After Hours of Research and Testing, We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes of 2024 for Miles of Comfort and Support (2024)

After Hours of Research and Testing, We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes of 2024 for Miles of Comfort and Support (1)

Whether you’re training for a marathon or just like the challenge of high-mileage runs, you need a pair of running shoes that can withstand miles of pounding—whatever surface you run on. There’s nothing worse than reaching mile three and calling it quits because of foot fatigue, pain, or injury. Luckily, we found the best long distance running shoes to make purchasing the right pair for you much easier.

Responsive cushioning, durable rubber outsoles, supportive stability, and a secure fit are some of the most important key features to look for in a pair of long distance running shoes. To help you run the extra mile, we sought expert advice from podiatrist Alissa Kuizinas, DPM, and Eric Orton, running coach and author. They helped us understand that choosing the right shoe for high-mileage runners depends a lot on their foot shape, gait, as well as their running preferences and goals. In addition, we had a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy and an athletic trainer from our Review Board review this article for accuracy, shopping tips, and how to run long distances safely.

We also laced up and tested several pairs in The Verywell Testing Lab and in the real world by wear-testing them on roads, paths, and treadmills to assess fit, feel, and performance. Our team regularly tests running shoes from top brands, and we’ll continue to update this list as new models are released to make sure our recommendations reflect the current market.

Our Top Picks

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In This Article

  • Our Picks

  • We Also Tested

  • How We Selected and Tested

  • What to Look For

  • FAQ

  • Why Trust Verywell Fit

Best Overall

Brooks Glycerin 20

After Hours of Research and Testing, We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes of 2024 for Miles of Comfort and Support (2)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.5/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Responsiveness

    4.5/5

  • Stability

    4.5/5

  • Value

    4.6/5

Pros

  • Excellent shock absorption

  • Soft and responsive

  • Great cushioning

Cons

  • Toe box may be narrow for some

Brooks’ Glycerin 20 offers the cushioning, energy return, and impact protection that distance runners need. When testing this pair, we loved its soft and comfy foam cushioning, which delivered a bouncy ride and good impact protection for long distances. Plus, it’s surprisingly lightweight, especially given the impressive amount of cushioning.

The flexible, breathable upper offers a secure fit, without feeling too tight or irritating. And the shoe is designed for neutral runners, with a wider platform that adds to its overall stability. But while we did notice that the toe box runs rather narrow, we were happy to find that the Glycerin 20 comes in three widths and has plenty of space for custom orthotics or insoles if you need them.

We also liked the plush heel collar and tongue, which provide additional comfort, especially during high-mileage runs. This reliable shoe is an excellent choice for distance runners who want a high-quality, top-performing shoe that works well for tempo runs and shorter workouts. Plus, we like that it’s a comfortable option for people who are standing most of the day.

Also available in men’s sizes at Amazon, Brooks, and Zappos.

Key Specs:
Size Range:
Women’s 5-15; Men’s 7-14 | Weight: Women’s 9.1 ounces; Men’s 10.1 ounces | Drop: 10 millimeters | Materials: Mesh upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Cushioning: Maximum

Best Men's

Saucony Men's Triumph 21 Sneaker

After Hours of Research and Testing, We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes of 2024 for Miles of Comfort and Support (3)

Pros

  • Great cushioning

  • Lightweight and breathable

  • Excellent shock absorption

Cons

  • Too plush for speedwork

A comfy, reliable option for distance runners, Saucony’s Triumph 21 is plush and supportive for miles of fun. This updated version of the Triumph is lighter than its predecessors, but still doesn’t skimp on support or shock absorption. We like that the shoe’s midfoot provides soft yet responsive landings, while its rocker shape allows for smooth transitions and an efficient stride.

Like some other Saucony running shoes, its lacing design features extra loops on both sides of the midfoot, for a more customized fit and added stability. The mesh upper is lightweight and breathable, helping to keep your feet free from irritation and blisters—no matter how many miles are on the schedule.

While this shoe is a bit too plush for speedwork, we think it’s an excellent choice for distance running and walking on hard pavement, treadmills, or other unforgiving surfaces. With good traction and stability, it’s also a suitable option for cross-training activities. Plus, the Triumph 21 has earned the American Podiatric Medical Association’s (APMA) Seal of Acceptance, meaning a committee of podiatrists has determined that it helps promote healthy feet.

