What You Need To Know
- Our favorite daily trainers of 2022 so far
- What’s a daily trainer? Whatever shoe you use to rack up most of your miles
- Doesn’t include race day/tempo shoes
- Think we missed one? Throw it in the comments
- Watch the YouTube version here
NOTE: We may make a small commission from some of the shop links below, so if you pick up a shoe on the list, thanks for helping us out!
Oh, how we love daily trainers. Never the most exciting shoes in our rotations, but always the most reliable. The daily trainer is always there for you if you want to head out for a few steady miles. However, when every running shoe brand has its own “Ol’ Reliable,” it can be tough to figure out which one is right for you. Luckily, we’ve had the chance to put a few miles in on some of the year’s best options. Here are our picks for the best daily trainers of 2022… so far.
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Obviously, these picks aren’t set in stone – we’re only halfway through the year! That said, these are our favorites so far. They’ve all earned their place for one reason or another — some new, some approaching their 40th birthday. There’s no way to know which of our daily trainer picks will work for your specific foot, but there’s bound to be a perfect Cinderella fit among them. Just, ya know, bippity boppity boo and pick your perfect shoe.
As always, our selections come from our own experiences. We get a lot of running shoes through the door here at Believe in the Run, and you better believe our review team has put the miles in. Also, there’s plenty of other great shoes that may have just missed the cutoff but you may enjoy for one reason or another (Skechers Ride 10, Asics Gel-Nimbus 24, Reebok Floatride Energy 4, Saucony Tempus). Not to mention shoes that we place in our tempo category that could probably double-down as a daily trainer for lots of runners (Saucony Endorphin Speed 3). We also try to stick to shoes that you can actually buy, but we’ll admit that a few of these daily trainers have yet to be released. They should land soon, though.
Lastly, we’ll leave you with this– we are in the golden age of running shoes and the same tech and materials that were new in racing shoes a few years ago are now trickling down into daily trainers. So let us be clear, there are a lot of good options out there that feel amazing underfoot. But these right here– these are our favorites.
» ASICS Novablast 3
Drop: 8mm | Price: $140
It’s funny how the pandemic skewed our perception of time. We were fully convinced that the Novablast 2 came out a full two years ago, but we’re occasionally happy to be wrong. No matter when it came out, the Novablast 3 is around the corner, and it’s spicier than ever. I don’t know if the ASICS team was catching up on anime episodes or what, but the midsole is out of this world. The colors, the angles — it’s all art. Apparently, the original Novablast wasn’t even meant as a running shoe, but it’s quickly blossomed into one of the best daily trainers.
The key here is the fat stack of FlyteFoam Blast+ underfoot. It’s thick, it’s bouncy, and it’s an overall improvement from the last version. ASICS even found a way to trim some weight off its speedster, mainly from the upper. We only have one pair in the office, so we won’t have a full review for a hot minute, but it’ll be worth the wait. It’s tough to throw around best daily trainer of the year rumors this early, but the Novablast 3 should be dusting off its tuxedo.Shop ASICS Novablast – Men Shop ASICS Novablast – Women
» ASICS Glideride 3
Drop: 6mm | Price: $150 (available now)
If you ask wide-foot Jarrett, it sure sounds like the ASICS Glideride 3 is his shoe of the year. I mean, an update to one of his previous favorites that addresses his specific issues? And it comes in wide? He was building hype for this daily trainer months before it came out. Thankfully (for all of us), the Glideride 3 lives up to it. In simplest terms, it’s a blast. More specifically, it’s a FlyteFoam Blast+. ASICS stepped up its foam game with some extra responsiveness and pop, and the ride is softer. Its roll is smoother than an R&B slow jam and the comfort level is equal to that velour sofa you’re sitting in right now.
While the upper on the Glideride 3 is more breathable than last year, it’s not exactly a Tracksmith singlet. We noticed some warming during our miles, so it might be something to watch out for. However, that’s the only real issue here. This is an excellent daily trainer through and through, and it’s found a way to stay in both Meg’s and Jarrett’s rotations even after they finished testing. Oh, and did we mention there’s an EVA plate? That’s right, it’s ready to do battle with the Skechers MaxRoad 5 and Hoka Bondi X.Shop ASICS Glideride 3 – Men Shop ASICS Glideride 3 – Women
» New Balance 1080v12
Drop: 8mm | Price: $160 (available now)
We couldn’t possibly talk about the best daily trainers without showing some love to Fresh Foam X. New Balance’s pillowy soft foam delivers year after year, and the 1080v12 is probably its best iteration yet. We heard plenty about how the latest formula would be the softest yet while we were at The Running Event, but it can be easy to take that with a grain of salt. Luckily, New Balance backed it up. The Fresh Foam 1080v12 is soft, it’s smooth, and it’s reliable as they come. Not to mention the fact that New Balance finally fixed the heel. The UltraHeel is no longer, we’re finally back to a more traditional setup.
