7 Best Comfortable Running Shoes in 2023

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Comfortable Running Shoes in 2023
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When it comes to running shoes, comfort is king. Whether you’re a high mileage, daily runner, or weekend warrior, we all want that running shoe that delivers great comfort while running.

Whatever your running preferences or racing requirements, there are hundreds of “comfortable” models out there from various brands. Choosing the right one can be confusing and time-consuming.

To guide you in your search for the most comfortable running shoes, we’ve handpicked the models that deliver that “aahhh, this-is-it” sensation during our hands-on (or should we say feet-on) testing. We ranked each pair of shoes we recommend on this list on overall value, road or trail performance, budget-friendliness, and the most popular options.

Of course, these top picks also earned high scores based on our rigorous testing in three areas such as overall fit, cushioning, and, yes, comfort.

Best comfortable running shoes overall

What makes it the best?

We crowned Deviate Nitro 2 as the best overall among comfortable running shoes because literally — it can do it all! It kept our runs breezy as we sank into its delightful foam. From burning daily mileage to speed intervals — this carbon-plated shoe supported every kind of run we had.

We felt relaxed running in this pair as our feet were planted on a pillowy foam 32.2% softer than average (based on our durometer in the lab). It absorbed much of the impact of our landings, avoiding the bruised feeling after an intense workout.

Even with the soft foam, we didn’t struggle to pick up the pace. We tested its flexibility in the lab using the 90° test and it emerged a whopping 91.5% stiffer than average! This stiffness generated the immediate and vibrant energy we received every time we lifted our feet.

This shoe kept our runs airy as we felt the wind even on summer days. The shoe scored 4/5 in our lab smoke test, which means that its upper is very breathable — adding to the comfort we felt in our runs.

Deviate Nitro 2’s midsole width is 111.2 mm, 1.6 mm shy of the 112.8 mm average. This pair may not be the best option for wide feet.


  • Great all-rounder
  • Super-smooth and responsive ride
  • Plush cushioning
  • Comfy upper
  • Grippy outsole
  • Above average durability
  • Fairly priced


  • Heavier than other similar shoes
  • Not many colors available
Full review of PUMA Deviate Nitro 2

Best daily training running shoes for comfort

ASICS Novablast 3

What makes it the best?

Our lab and field tests agree - the Novablast 3 belongs to the cream of the crop, deserving the best daily trainer title among the most comfortable running shoes. It oozes delightful comfort and just the right amount of spring that took us to any distance we wanted.

Our feet were spoiled with plush foam! We felt great from short to longer distances and even on slower to quicker paces. In the lab, we pressed into its cushion using a durometer and it measured 44.9% softer than average. 

Despite its above-average stack height — which we measured in the lab to be 12.0% higher than average — it gave us a sense of sure-footedness. It has a wide, and therefore stable, midsole keeping our feet from toppling over while having a bouncy run.

Novablast 3 also felt extremely light at 8.5 oz. (242g), even if it didn’t look that way. On average, daily trainers weigh 10.2 oz (290g).

The pair scored 3/5 in our breathability test in the lab, falling right below the average of 3.7. We recommend checking other options if breathability is a priority, especially if used as a summer trainer.


  • Super bouncy
  • Cushy feel for miles
  • Breathable
  • Light AF
  • Ready for cornering
  • Locks you in
  • Tongue stays in place
  • Grippy outsole
  • Mad durable
  • Sets the bar for a do-it-all shoe


  • For narrow-to-medium feet only
  • Stack heights higher than advertised
Full review of ASICS Novablast 3

Best comfortable running shoes for race

What makes it the best?

Staying true to its name, Metaspeed Edge+ gave us the extra edge to power through our fastest runs. It’s amazing how exceptionally responsive the midsole was in our runs while keeping a light and fresh feeling on our feet.

Every time we put our foot down, the shoe would return a vibrant energy immediately. This kept our momentum strong and encouraged a higher cadence — all leading to a faster pace with less effort. In the lab, we couldn’t resist checking with our 90° bend test and this shoe resisted with a force 105.9% stiffer than average.

