These Are the Best Sneaker Brands for Actually Breaking a Sweat


(Image credit: @oursecondskin)

Sure, when it comes to running shoes, function should probably take precedence over fashion—we all know shin splints aren't cute. But that doesn't mean the sneakers you lace up for your after-work run or cross-training class have to be boring. In fact, the best running shoes should be every bit as cool as that slick JoyLab kit you've been rocking for months now.

Luckily, the following eight brands make workout-ready shoes that check all of the boxes. Some, like APL and Stella McCartney's Adidas range, have fashion built into their DNA, while others like Under Armour and Saucony are designed to keep you feeling comfortable (and looking cute) long after your first mile. So read on to get shopping and meet us at Runyon Canyon.

Athletic Propulsion Lab

With shoes that are clinically proven to make you jump higher and run faster, Los Angeles–based brand APL is leading the running shoe game at the moment. The brand makes a range of styles tailored for different workouts (including a luxe cashmere pair because treat yourself), but the two pairs below should see you through most of your favorite workouts.


Nike really doesn't need an introduction, so we'll cut right to the chase here. The brand makes sneakers that should cover you through nearly every workout, but the two styles below (engineered for marathon runners and cross-training heavyweights, respectively) are some of the best in Nike's roster at the moment.

Adidas by Stella McCartney

Adidas makes some of the best running shoes available on the market, and the brand's ongoing collaboration with Stella McCartney takes its performance-engineered styles to the next level. An added bonus? The first pair below is constructed of yarn made from recycled plastic collected from beaches around the world—breaking a sweat never looked so eco-chic.

New Balance

If the ultralight, sock-like shoes stocking the shelves of Nike and Adidas just don't provide enough support for you, then New Balance will be your best friend. The brand's shoes are more structured around the foot, keeping you feeling secure as you pound the pavement.


Like New Balance, ASICS running shoes are designed for those looking to stay secure as they train for their next marathon. Both of the pairs below are flexible enough to keep your stride feeling natural but will cushion your feet far beyond mile 26.


If you're looking for a pair of solid sneakers that will take you seamlessly from your run to your workout class without breaking the bank, Puma is a good place to start. Plus, many of its most recent styles have a bit of a chunky, '90s flair to them, so you'll be able to style them up outside of the gym as well.


Saucony makes some of the best running shoes on the market—and it's more than likely your friend who clocks in five miles before work every morning swears by them. The brand makes shoes to meet the needs of nearly all runners (if you have shin splints or flat feet, this is a great place to look for something specifically geared to you), but these two pairs should fit the bill for just about everyone.

Under Armour

Under Armour is better known for its HIIT-ready sneakers and sports bras, but you can't go wrong with a pair of the brand's running shoes. Lace up the pairs below for an easygoing trail run or a solid sweat session on the treadmill.

Next, discover the best running shoes for your foot type.