Best Running Shoes for Concrete

This is our review of the best running shoes for running on concrete.

If you’re here reading this review, it’s probably because your body is telling you it’s taking a beating on concrete pavements. As usual, we’ve done all the hard work, many hours of research, reading, and testing, so you don’t have to.

Our Picks for Best Running Shoes for Running on Concrete

Hoka One One Mach 4 (Most Versatile)
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit (Best for Everyday Workouts)
Brooks Glycerin 20 (Best for Heel Strikers)
On Cloudmonster (Best for Forefoot Strikers)
Saucony Triumph 19 (Best for Recovery)
New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo V5 (Best Stability Shoe)

Let’s Take a Closer Look

Hoka One One Mach 4 (Most Versatile)

Hoka states the intended use for the Hoka One One Mach 4 as an everyday trainer. While it absolutely does the job, the great thing about this shoe is that it can do so much more than that. If you don’t have a rotation with more than one running shoe, you want a shoe that can do everything you do, reasonably well, and this is where the Mach 4 shines.

With the new PROFLY foam they use in this model, the Mach offers a softer but more responsive ride than before. It offers protection against those hard concrete surfaces without slowing you down.

I find the 5mm drop makes them great for both heel and forefoot strikers.

Intended Use

Neutral everyday trainer

Features

Engineered mesh material intended to be breathable
Mesh Upper Anatomical
Achilles Construction (prevents tendon irritation)
PROFLY Midsole
Early Stage Meta-Rocker
Rubberized EVA Outsole

Pros

  • Slightly curved sole encourages propulsion
  • Extremely versatile
  • Very comfortable
  • Responsive midsole
  • Light weight and plush
  • Heel design controls impacts on downhills

Cons

  • Limited traction in wet conditions
  • Laces are too long and thin
  • Outsole wear quickly

Upper

The engineered mesh upper is light and breathable with the added anatomical Achilles tab being a bonus if you have sensitive Achilles’ tendons. The toe box offers more room than other Hoka models but it still provides a good lockdown in the mid-foot and heel for when you’re pushing the pace.

Midsole

PROFLY foam offers plenty of lightweight, cushioning and the Meta-Rocker adds to a smooth ride that performs equally well on fast paces and slow recovery runs.

Outsole

The blown rubber outsole keeps the weight down while improving durability.

Weight

M 8.2oz/232g
W 6.8oz/192g

Stack Height and Drop

M 29mm heel, 24mm forefoot, 5mm drop
W 27mm heel, 22mm forefoot, 5mm drop

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit (Best for Everyday Workouts)

The Nike ZoomX Invincible is probably called that way because it makes you feel invincible. It is a fun, everyday trainer that has lots of bounce and will have you looking forward to every run. It is not the lightest running shoe, but all that bounce helps that the shoe feels a lot lighter than it actually is.

The sole has a slightly odd shape and we’ve noticed that it might not provide enough support for heavier runners as well as someone who needs more stability.

Intended Use

Neutral everyday trainer

Features

Full-length ZoomX foam
Flyknit upper
Waffle rubber outsole
Cushioned heel collar

Pros

  • Fun, energetic ride
  • Lots of cushion
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Good for wide feet

Cons

  • Feels a little unstable at higher paces
  • Not suitable for runners who need support
  • Expensive

Upper

The Flyknit upper is super breathable, keeping your feet cool. It runs wider than Nike usually does but still gives a really solid, locked-in feel.

Midsole

Full-length ZoomX foam gives you a really fun, responsive ride with lots of cushioning but even more bounce. Rocker shaped.

Outsole

The waffle patterned, rubber outsole covers most of the foam and provides superb grip as well as improving durability.

Weight

M 11.07oz/314g
W 8.2oz/253g

Stack Height and Drop

M 36.6mm heel, 27.6mm forefoot, 9mm drop
W 35.4mm heel, 26.7mm forefoot, 9mm drop

Brooks Glycerin 20 (Best for Heel Strikers)

I’ll be honest, when I first put on the new Brooks Glycerin 20, it did not impress me. I don’t like the new look of the outsole, which looks a little plastic and sits like a wave around my foot when I look down. That being said, I forgot about all that as soon as I started moving.

