The best running shoes for asphalt should have excellent cushioning, good flexibility and sufficient traction on asphalt. In addition, the shoe should be durable and deliver consistence comfort throughout your running session.
Donning suitable shoes is what contributes to your running safety and comfort. See my reviews of the best running shoes for asphalt!
Reviews: 7 Best Running Shoes for Asphalt 2021
At its 21st edition, nimbus 21 features two types of FlyteFoam (Propel and Lyte), in addition to the gel cushioning. The purpose of these is to provide cushioning and responsiveness throughout the midsole. These materials are lightweight, meaning you can run on them without much effort.
The gel cushioning utilized in the forefoot and rearfoot helps in shock absorption and in ensuring a smooth transition from heel to toe. Plus there is a guidance system and flex grooves for enhancing your running efficiency. And the EVA sockliner adds more cushioning and helps in absorbing moisture.
A high abrasion rubber is utilized in the outsole to offer good traction and enhance the durability of the shoe. It can withstand the wear and tear usually encountered on rough surfaces such as asphalt.
Nimbus 21 uses a duo jacquard mesh to give your feet an adaptable fit while promoting a healthy environment inside the shoe. The padding on the tongue and collar gives you a comfortable fit and painless heel lockdown. A plastic material is placed outside the heel to provide more restriction.
This is a stylish shoe for running on asphalt or pavements. With its dual layer midsole, gel kayano 25 has an excellent shock attenuation capability. This gel configuration is very efficient in ensuring a smooth heel-to-toe transition.
The impact guidance system and the trusstic system featured in its midsole enhances stability. Plus the duo max configuration reduces overpronation. Comfort and stability is guaranteed by the FluidRide cushioning which covers most of the midsole.
High abrasion rubber is featured on the outsole to give the shoe a high resistance to wear and tear usually encountered on asphalt surfaces. It’s also lightweight and flexible to allow natural movement of your foot.
The rest of the outsole is covered with durasponge, a blown rubber for adding more cushioning to your underfoot. Plus there’s a crush pad on the heel section to provide a smooth and natural heel-to-toe transition.
The upper unit is finished with an engineered mesh which adapts to the shape of the foot. This material is lightweight and is knitted to allow sufficient air circulation inside the shoe. It’s also responsible for comfort and support throughout your running session.
A heel counter at the back of the shoe enhances comfort and prevents your foot from slipping out while running. Plus there’s a plush and lightweight sockliner to add more cushioning under your foot.
Also Read: Best Road to Trail Running Shoes
This is a road running made with stability in mind. It features the brooks environmentally-friendly BioMoGo DNA to give cushioning throughout the midsole. In addition, the lightweight DNA LOFT adds more cushioning and support for your underfoot.
A guiderail system is featured on both sides of the heel and at the middle section of the midfoot. The purpose of this is to stabilize your foot in the shoe and minimise overpronation.
Blown rubber is used to construct the outsole to ensure maximum traction on asphalt and pavements. This material also adds more cushioning under your foot due to its spongy nature. Plus there’re flex grooves on this outsole to enable natural movement of the foot.
The segmented platform in Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 helps in localizing impact forces only in areas that need it.
The upper mesh provides a soft wrap on your foot while promoting ample air circulation inside the shoe. This material is lightweight meaning it doesn’t add a lot of load to the overall weight of the shoe.
The heel section and sides consist of 3D print overlays to ensure that your foot fits securely. Plus there’s a collar and plush tongue whose function is to provide cushioning on top of your foot and prevent accidental shoe removal.
Related: Best Shoes for Running on Pavement
Pegasus 35 is an all time running shoe, typically designed for beating asphalt surfaces. The duralon rubber comes in handy to give the shoe high resilience to surface abrasion. Plus there are numerous flex grooves to enhance flexibility and traction on surfaces.
The middle section features an air cassette running through the entire length to give you a bouncy ride and absorb shock. The air cassette is further sandwiched between two cushlon carriers to provide more cushioning.
An engineered mesh on the upper unit ensures that your foot is held tightly while promoting good air circulation inside the shoe. And it’s sturdy enough to keep it from tearing. In addition, the lacing system features flywire cables which add to the comfortable wrap of this shoe.
