Best Long-Distance Running Shoes in 2022

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Whether you're running a 5K or training for a marathon, you need shoes that can take a pounding. That means looking for sneakers that are made with premium materials, like heavy-duty foams and durable rubber outsoles, so that they won't break down prematurely. You also want to prioritize comfort—if your shoes hurt your feet, you're likely not going to make it past mile one.

The best long-distance running shoes offer all these things, plus enhanced stability and support that protects your feet and joints from the wear and tear that can come with distance running. Because everyone has a different gait and a unique stride, keep in mind that there's no one-size-fits-all running shoe. To help you find the right pair for you, the ACTIVE Reviews Team rounded up their top 10 picks.

Why Trust Us?

The ACTIVE Reviews Team is made up of fitness experts that include athletes, coaches, and certified trainers who bring their years of knowledge and experience to each review. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

Best Long-Distance Running Shoes in 2022 - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Long-Distance Running Shoes - Salomon Ultra Glide

Salomon Ultra Glide

Specs

  • Weight: 7.76 oz.
  • Available widths: Standard
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Most runners, all types of terrain
  • Colors: Available in multiple colors
  • Cushioning: Maximum
  • Drop: 6 mm

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The Salomon Ultra Glides are technically a trail running shoe, but their lightweight construction and firm grip make them our pick for best running shoes overall, for all types of terrain. The rocker shape—thicker sole with a rounded heel—and responsive foam midsole help propel you forward and allow you to roll off the ground with each stride. And the all-terrain grip makes for a stable run on all types of surfaces: wet, dry, flat, and/or rocky.

The six-millimeter drop is on the lower side, but this is intentional. Combined with the maximum cushioning, this gives the Salomon Ultra Glide a barely-there feel but ensures your feet are protected and comfortable during those extended runs. They're built for stability too. The breathable mesh outer keeps your feet dry to prevent slippage, while the snug-fit inner sleeve keeps your foot in place.

What We Like

  • Maximum cushioning
  • Rocker shape that helps propel you forward
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Available in many colors

What We Don't Like

  • Only available in standard width
  • Runs large

BUY: Salomon Ultra Glide

Best Lightweight Long-Distance Running Shoes - adidas adizero Adios 7

Adidas Adizero Adios 7

Specs

  • Weight: 7.7 oz. (size 9)
  • Available widths: Standard
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Most runners, all types of terrain
  • Colors: Available in 3 colors
  • Cushioning: Lightstrike (lightweight) cushioning
  • Drop: 8 mm (heel - 27mm, forefoot - 19mm)

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If you're looking for a premium lightweight and responsive shoe that can work with you as you train and set new distance PRs, the adidas adizero Adios 7 is an excellent choice. This highly-rated running shoe—from an iconic brand—features adidas' patented Lightstrike cushioning in the midsole and an upper made from 50 percent recycled materials. The adizero Adios 7 has an excellent grip for navigating various terrain, whether you're on a leisurely hike or running a half marathon. Lastly, wearers cite both the flexibility and comfort of the shoe during activities like interval running and ">walking long distances.

What We Like

  • Patented Lighstrike midsole cushioning excellent for faster running
  • Lightweight comfort holds up over long distances
  • Grips well on both outdoor terrain and treadmills
  • Stylish

What We Don't Like

  • Pricier
  • Some users report fit problems with the toe box

BUY: adidas adizero Adios 7

Best Long-Distance Running Shoes for Women - Brooks Ghost 14

Brooks Ghost 14 shoes

Specs

  • Weight: 8.8 oz.
  • Available widths: Medium (standard), wide, narrow
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Heel-heavy runners, women with neutral to overpronation gaits
  • Colors: Available in multiple colors
  • Cushioning: Maximum
  • Drop: 11.5 mm

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Women's feet are distinctively different from men's feet. They're typically narrower in the heel and wider in the forefront. Women are also more likely to overpronate or roll the foot inward as they strike the ground, due to wider hips. Because of this, women need running shoes with a little more cushioning in the inner sole to help balance things out. The Brooks Ghost 14's fit that bill.

A follow-up to the Ghost 13s, these newer kicks have a little less cushioning than their predecessors, a strategic move that luckily doesn't affect comfort, quality, or performance. They feature padded insoles that cup the feet and help level out your gait, plus a DNA Loft midsole that adds just the right amount of cushion without affecting stability as you pound the pavement. With an 11.5-millimeter drop, these shoes are also an ideal fit for heel-heavy runners. Plus, a well-ventilated mesh upper maximizes airflow during long-distance runs.

