The 10 Best Long Distance Running Shoes Reviewed

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Searching for Long Distance Running shoes? Take a look at the top rated shoes of 2017, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying them in a store!

When it comes to the best long distance running shoes, think lightweight yet supportive. This can be hard to find, as you need the perfect combination of maximalist and minimalist features. If you are searching the web for best marathon running shoes, you will love this article as well!

Nike is a sure bet, but most other brands have at least one great option in this realm like Mizuno, Under Armour, and Saucony. You can stick to your favorite brand this time.

Last Updated: May 12, 2017

In this most recent update to our buying guide, we have researched further to find some more information which you might find helpful to your search for running shoes for those longer distances.

We have also come up with some frequently asked questions, which we have put together by looking into what others had for questions and cocerns when shopping for the same thing.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17
  • Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • BioMoGo DNA midsole provides custom comfort
  • Price: See Here
Check on Amazon!
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ASICS Venture 5
  • ASICS Venture 5
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Rearfoot GEL Cushioning provides exceptional shock absorption
  • Price: See Here
Check on Amazon!
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Mizuno Wave Hitogami
  • Mizuno Wave Hitogami
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • U4ic midsole and Parallel Wave shock absorbing technology
  • Price: See Here
Check on Amazon!
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10 Best Long Distance & Marathon shoes

 


1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17

Editor rating: 9.8 / 10
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The long-term, undisputed champion once again claims it’s number one spot at the top of the list. Year after year, the Adrenaline GTS is the best long distance running shoe on nearly every single list and among marathon runners everywhere. This is for good reason, it’s has all the technology you need for grueling, high endurance runs. Incredible BioMoGo Midsole cushioning gave testers a customized ride, a progressive roll bar keeps your feet aligned, even when they get tired on the last mile of the marathon. All new V-Grooves can handle all terrain with an effortless step. Sure, it’s a little pricey, but it’s worth every single penny.
Pros
  • Full-length BioMoGo DNA midsole for true-to-your-foot cushioning and bounce
  • Seamless 3D Fit Print upper for a snug but flexible fit
  • Highest marks in comfort, support, and breathability.
  • Removable insole for added customization
  • Great style and color options
Cons
  • 99% tester satisfaction
  • A Bit Pricey, but well worth it.


2. ASICS Venture 5

Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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If you’re looking for the best trail rated running shoe, this is it! The ASICS Venture 5 has it all, and nothing that will slow you down. Over four thousand positive reviews from real world users that have put this shoe through all of it’s paces, day after day. ASICS is the name you can trust in injury prevention design and thoughtful, purposeful design. Going on a trail or doing cross-county running? This is your next running shoe.
Pros
  • Second to  none traction and grip
  • Added GEL cushioning for shock absorption and durability
  • Trail specific outsole with reverse traction lugs
  • Incredibly affordable!
Cons
  • Nothing really, these are a crowd pleaser!


3. Mizuno Wave Hitogami 2

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Mizunos are some trendy, stylish and flashy running shoes for the more flamboyant and showy runner. Just look at them! But they’re not just about looks. Mizunos run highly lightweight and somehow they remain durable and supportive whereas many other minimalist shoes fail in this regard. Check out all the pros.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Breathable, soft upper
  • Minimalist construction for great flexibility
  • SmoothRide tech for smooth transitions
  • Vegan-friendly materials
Cons
  • They fit a bit narrow in the toe

4. ASICS Kayano 22 Lite Show

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The Kayano make the list year after year. They do not let seasoned runners down when it comes to providing a lightweight form factor that maintains key features such as full-length GEL cushioning and an impact guidance system. Features typically found on much heavier running shoes. Add to this that Amazon prices them a full ten dollars less than any other retail site and you’ve got a winning combination.
Pros
  • Impact guidance system
  • Full length GEL cushioning
  • Breathable upper
  • High marks for lightweight design
Cons
  • Takes a while to break in

5. New Balance M3190V2

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Not a catchy name, we know. But New Balance concerns themselves with high performance and function. The M3190v2 running shoes are made for neutral runners seeking a long distance running shoe. They’re high on bounce and receptivity which keeps you going without injury or fatigue. The soles are also thick and durable, which protects the feet from getting too hot or injured.
Pros
  • Perfect for neutral runners
  • Seamless overlays are breathable while providing testers with a snug fit
  • 12mm heel-to-toe drop
  • Stylish looks
Cons
  • Testers with wide feet might find them too narrow

6. ASICS Nimbus 18

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Another highly rated long distance runner, the Nimbus 18 deliver with cushion, support, and lightweight breathability. All factors that runners look for in marathon shoes. Durability is something that ASICS is known for, but don’t forget to keep track of your milage in these shoes. Be sure to replace them after 300 - 400 miles. The warning comes because they might still look brand new after all those miles.
Pros
  • High marks on lightweight durability
  • GEL cushioning system that are separate from each other to work independently 
  • Flexible 
Cons
  • Caused some runners blisters. If you run sock-less, you might need runner’s tape.

