Do you love to be outdoors? If yes, do you know that you certainly need a special kind of athletic shoes that are ideal for long distance running? If you are one of those who love to take part in marathons, you certainly need to keep a track on the best long distance running shoes.
Well, the 3 or 4 hour runs can easily take a toll on you and things can get worse if you are wearing the wrong shoes. By choosing the best shoes for long distance running, you can prevent issues like blisters, chafing or like plantar fasciitis.
Most of the long distance running shoes are not only durable but are protective at the same time. So, you need not sacrifice the comfort as your feet will receive the support they need for the activity.
With a number of options online, it can be quite difficult to find the best running shoes. So, we took out sometime and came up with a list of the best long distance running shoes.
We have the pros, the cons and other details about each of these to make it easy for you to select. We have also listed as to why they are on our list and some criteria you can keep in mind while selecting the best long distance running shoes.
1. Brooks Ghost 10
The line of running shoes from Brooks Ghost are popular and the Ghost 10 is no exception. Known to be the next gen model from the brand, the running shoes provide excellent cushioning and help a long distance runner perform well, without complaining about comfort.
The shoes have adjustable cushioning and responsive crash pads inside, which can be adjusted for more or less support. A number of users have mentioned that the shoes provide a perfect fit and are comfortable. The shoes also provide amazing protection from the external elements and from overpronation as well.
The “heel to toe” drop of these shoes is approximately 12 millimeters. If the shoes are not used properly, there can be an impact on the heel of the user. If you are looking for trainer running shoes that provide a decent support, the Brooks Ghost 10 does not disappoint you at all.
2. Asics GT 2000 6
The GT 2000 6 running shoes from Asics is a great upgrade from the version 5 and these shoes provide excellent support and a cushioning that is quite hard to beat.
One of the best features of these shoes it that they provide great neutral support without adding extra weight. The shoe has a unique cushion system that provides overall support, keeping the shoes lightweight.
The shoes fit well, but a number of users have found them to be small too. So, if you wish to buy these, it is better you try them on in person.
The shoes offer the needed protection to the feet from various external elements. All the running shoes from Asics use a unique art system that provides extra cushioning along with protection from abnormalities that can occur due to gait. The shoes have a gel based cushioning, which is placed near the heel and the toes and these help with shock absorption.
The heel to toe drop of these shoes is 10mm which is quite moderate. These are the right shoes for both beginners and marathon runners. These are also perfect for long runs and can also be used for training.
3. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 is an affordable and has a natural stride compared to the previous model 35. The running shoes also come with a high heel collar. The shoes are light in weight and the men’s shoes only weight about 10 ounces and the women’s model weights about 9 ounces. Pegasus 35 are breathable and these might not be perfect if you are opting for long distance running in cold weather.
The high collar of the shoes protect the Achilles even during the long runs. The shoes are well cushioned too and come included with an Air Zoom midsole. The shoes are flexible and the motion of your feet is always on your stride.
Pegasus 35 is known for the durability, and they can be your perfect partner on those long runs for long. The rubber soles protect your feet and also keep the muscles and the leg joints aligned properly. This helps to maintain a proper posture.
The shoes can be pricey for some, but it you are looking for a comfortable pair of shoes that are durable too, you are worth every penny spent.
4. Saucony Kinvara 7
If you are looking for a perfect runner that performs well on every terrain, you search ends at Saucony Kinvara 7. The shoes are designed to provide flexibility and are light in weight too. They also offer a lot of support and hence are the ideal choice for long distance runs or treks.
The shoes offer good support due to the use of lightweight synthetic material. This offers flexibility in the fore-foot as well as the mid sole areas. Kinvara 7 also have extra cushioning near the heal area too. The shoes move with the wearer and the support changes based on the needs of the user. But, the shoes do not provide the support and the flexibility that are needed by people who have flat feet.
The shoes are well-fitting and are comfortable at the same time. These fit people with various types and shapes of feet. They come with a removable insole and a flexible outsole, both of which help in the performance of the shoes.
