Top 10 Sneakers Favored by Elite Runners

Brooks was the brand of sneakers most favored by top finishers at the 2016 U.S.Olympic Marathon TrialsIf there’s one thing competitive runners know, it’s this: a foot or ankle injury is completely devastating. To keep running injuries at bay, they are extremely careful about the sneakers they select, and even casual runners like myself can learn a lot from seeing which shoes the pros choose to wear. Below, the top 10 favorite sneakers (based on shoes worn by the top 75 male and female finishers at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials) and the features that make them special, as observed by Business Insider:

10) Reebok

Number of top 150 finishers wearing Reebok: 2 

Top qualities: Surface control and handling, dependable platform, flexible

9) Hoka One One

Number of top 150 finishers wearing Hoka One One: 4 

Top qualities: Midsole that protects from impact and increases stability, easy heel to toe transition, roomy toe box

8) Mizuno

Number of top 150 finishers wearing Mizuno: 6 

Top qualities: Shock attenuation, efficient toe spring, durable

7) Saucony

Number of top 150 finishers wearing Saucony: 13

Top qualities: Moisture wicking, underfoot support, shock absorption 

6) New Balance

Number of top 150 finishers wearing New Balance: 14

Top qualities: Good traction, breathable, responsive heal to toe transition 

5) Sketchers

Number of top 150 finishers wearing Sketchers: 15

Top qualities: Good traction, soft fabric, roomy toe box

4) ASICS

Number of top 150 finishers wearing ASICS: 16

Top quality: Dependable but light, blister-free, stable

3) Adidas

Number of top 150 finishers wearing Adidas: 23

Top qualities: Flexible, balance in midfoot, propulsion mechanics

2) Nike

Number of top 150 finishers wearing Nike: 26

Top qualities: Lightweight, breathable, springy foam

1) Brooks

Number of top 150 finishers wearing Brooks: 27

Top qualities: Underfoot comfort, good traction, pronation control 

Having said all that, the most important thing to keep in mind when selecting running shoes is how the pair feels on your foot—no two runners have the same gait and/or biomechanics. If you are concerned about running injuries, schedule a consultation with Dr. Andrew Schneider today.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.