7. Saucony Ride 9

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The Ride 9 is Saucony’s latest long distance runner that runners always count on. It’s lightweight and features EVERUN topsole for smother heel landings and reduced forefoot pressure. Feedback was strong from 5k and 10k runners, it’s a top rated long distance running shoe.
Pros
  • Recommended by marathoners
  • Ideal for runners with heel pain
  • lightweight and breathable
Cons
  • A little pricey

8. Under Armour Speedform Apollo

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The Speedform Apollos are the best of the best when it comes to Under Armour running shoes. They’re some of the best long distance running shoes thanks to great flexibility and cushioning that keeps you going with your natural stride. They’re lightweight at 5.5 oz. (W) and 8 oz. (M). They’re also high on modern technology that separates basic running shoes from the best running shoes. Check them out.
Pros

 

  • Affordable
  • Anatomical rubber outsole for flexibility and durability
  • Arch reinforcement system provides a great fit and added stability
  • Dual layer midsole offers smooth yet responsive running

 

Cons
  • Some testers found the durability to be low

9. Saucony Cohesion 9

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Other long distance runners can sometimes be clunky, large, and heavy. The Cohesion 9 offer a comfortable ride and remain lightweight. They’re some of the best long distance running shoes because they’re light enough to keep you going, but at the same time, they’re supportive enough to prevent pain and injury. They are highly rated in terms of comfort and support.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Quick-dry mesh for breathability
  • Sock-like fit for comfort
  • Thick midsole support
  • Good heel support for security
Cons
  • Narrow toe box

10. Nike Free Flyknit 4.0

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The Flyknits have been some of the best running shoes Nike has ever made, and they’re some of the best modern running shoes in general. They top the best long distance running shoes list because they’re flexible, light, moderately supportive, and durable. Your form shines with the freedom that these Flyknits allow for, and with that freedom and flexibility comes comfort and the ability to push harder for longer, tackling long distance runs and races.
Pros

 

  • Available in numerous attractive color combinations
  • Flyknit stretchy, polyester yarn upper is lightweight, breathable, and flexible
  • Flywire cables provide lightweight support
  • Super lightweight at 6.3 oz. (W) and 7.5 oz. (M)

 

Cons
  • Expensive price tag
  • Some felt they could use more cushioning

The Criteria Used When Choosing The Best Long Distance Running Shoes

 

Quality And Performance; Not Hype.

Most runners agree that choosing from the selection of long distance running shoes currently on the market can be quite daunting. It’s easy to get lost in the vast selections of choices, each with their own pros and cons. Not to mention expensive marketing campaigns and celebrity endorsements.

We have narrowed down the most important factors to consider when choosing your next pair of high mileage running shoes, and listened to the population that really matters: long distance runners. We paid close attention to how footwear held up after months of use and real world applications. What we were left with was a buying guide that contains nothing but the absolute best. After all, running should be an enjoyable and therapeutic experience. Let us help you take the stress out of making the decision.

 Breathability.

When you’re talking about going long distances, runners of all skill levels will agree that there’s nothing like a shoe with excellent ventilation and zero hotspots. This is why we made sure that our selections possess lighter and more airy materials on the upper section of the shoes. This is because when uppers are constructed with synthetic fabrics and lightweight materials, the results are very cool and breathable shoes.

Fit

It sounds basic but one of the key features in finding a good running shoe is the fit. The last fitting or upper fit needs to be relatively snug – a running shoe that is too big will allow the foot to shear/slide in the trainer, which will increase the risk of blistering on the foot.

Similarly, a trainer that is too small will add compression (squeezing) force on the foot and increase the risk of bone injury. If you get a poor fit what follows are those dreaded toenail problems that result in bleeding or bruising underneath the nail plate.  Though it’s a little challenging to get a 100% fit, the above shoes have been with materials that influences the flexibility of the foot, hence being able to achieve the maximum fit of your feet.