What We Like

  • Padded insoles that help level out gait
  • Standard drop
  • Available in 3 widths

What We Don't Like

  • On the firmer side
  • Larger toe box could be a problem for narrower feet

BUY: Brooks Ghost 14

Best Long-Distance Running Shoes for Men - Topo Athletic Ultrafly 3

Topo Athletic Ultrafly 3

Specs

  • Weight: 9.6 oz.
  • Available widths: Standard (medium)
  • Gait: Overpronation (light stability)
  • Best for: Road running, neutral to slight overpronation
  • Colors: Available in 3 colors
  • Cushioning: Balanced
  • Drop: 5 mm

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While women tend to overpronate more than men, most runners have some degree of overpronation. The Topo Athletic Ultrafly 3s are expertly built for men with natural to slightly overpronated gaits. Runners rave about the slightly wider-than-average toe box and narrower mid-section and heel, making it the ideal combo for a man's foot. Although they're available only in a standard width, they offer plenty of room for wide feet and have arch support that makes them a good option for flat feet, too.

The Ultrafly 3s have a TPU heel counter and an EVA medial post that provide light pronation resistance to neutralize your gait, plus added rear-foot stabilization that's helpful for long runs. The two-density midsoles are moderately cushioned and offer a faster rebound rate and a more comfortable (yet stable) ride. While the 5-mm drop is on the lower side, this is the highest drop that Topo offers. It's ideal for experienced runners and those whose midfoot or forefoot hit the ground first, but it will also work for anyone who wants a close-to-barefoot feel.

What We Like

  • 2 density midsole offers comfort and support
  • Light pronation support
  • Roomy toe box

What We Don't Like

  • Only available in 1 width
  • More suited for experienced runners
  • On the heavier side

BUY: Topo Athletic Ultrafly 3

Best Breathable Long-Distance Running Shoes - Hoka One One Rincon 3

Hoka One One Rincon 3

Specs

  • Weight: 6.2 oz. (W), 7.4 oz. (M)
  • Available widths: Standard, wide
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Everyday runners, racing
  • Colors: Available in 7 colors
  • Cushioning: Balanced
  • Drop: 5mm

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If you've never tried a pair of Hoka running shoes, the ultra-lightweight Rincon 3's are an excellent place to start. Weighing in at just 6.2 ounces for the women's version and 7.4 ounces for the men's pair, these durable and comfortable running shoes fare well for all long-distance runs, from the racetrack to the hiking trail to a full marathon.

Like all Hoka shoes, the Rincon 3's have the signature Meta-Rocker midsole, which has a low heel-toe drop and a rounded outsole. This encourages and complements your natural stride, while guiding your gait into a smoother roll and contributing to better acceleration. They also have a thick rubber outsole with zoned placement that helps distribute weight evenly and gives you a more stable ride. The asymmetrical tongue provides a more secure fit, while the vented mesh upper adds breathability.

What We Like

  • Ultra lightweight
  • Signature Meta-Rocker that complements natural stride
  • Zoned rubber outsole that helps distribute weight

What We Don't Like

  • Not as responsive as previous versions
  • Tongue doesn't offer enough cushioning
  • Less cushy than others

BUY: Hoka One One Rincon 3

Best Long-Distance Running Shoes for Flat Feet - Saucony Echelon 8

Saucony Echelon 8

Specs

  • Weight: 10.8 oz. (women's), 12.5 oz. (men's)
  • Available widths: Standard, wide, and extra wide
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Runners with flat feet, neutral gaits
  • Colors: Available in 4 colors
  • Cushioning: Moderate
  • Drop: 8mm

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If you have flat feet, you need running shoes with a more supportive sole. Usually, this means a sneaker that's a bit on the firmer side but still has enough cushion to take the pressure off your feet and help absorb impact, since your feet naturally hit the ground harder. And the Echleon 8's excel in this regard: They have a stable platform that provides a roomy base for flat feet and a 3D support frame that hugs the foot and adds stability at the heel. This allows the shoe to conform to you like a custom fit and helps eliminate pain as you log miles.

The flexible outsole moves with your foot, and the removable sock liner adds plushness and support for your (lack of) arches. These sneakers also have a mesh toe box that not only gives you some breathability but also gives your feet room to spread out so you're comfortable even with full impact. At 10.8 to 12.5 ounces, they're definitely on the heavier side, but the optimal support is a worthy trade-off.

