There’s nothing more important when running long races than having high-quality, durable marathon running shoes - they can literally be the saving grace of any long-distance run. But which marathon shoes will really help you go the distance?
Finding good long-distance running shoes can be a marathon task in itself, but luckily here at OriGym we’ve given you a great headstart with our list of the top marathon running shoes of 2022.
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What are marathon running shoes?
Marathon and long-distance running shoes are shoes that have specifically designed features that make them more long-lasting, more comfortable, and more supportive for running longer distances.
These features include things like increased cushioning in the soles to help reduce impact on your feet, breathable exterior material to reduce residual sweat and moisture, and thick midsoles to provide support and add bounce to your movements.
For more information we’ve got a FAQ section at the bottom of this article so be sure to check it out.
Kick-starting our list of the best shoes for marathon running is the men’s New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11, a new and improved version of the 1080v10.
These shoes are built for comfort which is essential if you plan on running a half or full marathon.
New Balance’s signature Fresh Foam offers a soft, plush running experience that is designed to absorb more impact compared with regular running shoes.
This is kinder on your joints while also preventing aches and pains from developing.
The outer part of the shoe is made from a stretchy knit upper that offers 360-degrees worth of comfort for high mileage.
The shoe also features New Balance’s Ultra Heel technology that is designed to hug the back of the foot, thus offering ultimate support.
This technology also helps to prevent rubbing which is paramount when running for prolonged periods.
These men’s marathon running shoes come in 7 different colour options, helping you to inject some personality into your running attire.
- Red and white
- Blue and white
- All black
- Black and white… just to name a few
So, if you’re after the best shoes for marathon runners, be sure to check out New Balance’s new range. We’re sure it’ll enhance your entire running experience.
As marathon running trainers go, they don’t get much lighter than these ones by Hoka!
These are the lightest Clifton shoes for marathon runners since its initial release, as it tries to live up the promise of the original, that being ‘maximum cushioning, minimum weight’.
The Clifton 7 has a cushioning that is soft enough for tired and calloused feet, but firm enough for a supportive ride. The thick midsole foam is soft upon landing but springy on take off. This is a shoe that’s forgiving on aching joints and doesn’t cause any lag, making it the perfect shoe for those days where your feet and legs feel like they’re going to drop off.
The engineered mesh upper provides the runner with breathability and the snug, cushioned heel collar will keep your ankle secure and blister-free.
These long-distance road running shoes are also incredibly light, with men’s sizes only weighing 252g (and women’s weighing even less), meaning you won’t feel like you’re wearing cinder blocks on your feet when you’re out on a run.
Whilst it may not be the best shoe for racing in, it’s definitely one of the best men’s marathon running shoes out there.
#3 - Saucony Triumph 17
If you’re looking for long-distance road running shoes then the Saucony Triumph 17’s are ones that you should definitely check out!
The Saucony Triumph 17 are the most cushioned shoes that Saucony have to offer. The soft midsole will give you a springy and extremely receptive lift that will help you to continue your run for much longer.
The uppers of these top marathon running shoes are made from a breathable mesh that will allow a constant flow of air in and out, keeping your feet cool, ensuring they won’t overheat, keeping you comfortable. Your toes are protected with a thicker material at the end of the shoe, meaning any potential injury from bumping or stubbing your toe is significantly reduced.
The durable rubber outsole will give you a firm grip on a range of different surfaces, helping you to stay in control when running on the road and give you superior traction. The midsole is incredibly light and not only lowers the weight of the long-distance running shoes but also delivers a smooth ride that will protect you from injuries and reduce fatigue!
This is a great option if you’re shopping for some of the best running trainers for half marathons, full marathons, or any other long-distance running!
Plus, if you want to keep running through the winter months, we’ve got a handy article on winter running gear so you can fight off the cold and stay fit.
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#4 - Glycerin 19
If you’re after women’s long-distance running shoes, the Glycerin 19 is worth checking out.
Glycerin has been providing marathon enthusiasts with state-of-the-art trainers since the late 1990s and the 19’s are no exception.
They feature a super soft cushion which, while soft, is highly durable and is designed to absorb a lot of the impact from running on hard surfaces.
The interior has a luxurious feel that is designed with a mesh upper. It stretches for a roomy fit that still promises ultimate support.
The mesh also allows for air to travel all around the feet to keep them cool and dry even when you begin to sweat.
These women’s marathon training shoes come in a range of colours, each of which has subtle splashes of vibrancy.
