The Best Breathable Mesh Running Shoes

The Best Breathable Mesh Running Shoes

When you’re running outside, the best breathable mesh running shoes can make the experience more comfortable. These shoes are designed for excellent airflow — and the more air that circulates your feet, the cooler you stay. Plus, you’re less likely to sweat, which leads to fewer blisters and hot spots. As you’re choosing the best breathable running shoes, it’s helpful to consider your running style, and personal preference when it comes to factors like cushioning and color. To help you find the right shoes for your stride, we’ve gathered the best breathable options for you…

As a running magazine, we often tout the health benefits of our sport, but honestly, walking is pretty great, too. Research shows that—just like runners—people who walk at a moderate intensity regularly have a lower risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. Turns out the most important thing is that you’re getting miles in, wherever and at whatever pace you can—as long as you’re able to practice safe social distancing measures while you do it. And what you put on your feet (supportive, cushy sneakers!) can either make you or break you (painful heels!) in that mission. But don’t worry—we’re here to help!

Why Breathable Mesh Running Shoes are Important for a runner?

Whether you’re a high-mileage walker, a runner recovering from an injury, or someone who simply wants to squeeze as many steps into your schedule as possible, we’ve found a pair of shoes for you. We review hundreds of shoes every year and test the latest foams and materials in our Runner’s World Shoe Lab. Many of those same technologies are used in these pairs, which gives us unique insight into how they’ll perform and hold up over the long haul. See a sampling below for the best walking shoes and read on to learn more about how to pick the pair that’s right for you.

1. NIKE Free RN

If you’re a fan of light, flexible running shoes, the Nike Free RN is a great choice. These affordable shoes are designed to promote the natural movement of your feet, so you can enjoy the feel of a barefoot run and the protection of a shoe. Built with Fly-wire cables, these shoes help support your foot as you run. The uppers are made from open-stitch fabric for comfort and breath-ability

2. ZOCAVIA Lightweight Breathable Mesh Running Shoes

When it comes to budget-friendly models, it’s hard to beat these cheap mesh running shoes from ZOCAVIA. They’re designed for maximum airflow, with a breathable Flyknit upper and an ultra-light vamp. If you need extra support, simply pull the lace-up cables. On the bottom of the shoes, the flexible rubber sole follows the natural flexion of your foot and offers traction when it’s raining. These shoes come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can buy them with confidence.

3. Altra Escalante 2.5

The Altra Escalante 2.5 is a road running shoe designed to push the pace, but we found this low-profile design is also ideal for walkers who want both a natural feel underfoot and a cushioned ride. For minimalists: a wide toe box and sock-like upper allow the toes to splay, a zero-drop heel design (heel and toe at the same height) levels the foot, and a segmented rubber out-sole and hyper-flexible mid-sole easily allows the foot full freedom to bend. For minimalists with sensitive joints:

Altra’s lightweight, thin(ish) Altra Ego mid-sole offers significantly more cushion than a true minimalist shoe, but with a feeling that’s less like marshmallowy EVA foam and more like bouncy gum rubber. The updated woven upper is the softest and most pliable we tested, which allowed the foot space but sacrificed some stability. (For locked-in lateral support, check out Altra’s Escalante 2 or Torin 4.5 Plush.) The Escalante’s strengths show up while walking by providing cushioned and surefooted ground contact, and while running by encouraging ergonomic movement and a lithe step.

4. ASICS Frequent Trail

Hit the trail with this ASICS model, which features a reverse-lug outsole to give you more traction on rough terrain. The uppers are made from mesh to allow air to flow freely. With its close weave, the mesh keeps out dirt, so you can stay clean on dusty paths. The reinforced toe protects you from tree roots and upturned rocks along the way. They’re tough enough for trail running, but light enough to tackle road runs.

5. New Balance Men’s Cruz V1

If you’re a fan of New Balance Breathable mesh running shoes, the Cruz V1 is an ideal choice for logging summer miles. They’re engineered with Fresh Foam mid-soles, which cushion your foot on impact and help you feel more comfortable with each step. The upper is a combination of synthetic and mesh fabric; the saddle provides support for your mid-foot, while the mesh reduces weight and increases airflow. Designed with clean lines and ultra-simple detailing, these shoes add a touch of style to every mile. With the right shoes, a hot, sweaty run doesn’t have to lead to blisters. By choosing one of the best breathable mesh running shoes for men, you can stay comfortable and enjoy your workout.

6. Under Armour HOVR Sonic 3 Breathable Mesh Running Shoes

As you up the distance of your runs, you will need a shoe like the Sonic 3 for greater cushioning and flexibility. The shoes are fitted with the brand’s HOVR technology that reduces the impact at your joints but gives an impressive energy return to keep you going faster and further. The upper is composed of a micro thread that is breathable and has compression technology to support your feet. There is a removable sock-liner that molds to your feet and allows you to customize the cushioning to your preference.

7. Reebok Men’s Print 2.0

Made with soles that feature independent nodes, the Reebok Print 2.0 creates a comfortable flexing movement as your foot rolls through each stride. Around the outside, there’s a sturdy perimeter grid to help increase stability and prevent rolling. These men’s mesh sneakers were designed to provide cushioning where you need it most, so you can enjoy a comfortable run without excess weight. With its mesh uppers, the Print 2.0 keeps you cool and dry.

8. Adidas Men’s Duramo 9 Breathable Mesh Running Shoes

Built with Cloudfoam midsoles, the Adidas Duramo 9 absorbs the impact of each stride, providing soft, lightweight support. The outsole is made from sturdy Adiwear material to prevent wear during long runs or speed work. These low-cost running shoes are designed to flex, so they’re ideal if you prefer a more minimalist shoe. Inside, the OrthoLite sock liner adds an extra layer of cushioning that minimizes the effect of bumps in the road.

9. Sonic 3 Accelerate Breathable Mesh Running Shoes

Get all the cushioning you need for road running from this Salomon shoe that helps with absorbing shock from the impact and using it to propel you forwards with every footstrike. Despite the added cushioning, they are designed to be super lightweight and breathable with the brand’s Sensifit construction that will keep your feet secured and comfortable without adding weight.

10. Saucony Originals Jazz Lowpro

Made from light materials and mesh fabric, these breathable men’s trainers allow air in with every step. The rubber sole flexes as you run, allowing your foot to move without feeling restricted; the textured soles keep you upright when it’s damp outside. At the midsole, IMEVA foam provides extra cushioning to reduce impact and soreness. Sleek and contemporary, these budget-friendly Saucony shoes transition easily from the gym to the street

11. Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Breathable Mesh Running Shoes

Loaded up with an innovative foam construction, this shoe is designed for long-distance running to give you a greater energy return but remains almost weightless. The rubber outsole absorbs impact and helps you adapt to varying terrain but it is all about breathability with this silhouette thanks to the mesh and synthetic upper that is lightweight and gives you a greater airflow.

12. Brooks Men’s Ravenna 9 Breathable Mesh Running Shoes

If you’re an overpronator, the Ravenna 9 provides the stability you need. It’s built with a medial post and a DRB Accel shank for support, so your foot is less likely to roll. If you have a heavy stride, the blown-rubber forefoot padding helps you feel lighter on your feet. Need smoother transitions? A transition zone in the midfoot and a crash pad on the heel help your foot roll naturally with each footfall. On the uppers, mesh fabric helps wick away moisture and keep your feet dry.

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