7 Best Long Distance Running Shoes in 2022

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Long Distance Running Shoes in 2022

Going for anything longer than a 10K calls for the most reliable, comfortable, and durable running shoe. As the stress on your body increases, so do the demands from a pair of running shoes.

We have taken over 100 shoes on a long-haul run to find out which ones will stand the test. They also went through our lab tests before making it to the top selection.

You might be after a faster shoe, or a max-cushioned marathon shoe, or an extra protective trail shoe for a 100K ultra. We’ve got our top picks in various categories to help you choose the one that fits your needs.

How we test running shoes

No need to read 1500+ shoe reviews when you’re at RunRepeat. It is our mission to test every single long-distance shoe on the market and let you know about the best options.

We’ve been in the running shoe game since 2014 and are now equipped with our own shoe testing lab to put every new release through the wringer. Here is our process:

  • Buy a shoe with our own funds to avoid bias
  • Run 30-50 miles in each pair
  • Cut the shoe open and take it into pieces (literally)
  • Mease over 30 parameters that contribute to the shoe’s performance
  • Consider all available feedback from runners, shoe experts, and regular users
  • Summarize it all into comparable data

In the end, each shoe receives a CoreScore. It is a number from 0 to 100 that indicates how good this shoe is against all others.

Best long distance running shoes overall

Saucony Endorphin Speed 2
Saucony Endorphin Speed 2

Corescore

91
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 1,529 users
92 / 100 from 18 experts

Pros

  • Fun, peppy ride
  • Runs like a race shoe
  • Lightweight
  • Plenty breathable
  • Smooth rockered transitions
  • Great lockdown
  • 2 pairs of laces
  • One shoe Race, Tempo, Trainer
  • More flexible than other carbon-plated shoes
  • Reflective detail for night runs
  • Easy to put on (pull tab on the tongue and heel)

Cons

  • Learning curve needed for heel strikers or slower paces
  • Slipper on wet surfaces

Verdict

It’s an all-star for race day and fast tempo sessions! After putting it through the paces, we can say this is a shoe that can be a standalone - comfortable and durable enough for the long miles, fast enough to outrun the competition, and versatile enough for training runs. 

If you want to blast through all of your runs and last long on the roads, take the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2. 

The shoe is off to a good start - it’s light (8 oz vs. the average 9.4 oz, in our lab testing). So if you don’t want to have tired legs while raking up miles and miles on end, the Endorphin Speed 2 has got you covered! 

The shoe has a nylon plate which provides a flexible yet responsive ride. To balance out its rigidity, it’s coupled with light and cushy foam for comfort. And thanks to the shoe’s rockered shape, you can roll through effortlessly. 

The party doesn’t end here. What’s surprising about the Endorphin Speed 2 is that it fits better than its race sibling - the Pro 2 - that we’ve also tested!

Hands down, the Endorphin Speed 2 is a rockstar! If you want one shoe that can handle anything, buy this.

See our full review and facts

Best long distance running shoes for race

Asics MetaSpeed Sky
Asics MetaSpeed Sky

Corescore

89
Great!
4.4 / 5 from 74 users
94 / 100 from 16 experts

Pros

  • Bouncy and responsive
  • Fast
  • Fantastic grip
  • Ultra breathable 
  • Stable even at slower speeds
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Perfect fit
  • Superb foot lockdown
  • Fits wider feet

Cons

  • Not so durable
  • Expensive
  • Not for cold weather
  • No heel tab

Verdict

We just can’t get enough of the Asics MetaSpeed Sky. It even got to our list of best running shoes! And it’s here to take the spotlight yet again for long-distance shoes.

We rarely say this, but the Asics MetaSpeed Sky is the best shoe that we’ve ever tested. Period.

Having a great fit is always a bonus for a long-distance shoe. Even more, it’s a COMFORTABLE fit. It doesn’t rub against the skin, it just stays locked-in real nice, and there was plenty of room up front!

And wow, what a midsole! Cushy in all the right places, and rebounding in each stride. The FlyteFoam Blast is literally a blast to run in!

In our durometer test, the shoe measured at 27.3HA (21% stiffer than the average), which means it’s a winner against the ZoomX Invincible Run (14.2HA) when it comes to stability.

The rocker screams efficient and seamless roll through. So, no need to push the shoe, IT will push you.

As a race shoe, it weighs just right (6.7 oz). It’s light on paper, and it sure does feel like it on the run. After several high-mileage testing, our legs felt fresh!

