7) Nike Lunaracer 4

The Lunaracer has been around for ten years, and for a good reason. The Lunarlon midsole packs plenty of cushioning, and the super-lightweight build makes the shoe disappear over your feet.

8) Nike Zoom Streak 6

If the Lunaracer 4 can be described as lightweight cushioning, the Streak 6 is snappy and responsive. The midfoot shank produces snappy transitions, while the Zoom Air bag produces a responsive ride.

9) Saucony Kinvara 8

The Kinvara has been Saucony’s popular 4 mm drop trainer for many years now. The injection molded EVA midsole reduces weight but retains cushioning, and the sleeved upper does a good job of securely locking down the foot.

10) Skechers GoMeb Razor

The Razor is a new addition to Skechers’ performance running line, bridging the gap between the more minimal GoMeb Speed and the more cushioned GoRun 5.

Like most recent Skechers models, the Razor uses a seamless knit upper and a new EVA midsole foam. The knit upper keeps the Razor lightweight, while the compression molded EVA midsole packs adequate cushioning for 10k runs and beyond.