The 11 Best Long-Distance Running Shoes, According to Reviews
If you're a long-distance runner, you already know the importance of a quality sneaker. Whether you're training for a marathon or simply love the challenge of hitting double-digit miles, your running shoes are a determining factor in your stamina, form, and overall physical health.
"By wearing the right shoes, injuries such as ankle sprains, fractures, arch pain, bunions, metatarsalgia, corns, and further, knee and hip injuries can all be prevented," Ghazaleh Rahimi, DPM, a London-based podiatrist, tells Shape. Adds Rhode Island-based running and ultramarathon coach Montana DePasquale, "I always tell my runners that your shoes are your #1 piece of equipment, so invest wisely and treat them well," explaining that running shoes can greatly influence your form. (BTW, if you're in the market for running gear, these leggings are a must.)
Runners who've already gone the distance to find their favorite shoes have happily shared their recommendations in reviews on sites like Amazon and Zappos, and Shape's combed through hundreds of them to find the pairs they love most.
The Best Long-Distance Running Shoes:
- Best Overall: New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 1080 V11
- Best for Trails: Salomon Speedcross 5
- Best for Flat Feet: Asics Gel-Kayano 27
- Best for Roads: Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 21
- Best Affordable: Gannou Women's Air Athletic Running Shoes
- Best Waterproof: Brooks Ghost 14 GTX
- Best Stability: Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2
- Best Barefoot: On Running Cloudflow
- Best Cushioned: Brooks Glycerin 19
- Best Lightweight: Saucony Kinvara 12
- Best Injury Prevention: Hoka Bondi 7
What features to look for in long-distance running shoes:
"Long-distance running shoes require support in forward movement, while short distance or walking shoes require stability from side to side movement," says Dr. Rahimi. When searching for long-distance running shoes, she suggests finding a well-fitting pair that provides support to your ankle, midfoot, and arch.
Secure Front Lacing
Laces are "the most vital point to be made regardless what type of shoes you wear," Dr. Rahimi says. "It is crucial that you opt for a style that has laces which you can pull tightly and ensure that the arch is supported and the shoe is fitting seamlessly around the foot." She notes that a loose shoe is one of the major causes for foot injuries and deformity.
In addition to support, Dr. Rahimi points out that long-distance running shoes should have abundant cushioning on the soles to protect your knees and hips from shock. Adds DePasquale, "A good running shoe has enough cushion and support for repetitive, high-impact exercise, but is responsive and lightweight enough for logging miles at all different speeds."
A Wide Toe Box
Finally, making sure your shoes have a wide toe box (aka the front section of the shoe that houses your toes) can help you run comfortably and blister-free. "If the shoe is tight and has a small toe box, be it in width or depth, this will prevent the toes from having free space and movement and lead to an array of injuries," Dr. Rahimi warns.
A final note on safety: Don't forget to replace your long-distance running shoes when they begin to show signs of wear. Dr. Rahimi suggests looking out for increasingly soft or "spongy" soles and weak laces "Runners should replace their shoes every 300-500 miles. There are several good tools for keeping track of this — the Garmin Connect app, Strava, or you can even use a good old-fashioned spreadsheet," adds DePasquale.
Below are 11 of the best shoes for long-distance running, according to customer reviews: