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Ready for an upgrade? Women’s runners have added new, ultra-lightweight materials and advances in shape and comfort. We dug through the top brands to find the best of the lot, including up to the minute pricing and discounts. Don’t make a purchase before you read our women’s runners buying guide!
Nike Pegasus 40 SE: Editor’s pick for best women’s runners – $190.00 at Nike.com.au →
Where to buy Nike Pegasus 40 SE women’s runners in Australia
The best women’s runners including treadmill, open road, and distance running over a variety of terrain come from none other than Nike. The Pegasus 40 SE improve on the prior model to deliver lighter, more comfortable, and more durable runners that stand up to abuse and look great while doing it.
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So what makes the Pegasus 40 SE women’s the best all around running shoes for women?
- The most comfortable women’s runners for daily use, period. The Pegasus 40 SE are a vast improvement over prior models of the same name. New foam materials reduce weight significantly, while shaped woven tops provide added breathability (a concern from our last review of the prior model). The springy, impact absorbing feel makes even longer runs effortless.
- Super light and comfortable. Nike have included their latest foam composition in the sole and chunkier heel, which reduces weight by about 15% without losing any feeling of stability or traction. While 15% may not seem like much, the difference was immediately clear after our distance tests passed the 20 minute mark.
- Durable and built to last. Customers should not have to purchase new shoes every year due to wear and tear. Extreme distance and multi-terrain runners will be pleased to find Nike have build some added rigidity to the insole, as well as denser treads that feel more substantial. Maintaining good tread over time has always been a hallmark of Nike, and the 40 SE continue that tradition.
- Stylish with plenty of options. Though it doesn’t impact the technical experience of a run, the Pegasus 40 SE look brilliant. Featuring 7 colour combinations including an all black runner, Nike have a classic, timeless look. Customisation is also possible with Nike’s Design Your Own program, at added cost of course.
New Balance FuelCell Propel v4: Solid women’s runners at a fair price – $180.00 at Newbalance.com.au →
Where to buy the New Balance FuelCell Propel v4 women’s runners in Australia
Offering extreme comfort via New Balance midsole tech, the Propel v4 women’s trainer offers an incredible feel that relieves impact pressure on knees and hips. And while true distance runners may not appreciate the weight of the Propel, other runners may find the relief to hips and knees more than make up for the added grams.
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Why New Balance makes the list of best women’s runners
- Unique rounded sole puts spring in your step. New Balance have raced to the head of the pack with their shock absorbing sole technology. In fact, it’s the first thing that comes to mind when anyone mentions the brand. The FuelCell Propel v4 includes a midsole combined with a TPU plate, which has the effect of adding spring while dampening shock.
- Surprisingly agile given the thick sole. While the look of the sole may be less than ideal (more on this later), the shoe does not feel clunky or difficult to manage when in the midst of a run. The form fitting lacing mechanism and excellent machined shape yields a sense of confidence with each step.
- May not be the best option for true distance runners. A heavier sole means the New Balance FuelCell Propel v4 are the heaviest runners in our buying guide. Marathon and distance runners may find the shoe to be eating into energy reserves when well into a run. That said, the added comfort may offset this effect depending on your style and stamina.
- A classic, but less stylish pair of women’s runners. New Balance have never been known for their style, and whilst the FuelCell Propel v4 offer a three distinct colour options, none of them look sleek or particularly cool. We know, it’s not the most important thing in the world, but if you do consider style an critical part of a runner, you may want to pass on New Balance.
Adidas XPLR Boost: Top tech gets the job done, but lacks style – $180.00 at Adidas.com.au →
Where to buy the Adidas XPLR Boost women’s runners in Australia
Adidas are a classic European brand that have always been closely tied with athletics. And the unique XPLR Boost continue that legacy by offering a lightweight, comfortable, if not unconventional all around women’s runner that’s worth a close look.
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Why Adidas make the list of best women’s runners
- A women’s runner engineered for all day use. Adidas know the realities of modern life are more than just running. The XPLR Boost are the only runner in our list designed with this in mind, offering a midsole suitable for transition from office to home to run without looking or feeling like they are out of place. While not perfect at any one task, the XPLR Boost get the job done in a comfortable, stylish package.
- Light, airy, and compact. Adidas have made one of the lightest runners on our list, and their compact form factor looks sleek and minimalist. An Adidas tag is included at the heel, incase you forgot who makes these runners.
- Master of none. The Boost offer a quick and affordable solution to an all day shoe, but suffer from the fact that they are not truly best at any one use. Marathon runners and extreme distance enthusiasts should avoid this model, as it will grow uncomfortable mid run. That said, they are perfectly suitable for all day wear whilst walking and moving about performing daily tasks.
- Recycled materials with a unique look. Rather than opting for bright, eye grabbing colours, Adidas have produced a muted collection with limited colour accents. Available in 2 colour combinations, the runners are made from recycled materials to boot.
On Cloudnova Form: True to the On name, and sky high price – $239.95 at On.com.au →
Where to buy the On Cloudnova Form women’s runners in Australia
On is a relatively new global brand, and have quickly pushed into the Australia market over the past 2 years. Offering a more technical, engineered fit than competitors, Cloudnova are a true runner’s runner. But good engineering and materials come at a cost, which place On as the second most expensive in our list.
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Why On make the list of best women’s runners
- A sole with the perfect blend of balance and agility. It’s difficult to explain the technical precision of On runners without trying them for yourself. Every detail is considered, and the result are women’s runners that offer balance via an extra wide sole and freedom of movement thanks to ultralight materials.
- Lightweight build won’t exhaust. On have developed their own blend of highly engineered foam rubber to create a sole that feels almost weightless. While close to other products in our list, On do beat them out by a good margin which may impact how far you can run.
- Designed for everyday use in a variety of terrain. On claim the Cloudnova Form springs the wearer forward by converting downward energy into forward momentum. That bold claim plays out – to a degree – when the Form are worn during running. Slight amounts of energy are shifted, reducing impact and helping to deliver a springy sensation.
- Well made, but expensive compared to purebred runners. Whilst we have no complaints about the care in construction and overall product features, the Cloudnova Form are designed to be more of an all day shoe, meaning marathon runners and professionals may want to consider a more niche model.
HOKA Clifton 9: An Aussie brand with a story to tell – $259.99 at Hoka.com.au →
Where to buy the HOKA Clifton 9 women’s runners in Australia
As the only women’s runner brand in our list borne in Australia, we had a hard time staying neutral when evaluating the Clifton 9. While the shoe is comfortable and well wearing even over long periods of time, it does fall behind competitors in several categories, price included.
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What HOKA gets right (and wrong) about the Clifton 9 women’s runners
- Cushiony and comfortable on any terrain. The Clifton 9 are very comfortable, with a springy shock absorbing midsole and a generous padded upper. While the comfort is absolute during short walks, longer runs can be somewhat tedious due to the chunky, heavy materials utilised. HOKA are going for a cross between style and fitness, but as women’s runners the Clifton 9 are well behind competitors.
- Fun colours galore. HOKA have answered our prayers for women’s runners that offer more than 4 colourways. Indeed, HOKA make the Clifton 9 in no less than 16 unique colour combinations. No matter your preference, you will be satisfied HOKA are a style fit.
- The only Australian runner brand in our best of list. We appreciate home grown and growing brands. Among other things it can mean customer support, warranty, and after care are much more likely to be spot on. And when it comes to athletic apparel, there are very few Aussie brands to actually choose from. It’s a pro, and we hope HOKA continue to grow their line of product for a long time to come.