If you are fond of running a longer distance, you are probably looking for a good pair of long-distance running shoes. The longer the distance you run, your body demands higher-quality shoes.
We have tested several pairs of shoes on the market to find a long-distance runner’s top pair of shoes. We also do thorough lab inspections to ensure that they are the best.
There are lots of things you need to consider when choosing a long-distance running pair of shoes. Some of these factors include softness, firmness, and lightness. You want shoes that are made from firm and sturdy materials that will last for years. Also, lightweight enough to not put much pressure on your feet.
It would be best to consider the shoe’s comfort and durability as you will wear it for several hours a day. Beyond that, you don’t want to spend lots of bucks each time you find something is wrong with your shoes.
Whether you want to improve your running skills for an upcoming marathon or want to spend some time running on a trail, the following are some of the best long-distance running shoes on the market.
Best Overall Long-Distance Running Shoes: Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 2
Our best overall long-distance running pair of shoes is the Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 2. We have picked this shoe because of its durability and soft cushioning. In addition, this Nimbus Lite is way lighter than its former version.
With the massive cut down of the shoe’s weight, many believed that this was the start of the brand to improve their products. However, before the launch of the shoe’s lite version, Asics Gel-Nimbus was not the first choice of many for long-distance running shoes because of its less responsive and sluggish Flytefoam cushioning.
Luckily, this problem has been fixed by launching the Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 2. This new version has a wider platform which gives the runners more stability. Beyond that, it is more lightweight than the previous versions and features a bouncier underfoot. Another great thing about this shoe is that its upper use and midsole are made from sustainable materials.
- Resilient and grippy outsole
- Gives you a lighter, more supportive, and smoother ride
- Some of its wearers complain about its heel feeling relatively loose while running
- FLYTEFOAM technology - Provides lightweight cushioning that's made with sustainable materials
- Recycled Content Upper - Lightweight, breathable and sustainable material comprise our soft upper.
- GEL technology cushioning - Provides excellent shock absorption
- I.G.S (Impact Guidance System) design philosophy helps generate a more consistent gait -
- Sustainable sockliner dye -
Best Long-Distance Running Shoes for The Money: Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit
The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit features a Pebax-based foam that keeps the runner’s feet comfortable even after a two-digit mile run. This pair of long-distance running shoes is one of the most responsive, plushest, and lightest models you can find on the market.
ZoomX is popular because it gives the runners an exceptional softness and bottomless bounce without feeling mushy or packing out. The shoes feature an Invincible Run, which is kept in good condition with a curved rocker. Beyond that, this footwear also features a horseshoe-shaped heel counter that keeps your foot in a stable place.
Furthermore, it also has a flared foam and wider forefoot, which keeps your foot stable in every landing. The only problem we have noticed with this running shoe is that it feels a little wobbly when running on buckled sidewalks or crowned and cornered paths.
Overall, since this pair of shoes feature a widened forefoot, it is perfect for those who have cramped toes.
- Perfect for buckled sidewalks and crowned roads
- Wider forefoot for extra stability
- Perfect for runners with cramped toes
- Responsive and lightweight
- Some wearers complain about the shoes being wobbly at some point when running
Best Cheap Long-Distance Running Shoes: Altra Olympus 4.0
We highly recommend using Altra Olympus 4.0, especially if you are long-distance running on different terrains. We love many things about Altra Olympus, but one thing that stands out among the rest is its top-notch traction.
This is the BEAST shoe you can use when running on technical rocky climbs, forest roads, dirt tracks, gravel paths, and even on loose, wet, and muddy trails. One of the amazing features of this shoe is its Vibram outsole. Aside from its durability, this footwear also gives you unmatched performance on varied terrains.
This shoe is popular with the standard foot shape of footwear made by Altra. This only means that the platform is wide enough to accommodate toe splay. Beyond that, it also has an expanded base for greater stability. This is one of the few shoes you can get on the market if you tend to run on uneven grounds.
You will feel confident in wearing these shoes even when cornering or going downhills. This shoe is also comfortable to wear as it has a plush midsole and padded sidewalls. These two features are unexpected from a pair of shoes you can get at an affordable price.
The shoe is also breathable, even though it has a plush midsole. So you can keep your feet cool and dry even when you run for hours on an uneven trail. With its durable materials, you can use it for many years.
