Best Long Distance Running Shoes Reviewed
In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research
Best Long Distance Running Shoes
1. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35
May be pricey for some budgets
The Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 is taking over the previous model, the 34. The 35 is still pretty affordable. Compared to the previous model, the 35 allows for a more natural stride. It also has s higher heel collar.Read more
These shoes are incredibly lightweight--with the men's version weighing 10 ounces and the women's weighing 9 ounces. These shoes are incredibly breathable--so breathable that many users say they wouldn't recommend them if you're running in really cold environments. The 35 also introduced a higher collar so your Achilles is protected even during your longest runs. They are well-cushioned and have an Air Zoom midsole for optimal responsiveness. While they don't provide the most stability, they are really flexible and allow for the full range of motion of your stride
The Pegasus is well-known for their durability as long as you use them for what they were made for--running.
These shoes cost the same as their predecessor, which means they are still pretty pricey for some budgets. But, if you're a neutral roadrunner looking for a durable and comfortable pair of long-distance running shoes, then these are definitely worth the investment.
2. ASICS Gel-Nimbus 20
Lots of color options
This model has been on our list for a bit now, but we are upgrading its predecessor with the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 20. If you have any gait issues or prefer running shoes with a higher drop, then these are some of the best out there for you.Read more
These shoes are pretty lightweight and their Fluid Fit upper allows for optimal breathability--so you won't have to worry about any annoying chafing or blisters with these shoes! They are designed with neutral runners in mind and feature a well-cushioned midsole. They provide a secure fit and come true to size. They are pretty responsive and provide great shock absorption.
These shoes are really durable. Their outsole actually has additional gel cushioning and rubber to make it more durable and the shoe's midsole is pretty well-cushioned but also firm and durable.
These are a bit pricer--especially compared to other ASICS shoes. However, if they fit your budget, they are a great investment given how durable and effective they are.
3. Saucony Kinvara 9
Not very durable
These shoes are a favorite among many runners--both short and long-distance runners alike. They come highly recommended for marathons and offer a low heel drop--so if that's your preference then these may be a great pair to consider.Read more
These are one of the best long-distance running shoes when it comes to comfort. They are really lightweight (only about 7.5 ounces) and really breathable--although they aren't as breathable as the Nike Pegasus on our list. They feature a wide toe box-- so they're a good option for those of you with wider feet--and they have a supportive heel, which will specifically benefit heel striking runners. They are really responsive and offer neutral support--so they are not a good option for those of you with no arch or high arches.
These shoes can last roughly 300 miles--give or take 50 depending on how you treat them. They are not as durable as other shoes, and they never really have been. They are, however really lightweight--which is what takes away from their durability.
These are pricey, especially since they only last for an average of 300 miles. If you are looking to run 10 milers 5 or more times a week then we don't think these will be a good investment.
4. Mizuno Wave Inspire 14
Breathable and flexible upper
Great stability and support
12mm drop is too high for some
Mizuno is a well-known brand in the running community thanks to their quality products--every upgrade they put out almost always seems to be better than the previous model. Their Wave Inspire 14 model, specifically, has quickly become a favorite among long-distance runners everywhere and they are highly rated and recommended by many users.Read more
These shoes provide a secure fit and feature a 12mm drop. They have a breathable mesh upper which also makes the shoe really flexible. The shoe's midsole is made of the Mizuno U4ic and the U4icX Heel Wedge--together, these two allow the shoe to be very responsive and provide better shock absorption. They also provide great stability and support and ensure your feet stay cool and dry
These shoes have rubber soles and are built to last hundreds of miles.
These are really pricey but definitely worth the cost if you're looking for a durable pair of shoes for your long-distance road running.
5. Asics Gel-Kayano 25
WIl improve your gait
Lots of color options
The newest Kayano does not disappoint, which is why we are replacing its predecessor with it on our list! These shoes are still just as breathable, comfortable, and flexible--just with some new and improved additions.Read more
Not only are these shoes breathable and lightweight--but you will find they also have additional tech that lets them provide adequate support and stability. Their DuoMax system allows the shoe to provide additional support and stability during your runs while the guideline midsole tech helps you improve your gait, so you get more out of your runs. These shoes are really responsive and great for long distance road runners.
