A great, inspirational distance running shoe is one that doesn’t limit your potential. That’s true! The best long distance running shoes must provide support and cushioning that’s hard to beat. The ones I have come across provide fantastic foot support without adding weight.
Besides offering adequate protection from the track and the elements, the best distance running or marathon shoes use a combination of state-of-the-art running shoe technologies.
There’s only one problem, though. There are way too many options out there, making choosing the ideal model a headache. So, in my selections, I have considered all the essential features you would want your marathon running shoes to have.
The Best Long Distance Running Shoes Are:
|1. Brooks Men’s Ghost 13 Running Shoe||Check Current Price|
|2. ASICS Men’s Gel-Contend 5 Running Shoe||Check Current Price|
|3. Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 20 Running Shoe||Check Current Price|
|4. HOKA ONE ONE Men’s Bondi 6 Running Shoe||Check Current Price|
|5. Brooks Men’s Glycerin 17 Running Shoe||Check Current Price|
|6. ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 22 Running Shoes||Check Current Price|
1. Brooks Men’s Ghost 13 Running Shoe – Overall Best Marathon Running Shoes
If you are looking for a shoe that checks all the boxes for distance running, Brooks Men’s Ghost 13 fits the description.
- BioMoGo and DNA loft cushioning
- 3D fit print upper
- Segmented crash pad
- Neutral foot type support
- High energizing cushion experience
This shoe offers balanced, soft cushioning, which makes it the best running shoes for half marathons and full marathons. The BioMoGo DNA and DNA loft work as a unit to provide softness and plushness as you keep on increasing the mileage.
You get high energizing cushioning experience without losing responsiveness. Not to mention that the DNA loft runs the full length of the shoe for those easy transitions during landing and toe-off. You’ve got the segmented crash pad at the bottom that’s made up of fully-integrated shock absorbers. This unique system not only improves cushioning but also maximizes efficiency and promotes seamless toe-offs.
The design of the upper is one of the best for long-distance running. Why? It is an engineered mesh with 3D fit print, which is great because it provides a sock-like fit and superior breathability. But the thing is, the tongue’s design may be unacceptable for some long-distance runners because it does not stay straight.
- Balanced, soft cushioning offers neutral support
- Offers softness and plushness as the distance increases
- Transitions between landing and toe-off are seamless
- Roomy toe box improves comfort and balance
- Breathable mesh upper boosts airflow over long distances
- Some models may come with flawed tongue design
- Possible for some sizes to run small
For all these reasons, this is our pick for the best men’s long distance running shoes. The BioMoGo DNA and DNA loft cushioning adapt to your weight, stride, gait, and pace. So, expect the best running experience beyond the 5K mark.
Overall Rating – 4.8
Are you looking for a shoe that will take you through a marathon with less foot and knee wear? The Gel-Content 5 from ASICS fits the description.
- AmpliFoam midsole
- Lightweight mesh upper
- Gel rearfoot technology
- Ortholite sock liner
- Rubber outsole
This versatile running footwear from ASICS features a very breathable mesh upper, which is great because it promotes superior airflow for a cool running experience. Synthetic overlays are placed in key areas of the shoe for structural support and added durability. The traditional lace-up design is going to provide a secure fit over the top of the foot.
There’s an AmpliFoam midsole that gives you great response and cushioning over long distances. A cushioned footbed helps you to absorb shock when descending. It also features Ortholite technology; so, it is antimicrobial to keep your foot feeling fresh.
You’ve got extra gel cushioning at the heel for added comfort. The shoe sits on top of a durable rubber outsole that provides reliable grip and traction. But the thing is, the sizing of this shoe is inconsistent and the insole is not replaceable.
- Highly breathable upper for superior airflow
- More structural support from the midfoot cage
- Great response and cushioning when landing
- Superior heel gradient reduces strain on lower limb
- Grip and traction are reliable on different surfaces
- Sizing may be inconsistent from one model to another
- The insole is not replaceable
Go further than ever before with this incredible shoe from ASICS. Its energized cushioning will carry you through a half marathon with ease.
Overall Rating – 4.7
3. Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 20 Running Shoe — Best Women’s Marathon Running Shoes
This is already a super soft shoe, but this latest revamp pushes the limits of boost foam to improve performance without affecting the shoe’s overall weight.
- Boost foam midsole
- Primeknit, textile upper
- Stretchweb outsole with Continental rubber
- Tailored fiber placement
- Low-profile design for outdoor and indoor
The most impressive feature of this shoe is the boost foam, which provides the best combination of comfort and performance as well as cushioning and responsiveness. The outsole is innovatively designed for long mileages.
It is engineered from the Stretchweb Continental rubber to give you great tread and it’s super durable. The grip and traction this shoe gives flow with every step. The elastane heel; on the other hand, is soft and comfortable to promote the natural movement of your Achilles.
The Primeknit upper construction is all about comfort and performance when running those long distances. It allows for more breathability and structural support. But the shoe is a touch wide at the back, which may not be suitable for ladies with smaller heels or ankles.
- Boost foam offers superior cushioning and responsiveness
- Great tread, grip, and traction on the road
- Promotes the natural movement of your Achilles
- Very breathable and supportive upper
- A great choice for running and casual wear
- May be slightly wider at the back for ladies with small heels or ankles
- The arch may be off for some ladies
Let the boost foam of the Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 20 help you cover longer distances with ease. Make sure you get the right size, though.
Overall Rating – 4.6
If you are looking for a staple shoe for those long recovery miles over the weekend, then look no further than the HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 6.
- Neutral running shoe support
- Compression-molded EVA midsole
- Lycra comfort frame heel
- Engineered mesh upper
- Redesigned rubber outsole
The Bondi 6 is designed to help reduce wear on your feet and knees, which is great because you can run long distances without straining too much. The upper of this incredible long haul shoe is fantastic, featuring a unique engineered mesh construction for optimized breathability.