A wide fit means greater freedom of movement and a more comfortable feel, a tighter fit means more control. Downhill running for example requires good grip for more control and security, while running uphill requires high stability for an effective impression. Another bonus feature from these running shoes is that they have various lacing technologies for the different specific feet types and sizes hence being able to achieve the maximum fit. Another tip to make sure your running shoes fit properly is to always stretch your toes upwards and push your heel back while doing up your shoelaces.

Cushion and Support

Shoes with the simplest cushioned inserts are specifically designed for people who merely want to reduce shock. People who enjoy flexibility of being lightweight but then want to protect their feet from being bruised or pounded. Also runners who are older in age and the padding at the bottom of their feet isn’t as good as it used to be.

The inserts are supposed to should be lightweight, flexible and made of materials that won’t break down within a few miles. When most people think of a shoe insert, however, what they first imagine is a full-length footbed with a built-up arch and possibly a shaped heel to reduce pronation (and perhaps also take stress off the forefoot). Such inserts can be useful if you have pain in the arch, suffer from plantar fasciitis, or feel that the muscles on the outside of your foot or ankle are overworking.

It’s important, though, to make sure that the arch support is made of something firm enough that it won’t simply squash flat under the force of your stride. If you want to try something a little more customized to your foot, another option is a heat-moldable footbed, which can be conformed to your foot by first warming it up (typically in an oven at low temperature), then standing on it while the plastic is still warm (but not too hot).

Consistent Comfort After Added Mileage.

We started by simply looking at what real world long distance runners had to say about the comfort levels of their footwear. This includes the right amount of cushioning and padding around the Achilles and consideration for a proper heel segment. Our research demonstrated that comfort could be tricky. Keep in mind that every shoe is comfortable on a department store carpet. This is why we listened to authentic user feedback, directly from high mileage runners that lace their shoes up and use them on trails and treadmills on a daily basis.

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Style To Match All Runners.

Take a look around during your next marathon; you’ll notice that seasoned runners still care about the looks of their footwear and running gear. Luckily, there’s no need to have to choose between form and function when selecting a high quality high mileage running shoe. The shoe manufacturers on our buying guide did a great job of cramming their running shoes with the latest in shoe-tech and still delivering with styles that are current and on trend. You’ll find that our selections are perfect for going from the gym to your local coffee shop or grocery store in style.

Cushioning

A good running shoe should have ample cushioning to absorb shock. However, there are also advocates who argue in favour of minimalist running shoes that have almost no cushioning. No data exists to say which type of shoe is better, but if you choose a cushioned shoe, look for overall shock absorption for the foot. The mechanics of the cushioning is similar to a spring.

It converts the impact energy into heat and therefore reduces the forces acting on your body. And that can be (depending on body weight, speed and route length (i.e. time)) two or three times your own body weight! The cushioning therefore provides not only comfort, but also protects our joints. In this case the sole material also has an influence, since the more resilient it is, the greater the spring effect is.

Apart from that, the type of cushioning is dependent on the type of running you do (and also definitely on the surface: Fast runs (lightweight cushioning), Effective “running to the limit” (moderate cushioning), Long and steady runs (extensive cushioning), and for a particularly soft feeling (maximum cushioning). The grey running shoes have been made with different degrees of cushioning to match the different running needs of different runners.

And with this you also determine additional requirements of your running shoes, just depending on their primary purpose. That includes bearing in mind the typical type of ground you run on, since these also set different requirements for the running shoe: Track running (Shoes targeted specifically for synthetic grounds), Road (Shoes which guarantee reliable safety on hard ground), Uneven ground (Shoes with good traction) and Trail running (Non-slip shoes (even on damp ground)).

Types of Running Shoes

Different types of running shoes are made to accommodate different types of feet and the different environments that people run in. Once you have determined the type of running you are going to do and how you will be using your running shoes, then the next step will be to determine the type of shoes that will be able to meet your running needs and will work out best for you as a runner. We have different types of shoes that suit different types of runners depending on the level of running experience and intense of running workout.

Motion Control: For use with over pronators or flat feet where the foot rolls inward excessively. These shoes provide more rigidity to reduce rotation. They have a wider sole and are slightly bulkier.

Stability: For people with normal or medium arches. They use cushioning to absorb shock and prevent injury. Offer some rigidity, but still allow for normal pronation.

Cushioning: For use with runners who have high arches. Since the foot is rigid and does not pronate, cushion shoes help to absorb the shock and reduce pain in the shins and knee joints. The shoes are not rigid in order to promote some pronation.