What We Like

  • Fully supportive frame
  • Ultra-flexible outsole that moves with your feet
  • Roomy mesh toe box
  • Available in 3 widths

What We Don't Like

  • On the heavier side
  • Heel cushion can wear out quickly

BUY: Saucony Echelon 8

Best Versatile Long-Distance Running Shoes - Asics Gel-Nimbus 23 Lite-Show Running Shoe

Asics Gel-Nimbus 23 Lite-Show

Specs

  • Weight: 9.2 oz.
  • Available widths: N/A
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Road running
  • Colors: Black/Pure Silver
  • Cushioning: Maximum
  • Drop: 10mm

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If you like to hit the pavement night or day, during any season, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 23 Lite-Show's are the running shoes for you. With reflective accents for increased visibility, these sneakers have enhanced cushioning that evenly supports the foot, providing a smoother ride and less impact on your joints.

The Asics Gel-Nimbus 23 Lite-Shows also have recycled engineered mesh uppers that are flexible and breathable to keep you cool for the entirety of your long run. Gel and FlyteFoam technologies cushion the foot and absorb impact for maximum comfort.

What We Like

  • Extra cushioning
  • Visibility-boosting tech
  • Breathable mesh uppers

What We Don't Like

  • Some people say these shoes are too heavy

BUY: Asics Gel-Nimbus 23 Lite-Show Running Shoe

Best Long-Distance Running Shoes for Speed - Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Running Shoe

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Running Shoe

Specs

  • Weight: 8.28 oz. (W), 10.05 oz. (M)
  • Available widths: Regular, extra wide
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Everyday training, road, track
  • Colors: Available in multiple colors for men and women
  • Cushioning: Foam cushioning
  • Drop: 10 mm

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When it comes to shoes, no product list is complete without a callout to the brand that has become synonymous with performance footwear, Nike. Referred to as the "workhorse" of running shoes, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 lives up to its namesake by creating the feeling of running on foam-cushioned air while training. The rubber outsoles allow these shoes to keep you stable while speed running for long distances on roads and trails, as the grip helps keep you from getting tripped up as you accelerate.

Nike remodeled the Air Zoom Pegasus 38's this year to have a wider toe box for a more comfortable fit that will hold up over time as you add mileage during your long-distance training. Newer and more experienced runners will also appreciate the durable mesh upper that conforms to your feet as you break in your trainers. That, and the abundance of colors and designs to choose from, makes these Nike shoes a worthy investment for your running wardrobe.

What We Like

  • Rubber outsole grip for speedier running
  • Wider toe box for a comfortable, roomier fit
  • Mesh upper and midfoot webbing add breathability
  • Many designs/colors to choose from

What We Don't Like

  • Can be difficult to put on
  • Some runners experience heel slippage

BUY: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Running Shoe

Best Long-Distance Running Shoes for Comfort - Asics GlideRide 2

Asics GlideRide 2

Specs

  • Weight: 8.1 oz. (W), 10.1 oz. (M)
  • Available widths: Standard
  • Gait: Under pronation/neutral
  • Best for: Neutral runners, all experience levels, road running
  • Colors: Available in 2 colors
  • Cushioning: Maximum
  • Drop: 5 mm

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All long-distance running shoes are built for comfort to some degree, but the Asics GlideRide 2s put cushiness at the forefront. The midsoles have two layers of foam—an upper layer that provides extra cushioning and some shock absorption during landings and a bottom layer that adds some bounce and takes the pressure off your foot as it rolls during each stride.

It's not just about the cushion, though. The Asics GlideRide 2's have a more pronounced toe-spring, called Guidesole technology, which helps create a forward rolling motion that reduces ankle flexion and decreases energy consumption during long runs. This translates to less fatigue and muscle discomfort, even when you're logging more miles. They also have a breathable (and recycled) mesh upper, with a balanced outsole that has high-abrasion rubber on the outer edges which reduces wear and tear for neutral and supinated runners.