Kinvara 7 has a rubber sole and breathable material is used in its making, both of which provide the needed protection to the user’s feet. Be it dirt or debris, all of it stays away from the feet, keeping them clean and fresh.
5. Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 - Best for 1st time Marathon Runners
If you are a first time marathon runner, the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 is the ideal shoe for you. The shoes are known to have good cushioning that will last throughout your training as well as the race.
This is one of those snappy and responsive shoes, and is breathable and provides a lot of comfort to the feet. The upper of the shoe is neither seamless not is knitted and does not even have any 3D prints as overlays. This is what makes the upper very comfortable.
The shoes also have a quality mesh on the upper, which helps the feet breathe but do not freeze them when it is extremely cold. The underfoot again is soft and feels light. The midsole of these shoes is made using two foam components – the Mizuno U4ic foam, which is light weight and the U4icX Heel Wedge, which is softer than the regular U4ic foam. This makes the landing smooth.
Another noteworthy aspect of the sole is the thermo-plastic wave that is placed from the heel till the area of the ankle. This wave provides torsional stability and also reduces the impact when you place the foot on the ground. Also, the outsole provides excellent grip and flexibility and is also rigid at the same time.
If you are looking for stable footwear that is soft and responsive, you certainly need to try the Mizuno Wave Inspire 14.
6. Asics Gel- Kayano 24
The new range of shoes from Asics Gel, Kayano 24 do not disappoint at all. The shoes have it all to make them a perfect choice as one of the best shoes for long distance running. They are comfortable, breathable and quite flexible at the same time, and also come with some improvised additions than its predecessor.
The shoes are breathable and very light in weight and also use a DuoMax system that provides additional support. The DuoMax system provides stability when you are on a long run and the guideline on the midsole improves the gait. This makes the shoes responsive and ideal for long distance runs.
Kanayo 24 are durable but can last only a few hundred miles if you use them off the road or on technical terrains.
Also, the shoes are expensive but work as a great investment if you are looking forward to improve on your gait. The added tech feature will certainly help you with the same.
7. Saucony Kinvara 9
If you are into long distance running from years, you might already know about Kinvara 7 & 8 like we mentioned earlier. Saucony Kinvara 9 is much similar to the earlier version and retains the feature of providing a soft and a smooth ride.
There are a few minor improvements made to the 9th iteration like including a low profile tongue and the revision of blow rubber configuration on the outer. The loyal users of these will still enjoy the lightweight and responsive shoe ride, and these features make Kinvara 9 a perfect shoe for day training and marathons.
The shoes provide comfort and perfect balance and hence are ideal for easy long distance runs, speed work and also for marathons. The toe box of the hoe is not wide but provides the needed space for the toe to be placed comfortably.
The two defining features of these shoes that differentiate them from the others are the top sole and the midsole. The midsole of Kinvara 9 is dense yet very soft. The midsole is made using a durable EVA and foam. Even the outsole uses the “injection blown rubber chevron” pattern, which like its other models is only used in the areas that come in contact with the ground.
The technical features that are worth a mention are the “Flexfilm and the Pro-Lock” which makes the shoes flexible and breathable. The upper of the shoe is so comfortable that it moves very naturally with the feet. If you are looking for a reliable and a versatile shoe, Kinvara 9 needs to be your ideal choice.
8. New Balance 890v6
The New Balance 890v6 is back with a whole lot of improvements when compared to its predecessors. Though the shoe has a good number of similar attributes that add to is solid performance, they look more attractive than the earlier ones.
The version 6 has a better fit and comes with a no-sew mesh on the upper. Also, the New Balance 890v6 uses RevLite for the shoe base and this keeps it snappy and flexible. If you have used the earlier versions, unboxing the new shoes will be being united with your long lost friend. The shoe looks simple but is way more anatomical. Just one step inside and you will feel how awesome it is.
The RevLite foam provides extra protection to your feet when you are on long runs. The forefoot of the shoes has TPU strips that further increase the responsiveness. These strips are placed right so that the shoe still has a toe-off and does not give a stiff feeling.
