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The running shoe is one of the biggest expenses that a runner will make as part of the sport.  When stepping it up to long distance running on the road, the type of shoe you are wearing can make the difference between feeling awesome during and after your run or being in pain and struggling.  It is a super important purchase.  Once you start cranking up the kilometres, comfort and durability becomes a high priority, as well as how the shoe performs. Choosing a running shoe is an individual process, however this list of the best long distance running shoes can be used as a guide or starting point for finding a shoe that suits you.

See the best long distance running shoes here.

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Why do you want specific long distance running shoes?

So what is long distance running? And why do you need a specific running shoe?

A lot of runners start with shorter races like a 5 k or a 10 k (if you are starting out check out our tips on how to start running after a break).  Once the shorter distances are mastered, it is often the next step to start thinking about training for a half marathon (21.1 k) or a marathon (42.2 k).  It really is important to take the time to build up to these kind of distances so your body can handle the training you are going to throw at it. Read more on how to run slow, build your base and stay healthy.

Once you start training for longer distances like a half marathon or marathon you will be spending more time out running.  What shoe you wear makes all the difference to your training and your race, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right.  Having completely mangled bleeding toes or being in pain is really not fun and can totally be avoided.

Purchasing running shoes that are designed to handle more time pounding the pavement can help with making your running more enjoyable and less painful.  Winning!

Running Shoe Comparison Guide: Our Running Shoe Reviews Format

Trying to work out for you what the best shoes for long distance running are can be difficult.  Check out our comparison chart to understand the different types of  running shoes that are suitable for long distance running to help decide which may be best for you.  Also check out our reviews of the top rated running shoes to help decide which will best suit you.

Running Shoe Comparison Chart:

There are so many different running shoes you can buy.  The table below displays the recommended road running shoes that suit different types of running style, purpose (e.g. training or racing), weight and heel to toe drop.  You can find out more information on all of these running shoes below.

NameImageTypeWeightDropCheck Price
Women's
Check Price
Men's
Nike ZoomX Fly Vaporfly Next%Nike vapor fly next%Racing190 g (6.6 oz)8 mmCheck PriceCheck Price
Hoka One One Carbon XHoka One One Carbon XTraining and racingWomens: 213 g (7.5 oz)
Mens: 247 g (8.7 oz)
5 mmCheck PriceCheck Price
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37Nike Zoom Air Pegasus 37Training and racingWomen's: 235 g (8.28 oz)
Men's: 286 g (10.05 oz)
10 mmCheck PriceCheck Price
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10New Balance 1080 V10Training Women's: 238 g (8.4 oz)
Men's: 281 g (9.9 oz)
8 mmCheck PriceCheck Price
Brooks Ghost 13Brooks Ghost 13TrainingWomen's: 249 g (8.8 oz)
Men's: 286 g (10.1 oz)
12 mmCheck PriceCheck Price
Asics Gel-Nimbus 22Asics Gel Nimbus 22TrainingWomen's: 255 g (9.0 oz)
Men's: 305 g (10.8 oz)
Men's: 10 mm
Women's: 13 mm
Check PriceCheck Price
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20Brooks Adrenaline GTSTrainingWomen's: 272 g (9.6 oz)
Men's: 300 g (10.6 oz)
12 mmCheck PriceCheck Price
Hoka One One Clifton 7Hoka one one cliftonTraining and racingWomen's: 200g (7.1 oz)
Men's: 247 g (8.7 oz)
5 mmCheck PriceCheck Price
Saucony Triumph 18Saucony Triumph 18TrainingWomen's: 275g (9.7 oz)
Men's: 315 g (11.1 oz)
8 mmCheck PriceCheck Price
Asics NovablastAsics Novablast MensTraining and racingWomen's: 235 g (8.3 oz)
Men's: 263 g (9.2 oz)
10 mmCheck PriceCheck Price

Types of Running Shoes and How to Choose?

There are different types of running shoes depending on what your running style is or what you are using them for such as training on the road, or racing.  The following will help you choose the best running shoes for you.