This is a bold statement, but the Asics MetaSpeed Sky can beat the Swoosh any day. For a top-performing race day shoe, it’s worth every penny in that $250 tag!

See our full review and facts

Best long distance running shoes for ultra

Altra Olympus 4.0
Altra Olympus 4.0

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 1,759 users
89 / 100 from 15 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Wide toebox
  • Built for long runs
  • Superb cushion
  • Excellent traction
  • Durable Vibram sole
  • Light for a maximal shoe
  • Gusseted tongue
  • Very comfortable
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Not very responsive
  • Expensive

Verdict

Long days on varied terrain? Take a look into the Altra Olympus 4.0!

There’s a lot to write home about the Olympus. But one that stood out to us is its superb traction. On gravel path, dirt single-track, beat-up forest roads, technical rocky climbs, mud, and wet, loose trails, the shoe was a BEAST!

The shoe’s Vibram outsole is the star of the shoe. Apart from its unrivaled latch to varied terrain, it also takes durability up a notch. It can outlast any shoe in your rotation!

Its platform follows the shape of the foot (an Altra signature), meaning there’s enough room for toe splay and the base is wide for stability. On uneven ground, the shoe gave us the confidence we needed to tread through.

Even when going downhills and when cornering, we were more than confident. There was none of that unsteady sensation AT ALL. 

If there’s one thing we didn’t like about the shoe it’s that it lags behind in responsiveness. But comfort makes up for that! There’s just enough padding in the shoe’s sidewalls and the midsole is plush. Not something that you would expect from a trail monster. 

Despite being oh-so plush, the shoe is the most breathable Olympus yet! So even during long hauls on the trails, our feet stayed cool and dry.

While it’s borderline expensive at $170, it’s a great buy if you want one shoe for everything. It can eat up miles without being fazed by all the harsh trail elements.

See our full review and facts

Best road long distance running shoes

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2.0
Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2.0

Corescore

93
Superb!
4.8 / 5 from 211 users
87 / 100 from 11 experts

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Responsive
  • Carbon rods
  • Soft midsole
  • Laces stay tight
  • Price

Cons

  • Runs narrow
  • Unstable at slow speeds
  • Runs half size big

Verdict

The Ghost 14 from Brooks really fits the bill as the shoe for all runners. It's a workhorse that's comfy enough for easy days, responsive for tempo sessions, and is heavy-duty to handle light trails. Overall, a no-fuss daily trainer that will work for all your runs!
See our full review and facts

Best long distance running shoes for flat feet

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

Corescore

92
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 70,269 users
90 / 100 from 18 experts

Pros

  • fits true to size
  • secure fit
  • great stability
  • gusseted tongue
  • soft but not mushy
  • superb durability
  • no lace bite

Cons

  • not for speedy runs
  • could be lighter

Verdict

Already in it’s 21st edition, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS sure fits the bill for runners who overpronate (foot rolls inward excessively) and suffer from foot conditions like flat feet.

Choosing the wrong shoe can mean pain, and Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 does its job so handsomely, it can do anything but that. It’s supportive in all the right places, and that’s without skimping comfort.

It’s cozy and hugs the foot nicely without being restricting, which we highly appreciate.

The magic happens in the midsole as it is the home of the Guide Rails (sidewalls that keep the foot centered). It is not obtrusive nor is it harsh -  it is only activated when the foot starts to move too far on the sides.

Because of this, it’s even suitable for neutral runners who just need a little more support.

And true to its Brooks lineage, the Adrenaline GTS 21 is a tank! After several wear tests, the shoe still looks untouched, and the midsole is not packing out. We are estimating it to last well between 400-500 miles.

Yes, it’s heavy (10.2 oz), but we are not displeased. With such features, it’s a justifiable weight. And hey, Brooks is going the right direction. The past iterations of the Adrenaline GTS were WAY heavier.

If you want a shoe that’s simple but has all the makings of a heavy-duty stability trainer that can last hundreds of miles, buying the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is a no-brainer.

See our full review and facts

Best value long distance running shoes

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

Corescore

86
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 2,724 users
88 / 100 from 21 experts

Pros

  • Wider than Pegasus 37
  • Very stable ride
  • Peppy toe-off
  • Hugs your feet 
  • Padded upper
  • Very durable (400-500miles)
  • Grippy even on dirt roads
  • Legit workhorse
  • Doubles as a gym shoe
  • A joy to run in

Cons

  • Runs warm
  • Above-average weight

Verdict

A workhorse for $120? Yep, you read that right!

