The Most Comfortable Sneakers of 2021
Winter is approaching quickly but we still have some time to enjoy the relaxed vibes that summer brings – one thing that we all look for when buying sneakers is comfort, no matter what season it is. This gave me the idea to compile a list of the top 10 most comfortable sneakers that you can buy today on the market, and I present the list to you down below. Happy reading!
10. Brooks Glycerin 19
The Brooks Glycerin 19 is a running sneaker that is one of the most comfortable shoes you can buy today. The Brooks Glycerin 19 is able to cushion your feet from all sides due to the super-soft cushion which provides underfoot comfort and the plush interior that is able to hug your feet. The super-soft cushion that provides underfoot comfort is called DNA LOFT – the cushioning is extremely soft (I cannot stress this enough!) and makes it feel as if you are gliding over any surface. Furthermore, the DNA LOFT cushioning is also super light – I find weight to be very important in a sneaker, and the Brooks Glycerin 19 is extremely light. Despite the supreme cushioning of DNA LOFT, it is still responsive and durable – this makes the Brooks Glycerin 19 a very good running sneaker.
The plush interior of the Brooks Glycerin 19 allows for your foot to be securely fastened into the sneaker but still has enough space to manoeuvre your foot; this means that the Brooks Glycerin 19 is the perfect midpoint between a sneaker that fits snug and grips your foot (which some people prefer) and a sneaker that provides ample breathing space (which is what others prefer!). The midsole of the shoe is filled with the DNA LOFT cushioning which means that you can easily transition between different surfaces which is important for those who run professionally or seriously.
The Brooks Glycerin 19 comes in 8 different color schemes, which means you are bound to find one you love. It is also a good-looking running sneaker that can be worn casually. One of the standout points of the Brooks Glycerin 19 is that it comes with a wide option when buying which is important for those with wide feet.
9. Nike Pegasus 38
The Nike Pegasus 38 is another running sneaker (most of them on this list are!) that is made with comfort in mind. The Pegasus 38 looks a bit bulkier compared to the Pegasus 37, but this is because that Nike has squashed a bit more React foam into the midsole, which means the Pegasus 38 is the most comfortable of the Pegasus range.
In the forefoot of the Pegasus 38 is a Zoom Air unit which I different for each shoe size and gender – the Zoom Air unit can provide an extremely soft ride and allows you to easily transition between different surfaces. Moreover, the Zoom Air unit in the women’s sneaker has a slightly reduced PSI (pressure) in the women’s sneaker which means that the women’s sneaker is a bit more comfortable than the men’s version. The Zoom Air unit and the React foam (that runs in the midsole) make a formidable pairing and make the Nike Pegasus 38 comfortable and responsive; just what every runner wants.
One difference that the Pegasus 38 has compared to the Pegasus 37 is a widened toe box – many users complained that the Pegasus 37 was a bit too narrow at the front and Nike have corrected their mistake with the Pegasus 38. The tongue and upper of the shoe are also padded for extra comfort.
Overall, the Pegasus 38 is perfect for any use – it can be worn to the gym and casually as well as for running. The variety of colors and trendy designs make it perfect for any user.
8. Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 DNA
The Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 DNA is another running sneaker (you shouldn’t even be surprised at this point) that I think is one of the most comfortable sneakers you can buy on the market today.
The Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 DNA features a full-length Ultraboost midsole – we all know how comfortable Boost is and if you don’t, buy this sneaker! The Boost is made by fusing energy capsules and provides extraordinary energy return that almost propels you forward when you walk or run. The Boost midsole makes you feel like you are walking on clouds when you wear this shoe, no matter how rough the surface below is. The upper of the shoe is made with Adidas Primeknit material that hugs your foot lovingly.
The Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 DNA also takes sustainability into account – the shoe is made with Primeblue which is a high-performance recycled material. Primeblue is made in partnership with Parley Ocean Plastic so if you wear this shoe, you are helping cleanse the oceans of the world of plastic! The Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 DNA also features NASA branding n the tongue to celebrate Adidas’ partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 DNA is lightweight and very comfortable which makes it the perfect running sneaker hut if you are looking to buy a shoe with running in mind, there are better ones on this list. I would describe the Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 DNA as more of a lifestyle sneaker that is very, very comfortable to wear; I also think that the Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 DNA is one of the better-looking sneakers on this list. The plethora of colors (19 are available!) means that you will surely find one you love.
7. Asics Novablast 2
The Asics Novablast 2 is (get ready for the big surprise!) another running sneaker that is very comfortable to wear but, in my opinion, it is a bit bulky. The reason the Asics Novablast 2 is bulky is because Asics have crammed in more FF Blast cushioning compared to the Asics Novablast 2s predecessor. The FF Blast cushioning provides responsiveness and comfort, and the technology allows you to smoothly transition into different terrains. The responsiveness may not be as important for those who want to buy this sneaker for casual use, but it is important for runners. Asics have also implemented a heel stabilizer that helps support the foot (while running or walking) and ‘helps create a more balanced stride’ – therefore, the Asics Novablast 2 is perfect for those looking to improve their running technique and work on their running game.
The Asics Novablast 2 also features an AHARPLUS outsole – this is a type of outsole that helps to make the shoe more durable which means you can have peace of mind knowing that your new sneaker won’t be destroyed after a few runs. The outsole of the shoe is inspired by ‘trampolines’ according to Asics – what they mean by this is that the Asics Novablast 2 features a tremendous bounce back, similar to the one experienced when jumping on a trampoline. The bounce back from the outsole propels you forward and can help you shave off a few extra seconds from your running time.
The upper of the Asics Novablast 2 is made from double engineered jacquard mesh which cushions your foot. The upper feels extremely nice when wearing the shoe ad helps support your foot whilst running. Furthermore, the gusseted tongue wing fit system (a bit of a mouthful!) improves the fitting of the shoe and stops the tongue from sliding up and down (this can be a distraction for serious runners!).
Overall, the Asics Novablast 2 is a great running sneaker but isn’t the best lifestyle sneaker on this list in my opinion.
6. New Balance 990 v5
The New Balance 990 v5 is one of the best-looking sneakers on this list (in my humble opinion!) – it sees New Balance really embrace the ‘dad’ shoe tag it has been given over the past few years yet is trendy and stylish enough to catch the eyes of the younger audiences too. It features almost a retro design and is an update of the classic 990. As you can expect from New Balance, the 990 v5 makes use of premium materials and guarantees supreme comfort and wearability.
Now, the New Balance 990 v5 is the first shoe on this list that I would describe as a ‘50/50’ running shoe – I mean, it can definitely do the job if you want to run in it, but it is more of a casual, lifestyle shoe in my opinion. The design is similar to those of previous generations of the 990 and some don’t see the reason to make the upgrade. Even though the 990 v5 may retain its iconic and timeless appearance (and may look like the 90v4 and 990v3), it definitely makes the upgrade in terms of new technologies and structural elements. The tagline for the New Balance 990 v5 basically sums up what I have said here. – ‘worn by supermodels in London and dads in Ohio’.
The upper of the New Balance 990 v5 is made from premium quality suede (looking at the version that I have) and features a TPU Powerstrap, which is a tweak from the 990 v4. The 990 v5 is part of the MADE range by New Balance which promises users that all materials that are used on the sneaker are of premium quality and contain a domestic value of 70% or greater. In my opinion, this justifies the frankly hefty price tag that comes with the New Balance 990 v5 as all the materials used are of very good quality. The midsole of the New Balance 990 v5 retains the same composition of blown rubber and Ndurance compound that was so popular in the previous iteration of the 990.
The New Balance 990 v5 is also very flexible but is a bit heavier than the 990v4, which is why I recommend other sneakers on the list if you want a sneaker that is primarily for running. In terms of all-day wearability, the New Balance 990 v5 is one of the best on the list and looks great too.
