The Best Lightweight Running Shoes in 2024 (2024)

Updated: January 11, 2024

The Best Lightweight Running Shoes in 2024 (1)

Running is hard enough on the body; we don't need heavy shoes to make it even harder! Thus, many runners consider weight to be a primary factor when it comes to buying a new pair of running shoes. Not too long ago, the amount of cushioning correlated with the weightiness of a shoe. Unfortunately, that put runners in a position of having to choose between a decent amount of cushioning or having a lightweight shoe, but thankfully, this is no longer the case. With the massive innovations we've seen in shoe technology, which includes foams getting lighter than ever, runners can now enjoy the best of both worlds!

However, for runners who still enjoy minimalist shoes and staying connected to the ground, there are still shoes out there to quench that thirst. In the end, we can all agree that it's a major "W" for all runners that shoes are more lightweight than ever. To help you decide which type of lightweight shoe fits your running lifestyle the best, we've compiled a list of our current top lightweight running shoes.

What Are Lightweight Running Shoes?

Let's start with the basics—what exactly are we talking about when we say "lightweight running shoe?" Not too long ago, it was not uncommon to judge whether a shoe was lightweight just by looking at the number on the scale. Anything under 9 oz (in a Men's US 9) would be considered by many to fit the definition of a lightweight running shoe. In today's running world, there are multiple factors to consider (in addition to weight), which we believe is actually a good thing. Here at Running Warehouse, we consider the following factors when determining if a shoe is lightweight:

  • Weight to Cushioning Ratio - As we've discussed, you no longer have to choose between the weight of a shoe and the amount of cushioning it has. With midsole foams continuing to get lighter and lighter, you can find many excellent shoes that contain a lot of cushioning without being absolute clunkers. Thus, we take into account how much a shoe weighs in relation to the amount of cushioning it has.
  • How the shoe feels on foot - Another way we evaluate the weight of a shoe is by how it feels on foot and on the run. If the midsole cushioning of a shoe delivers a responsive ride, then you will have an easier time with your leg turnover, thereby increasing your running economy. The geometry of a shoe can also make a big difference in the underfoot feel. Shoes with a rockered geometry allow smoother heel-to-toe transitions, which can make the shoe feel lighter during your run.
  • What the shoe is best used for - The best purpose and designed use of a shoe will also determine whether it is considered a lightweight running shoe. For example, shoes that are designed to make you go fast should be lighter than shoes made to deliver a plush ride for easy efforts. Thus, it is important to compare the weight of a shoe within its same shoe category and not across categories.

What Are the Benefits of Lightweight Running Shoes?

Why does the weight of a running shoe matter anyway? Well, think about some of the goals we have as runners. Generally speaking, we want to run often, further, and faster, right? Here's how a lightweight running shoe could help accomplish those goals:

  • Energy Savings - Let's talk about lifting weights for a minute. We all know it is easier to lift a 5lb weight vs. a 10lb weight, which means a person could do more reps with the 5lb weight. The same goes for runningit takes less effort for your legs to turnover in lightweight shoes, saving you energy. That energy savings allows us to run longer.
  • Run Faster - It's no coincidence that running shoes built for speed workouts and race day are much lighter than shoes in other running shoe categories. Lighter shoes mean less weight on our feet, which in turn allows for faster turnover. When combined with a responsive foam and rockered geometry, your turnover is even faster, and your speed increases.
The Best Lightweight Running Shoes
CATEGORYSHOE
Best Overall Lightweight Running Shoe

ASICS Superblast

Men's | Women's

Best Lightweight Running Shoe for Racing

Nike Vaporfly 3

Men's | Women's

Best Lightweight and Highly Cushioned Running Shoe

ASICS Novablast

Men's | Women's

Best Lightweight Daily Trainer

Topo Athletic Cyclone 2

Men's | Women's

Best Lightweight Running Shoe for Beginners

HOKA Clifton 9

Men's | Women's

Best Lightweight Stability Shoe

Saucony Tempus

Men's | Women's

Best Lightweight Shoe for Fast Runs

New Balance Rebel v3

Men's | Women's

Best Lightweight Shoe for Trail Runs

HOKA Zinal 2

Men's | Women's

Best Budget-Friendly Lightweight Running Shoe

Brooks Launch 10

Men's | Women's

...

