Whether you're training for a marathon or just want to get in a little exercise this year, running is a great sport to pursue. Yet, the gear you choose can make all the difference in how your workout goes.

The best running shoes are supportive, lightweight, and ultra-comfortable. They're also sturdy, well-fitted, and built to last. With so many options on the market, it can be hard to decide which one is best for you.

Luckily, New Balance for women makes a ton of stylish, high-performance options. Today, we're breaking down what to look for and which models top the list.

What to Look for in Women's Running Shoes

While you could technically hit the pavement in those old, worn-out tennis shoes you've had since high school, we don't recommend it. A great pair of running shoes, designed specifically for women, will improve your stride, build your endurance, and optimize your overall fitness routine.

By design, women's shoes are built to fit differently than men's. They're usually slimmer, fitting wider at the forefoot and narrower at the heel. They're also sized differently. As you survey all of your choices, here are a few key features that you should pay special attention to.

Toe Space

When you run, your feet naturally swell a little as blood flows through them. Keeping that in mind, look for a pair of women's gym shoes that allows a thumbnail-size length of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

This is a more accurate way to gauge a correct fit than going by the size of your street shoes. Often, running shoes will fit about a half-size or full size larger than your normal pairs.

In addition to the toe length, make sure there's also plenty of width at the toes. Wiggle them around to see if they pinch. If they're uncomfortable when you try them on, they won't feel any better when you're on mile five.

Arch Support

Whether you have flatter feet or a high arch, you need shoes that fit this space well. The arch on the shoes you choose should contour comfortably to fit the shape of your foot. If you find a pair you love but the support isn't quite there, you can always add an insert to your shoes.

Firm Structure

Photo of (WMNS) New Balance 327 WS327DC

Yes, a soft and squishy shoe is ideal when you're running errands or heading to the beach. However, you want a women's running shoe that has firm support. This is especially the case if you're running after an injury.

It might seem counterintuitive, but a firm foundation will give you more spring in your step. This minimizes impact on your muscles and can help you stay safe and comfortable with every step.

If you're looking for New Balance running shoes with a great base, check out the Women's New Balance 327 sneakers. Not only is the retro style on-trend, but the sole is thick and well-padded. There's also extra cushioning at the tongue and cuff, so your ankles won't rub.

For a white-on-white neutral look, check out the New Balance 327 Gray White Green Colorway!

Heel Drop

Put simply, the heel drop of a shoe measures the difference in cushioning between the heel and the toe. It's usually measured in millimeters. This affects how your heel strikes the ground.

Many traditional running shoes have heel drops of 10mm or higher. This encourages you to land on your heel as your foot moves through each stride. Conversely, a zero-drop shoe has an equal amount of cushioning throughout the heel.

The lower the heel drop, the more likely you are to land on the midsole of your foot. This can reduce the impact on your joints, which is why people often prefer a low-drop or zero-drop running shoe. However, if you're used to a traditional-drop shoe, it might take some getting used to.

Natural Stride

The running shoes you wear should support your natural stride. You shouldn't have to force your foot into an awkward position every time you wear them. That said, look at the flex point when picking out a pair.

This is where the shoe naturally creases at the top when you press your toe into the floor. Does that bend at the same place as your foot? If the answer is no, your gait could be unnatural when you take off, so try a new pair!

While you're focusing on the upper, we also recommend looking for seams. If they're present, they could rub the top of your foot as you run, which can lead to blisters. Try to find a seamless upper that hugs your foot snugly without squishing it.

Ankle Support

The ankle collar of your running shoes plays a bigger role than you might think. This is the wrap at the top of the shoe that holds your heel securely in place.

Some shoes will have thick padding here, while others have a thinner piece. The key is to find a pair that comfortably cradles your ankle bone. Your heel shouldn't slide up and down when you run, so a firm grip is also important.

Keep in mind that the ankle collar doesn't have to be bulky to be effective. The Women's New Balance 550 running shoes feature a slim but durable collar that looks great and holds everything in place.

Stylish Comfort

Of course, you want to choose running shoes that you'll actually want to reach for in your gym bag! That's why style and aesthetics are also important.

While you're shopping all the styles, look for ones in colorways that catch your eye. While neutral tones are practical and go with anything, don't be afraid to add a little color to the mix! A style like the Women's New Balance 57/40 Multi-Color Colorway blends various tones of orange, blue, and yellow for a look that's totally unique.

Shop Our Selection of New Balance for Women

Are you ready to make running a part of your routine in 2023? If so, it's time to invest in a solid pair of running shoes! As you browse the available brands, start at our selection of New Balance for women.

For decades, this brand has been synonymous with high-quality, reliable athletic wear. You can trust that the shoes you select will be well-cushioned, supportive, and long-lasting.

We offer women's New Balance shoes in a variety of different styles, sizes, and colorways. You can find our entire collection online!

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