Also available in women’s sizes at Amazon, Saucony, and Zappos.

Key Specs:
Size Range:
Women’s 5 to 12; Men’s 7 to 15 | Weight: Women’s 8.8 ounces; Men’s 9.7 ounces | Drop: 10 millimeters | Materials: Mesh upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Cushioning: Maximum

Best Women's

Hoka Clifton 9

After Hours of Research and Testing, We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes of 2024 for Miles of Comfort and Support (4)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Responsiveness

    5/5

  • Stability

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

Pros

  • Soft, responsive cushioning

  • Breathable, flexible upper

  • Excellent support and durability

Cons

  • Tall heel may lead to blisters

Hoka’s Clifton 9 combines lightweight cushioning and reliable support, making it ideal for distance runners. Another APMA Seal of Acceptance winner, this shoe is known for its soft yet responsive feel. When testing the Clifton 9, we were impressed with how well-cushioned and supportive it felt during long runs, without ever weighing us down.

We also liked the breathable, flexible knit upper that provides a snug and comfortable fit—allowing for natural foot movement. And thanks to the wide toe box, a common feature in Hoka shoes, the fit was roomy with plenty of room for our toes to splay. The heel tab allows for easy on and off, while also providing more support. But the tall tab may hit some wearers at the wrong spot, leading to discomfort or even blisters.

Propelling us forward, the shoe’s rocker shape helped with quick and efficient strides. Meanwhile, the rubber outsole and grippy treads help with overall durability and safety for road running, even in wet conditions. The Clifton 9 weighs about 7 ounces, but we found that it still feels very supportive for such a lightweight shoe.

Also available in men’s sizes at Hoka, Zappos, and Dick’s.

Key Specs:
Size Range:
Women’s 5 to 12; Men’s 7 to 15 | Weight: Women’s 7.2 ounces; Men’s 8.7 ounces | Drop: 5 millimeters | Materials: Engineered knit upper, molded foam midsole, rubber outsole | Cushioning: Plush but responsive

Best Budget

Asics Gel-Excite 9

After Hours of Research and Testing, We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes of 2024 for Miles of Comfort and Support (5)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Responsiveness

    4/5

  • Stability

    3.5/5

  • Value

    5/5

Pros

  • Lightweight, responsive cushioning

  • Ideal for beginners

  • Comes in three widths

Cons

  • Not be as durable as other options

  • May run narrow

If you’re new to distance running or looking to save on a new pair of sneakers, Asics’ Gel-Excite 9 shoes offer proper support, cushy comfort, and solid impact protection for long runs—all at a budget-friendly price. During testing, we appreciated the breathable mesh upper that felt soft and smooth against our feet, without causing any irritation, hot spots, or blisters.

Plus, the shoes felt comfortable right out of the box. Some wearers say the shoe runs quite narrow, but it does come in three different widths, so you can get a fit that’s right for your foot shape and size. On test walks and runs, we were impressed with how lightweight and responsive the shoe felt, despite its supportive, well-cushioned foam midsole.

At less than 8 ounces each shoe, this pair from Asics is one of the lightest on our list. But we found that it may not be as durable as some of the heavier options with thicker soles, such as Hoka’s Bondi 8. Overall, we think the Gel-Excite 9 is a good choice for distance runners who want to try out a lightweight, responsive shoe without a big upfront cost.

Also available in men’s sizes at Amazon, Asics, and DSW.

Key Specs:
Size Range:
Women’s 5 to 12; Men’s 7 to 15 | Weight: Women’s 7.7 ounces; Men’s 9 ounces | Drop: 10 millimeters | Materials: Jacquard mesh upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Cushioning: Moderate

Best for Flat Feet

Asics GT-2000 11

After Hours of Research and Testing, We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes of 2024 for Miles of Comfort and Support (6)

Pros

  • Excellent stability and support

  • Great for speedwork

  • Comes in three widths

Cons

  • May feel stiff at first

  • Not as cushioned as some other options

Another reliable option from Asics, the GT-2000 11 is popular with flat-footed distance runners, thanks to its exceptional stability. This pair is equipped with a firm foam on the midsole to help prevent overpronation, or the rolling of feet inward, that’s common among runners with flat feet. The result is a smoother, more natural stride—so you can run longer and more efficiently.