- Made from durable materials
- Breathable and lightweight
- Affordable but can last for years
- Works well on any terrain
- Only available online
- Go Further: Improved breathability and premium tongues for better comfort will have you locked in
- Get Comfortable: Signature Altra balanced cushioning and FootShape toe boxes allow your toes to spread and encourages proper, low-impact form throughout your run
- Stay Focused: Vibram Megagrip rubber outsoles provide secure traction on varied terrain
- Push Yourself: InnerFlex midsole technology ensures increased flexibility and performance
- Stay Comfortable: Stack height of 33mm provides ample cushion for long runs
Best Long-Distance Running Shoes for Flat Feet: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is the most popular pair of shoes for long-distance runners in this generation. This is recommended for individuals with flat feet and other foot conditions.
Wearing a wring shoe could give you a lot of pain. This handsome pair of shoes could fix that problem in no time. This footwear is made considering the comfortability and durability needed by most long-distance runners.
We appreciate that this shoe is cozy and holds your feet comfortably. The magic will happen in the midsole of the shoe where the Guide Rails are located. This hugs and keeps your foot at the center. This feature only works when your foot starts moving. But don’t worry since it is not harsh and obstructive.
With this in mind, experts highly recommend this shoe to those runners who don’t need much support. Brooks is a popular shoe manufacturer because of the impressive features it offers. Since this shoe is made from strong and sturdy materials, it will last for years.
After wearing this shoe for several weeks, it still looks new and untouched. We also used it for a two-digit kilometer run, and its midsole remains the same – it still works phenomenally. With its outstanding features, we think that this footwear works well even in a 50-kilometer run.
The only problem we noticed with this shoe is that it is heavy. Despite that, we are still pleased with its features. With all that being said, investing in Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is ideal, especially if you are looking for a shoe that offers heavy-duty stability.
- Offers great stability
- Cozy and comfortable to wear
- Good-looking and functional
- Keeps your foot at the center
- It is quite heavy, weighing 10.2 ounces
- THIS MEN'S SHOE IS FOR: Runners looking for a supportive shoe that's soft and smooth, the Adrenaline GTS 21 offers an improved ride and reliable support for however your body moves so you can forget the shoes and enjoy the run. This Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is a certified PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe and has been granted the APMA Seal of Acceptance.
- SUPPORT AND CUSHION: Provides just the right amount of stability and support, great for overpronation while providing high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Adrenaline GTS 20
- BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: The DNA LOFT Crash Pad cushions each footfall and works with BioMoGo DNA to adapt to your every stride.
- MODERNIZED FIT: A streamlined, engineered mesh upper with 3D Fit Print offers the structure and proven fit the Adrenaline is known for-without excess bulk.
- GUIDERAILS HOLISTIC SUPPORT SYSTEM: We've shifted our focus beyond the feet to the most injury-prone part of a runner’s body: the knees. GuideRails keep you moving comfortably by keeping excess movement in check.
Features to Consider for Long-Distance Running Shoes
Looking for the best long-distance running shoes is not as easy as you think. Several factors need to be considered, which could overwhelm you. First, your running style is as unique as your toe. Thus, you need to determine the best type of shoe that works on your desired terrain, know your running strategy, and determine your pronation type.
To help you out, we have listed below the essential factors you need to consider to get the best long-distance running shoes on the market.
Read on to know more about them.
Comfort is the most important thing you need to consider when seeking the best long-distance running shoes for your feet. Running long-distance could make your feet sweat and feel swollen, especially when you join in either a half or full marathon.
To keep your feet feel comfortable, sweat-free, we highly recommend you choose a lightweight shoe that hugs your feet perfectly. In addition, choosing shoes made from a breathable fabric could also be an advantage.
Beyond that, you also need to choose a shoe with enough space for your toe to sit comfortably.
Foot type, body weight, and mileage are the three crucial things you need to keep in mind when searching for a good pair of long-distance running shoes. For example, if you take a 24-kilometer run, you may want to wear a lightweight shoe and features a high-grade outer rubber sole. A shoe with extra midsole cushioning is also important for added bounce and comfort.
Footwear with gel cushioning placed in its forefront and heel could help to cut down landing shock. Running in a long-distance might take you several hours to finish, which could pose stress to your feet. To reduce stress, choose a shoe that is proportionate to your foot type and weight.
Your training style, running conditions, and how many miles or kilometers you run are three prominent factors that could help you determine the right time to replace your shoes.