Choosing a shoe fit for its purpose

If you are starting out with your running, you might not know that there are shoes specifically designed for running.  Shoes designed for cross-training, walking or sports like tennis, netball and basketball are not suitable for running.

Running shoes are designed to provide cushioning, support and durability specific to the repetitive motion of running.  Wearing other shoes may lead to injuries which we definitely don’t want.

Do you need a different shoe for training or a race?

Training Running Shoes

Training shoes are the shoes we will be wearing week after week as we build up our running volume.  They need to be durable to take the pounding they are going to get.  They also need to be comfortable (more on that later) which generally means more cushioning.  They can be a bit heavier.

Racing Running Shoes

If you take your road racing pretty seriously or are gunning for a personal best, you may opt for a pair of racing running shoes which are lighter and designed for speed.  These shoes are generally less durable and are in the higher price bracket.

Foot Type

Running shoes are designed for different pronation styles.  If you don’t know what your pronation style is, it’s totally worth going to get it checked out at a running shoe shop with a treadmill or a podiatrist/physio who can have a look at your running gait and tell you.

The different types are:

Neutral (normal arch) – Where you have moderate foot movement/rolling-in when landing. If you wear orthotics consider yourself as having a neutral foot type. A majority of runners are considered to have a neutral foot type.

Over pronators (flat foot) – Where you have increased foot movement/rolling-in during foot landing and require more stability in a running shoe.

Under pronators (high arch) – Where you have decreased foot movement/rolling-in during foot landing and require more cushioning in a running shoe.

Drop

When we talk about shoe ‘drop’ we are talking about how much taller the heel is than the forefoot.  So a shoe with a 25 mm thick heel and a 15 mm thick forefoot will have a drop of 5 mm.

Shoe drops range from 0 mm (think minimalistic shoes) to 12 mm +.  If you know that you run with your heel landing first a shoe with a high drop will provide a foam cushioning as your heel hits the ground first.  A shoe that has a lower drop allows you to run on your midfoot or forefoot so your heel hits the ground at the same time.  A shoe with a lower heel drop can be tougher on your achilles, calves, hamstrings and glutes.

When you run in different shoes with different drops, the impact or the running load is felt in different parts of the body.  It’s a good idea if you are using shoes with different drops, to slowly wear the shoes in so your body has time to adapt.

It’s all about comfort

At the end of the day, only you can choose a shoe that feels comfortable for you.  You are going to be wearing the shoes and if they don’t feel comfortable when you are doing those long distance workouts then it’s time to try a different pair.

Long Distance Running Shoe Buying Guide

Questions to ask yourself to work out what the best distance running shoes for you are and before click that buy now button include:

What is the shoe’s purpose? Are you buying a training shoe, a racing shoe or a shoe for both training and racing?

Do you know your foot type and running style? Knowing your foot type (e.g. neutral) and your running style (e.g. forefoot, midfoot or heel striker) will help choose a shoe that is likely to be a better fit for you (not always but generally).

Do they fit properly and do they feel comfortable? It’s all about comfort!  Choose a shoe that fits and feels good.

What is your budget? The price range for running shoes vary a lot, so knowing what you are willing to spend will help you narrow down the search.

What is the Best Long Distance Running Shoe on the Market?

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next %

Weight: 190 g (6.6 oz), Drop: 8 mm , Type: Road racing shoe, Support: Neutral

The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% is by far and away the best Nike long distance racing shoes on the market.  The performance enhancement it gives the runner is a controversial topic, with this shoe enabling the pros and age-groupers alike to be hitting times not seen before in road racing.

This shoe is made for speed with a full-length carbon-fibre plate inserted in the midsole to propel you forward and help you when you pick up the pace.  The midsole is made from Nike ZoomX foam which is super comfortable and bouncy and the upper is lightweight.

This shoe is controversial for a reason, you will be running faster with less fatigue over long distances.  That is why this shoe cost’s a bomb and is for the super serious runner.

Plus this shoe is not designed for durability.  It is really is only for race day, plus maybe some practice runs beforehand.  They are the best shoes for a marathon.

