Best Long Distance Running Shoes Compared 2021

Last updated: November 16, 2021

Running Shoes / Best Long Distance Running Shoes Compared 2021

JogTunes is reader-supported. When you purchase through links in our articles, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Looking for the right pair of running shoes that will last through a marathon is no easy feat. Regardless of if you’re running a marathon or a longer than average race, you may be looking for shoes that will keep you feeling comfortable and avoid the onset of muscle soreness for as long as possible.

This usually means that you’ll want to find a pair of running shoes that have adequate cushioning and support without getting a shoe that’s too chunky. You will want to find the right balance and that will usually require a lot of rigorous testing with different brands and different pairs of shoes. Those of you that constantly do double digit miles will know the feeling.

We’ve compared reviews from hundreds of runners to compile a list of some of the best running shoes for long distances and have rated them against their unique features, durability and support/cushioning. Check out some of the top choices below:

Best Long Distance Running Shoes Compared And Reviewed

Low Drop
ASICS GlideRide 2
ASICS GlideRide 2
Spacious Toe-Box
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11
Best All Rounder
Brooks Ghost 14
Brooks Ghost 14
Best Cushioning
Hoka One One Bondi 7
Hoka One One Bondi 7
Stability Shoes
Mizuno Wave Horizon 5
Mizuno Wave Horizon 5

1. ASICS GlideRide 2

Key Features

  • Engineered stretch mesh upper
  • AharPlus sole construction
  • FlyteFoam Propel midsole
  • GuideSole toe spring design
  • Weight: 285 g (10.1 oz)
  • Drop: 5 mm

Reasons to buy

  • Fairly lightweight
  • Responsive and protective
  • Comfortable upper
  • Durable outsole
  • Energy-efficient rocker shape

Reasons to avoid

  • Expensive
  • Not as plush
  • Rocker shape is very pronounced

Long-distance running requires great strength and endurance, so if you’re planning on embarking on this journey, you’ll need a shoe that can allow you to perform at your very best.

Enter the Asics GlideRide 2, with its perfect balance between responsiveness, comfort, and durability.

In terms of feel and structure, this shoe’s cushioning technology is certainly hard to beat. It Asics’ patented FlyteFoam Propel cushioning in the midsole, offering comfort and protection despite rigorous sessions on the road.

Unlike other overly-cushioned shoes, the GlideRide 2 doesn’t feel buttery soft. It’s bouncy and comfortable while remaining firm and supportive. It’s also quite lightweight, creating a responsive shoe that saves you energy by optimizing the way you run.

In addition to that, the GlideRide 2 is filled to the brim with Asics’ innovative technologies. The soles are designed with AharPlus technology for increased wear resistance and GuideSole technology for energy efficiency. The upper is also made from stretchable engineered mesh.

That said, it’s not a perfect shoe. For one, it’s extremely pricy, costing more than most other long-distance running shoes on this list.

Two, even though its cushioning is adequate in our experience, some people may find the lack of plushness disconcerting, especially when combined with the pronounced rocker shape of the GuideSole technology utilized for this shoe.

Overall, though, the Asics GlideRide 2 remains to be one of the best long-distance running shoes you can get today.

2. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11

Key Features

  • HypoKnit upper
  • Fresh Foam cushioning
  • Ultra Heel heel cup
  • Aggressive rocker shape
  • Weight: 229.8 g (8.1 oz)
  • Drop: 8mm

Reasons to buy

  • Spacious toe box
  • Energy-efficient rocker shape
  • Special heel support is present
  • Luxuriously comfortable cushioning
  • Lightweight and great-fitting upper

Reasons to avoid

  • High price tag
  • Midsole easily breaks down
  • Slippery on wet surfaces

If you want something that feels easy and plush on the feet no matter how far you run, then few choices are better than the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11. 

Featuring a decidedly thick slice of New Balance’s luxurious Fresh Foam technology, you can be sure that these shoes are indeed comfortable. Obviously, comfort is essential during long runs, especially if you’re doing a recovery run. 

In this sense, the Fresh Foam 1080 v11 delivers above and beyond your typical running shoes.

Aside from that, this shoe can also help you run better. Like the Asics GlideRide 2, it also has a rocker shape that facilitates better heel-to-toe transmission. With this technology, every step on the ground feels almost like pushing your foot into a slab of butter.

The roomy toe box is enough for wider than average feet. The upper is made of HypoKnit mesh, a specialized, flexible, and durable material that hugs your foot but remains stiff enough to provide adequate support. 

Speaking of support, this pair uses New Balance’s special Ultra Heel design. This strengthens the rear part of the shoe to ensure a locked-in heel for better stability while you run.

For all its cloud-like comfort, the Fresh Foam 1080 v11 does have some weaknesses. For one, the plush midsole cushioning isn’t as durable as we’d like. With its hefty price tag, though, most runners probably won’t appreciate having to replace it after just a few hundred miles.

Also, the rubber outsole is somewhat lacking in traction, which makes it quite slippery on wet surfaces.

With all things considered, however, the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 is a fantastic shoe for a long, leisurely run — just make sure to pick something else for race time.

