These 4 Shoes May Be the Most Comfortable You’ll Ever Run In
GREAT TRAINER AND RACER
WAVEKNIT RIDER 3
air zoom vomero 14
Comfort is king. And some research even shows that when you choose a shoe simply because it’s comfortable, you’re less likely to get injured. So to guide you on your sole searching, we chose the most comfortable models based on extensive feedback from runners, as well as test results from the RW Shoe Lab.
Each shoe was evaluated on overall performance, with a special focus on two important categories for comfort—fit and cushioning. These two experiences, which we test for separately, are so closely connected that we combined them into one category of top picks that offer a made-for-me sensation. If these four running shoes fit, wear them.
BROOKS GHOST 12
- Soft-yet-responsive DNA Loft and BioMoGo DNA midsole
- Segmented crashpad absorbs shock
- Engineered mesh upper can hold some heat
Brooks’s jack-of-all-trades trainer is the kind of shoe you wear all the time, even when you’re not running—it’s that comfortable. Compared to the previous model, the 12 kept what we loved (like its über-soft DNA Loft midsole) while adding a few comfort-boosting features (like a better-fitting 3D printed upper).
“From its soft, padded tongue to its silky smooth ankle collar and cushioning, it’s hard to rate this shoe as anything less than ultra comfortable, super stable, sturdy, and true to size,” one tester said.
Brooks Ghost 12
Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14
- Super shock absorption from both Zoom Air unit and React foam
- Snug, stretchy fit with soft foam pods to cushion the ankle
- Some testers found the tongue too short
The Vomero is still all about maximum cushioning for high mileage but now that plush ride comes in a responsive shoe that feels alive underfoot. A redesigned midsole now uses React foam to deliver more pep than Lunarlon, and layers a single, full-length Air unit just beneath the footbed. Foam pods line the heel collar to cradle the foot, and the bottom half of the padded tongue is sewn to the upper for a secure, 360-degree fit.
Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14
Mizuno Wave Rider Waveknit 3
- Dual-foam midsole is cushioned and responsive
- Suitable for long runs and speed workouts
- Stiff with a very high drop
The Waveknit 3 is essentially Mizuno’s Wave Rider 23 with a knit upper. The new stretchy construction embraces the foot for a snug and stable ride that feels “like slipping [your] foot into another sock,” according to one tester. It’s soft against the foot, while the foam underneath feels even cushier. That plush, comfy fit makes this shoe ideal for both short speed sessions and marathon long runs.
MIZUNO WAVE RIDER WAVEKNIT 3
Topo Magnifly 3
- Dual cushioning in the midsole
- Lightweight and responsive
Midsole may be too firm for some runners
The Topo Magnifly 3 is a standout in comfort and fit for the zero- or low-drop category. It features the brand’s signature neutral drop and wide toe box design to allow your toes to naturally splay, and the dual-density EVA midsole keeps your feet feeling comfy for every stride.
TOPO MAGNIFLY 3