Best Cushioned Running Shoes 2023
Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet
Cushioning can provide something different for everyone. Whether you use a cushioned shoe for everyday training, recovery days, or working long hours on your feet, benefits abound to wearing a well-cushioned shoe. The best-cushioned running shoes deliver a super soft ride and support smooth transitions for runners at all levels.
Shop our large selection of cushioned running shoes across multiple brands and find the just-right shoe for you.
Here are the best cushioned running shoes you can find right here at Fleet Feet:
- HOKA Bondi 8
- Brooks Glycerin 20
- ASICS GEL-Nimbus 25
- Karhu Synchron 2.0
- Saucony Triumph 20
- On Cloudstratus 2
- Mizuno Wave Sky 6
- New Balance Fresh Foam More v4
- Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3
- Altra Via Olympus
- Topo Athletics Phantom 2
[This article is part of the Fleet Feet Buyer's Guide for The Best Running Shoes 2023. Find all the best running shoes from the top brands for all situations.]
Best-Cushioned Walking Shoes?
If you're looking for the most comfortable walking shoes, don't overlook the best-cushioned running shoes.
While shoes can be tailored specifically for each activity, you can wear running shoes for walking, too. In fact, some of the best walking shoes for women and best walking shoes for men are actually running shoes.
Some walking shoes have slip-resistant outsoles that make them great for working. But, if you're walking for exercise or just taking a stroll around the block, these running shoes will pull double duty as the most cushioned walking shoes, too.
Best-Cushioned HOKA Running Shoes
HOKA Bondi 8
The Bondi 8 is HOKA’s most cushioned shoe and one of the best max-cushioned running shoes you can find.
The newest version delivers a cushioned and soft ride with its upgraded ultralight and resilient foam that provides plenty of bounce while the tall stack height works to absorb impact as you run. Even with all that foam underfoot, the Bondi 8 remains crazy light and doesn't feel clunky on the run.
Thanks to HOKA's early-stage Meta-Rocker shape and an extended heel geometry, the Bondi 8 delivers easy landings and smooth transitions from heel to toe.
When you're craving maximum cushioning for a long run or a long shift at work, the HOKA Bondi 8 is up for the challenge.
Read more: HOKA Bondi 8 review
[For a walking and work-specific version, check out the HOKA Bondi SR, which includes a full-grain leather upper and non-slip outsole.]
Best-Cushioned Brooks Running Shoes
Brooks Glycerin 20
Get ready for take-off in the new Glycerin and Glycerin GTS 20.
DNA LOFT v3 foam is now nitrogen-infused to provide plush cushioning to every step, and even adds a little bounce thanks to its energetic formula. This makes the Glycerin 20 an excellent daily trainer or wear-everywhere shoe for people on their feet.
The Brooks Glycerin 20 maintains its max-cushioned ride, and also comes with the stability option of the Brooks Glycerin GTS 20, which incorporates Brooks' GTS technology into the plush bed of DNA Loft foam to give you a supremely stable and soft feel underfoot.
Read more: Glycerin 20 review
Best-Cushioned ASICS Running Shoes
ASICS GEL-Nimbus 25
The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 25 combines a super-soft ride with a sleek, updated look.
The Nimbus 25 is known for its cushioning and has a brand new Pure-Gel technology layered into the heel to absorb impact and promote a smooth heel-toe transition. ASICS designers added even more of its FF BLAST PLUS ECO foam to make the new Nimbus softer and more propulsive than previous versions.
The lightweight mesh adds breathability and flexibility to the shoe and supports the top of the foot while a thin, stretchy tongue wraps around the foot for added comfort.
Read more in our ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25 review.
Best-Cushioned Karhu Running Shoes
Karhu Synchron 2.0
The Karhu Synchron 2.0 is the most luxurious shoe from Karhu yet.
Featuring a generous bed of AeroFoam Nova that’s lighter and more cushioned than the previous version, the Synchron's midsole is more durable and absorbs more impact than typical EVA foams—making it the most-cushioned running shoe in Karhu's lineup.
Designers paired the AeroFoam Nova midsole with a re-positioned Fulcrum unit. The H-shaped piece of composite material helps transfer momentum from landing to takeoff. This is a shoe that gives a bit of extra stability for those who have flexible arches or overpronate, which our Karhu Synchron 2.0 reviewers loved.
Best-Cushioned Saucony Running Shoes
Saucony Triumph 20
The Saucony Triumph 20 provides springy cushioning to each step, making it one of the best cushioned running shoes in Saucony's lineup, and a great daily trainer.
A higher stack of Saucony’s new PWRRUN+ midsole foam absorbs impact upon landing and delivers energetic takeoffs to make your runs feel bouncy and effortless. The shoe has a rocker geometry, so you have smooth transitions from heel to toe.