- Dark and light grey with bright pink accents
- Black and white with bright pink and purple accents
- Black and grey with bright yellow accents
With that, if the Glycerin 19’s have caught your eye, you’ll be pleased to know that the range has over 600 5-star reviews.
Many reviewers love the shoes' supportive feel, breathable material, and bright colour options.
These reviews and top-quality features are why we think that these are the best women’s running shoes for a marathon.
Why not follow the link above to see what all the rage is about?
While we’re on the topic of women’s long-distance road running shoes, we thought it fitting to also discuss the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2’s.
These are a super lightweight trainer that offers ultimate breathability thanks to the perforated mesh upper that allows cool air to flow throughout the shoe at all times.
The mesh also functions as a lightweight second skin to create the perfect microclimate for your feet to thrive.
The shoes also feature Saucony’s FORMFIT technology which allows wearers to slightly mould the feet to the shoe, thus creating a personal fit for each runner.
As for the sole of the shoe, the shoes are developed to be hardwearing and grippy which is ideal for those who require additional traction when running in rainy conditions.
The shoes come with a crisp white sole which compliments the spectrum of blue outer material.
The laces are a bright pink which helps to add an element of vibrancy to your marathon look.
These are without one of the best trainers for running a marathon and are well worth considering in time for your next event.
Saucony recommends purchasing the shoes with enough time to mould your feet to the inner sole for ultimate comfort, so be sure to get your hands on these sooner rather than later!
You’re going to be wanting the best ultramarathon running shoes around if you’re going to be embarking on one of these long and challenging races anytime soon. Race lengths can be anything from 50km and above, so it’s vital that you find a pair of trainers that are going to last.
That’s where the Columbia Trans Alps FTK II comes in. These mid-weight trainers are very comfortable and have a protective outer sole with well-sized lugs for grip on a wide range of terrains.
These ultramarathon shoes are very comfortable and nimble, yet still offer you a considerable amount of support for your off-road racing.
The Columbias have a reinforced toe cap and heel, making them ideal for running on rocky, mountainous terrain. They also have a mesh upper which adds breathability, helps keep debris and dust out, and adds durability.
Not only do they come in a range of colours, but these ultramarathon running shoes are only going to set you back £60.00, making them a great cheaper option. These are some really good long-distance running shoes and ones we definitely recommend checking out if you’re working on a budget!
If you’re shopping for women’s marathon running shoes, then the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10 trainers are a fantastic option and well worth checking out.
This is a good beginner's shoe for those who are just starting out in their long-running career, and is reliable enough to be used in both marathons and speed races. The shoe is hefty and stable, making it perfect for longer runs, whilst being lightweight and nimble enough to help you smash your short run personal best.
The Fresh Foam midsole provides you with an enhanced softness that will keep your feet comfortable no matter how many miles you clock up. You’ll experience 360° comfort with the knitted upper and the ‘Ultra Heel’, which will provide you with the support you need. The shoe is also designed to hug your foot, giving you a snug, supportive fit.
These New Balance are good marathon running shoes, which have been designed to give you a lightweight, cushioned ride, and as an added bonus, is available in a range of colours, including ‘Lemon Slush’, ‘Natural Indigo’, and ‘Bali Blue with Ginger Pink’.
These are some of the best long-distance running shoes (women’s) for sure!
The Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% combines durability with a design that helps you to beat your personal bests.
Nike’s signature ZoomX foam in the footbed delivers energy return as you propel forwards.
This area is also accompanied by Nike’s Zoom Air technology which provides responsive cushioning and an extra springiness with each stride.
The responsive heel is super lightweight yet durable to keep your foot secure and supported through all of your sporting endeavours.
Finally, Nike performed extensive market research when constructing the Air Zoom Tempo and found that the majority of runners enjoy shoes with great traction.
Therefore, the brand has incorporated top-quality grip support on the range so that each runner can perform over a range of grounds with confidence.
These marathon training shoes also have impressive reviews having averaged 4.5/5 stars.
So, if you’re searching for good marathon running shoes that promise to see you through all of your events, Nike is a brand that you can rely on.
If you’re looking for cheap men’s marathon shoes, this next option could be for you.
Mizuno is a sportswear brand that is committed to delivering the most comfortable experience for runners.
The Wave Skyrise 2’s are constructed using Mizuno’s highly technical Dynomotion fit.
As you run, your feet will begin to expand slightly which the shoes will accommodate to offer the most comfortable fit possible.
With that, the shoes are made with Mizuno’s AIRmesh to allow a steady airflow in and around the shoes, thus offering exceptional breathability.