If you’re running at night, you’ll enjoy the reflective details at the back of the shoe.
The good traction offered by the rubber outsole of Brooks Bedlam, will appeal to anyone running on asphalt or pavement. The rubber compound can resist the wear and tear usually associated with asphalt surfaces.
The outsole is curved to ensure there’s smooth toe-off. And the arrow shaped configuration at the midfoot encourages a quick heel-to-toe transition.
At the midsole section is a DNA AMP unit which is sandwiched between the TPU casing, to enhance its resilience to weight. This configuration is also responsible for the good energy return inherent in this shoe.
The midsole is also equipped with guiderails at the sides to keep your foot centered at all times. This keeps your foot in a stable position while preventing any discomfort or wobbling.
A knitted fabric on the upper unit is meant to wrap the foot properly and allow natural movement of the foot. This fabric is lightweight and has perforations for promoting good air circulation.
The inner compartment allows your feet to adhere to the shoe while preventing any irritation. Plus the traditional lacing system allows you to adjust the shoe to your preferred fit.
Related: Best Shoes for Running on Grass
FuelCell Impulse running shoe gives you the confidence to hit the road without hurting your feet or losing surface grip. This is made possible by the blown rubber placed on the heel and forefoot section of the outsole. Additional grooves and nodes add to the flexibility and traction of this running shoe.
The RevLite compound used in the midsole gives the shoe a responsive cushioning to protect your feet from impact shocks. This material is light weight and has an excellent energy return during toe off. Thus, you can run in this shoe without getting tired. The midsole also features raised lateral sides to enhance stability.
An additional FuelCell component is included in the forefoot to offer a smooth and speedy toe-off.
The upper unit features the Jacquard mesh, which is lightweight and excellent in ventilating the interior of the shoe. Plus there’s a soft fabric for minimising skin irritation.
Other additions in this shoe include an external counter to prevent wobbling and the bootie configuration for keeping the foot intact.
Ultra Boost is often hyped as adidas’ most outstanding running shoe. This can be attributed to the excellent cushioning and responsiveness inherent in its midsole. It makes use of TPU pellets which are blown to give the shoe plenty of cushioning and superior energy return.
A plastic insert included at the midsole enhances stability while providing smooth heel-to-toe transition.
The outsole features a webbed rubber which gives you adequate grip on asphalt or pavement. The outsole is designed to offer maximum stability while taking off pressure from your Achilles.
An engineered mesh on the upper section serves to hug your foot more securely while allowing natural movement of the foot. This knitted mesh promotes good air circulation inside the shoe and does not cause irritation to your foot.
There’s a heel counter at the back of the shoe to support your foot and prevent it from slipping out of the shoe. In addition, there’s a plush sockliner to enhance comfort.
How to Choose the Best Running Shoes for Asphalt
Currently, many individuals are shifting from indoor workouts to outdoor fitness exercises like running and jogging. One common mistake that many of them make is to hit the road with their indoor running shoes.
The surface on your gym, playfield or treadmill differs from the asphalt you will encounter on the road. Asphalt is hard, abrasive and uneven. Thus, it is important to choose the correct running shoes to improve your efficiency and avoid injuries.
Below is a guide for choosing the correct running shoes for asphalt.
1. Correct Fit
No matter the quality or aesthetics of shoe, you won’t enjoy your running if it’s of the wrong size and fit. That’s why it’s important to choose running shoes that are actually meant for your feet.
While a shoe may be comfortable for you when walking, it may feel tight for running. That’s because of the tendency of your feet to expand when running. Also, your running gait differs from walking gait. Thus, you should get a running shoe that is half a size larger than your walking shoes.
2. Arch Support
There’s a perfect shoe out there for every type of foot arch. If you’re the high arch type, go for neutral shoes that have sufficient cushioning and flexibility to avoid injuries such as plantar fasciitis. Normal foot arches require midsole cushioning and moderate arch support.
Flat feet have a tendency to over-pronate which may lead to injuries on your feet, knees and ankles. In this cause you require motion control running shoes to prevent your ankles from turning inwards. Such shoes should be less flexible and well cushioned at the area below your arch.