Trail: Available for all foot types. Have increased grip on the bottom, ankle support, cushioning, and outer protection to protect the feet from the uneven and rough terrain of trail running.

Racing: Available for all foot types. Low profile and lightweight design assist with speed. Have reduced cushioning and are designed for experienced runners.

Not all running shoes are created equal, so it is important that runners select the type of shoes that will best suit their foot type and running needs. Not only will the proper type of shoes be more comfortable, but they will also provide more protection against injury.

Support And Stability

According to seasoned runners, it’s only after you’ve put significant amont of mileage into a running shoe that you find it’s true support levels. This is because padded materials and memory foam tend to lose their structural integrity after a short time if they are not high quality. In order to make sure that the long term support of materials withstood high wear over long periods of time, we looked at feedback from users that owned the running shoes for several months and maintained high activity levels.

 

Other Important Things to Consider While Shopping Around

While we have researched through a plethora of feedback and data when compiling our list, we understand that in order to truly get the most out of your running shoes, you must make a selection that makes sense for your purposes and what you plan to do with them.

Below you will find some personal factors to take into consideration when making your choice. These running shoes should be an extension of you, so our buying guide is provided with the goal in mind on helping you make a smart decision that is tailored to you.

 Break Them In And Allow Your Pace To Find You.

This may seem very “zen”, but the best way to gain speed and distance is to slow down. If you’re planning on running your first marathon or significantly increasing you distance, remember not get overwhelmed. No one knows your body better than yourself, so start with distance first, and speed second, don’t over stress your legs and feet, and check out some guides on interval training. Additionally, don’t forget to break your new running shoes in by going for a shorter run and get to know your new footwear, especially if they have more cushioning or support than your previous pair.

Consider Insoles – for a perfect fit

Despite a large variety of running shoe, there is only one way to completely adjust the shoe to your foot: shoe insoles. Adding custom made shoe insoles will provide you with better foot support, which is critical during intense training and prolonged running.  To fit the running insoles to your foot in the most optimal way, it is recommended to undergo biomechanical testing.

Price

Just because you want a good long distance pair of running shoes doesn’t mean you should not consider the price of the running shoes. Though we cannot deny the obvious fact that  running shoes can be a little costly especially the ones that are constantly updated and are technologically induced. The price doesn’t mean that it relates to the quality of the running shoes, though price might be a good factor to consider. It’s good to look into reviews that are given on a particular long distance running shoe before making a purchase. Running shoes are good investment that should be given great consideration before making the purchase.

Always Match Your Arches

If you haven’t done so already, take a look at your feet, specifically your arches. Is your arch flat, neutral, or high? This is the proverbial starting point when selecting not just running shoes, but any type of footwear. If you have what is referred to as fallen arches, then chances are you fit into the flat feet shape. You’re going to want to look out for over-pronation which is an inward rolling when you land.

You are going to be looking for a running shoe with high stability (to counteract a flatter heal). This will prevent inward rolling and offer a better foot strike. If you have a high arched feet which, are characterized by a strong, defined arch; you are going to tend to land on the outside edges of your feet (this is called supination). You’re going to lookout for footwear that has more cushioning and a nicely padded midfoot area. Our buying guide purposely mentions which selection is better suited to help you achieve the best match.

Consider Your Terrain, And Don’t Log Too Many Miles Too Often Into The Same Shoe

When selecting running footwear, make sure the outsole matches your terrain. An aggressive pattern will give you good traction on loose pebbles and dusty trails. Our list contains the best of the best in trail rated, long distance running shoes. Likewise, if you’re going to be on the treadmill belt, or standard road running, make a selection that reflects that.

Don’t make the mistake of turning one running shoe into a “do-it-all” running shoe, especially for long distances. Cushioning materials and support foams take time to regain their “spring”, so make sure you’re not overdoing it on one pair of shoes. Seasoned runners typically keep a rotation of several active shoes to keep their footwear fresh.

Duration

It’s important to note that running shoes can be very useful when it comes to recovering from injury. But then it doesn’t mean it should be something you wear indefinitely. This is due to the fact that, by reducing the range of motion of your feet, they allow some of the small muscles of the foot and ankle to get lazy. Be cautious of anti-pronation arch supports because they can heighten the risk of sprained ankles, particularly for trail runners or people who run on slanted surfaces.