These shoes are durable but not as durable as other options on our list. They will last you several hundred miles if you don't take them off-road or more technical terrain.
These are really expensive, but if you are looking to improve your gait then these are great investment since their added tech will help you do just that.
6. Saucony Ride 10
For some runners, cushioning was too thin
The next shoes on our list are Saucony Ride 10. These shoes are breathable and boost air circulation within the shoe.Read more
These shoes are highly durable and allow for optimal shock absorption. They provide excellent protection, a secure fit, and great responsiveness. While these shoes are pretty durable, they aren't a great option for trails or technical terrain.
7. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18
Provides excellent support and stability
Full-length BioMoGo DNA midsole for true-to-your-foot cushioning and bounce
Removable insole for added comfort customization
Lots of color options
Some users don’t care for the heel drop
Previously on the top of this list was the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17, and its new and improved model—once again—does not disappoint. The support and stability this shoe provides are perfect for long distance runners who need to pack in the miles without having to destroy their feet in the process.Read more
The BioMoGo DNA combined with the removable molded foam insole provides an adequate amount of cushioning and comfort to make your runs steady and easy.
These shoes are also very lightweight (which is sometimes difficult to find in a support shoe) and durable. They are highly breathable as well, thanks to mesh and material they are composed off.
8. Newton Motion V
360 degree reflectivity
Contours to your foot
Some don't like the color options
Newton is not a well-known company, but their Newton Motion V shoes have managed to gain a position as some of the most recommended long distance running shoes. Newton is a company based in Colorado, and they are slowly but surely gaining traction in the running world.Read more
These shoes are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable. They utilize a 4-way Stretch mesh Metatarsal Panel in order to contour to your foot and adjust to your individual needs.
Its secure fit, durability, and 360 degree reflectivity make this shoe a great buy that won't disappoint.
9. Nike Zoom fly
Engages certain leg muscles 4% less
Decreases your long distance time
several color options
Zoom X cushioning
Carbon Fiber insert
Some users report it could provide more support
Some prefer it as a racce day shoe
These are definitely the most expensive option on our list, so if you aren't looking to spend a pretty penny than these may not be the best shoes for you.Read more
They are made for both long distance and speed, so if you are looking to improve your race time than these are the shoes for you (especially perfect for race day).
The Zoom X cushioning is highly favored by its users--making it one of the most comfortable options available. Nike also features its' carbon fiber insert--which they claim to help you finish your marathon in sub 2.
They allow for minimal muscle usage theses shoes allow for--they allow you to use quads, calves, and shins 4% less than in other shoes. This allows you to comfortably increase your speed and comfort without sacrificing stability and support.
10. Adidas Adizero Adios 3
Narrow toe box
Typically there aren't a ton of Adidas shoes that hit the top of the line or highest rated lists, but the Adidas Adizero Adios 3 running shoes have become popular among marathoners and long-distance runners. They are lightweight and come with an adequate amount of cushioning.Read more
The shoe's rubber outsole increases their overall durability and traction--making them a shoe worth investing in because they are long-lasting and can hold their own outside.
These shoes are also highly responsive and have great shock absorption. This allows them to be an excellent long-distance option because it avoids the problems that arise when a shoe does not have the capability to do these two things.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When it comes to athletic apparel this factor almost always comes first.
Long distance running can be challenging so there's no need to make it even more so by wearing a pair of uncomfortable shoes. Although every pair of feet is different (and even one foot to another on the same person!) so this can, at times, be a somewhat subjective thing to look at, but there are a few things we can do and research when it comes to a pair of shoes that will help us figure this one out. First of all, we look at the design and features of a pair of shoes. If it has a high-quality lining, we know from experience that this will help you feel good wearing the shoes. A flexible upper is another thing we look for that we know will add to your experience. Finally, we consider over a thousand reviews for every category of product that we look at to help us get a well-rounded idea of what a host of different people felt about the shoes. For example, a couple of us here at RunnerClick might wear the shoes and find them agreeable, but that's just a few people. By considering what over 1000 people have to say about a pair of shoes gives us the best possible overview of the shoes and we share this with you to help you make a better buying decision.
Even in cold weather running long distances = sweaty feet.