3. Brooks Ghost 14

Key Features

  • DNA Loft on the feet-side midsole
  • BioGoMo DNA on the ground-side midsole
  • 3D Fit Print-shaped upper
  • Segmented crash pads outsole
  • Weight: 249.5 g (8.8 oz)
  • Drop: 12mm

Reasons to buy

  • Hybrid midsole cushioning
  • Outsole increases durability
  • Upper molds to a natural shape
  • Padded and supportive upper

Reasons to avoid

  • Sizing tends to run small
  • Laces are too thin and short

The Brooks Ghost 14 may not have a lot of bells and whistles, but it does offer unflinching functionality.

Although it has its fair share of critics, the Ghost 14 is a widely-loved shoe in general. Not because of fancy features or aesthetic appeal, but because of how solid and dependable it is, even over long distances.

It features a mix of Brooks’s special technologies for its midsole. The foot-side of the shoe benefits from the DNA Loft technology, with its comfortable, plush feeling. The ground-side, on the other hand, benefits from the sturdy-yet-flexible BioGoMo DNA technology.

The result is a midsole that can keep your feet happy and comfortable at the same time, all while delivering a snappy running experience.

There’s also a durable crash pad that will hold up during long runs. It may not be as responsive as the GlideRide 2, but it does have a more comfortable upper due to the generous cushioning.

Additionally, the upper is specially shaped with Brooks’s 3D Fit Print, giving it a more natural shape that is comfortable yet supportive.

It does have its weak links. The sizing tends to run a bit small, so you might want to choose at least a half-size bigger when buying. Also, the laces are too thin and short for a proper runner’s knot, which can be a hassle when you’re running over long distances.

Overall, though, the Brooks Ghost 14 is a steady and dependable shoe that will carry you through, no matter the distance.

4. Hoka One One Bondi 7

Key Features

  • EVA foam midsole
  • Ultralight mesh upper
  • 4 color choices
  • Standard width
  • Weight: 297 g (10.5 oz)
  • Drop: 4mm

Reasons to buy

  • Thick midsole
  • Light and breathable upper
  • Comfortable midsole cushioning
  • Ultra-padded upper construction
  • Rocker shape for better transition

Reasons to avoid

  • Might run clumsy and sluggish
  • Departs from the brand’s signature plushness

For the long-distance runners that believe that cushioning is king, it’s hard to find anything better than the Hoka One One Bondi 7.

Hoka One One is a brand that staked its reputation on its distinctive, absurdly cushioned running shoes. Although one would expect the Bondi 7 to be the same, it’s actually not. Instead, it’s a pleasant departure from the ultra-soft cushioning that other Hoka running shoes have.

The Bondi 7 cushioning feels firmer, more responsive, and the midsole even sports a pronounced rocker feel.

Although die-hard Hoka fans might find the difference jarring, it works for plenty of runners.

Having a thick slice of responsive EVA midsole eliminates the mushy feeling of other Hokas. It’s more durable, too, and can stand a bit of punishment over long distances. Besides, the sheer thickness of the midsole still makes it softer than usual.

Speaking of cushioning, one of the greatest additions to this model is the ultra-cushioned upper padding, especially around the collar. This makes for a secure yet comfortable grip on the heel, which is always a plus when running long distances.

However, this design choice comes with some issues of its own. Hoka One One running shoes are seldom made for agility, and the Bondi 7 is no exception. Many runners choose it anyway because of how comfortable it is, but some of that appeal may be lost with the stiffer midsole.

The thick stack height also makes for a sluggish run, so although it’s very comfortable, it’s not something you would want to wear on a race.

Nevertheless, the Hoka One One Bondi 7 still makes it to the list because of its superior comfortable, supportive, and responsive long-distance running experience.

5. Mizuno Wave Horizon 5

Key Features

  • Xpop and Enerzy midsole combo
  • U4icX Strobel Lasting Board midsole division
  • X10 outsole
  • Engineered jacquard mesh upper
  • Weight: 328 g (11.6 oz)
  • Drop: 10mm

Reasons to buy

  • Very generously padded
  • Hybrid midsole enhances functionalities
  • Good traction on a wide range of surfaces
  • Sturdy and breathable upper

Reasons to avoid

  • Sizing runs small
  • Relatively heavy

With the Mizuno Horizon 5, you’re assured of sustained energy that will comfortably carry you to wherever you want to go.

The midsole is made of a hybrid XPOP and Mizuno Enerzy cushioning technology, creating a comfortable upper portion and a stiff and springy lower portion. These two portions are separated by a layer of tough-yet-flexible U4icX Strobel Lasting Board, designed to grant structural support without taking away flexibility.

As a result, the Mizuno Wave 5 delivers a responsive underfoot feel. Although the cushioning is not as thick and luxurious as other brands in this list, it does feel just as responsive.

Aside from that, it also sports a wear-resistant, grippy X10 outsole for all kinds of surfaces and weather. The upper is made of sturdy yet breathable jacquard mesh, while the upper collar is also padded, locking in your heel in a comfortable, stable position.

One of its main weak points is the weight. At 11 ounces, it’s a bit on the heavier side compared to others in this list. The sizing also tends to run on the narrow side.