Don’t Make A Selection Solely Based On Looks, Popularity, Or Endorsements

We know that style is important, in fact studies demonstrate that when runners are happy with the overall look of their footwear, they are more likely to use them more often and for longer periods of time. This is why our buying guide has a great amount of style and color options to match every runner.

However, remember to check off all the other boxes first to make sure that you are running with the optimum footwear for your individual running style. Also, don’t worry about who’s spending money to sponsor the 10k; consider feedback from those who are actually running in the 10k. Having the right running shoes for long distances should be the primary goal, stay focused.

Find The necessary support

Every running style is unique, which also goes for the phase of ground contact too. Shoe support targets this specific moment with its mix of material and technology and is dependent on a few factors:

  • Length/Distance: You need greater support on longer runs, because muscles lose power after a certain amount of time.
  • Body weight: In general, the heavier a runner is, the greater their shoe support should be.
  • Pronation: A pronounced pronation can be regulated by a higher level of support.

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FAQ

We hope that by giving you some important factors to consider, we have made you jogging shoe selection a little easier. Our buying guide contains great picks and recommendations from fellow runners, so whatever your needs are, you going to get a stylish jogger that meets your individual running requirements. Before you get out there, take a look at some frequently asked questions that most joggers and long distance runners had when they were making their decision.

Q: I’m working on increasing my distance and I have standard training shoes that should be good enough, do I really need long distance runners?

A: Absolutely. Don’t assume that those gym, or light training shoes will make for a good pair of long-distance running shoes. You’re going to want a pair of running shoes that match your running style and foot shape as described above. This is key to maintaining happy feet and steering clear of possible injuries that take quite a long time to recover from.

Q. How often should you replace your running shoes?

A. For a runner doing five 3-mile runs per week, that comes out to a new pair every five to six months. Though according to some researchers, running shoes should be replaced anywhere from 300 to 500 miles after the first wear

Q: I’m training for a marathon, should I be more concerned with speed or with distance?

A: Most seasoned runners agree that increasing distance should be the primary focus and our list reflects running shoes that offer that consideration. As you build up endurance, you will start to notice improvements in your speed. If your goal is to have faster times, give yourself about two months of consistent running before you start pushing for faster times.

Q: How can I select the perfect sized running shoe for my feet?

A: Our list contains comments from fellow runners if they find that the particular model runs large or small. A pro tip from seasoned runners is to measure your foot size at the end of the day, after you’ve been walking around for quite some time. Most feet swell just a little, so you might want to adjust your jogging shoe size for this.

 Q: Do long distance running shoes last more or less than standard running shoes?

A: Depending on wear patterns, 200 to 400 miles is the most you want to log onto a long distance, marathon shoe. Of course this has a lot to do with how hard your landing is, so keep an eye on your wear patterns. Most runners keep a log of how many miles they log on their shoes. Additionally, if you require a runner with a lot of midsole foam, remember that it can take 24 hours for it to fully recover from a run. So if you jog at night then again at early morning, you might want to select a second pair of jogging shoes to give yourself more protection.

runners

This was our approach when selecting the right long distance running shoes for you. Finding the right running shoes is all about comfort and protection rather than appearances. Shoes that fit runners properly will protect them from injury and also improve their performance by reducing fatigue and lessening the shock of impact.

With so many different types of running shoes available, it can be hard for first-time buyers of running shoes to figure out which shoes will work best for them. When it comes to finding the right pair of running shoes, a runner’s foot type is often the main factor that needs to be taken into consideration.

Remember that size and fit can give you the perfect amount of comfort; while taking your endurance levels into consideration will help you hit those goals. We hope this guide provided you with all the information you need when making you choice between form and function. Thanks for following along with us. Now get out there, keep running!


Here are some sources used while conducting our research

It’s important to use the widest range possible when selecting sources to ensure quality information. We enjoy utilizing trusted feedback partners and manufactures when providing our readers with the most up-to-date statistics found in all our buying guides. We are also very interested in taking what everyday users have to say about specific products, and we perform our due diligence to make sure that quality research goes into every guide. Here are some sources, which helped us with this guide:

Sources

  1. Runner’s World, Runner’s World, Training Guide,
  2. REI, REI, Outdoor / Sports Website,
  3. Competitor, Competitor, Running Website,
  4. Amazon, Amazon, Product Reviews,
  5. World Marathons.com, Choosing The Right Marathon Running Shoe, Marathon focused website,
  6. Marathon Training.com, Choosing the Right Shoes, Training website,
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