This form of running requires a high level of physical endurance, extended timeframes, and long paths. We found that the best overall shoe for this strenuous activity is the Saucony Kinvara 11 running shoe. They epitomize the ideal running footwear with their cushioning and responsiveness.
Here’s an in-depth look at our best long-distance running shoes.
Best Long-Distance Running Shoes Reviewed:
- Best All-Around: Saucony Kinvara 11
- Best-Selling: Asics Gel-Cumulus 21
- Best Cushioning: Saucony Omni ISO 2
- Best for Wide Feet: On Cloudstratus
- Best for Ultra-Runners: Salomon Ultra Pro Trail
Best All-Around Long-Distance Running Shoes
For runners looking for a flexible, well-cushioned shoe, the Saucony Kinvara 11 is an excellent choice. They’re rated by users and experts alike as extremely comfortable. This is partly due to the PWRRUN cushioning, which is plush, yet not so puffy that you can’t feel the ground.
The shoe is impressively stable and the secure feel is accentuated by the FORMFIT technology and the Flexfilm overlay, which both contour the foot’s natural shape. The Kinvara 11s are so comfortable you’ll want to take the long way home every time.
|Saucony Kinvara 11|
Best-Selling Long-Distance Running Shoes
Appropriate for everyday use or long-distance runs, the Asics Gel-Cumulus 21 shoes are our clients’ top pick. The spacious forefoot allows for natural toe splay, ideal for long-distance running. This shoe also has top-tier technologies like FLYTEFOAM cushion that gives ample support.
The Impact Guidance System (IGS) and the Guidance Line technology work together to create a great support system. I can imagine these shoes being appreciated by comfort-seeking nurses and pro racing athletes alike.
|Asics Gel-Cumulus 21|
Long-Distance Running Shoes With Best Cushioning
If you want a shoe to replace your need for orthotics, check out the Saucony Omni ISO 2 shoes. Our customers appreciated the comfort level ensured by the shoe’s large toe box. The TRI-FLEX outsole enhances flexibility, and the FORMFIT technology keeps your feet in place.
When long-distance running, you’ll want a shoe that feels as supportive as this one does. It has the cushion and the stability to go the distance—whatever that distance might be.
|Saucony Omni ISO 2|
Best Long Distance Running Shoes for Wide Feet
If you need a shoe that offers superior stability, try the On Cloudstratus running shoes. The excellent width profile is complemented by a host of stabilizing technologies. An asymmetrical lacing system reportedly removes pressure from the forefoot.
Double cushioning made of Helion-enriched Dual Cloud Tec material provides unbeatable comfort. They’re genuinely built to go the distance thanks to the outsole’s traction capacity and the Speedboard, which drives you forward.
Best Long-Distance Running Shoes for the Knees
Creaky knees but addicted to the run? The Brooks Ravenna 11 road shoes might do the trick. They’re breathable, provide stability without adding bulk, and have plenty of energy-saving features.
The BioMoGo cushioning and rebounding rubber help runners go longer and faster. The collar effectively secures the heel, which means zero wobbling or loose-fitting effects.
|Brooks Ravenna 11|
Best Long Distance Running Shoes for Ultra Runners
What makes a great trail shoe is its ability to provide protection and stability—enter the Salomon Ultra Pro trail shoes. I found the innovative Quicklace lacing system efficient and easy to use. I also thought these shoes were beautifully designed and fit true to size.
Admittedly, these are trail running shoes, so they’re not really built for the road. However, you can chew up the mileage on the trails in these.
|Salomon Ultra Pro Trail Running Shoes|
What to Look for in Long-Distance Running Shoes
When choosing the right long-distance running shoes, consider factors like precise fit, cushioning, breathability, and weight. As with any running footwear, you’ll benefit the most when choosing one that fits your individual needs. Put less focus on the brand, popularity, and aesthetics of a shoe and more on your personal preferences.
Here are the crucial factors to consider.
Since you’ll be using your running shoes over hundreds of miles, make sure they’re not too small or tight. One test is to ‘play the piano’ with your toes inside the shoe—if you can, it’s a good fit. Also, check if you have at least half an inch of space in the forefront.
After ordering your shoes, make sure to try them on in the evening rather than the morning. Your feet expand with the heat of the day.
Cushioning can be defined as how well the shoe absorbs the impact of the runner. Maximum support shoes will have thicker soles or a higher stack height. The greater the thickness, the more shock absorption the user will receive.
As a general rule of thumb, heavier runners should look for more substantial cushioning, while lighter runners should go for thinner cushioning in the soles.
The last thing you want is stuffy, sweaty feet during your long-distance run. Go for choose shoes breathable enough to keep your feet well-ventilated, especially if you live in a place with warmer summers. You’ll want the breathability to pull through even on hot and sweaty runs.
Long-distance runners should be more lightweight than training or off-road running shoes. You don’t want your feet to feel heavy over long distances. Less weight in your shoe will also add comfort and speed as you run.
FAQs for Long-Distance Running Shoes
Do shoes affect long-distance running performance?
For long-distance running, the running shoe can have a significant impact on performance. Follow the fit and cushion guidelines above and you may just see an economy of time, due to less energy use from higher rebound and a foot-conforming fit.
How many miles should your marathon shoes have on them?
Before a race, a marathon runner should use shoes that are in their prime. This is usually between the 50 and 150-mile mark of the shoe’s lifespan. Don’t use brand new shoes as you need to make sure they’re compatible with your foot. Conversely, over-worn shoes will have less grip and traction on the outsole.
How long to break in running shoes before a marathon?
The break-in period is relatively short since running shoes are made with supple rubber instead of leather or harder materials. If you’re familiar with a particular brand and iteration of a shoe, it could be okay to wear them fresh out of the box. However, a break-in period of one to 50 miles is recommended.
Can you run a marathon in barefoot shoes?
Although minimalist running footwear can strengthen your lower legs and feet, you should proceed with caution before wearing them during a marathon. It’s vital to take protective precautions and get shoes that provide you with enough cushioning and responsiveness.
Long-distance running is intense and requires high levels of endurance. Getting your body fit for a marathon is just as important as finding the right shoes to support you. Our conclusion is the Saucony Kinvara 11 is the best all-around long-distance running shoe around—but depending on your personal preference, any of those on the list could fit the bill.
We hope that our guide to finding the best long-distance running shoes helps you find the right running footwear for your next adventure.
Shop our selection of long-distance running shoes and prepare for your next training session.