The new version has a 27mm heel and a 21 mm forefoot with a 6mm drop. This drop is what provides a smooth roll and makes it perfect for those higher mileage runs. The outsole too is unique and is made using blown rubber, which again is separated into segments.
Each of the four segments can be moved and can be adapted to perform various biomechanics. The shoe has a minimal design, which minimizes the weight, but it does affect the traction as these can be used on both wet as well as dry terrains.
The New Balance 890v6 is a shoe can just do-everything and provides excellent cushioning along with the needed protection. Looking for a perfect pair of shoes for your up temp days? Just go with these!
9. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18 - Most Supportive Shoes
If you are looking for a shoe that provides excellent support, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18 is your shoe. Those who have tested the shoe real life have stated that these perform better than the others in the list.
The shoes are not heavy and also provide substantial support, thanks to BioMoGo DNA Midsole. Users also found that the shoes fit well and as expected and are comfortable. The toe box is flexible and there is a minimal movement near the heel area. As the shoes are lighter, some do feel that they do not offer support as expected.
Adrenaline does an amazing job when it comes to absorption of shock or impact when running. As the shoes are lightweight they can be used by people who have pronation problems. The shoes are stylish and are also available in a number of colors.
The heel to toe drop of these shoes is about 12 mm and is quite substantial and would even work fine for a long distance runner. These are the ideal shoes if you are into long trails or treks. The shoes are durable too and last long if maintained well.
The upper portions of the shoes have been redesigned and this makes it easy for any runner to get into an undisturbed long distance run.
10. New Balance Leadville Vibram - Best for Wide Feet
Are you a runner with wide feet? If you love to take up the challenge of cross country running, it can get hard to find the perfect pair of shoes at times. Thanks to New Balance, the Leadville Vibram are made by keeping runners like you in mind.
Runners with wider or even flatter shoes find the Leadville Vibram to be comfortable, and this is what makes them one among the best long distance running shoes available in the market today.
The shoes provide support to the runners who are looking for more arch support. The midsole use the REV Lite foam which provides extra stability. The shoes use a combination of synthetic materials and mesh, both of which provide protection from external elements. The design too is stable and this helps with the proper alignment of the foot.
The Leadville Vibram shoes are known for comfort as New Balance uses cushioning technology that stays in place and moves along with the foot movement.
11. Adidas Adizero Adios 3 - Best in the List
The next time you think of participating in a marathon, just give your feet a glance. These are the feet that help you cross the finish line and you certainly need to choose the best long distance running shoes that provide stability, comfort and protection. The Adidas Adizero Adios 3 does just that.
It is always interesting to see how Adidas surprises its users with some of their unique and true models. Adizero is one such product that really performs. The shoe is lightweight and provides the needed cushioning during those long runs or marathons.
The shoes are very solid and are built just for endurance. But, Adidas managed to keep them light. The shoes are made to withstand traction and these last through the training as well as the run and are responsive at the same time. The Adios 3 is one pair no runner would love to miss.
12. Nike Lunaracer 3
The Nike Lunaracer 3 might look like a normal shoe, but it offers great support and flexibility. If you have a strict budget and if you wouldn’t mind a little soreness after a long day’s run, this might be the shoe you need.
Unlike the other shoes in the list, Nike Lunaracer offers what is most required when you go for a long distance run- the support. The shoes have a lightweight mesh, which is used for their construction and a very flexible midsole and outsole. The fit is up to the mark for many but they only provide a very minimum protection. Hence, these are not ideal as training shoes.
Lunaracer has a rubberized sole which can wear off in no time when used to a lot. So, it is best you use only during marathons. The shoes provide very less cushioning but are fairly comfortable. If you are looking for extra comfort, you might as well look for other options from the list.
13. Nike Zoom Fly
The most expensive long distance running shoes on our list, the Nike Zoom Fly shoes are made for runners who love speed. If you wish to improve the race time, these are just perfect for the big race day.
The Zoom Fly shoes have Zoom X cushioning, which is known to be one of the best options available in the market. Nike also uses a carbon insert in their shoes, which as per the brand will certainly help you win the race.
The shoes are built in a way that they use very minimum muscle when compared to others from the list. Runners can easily increase their speed and need not sacrifice on the comfort, stability or support.
Nike Zoom Fly is the perfect pair for runners who wish to return back home with a trophy. This is one of the reasons why many use these only for the big day.
14. Newton Motion V
Newton might not be a popular brand, but the Motion V shoes from the company are one of the highly recommended long distance running shoes. The company is based in Colorado but has managed to gain traction among the runners in no time.
The Newton Motion V shoes are lightweight and comfortable. The shoes are breathable and the company uses a unique 4 way stretch mesh that contours to the user’s foot and adjusts as per the needs of the individual.
These shoes are a good buy if you are just starting out and your runs do not include very long distances or cross country trails.
The shoes also offer a secure fit and are durable at the same time. These would indeed be a great buy and will certainly not disappoint you.
Buyer’s Guide: How to select the best long-distance running shoes
Casual outdoor shoes or hiking shoes are different from long distance running shoes. In long-distance running, you stay on the roads for about three hours. You either aim completing a 5 km/ 10 km/ 15 km running marathon. Here there are intrinsic factors that impact your buy. You will have to figure out what these are. Only then can you get the best pair of shoes.
We have the perfect buyer’s guide on how to select the best long distance running shoes. More light is thrown into what difficulties long distance runners face. And, how do you select shoes that help you resolve issues. Plus get you the added-comfort you badly need.
This buyer’s guide on how to select the best long distance running shoes focuses on comfort, breathability, durability and so on. Shoe manufacturers put in lot of efforts in having the shoes designed. Like you need toe-cushion surface to keep your toe area from getting chaffed. Or your feet area should not be getting blisters.
You need a cushioned mid-sole to protect your Achilles. Similarly wedges or upper elevation sprints give you the much needed posture to continue with long-distance running. Soft mesh keeps your feet comfortable.
Rubber under-area soles give the shoe a durable strength to run hundreds of miles. Just like rubber tires needed for a car or a lorry. For all the sophisticated features you expect from your long distance shoes, these are definitely not cheaper on your wallet.
If you are looking for budget styled options, you can look for regular gym shoes. Leading brands like Reebok, Adidas and Nexus offer pocket-friendly prices as well.
But these shoes cannot endure long distance running. Again, few manufacturers just glue sole material here and there. You cannot get a guarantee on the number of years, these will stay.
More than the price, it is the comfort level you ideally focus on. Your feet must breathe freely enough to sustain the tough roads and environmental conditions. Nick Zoom Pegasus 35 is incredibly breathable so that the coldness gets into your feet. These shoes are durable to withstand tough running conditions.
The pair of shoes needs to make sure your Achilles or your under-feet area is protected even during your longest of runs. The pair of shoes needs to be well-cushioned at the top-sole and mid-sole area. You can look for these factors before-hand especially if you want to venture into buying yourself with a brand new pair of shoes.
Some places are filled with snow. Rocky mountain areas usually have highly elevated roads. Cities or towns have a flat-level surface. Shoe manufacturers therefore have to look at versatile topography, while having the pair of shoes designed. These shoes have to endure the tough roads and the environmental conditions as well.
A model like Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 can be a highly durable pick. These are exclusive raw materials that go into the making. The shoe’s midsole comprises of heel wedges and toe-absorption circuits. This way, the pair of shoes is highly responsive to changing climatic conditions. These shoes are not only durable but also have unique shock absorbing capabilities.
The pair of shoes needs to provide you with a greater degree of stability. The shoes need to ensure that they keep your feet cool and dry at all times. You can approach a leading fitness expert on the type of long-distance running shoes, you can typically go in for.
Look for value-added features
Again your quest on finding the best pair of running shoes is far from over. You need to browse on added features to pep up your running shoes. You can look for features that improve your posture or gait especially while running. Not many give a conscious effort to see if they maintain a straight body posture while running.