When testing this shoe, we noticed that it felt a bit stiff at first, but we broke it in quite quickly. It also felt very lightweight, making it a solid choice for speed work and cross training, in addition to distance running. Plus, the breathable mesh upper gently hugs and conforms the shape of your foot, offering even more support.

We also like the GT-2000 comes in three widths, so you can get a more precise fit. It doesn’t offer as much cushioning as Brooks’ Adrenaline GTS 22, so that may be a better option for overpronators who prefer a more plush ride. However, for distance runners with flexible arches or flat feet, it’s a great everyday trainer that can handle double-digit mileage.

Also available in men’s sizes at Amazon, Zappos, and Dick’s.

Key Specs:
Size Range:
Women’s 5 to 12; Men’s 7 to 15 | Weight: Women’s 8.3 ounces; Men’s 9.7 ounces | Drop: 8 millimeters | Materials: Mesh upper with recycled polyester, foam and gel midsole, rubber and bio-based cellulose nanofiber outsole | Cushioning: Moderate

Best Neutral Runners

Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Running Shoe

After Hours of Research and Testing, We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes of 2024 for Miles of Comfort and Support (7)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Responsiveness

    5/5

  • Stability

    4/5

  • Value

    5/5

Pros

Cons

  • Runs small

  • Not protective enough for very cold weather

Mizuno’s Wave Rider 26 is a solid pick for neutral runners looking for a distance running shoe that’s supportive, responsive, and comfortable. During testing, we were impressed with the shoe’s energy return, even towards the end of long runs. This most recent version of the Wave Rider features two extra millimeters of foam cushioning in its full-length midsole—offering a more propulsive, plush ride.

We found the shoe’s fit to be comfortable right out of the box, with no need for a break-in period. And the toe box is spacious, allowing for more natural foot movement—which is especially important for long runs, Dr. Kuizinas says. If you need even more room, it also comes in wide sizes.

Plus, the shoe’s lightweight and breathable upper enhances the overall comfort and helps prevent foot overheating and blisters. That being said, the stretchy mesh may be too thin and not protective enough for very cold weather. But thanks to its grippy rubber outsole, we found that the shoe felt durable and safe on all types of terrains. If you’re looking for a reliable shoe that offers a soft yet responsive ride and can handle high-mileage training, Mizuno’s Wave Rider 26 is an excellent choice.

Also available in men’s sizes at Amazon, Mizuno, and Zappos.

Key Specs:
Size Range:
Women’s 6-12; Men’s 7-15 | Weight: Women’s 8.3 ounces; Men’s 10 ounces | Drop: 12 millimeters | Materials: Jacquard mesh upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Cushioning: Plush but responsive

Best for Bad Knees

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

After Hours of Research and Testing, We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes of 2024 for Miles of Comfort and Support (8)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.5/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Responsiveness

    5/5

  • Stability

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

Pros

  • Good support for flat feet

  • Excellent shock absorption

  • Comes in four wides

Cons

  • Not for neutral runners

Solid impact protection is a crucial feature for distance running shoes, especially if you’re prone to knee or other joint pain. During our testing, we found that Brooks’ Adrenaline GTS 22 features plush cushioning that provides excellent shock absorption on hard surfaces, while still feeling lightweight and responsive. Plus, the APMA Seal of Acceptance winner also comes equipped with a support system that keeps excess movement in check, so your feet don’t roll inward as you’re running.

On test runs, we appreciated the secure, seamless upper that provides great airflow and much-needed blister prevention. Meanwhile, the shoe’s grippy rubber outsole is durable enough to handle many miles on the road. We also like that this shoe comes in four different widths and is deep enough to accommodate custom orthotics or insoles, if you need them.

The added stability features do make the shoe feel stiffer than other options. So if you’re a neutral runner, check out a more flexible shoe, like Mizuno’s Wave Rider 26. But for overpronators or those with bad knees, we love the Adrenaline GTS 22.

Also available in men’s sizes at Amazon, Brooks, and Zappos.

Key Specs:
Size Range:
Women’s 5 to 12; Men’s 7 to 15 | Weight: Women’s 9.1 ounces; Men’s 10.2 ounces | Drop: 12 millimeters | Materials: Mesh upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Cushioning: Plush but responsive

Best for Wide Feet

New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4

After Hours of Research and Testing, We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes of 2024 for Miles of Comfort and Support (9)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.5/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Responsiveness

    4.8/5

  • Stability

    5/5

  • Value

    5/5

Pros

  • Available in three widths

  • Plush cushioning

  • Versatile

Cons

  • May feel too bulky for some

New Balance is known for their high-quality, comfortable running shoes and large range of sizes and widths. With a roomy fit and three available widths, the brand's Fresh Foam X More v4 is an excellent option for those with wide feet. And designed for neutral runners, this pick is ideal for when your training schedule calls for long, slow distances.