What We Like

  • Double foam midsole
  • Rounded toe-spring
  • Durable outsole that stands up to wear and tear

What We Don't Like

  • Might not be suitable for overpronation
  • Only available in standard width

BUY: Asics GlideRide 2

Best Budget Long-Distance Running Shoes - Reebok Floatride Energy 3.0

Reebok Floatride Energy 3.0

Specs

  • Weight: 8.5 oz.
  • Available widths: Standard (medium)
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Road running, those who like a firmer feel
  • Colors: Available in 2 colors
  • Cushioning: Moderate
  • Drop: 9 mm

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Most long-distance running shoes fall around $140 to $150, but you can get this budget-friendly pair for significantly less without sacrificing comfort, performance, or style. Like the higher-end sneakers, the Reebok Floatride Energy 3.0's cover all the bases. They combine an energy foam midsole with a cushioned, flared heel that helps minimize pronation and absorb impact while you cover longer distances. The 9mm drop contributes to a chunkier heel, but it also makes these shoes a good fit for heel-heavy runners.

While they're not as cushy as some of the other options—they're a little on the firmer side but still offer pressure relief—they provide a stable ride and have a 9-mm drop that helps reduce calf and Achilles fatigue. They also have a breathable mesh knit upper and a grippy, rubber sole that makes them as durable as they are breathable.

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly
  • Flared heel that helps neutralize gait
  • Good for heel-heavy runners
  • Durable and breathable

What We Don't Like

  • A little on the firmer side
  • Limited color options

BUY: Reebok Floatride Energy 3.0 Running Shoe

Best Long-Distance Running Shoes for Race - New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2

New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2

Specs

  • Weight: 6.5 oz. (Women), 7.7 oz. (Men)
  • Available widths: Standard
  • Gait: Neutral
  • Best for: Racing, road running
  • Colors: Available in 3 colors
  • Cushioning: Moderate
  • Drop: 10 mm

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The New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2's help already-fast runners move even faster. These running shoes have a high rebound foam midsole and a full-length carbon fiber plate. Together, these give you some extra bounce and help propel you forward when you're pushing off from the starting line. They have a 10-mm drop, which is standard for runners and can translate to a more comfortable heel strike, but this also depends on your individual foot strike and the duration of your race.

At just 6.5 to 7.7 ounces (depending on whether you get the women's or men's version), they're ultra-lightweight so they won't hold you down on race day. And they have a traditional heel collar for a low-profile fit that adequately supports your heels and Achilles, even at top speeds. The rubber outsole is also lightweight but ultra grippy, which helps you maintain traction and prevents slipping when you're hitting PRs during your races.

What We Like

  • Sturdy, lightweight midsole
  • Full-length carbon fiber plate that helps with forward propulsion
  • Ultra lightweight
  • Grippy, even at top speeds

What We Don't Like

  • Narrower toe box
  • Higher drop may not work for all runners
  • Expensive

BUY: New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2

Why Buy Long-Distance Running Shoes?

Long-distance running is an entirely different beast than sprinting or other short bursts of activity. When you log more miles, your shoes, and your body, can take a beating. That's why it's important to buy shoes that are designed specifically for this purpose.

Protection

Long-distance running shoes offer protection for your feet and your joints. They have stability features and shock-absorbing midsoles that secure your ankle, protect your Achilles, and reduce impact. All these things are important to prevent pain during and after long-distance runs.

Comfort

In addition to protection, long-distance running shoes offer superior comfort. Even seasoned runners can start to feel the effect of many miles on the road. Long-distance running shoes help offset this with specialized foams, insoles, and breathable fabrics that keep your feet and body comfortable as you move.

Run Longer

Because they offer protection and advanced comfort, long-distance running shoes allow you to run longer. Rather than stopping because your feet hurt, you can stop when you've hit your goal for the day.

What to Look For in Long-Distance Running Shoes?

Everyone is different, so there's not a single running shoe that will work across the board. Because of this, it's important to know how to pick the right running shoe for you. Whether you're a new runner or a seasoned pro, these features will help you narrow it down to the right choice for you.

Weight

When it comes to long-distance running shoes, weight is really a matter of personal preference. On average, women's running shoes weigh between 7.5 and 9 ounces, while men's running shoes are between 9 and 10 ounces. Most people do well with shoes that fall into this range. However, lighter-weight shoes can help reduce muscle strain and energy output, which ultimately translates to pulling off long runs. The sacrifice may be less cushioning and support though, since more materials contribute to heavier weight, so you have to weigh your options and decide what's best for you.

