Best Long Distance Running Shoes 2021

Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet

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Running long distances requires mental and physical fortitude to stave off the discomfort (and sometimes boredom) that comes with logging big miles. The same can be said for your running shoes.

Like any shoes, the best long distance running shoes will depend on how you run, your weight, your preferences and your goals. There isn’t one best pair of long distance running shoes for everyone, but you can find the right pair for your specific needs.

Do you want to break your marathon PR? Or are you looking for a Sunday afternoon cruiser to clear your head? Whatever you need, we picked out the best long distance running shoes for every runner.

Here are our picks for the best long distance running shoes:

[Updated August 12, 2021. This article is part of the Fleet Feet Buyer's Guide for The Best Running Shoes 2021. Find all the best running shoes from the top brands for all situations.]

Saucony Endorphin Speed 2

Keep your legs feeling fresh over long miles in the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2.

A powerful TPU plate embedded in the midsole provides all the spring and energy return of a plated shoe, without the stiffness of a carbon-fiber plate. The plate works with a thick bed of Saucony's PWRRUN PB foam. PWRRUN PB is propulsive and plush, helping to absorb impact as you run while promoting smooth, fast transitions.

The Endorphin Speed 2 uses a lightweight, engineered mesh upper for a barely-there feel that simultaneously offers a secure feel throughout the heel and midfoot.

Read more about the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 in our review.

HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 8

When you're in it for the long haul, there aren't many shoes that can match the HOKA Clifton 8.

Designers packed the Clifton 8 with a new EVA foam compound. The new midsole is one of HOKA's lightest and most energetic foams yet, which gives you a protective but feathery ride.

A refreshed engineered mesh upper is soft and secure, while strategically placed rubber on the outsole gives you excellent traction on pavement without adding any unnecessary ounces.

What didn't change, though, is the early stage Meta-Rocker design that encourages snappy steps and the streamlined silhouette for a speedy look. Fleet Feet reviewers love the updated Clifton for its lightweight, easy ride while still protecting you for miles and miles on the road.

HOKA built the original Clifton to provide maximum cushioning and minimal weight, and the Clifton 8 continues the legacy.

Read more in the HOKA Clifton 8 review.

Mizuno Wave Rider 25

When you're heading out for the long haul, you can depend on the Mizuno Wave Rider 25.

The Wave Rider 25 balances cushion and responsive propulsion thanks to Mizuno's Enerzy midsole foam. Enerzy foam provides more energy return and shock absorption than ever before, so you can feel fresh no matter how far you run.

A reshaped Mizuno Wave plate embedded in the midsole helps disperse the impact from landing and turn it into a smooth transition from heel to toe.

Choose between a classic engineered mesh upper or a Waveknit upper to express your style best. No matter which model you go with, both uppers are lightweight and breathable for supreme comfort on the roads.

Read more in our Mizuno Wave Rider 25 review.

ASICS GlideRide 2

ASICS engineered the GlideRide 2 with its GUIDESOLE technology to create a curved sole that promotes smooth transitions over long miles.

A dual-foam midsole features both FlyteFoam and FlyeFoam Propel foams that deliver an overall responsive feel and provide energy return to your legs as you run, keeping you feeling fresher, longer.

The updated GlideRide 2 features an engineered mesh upper that is flexible enough to move with your foot as you run and provides the ventilation you need to stay comfortable. A 3D printed overlay creates a sense of structure in the upper without adding weight or excess stiffness.

The GlideRide 2 is designed specifically with long runs in mind, offering neutral support, long lasting cushioning and exceptional outsole durability in addition to a unique rocker shape to keep you rolling.

HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 4

HOKA named the Speedgoat 4 after Karl “The Speedgoat” Meltzer, one of the most prolific and decorated ultrarunners of all time. So, with a name like Speedgoat, there are a lot of expectations.

With plenty of testing and feedback from the human Speedgoat himself, the HOKA Speedgoat 4 meets every expectation thrown at it.

In its fourth iteration, the Speedgoat prizes a big, soft bed of HOKA foam to provide substantial cushion to every step. Designers widened the toe box slightly to make more room for your foot to splay and balance, but they thankfully didn’t change the Vibram MegaGrip outsole studded with 5mm rubber lugs. The aggressive outsole gives the Speedgoat 4 the traction and grip it needs for unpredictable trail conditions.

Fleet Feet testers said in the HOKA Speedgoat 4 review the updated ‘Goat generates the grip required to take on wet rocks, mud, loose dirt or anything else the trail puts in your way.

Brooks Glycerin 19

Wrap your feet in luxury with the Brooks Glycerin 19.

Luxury begins the moment you step into the updated Glycerin. A silky fabric covers the cushioned heel collar; a padded tongue swaddles your foot in comfort; and an internal bootie wraps your midfoot in a welcome hug.

All of the premium amenities are built on top of a full-length DNA Loft midsole. DNA Loft foam is the softest foam composition Brooks makes, and it pays off. The Glycerin 19 is supremely cushioned, soaking up the repeated pounding that running imparts.

In the Brooks Glycerin 19 review, Fleet Feet testers said everything about the Glycerin is soft. From the mesh used for the upper to the cushy, bouncy foam, designers dialed up every detail for premium comfort.

Sure, there are running shoes with more cushioning than the Glycerin. But few, if any, running shoes deliver the soft underfoot feel and all-around comfort of the Glycerin 19. It’s that immediate plushness and unbelievable comfort that makes the Brooks Glycerin 19 the best long distance running shoe for soft cushioning.

Karhu Ikoni 2021

When you're running long distances, you want to be comfortable. That's where the Karhu Ikoni 2021 shines.

The original Ikoni was built using 3D foot scanning data captured during Fleet Feet's fit id® outfitting process. When Karhu updated the shoe, they used even more data to create an even more comfortable fit.

The Karhu Ikoni 2021 features a half-length Fulcrum rocker in the midfoot to promote rolling transitions during walking or running and fits comfortably in the toe box and snugly in the heel. Plus, it rides on top of an energetic AeroFoam midsole for a soft and responsive feel.

Read our review of the Karhu Ikoni 2021.

New Balance FuelCell TC

The New Balance FuelCell TC will take you from training to racing and help you log your fastest times yet.

New Balance sat the FuelCell TC on top of a FuelCell foam midsole that's light and bouncy, and they added a carbon-fiber plate to help propel you forward. A roomy, minimal upper keeps the TC comfortable for big miles, and thoughtful touches, like a suede accents, give the shoe a premium feel.

When you're training for big mileage, the New Balance FuelCell TC is an ideal choice.

On Cloudstratus

The Cloudstratus is On’s most cushioned running shoe. Perfect for long-distance running and marathon training, a dynamic blend of comfort and performance will have you reaching for this stylish pair of trainers for your long runs, easy days and recovery walks.

To protect your feet from the road mile after mile, the On Cloudstratus uses double the Cloud elements for double the cushioning and layers it with a snappy, full-length Speedboard for a smooth and stable ride. Lastly, a slice of ultra-light Helion foam tops off the midsole of this soft and bouncy daily trainer.

In addition to its wide toe box and generous fit, read why testers at Fleet Feet loved the On Cloudstratus for their long runs and daily training.

Diadora Equipe Corsa

Between its streamlined silhouette and springy midsole foam, the Diadora Equipe Corsa is built to propel you forward mile after mile.

Diadora engineered the Equipe Corsa on a bed of DD Anima foam. This lightweight, EVA midsole is cushioned and supportive, while offering a responsive bounce that will help you stay comfortable over long hauls.

Incorporated in the midsole foam is a Pebax plate for added structure and spring, making the Equipe Corsa the perfect long-distance road racing shoe. It's draped in a breathable, lightweight mono-mesh nylon upper for an instantly fast look.

How We Picked the Best Long Distance Running Shoes

We used data from our fit id® outfitting process, interviews with designers and real-life wear testing to determine the best long distance running shoes for most runs and the most runners.

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.

What are the best running shoes for long distance? + -

Here are our picks for the best long distance running shoes: Saucony Triumph 18, HOKA Clifton 7, Mizuno Wave Rider 24, ASICS GEL-Kayano 27, HOKA Speedgoat 4, Brooks Glycerin 18, Karhu Ikoni 2020, New Balance FuelCell TC, On Cloudstratus

How do you tell when your running shoes are worn out? + -

If you are training longer distances, chances are your shoes will wear through faster. Signs of worn out running shoes include: the upper is worn and/or tearing, the outsole is smoothing out, there is noticeable compression in the midsole foam, you are experiencing foot or knee pain when you run (if you weren't before).

Do expensive shoes last longer? + -

Buying expensive running shoes does not necessarily guarantee a better experience. Your choice of shoes is a very personal one. We use personalized fit data to find the best shoes for your body and your knees.