It was delightful to run with a lighter shoe at only 7.34 oz (208g) vs. the average of lab-tested shoes at 9.45 oz (268g). It’s even lighter than other highly cushioned and plated racers (7.41 oz. or 210g).

This is by far one of the most breathable shoes we’ve tried — scoring a perfect score in our breathability test in the lab. We ran with confidence, knowing we wouldn’t have any encounters with blisters or hotspots.

With an outsole that’s thinner (by 38.2%) and softer (by 18.6%) than average, we recommend saving this racer for priority competitions.


  • Speedy all the way!
  • More cushioned for long miles
  • Buttery smooth transitions
  • Protective underfoot
  • Hell of a snappy toe-off
  • Super light
  • Very breathable
  • Nails the race-ready fit
  • Slip-free lockdown
  • More durable than most racers
  • Grips on dirt roads


  • Scratchy upper
  • Not for short runs
  • Expensive
Full review of ASICS Metaspeed Edge+

Best comfortable stability running shoes

What makes it the best?

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 exceeds the traditional stability shoe by proving that comfort and stability can blend together. Our runs remain relaxed and fuss-free with its flexible nature, balanced cushion, and ultra-breathable upper. It only has subtle rigid elements that provide low-key support without being too intrusive. The lab results and our actual runs both show it offers the best stability among comfortable running shoes.

This model features Brooks’ GuideRails technology — positioned on the sides of the heel for added support. This stiffness is complemented by a flexible and uncomplicated midsole that flows with our movements. Our flex test confirms it’s 41.2% more adaptive than average.

Adrenaline GTS 23 delivers steady landings with its vast platform and balanced cushion. With our trusty caliper, we measured the midsole 4.2/6.9 mm wider than average in the forefoot and heel. Meanwhile, the foam feels soft without bottoming out. Our durometer validates this with a 19.5 HA measurement vs. the 23.9 HA average.

The upper shines in breathability as it received the highest score in our lab test. Under the microscope, it has large ventilation holes that allow us to feel the breeze on our toes.

With subtle stability elements, this pair is more suited to mild overpronators. Extreme overpronators may need more support.


  • Excellent stability without being intrusive
  • Ideal for easy miles
  • Specifically designed for heel strikers
  • Outstanding breathability
  • Comfortable and cushioned
  • Availability in narrow and wide sizes
  • Capable of handling tempo paces
  • Not expensive at all


  • The engineered mesh upper lacks durability
  • Lacks cushion for forefoot strikers
Full review of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

Best comfortable running shoes for wide feet

What makes it the best?

The iconic Ultraboost Line, on its 23rd version, is now called the Adidas Ultraboost Light. It is the perfect shoe for people with wide feet due to its spacious forefoot, comfortable and cushioned midsole, and stable platform. Because of these, the Adidas Ultraboost Light sits on top of our list for the best comfortable running shoes for wide feet.

We measured the Ultraboost Light’s toebox at its widest point to be 102.9 mm, definitely a lot roomier than the 97.9 mm average width of road running shoes. The knit upper is very stretchy and wraps itself around our feet creating a comfortable and secure fit.

At a decent 30.1 mm, the shoe’s heel stack is a bit below average (30.1 mm vs 33.2 mm), yet it provides ample cushioning underfoot. With our durometer, we measured the midsole to be 36.73% softer than the average, perfect for providing comfort during mile munching. 

The Ultraboost Light is pretty stable underfoot mostly due to a wide base. Its forefoot width is 117 mm, 4.2 mm wider than the average of road running shoes. At the heel, we measured it to be 93.7 mm–3.8 mm more than the average. Despite a high stack height, every step felt planted and solid. 

Despite the name, it is not quite up to par with other light shoes. Tipping the scales at 305g (10.75 oz), it is actually quite heavy compared to the average of 268g (9.45 oz). 