Thomas and Meaghan also agreed that the new knit upper is better than before. It tends to run a bit — more than a bit — long, but it’s comfortable, and it molds to your foot easily. New Balance gave us a whole lot of good for the latest version of its workhorse, but it did pick up a few grams. By a few grams, we mean about an ounce. It’s not the lightest daily trainer around, but luckily that’s not usually the focus when it comes to slogging out the miles. Even better, it comes in wide and in some fun colors.Shop New Balance 1080v12 – Men Shop New Balance 1080v12 – Women
» Diadora Blushield Mythos Vigore
Drop: 10mm | Price: $170 (available now)
Don’t mind us, we’ll just be over here throwing even more love towards the Diadora Blushield Mythos Vigore. Yeah, the name sounds like a spell from Harry Potter, but this is the most comfortable shoe Diadora has probably ever made. We recently listed it among our most comfortable running shoes and that’s the primary reason it’s on here. The Diadora Mythos Vigore certainly isn’t a subtle running shoe. Case in point, our review was jam-packed with references to hearty Italian cooking. Your Nonna would be proud.
Anyway, back to the shoe. There’s a whole lot of it. It’s even heavier than the Fresh Foam 1080v12, but it’s worth the weight. The Diadora Mythos Vigore is a light stability shoe, so it might not be for everyone, but there’s certainly enough cushion for anyone. Diadora’s decoupled midsole allows for extra movement and flex, while the TRX system keeps you from going too wild. The shoe finally adopted a new DD Anima midsole, which is just the Italian way of saying EVA, but it’s miles better than Diadora’s previous platform. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most expensive daily trainers on our list.Shop Diadora Mythos Blushield Vigore – Men Shop Diadora Mythos Blushield Vigore – Women
» Saucony Ride 15
Drop: 8mm | Price: $140 (available now)
Is it fair to say that a shoe snuck up on us? Either way, the Saucony Ride 15 pretty much did just that. In the past, we’ve had our hits and misses with the bog-standard PwrRun foam, especially on the Kinvara. However, it seemed to work better for us on the Axon 2, and it’s nearing final form on the Ride 15. It’s basically a thicker version of the Kinvara, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t work. Thomas and Meaghan said the same thing and just look at that women’s colorway. It’s like the best mint toothpaste you’ve ever seen or a unique take on the Air Jordan “Grape” colorway.
In fact, Thomas equated the Ride 15 to enjoying a well-made PB&J. It’s not a complex shoe, nor is it a fancy one. Yet, it’s excellent at what it does, and the PwrRun foam means you can suck up a whole bunch of miles. What more do you need from a great daily trainer? The Ride 15 also comes in wide, making three out of our four picks viable options for even the biggest feet out there. We didn’t find too many nits to pick with the Ride 15 — Meg wants a little more pop (don’t we all), and Thomas is just asking for excitement beyond the Royal Blue wonder.Shop Saucony Ride 15 – Men Shop Saucony Ride 15 – Women
» On Cloudmonster
Drop: 4mm | Price: $170 (available now)
Look, we’re just as surprised to see an On shoe among the best daily trainers as you are. We’ve documented our shaky history with the Swiss brand and its offerings, but new years are for turning over new leaves. The Cloudmonster is something different for On, mainly because it feels like nothing the brand has ever done before. Like a carefully crafted deck of Pokemon cards, the Cloudmonster is stacked. It’s as max-cushion as On gets, with 30mm of foam in the heel that tapers to 26mm in the toe.