The next version Alphafly Next% has just hit the market.  Check out more here.

Pros:
✔️ Highly cushioned and comfortable
✔️ The carbon-plate makes this shoe build for speed
✔️ Lightweight

Cons:
❌ Only for racing
❌ Not very durable
❌ Super expensive

Check women’s price here and men’s here.

What is the Best Affordable Running Shoe?

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37

Nike Pegasus 37

Weight: Mens 286 g (10.05 oz) Womens 235 g (8.28 oz) , Heel Drop: 10 mm, Type: Cushioned road training and racing shoe, Support: Neutral

The Nike Pegasus is the best affordable running shoe and has been one of Nike’s best distance running shoes. It is a neutral running shoe that has been given some changes in 2020.  The shoe has a new forefoot cushioning unit with Nike React foam in the midsole.

Previous versions of the Pegasus have had a full length Zoom Air component, now the Zoom Air component is in the forefoot only and has been made gender specific, with 20 PSI for men and 15 PSI for women.  The result is a shoe that feels cushioned for easy training runs but also allows you to run fast when you want to.

The upper is light and gives it a breathable feel, however it does have a small toe-box and isn’t overly roomy.  The outsole is super grippy and durable.

The ankle support is limited in these shoes, so if you have ankles that need a bit more support some lace locking might do the trick.

These shoes are the best running shoes on a budget. Price wise they are on the lower end of the spectrum for running shoes for a high quality product.

Pros:
✔️ Well cushioned with the Nike React foam and Zoom Air in the forefoot
✔️ Suitable for training and racing
✔️ Sole is grippy and durable

Cons:
❌ Toe box is on the small side
❌ Outer mesh does’t have much stretch and can feel tightoe box is on the small side
❌ Limited ankle support

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

Top 10 Long Distance Running Shoes

The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% and Nike Pegasus 37 sound like good running shoes but you aren’t quite sure they are what you want?  Below you will find our running shoe reviews of the another top ten running shoes you can buy right now.

HOKA One One Carbon X

Hoka One One Carbon X

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

Weight: 250 g (8.8 oz), Drop: 5 mm , Type: Road training and racing Support: Neutral

This shoe is both durable enough to wear training and light enough to race and do those faster run sessions in. It is the top of the line of the HOKA running shoes.

The HOKA One One Carbon X has a carbon fibre plate that is shaped like a Y in the midsole.  It is designed to add flexibility in the forefoot while running and to give the Meta Rocker technology maximum effect.  It does feel firmer to run in and is not as cushioned as some of the other shoes.  So if you want a super cushioned shoe this may not be for you.

If you have a mid or forefoot strike, you will feel that momentum forward in your running gait.  The carbon plate is sandwiched between the HOKA One One ProFly X foam on top and a rubberised foam on the bottom giving the shoe durability. If you are a heel striker this shoe probably wont feel great for you. The upper is made up of a light engineered mesh.

The shoe does have a high stack height (32 mm in the heel and 27 mm in the toe) which can take some getting used to if you haven’t run in a higher shoe previously.  The rocker isn’t for everyone either.

This shoe is definitely in the upper price range but is worth the cash if you are looking for a training shoe that can be used as a racing shoe then this shoe is definitely worth a try.  As one of the best marathon running shoes, it can handle both the long slow runs as well as the runs where you want to pick up the speed.

HOKA have a limited release Carbon X-SPE available, which is essentially the same as the Carbon X with a mesh bootie upper. different upper.  Check out more here.

Pros:
✔️ Good for longer training runs with efforts
✔️ Lightweight
✔️ Durable

Cons:
❌ Not great for heel strikers
❌ High stack which can take a bit to get used to
❌ Firm to run in

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10

New Balance 1080 V10

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

Weight: Mens 281 g (9.9 oz) Womens 238 g (8.4 oz) , Heel Drop: 8 mm, Type: Cushioned road training shoe, Support: Neutral

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10 is a neutral, cushioned running shoe that is one of the best distance running shoes on the market.

