Best Long Distance Running Shoes 2023
Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet
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:
- Saucony Endorphin Speed 3
- HOKA Clifton 9
- Mizuno Wave Rider 26
- ASICS GlideRide 3
- HOKA Speedgoat 5
- Brooks Glycerin 20
- Karhu Ikoni
- New Balance FuelCell TC
- On Cloudmonster
- Diadora Equipe Corsa 2
- Craft CTM Ultra 3
[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.]
Saucony Endorphin Speed 3
Keep your legs feeling fresh over long miles in the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3.
A powerful nylon 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 nylon plate has been redesigned with wings to make it more stable and works in combination with a thicker 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 3 uses a lightweight engineered mesh upper for a barely-there feel that keeps your foot secure throughout the heel and midfoot.
Read more about the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 in our review.
HOKA Clifton 9
When you're in it for the long haul, there aren't many shoes that can match the HOKA Clifton 9.
Designers packed the Clifton 9 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 featherlight ride. HOKA also added 3 mm of this foam to the midsole, increasing the stack height and cushion, so you can run for miles.
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 or the streamlined silhouette that gives the shoe a speedy look. In our HOKA Clifton 9 review, Caroline says, “It’s got that same soft yet slightly responsive midsole, gentle rocker shape and overall cushy ride. I felt like the rocker shape gives it a bit of a rigid feeling underfoot, but it’s still flexible enough to provide smooth toe-offs.”
HOKA built the original Clifton to provide maximum cushioning and minimal weight, and the Clifton 9 continues the legacy.
Read more in the HOKA Clifton 9 review.
Mizuno Wave Rider 26
When you're heading out for the long haul, you can depend on the Mizuno Wave Rider 26.
The Wave Rider 26 balances cushion and responsive propulsion thanks to Mizuno's Enerzy midsole foam. Designers added an extra 2 mm of Enerzy foam underfoot that provides more energy return and shock absorption than ever before, so you can feel fresh no matter how far you run.
A bio-based Mizuno Wave plate embedded in the midsole helps disperse the impact from landing and turn it into a smooth transition from heel to toe.
Lastly, a jacquard mesh upper is lightweight and breathable for supreme comfort on the roads.
Read more in our Mizuno Wave Rider 26 review.
ASICS GlideRide 3
ASICS engineered the GlideRide 3 with its GUIDESOLE technology to create a curved sole that promotes smooth transitions over long miles.
ASICS updated this shoe to make it more cushioned and comfortable over many miles by adding their lighter, FF BLAST+ foam. The new foam combines with FLYTEFOAM® Propel to provide more energy return to your legs as you run, keeping you feeling fresh for longer.
The updated GlideRide 3 features a softer engineered mesh upper that wraps around your foot for a more comfortable fit and provides the ventilation your feet need to stay cool and dry. A 3D printed overlay creates a sense of structure in the upper without adding weight or excess stiffness.
The GlideRide 3 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 5
HOKA named the Speedgoat 5 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 5 meets every expectation thrown at it.
In its fifth iteration, the Speedgoat reformulates its tall bed of soft HOKA foam to provide substantial cushioning in a lighter package. They redesigned the aggressive outsole to give the Speedgoat 5 even more traction and grip for unpredictable trail conditions.
In our HOKA Speedgoat 5 review, Fleet Feet testers said “the cushioning really felt nice on gravel, rocks, roots, and pounding down steep hills.”
Brooks Glycerin 20
Wrap your feet in luxury with the Brooks Glycerin 20.
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 v3 midsole. DNA LOFT foam is the softest foam composition Brooks makes, and this time they infused it with nitrogen to make it softer, lighter and bouncier. The Glycerin 20 is supremely cushioned, soaking up the repeated pounding that running imparts.
In our Brooks Glycerin 20 review, our Fleet Feet testers loved the new foam. "It provides a beautifully gentle ride without feeling so soft that I was sinking in, and also not feeling so firm as to sacrifice any comfort," one reviewer noted.
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 20. It’s that immediate plushness and unbelievable comfort that makes the Brooks Glycerin 20 the best long distance running shoe for soft cushioning.
Love the Glycerin, but need some stability? Check out the Glycerin GTS 20.
When you're running long distances, you want to be comfortable. That's where the Karhu Ikoni 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 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.
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.
The Cloudmonster 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 Cloudmonster features the biggest CloudTec® elements that On has made for cushion and layers it with a snappy, full-length Speedboard for a smooth and stable ride. The midsole consists of a double-layer of Helion™ foam that is lightweight, durable and temperature-resistant to give you your best run.
In addition to its wide toe box and generous fit, read why testers at Fleet Feet loved the On Cloudmonster for their long runs and daily training.
Diadora Equipe Corsa 2
Between its streamlined silhouette and springy midsole foam, the Diadora Equipe Corsa 2 is built to propel you forward mile after mile.
Diadora engineered the Equipe Corsa 2 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 2 the perfect long-distance road racing shoe. It's draped in a redesigned breathable, lightweight nylon mesh upper that locks down your foot for an instantly fast look and feel.
Craft CTM Ultra 3
The Craft CTM Ultra 3 is a fast and lightweight shoe built for putting in the miles. Craft’s generous stack of Ud Foam™ is fast, light and long-lasting. This responsive cushioning will give you consistent propulsion throughout the run, while the finely tuned details help you keep the proper form as effortlessly as possible for as long as possible.
The Craft CTM Ultra 3 has a one-piece mesh upper that fits like a glove, but still allows some extra room for your toes. An Ultratrac lug design outsole provides excellent traction as you turn corners and even allows you to run on light trails.
Meeting the needs of elite athletes as well as everyday runners, the Craft CTM Ultra 3 is a lightweight, pro-grade running shoe that is comfortable and cushioned so you can run for miles (or days) on end.
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.
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