5. Hoka Clifton 8
Now, the brand Hoka may not be the most popular brand in the world, but the Hoka Clifton 8 has made the brand very popular amongst runners. The Hoka Clifton 8 features a completely new midsole that is made from ultralight foam which provides supreme comfort and responsiveness. Hoka promises that their new foam provides even better comfort than their older versions which, trust me, is a big claim.
The Hoka Clifton 8 also features an ‘extended heel crash pad’ – this is designed to make every stride or step as comfortable as possible and is designed with the thought of transitions in mind. The Hoka Clifton 8 also features Meta-Rocker (that is also featured in the midsole of the shoe like the extended heel crash pad) which is a technology that is designed to help propel runners forward – it ‘complements the natural gait cycle’ (which means that it complements your stride) and reduces the height between heel and toe. The pairing of the extended heel crash pad and the Meta-Rocker in the midsole make the Hoka Clifton 8 a formidable running shoe.
The breathable mesh that is featured on the upper allows for your feet to be comfortable when you put on these shoes. The Hoka Clifton 8 is designed to make you comfortable when running but still maintain the responsiveness that you need when running professionally.
Overall, the Hoka Clifton 8 is one of the best running shoes on this list. Innovative technology like the Meta-Rocker make it perfect for running but I wouldn’t recommend it as a casual shoe.
4. Adidas Ultraboost 2021
The Adidas Ultraboost 2021 is a great-looking sneaker – no, seriously, it’s one of the best-looking sneakers on this list. When accompanied by the new technologies and the renowned Boost midsole, the Adidas Ultraboost 2021 is one of the best shoes (not just the most comfortable) available now.
The Adidas Ultraboost 2021 features a new Torsion system – this new technology provides a 15% increase in forefoot bending stiffness. Now, what does this mean? Basically, the 15% increase means that you are much less likely to be injured while running; this is much better for runners as they can be ensured that the sneaker is doing the most to protect them from injury. The new Torsion system also allows for a more responsive run and allows for smoother transitions over terrains. The system has received great feedback online and we can see why – it is much better than the Ultraboost 20 in my opinion.
The Adidas Ultraboost 2021 also has incredible energy return. Adidas has crammed in 6% more boost capsules in the midsole – the increase in boost capsules means that the Adidas Ultraboost 2021 is that much more comfortable compared to previous iterations of the Ultraboost. The 6% more also allow you to explode with more energy in each step and propels you forward more – this can help you shave a few seconds off your personal best which can make all the difference for a runner. The Adidas Ultraboost 2021 is statistically much better than the Ultraboost 20 and I would recommend making the jump if you have the Ultraboost 20.
The Adidas Ultraboost 2021 is made with Primeblue which is a high-performance recycled material which is made with Parley Ocean Plastic – this is much more sustainable and better for the earth. The Adidas Ultraboost 2021 is also extremely lightweight, making it perfect for running or other use.
That brings me on to the versatility of the sneaker; the Adidas Ultraboost 2021 is extremely versatile. It can be used for serious runners, gym-goers, or athletes but can also be used as a casual, lifestyle sneaker; the range of color schemes also adds to this. Overall, I would definitely recommend the Adidas Ultraboost 2021 if you're looking for a sneaker that can provide all-round comfort and style.
3. New Balance FuelCell Rebel V2
The New Balance FuelCell Rebel V2 is another running shoe that features on my list of the most comfortable shoes right now. The shoe features performance foam in the midsole which delivers extreme comfort and responsiveness. Furthermore, the performance foam on the New Balance FuelCell Rebel V2 provides more rebound than the original FuelCell rebel which was a great running shoe. The benefit of the extra rebound is that it helps to propel the runner forward, which can improve your speed and your stride. Additionally, the extra rebounding strength makes the shoe more comfortable to walk in as it feels like you have a bit more ‘spring in your step’ compared to usual. The performance foam is also designed to deliver explosive energy and gives a faster feel compared to other running shoes available on the market.