The synthetic overlays strengthen the shoe to provide protection to both itself and the feet.
This combined with the traditional laces offers runners superior support during all of your training sessions and running events.
These men’s long-distance running shoes come in dark grey with Mizuno’s signature logo in bright yellow.
The soles of the shoes feature an artistic black and red splashed design that will be sure to turn heads by passersby.
Priced at £83.99, these are one of the more affordable shoes for marathon runners that are ideal for those after great quality shoes while on a budget.
#10 - Hoka Men’s Mach 4
If you’re planning on completing your first half-marathon, shoes are going to be pretty high on your list of things to get.
Hoka’s men’s Mach 4 are amongst the best half-marathon shoes on the market and for very good reason.
They feature a low-profile cushion bed that keeps your foot closer to the ground compared with other running shoes and utilises a firmer material to provide efficient push-offs.
The shoes are engineered with a top-quality mesh to promote ultimate breathability. This ensures a constant air flow around the foot even when sweat builds.
The mesh also boasts fast-drying technologies which are perfect for running in rainy or snowy conditions. After all, you never know what the weather will bring when running in the UK!
These men’s marathon shoes come in an array of different colours, such as:
- Black, grey, and white
- Bright blue, mint, and cream
- White, orange, and red
- Blue, black, and green
Each of these different colour palettes helps to accommodate different styles and so you’re guaranteed to find a trainer that suits you the most.
So, when searching for the best half-marathon shoes, be sure to check out Hoka’s Mach 4 - we’re sure you won’t regret it!
#11 - Adidas SolarBoost 19
The SolarBoost 19’s are another great product from Adidas that are also a top contender for best ultra marathon running shoes.
These men’s marathon running shoes have been specially designed to provide the wearer with targeted support and optimal comfort for long-distance running. Tailored Fibre Placement offers reinforcement for targeted reinforcement at the midfoot, whilst the Boost - responsive cushioning - delivers incredible energy return, meaning the more energy you give, the more you get back! All of this has been specially engineered so as to give you the smoothest ride possible.
The SolarBoost is suitable for all manner of training, with emphasis in particular on long runs thanks to the aforementioned bouncy Boost foam, however it’s also just as effective in tackling the faster races.
The ‘Continental Rubber’ also gives you better traction on some of the trickier surfaces, giving a more stable feel to your marathon shoes.
These are some of the best marathon shoes for women and men, available in 10 different colours including ‘Core Black’, ‘Crystal White’, ‘Glow Blue’ and more. So if you’re looking to buy some top marathon running shoes anytime soon, then we suggest you hurry and snap these up while you still can!
#12 - Brooks Hyperion Elite
Brooks Hyperion Elite are widely regarded as some of the best long-distance running shoes out there, and for good reason.
The Hyperion Elite is Brooks' fastest running shoe available, and is designed to be worn in all manner of races, be they shorter runs or full marathons.
The midsole has a compound called DNA ZERO in it, which is Brooks’ lightest foam yet, providing the wearer with plenty of bounce and lightness. The foam also adapts to your stride and offers you a stable and responsive yet soft ride.
These women’s and men’s marathon shoes have a carbon fibre Propulsion Plate which has been designed to propel you forwards by translating your energy into forward movement, giving you an extra bounce in every step.
The outer sole of the shoe is designed to be extremely durable, however, Brooks advises that the shoe will last for only around 100 miles. But, that doesn’t have to be an issue, as these can easily be effective half-marathon racing shoes, and for shorter runs or training.
So, if you’re looking for the best half marathon shoes, then the Hyperion Elite will be right up your street!
#13 - Mizuno Wave Rider 24
If you’re looking to buy some of the best women’s marathon running shoes, then the Mizuno Wave Rider 24 have to be near the top of your list.
The Wave Riders deliver a smooth transition and responsive ride, and have introduced ‘MIZUNO ENERZY’ to the heel wedge, which in turn provides an even more cushioned landing and an increased energy return for the wearer.
The upper of the shoes has been designed to allow the foot to breathe, allowing the air to flow in and out and reduce residual sweat and dampness. It also allows vapour from sweat to escape, thus leaving your feet fresh and dry.
For other useful sweat-wicking products, have a look at our article on the best running headbands to keep moisture and hair out of your face.
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The heel and forefront of the shoe have firm material on them to protect you from any bumps or jostling that you may encounter while running, whilst you’re guaranteed a comfortable ride with the premium in-sock that fits snugly underneath the sole of the foot.