I can no longer call the Glycerin, Brooks’ lazy shoe. The funky-looking midsole works. It’s by far the most responsive Glycerin yet. They’ve managed to retain all the comfort and cushion from before and added a little spunk to it.

I’ve always liked the Glycerin but this might be a new life for a shoe that has seemed a little boring next to its competitors. It’s still not a tempo or racing shoe but does the job of an everyday cushioned shoe that can handle both long and short runs, to perfection.

Intended Use

Neutral, cushioned everyday trainer

Features

Nitrogen-infused DNA LOFTv3 midsole
Engineered mesh upper OrthoLite
Sockliner

Pros

  • Exceptional quality
  • Good grip
  • Luxurious comfort
  • Plush cushioning
  • Responsive midsole
  • Smooth ride

Cons

  • You may need thicker socks to avoid blisters on long runs
  • It feels blocky
  • Poor acoustics on landing

Upper

This upper is the essence of luxury and comfort. The air mesh breathes well while holding your foot securely in place.

Midsole

Now featuring nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3, provides ample plush cushioning that’s responsive and lightweight.

Outsole

Durable rubber on all the high-abrasion areas ensures durability and the wide platform and flex grooves give you a smooth, easy ride.

Weight

M 10oz/286g
W 9.1oz/258g

Stack Height and Drop

M 10mm drop (Unable to verify stack height)
W 31mm heel, 21mm forefoot, 10mm drop

On Cloudmonster (Best for Forefoot Strikers)

I have not been an On fan till now, but this shoe has more than just me excited. On shoes all feature the cloud platform that comprises little honeycomb-shaped holes in the sole unit. The Cloudmonster’s holes are not that small and the shoe looks and feels different.

On calls it ‘Weird for a reason’ and weird it sure is. The massive CloudTec sole gives you a soft landing with lots of rebound that makes your run feel light and effortless.

These guys are also serious about the environment and most of the material in this shoe is recycled.

The sizing runs a little small, so consider a half size up.

Intended Use

Neutral Max cushioned shoe for everyday use

Features

Monster CloudTec
Speedboard
Recycled materials
Helion Super Foam midsole
Rocker

Pros

  • Maximum cushioning
  • Responsive
  • Cool looking shoe
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • The toebox is shallow causing some issues if you are between sizes
  • Not good for very uneven terrain
  • Heat-welded tape is being repoted to peel-off after 20 miles of wear
  • Rocks get stuck in the gap of the outsole/midsole
  • Pricey

Upper

Recycled Polyester upper keeps feet cool and dries quickly if it gets wet

Midsole

Very responsive midsole thanks to the Speedboard that sits above On’s CloudTec air pods. Great cushioning that has a nice bounce for a forefoot striker.

Outsole

Harder rubber added to high-abrasion areas

Weight

M 9.7oz/275g
W 8.1oz/230g

Stack Height and Drop

M 33mm heel, 27mm forefoot, 6mm drop
W 30mm heel, 27mm forefoot, 6mm drop

Saucony Triumph 19 (Best for Recovery)

When you’re already running with some pain the Saucony’s Triumph 19 is a fantastic shoe to look at. Its ultra-soft yet responsive ride will give you the ability to keep active while giving your body a chance to recover.

Intended Use

Neutral shoe for everyday use.

Features

Mono mesh upper
FORMFIT sock liner
Dual density PWRRUN+ and EVERUN midsole
XT-900 rubber outsole

Pros

  • Plush cushioning
  • Responsive midsole
  • Breathable upper
  • Recycled material
  • Durable

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Some runners don’t like the round laces

Upper

The mono mesh upper is lightweight and comfortable with a rigid and well-padded heel collar that locks your foot securely in place.

Midsole

Responsive dual-density midsole.

Outsole

XT-900 carbon rubber provides good traction and durability.