You’ve got an overlay design that gives it a little bit more structure and rigidity. The collar has memory foam in the heel, which gives you a locked-in, supportive fit for soft, plush landings. The entire midsole is crafted from compression-molded EVA, which is incredibly soft for a smoother, plusher ride over long distances.
I like the redesigned rubber outsole because it is lightweight and durable. You’ve got deep lugs at the bottom for superior traction on any type of surface. What I don’t like; however, is the bulky appearance of the shoe.
- Great design for reducing wear on foot and knee
- The upper provides optimized breathability
- Has a little bit more structure and rigidity
- Super soft and plush cushion running experience
- Outstanding traction on any type of surface
- The bulky look may appear weird for some runners
- Its stability may not be the best for some people
Bondi 6 guarantees you a consistent run for any distance, but you may have to overlook its bulky appearance.
Overall Rating – 4.6
5. Brooks Men’s Glycerin 17 Running Shoe — Best Soft Cushion Experience
This great shoe is built for long distances and recovering runs, thanks to its supremely soft plush cushioning and comfortable engineered mesh upper.
- DNA loft, 3D fit print
- Neutral foot type support
- Medium, high arch
- Midsole drop of 10 mm
The Glycerin 17 features the perfect balance between comfort and structure for long-distance runners. This shoe is fitted with the full-length EVA based DNA loft midsole, which is great because it offers supreme comfort. By comfort, I mean that it’s soft and takes a lot of impacts when running on hard surfaces. The soft and plush cushion experience is topnotch when it comes to long-distance and recovery runs.
The outsole is made of durable rubber that extends through the transition zones of the shoe. This adds a bit more cushion to your long-distance rides. The upper is structured by the 3D fit print technology for a more secure fit. You’ve got an internal stretch bootie that wraps your foot and expands and moves with your step.
The tongue and collar are slightly padded to improve the fit and add comfort. There’s also a shoelace garage on the tongue for keeping the lace secured. But the Glycerin 17 isn’t the lightest and certainly not the fastest.
- Provides soft cushion running experience
- Takes impacts without losing responsiveness
- Propels you forward at toe-off
- Offers plush heel to toe transition
- Breathable and supportive upper
- Slightly heavy compared to its cousins
- Not the fastest shoe option
Prevail in long-distance and recovery runs with the Glycerin 17. A unique shoe that offers superior soft cushion experience.
Overall Rating – 4.6
A longtime favorite for its soft cushioning and long-distance durability, the Gel-Nimbus 22 doesn’t disappoint during marathon running.
- Soft Gel cushioning
- Flytefoam propel technology
- Trusstic technology
- Engineered mesh upper
- Lightweight AHAR outsole
My favorite technology in this shoe is the soft gel cushioning unit. It wraps around the rear foot, which is great because it provides a superior heel fit, underfoot softness and plushness, and impact protection. The gel’s performance is further enhanced with the wide fit for marathoners who need more room in their footwear. The great shock absorption ability of the Gel cushion helps you avoid injuries.
The arch of the Gel-Nimbus 22 is reinforced with Trusstic technology that reduces weight and provides stability over longer distances. It also helps to improve the durability of the shoe.
The high-performing midsole features the brand’s proprietary Flytefoam that delivers more energetic rides. This technology compresses a bit more when your foot hits the ground for enhanced softness. The AHAR outsole; on the other hand, offers maximum traction. But the thing is, too many updated features may have interfered with the overall performance of the Gel-Nimbus 22.
- The heel fit is superior and supportive
- Gel cushioning promotes underfoot softness and plushness
- Provides added support in the forward motion
- Flytefoam midsole delivers energetic rides
- Maximum traction and durability
- Overall performance is affected by too many updated features
- Some models may fail to provide arch support
Designed to offer ultimate comfort and perfect fit, Gel-Nimbus 22 is the ideal choice for any woman looking for the ultimate way to go further.
Overall Rating – 4.5
Buying Guide: How To Pick The Best Marathon Running Shoes
The best long distance running shoes have become rather expensive in these last few years. A high price is no guarantee of quality, but the quality must indeed be paid for. Here are the key factors to look for:
Unrolling Movement Of The Foot
When choosing the best distance running shoes, you must take into the unrolling movement of your foot. This is so since not every runner has a normal foot and not everyone puts their foot down the same way when running over long distances. There are three ways we land our feet when running:
The landing occurs on the outside of the heel. This is referred to as normal pronation, which ensures maximum shock absorption.
With overpronation, the foot unrolls too far to the inside and the impact is rather quickly translated into a pain in the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.
The shock of putting down the foot is mainly absorbed by the outside of the foot because the foot unrolls too little to the inside. Supination can cause problems in the ankles, knees, and lower back.
Correct Shoe Size
The correct shoe size is, of course, very important too for long distance runners. Too small shoes may lead to a cramped running style. Too large shoes will quickly cause blisters, due to the constant movement of the foot in the shoe. The best marathon running shoes should be rather tight at the sides of the heel. So, they provide stability to the heel and ankle.
The winner of this roundup is Brooks Men’s Ghost 13 Running Shoe. This is a longtime favorite for distance runners because of its soft cushioning and long-distance durability. Unlike the competition, this shoe has it all in terms of softness, plushness, support, and smooth transition. No matter how your foot lands this shoe will provide the much-needed shock absorption.
This is a neutral running shoe, which means it is a great choice for supinated foot types. It provides some support and less foot control, but maximum cushioning for shock absorption. The correct size of this shoe provides a secure and comfortable fit over longer distances.