The Best Long Distance Running Shoes

We put all the miles on everything from lightweight trainers to the burly foam tanks that never seem to wear down. Here are our 2019 picks.

High-mileage runners ask a lot of their shoes. You need something soft enough to cushion unforgiving pavement, firm enough to provide mile after mile of push-off, burly enough to take an hours-long pummeling, light enough to keep the word “slog” from darkening your thoughts—and durable enough that you don’t have to buy a new pair every two months. Comfort will also take on all new importance, as you’ll be spending a lot of time in your new shoes, whether that time involves training for a marathon or just upping your mileage for the joy and challenge of it. The quest for a single shoe to cover all of those needs might sound more daunting than your upcoming long run, but we’ve got you covered. See at-a-glance reviews of five of our top picks or scroll deeper for longer reviews of these and other options, plus buying advice.

What to Look For

The best long-distance running shoes share standout features with the best overall running shoes, like comfort, longevity, and value. However, more time on your feet could mean that your foot benefits from a wider toebox and more expansive upper in case of swelling. Typically, we also find that more experienced and lightweight runners tend to prefer thinner, lighter shoes because they don’t require quite as much cushioning. First-time marathoners, on the other hand, appreciate the extra padding that a heavier trainer can deliver to help them get to the start line healthy.

Since you’ll be putting in long miles, a durable outsole will also be key: Solid rubber tends to last longer than the more flexible blown rubber, though the latter can add to the cushioning of the shoe. At the midsole, TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) and PU (polyurethane) foam can provide more longevity than EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam, though both add weight to the overall shoe. Here’s more if you want to go deep on what makes a good running shoe.

How We Tested

We’ve devoted a lot of miles to finding shoes that strike just the right balance. We test hundreds of shoes each year, with a team of more than 300 runners, to find out how each model excels. The shoes here deliver protection from the pavement, but also feel sporty and perform well, so you can run longer and think about your feet less. Here are our top long-distance picks from shoes available now.

Adidas Ultraboost 19


Ultraboost 19, $260


  • More Boost foam underfoot
  • A cozy sock-like upper
  • A gripper outsole for rough terrain


  • We measured them as slightly heavier than the previous model

Adidas’s Ultraboost was already a super-soft shoe. But this latest revamp pushes the limits of Boost foam, adding 20 percent more of the stuff to the shoe’s midsole without affecting overall weight. Adidas also revamped the upper, giving it a more sock-like fit and replacing its predecessor’s plastic midfoot saddle with a flexible mesh one that has more give to it. The shoe also has a grippy Continental rubber outsole with the durability to last for more long runs.

Brooks Glycerin 17

Glycerin 17, $249


  • Soft, plush cushioning
  • Great for heavier runners


  • Lighter runners might find it stiff and heavy

The Glycerin is built for long mileage and recovery runs, thanks to supremely soft, plush cushioning and an engineered mesh upper that’s so comfortable we tend to leave the shoe on long after the run is over. Lighter runners might prefer to reach for the more flexible, lightweight Ghost—but heavier runners and anyone looking for a stiffer ride will love the Glycerin’s blend of softness and durability.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19

Adrenaline GTS 19, $219.95


  • Stability features that don’t hinder neutral runners
  • Ideal cushioning for heavier runners
  • Rubber outsole is slow to wear down


  • Upper soaks up water and holds it

Stability-shoe seekers will appreciate Brooks’s new approach with the latest Adrenaline. The shoe adds guide rails to “bumper” your foot into position, should you under- or overpronate. In the midsole, plenty of firm cushioning keeps your legs from getting beat up when you start to ramp up the mileage.

Hoka One One Clifton 6

Hoka One One
Clifton 6


  • Full compression EVA midsole provides plush cushioning
  • Lightweight for a maximalist-looking shoe


  • Not much rebound

The lightest Clifton since its initial release, the Clifton 6 attempts to reclaim its roots and deliver on the four-word promise of the OG version: maximum cushioning, minimum weight. Like all Cliftons, the 6 boasts a thick foam midsole and a supportive, breathable mesh upper, plus a grippy outsole made of carefully placed foam and rubber. Leave it at home on speed day but reach for the 6 for your long runs and recovery days—all that foam takes the edge off harsh pavement.