The shoe has the New Balance Fresh Foam midsole which extends the full length of the shoe which makes the shoe feel responsive and soft when running.  New balance shoes generally have a durable outsole and this shoe is not an exception.

It has a stretchy and supportive Hypoknit upper which hugs your foot. The toe box is on the small side for the regular shoe, so if you have a wide foot the wide version could be a better fit.

The New Balance 1080 also features a Ultra Heel design which hugs the back of your foot so the shoe feels supportive.  The heel design is a change from the previous version 1080 V9 to sit up higher so your foot sits deeper inside the shoe.  If you wear orthotics this shoe is definitely worth a try.  There is also some pretty funky stitching on the outside of the shoe which might not suit everyone’s taste.

Pros:
✔️ The Fresh Foam X provides a well-cushioned smooth ride over long distances
✔️ The upper is stretchy and comfortable
✔️ Heel is contoured to fit

Cons:
❌ Toe box is on the smaller side
❌ The stitching on the outside might not be for everyone

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

Brooks Ghost 13

Brooks Ghost

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

Weight: Mens 286 g (10.1 oz) Womens 249 g (8.8 oz) , Heel Drop: 12 mm, Type: Cushioned road training shoe, Support: Neutral

The Brooks Ghost running shoes are one of Brooks most popular shoes that has some serious die hard fans.  This cushioned neutral shoe and it’s past variations are a particular favourite with long distance runners.

The Brooks Ghost 13 has a mid-sole made up of two foams (DNA Loft and BioMogo) giving the shoe a balanced cushioned feel. Brooks midsoles are biodegradable which is a plus in my book (read more on eco-friendly running shoes). Brooks have changed the outsole rubber to cover more area of the midfoot so the shoe feels softer to run in. It also has an engineered mesh for a more flexible upper.

This shoe is a comfortable training shoe or even for first marathon.

Pros:
✔️ Well cushioned and comfortable over long distances long distances
✔️ Flexibility in the mesh upper
✔️ Stable shoe

Cons:
❌ Can feel heavy to run in with the thick rubber on the outsole
❌ 12 mm drop is on the high side for a training shoe and not as suited to the forefoot striker

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

Asics Gel-Nimbus 22

Asics Gel Nimbus 22

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

Weight: Men’s 305 g (10.8 oz) Women’s  255 g (9.0 oz) , Heel Drop: Men’s 10 mm Women’s 13 mm, Type: Road training shoe, Support: Neutral

Asics running shoes are definitely popular with the running community. The Asics Gel-Nimbus is a comfortable running shoe that is good for daily training and those long distance runs.

The shoe has a mid-sole made up of the Asics Flytefoam, with a visible Gel pad that wraps around the heel.  The midsole has been updated from the previous version Nimbus 21 to have a continuous layer of Flytefoam on top of the main midsole.  This makes the Nimbus 22 smoother to run in than the previous version Nimbus 21.

The stability of the shoe has been improved with the midsole flaring out at the side.  It also has a secure heel grip that wraps around the foot.

The upper consists of a breathable mesh that is comfortable around the food with plenty of room in the toe box.

The outsole is super grippy with a lot of tread.  This shoe is very sturdy and durable running shoe that will last the distance as you increase the k’s.

The Nimbus 22 is a firmer shoe with less cushioning and softness.  These shoes also have high drop (13 mm for women and 10 mm for men) and are on the heavy side.

It is a shoe best used for training and easy long-distance runs.  These shoes aren’t so much designed for performance and racing.

Pros:
✔️ Smooth to run in
✔️ Supportive with a secure heel grip
✔️ Durable

Cons:
❌ Most suitable for long easy runs
❌ Heavy

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

Brooks Adrenalin GTS

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

Weight: Mens 300 g (10.6 oz) Womens 272 g (9.59 oz), Heel Drop: 12 mm, Type: Road training shoe, Support: Support

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS has become one of Brooks go to shoes for runners that need some stability in their shoe.

The Brooks Adrenaline features the GuideRails Holistic Support System which gives the shoe a smooth transition. The Guiderails cup the foot acting as an under-arch support.