The upper of the New Balance FuelCell Rebel V2 is also redesigned and is a major upgrade from the original FuelCell Rebel’s upper. The upper on the second version of the FuelCell Rebel is an engineered mesh that provides cushioning for your foot and is breathable, which makes wearing these shoes a better experience. The New Balance FuelCell Rebel V2 also features New Balance’s Ndurance rubber outsole which greatly improves traction on a range of different surfaces. The Ndurance outsole also makes transitioning onto a new surface more efficient and smooth – the outsole is also extremely durable which means you can wear the New Balance FuelCell Rebel V2s without the worry of them breaking after a few uses.
The New Balance FuelCell Rebel V2 also features a deconstructed heel counter which, according to New Balance, provides ‘extra support’ whilst running. Moreover, the shoe features a molded collar form which helps to secure and fasten your foot into the shoe. The branding on the New Balance FuelCell Rebel V2 is a bit out there but in a good way; the unusual color combinations are something that allows the New Balance FuelCell Rebel V2 to differ from other running shoes. Overall, the New Balance FuelCell Rebel V2 is a great running shoe and looks much better than other running shoes featured on this list (in my opinion!).
2. Nike Zoom X Invincible Run
The Nike Zoom X Invincible Run is a great-looking shoe (my 2nd favorite on this list – the 990v5 is the best looking for me!) and provides comfort that you have to feel to believe. The shoe features ZoomX foam cushioning that runs the length of the midsole – Nike says that they used cutting-edge engineering to develop the foam and I believe them. It is simply wonderful and is great for running, walking, or doing whatever in! The ZoomX foam is not only great for comfort, but it is also great for energy return; the foam helps to propel you forward while running and according to Nike, helps with ‘turning the impact of your step into energy for your next stride’. The Nike ZoomX midsole Nike foam delivers a whopping 85% energy return which is greater than that of any other Nike midsole. The ZoomX is lighter, softer, and just a better foam compared to other ones that Nike has put out like the React foam and I would say it is better than the Boost foam of rival Adidas. The foam is also more responsive and is made with the thought of speed and comfort in mind. Nike says that the ZoomX foam has been derived from a foam that was traditionally used in aerospace innovation and it is clear that they are telling the truth when you slip on the Nike Zoom X Invincible Run.
The Nike Zoom X Invincible Run also features a Flyknit upper which feels durable and comfortable whilst your foot is in the shoe. The Flyknit upper fits quite snug which helps keep the feet stable while running and helps keep the feet secure in the shoe. Furthermore, the tongue is molded tongue and padded collar which adds to the comfort of an already comfortable shoe.
Overall, the Nike Zoom X Invincible Run is a great running shoe that looks the part too. You can choose from a variety of different colorways, but I would love to see Nike add a customization option for this particular sneaker.
1. New Balance 1080v11
Finally, we are at number one on my list of the most comfortable sneakers that are available for purchase right now and the spot goes to the New Balance 1080v11. The Fresh Foam midsole cushioning is the best of its kind – across any sneaker brand. The Fresh Foam midsole cushioning is engineered to deliver an ultra-cushioned, lightweight ride. The New Balance 1080v11 is the top of the Fresh Foam X lineup and is very, very comfortable (I cannot state how comfortable it is – it’s almost otherworldly in terms of comfort). The foam has all the gimmicks including energy return too but the comfort of the midsole outshines everything else. It provides all-round comfort and when paired with the Hypoknit upper – you have the most comfortable shoe on the planet.
The upper of the shoe hugs your foot for a ‘snug, supportive fit’ and is airy – it provides the right amount of breathability and room for your feet yet is still snug enough to make sure that your foot doesn’t move while it is in the sneaker. The New Balance 1080v11 also has an Ultra Heel design which is made to hug your feet and there is an ortholite sockliner for added comfort.
Overall, the New Balance 1080v11 is the most comfortable sneaker on the planet as of August 2021. The branding on the shoe is a bit over the top if you ask me but it still looks great compared to other running sneakers. The range of colors means that you are sure to find one that appeals to you.