Mizuno Wave Rider 23

Wave Rider 23


  • Longtime favourite shoe for its smooth sensation underfoot
  • Now with a more streamlined mesh upper

The latest version of the Wave Rider delivers the same responsive, do-it-all performance that’s made it a favorite for both long runs and speed workouts, with a more streamlined upper for a cleaner aesthetic. The full-length engineered mesh upper keeps your foot comfortable and in place—with plenty of room in the toe box for foot splay. The foam midsole is largely unchanged, with a plastic “Wave Plate” added to give it a rigid feeling underfoot that provides a little snap at speed.


New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9

New Balance
1080v9 Fresh Foam, $240

Mesh upper fits lots of foot widths


  • More soft foam underfoot


  • Some testers found the new heel cup allowed the foot to slide a bit

New Balance cranked up the Fresh Foam for the 1080 v9, adding a millimeter of softness underfoot to make the shoe more forgiving overall. A new molded mesh upper stretches to fit even wider feet without abandoning narrow-footed runners. Runners of all speeds and sizes in our test group thought the shoe provided a supportive, responsive ride.

Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14

Air Zoom Vomero 14, $220


  • Cushy and responsive
  • More energy return than previous models


  • The collar can feel stiff

The totally revamped Air Zoom Vomero 14 keeps all the cushioning that made its predecessor a recovery-day hero and overhauls the midsole to be more lively and responsive. The result is a shoe that holds up to heavier mileage with a caffeinated jolt of energy running underfoot. Our wear-testers reported that the heel collar on the redesigned upper was on the stiff side, though overall they gave the shoe high marks for cushioning and traction. The faster you run in it, the more responsive it feels.

Under Armour Hovr Infinite

Under Armour
HOVR Infinite, $200


  • Built-in run-tracking tech
  • Great energy return
  • Lots and lots of cushy foam


  • Heel counter can be a bit uncomfortable

This high-mileage, high-value shoe has some connected tech already built in—an embedded sensor in the midsole tracks your run data and shares it to Under Armour’s Map My Run app. Lots of Hovr foam in the midsole provides a thickly cushioned ride with stellar energy return. The workhorse upper is padded and comfortable without adding luxury materials to drive up the cost.

Saucony Ride ISO 2

Ride ISO 2


  • Good arch support
  • Feels soft but fast, with lots of foam underfoot

The Ride was always considered long-haul shoe that could carry you from the beginning of marathon training through race day. Last year’s Ride (the brand’s 11th iteration, the ISO) held up that reputation and added thicker, bouncier foam cushioning without adding weight, plus a customizable lacing system that helps the upper better grip your foot. The ISO 2 doesn’t change much, but it does make minor improvements to the upper and arch support. The contoured top of the midsole makes the shoe feel as though it adapts to any sole. Our testers felt like it smoothed out their gaits, making for more comfortable training runs.

Brooks Ghost 11

Ghost 11


  • Go-to trainer that works for lots of runners
  • Smooth ride that holds up over time


  • Past iterations have sometimes felt bulky

A favourite among marathon veterans and new runners alike, this seven-time Editors’ Choice winner has a smooth, speedy ride and plenty of comfortable cushioning. This latest iteration has a revamped midsole that makes the shoe feel lighter, springier, and less bulky than past Ghosts—with a new structured mesh upper that gives your foot more wiggle room in the toe-box. We’re counting the 11 as another win for the Brooks line.

Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 Turbo

Air Zoom Pegasus 35 Turbo


  • Springy and light
  • Ready for long runs or speed sessions


  • Pricey

The newest Pegasus builds off the same springy ZoomX foam midsole as the Vaporfly 4% marathon racing shoe, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that the shoe feels fast and light. Yet it doesn’t lose the long-distance workhorse qualities of previous Pegasus iterations, cutting a nice balance between a race flat and a marathon trainer. The shoe is exceptionally soft in the heel, with plenty of cushion to keep you happy for miles on miles. A lightweight webbed rubber outsole gives you good grip on roads and smooth trails.

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