BEST OVERALL LIGHTWEIGHT RUNNING SHOE

ASICS Superblast

8.3 oz/235 g (Men's US 9)

The Best Lightweight Running Shoes in 2024 (2)

Exhibit A, in the case of proving running shoes can be both highly cushioned and incredibly lightweight, is the ASICS Superblast. Coming in at a trim 8.3 ounces and an eye-popping 45 mm of stack in the heel, there is simply no other shoe like it. This shoe does not contain any plate in the midsole, but not to worry, the Superblast still has the energy return and snappiness to handle speed workouts. Additionally, thanks to its level of cushioning, it still offers the protection needed to feel amazing at any distance, making this shoe perfect for marathoners who have multiple 20+ mile efforts on the training calendar. For more on the Superblast, check out our full review.

Who This Shoe is For

  • Runners who prefer a slightly firm underfoot feel.
  • Runners who want a max cushioned shoe.
  • Suitable for runners of any experience level, but runners who mix in speed workouts and long runs will get the most of it.

Who This Shoe is Not For

  • Runners on a tight budget.
  • Runners who enjoy a more connected to the ground underfoot experience.
  • Runners who want a lightweight shoe with a carbon or nylon plate.

Shop Men's ASICS Superblast

Shop Women's ASICS Superblast

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT SHOE FOR RACING

Nike Vaporfly Next% 3

6.5 oz/184g (Men's US 9)

The Best Lightweight Running Shoes in 2024 (3)

Since the introduction of the OG Vaporfly years ago, Nike has been an industry leader in the development of super shoe technology, and the Nike Vaporfly 3 proves the brand is as strong as ever. This shoe represents the best of both worlds for its weight-to-cushioning ratio. We're talking almost 40mm of ZoomX foam and a powerful carbon-fiber Flyplate in a 6.5-ounce package. From 5K races to full marathons, your old PRs don't stand a chance once you lace these up and toe the line. For more on the Vaporfly 3, check out our full review.

Who This Shoe is For

  • Runners who have time based goals for their upcoming race(s).
  • Runners who want the latest and greatest shoe technology.

Who This Shoe is Not For

  • Runners on a budget.
  • Runners with wider feet.

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT AND HIGHLY CUSHIONED RUNNING SHOE

ASICS Novablast 4

9.0 oz/255 g (Men's US 9)

The Best Lightweight Running Shoes in 2024 (4)

Striking an incredible balance between weight and soft cushioning is the ASICS Novablast 4. Another versatile offering from ASICS that has many similarities to the ASICS Superblast, but the primary difference (which is the reason why the Novablast sits in this category) is the soft and bouncy cushioning in the midsole. Although the Novablast has a shorter stack height than the Superblast, it is still highly cushioned and offers an overall softer and plusher underfoot experience than the Superblast.

The Novablast is an all-around running shoe that will perform well at almost any run at any speed or distance. It does not have a carbon or nylon plate in the midsole, but the FF Blast+ Eco midsole cushioning offers fantastic pop that quickly gets runners on their toes. Moreover, the tall stack of foam delivers solid protection for your feet and legs, making it easy to log double-digit runs regularly. For more on the ASICS Novablast, check out our full review.

Who This Shoe is For

  • Runners who love soft and bouncy cushioning.
  • Runners who prioritize versatility over specialty.

Who This Shoe is Not For

  • Runners who enjoy being more connected to the ground.
  • Runners who want a shoe with a carbon or nylon plate.

Shop Men's ASICS Novablast

Shop Women's ASICS Novablast

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT DAILY TRAINER

Topo Athletic Cyclone 2

6.7 oz/190 g (Men's US 9)

The Best Lightweight Running Shoes in 2024 (5)

If having the most lightweight shoe is a priority to you, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better daily training and all-around option than the Topo Cyclone 2. Although the Cyclone 2 excels as a speed training shoe that can even handle some racing, it still makes for a fantastic daily trainer thanks to the comfort of the upper and the protective Pebax Powered cushioning in the midsole. Additionally, the Cyclone 2 offers an accommodating fit in the forefoot for those who prefer a little more room to splay their toes. At $150, the Cyclone represents an incredible value that can be enjoyed by any runner who wants the lightest shoe possible for their daily training needs. For more on the Cyclone 2, check out our full review.

