Five Best Neutral Running Shoes for Men: Natural Pronation Tips
Good Neutral Runners For Men? 2017 Reviews
If you're a fan of jogging or running, you probably already know that the right shoes will make or break your run. They will not only make your run more enjoyable and allow you to run farther and faster, they also help prevent a myriad of health issues. Finding the best neutral running shoes for men can, depending on how you run, greatly improve your overall experience.
Men's neutral running shoes have a lot of advantages over "all-purpose" solutions. They provide a stable platform without too much padding, letting you run in as natural a fashion as possible. Unlike traditional models that have a lot of cushioning and padding, neutral runners tend to try to minimize the amount of excess support provided.
If you're searching directly for a good men's neutral running shoe, chances are you already have a good understanding of how they work. But just in case you don't, we'll briefly touch on pronation and how that affects your running health. Then we'll look at five of my favorite runners, giving pros and cons for each set. Hopefully this will help you make an informed purchase and stay healthy.
Pronation Types Explained:
If you're planning to buy a pair of the best neutral running shoes for men, you should probably understand a bit about pronation before you dive in. Pronation is essentially a measurement of the way in which your foot rolls as it hits the ground when you run. Pronation is not a bad thing, as it's nature's shock absorber, but it does affect the type of shoe you should wear. Here are some more details:
Neutral (or normal) pronation is when your foot does not roll excessively in either direction. Your shoes should wear in an 'S' shaped pattern if you have normal pronation. You're somewhat lucky in that a wide variety of shoes will work for you, but a good set of neutral running shoes for men is the ideal choice for comfort and efficiency.
Underpronation happens when your foot actually doesn't pronate much at all. Your foot tends to hit the ground and not roll much, and the outside edge of your shoe does most of the work. You'll notice that your shoes are wearing along the outside if that's the case for you. Underpronators experience a greater degree of shock when they impact the ground, and they should seek a good neutral men's running shoe to counteract this effect.
Overpronation occurs when there is excessive pronation, and it means that your foot rolls a lot when you're running. This also means that the foot is rolling in the later stages of your gait, which is bad news for your knees and hips. You'll see a lot of wear on the inside edge of your shoes. Overpronation is the only circumstance where neutral men's running shoes are not the ideal choice, as you'll want something with a lot more support to counteract the roll.
New Balance M890: Stylish Neutral Jogging Shoes for Guys
New Balance was one of the first brands to pick up on the need for producing great quality men's neutral running shoes, and this is an example of that technology. The M890 is an extremely popular item due to its combination of comfort, low weight and great price point.
Right away you'll notice how light these shoes are, they really are close to wearing no shoes at all. The foam and mesh design allows for greater breathing so they won't get too hot while you run. The foam midsole and removable Abzorb insole give you plenty of shock absorption should you require it.
These shoes hug your feet nicely and give a firm, planted feel no matter what kind of running you are doing.
Another nice feature is the tread is durable, so you won't have to replace them right away due to wear. It's definitely one of the best pairs of men's neutral running shoes on the market, and I recommend most New Balance products.
Saucony Triumph 9: Lightweight, neutral pronation, comfortable
The Powergrid Triumph 9 are lightweight, neutral running shoes for men that have a lot going for them. They're extremely popular, and they combine a lot of great features that make them versatile and suitable for all sorts of running styles and pronations.
At 618 grams for the pair, they are among the most lightweight of the neutral men's running shoes listed here.
They have a flat midsole which reduces weight and also makes them ideal for those with normal pronation. They are remarkably good at reducing shock and minimizing strain on your hips and knees due to road impact, partially due to their 'power grid' technology that most Saucony shoes possess. It's all in the sole with these shoes, and they have a wonderful amount of grip so they're excellent all weather runners.
With light weight, excellent durability and attractive looks, this set checks all the boxes for me. It's definitely a set of neutral men's runners that I'd recommend.
Equation 8: Neutral-friendly running shoes for guys
ASICS is another company that has been producing neutral, lightweight men's running shoes for a long time. The Equation 8 series is one of their latest offerings, and it's a great one.
They are an extremely flexible set of shoes and they're intended for comfort and energy even if you have a varied running style. The outer shell is mostly mesh so you'll keep very cool and comfy while you run.
The sole is perfectly balanced for anyone with a neutral running style, and they have cleverly used higher density rubber in areas where a neutral or underpronated runner might experience significant wear, which means that they'll stand up to everyday punishment better than most. They have a natural, stable feel with plenty of support, and yet they are pretty lightweight despite that fact.
They take a week or so to 'wear in', so you'll need to be patient with them; your patience will be rewarded with these great men's neutral runners. (They also tend to run a hair small, so if you're right on the edge of a size, I'd buy a half-size up.)
Skora Form: Great neutral shoes for male runners
Skora is a brand that's all about minimalism in their products, and these Form men's neutral running shoes are a perfect example of that ethos. You will notice that the sole pattern on these shoes is the 'S' style that is most recommended for anyone with a natural pronation, but they're pretty good for underpronation too.
The sole was designed to be a natural extension of the shape of the human foot, and it will cushion the heel-toe action very nicely despite being small, lightweight and simple in tread.
When you wear them you'll notice that they are incredibly lightweight! These men's neutral running shoes don't have a lot of excess rubber in them so they save weight that way, and that means more energy and efficiency for you.
The top leather is perforated for comfort and air flow, and the sole is hardened rubber that will take a lot of punishment while providing just the right amount of cushioning and support.
If you like barefoot running but can't do it due to health concerns, these shoes are the next best thing to that sensation. They are definitely worth your time to check out.
SyncroFloat: Affordable men's neutral runners, great brand
I'm already a big fan of Pearl iZUMi because I'm familiar with their extensive line of great bike shoes. These are not bike related, but they're some of the best neutral running shoes for men for a few reasons. They are considered 'neutral plus', meaning that they're great for neutral pronation runners, but they have enough support for a bit of overpronation if you tend that way.
At just over 12 oz they're fairly lightweight, and they have a wonderful sole that's built for great support and good cushioning as you run. They've put emphasis on foam cushioning at the front of the shoe to reduce harsh impact and increase energy with each stride.
Their lacing system is nice because it gives you this great snug feeling without the shoe becoming too tight or chafing.
It's certainly the opposite of 'barefoot' running, but I frequently recommend this to men seeking good neutral running shoes, especially if they are heavier set and likely to experience more knee or ankle issues. Not everyone likes the minimalist feel, and this is definitely an option in the opposite direction. It's a great one.
So which one is the ideal choice for me?
If you're after a pair of lightweight running shoes for men and you're unsure what kind of pronation you have, there are some ways you can test it out.
- You can try wetting the bottoms of your feet and then jogging across a dry floor. Dry pavement on a warm day works well. Then analyze the footprints and see where your weight is being distributed while you run.
- Take photographs. Get someone to snap shots of your feet as you run, preferably photographed from behind. Look closely at the way your foot rolls. If it rolls inward or doesn't roll at all, chances are you're dealing with some sort of pronation.
- Investigate the wear patterns on your current runners. It's a pretty clear indicator!
Finding a good set of neutral running shoes for men isn't that difficult anymore. Many of the big brands are coming out with great, viable options. The best bet if you're looking to buy online is to read reviews carefully and check out what other customers have to say. If you're on the fence, keep in mind that most big online retailers will offer great return policies. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comment form below!