When did buying workout shoes become so complicated? We understand what it’s like to arrive at a shoe website or store, only to be inundated by weird terms (neutral versus minimal? supinate versus pronate?) and feel overwhelmed by the number of options available. So we’re here to help.
With our awards this year, we hand-picked a small group of devoted runners, lifters, hikers, and walkers to test close to 50 pairs of new workout sneakers, and sifted through the jargon to find the best workout shoes for every activity. Whether you’re new to running or training for yet another marathon, we think there’s a shoe on this list that’s right for you. We’ve also included a lifestyle option for walking, cycling shoe, lifting shoe, and even an obstacle race shoe. We hope our explanations help demystify the shoe-buying process and offer an explanation for some of the most frequently used shoe terms along the way.
The best workout shoes on this list are new, released between October 2018 and September 2019. Once you’ve picked out your next favorite pair of sneakers, make sure you check out all of this year’s fitness award winners to select a sports bra, leggings, and top to match.
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Quotes have been condensed and edited for clarity.