Cushioning

When you run long distances, your feet take a pounding. Your shoes need to have adequate cushioning to combat this. Most running shoes have foams, insoles, and padding that are designed for this purpose, but some are firmer than others. The key is to find a balance between cushioning and stability. If the shoe is too soft, you might feel like your stride is a little wobbly. On the flip side, if it's not soft enough you'll end up with pain and blisters.

Comfort

You also want to make sure your shoes are comfortable for you. This means looking for things beyond cushioning. Check the shoe's gait and make sure it's suitable for your stride. For example, if you overpronate you don't want a shoe that's designed for supination. You'll also want to consider the width. If you have wide feet, a standard width shoe may not be enough unless the toe box is extra roomy. It does take some time to break in new shoes, but they should never be uncomfortable.

Durability

If you're logging 20 to 50 miles every week, you're going to need shoes that can take a beating. Otherwise, you'll find yourself replacing them way too often (or in some serious pain if you don't replace them). Choose shoes that are specifically designed for long distances and have solid soles with a decent amount of tread.

Breathability

When you're running 5, 10, or 20 miles, the last thing you want is sweaty feet. Aside from the major slippage, this can create, it also really heats things up and can make your run less comfortable. To combat this, find running shoes that offer breathability through lightweight fabrics and mesh uppers that allow air to escape. As a bonus, these types of materials dry faster, too. This comes in handy if your feet do get sweaty or you find yourself running through puddles.

FAQs About Long-Distance Running Shows


What shoe is best for running long distances?

There's no single shoe that's best for running long distances, but there are some features you should look for. The best long-distance running shoes are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable. They have added stability features that protect your feet and your ankles and are made of durable materials that can handle regular wear and tear.

Which shoes do marathon runners wear?

Just like shoes come in all shapes and sizes, so do marathon runners (and their feet). That's why there's not one specific shoe that all marathon runners wear. These long-distance runners do tend to lean toward the same features, though. Most marathon runners agree that they look for stability, excellent grip, adequate cushion, and good rebound. Many also prefer lighter-weight shoes that won't weigh them down.

Are running shoes good for everyday use?

Running shoes are designed for comfort and support, so it's perfectly fine to wear them every day. You do need to consider that the more miles you cover, the faster they will wear out though. If you want to wear running shoes every day, consider getting two pairs—one for casual wear and one that you wear only when you're training.

How long do long-distance running shoes last?

Most high-quality long-distance running shoes will last between 300 and 500 miles. Of course, the exact mileage depends on where you run (trail versus pavement) and your gait (overpronation and supination can wear your shoes out faster if you're not wearing the right ones). Your foot strike and build can also affect longevity. To maximize the life of your running shoes, wear them only when you're running and not as your everyday pair.

How do you tell when your running shoes are worn out?

The most obvious sign of wear on your running shoes is the sole. If the sole and treads are worn down, meaning they're smooth instead of textured, it's time to replace your shoes. Excessive wear on the upper, like fraying on the outside, can also signal that your running shoes have reached their maximum lifespan. Uneven wear can also be a sign that you're wearing the wrong running shoes for your gait—excessive wear on the front is usually a sign of overpronation while wearing on the outside signals supination.

Pain in your joints and knees while running and decreased shock absorption are also telltale signs, especially if these things weren't an issue when you first got your shoes. If you're physically uncomfortable, it's time to get a new pair.

About the Author

Lindsay Boyers

Lindsay Boyers is a functional nutritionist, writer, and editor with over a decade of experience in online media and product testing. She’s personally tested a wide variety of items in the fitness space, from treadmills to sneakers to water bottles. She’s also written 15 books and hundreds of articles on fitness, wellness, nutrition, and lifestyle. Her bylines appear on Forbes, CNET, Healthline, Garage Gym Reviews, CNN, mindbodygreen, and LIVESTRONG, among others. Lindsay holds certifications in holistic nutrition, functional nutrition, and professional food safety, as well as a B.S. in food in nutrition.

Lindsay Boyers is a functional nutritionist, writer, and editor with over a decade of experience in online media and product testing. She’s personally tested a wide variety of items in the fitness space, from treadmills to sneakers to water bottles. She’s also written 15 books and hundreds of articles on fitness, wellness, nutrition, and lifestyle. Her bylines appear on Forbes, CNET, Healthline, Garage Gym Reviews, CNN, mindbodygreen, and LIVESTRONG, among others. Lindsay holds certifications in holistic nutrition, functional nutrition, and professional food safety, as well as a B.S. in food in nutrition.

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