During testing, we immediately noticed the shoe’s plush comfort and exceptional fit—right from the first wear. We were also impressed with its ample responsive cushioning, which felt even more springy, thanks to the shoe’s rocker design. With a wider platform than previous versions, the More v4 also has better shock absorption to provide smooth transitions as you’re running.

We also found that this shoe performed well for fitness walking—a huge plus for those who like using the run walk method to build up their endurance. The breathable engineered mesh upper keeps the feet comfortable, fresh, and dry. But, like Hoka’s Bondi 8, the shoe’s maximum cushioning and extra-thick sole may feel too bulky for some wearers.

Also available in men’s sizes at Amazon, New Balance, and Zappos.

Key Specs:
Size Range:
Women’s 5 to 13; Men’s 7 to 16 | Weight: Women’s 8.4 ounces; Men’s 11 ounces | Drop: 4 millimeters | Materials: Mesh upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Cushioning: Maximum

Best for Marathon Racing

Saucony Men's Endorphin Pro 3 Sneaker

After Hours of Research and Testing, We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes of 2024 for Miles of Comfort and Support (10)

Pros

  • Excellent energy return

  • Designed for racing

  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Pricier than other options

  • Not protective enough for very cold weather

If you’re looking to crush your next long-distance race, check out Saucony’s Endorphin Speed Pro 3—one of the brand’s lightest, fastest, and most responsive shoes. With an embedded carbon-fiber plate, it’s designed to propel you forward—helping you run faster and more efficiently. Plus, this newest version, is redesigned with additional lightweight foam cushioning in the midsole and added carbon rubber on the outside, for an even comfier, safer ride.

The shoe’s thin mesh upper is super lightweight and breathable, but not thick enough to provide protection during cold weather runs. Still, we are impressed with its remarkable support and stability, for such a lightweight shoe. And we think it’s durable and sturdy enough to handle intense marathon racing.

Saucony’s Endorphin Speed Pro 3 is more expensive than any of the other options included on our list, but serious racers will find its high-quality materials and stellar performance to be worth the investment.

Also available in men’s sizes at Amazon, Saucony, and Fleet Feet.

Key Specs:
Size Range:
Women’s 5 to 12; Men’s 7 to 15 | Weight: Women’s 6.2 ounces; Men’s 7.2 ounces | Drop: 8 millimeters | Materials: Mesh upper, foam midsole, carbon-fiber plate, carbon rubber outsole | Cushioning: Lightweight but responsive

We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes To Help You Go the Extra Mile

Best for Narrow Feet

Nike Women's React Infinity Run Flyknit 3

After Hours of Research and Testing, We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes of 2024 for Miles of Comfort and Support (11)

Pros

  • Very responsive

  • Supportive fit

  • Flexible, breathable upper

Cons

  • Arch support may be too much for some

One of Nike’s top shoes for distance running, the React Infinity Run Flyknit 3 is lightweight, durable, and supportive. Similar to many other Nike shoes, this pair runs narrow—making it an ideal pick if your feet typically slide around in normal running shoes. Plus, the streamlined design provides the right amount of lockdown and stability throughout the midfoot, as well as a U-shaped heel cup that offers additional support for long runs.

This pair’s rocker shape helps to propel you forward, while its foam cushioning delivers a comfy and responsive ride. The breathable upper is flexible, allowing for good airflow and blister protection. While some wearers might find the arch support a bit stiff, we do recommend this pick for distance runners who need a little extra stability in that area.

Also available in men’s sizes at Amazon, Nike, and Fleet Feet.

