If you’re a long-distance runner, you already understand the value of a good pair of shoes. Your running shoes play a very important role in determining your stamina, form, and overall physical health.
There is no one-size-fits-all pair of long-distance running shoes, but you can choose the best pair for your specific needs:
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Whether you want something soft enough to cushion the harsh pavement or strong enough to provide adequate push-off for miles. We’ve put together a list of the best long-distance running shoes currently available:
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5. Saucony Endorphin Pro 2, $200
Fans of this running shoe had to beg Saucony to release a new version of the Endorphin series. And after less than a year, voila! We’re looking at the Endorphin Pro 2, the brand’s premium race shoe.
It’s a shoe that screams speed. As with other racing flats, the shoe features a carbon-fiber plate that helps propel you forward. While it is stiff, it is complemented by the brand’s PWRRUN PB foam, which adds plushness and bounce, all of which come together in a lightweight shoe.
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4. Brooks Glycerin 19, $109+
The updated Glycerin epitomizes luxury from the moment you put it on. A silky fabric wraps around your foot. Including a cushioned heel collar, a padded tongue that cradles your foot in comfort, and an internal bootie that wraps your midfoot in a warm embrace.
All premium features are housed within a full-length DNA Loft midsole. DNA Loft foam is Brooks’ most luxurious foam composition, and it pays off. The Glycerin 19 is extremely cushioned, absorbing the repeated pounding associated with running.
True, there are more cushioned running shoes than the Glycerin. However, few, if any, running shoes match the Glycerin 19’s soft underfoot feel and all-around comfort. The Brooks Glycerin 19’s immediate plushness and unbelievable comfort make it the best long-distance running shoe for soft cushioning.
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3. Topo Athletic Phantom 2, $105+
Maintaining the original characteristics, the latest Phantom running shoe features an accommodating fit with plenty of toe room. While some testers scoffed at the appearance of such a large toe box, they lauded its unusual shape for preventing black toenails and blisters:
Additionally, the two-piece midsole provides firm cushioning and shock absorption — ideal for runners who log a lot of miles or have an aggressive cadence.
Due to the Phantom’s coziness, it ranks alongside the Brooks Glycerin and Altra Paradigm. Add some stability features—an external TPU heel counter, a wider platform, and a secure lacing system—and you’ve got a well-balanced running shoe that locks your foot in place and prevents ankle rolling.
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2. HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7, $150
If you’re all about cushioning and are willing to accept a slight weight penalty, the HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 is the best maximalist shoe for long-distance running:
The full-length EVA foam is ultra-cushioned and performs admirably well at absorbing shock upon landing, thereby reducing stress on your bones and joints. This shoe is especially beneficial for long-distance runners who need to ease their bodies back into shape after an injury.
The rockered geometry of the HOKA makes transitions feel quick and compensates for the softer midsole. We like it for long runs because the beveled heel adds durability, and the Bondi 7’s outsole has been redesigned to be stronger than ever.
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1. Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% Running Shoes, $399+
The Alphafly can be considered the greatest of all-time running shoes. Each pounding footstrike is cushioned by 39 millimeters of cushioning beneath the heel and then transferred to propel you forward:
Simply put, the more quickly you run, the more forward energy the shoe generates. To say that this top-of-the-line Nike running shoe provides an unparalleled experience is an understatement.