Who This Shoe is For

  • Runners who prioritize weight over cushioning.
  • Runners who enjoy a more connected to the ground underfoot experience.
  • Those with wider feet or runners who want a roomier toe box.

Who This Shoe is Not For

  • Runners who want a shoe with a carbon or nylon plate.
  • Runners who want a max cushioned shoe.

Shop Men's Topo Cyclone 2

Shop Women's Topo Cyclone 2

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT RUNNING SHOE FOR BEGINNERS

HOKA Clifton 9

9.0 oz/255 g (Men's US 9)

The Best Lightweight Running Shoes in 2024 (6)

The HOKA Clifton 9 is a fan-favorite running shoe that offers a great blend of cushioning and ultra-lightweight materials, making it perfect for all runners, especially those new to the sport. The high stack of cushioning is soft, responsive, and highly protective, which translates to your legs not feeling beat up after your runs. Although the Clifton 9 is not going to be the fastest option, it can still do the job if you decide to pick up the pace or put it through a speed workout.

Overall, the HOKA Clifton 9 fulfills every need of anyone looking for an outstanding neutral everyday running shoe that can handle a wide variety of runs and walks. For more on the Clifton 9, check out our full review.

Who This Shoe is For

  • Beginner runners who want a reliable and proven all-around running shoe.
  • Runners who enjoy max cushioning.

Who This Shoe is Not For

  • Runners who prioritize weight over cushioning.
  • Runner who regularly use their daily trainer for speed workouts.
  • Runners who want a carbon or nylon plate.

Shop Men's Clifton

Shop Women's Clifton

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT STABILITY RUNNING SHOES

Saucony Tempus

9.1 oz/258 g (US Men's 9)

The Best Lightweight Running Shoes in 2024 (7)

Bringing energy and bounce to the world of stability shoes is the Saucony Tempus, a lightweight stability running shoe that can do it all. With the Saucony Tempus, runners who need extra support and guidance during their gait cycle no longer have to sacrifice their need for speed. Coming in at 9.1 ounces and with the addition of PWRRUN PB super foam as part of the PWRRUN DUO midsole, the Tempus has the tooling to help get you through your speed day workouts. Complementing the PWRRUN PB foam is a U-shaped PWRRUN frame that helps to stabilize the soft and bouncy PWRRUN PB and offers overpronators a stable platform to keep their strides efficient. Overall, the Saucony Tempus delivers the perfect blend of speed and support in a lightweight package and has everything overpronators need to enjoy every run. For more on the Saucony Tempus, check out our full review.

Who This Shoe is For

  • Runners who overpronate and need extra support.
  • Runners who want a versatile stability shoe.

Who This Shoe is Not For

  • Runners who don't require extra support and are looking for a lighter or faster option.
  • Runners who want a shoe with a carbon or nylon plate.

Shop Men's Saucony Tempus

Shop Women's Saucony Tempus

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT RUNNING SHOES FOR FAST RUNS

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3

7.1 oz/201g (Men's US 9)

The Best Lightweight Running Shoes in 2024 (8)

For the runner who loves speed workouts, it's vital to have a shoe that can deliver the performance needed to get you ready for race day, and the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 is an excellent lightweight option to fulfill that mission. Thanks to the lightweight slab of FuelCell foam in the midsole, there is no need to sacrifice comfort.

Coming in with 31 mm of stack and a weight of 7.1 ounces in Men's US 9, the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 offers an excellent weight-to-cushioning ratio, making it our favorite lightweight running shoe for speed days. The soft and bouncy FuelCell foam in the midsole delivers a highly energetic ride, helping you get up to speed quickly and running fast. Even though this latest iteration added just a bit of weight from the previous version, it is unnoticeable on the run and doesn't hold the shoe back. Although this shoe can handle some daily training, it wants to go fast, so you may consider reserving these for your fastest efforts. For more on the Rebel v3, check out our full review.

Who This Shoe is For

  • Runners who incorporate multiple days of speed workouts in a week.
  • Runners who prioritize weight over cushioning.