Key Specs:
Size Range:
Women’s 6-12; Men’s 6-14 | Weight: Women’s 9.2 ounces; Men’s 10.5 ounces | Drop: 8 millimeters | Materials: Flyknit upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Cushioning: Spec

Best for Trail Running

New Balance New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v7 Trail Running Shoes

After Hours of Research and Testing, We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes of 2024 for Miles of Comfort and Support (12)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.5/5

  • Comfort

    4.5/5

  • Responsiveness

    4/5

  • Stability

    4.5/5

  • Value

    4.5/5

Pros

  • Excellent traction

  • Very stable and supportive

  • Lightweight and breathable

Cons

  • Not waterproof

  • Run narrow

Do you like to run long-distance on the trail? If so, we recommend New Balance’s Fresh Foam X Hierro v7—a trail running shoe that provides the right combination of cushioning, traction, and support. During testing, we found that this pick felt surprisingly lightweight for a trail shoe— which helped prevent fatigue towards the end of long runs. But it still offers great stability and protection, as well as a reinforced toe to guard that protects against rocks, roots, and other hazards.

Unlike some other trail running shoes, these are not waterproof. But the mesh upper is super breathable and dries very quickly. On test runs, we appreciated that the Hierro v7’s full-length foam cushioning provided just as much shock absorption and comfort as other distance running shoes we tested. And we were also impressed with the durable soles and grippy lugs, which helped keep us safe on wet and uneven terrain, as well as inclines and declines.

You should note that this shoe runs a bit narrow in the toe box, which is not typical for New Balance Shoes. But it does come in wide sizes if you need some extra room. Plus, we love that the shoe’s streamlined, stylish look makes them perfect to wear for all types of activities.

Also available in men’s sizes at Amazon, New Balance, and Zappos.

Key Specs:
Size Range:
Women’s 5 to 12; Men’s 7 to 15 | Weight: Women’s 9 ounces; Men’s 11 ounces | Drop: 8 millimeters | Materials: Mesh upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Cushioning: Moderate

10 Best Trail Running Shoes for Women, Tested by a Personal Trainer

Best Cushioned

Hoka Bondi 8

After Hours of Research and Testing, We Found the 12 Best Long Distance Running Shoes of 2024 for Miles of Comfort and Support (13)

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5/5

  • Comfort

    5/5

  • Responsiveness

    3.8/5

  • Stability

    5/5

  • Value

    4.5/5

Pros

  • Maximum cushioning

  • Made with recycled materials

  • Available in three widths

Cons

  • Not for speedwork

If you prefer maximum cushioning, look no further than Hoka’s Bondi 8—one of the most popular running shoes on the market. The APMA-approved shoe features a thick layer of ultralight, resilient foam that keeps each stride soft but bouncy.

When testing, we noticed that the Bondi 8 felt plush, comfortable, and secure—with plenty of room in the toe box to spread out. Plus, it’s available in wide and extra-wide sizes for those with bunions, blisters, or wide feet. We love that the shoe’s lightweight and breathable upper is made with recycled materials, keeping our feet comfortable and dry for miles.

While we love its thick, supportive sole for distance running, we would not recommend the Bondi 8 for racing, speed training, or other fast workouts. It’s one of the more expensive shoes on our list, but we think it’s worth it for its exceptional performance and durability.

Also available in men’s sizes at

Key Specs:
Size Range:
Women’s 5 to 12; Men’s 7 to 16 | Weight: Women’s 8.9 ounces; Men’s 10.9 ounces | Drop: 4 millimeters | Materials: Mesh upper, foam midsole, rubber outsole | Cushioning: Maximum

The 12 Best Hoka Running Shoes of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

We Also Tested

  • New Balance’s 990 v5 shoes are supportive, well-cushioned, and very durable. Like other New Balance shoes, these come in an extensive range of widths—making them a good option for those with narrow or wide feet. But they are a bit too heavy and bulky for distance training, so we did not include them in our final list.
  • Nike’s Pegasus 40 running shoe is a tried-and-true favorite for road runners of all levels. Lightweight and responsive, they’re very comfortable. But these are best suited for speedwork or racing, but long-distance runs.

How We Selected and Tested the Best Long-Distance Running Shoes

To create a list of the best long-distance running shoes, we first sought expert advice from board-certified podiatrist Alissa Kuizinas, DPM, and running coach and author Eric Orton. With their advice in mind, we researched dozens of shoes from reputable running shoe brands and evaluated them for fit, comfort, support, durability, cushioning, design, breathability, price, and more.

Next, tested some of the shoes ourselves by running in them on treadmills, roads, paths, and trails. We paid close attention to each shoe’s fit, making sure that there was no rubbing, irritation, or discomfort. During runs, we considered how supportive and responsive the shoe felt, as well as how the shoe’s design and weight affected our overall comfort and performance.