Marathon runners sometimes get hunchbacks at a tender age. To prevent this, you need a pair of shoes that improve your gait or posture. Look for something like Asics Gel Kayano 25. This brand is incredibly the best. Apart from providing you with comfort or breathability, these come to you with a robust sensor technology.
You get additional support and stability during your runs. The pre-programmed guideline chart attached to the midsole gives a beep every time your posture or gait goes wrong. This way, you can correct your posture even during long-distance running campaigns. The Duo-max tech supports endurance and stability. This way, you make the most out of your runs.
You need for look for a pair of shoes that are highly responsive, mainly because the pair of shoes also responds well to your body condition. Some companies use materials that can offer you with a feature touch sensation after all. This way, being lightweight, durable and soft, the pair of shoes boosts the level of blood circulation to your feet.
The shoes are not only durable enough but also need to provide you with an optimal degree of shock absorption. If these shoes also suit uneven terrain suitable for long-distance running, you are a blessed soul indeed!
Looking at the bounce factor
Here comes the model namely Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18. These shoes are incredibly the best for reasons more than one. You have these shoes absolutely light-weight. Plus the Bio Mogo DNA makes sure the shoes do not alter your DNA, thereby leaving you with a cramped pair of feet forever.
The removable molded gel-based insole makes sure you get the added bounce. Plus you get the stability and endurance for making your long distance running, a rave experience. You have these shoes lined up with adequate amount of cushion and gel, to make it breathable.
The comfort, style and multi-hues make the pair of shoes a great buy indeed. Though you may have such pair of shoes slightly more expensive than the others, it is like an investment. You make for your health.
We have seen several aspects connected with running shoes. Hence, this buyer’s guide on how to select the best long distance running shoes should make you a well-informed buyer.
Frequently Asked Questions on Long Distance Running Shoes
What are the best long distance running shoes for people who have flat feet?
People who have flat feet can find it hard to get perfect fitting running shoes. While you can find a number of options online, you need to consider a few factors before you choose one.
The first factor you need to consider is the stability. A shoe needs to prevent overpronation, as it prevents your foot from turning inward (which is a common problem faced by people with flat feet). Choose a running shoe that uses foam supports at the right places. The second factor you need to consider is the motion control of the shoe as help maintain proper alignment of your gait.
How often do we need to replace the long distance running shoes?
The thumb rule most runners follow is to replace the shoes every 300 or 500 miles of running. Though the numbers are not arbitrary, one can decide depending on the wear and tear of the running shoes. If you feel like the shoes does not fit well anymore, or does not provide comfort like earlier, it is time you replace them.
Can the running surface affect my shoes?
The terrain you plan to run can show an effect on your shoes and if you pick the wrong ones, it can show a negative effect on your feet as well. The kind of running you do can impact the overall life of your shoes. For example, if you run on the roads but have chosen a light yet efficient runner, your shoes can last more than the ones that are used on trails.
How do I care for my long distance running shoes?
We all understand that the best long distance running shoes can be a little expensive. With proper care, they can last a few marathons for sure. Keep your shoes clean of any dirt. You can use a toothbrush, water and a mild soap for the same. Once the shoes are clean, let them dry naturally. Do not use sources like hairdryers as it can make them ill-fitting.
How to choose the right long distance running shoe?
Before you go ahead and purchase a long distance running shoe, make sure to consider the types of terrains you will run on and the kind of weather the shoes get exposed to. You then need to choose the shoes based on the flexibility, how breathable they are and the support and comfort provided.
When you buy shoes online, you can as well refer to the reviews to know how well the shoes have performed.
It is also important to note that the same pair of shoes can at times fit differently. Though the makers take utmost care to provide a quality product, such minor differences can at times occur. So, it is always good to try both the runners on before you go ahead and make your purchase. Just make sure you refer to our buying guide to help you decide which works best for you.
Now that you know all about choosing the best long distance running shoes, it is time you get online and purchase the best from the ones available.