This is an especially important thing to look at when it comes to shoes for running long distances in because in these situations, even if it's cold outside and especially if it's hot, your feet are going to end up getting sweaty. And as a runner, you know that sweaty feet can lead to chafing, hot spots, and the dreaded blisters that can stop you in your tracks and seriously interrupt your training. Because of this, we made sure to look seriously at this factor when choosing products for this list.
The moisture-wicking factor of a pair of shoes is mainly determined by the design and materials of the upper. Most important is the design; you want something with a wide mesh that will let plenty of moisture escape to the outside air where it can escape naturally. Something a lot of people don't consider is that wearing shoes that have a lot of added support features built into them can mean a sacrifice in wicking moisture. This is because added support in a pair of best rated running shoes comes from overlays, which are usually and basically strips of material that are sewn or otherwise attached to the uppers in ways meant to help support over and under-pronators, etc. But this material also gets in the way of the mesh, meaning more moisture is trapped inside your shoe than is otherwise ideal. We know we're nitpicking here, and if you need a support shoe, by all means, you should definitely get a pair, we just wanted to help educate you as much as possible.
Running long distances means a lot of pounding for your feet, so do them a favor will ya?
10,500. That's how many strides an 8 minute per mile runner of average height will take over a 10-mile run. That's 10,500 times your foot is hitting the hard ground. That's a lot of abuse! Especially with long-distance running, it's important to take into consideration the ability of your shoes to absorb some of this impact so that your joints and tendons don't have to. When picking products for this list we made sure to choose running shoes that had plenty of cushioning in both the midsole and outsole, and had gotten a lot of positive reviews from all types of different people about their ability to moderate some of the shocks that naturally come with running long distances. Especially if you are a larger, heavier runner, you'll definitely want a pair of running shoes that gives you plenty of cushioning otherwise you'll be more likely to be sore and tired after your run, or even develop conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
Shoes that get a lot of miles put on them need to be able to hold up to the abuse.
This may seem obvious and elementary but it bears mentioning; long distance running = lots of miles. Lots of miles = lots of wear and tear on your shoes. Now that we've got the math out of the way, let's move forward, shall we? When choosing products for this list we made sure to prioritize shoes that have features that will make them long-lasting. These features include a durable outsole, good construction quality using high-quality adhesives, an upper made with tough, synthetic fibers, and while it's not a feature exactly, we looked for products that had plenty of reviews from people who had used them over many miles and found they held up well. A quick side note here is that it can be really nice to have a lightweight pair of shoes for long distance running because every ounce saved means less work for your muscles to do, so even saving an ounce here and there really adds up over thousands of strides over many miles. However, light running shoes are intrinsically less durable than heavier models so this is a compromise that you'll have to think about when you're shopping.
It's not the most important factor, but the price vs. what the shoe offers is always a good thing to consider.
Especially since we're looking at shoes that will be worn while running long distances, we definitely wanted to look at this factor. Regularly running a lot of miles in a pair of shoes can cause them to wear out more quickly and need to be replaced so while things like comfort and breathability are more important than the price, it shouldn't be ignored either.
Also Worth Reading: Kids Running Shoes
A good way to help your shoes last as long as possible is to do what a lot of seasoned long-distance runners do and alternate between two pairs of running shoes. By letting each pair fully dry out between uses you'll help keep the midsole from compressing more than is normal which will help you get the most possible use out of the shoes. You can also help to extend their life by regularly washing them off by hand with warm water and soap, making sure to remove any dirt and mud that has accumulated on the upper as well as in any cracks and crevices. Having dirt in the upper can make the shoe wear down more quickly so this is a good way to help you get your money's worth out of a good pair of running shoes.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
My criteria when looking for running shoes is durability, comfort and fit. I cringe to admit I used to order shoes online solely based on colorway. My shoes have to stand up to major mileage, and having surgery in the past means cushion and comfort are also at the top of my list. Recently I ran a marathon, injuring my toenail. After, I got fitted for a shoe with a bigger toe box, learning the importance of a good fit. No more shopping for shoes based on looks!
Sure, support is good, but the shoe you choose has to have the support that will last. Breathability is another one. Your feet will need to breathe when going longer.
Also, make sure the overall fit and comfort are as good as it gets. After all, if it's a race situation you can't just stop and change shoes.