Knowing your pronation type will help you find an ideal running shoe. This is important to give your feet additional stability and support when needed. If you are an underpronator or overpronator, you can choose a pair of shoes according to your foot type to decrease the load pose on your feet while running.
In addition, the perfect long-distance running shoes are the ones that could give you a comfortable running experience with enough support for a smoother ride and a wider platform for snug foot spread.
Of course, determining your foot width and size are two basic things you should know before heading to the market and buy a pair of long-distance running shoes. After you do that, the second thing you should focus on is the flexibility of the shoe sole.
The term flexibility used here refers to whether the shoe is easy to bend or not. Unfortunately, many long-distance runners tend to mix the softness of the shoe’s inner padding and the sole’s flexibility. Thus, you must do the bending test before checking out the footwear.
After bending the shoes and its sole turned into a V shape, that shoe has exceptional flexibility.
One of the leading factors to find the best long-distance running shoe is the right fit. It would be best if you choose footwear that is fit enough to snug your toes. Remember, big shoes could cause your toes to slide, increasing the risk of foot blistering. The same also goes for small running shoes that could squeeze your toes, leading to possible bone injury.
You don’t want to feel uncomfortable while taking a full marathon. So, we highly recommend you opt for a fit shoe to hug your toes in place and wide enough to keep your foot comfortable.
Which Shoe Is Best for Running Long Distances?
There really isn’t any one shoe that is most suitable for running long distances. But there are certain features that yours should come with. The best ones are lightweight, comfortable, and breathable.
They should also include additional features to provide stability as you run. They should provide ample protection to your feet and ankles and be made from durable materials that can handle being worn on a regular basis.
Which Shoes Do Runners Wear for Long-Distance Runs?
Just as shoes come in all shapes and sizes, so do those worn by marathon runners. For this reason alone it is why no particular brand of shoe is worn by marathon runners.
However, people who run long distances tend to choose ones with the same features. You will find most people who run marathons want a pair with good stability, excellent grip, sufficient cushioning, and good rebound. Also, a few prefer lightweight running shoes.
How Long Does a Marathon Shoe Last?
A pair of good quality long-distance running shoes should last for 300 to 500 miles before they need replacing. How long they last depends on the kind of surface you run on. If you do a lot of trail running, you may need to replace them more often than if you run on pavement.
Other factors that can affect how long your running shoes last include:
- If your gait is over-pronounced and supinated — it can cause your shoes to wear out quicker, especially if you are wearing the wrong ones
- Your build and how your foot strikes the ground
How Do I Tell When My Trail Running Shoes Are Worn Out?
Looking at the soles is the most obvious sign that your shoes are worn out. If you notice that the tread and soles look smooth rather than textured, this indicates that your shoes are worn out and need to be replaced.
However, note that any uneven wear to the soles of your shoes could result from you wearing the wrong type for your gait. If there is more wear to the front of the shoe, this is a sign of overpronation. But wearing to the outside is a result of supination.
Another clear sign is that your shoes do not reduce the shock as you run. This will affect your joints, muscles, legs, and knees.
If you start to find the shoes are physically uncomfortable to wear when out for a run, then now is the time to buy new shoes.
Are My Cushioned Running Shoes Suitable for Everyday Use?
Although such shoes are designed to provide comfort and support, they are perfectly suitable for wearing every day. But remember, the more often you wear them, the more quickly they will get worn down.
If you want to wear running shoes daily, it is worth investing in a couple of pairs. You can wear one pair just for running and the other as casual wear.
Being part of a long-distance running activity might not be easy for everyone, especially beginners. In addition, running for several kilometers could pose stress to your feet. To prevent that, you will need a good pair of high-quality long-distance running shoes.
With that in mind, you may want to wear footwear that snugs comfortably to your feet and allows you to run on any terrain. If the number of running shoes advertised on the market overwhelms you, consider the abovementioned items.
All pairs of running shoes we have reviewed have more than 4-star ratings on Amazon. Beyond that, they are available in different colors that you can choose from. All those shoes can give you a different set of features, to the benefits.
In terms of the price, the four running shoes listed are available in different price ranges. But they are still affordable for everyone who wants to have only the best pair of long-distance running shoes on the market.
So, if you are ready to join your first marathon, it is time to choose the right pair of running shoes. Do not forget to consider the factors we mentioned above as they will be a big help for your shoe buying.