  • Cushy and responsive ride
  • Good for easy runs and long distances
  • Ideal for heel strikers
  • Suitable for wide feet
  • Effective stability elements for mild pronation
  • Snug and secure lockdown
  • Durable toebox and heel
  • Outsole built to last
  • Ready for winter runs
  • Works as a comfy walking shoe
  • Sustainably designed upper


  • Thin forefoot cushioning
  • Could be lighter
  • Slippery on wet surfaces
  • Not for speedwork
  • Average at best breathability
Full review of Adidas Ultraboost Light

Best comfortable trail running shoes

What makes it the best?

Ultras feel like a walk in the park with the Xodus Ultra. No arguing between trail and feet, with tons of velvety cushioning offering a ground-muted experience that earned this Saucony the #1 spot among comfortable trail shoes.

The Xodus Ultra exudes absolute confidence, fearlessly obliterating any technical challenges that the wild outdoors throw its way—be it rocks, roots, or treacherous mud. The 3.8 mm lugs embody sharp claws, biting everything under it without taking a hit. Our durometer confirmed its might, ranking the outsole 8.1% harder than average.

Above the titanic outsole lies a heart-melting foam, which engulfed our feet with every footfall. Our durometer tests confirmed its plush nature, unveiling that it’s 19.7% softer than the average trail shoe. Plus, we were mesmerized by the Xodus performance under the scorching sun! The smoke we pumped into the shoe dissipated through every nook and cranny of the upper, earning a remarkable 4 out of 5 for breathability.

Trail enthusiasts who prefer a snug fit might need to explore other options, as we found the midfoot to be a tad too roomy.


  • Protective cushion
  • Responsive ride
  • Extremely comfy for ultras
  • Grippy on mud and loose ground
  • Breathable
  • Lighter than the Xodus 11
  • Stable platform
  • Wide-feet friendly


  • Midfoot is too roomy
  • Lace change needed for good lockdown
Full review of Saucony Xodus Ultra

Best budget comfortable running shoes

Saucony Axon 2

What makes it the best?

Based on our runs and tests, we found that Saucony Axon 2 is a versatile daily trainer that focuses on comfort while ensuring the outsole lasts long miles. What seals the deal is it's a solid performer for only $100 vs. the $126 average of its counterparts. Being one of the most max-cushioned and quality trainers, it's our top comfortable budget shoe.

The ride feels smooth with the soft cushion and efficient heel-to-toe transitions. Our durometer shows it’s 22.3 HA, slightly softer than the 24.1 HA average. This makes it comfortable without sinking into the foam. Its above-average stack adds to our relief and dampens landing impact.

The upper is a winner, with the mesh being comfortable and well-ventilated. It's soft and adjusts to the shape of our foot while ensuring air flows freely to avoid hotspots. It scored 4/5 on our breathability test, higher than the 3.8 average.

The high-quality upper and midsole is supported by a long-lasting and grippy outsole. Our caliper and durometer show its 4.1 mm rubber is thicker and is 6.4% harder than the average, showing Saucony’s efforts to ensure durability.

We don’t recommend this pair for wide feet. While the toebox is wide enough, it narrows quite aggressively to the front, leaving 9.5 mm less room for the big toe.


  • Comfy for easy days
  • Seamless heel-to-toe transitions
  • Lighter than it seems
  • Soft, form-fitting upper
  • Breathable in warm weather
  • Tacky on dry and wet surfaces
  • Long-lasting
  • Great-value purchase


  • Firm for long miles and recovery days
  • Squeaky noise on pavement
  • Lacks bounce and energy return
Full review of Saucony Axon 2

Comparison of the 7 best comfortable running shoes

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How we test running shoes

With years of running under our belts and numerous hours of testing thousands of running shoes, we can definitely say that we know a lot about comfortable running shoes. In this list, we’ve highlighted the models based on the following selection process:

  • We buy all the shoes with our own money to avoid bias and brand loyalty.
  • We cut each shoe into pieces in our lab. We weigh and measure 30+ parameters of its essential parts, from cushioning, breathability, stability, and many more.
  • We log at least 30 to 40 miles of running on each pair in various training and racing conditions.

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.