Who This Shoe is Not For

  • Runners who want a shoe with a carbon or nylon plate.

Shop Men's Rebel v3

Shop Women's Rebel v3

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT TRAIL RUNNING SHOES

HOKA Zinal 2

7.4 oz/209 g (Men's US 9)

The Best Lightweight Running Shoes in 2024 (9)

If you're looking for the most lightweight and nimble running shoe to go fast on the trails, the HOKA Zinal 2 is a great option. Whether you're out for a training run or lacing them up for a shorter race (up to a half-marathon), the Zinal 2 delivers in a big way. The CMEVA midsole is protective and responsive, while the outsole features fantastic grip and traction thanks to the Vibram Megagrip rubber lugs, and the upper wraps the foot nicely thanks to its bootie construction and sock-like fit. All these ingredients combine to offer an incredibly lightweight and exciting ride. For more on the HOKA Zinal 2, check out our full review.

Who This Shoe is For

  • Speedy Trail blazers.
  • Runners who like to feel connected to the trails.

Who This Shoe is Not For

  • Runners who enjoy maximum protection.

Shop Men's HOKA Zinal

Shop Women's HOKA Zinal

BEST BUDGET-FRIENDLY LIGHTWEIGHT RUNNING SHOE

Brooks Launch 10

8.2 oz/232g (Men's US 9)

The Best Lightweight Running Shoes in 2024 (10)

If you're looking for a lightweight running shoe to log your miles without breaking the bank, let us introduce you to the Brooks Launch 10. At 8.2 oz, the Launch 10 offers fantastic value by delivering a lightweight and versatile running shoe suitable for runners of any experience level. Whether you plan on running to the gym or meeting a friend for coffee post-run, the Launch will help make those transitions easy and smooth. For more on the Brooks Launch 10, check out our full review.

Who This Shoe is For

  • Runners on a budget who prioritize weight over cushioning.
  • Runners who enjoy feeling connected to the ground.

Who This Shoe is Not For

  • Runners who regularly incorporate long runs of 10+ miles will want to consider a shoe with more cushioning.

Shop Men's Brooks Launch

Shop Women's Brooks Launch

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The Best Lightweight Running Shoes in 2024 (2024)

FAQs

The Best Lightweight Running Shoes in 2024? ›

, lightweight running shoes do help you feel more nimble. But lighter may not always mean better. With reduced weight, there may come a trade-off in cushioning, support, durability, or price. In addition, the type of running, terrain, and runner's body also dictate the appropriate weight range of shoes.

What is the lightest running shoe on the market? ›

If running shoes get any lighter, we may just float away!
  • On Cloudflow 4: 7 oz (W), 8.2 oz (M) ...
  • Hoka Rocket X 2: 6.7 oz (W), 8.3 oz (M) ...
  • New Balance FuelCell SC Elite v3: 6.6 oz (W), 8 oz (M) ...
  • Brooks Hyperion Max: 6.7 oz (W), 7.8 oz (M) ...
  • Saucony Endorphin Elite: 6.5 oz (W), 7.2 oz (M)
Dec 15, 2023

What running shoes are in style in 2024? ›

The Best Running Shoes Coming in 2024
  • Hoka Tecton X 3, $275. Spec Weight: 10.5 oz. ...
  • Salomon S/Lab Spectur, $250. ...
  • Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra, $220. ...
  • Puma Fast-R 2 Nitro Elite, $260. ...
  • Brooks Catamount Agil, $180. ...
  • La Sportiva Prodigio, $155. ...
  • Merrell MTL Skyfire 2 Matryx, $210. ...
  • New Balance FreshFoam SuperComp Elite 4, $250.
Apr 1, 2024

Are lightweight running shoes better? ›

, lightweight running shoes do help you feel more nimble. But lighter may not always mean better. With reduced weight, there may come a trade-off in cushioning, support, durability, or price. In addition, the type of running, terrain, and runner's body also dictate the appropriate weight range of shoes.