The upper is breathable with an engineered mesh.  The midsole consists of Brooks BioMoGo DNA cushioning and DNA LOFT around the heel to give the shoe a super soft landing when running. The high heel-to-toe drop of 12 mm means this shoe is more comfortable for rearfoot strkers.

The outsole has carbon rubber under the heel and softer blown rubber under the forefoot giving the shoe a consistent feel when running.

The shoe is on the heavy side weighing in at 300 g for the men’s and 272 g for the women’s shoe.

Pros:
✔️ Smooth to run in
✔️Supportive with a secure heel grip
✔️ Durable

Cons:
❌ Most suitable for rearfoot strikers
❌ Heavy

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

HOKA One One Clifton 7

Hoka One One Clifton 7

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

Weight: Men’s  247 g (8.7 oz) Women’s 200 g (7.1 oz) , Drop: 5 mm , Type: Training and racing Support: Neutral

The HOKA Clifton 7 is a super lightweight shoe that is cushioned to the max and is a top rated running shoe.

The Clifton 7 has a mesh upper which keeps it nice and breathable.  It can be on the snug side, though the mesh is very flexible.

The midsole is made up of HOKA’s EVA foam which feels cushy and has a nice bounce when running.  The midsole also has HOKA’s Meta Rocker technology.  If you haven’t worn HOKA shoes before, it can take a bit to get used to.  The rocker is behind the ball of your foot, bringing the midsole of the shoe up which moves your gait forward as your run.  You rock through your running gait which in turn helps you running more efficiently.

The shoe has a wider flared heel to make it more stable, so you don’t notice the massive stack height so much (29 mm heel/24 mm toe for the men and 27 mm heel/22 mm toe for the women).

The outsole rubber is kept to a minimum to keep the shoe light.  There are strips of more durable rubber in high wear areas such as the forefoot and heel.  Otherwise the exposed foam keeps the shoe’s overall weight down.

Pros:
✔️ Soft and cushioned to run in
✔️ Lightweight
✔️ Stable

Cons:
❌ Toe box is on the small side
❌ High stack

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

Saucony Triumph 18

Saucony Triumph

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

Weight: Mens 315 g (11.1 oz) Womens 275 g (9.7 oz) , Heel Drop: 8 mm, Type: Cushioned road training shoe , Support: neutral

The Saucony Triumph 18 is one of the best shoes for long distance running training. The neutral shoe has an extra thick midsole consisting of New Balance’s POWERRUN+ which gives the shoe a well-cushioned responsive feel when running.

The Triumph 18 has a relaxed mesh upper that snugs the foot and a spacious toe box.  The Form Fit insole is soft and comfortable and the outsole is highly durable giving a secure grip.

There is structure and support in the heel which makes the foot feel secure.

These super cushioned shoes are best for the long slow run days.

Pros:
✔️ Seriously cushioned
✔️ Comfortable heel fit
✔️ Durable

Cons:
Most suitable for long easy run

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

Asics Novablast

Asics Novablast

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

Weight: Men’s 263 g (9.2 oz) Women’s 235 g (8.3 oz), Drop: 10 mm, Type: Road training and racing shoe, Support: Neutral,

The Asics Novablast is a soft, bouncy lightweight training shoe.  The midsole is made up of Asics Flytefoam Blast technology which makes it a highly cushioned shoe.  The shoe has a rocker sole that helps roll the foot forward and through your running gait.

It has an engineered mesh upper, with a roomy toe box that keeps your feet cool.  The outsole is durable for those long training runs.

Like the HOKA’s, the shoe has a high stack height of 32 mm under the heel and 22 mm under the foot, though without the wider heel can make it which can make it feel unstable.

Pros:
✔️ Highly cushioned
✔️ Lightweight
✔️ Durable

Cons:
❌ High stack
❌ Can feel unstable

Check women’s price here and men’s price here.

I hope this helps in choosing the right shoe for you when you decide to start training for a long distance run.  This list is by no means comprehensive with so many shoes on the market but it will give you a good starting point to know what might work for you!

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