Investing in a pair of the best running shoes for concrete is well worth the money. These shoes are designed specifically for harder surfaces like concrete and asphalt to help minimize impact, improve comfort and keep you injury free throughout training.
Do you need different running shoes for concrete?
Road running often involves spending the majority of training running on concrete. Surfaces like concrete and asphalt are much harder than trails and even the track. These hard surfaces are very unforgiving, resulting in heavy impact and minimal comfort.
Running shoes for concrete are designed with this in mind. These types of shoes offer more support and cushioning to minimize the impact on joints, tendons and ligaments during a run.
What are the best running shoes for concrete?
After some extensive research, we’ve narrowed down our top 8 choices of the best running shoes for concrete. Jump to the detailed reviews, or check out the quick guide here.
- Brooks Glycerin 20
- Hoka Clifton 9
- Asics Gel-Kayano 29
- Hoka Bondi 8
- Saucony Triumph 20
- New Balance Fresh Foam X More
- Saucony Cohesion 16
- Altra Paradigm 6
What to look for in concrete running shoes?
If you don’t have a particular concrete running shoe in mind, it can be very difficult to decipher between the plethora of running shoes on the market. Understanding what features to look for will help you decide which are best for concrete and asphalt, and which are better for softer surfaces.
Here are some of the most important features to look for when selecting running shoes for concrete.
- Responsive Cushioning: helps absorb some of the impact from hard surfaces to protect the joints from excess stress
- Heel Drop: the difference in height between the heel and forefoot of the shoe – lower heel drop is better for midfoot strikers, as it removes some impact form the lower leg
- Stability and Support: prevents pronation and sloppy footwork; encourages a healthy running form and foot placement
- Gel or EVA footbeds: another source of stability in road running shoes that help prevent overpronation
- Comfort and Durability: road running shoes should be breathable and comfortable for the duration of your run
- Arch support: needs will vary depending on your level of pronation – overpronators often require stability or motion control shoes, while neutral pronation typically need a neutral shoe
Finding the right level of cushioning for your feet is key to selecting concrete running shoes. Since concrete is the hardest surface, most runners need more cushion in these types of shoes versus trail or track shoes.
In addition, distance runners often require extra cushioning to support the lengthy time spent on their feet during long runs or high mileage training.
While each runner will have a different preference when it comes to specific brands and the feel of each shoe, it is important to first sort out running shoes designed for concrete versus those designed for other surfaces.
Types of Road Running Shoes for Concrete and Pavement
All running shoes for concrete are designed to provide the cushioning and stability needed to protect your joints from unnecessary impact. However, within this category of running shoes, there are still a few different varieties from which to choose.
- Long run shoes: provide the most support and cushioning. These shoes are designed with the greatest shock absorption and comfort to protect your feet for extended periods of time.
- Racing shoes: these shoes are the lightest weight with the lowest amounts of cushioning and comfort. Racing shoes are designed with a narrower cut to allow runners to reach maximum speeds for shorter distances.
- Tempo shoes: these shoes have a narrower cut with a moderate amount of cushioning. They’re designed to allow faster speeds while still providing some comfort.
The Best Shoes for Running on Concrete
**Note: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. However, ALL opinions are my own.
We’ve narrowed down some of the best running shoes for concrete on the market in 2024. These shoes all provide extended comfort, with responsive cushioning and the stability needed for hard surfaces like concrete.
Brooks Glycerin 20
The Brooks Glycerin are designed for road running, with soft cushioning to minimize the impact of concrete. The nitrogen infused midsole and 10 mm heel drop are intended to cushion landings and encourage smooth transitions.
Hoka Clifton 9
The Hoka Clifton’s are an excellent choice for staying injury free in everyday running on concrete. These shoes are lightweight and designed with a responsive foam cushioning to provide support and comfort.
Asics Gel-Kayano 29
The Asics Gel-Kayano provide stability, comfort and support for daily road running. These lightweight shoes provide a rebound in each step, supporting both neutral landing and overpronation.
A great option for beginners, these concrete running shoes prevent the foot from rolling too far inward while also offering responsive support to minimize injury from impact.
Hoka Bondi 8
This soft, lightweight shoe is ultra-cushioned and perfect for the heavy impact that comes with running on concrete. The Hoka Bondi 8 provides well-rounded support for all runners, from heel strikers to forefoot runners.
The 4mm heel drop provides neutral stability that is symmetrical, and when combined with maximum cushioning, it creates well-rounded support and optimal injury protection.
Saucony Triumph 20
The Saucony Triumph 20 provides foam cushioning with maximum support to offset impact and reduce pressure. A 10mm heel drop means that these shoes are great for beginners runners or heel strikers seeking injury protection.
New Balance Fresh Foam X More
These road running shoes use maximum fresh foam to provide the ultimate support with each step. The unique design offers a wide platform and cushioning for high impact foot strikes.
New Balance’s Fresh Foam X More collection is great for distance runners who do a majority of training on concrete.
Saucony Cohesion 16
The Cohesion 16 shoes are an excellent budget-friendly option for road running. A 12 mm heel drop helps reduce pressure with each step, while VERSARUN cushioning absorbs impact and helps protect from injury during training.
Altra Paradigm 6
The Altra Paradigm 6 was designed and updated in collaboration with Kara Goucher. The 0 mm heel drop makes it a great choice for forefoot strikers. In addition, a high stack height of 30 mm with responsive cushioning protects and comforts runners on concrete.
Finding supportive and responsive running shoes for concrete can make all the difference in injury prevention and training success over time. With the right design, running shoes can help prevent overuse injuries and chronic pains that are so often associated with road running.
Taking the time to do a little research, understand your own running style, and invest in a pair of high quality shoes will pay off in the long run – literally.