What is the absolute best running shoe? ›

The best running shoes you can buy today
  1. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40. Best running shoe overall. ...
  2. Brooks Glycerin 21. Best budget running shoe. ...
  3. Saucony Ride 17. Best value running shoe. ...
  4. Brooks Ghost 15. ...
  5. Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2. ...
  6. New Balance FuelCell SC Elite v4. ...
  7. Nike Invincible 3. ...
  8. New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13.
Apr 19, 2024

What is considered a light weight shoe? ›

Anything under 9 oz (in a Men's US 9) would be considered by many to fit the definition of a lightweight running shoe. In today's running world, there are multiple factors to consider (in addition to weight), which we believe is actually a good thing.

Which company makes the best running shoes? ›

12 Best Running Shoe Companies for 2024
  • Brooks.
  • HOKA.
  • ASICS.
  • Nike.
  • On Running.
  • Adidas.
  • Saucony.
  • Altra.
Jan 12, 2024

Is Veja still trendy in 2024? ›

It is a high possibility that you came across them while on the streets, becoming familiar with their distinctive “V” signature.

Do lighter running shoes make a difference? ›

The group found that adding just 100g (~3.5oz) to the same pair of shoes increased the aerobic demand of running by 1% - a stat you'll often see when reading up on running shoes and the effect of their weight.

Do more expensive running shoes make a difference? ›

The price tag on running shoes does not and will not influence risks of developing running injuries. There are many more important factors that influence running injuries, but footwear cost is certainly not one of them,” says Max R.

Should running shoes be heavy or light? ›

In time and over the course of the running distance, the difference in shoe weight simply adds up. This might mean you want the shoe lighter if the distance is bigger, but in reality, it's usually the opposite. Ideally, for the race day, you'll look for a lightweight, snug running shoe.

What are the most comfortable trainers to wear all day? ›

7 Best Shoes For Standing All Day in 2024
  • Best overall. Nike Motiva.
  • Best slip-on. On Cloud 5.
  • Best cushioning. Hoka Transport.
  • Best rocker. KEEN WK400.
  • Best arch support. Skechers Arch Fit 2.0.
  • Best slip-resistant. Hoka Bondi SR.
  • Best budget. Skechers Summits.
Apr 10, 2024

Which type of shoes are best for daily use? ›

1. Athletic Shoes are the most ideal footwear for sports and physical activities. 2. Sandals are casual open-toe footwear for daily use in any and every weather condition.

How much do Hoka running shoes weigh? ›

How It Compares
Clifton 9Bondi 8
UseDaily RunningMax Cushioned Daily Running
RideBalancedPlush
WeightM 8.7 oz. 248g W 7.3 oz. 205gM 10.8 oz. 307g W 8.9 oz. 252g
GeometryM 32mm heel, 27mm forefoot W 29mm heel, 24mm forefootM 33mm heel 29mm forefoot W 31mm heel 27mm forefoot
1 more row

How much should a lightweight running shoe weigh? ›

Lightweight does not always mean low-stacked
Stack heights of lightest running shoes
NameWeightHeel stack
Brooks Hyperion Tempo6.98 oz (198g)28.7 mm
Saucony Endorphin Pro+7.09 oz (201g)35.9 mm
Nike Alphafly 37.09 oz (201g)38.1 mm
7 more rows
Apr 25, 2024

How much do Hoka shoes weigh? ›

How It Compares
Clifton 9Bondi 8
UseDaily RunningMax Cushioned Daily Running
RideBalancedPlush
WeightM 8.7 oz. 248g W 7.3 oz. 205gM 10.8 oz. 307g W 8.9 oz. 252g
GeometryM 32mm heel, 27mm forefoot W 29mm heel, 24mm forefootM 33mm heel 29mm forefoot W 31mm heel 27mm forefoot
1 more row

How much do whitin barefoot shoes weigh? ›

The 5 Best Barefoot Shoes of 2024
Vibram V-Trail 2.0Whitin Cross Trainer
Stack Height5.7 mm (3.7 mm base + 2 mm insole)6.5 mm (5 mm base + 1.5 mm insole)
Heel to Toe drop0 mm0 mm
Measured Weight (per shoe)7.3 oz (size 43EU)10.2 oz (size 43EU)
Outsole3.7mm, Vibram megagrip rubber w/3D cocoon meshRubber
16 more rows
Apr 9, 2024

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