Many things make a great run: an epic playlist, the perfect sports bra and a great route. But the right running shoes? Well, they have to be at the top of the list. Comfort, of course, is vital (you don't want those dreaded blisters, right?), but without a good pair of running shoes to support your feet, you'll also leave yourself open to all kinds injuries that could sabotage your training. Whether you're just getting started and finding your stride or are weeks deep in marathon prep, we'd guess things are tough enough already without dodgy trainers tripping you up.
Even if you're just running for the joy of it, who needs those easily avoidable niggles?
So whether you're partial to Nikes or New Balance, are looking for something with super support, extra cushioning, or prefer a soft shoe that moves with you, we've tapped five women who are putting serious sneakers through their paces (literally) every day to help you find the best pair of running shoes out there. From marathons and trail runs to pounding the pavements of city streets, keep scrolling for their picks of the best running shoes that'll give you the boost you need.
The Runner: Laura Murray, five-time marathon runner and Science in Sport ambassador
The Shoes: Nike LunarGlide 9 Running Shoes (£114)
The Verdict: "I love Nike Lunarglides; I've trained for and run each of my marathons in these. They're a stable shoe, but light and soft so you feel like you are still able to move with ease."
Follow Laura: @murraylaura
The Runner: Susie Chan, endurance runner and Guinness World Record holder
The Shoes: Hoka Challenger ATR 4 (£114)
The Verdict: "I love running in Hokas—particularly the Challenger ATR 4—as they have good support and cushioning. They're also a hybrid, so I can use them on both road and summer trails. Great for the long run."
Follow Susie: @susie_chan_
The Runner: Adrienne Herbert, personal trainer and co-founder of Get to Know
The Shoes: Adidas UltraBoost Shoes (£150)
The Verdict: "I've been running for about five years, and I tried lots of different running shoes until I discovered the Adidas UltraBoost. They are without a doubt my favourite running shoe now. The sole is made from the Adidas signature 'Boost technology', which is super bouncy and cushioned.
"I also love that you can now buy UltraBoost Parley shoes that have been made from recycled plastic marine pollution. So you can lace up for your run and know that you're helping to save the planet, too."
Follow Adrienne: @adrienneldn
The Shoes: On Shoes Cloudflow (£120)
The Verdict: "I'm loving On running shoes right now because the design is so different to a lot of shoes on the market. I'm currently wearing the Cloudflows, which have On's unique 'CloudTec' sole that responds to different runners' gaits. It's seriously bouncy whilst providing extreme cushioning and protection from impact."
Follow Charlie: @therunnerbeans
The Runner: Tashi Skervin-Clarke, personal trainer and middle distance runner
The Shoes: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 (£125)
The Verdict: "My go-to long distance shoe has to be the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8. They got me around this year's London Marathon with all my toenails intact, and I love how they feel on my feet during long runs—soft yet sturdy and also super lightweight. They're perfect for when you want to add a couple of faster miles to your training.
"For shorter and faster runs, it's got to be the Nike Epic React Flyknit (£130). Not only do they come in the most gorgeous colourways, but they also feel so good to wear. Whether it's a 5km, 10km, or 400m repeats on the track, when I put those on, I mean business."
Follow Tashi: @tashi_skervinclarke
Next: want to learn how to run faster? Let us show you.