A good pair of running shoes acts to support the natural motion and anatomy of the foot. With a quality pair of running shoes, athletes and casual runners alike find themselves protected against the strains of running and the less hospitable parts of the environment while simultaneously enhancing their performance. Being such a vital part of a runner’s toolkit, there is no shortage of selections in the world of lightweight running shoes for men. With so many claims and advertisements competing for your attention, it can be difficult to work out what the perfect pair for you is. In this breakdown, we’ll take a look at some of the highlights of five pairs of our selection of the best lightweight running shoes for men.
Running shoes are typically divided into categories based on the type of “strike” preferred by the runner, or in layman’s terms, where the foot contacts the ground when moving. For most running applications, this is a heel/toe combination. Many pairs of running shoes are classified as “neutral,” meaning they do not particularly favor one direction or the other. When overpronation or underpronation (whereby the foot rolls inwards and pushes off from the small toes or rolls outwards pushing off from the large toes during running, respectively) is present, specially designed running shoes take additional steps to account for these variations in anatomy.
1. Nike Men’s Lunarglide 6 Running Shoe
The Lunarglide 6 is a fantastic running shoe which is great for people with mild to moderate overpronation. This is a pair of shoes with some serious cushioning – providing, as the name implies, an extremely smooth running experience which definitely takes a lot of strain off your feet and the rest of the body. Remarkably lightweight weighing in at just 8 ounces, they practically blend seamlessly with the foot from the first time you slip them on. Adding to the comfort and the connection with the shoe is the incorporated Flywire cable fastening system which provides a superb, glove-like fit after lacing up.
The Lunarglide’s also feature a removable insole, allowing it to be customized or replaced. The provided insole is quite comfortable and conforms well to the natural shape of the foot. Exceptionally well ventilated, the lightweight materials are breathable and keep you cool even during intense runs.
2. Saucony Guide 7
The Guide 7’s are a pair built for the mild overpronator. They offer a precision combination of cushioning and stability to offer all the comfort and performance expected of a great running shoe. Combined with the lightweight (10 ounces) design, incorporating mesh and synthetic materials at specifically targeted locations for optimal ventilation, these shoes manage to provide all the support necessary to endure long runs without overheating or fatiguing.
The interior of the shoe includes an EVA molded ComfortLite sockliner to provide additional support and to ergonomically conform to the wearers foot. On the bottom of the shoe we find Saucony’s PowerGrid technology offering great cushioning and propulsion power from the shoes bottom soles.
3. New Balance MR00
Weighing in at just 6 ounces, this is a pair of shoes you can practically forget you are wearing! However, these featherweights still manage to pack in all the features needed in a quality running shoe without bulking up the weight. From renowned athletic footwear company New Balance, the MR00 are a precision engineered pair of shoes designed from the earliest stages with the performance runner in mind. The goal of the MR00 was to set a line somewhere just between traditional highly cushioned running shoes and the joys discovered by barefoot running enthusiasts. After much design, the MR00 managed to practically create a class of its own – a shoe with cushioning enough to run comfortably, but so lightweight and minimalist as to practically be a part of the foot. The perfect fusion of barefoot and cushioned.
Highly flexible and lightweight, the synthetic materials which compose the MR00’s are designed for high breathability, durability and quality performance.
4. Adidas Running Marathon 10
This is a pair for a runner with neutral or moderate underpronation. An offering from renown sportswear giant Adidas, this is definitely a quality piece at a mid-level price range. Equipped with Adidas’ adiPRENE material, acting both as an ergonomic shock absorbing insert and making an appearance as a functional propulsion element, the Running Marathon’s are indeed capable of living up to their name: providing the exceptional comfort and fatigue reduction necessary to run a marathon, while simultaneously providing the bit of competitive edge which just may allow you to finish in first.
Coming in at 10 ounces, these might seem a bit heavy compared to the super lightweight above – but it’s worth remembering these are the kind of beasts you would want to run for miles and miles and miles on! Of course, even still, among shoes of its type, the Running Marathon’s are not exactly heavy.
5. Pearl Izumi Em Road N 2
Featuring Pearl’s “dynamic off-set shaped E:MOTION” midsole, these running shoes are fine tuned for the specific biomechanics of a neutral or underpronated running style. Pearl’s Energy Foam technology acts to optimally absorb shock, provide adequate cushioning and simultaneously provide propulsion and add that bit of spring every runner wants in their step.
Weighing in at 11 ounces, this may well be the heaviest pair on our list. The Izumi Em Road’s provide quite exceptional support and a great amount of comfort, with highly breathable meshes and moisture-managing materials in place to keep dry and relatively odor free. Equipped with a carbon rubber heel to act as a crash pad, keeping you well cushioned and comfortable even as the miles wear on.
Hopefully this summary has given you some idea of just what to look for in your quest for the best lightweight running shoes for men. Selecting the proper pair of shoes is the first step in a long relationship. The humble shoe is, in fact, a finely tuned instrument acting as an extension of the body – to protect and assist the wearer. Serious runners know that the shoe they run with is the one element that will truly accept no compromise. Enjoy all the health benefits of running and negate the potential pitfalls by properly equipping yourself with the ideal pair of running shoes!