Whether you're in the market for a daily trainer or something comfortable to spend the day on your feet, the Saucony Triumph 20 offers long-lasting cushioning.
Best-Cushioned On Running Shoes
On Cloudstratus 2
Double down on cushioning in the On Cloudstratus.
Two layers of CloudTec technology run the full length of the midsole, giving you heel-to-toe cushioning. Patented Helion foam on top of the CloudTec offers responsive cushion while the integrated Speedboard provides a responsive kick to each step.
With a widened toe box, the Cloudstratus has a more stable feel than ever before, and accommodates wider foot shapes.
Read more: On Cloudstratus review
Best-Cushioned Mizuno Running Shoes
Mizuno Wave Sky 6
We named the Mizuno Wave Sky 6 one of the best cushioned running shoes of the year because it uses a stellar combo of two foams to achieve a soft, smooth ride.
Designers packed the newest Wave Sky with a generous amount of Mizuno Enerzy and Mizuno Enerzy Core foams. Each foam provides a unique element to the shoe: Enerzy is the slightly firmer of the two compositions, which gives the shoe versatility, while Enerzy Core is the softest and bounciest foam Mizuno makes.
When they work together, the two types of foam give you a well-cushioned, balanced and smooth ride. Testers loved the durability of the shoe and how it felt firm, yet cushioned in our Mizuno Wave Sky 6 review.
Topped with a lightweight stretch woven upper for a soft and secure fit, the Mizuno Wave Sky 6 gives you all the bouncy cushioning that you need for as many miles as you want to go.
Best-Cushioned New Balance Running Shoes
New Balance Fresh Foam More v4
The New Balance Fresh Foam More v4 provides maximum cushion for maximum comfort.
Powering the More is a generous bed of Fresh Foam X cushioning. New Balance's premier foam is incredibly soft and very responsive. This year, New Balance added even more of this foam into the More v4, giving it more cushion and energy return.
There is a wider platform and rocker geometry on this shoe to make each stride smooth and effortless, while the soft and breathable upper feels light and comfortable on foot.
With all the extra cushioning, the newest Fresh Foam More v4 is a great choice for long walks, long runs or long shifts at work.
Best-Cushioned Nike Running Shoes
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3
Instant swagger, instant comfort. The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3 packs React foam and a prominent rocker shape into the perfect cushioned running shoe.
The Infinity Run has more foam underfoot than other Nike running shoes, making it one of the most cushioned shoes the brand offers. The soft, springy foam makes light work of any workout, and looks good while doing it. Plus, a wide base geometry provides inherent stability to the shoe, so you can run fast with confidence.
A sleek flyknit upper and bold accent colors help the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3 hit blistering hot speeds while serving hot looks.
Best-Cushioned Altra Running Shoes
Altra Via Olympus
Altra joins the ranks of the max-cushioned trainers with the Via Olympus.
Not to be confused with its trail-gobbling cousin, the Altra Olympus 5, the Via Olympus packs a heaping serving of EGO Max foam for the road. Altra upped the cushioning to give you unbeatable comfort on pavement, but they made it light enough to not wear you out.
But even with the plush footbed, the Via Olympus carries on some of Altra’s signature technologies: A 0 mm heel-to-toe drop puts you in a natural stance, and the FootShape toe box delivers an accommodating fit.
Whether you’re running your first mile or legging out the home stretch of a marathon, the Altra Via Olympus gives you all the cushion you need—and then some.
Read more in our Altra Via Olympus review.
Best-Cushioned Topo Athletics Running Shoe
Topo Athletics Phantom 2
Topo Athletic Phantom 2 has a dual-density midsole that makes it both cushioned and responsive. Topo added additional cushioning to this version so it has a soft feel underfoot, but your feet don’t sink into the shoe.
The Phantom 2 has Topo’s signature fit—a roomy, anatomical toe box with a secure midfoot and heel. An external TPU heel counter integrates with the midsole to keep your foot centered over that cushioned midsole for a stable ride.
This is a great cushioned option for people who want that wider toe box, but need a bit of a heel-to-toe drop (it’s a 5mm drop). Whether you are looking for a comfortable shoe for travel or a cushioned shoe to run for miles, the Topo Athletic Phantom 2 is a great choice.
How We Picked the Best-Cushioned Running Shoes
We chose the best-cushioned running shoes by poring over the details of each model. Through wear testing, interviews with shoe designers and professional athletes, and our own fit id® data, we chose the shoes we think will work best for most runners in most situations.
You can shop with confidence at Fleet Feet: We offer free shipping on all orders over $99, and you have 60 days to return any gear if you don’t like the way it looks, fits or feels. Plus, with our price-match guarantee, you can make sure you never pay too much for a new pair of running shoes.
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