Weight

M 10.2oz/290g
W 9.1oz/259g

Stack Height and Drop

M 32.5mm heel, 24.5mm forefoot, 8mm drop
W 32.5mm heel, 24.5mm forefoot, 8mm drop

New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo V5 (Best Stability Shoe)

The Vongo V5 is a solid blend of stability and comfort that does exceptionally well on easy runs.

It handles everything from short runs to marathons and offers max cushioning with lots of arch support.

Intended Use

Stability shoe for everyday training

Features

Structured upper
High-density midsole foam on the medial side
Blown rubber outsole
Fresh Foam X
Rocker technology

Pros

  • Responsive
  • Roomy toe box
  • Plush cushioning
  • Light for a stability shoe
  • Good grip
  • Good for heavier runners
  • Breathable upper

Cons

  • The outsole doesn’t seem as durable. It shows some wear after only 70 miles.
  • Pricey

Upper

The upper runs slightly narrow in the mid-foot, consider the W (wide) version for wider feet.

Midsole

Denser foam pellets on the inside edge of the midsole is one feature that adds to its stability as well as the wider midsole.

Outsole

Blown rubber covers the high-abrasion areas with flex grooves, helping with a smooth transition.

Weight

M 9.9oz/280g
W 7.98oz/222g

Stack Height and Drop

M 34mm heel, 26mm forefoot, 8mm drop
W 34mm heel, 26mm forefoot, 8mm drop

What to Look Out for When Picking a Running Shoe for Running on Concrete

When buying a shoe for running on concrete, you want to make sure that it has enough cushioning without being overly squishy. If it’s too soft, it might save your feet but cause knee and hip pain in the long run.

Upper

Look for a breathable upper as concrete that bakes in the sun can cause your feet to become unbearably hot.

Midsole

You want the midsole to have lots of relatively firm, responsive cushion.

Outsole

It is easier to slip on concrete than on asphalt, so make sure the shoes you pick have a good grip.

FAQs – Best Running Shoes For Concrete

Can Running on Concrete Cause Injuries?

Running on hard surfaces puts more stress on specific parts of the body causing injuries such as inflammation of the Achilles tendon, shin splints, and stress fractures. Conversely, running on soft surfaces can make you prone to ankle twisting due to irregularities of the ground.

You can reduce the risk of injuries from running on concrete by investing in good-quality running shoes with plenty of cushioning and support.

Another way to reduce the risk of injury is to switch up your running routine to include a variety of surfaces. 

Why Running in Concrete Hurts More Than Other Surfaces?

When running on concrete most of the energy of your footfall is reflected back into your body, this is because concrete is one of the hardest surfaces to run on. 

To avoid pain when running on concrete you must have an adequate running form to efficiently use the energy that the ground is reflecting into your body. 

If you experience pain while running on concrete you should look into your running form or the type of shoes you are using. The best running shoes for running on concrete should be well cushioned.

How Often Should I Replace Running Shoes When Running On Concrete?

Typically running shoes last between 300 to 400 miles, depending on the running habits and type of pronation.

Keep an eye on:

  • Any sign of reduction in the cushioning
  • Sole asymmetrically worn or
  • Shoe upper tearing

But if your running shoes are not showing any of those signs you may be able to wear them longer. 

Are Trail Running Shoes Also Good For Concrete?

No, if you are thinking about long runs. The design of the trail running shoes is dramatically different from the running shoes specifically designed for pavement, concrete, or other hard surfaces.

The design of the trail running shoes focuses on maximum traction and grip.

For short or leisure runs it is safe to use trail running shoes on concrete.

Final Thoughts

Concrete is definitely harder on your feet and legs than other surfaces, so if you usually run with cushioned shoes, you might be okay. If, however, your usual shoes have less cushioning, I strongly recommend you get one of the above shoes for your runs on concrete.

The Hoka One One Mach 4 will give you the most versatile shoe for running on concrete and will be a great addition to anyone’s shoe rotation or as a stand-alone.

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