Sufficient cushioning is paramount if you’re going to run on asphalt. Asphalt is hard than the surface on your treadmill or playfield. Thus, there’s greater impact under your feet which may lead to injuries.
In addition, it should be able to absorb shock to keep your feet from injuries.
4. Heel Drop
Heel drop refers to the distance from heel to toe and it determines the smoothness of your transition during the gait cycle. If you’re a heel striker, you need a minimalist running shoe with 0 mm-4 mm heel-to-toe drop. This allows you to achieve a natural foot movement to avoid injuries such as compartment syndrome.
On the other hand foot strikers require maximalist running shoes with 2 mm – 6 mm heel drop. They contain thick cushioning to encourage natural landing as opposed to forefoot striking.
Naturally, the outsole of your running shoes will experience a substantial degree of wear and tear when you run on asphalt. Thus, the outsole should be made of high quality rubber that is resistant to abrasion.
Notably, abrasion-resistant rubber should cover the heel and the toe area since these areas are very prone to wear and tear. Also go for shoes that have a durable upper unit so that you get value for your money.
Running on Grass Vs Pavement
Runners train and compete on different types of surfaces. Apart from marathon and cross country, most competitions are done on synthetic running surfaces inside athletics arenas or stadiums. However, during training, you’ll have to stick to the available or nearby running surfaces.
Both running surfaces are associated with some advantages and disadvantages. Of importance, is to know the advantages and disadvantages of each running surface so that you can prepare accordingly.
Here’s what you need to know when running on grass or pavement.
Running on Grass
Grass running surfaces are considered to be soft, smooth and cushiony. While these characteristics makes grass safer for your joints, there’re also a few negatives.
Pros of Running on Grass
- Unlike asphalt, grass is associated with low impacts on your lower body joints, muscles and connective tissue. This puts you at lesser risk of impact-related running or training injuries like IT band syndrome, knee pain among others.
- Running on grass results in stronger joints and muscles. That’s because your muscles and joints tend to work harder due to the soft, cushiony and smooth nature of grass.
- Safer for older runners and individuals who are suffering from knee pain, IT band syndrome, shin splints.
- Running on uneven grass surfaces results in improved balance. That’s because your leg and foot muscles tend to work harder including those that are disused when running on even surfaces like pavement.
- Since running on grass enhances your strength and balance, you’ll end up improving your overall running form. Thus it makes a good training surface when preparing for running competitions.
Cons of Running on Grass
- During winter grass running surfaces become slippery and muddy thus increasing the risk of injuries. To enhance your safety when running on wet grass, it’s recommended to wear running spikes or trail running shoes.
- When running on uneven grass, it’s possible to suffer ankle sprains.
- It’s more difficult to run on grass than on concrete or asphalt. Thus, it’s not the best running surface for speed.
Running on Pavement
With pavements constituting most of the running surfaces, it’s almost impossible to avoid them. You’ll realize that most city streets, country roads and some sidewalks are actually paved with asphalt.
Running on pavement comes with some advantages and disadvantages.
- Most pavements have an even and consistent surface. This keeps your foot stable thus minimizing chances of ankle sprains.
- There’s heightened traction between your shoe’s outsole and asphalt running surfaces.
- Marathon competitions are done on asphalt carpeted roads. So, you’ll be familiarizing yourself with the actual running surface for the race day.
- You tend to run faster on asphalt than soft surfaces like grass, turf or track.
- You can run on pavements all year round except during extreme winter conditions.
- Just like concrete, pavements are associated with high impacts on your lower body joints, muscles and connective tissues. So, you’re exposed to impact-related injuries like knee pain, shin splints and IT band syndrome.
- Narrow and congested sidewalks or bike lanes are too inconveniencing to run on.
- Possibility of accidents from careless drivers or other road users. So, it’s recommended to observe road safety guidelines when running on the road.
There’s a wide range of shoes for running on asphalt. Your shoe of choice should guarantee excellent performance during the entire running session. More importantly it should provide maximum comfort and flexibility. In addition, it should have sufficient traction on the surface and be resilient to wear and tear.