The Wave Riders are true all-rounder women’s long-distance running shoes and are suitable for marathons, short runs and even daily training, whilst always delivering a smooth and sturdy ride.
This shoe is well worth checking out if you’re looking to buy some of the best marathon shoes for women!
#14 - Asiscs Gel Kayano 27
The Asics Gel Kayano 27s are the best marathon shoes for overpronators, and are also the perfect choice for anyone who is looking for something a little bit more stable and plush for their runs.
The ‘Dynamic Duomax’ technology has been incorporated into the shoe to help support the foot and increase stability for runners who overpronate (when their feet roll inwards too much). The sole of these long-distance running shoes is also very flexible and helps stimulate more natural mobility throughout the foot movement involved in taking each stride.
This shoe by Asiscs has a revamped and sturdy heel counter, a new gender-specific torsion-control device, and deeper outsold flex grooves, which have been designed to better cater the different support needs of both men and women.
Finally, as an added bonus, the shoe has a large section of reflective materials in the rear-foot that helps keep runners visible during low light conditions.
The Gel-Kayano 27 are the best long-distance running shoes for flat feet and those susceptible to overpronation, yet also for both competitive and non-competitive runners.
Constructed using an engineered mesh, the upper of the Boston 10’s offers ultimate flexibility, breathability, and support which is everything you need in a good trainer.
The shoes are also equipped with slight perforations to increase ventilation so that you remain dry and cool at all times.
With that, a soft textile lining has been added to enhance comfort while reducing the risk of chafing.
As for the sole, Adidas’ range is inspired by tyre technology. They’re crafted from continental rubber to provide ultimate traction even on wet, slippery surfaces.
The rubber is also highly durable, allowing you to train harder for longer without the worry of your shoes wearing down.
These trainers come in a bright yellow and green design with Adidias’ signature 3-stripe logo in bright orange. The colours compliment one another nicely and will be sure to turn heads on your runs.
We ultimately believe that when searching for marathon shoes that are women’s, this range ought to be a contender.
After all, Adidas is a highly reputable sportswear brand that delivers top-quality products each and every time, and the Boston 10’s are no exception.
What are the best shoes for running a half-marathon?
While there is no definitive answer for this question, there are some specific features that will definitely contribute to your new trainers becoming the best half-marathon shoes for you.
Look for thick midsoles, durable properties, breathability, and a higher level of responsiveness to enhance your runs and ensure maximum comfort.
What are the best shoes for running a marathon?
Again, with no conclusive answer to this question, we recommend keeping an eye out for important features to make sure your run is as smooth as possible.
Similarly to half-marathon shoes, you’ll want to invest in durability, sweat-proof properties, good traction, comfort, and reliability. You will no longer be wondering “what are the best marathon running shoes?” when you’ve invested in a great pair from this list with high-quality features.
How to select running shoes for a marathon
Unfortunately, finding the right running shoes for a marathon involves a lot of trial and error. Everyone’s feet and general preferences are different, so there’s no sure-fire formula to finding the best marathon racing shoes for you.
That being said, there are a few key tips we can offer that will make the whole experience much easier:
- Consider your race - training for a half-marathon and training for a full marathon will require different considerations in footwear. You’ll need more durability for longer distances.
- Previous experience - throughout your life you’ve probably worn a variety of different trainers, and you can use that prior knowledge to inform your choices now. If those thick-soled, solid running shoes give you knee pains then it’s probably best to avoid that type. However, if your lightweight, foam-soled trainers really put a spring in your step then a similar type will be more beneficial to your marathon!
- Type of shoe - make sure you’re choosing trainers specifically designed for long-distance running. There are a few different types of trainer and not all will be as effective for marathon running, so be sure to check this before you purchase.
When to buy new running shoes before a marathon
Do not buy brand new running shoes right before your marathon.
This is hugely important as you’ll need to break in your shoes to ensure that they fit well, and that they do not rub or cause unnecessary pain before your long race. We’d recommend buying them at least 2 to 3 weeks in advance, and then wearing them for a few long-distance runs to break them in. This will ensure that their structural integrity is still sound.
Conversely, when you buy your long-distance running shoes for your training you could also buy a second pair for your actual race. That way you’ll know you’re definitely prepared!
Before you go!
There are so many different styles and great brands that make long-distance running shoes, that even choosing one pair from this list will probably be difficult.
Ultimately, they need to be durable, comfortable, and maybe even add a little spring to your step to really make the cut as the best trainers for running a marathon. No doubt you’re ready and raring to get outside and test out your new marathon running shoes!
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