We then rated each pair from 1 (would not recommend) to 5 (excellent) based on fit, comfort, responsiveness, stability, blister protection, and overall value. Finally, we combined the expert advice, our research, and our Lab findings to offer our top recommendations.

What to Look For in Long-Distance Running Shoes

Heel Drop

A shoe’s heel-to-toe drop refers to the difference between the height of the shoe at the heel and at the forefoot. In general, most distance running shoes have a heel-to-toe drop in the range of 8 to 10 millimeters, although some brands are known for having lower drops. For instance, most Hoka running shoes, like the Clifton 9 and Bondi 8, have a heel-to-toe drop of 4 or 5 millimeters.

A lower heel-to-drop is often better for runners who land on their midfoot or forefoot, while the higher drop encourages rearfoot striking. High heel drop shoes usually have more cushioning in the rearfoot, exactly where heel strikers need it.

To determine your foot strike and get advice on the best shoes for you, visit a specialty running store or physical therapist for an expert gait analysis.

Fit and Foot Type

Finding a shoe that fits properly can help distance runners stay comfortable and injury-free. Running shoes should fit your feet snugly, without feeling too tight or too loose. Your heel shouldn't slide around or pop out of the shoe. And you should make sure you have some extra room in the toe box—about a half-inch in front of your longest toe—to avoid rubbing or numbness as you’re running. Having that extra space up front is especially important if the shoe has a high heel-to-toe drop, since the built-up heel slope causes the foot to slide forward toward the front of the shoe, Orton says.

A good way to check the fit is to remove the insole from the shoe and place your foot on it, so make sure both the shape and length fit your foot, according to Dr. Kuizinas. If you have narrow or wide feet, look for brands such as Brooks, New Balance, and Asics, which offer an extensive range of sizes and widths.

In addition to getting the right fit, you’ll need to consider your arch type, whether you have a low, medium, or high arches. Runners with higher arches and stiffer feet should look for a neutral running shoe, while those with low arches who heavily overpronate may want to look for more stability, Dr. Kuizinas says.

Weight

Heavier running shoes typically offer greater support, cushioning, and durability, so they’re a smart option for long-distance runs. A sturdy shoe, like New Balance’s Fresh Foam X More v4, may feel too heavy and bulky for speed workouts, but is a great choice for lengthy runs.

Trail running shoes will also be heavier than most road running shoes, due to the thicker outsole and extra support. For long distance races, serious runners may want a lighter, more flexible and responsive shoe, such as Saucony’s Endorphin Pro 3.

Materials

Distance runners should look for shoes made with high-quality, durable materials that can handle high mileage. Shoes with knit or mesh uppers are a good choice for long distance running, since they’re comfortable, lightweight, breathable, and flexible. The material provides a snug, supportive fit, but still expands and moves with you as you’re running

For distance running, it’s important to have ample cushioning to help prevent foot and leg fatigue towards the end of long runs, Dr. Kuizinas says. Midsoles are usually made with soft foam or gel cushioning. Depending on the material and thickness, the cushioning will be plush, firm, or somewhere in the middle—so you can choose your preferred level.

You should also look for running shoes with outsoles made of durable rubber, for good traction and stability—especially if you do most of your miles outside.

Durability

Distance running shoes from reputable brands are usually high-quality and durable, so they should last about 300 to 400 miles. However, keep in mind that lightweight distance racing shoes, especially those with embedded carbon fiber plates (like Saucony’s Endorphin Pro 3), may start to break down sooner.

Generally, trail running shoes have a more durable outsole that can handle rougher terrain, so you may want to opt for a trail shoe if you frequently do your long distances off-road.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long should long-distance running shoes last?

    In general, distance running shoes last about 300 to 400 miles before the cushioning and support are worn out, which could possibly lead to pain or injury, Dr. Kuizinas says.

    However, shoe life also depends on your running style, build, and typical running surfaces. For instance, lighter runners can get new shoes at the upper end of the recommendation, while heavier runners should consider retiring shoes closer to 300 miles. Your shoes may also wear down faster if you log a lot of miles outside or on rough surfaces. To help make your running shoes last longer, wear them only for running and not for casual wear.

  • Do expensive running shoes last longer?