This is a compromise you're going to have to make when you pick a pair of long distance running shoes. A lightweight pair is great because saving just a couple of ounces adds up big time when multiplied over thousands of strides over lots of miles. But lightweight shoes are inherently less durable than heavier options and will wear out more quickly over all those long runs. So we recommend thinking about your budget and your priorities before you start to shop.
Other Factors to Consider
According to long distance seasonal runners, it’s only after you’ve put a good amount of mileage into a running shoe that you realize how much cushioning and support level it had. Poor quality shoe padding and cushioning tend to loose their stability within a really short time, that is not the expectation of the runner. Good quality cushioning and padding need to be strong and able to sustain the runner for a longer period giving support and comfort to the athlete. It is recommended that the buyer to seek information from the staff of the stall where he is shopping for the shoes whether the cushioning is original and of good quality. One can also look at different reviews on how good quality padding look like. One can also look at feedback and questions from various different users that have owned or used the long distance running shoes and maintained the shoes’high activity level.
Even though it shouldn't be the most important consideration, there's nothing wrong with taking looks into account when you're picking a pair of running shoes. In fact, studies have shown that people who like the way they look when they run actually run farther and more often than people who don't like how they look. So again, while you shouldn't have this be your main factor, there's nothing wrong with buying a pair of shoes that you will look good in. As a matter of fact, doing so can actually help keep you on track to meeting your training and fitness goals.
When selecting running footwear, it an important consideration to make sure the shoe fits the terrain of the runner, especially if it is a long distance runner. Our list contains the best of the best in trail 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.
one should avoid doing a 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.
Athletes who want to concentrate on shock reduction on their feet while they run will definitely opt for running shoes that have very simplified cushion inserts in them. They also come with impressive flexibility and are very lightweight. Shoes with amazing cushioning are able to provide protection, to the feet of the runner against minor injuries like poundings and bruces that may affect the runner from doing his or her routines. Perfect running shoes for senior runners. Good shoe inserts are always lightweight and made of fabric and materials that are very durable, they should also enhance flexibility of the feet during workout. Though most are designed to help in dealing with pronation, the inserts can be very useful in dealing with different types of foot injuries and pains like a pain in the arch or runners who have plantar fasciitis. They are able to help the muscles around the leg to not feel exhausted or over worked. Another important factor is the arch support, it should be firm enough and will not be able o break down when you exert pressure on it during a sprint. There are other options of inserts that are more customized and provide same additional support and protection and cushioning. This is done by making the feet conform to the plastic after being warmed up.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can I use my old tennis shoes in my long distance running rather than purchasing new shoes?
We encounter this type of question time and again. In theory, you can use the pair of shoes you already have or any old shoes. Its less of a requirement issue and more one of priority. If you believe you can deal with the consequences of making that choice then its a non-issue. The reason you would want to have a pair of shoes specifically for long distance running is so that your performance would be improved and not negatively impacted by the injuries and irritation you would have to deal with as a result of ill-suited shoes. Not using long distance running shoes if you have the option is simply just a very poor move and doing so goes against the advice of any seasoned runner you could ask.
q: How often should you replace your running shoes?
A long-distance shoe will simply have a much higher level of durability than other shoes. If they don’t then it would be a brand that you should probably avoid in the future. Maintenance will also add to the life of your long distance shoe including resting after big races, airing, and cleaning. That all said, you are looking to replace your shoe every 200 to 400 miles based on your own personal assessment of its wear. We do not recommend keeping a shoe past 400 total miles of accumulated distance.
q: I’m training for a marathon, between the distance and speed, which one should I concentrate more on?
A marathon is a competition, true, but the real challenge of a marathon is finishing. Focusing on distance training to start is probably wiser. You need to be sure you can finish the race before you can try to win it. Once you feel confident in your ability to complete the required distance with ease then you can work on your race time and start pushing for placement.
q: How do I choose the right size of long distance running shoes?
When you select the shoe think about the type of terrains which you will be on and types of weather in your chosen running locations, then factor in the traction, the breathability, flexibility, level of real protection, support and very importantly, be accurate on the shoe FIT.
While in a sports shop purchasing a shoe, do ask questions about the shoe, is it used for marathons, how good is it?
When buying a good pair of shoes online, use the key factors mentioned here and look at reviews about the shoe, this will point you in the right direction for selecting the best shoe for you.