Honestly, the Cloudmonster might have the longest section of “The Good” that Robbe’s ever written — at least about an On shoe. Its simplicity is kinda its bliss. The Cloudmonster doesn’t try to get too fancy, it just cranks the brand’s mainstays up to about 11. On’s Helion foam feels softer and more refined, and Mercer, our resident On expert, was in heaven. He actually had some solid praise for the lacing system, of all things. However, the freshly softened Helion foam does tend to wear away quickly, depending on your strike pattern. Not a deal-breaker, but something to watch for.Shop On Cloudmonster – Men Shop On Cloudmonster – Women
» Puma Velocity Nitro 2
Drop: 10mm | Price: $120 (available now)
The Puma Velocity Nitro 2 is among the best value daily trainers. It’s downright tough to find a running shoe for $120, let alone one that you can take for hundreds of miles. While we might not call the Nitro foam one of the toughest, the PumaGrip outsole makes up for it. After all, you can’t wear away a foam if it never meets the pavement, right? Mentioning the rubber outsole, doesn’t that pattern look familiar? There’s something Pegasus-esque about it. I just can’t put my finger on it.
Beyond the midsole impressions, our team was thoroughly impressed by what Puma has to offer. Thomas, Jarrett, and Robbe all praised the smooth ride thanks to a revamped Nitro-wrapped EVA setup. It lends a softer feel with some extra pop, which is sometimes lacking in a budget-friendly running shoe. Puma’s Velocity Nitro 2 also tends to run long, but you can fix that by sizing down about a half-size. Our real complaint is, who decides to make a fake gum sole? Just go with the real thing, Puma. We love a proper gum sole.Shop Puma Running – Men Shop Puma Running – Women
» Salomon Glide Max
Drop: 10mm | Price: $150 (available now)
Ya know what grinds my gears? When Thomas gets a great daily trainer that none of the rest of us get to try out. I guess we can blame the supply chain, but we were all excited for Salomon’s take on a max-stack road shoe. There’s good reason for hype, too, given the accommodating upper and plush ride. It’s both a feast for the eyes and a joy for the feet, given Salomon’s R Camber geometry. We slightly preferred the orange version we saw at TRE in December, but you can’t go wrong with icy white and frosty blue.
Despite Salomon’s welcoming profile, it might take a few jaunts to get the Glide Max locked in. It’s a tricky shoe to lace correctly, but it has the ability to put Hoka on notice. There’s more than enough Ultra Ride foam for long runs, and Salomon is starting to look dangerous on the road scene. This probably isn’t even the final form of the Glide Max, so there’s bound to be even more down the road for Salomon as it grows into life off the trail.Shop Salomon – Men Shop Salomon – Women
» Nike Pegasus 39
Drop: 10mm | Price: $130 (available now)
Here it is, the Nike Pegasus 39. Nike’s workhorse with wings is almost over the hill, but it’s aging like a fine wine. Despite its age, the Pegasus has been hit or miss with reviewers and community members alike over the years. Whether it’s the React foam or the Zoom Air units, there’s always something that needs a tweak or two. Now, it feels like Nike has the formula locked in. Robbe immediately picked up on the fact that the latest Pegasus 39 feels a little softer than its predecessor, which might open it up to a new crowd of runners.
Besides the crucial midsole changes, the latest Pegasus also offers a revamped upper. It’s a bit more breathable for this year’s jaunt around the track, which we’ll never complain about. Although lightweight uppers sometimes lead to stretching and fit issues, the Flywire helps to keep your foot strapped down tight. It’s almost like a winged horse strapped into a harness. When our most significant problem is that the design didn’t soar off the page, you know the shoe is doing a lot of other things right. That’s the case with Nike’s latest.Shop Nike Pegasus 39 – Men Shop Nike Pegasus 39 – Women
» Hoka Mach 5
Drop: 5mm | Price: $140 (available now)
The Hoka Mach series came on pretty strong last year. We didn’t necessarily expect great things from the Mach 4, but like Monty Python taught us, “Never expect the Spanish Inquisition.” It arrived as a great, lightweight trainer and raced out to one of our top slots early in the year. Then, we got a taste of extra speed in the Mach Supersonic, which didn’t pack the same punch. Maybe we just expected another giant leap, but we can digress. Now, we have the Mach 5.
The good news is that Hoka is back in the W category after a string of misses earlier this year (i.e. Kawana, Supersonic). It’s upgraded with a layer of ProFly+ foam on top for some extra bounce, and it works pretty well. Both Thomas and Robbe were pleased with the feel, and it’s probably what we expected the Mach Supersonic to be. Could this technically be considered a tempo shoe? Maybe. The Mach 5 is still light and quick, and the rubberized foam is tough enough to soak up your daily training miles (though the magic may burn out more quickly than your typical daily trainer). Lastly, the Mach 5 also has one of the lowest drops of any shoe on our list at 5mm, so it might be a good idea to test it before you commit to a lower drop.Shop Hoka Mach – Men Shop Hoka Mach – Women