    A high price tag for a pair of running shoes isn’t a guarantee that they’ll last longer. In fact, some of the most expensive running shoes on the market are not as durable as more traditional options.

    Long distance running shoes generally cost anywhere from $75 to $165. However, instead of relying on price to determine the quality of a running shoe, look for reputable brands that design shoes specifically for runners. Most top-selling brands, like the ones included in this list, have a wide range of options to accommodate a variety of budgets.

  • How can you tell when your running shoes are worn out?

    While you can use mileage to estimate when it’s time to replace your running shoes, it’s also important to pay attention to how your shoes feel and inspect for signs of wear and tear. One of the most obvious indications is the condition of the outsole. If the treads are smooth and worn down, instead of textured, then you should retire those shoes.

    You can also examine the midsole foam to see how compressed and uneven it is. If the shoe tips to one side because of damaged, compressed foam, rather than sitting level on the ground, then it’s time to replace them, according to Orton.

    Another sign that shoes are worn out is if you can easily fold the shoe lengthwise at the toe box. With trail running shoes, the main consideration for new shoes is when the lugs get too eroded to provide the grip and traction needed to perform, Orton says.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, has more than 20 years of experience writing and editing health and fitness content and product recommendations. As a certified personal trainer, running coach, and avid runner, she’s always researching and testing running shoes and knows what features to look for to determine the best running shoes for various needs. Her current distance running shoe is the Brooks Glycerin 20.

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FAQs

What running shoes are in style in 2024? ›

Among the most anticipated releases are the Adidas Boston 13, Saucony Triumph 22, Adidas Adios 9, Nike Pegasus Turbo V4, Nike React Pegasus Trail 5, Asics Superblast V2, Asics Novablast 5, New Balance Supercomp Trainer V3, and many, many more.

What makes a long distance running shoe? ›

For long distance runs you want a shoe with a high-quality outer rubber sole and a lightweight, cushioned midsole for extra comfort and bounce. To help reduce landing shock, look for a shoe with gel cushioning in the heel and forefoot.

How many miles do most running shoes last? ›

It's generally accepted that the standard lifespan of road running shoes is somewhere between 300 - 500 miles, or around 500 - 800km, with lightweight shoes somewhere between 250 - 300 miles.

Can running shoes last 1,000 miles? ›

The least durable shoes last only 100 miles while the most durable shoes last over 1000 miles. Heel Cushioning lasts longer than Ball Cushioning, 549 miles on average. The least durable heel cushioning is 125 miles and the most durable shoes last over 1000 miles.

Which Brooks shoe has the most cushion? ›

Brooks' Glycerin 20 earns our top overall pick for women thanks to its exceptional comfort, performance, and versatility. One of Brooks' most cushioned shoes, we agree after testing that it has a cloud-like feel and provides smooth transitions for easy runs and walks.

Are Hokas good for long distance running? ›

Best for road running: Hoka One One Clifton 8‍

With its responsive and energetic ride, this shoe is perfect for daily training, tempo runs, and even marathons. The updated upper provides a secure fit, while the plush midsole offers exceptional shock absorption, reducing the impact on your joints.

How long do hokas last? ›

With the Hoka Clifton, depending on how well you take care of them and what terrain you're using them on during your runs, you can expect around 300-500 miles (we've seen some clocking 400 miles easily before any reported serious physical damage). But remember, these shoes are not designed to last forever.

How often should I replace Hokas? ›

The typical lifespan for a pair of running shoes falls in the 250-500 mile range, which in itself is very broad. Some people may find they get less than 200 and others more than 700.

How many miles do Brooks running shoes last? ›

When used for the intended purpose, Brooks footwear has a life expectancy of 300 to 500 miles. Sports bras and apparel products have a life expectancy of 12 months and are tested for up to 50 washes and 50 dries. If you are experiencing a reduction in performance during this time frame, please tell us about it!

What shoes should you wear when driving long-distance? ›

For maximum control while driving, you should opt for soft shoes with a thin sole that also has a little grip. These will allow your ankle to remain flexible and keep your sole sensitive to how much pressure you're placing on the pedals.

Are lighter shoes better for long-distance running? ›

Even a small difference in oxygen uptake can be meaningful to a runner and mount up over long distances, so improvements in running economy are highly sought after. Taking Nike's increased aerobic demand 1% finding into account, it seemed clear that the lighter the shoe, the better.

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