Other than those minor issues, the Wave Horizon 5 is a solid choice for those who want an extra spring in their step and wouldn’t mind sacrificing some comfort for it.

6. Nike Vomero 14

Key Features

  • Nike React midsole
  • Air Zoom pockets
  • Dynamic Fit design
  • Engineered mesh upper
  • Weight: 311g (11 oz)
  • Drop: 10mm

Reasons to buy

  • Lightweight and sturdy
  • Snappy and responsive midsole
  • Supportive yet comfortable
  • Uses Nike’s soft cushioning technology

Reasons to avoid

  • Tends to run a bit narrow
  • Not very breathable

Long-distance running is all about those energy returns. The longer you run, the more critical each step becomes. Obviously, you wouldn’t want any shoe that zaps your energy. Luckily, the Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14 is great at this job.

This pair of shoes are made to make every step count. With Nike’s firm and snappy React on foam on your feet, each step is smooth and crisp.

It also features Nike’s Zoom Air units on the midsole, giving you additional propulsion with every stride.

Combined, these two traits deliver a smooth, energetic ride that can sustain your energy levels no matter how long your run takes.

The Vomero 14 also features an upper made of engineered mesh. It’s also designed with Nike’s Dynamic Fit technology, combining soft Nike React foam with Flywire cables to enhance support in the midfoot. The collar has adequate padding for comfort and rigidity.

It’s not the most breathable pair, though, which can make it uncomfortable during strenuous exercise or under hot weather. It also tends to run narrow, so you better size up if you want to be comfortable.

Overall though, the Nike Air Vomero 14 guarantees a smooth, energetic ride.

7. Reebok Floatride Energy 3

Key Features

  • Floatride Energy Foam midsole
  • Engineered mesh upper
  • 9 color variations
  • Weight: 241g (8.5oz)
  • Drop: 9 mm

Reasons to buy

  • Great price point
  • Firm and responsive midsole
  • Well-fitting engineered mesh upper
  • Improved heel cup and collar padding
  • Full-coverage outsole

Reasons to avoid

  • Laces are thin and slippery

If you’re not willing to spend an excessive amount for decent cushioning, the Floatride Energy 3 is a comfy choice that won’t bleed your wallet dry.

Of course, the best aspect of this shoe is the price. For a low- to mid-priced shoe, you get a wide range of functions and long-lasting durability.

Made to perform well on all fronts, the Floatride Energy 3 features a thick, responsive, and lightweight Floatride Energy Foam midsole, perfect for long-distance running. Unlike other shoes on this list, the cushioning covers the entire foot and does not taper to a thin point towards the toe.

The outsole features a full-coverage rubber that is both abrasion-resistant and grippy so that you can generate plenty of traction no matter the surface and the weather.

Lastly, the upper is made with recycled materials, securing a good fit without sacrificing breathability. Compared to its earlier versions, it also has a better-fitting heel and a more padded collar to up your comfort while wearing.

If anything can be said against this shoe, it’s that the laces are sub-par. They’re quite thin and slippery, which means you have to retie them every once in a while. This can be annoying, especially if they happen to untie while you’re on a run.

Other than that minor inconvenience, though, the Reebok Floatride Energy 3 is a dependable, energizing pair to carry you to your destination.

How To Choose The Best Long-Distance Running Shoes

Long-distance running is a great sport that will truly test your skills, and you need an equally great partner to get you through this tough challenge without breaking down.

Although our list features the best long-distance running shoes on the market today, you should always consider three factors when picking yours: cushioning, responsiveness, and support.

Cushioning

Long-distance running is quite particular on cushioning: the sport involves repeated impact to your foot sustained over a long time. This means you should get a shoe that can adequately shield your foot from this kind of constant force.

In this regard, all the shoes on this list have superior cushioning and can comfortably take you to long distances with no problem.

That said, you should also balance this with your other priorities. A plush, cushiony feel, while comfortable and protective, will also tend to increase weight and reduce responsiveness.

Responsiveness

Responsiveness is how your shoes bounce back on every step. In long-distance running, it’s crucial to have the most responsive shoes that you can get, as it will save you energy in the long run.

If it’s responsiveness you want, go for the ASICS GlideRide, the Hoka One One Bondi, and the Mizuno Wave Horizon.

Support

Running shoes need to support your feet as you run. This means locking in your heel and creating a supportive upper material that will provide structure to your foot and keep it comfortable at the same time.

Some examples of ultra-supportive shoes on this list are the ASICS GlideRide, the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11, and the Brooks Ghost range.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are good long-distance running shoes?

All the shoes in this list can be considered good long-distance running shoes. Your choice, however, will depend on your specific needs.

How should long-distance running shoes fit?

Long-distance running shoes should have a secure fit as you run. Your heel should be locked into place without any slipping or other extra movement. The upper, while ideally structured, should still allow for the natural expansion of your feet as you run.

How to pick long-distance running shoes?

When choosing your next long-distance running shoes, you should always consider the three most important factors: cushioning, responsiveness, and support. Establish a baseline based on your preferences, and individually measure each choice to your standards.

Leave a Comment