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 remains a good value-for-money running shoe if you want one shoe that does it all. It can be your easy day shoe, tempo shoe, and even your gym shoe! The Pegasus is literally a shoe that screams “save your money and take me!”

It has the right amount of comfort if you want to take it slow, and has the right pop if you want to  run with speed. Some time in the gym perhaps after some light jogs? Pick up the Pegasus 38.

It’s been around for more than 3 decades, and testing the shoe made it clear to us why it remains a fan-favorite. Apart from being versatile, it’s also very durable. We are sure it can last around 400-500 miles!

Even though the React midsole is 18% softer than the average (in our lab tests), it isn’t showing any signs of early wear nor bottoming out. It’s dense and can last for miles!

If you’re looking for a marathon contender, this can do the job too. And we assure you, it will do it pretty well. It has done so in many years, and we don’t see that changing in this version.

We LOVE everything about the Pegasus 38, but just can’t write off its heft. The average daily trainer weighs in at 9.6 oz and the Pegasus is at 10.25 oz. It’s heavy alright!

See our full review and facts

How to get the right pair of long-distance running shoes

Either you are doing a 10K race or ultra-marathon, there is no one perfect shoe that fits everybody’s feet. Depending on the distance, the preferences will change. The shoe you wear for a 10K race will not work efficiently when used for ultra-running. 

Here are some tips that will help you find the best long-distance shoes:

10K

10k.png

Not as cushioned as marathon shoes. It can even be a race flat for experienced runners.

For beginners, a light speed trainer is the best choice.

Example: Hoka One One Mach 4 (a lightweight speedster for 5-10K)

Half-Marathon /Marathon

Marathon.png

Cushioned shoes are preferred.

For forefoot/midfoot strikers, look for shoes with added forefoot support and lower drop.

For heel strikers, wear a shoe with extra heel padding.

For competitive marathoners, consider high-end shoes with innovative technologies, like a carbon plate (aka “super shoes”).

Example: Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 (an elite carbon-plated racer with a super-light, responsive foam)

Ultra running

ultra running.png

Get a shoe with a durable outsole (opt for solid rubber than blown rubber).

For rough, uneven terrain, a good grip is necessary.

Cushioned shoes will keep you comfortable.

For rocky off-trail runs, wear shoes with a rock plate.

If you plan to swap shoes along the way, get a bigger size (1.5-2 sizes up) to accommodate the swelling.

Make sure you get a tried-and-tested pair of ultra running shoes.

As you can see, the number of required features grows with the distance. The longer the race, the more equipped you need to be:

Comparison.png

Arch support in long-distance running shoes

Having the right kind of support is crucial when you go the distance. Your feet will be exposed to constant ground impact for a long period of time.

Start by checking your arch type and pronation with the chart below:

Recommended road running shoe according to arch type.png

If you are not sure, go with a neutral running shoe (has no added arch support).

To learn more about the kind of support that would work best for you, see our guide on pronation.

neutral-stability-motion-control.jpg

neutral shoe (left) vs. stability shoe (center) vs. motion control shoe (right)

Breathability or waterproofing?

Unfortunately, a good compromise is rare. Depending on the conditions of your upcoming race, you have to decide which one is the priority. 

For dry and warm weather, always pick a well-ventilated shoe. We made sure to check which long-distance shoes stay breathable on the run.

For wet, rainy, and muddy conditions, consider shoes with a Gore-Tex membrane for full protection. Or slightly more breathable shoes with water-repellent uppers.

What are the cheapest long distance running shoes in 2022?

  1. Reebok Flashfilm 3.0 - from $30
  2. Reebok Lite Plus 3 - from $30
  3. Asics Gel Scram 6 - from $40
  4. Saucony Cohesion 14 - from $40
  5. Under Armour Charged Vantage - from $40
  6. Asics Gel Venture 8 - from $41
  7. Reebok Lite 3 - from $42
  8. New Balance Nitrel V4 - from $42
  9. Asics Gel Contend 7 - from $44
  10. Asics Jolt 3 - from $44
  11. Under Armour Charged Pursuit 3 - from $47
  12. Under Armour HOVR Sonic 4 - from $48
  13. Adidas Duramo 10 - from $49
  14. Puma UltraRide - from $49
  15. Adidas Fluidflow 2.0 - from $50

See all long distance running shoes sorted by lowest price

Author
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.