7 Best Marathon Running Shoes in 2023

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic on
7 Best Marathon Running Shoes in 2023
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Having a distance of 42 kilometers or 26 miles, a marathon is a long-distance road race. You definitely need more than just a comfortable shoe for this effort.

It might be a max-cushioned cruiser that helps you train for a marathon, or a carbon-plated speedster to shave off the minutes from your record, or a supportive shoe that won’t let overpronation stop you from running 42K. 

We have tested over 100 marathon-ready running shoes to make sure you have the best options.

And if you want us to literally guide you through the process of choosing the right marathon running shoe for you, scroll down to the guide section below.

How we test running shoes

How do we know which running shoes can get you comfortably through 42 km and maybe even set a new record? Here is our review process:

  • Our dedicated testers run at least 30 miles in each pair before delivering their feedback.
  • Every shoe gets sliced and measured at RunRepeat testing lab on over 30 different parameters. These help us translate features like durability, flexibility, cushioning, etc. into concrete data.
  • All tested shoes are purchased with our own money to prevent bias.
  • We also collect feedback from shoe experts, runners, and regular users from all over the web. Nearly 3,000,000 reviews have been taken into account for 850+ marathon shoes.

So how do we pick the best ten? The CoreScore.

Each shoe receives a number from 0 to 100 which reflects its overall performance based on all our learnings. The best-rated ones make it here.

Best marathon running shoes overall

What makes it the best?

The PUMA Deviate Nitro is back with a significant update that makes an already great shoe even better. It’s really comfortable, which is not always the case for carbon-plated shoes, and it’s extremely versatile. As a result, we have a real do-it-all companion to take on the road for every run, not to mention the quality-price ratio, which basically makes it a no-brainer.


  • 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

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Any color
Black (37680701)
Azul (37680709)
Orange (37680712)
Black (37756701)
Black (37680711)
Sunset Glow (37680703)
Amarelo (37680705)
Bianco (37680704)

Best marathon running shoes for race

What makes it the best?

Top-tier race shoe from Adidas gets an update. In 2020 V1 won a ton of praise and world records with its carbon rod (and plate) design and Lightstrike Pro midsole. The super shoe category was once owned but just one brand but in 2021 there’s some serious contenders for best in show.


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


  • Runs narrow
  • Unstable at slow speeds
Full review of Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2.0

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Any color
Sonic Ink Screaming Green Ftwr White (FY4082)
Legacy Indigo/Turbo/Sky Rush (GX3117)
Pulse Lime/Real Teal/Flash Orange (GX3124)

Best marathon running shoes for flat feet

What makes it the best?

Still staying true to its Kayano roots, the Kayano 28 retains its hallmark of stability and support while seeing some updates to amp up comfort and flexibility. And with better flex, the shoe was just overall fun! Although designed as a daily trainer, runners also find it fitting as a standalone shoe that you can take out of the closet during race day and on long, slow miles.


  • Familiar Kayano fit
  • Roomier toebox
  • No lace bite
  • Added pep
  • No medial post
  • Lost weight
  • Kayano durability


  • Heel slipping
  • Overly plush
  • Runs warm
Full review of ASICS Gel Kayano 28

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Any color
Lake Drive/Black (1011B189402)
Black White (1011B189005)
Grey (1011B189022)
Black/White (1011B189003)
Black/Electric Red (1011B189002)
Sheet Rock/Orange Pop (1011B189020)
Black White (1011B189300)
White/Tuna Blue (1011B426100)
More colors

Best marathon running shoes for trail

Hoka Tecton X

What makes it the best?

The Hoka Tecton X is Hoka's first carbon-plated trail running shoe. To justify the name, it just might have started a tectonic shift - that's how much it is loved by runners. It's positioned as a speed-ready, racing and training companion to the Hoka Speedgoat 5. Thanks to the dual-plated design, it shines at fast paces, especially the ultra ones. On top of this, it's a max-cushioned running shoe that keeps the feet protected without weighing them down.


  • 2 carbon plates: very propulsive ride
  • Insanely stable
  • Looks fast and runs fast
  • Lightweight
  • Very cushioned & responsive
  • Worth the investment
  • Room for feet swelling
  • Grippy
  • No break-in
  • Vegan materials used


  • Not for technical terrains
  • Might accumulate mud
  • Expensive
Full review of Hoka Tecton X

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Any color
Persimmon Orange - Radiant Yellow (1123161PORY)
Thyme Fiesta (TFST)
Blue (SBDP)

Best marathon running shoes with wide toebox

Hoka Mach 5

What makes it the best?

The Mach 5 from Hoka is a performance trainer that can do a bit of everything. If you want to train with speed, it can be your trusty tempo running shoe. And if you want an easy-day or long-distance trainer, the Mach 5's cushy yet stable ride will serve you just right. Even better, it'll give you all the snappiness and energy return you need.


  • Super fun and energetic ride
  • Velvety smooth strides
  • Runs and feels light
  • Comfy for easy days
  • Cushioned for long runs
  • Absorbs impact
  • Awesome fit
  • Welcomes wide feet
  • Reflective
  • Worth the money


  • Slips on wet pavement
  • Gets easily dirty
Full review of Hoka Mach 5

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Any color
Mountain Spring/Puffin's Bill (MSPBL)
White/Copper (WCPP)
Black/Castlerock (BCSTL)
White/Scuba Blue (WSBB)
Radiant Yellow Evening Primrose (RYEP)
Impala/Vibrant Orange (IVOR)
Ceramic/Evening Primrose (1127894CEPR)
Evening Primrose/Scuba Blue (EPSB)
White/Flame (WFM)

Best stability marathon running shoes

What makes it the best?

One of Brooks’ most revered and popular stability shoes gets a well-needed modern update for 2022. This daily runner is loved by many because it’s seen as the Jack of all trades running shoe thanks to a bi-directional correction for different over-pronation. With fresher looks, it’s now an even more attractive option.


  • Fits true to size
  • Promising durability
  • Stability for all directions
  • Improved aesthetics
  • Phenomenal grip
  • A firmer, faster midsole
  • Consistent in all conditions
  • Reliable daily runner


  • High price point for stability aimed at beginners
  • Midsole is too hard for some
Full review of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

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Any color
Coral/Latigo Bay/White (680)
Black/Blue/Orange (034)
White/Oyster/Brilliant (160)
White/Red/Green (127)
Arctic/Red/Titan (004)
Magenta/White/Raspberry (568)
Oyster/India Ink/Blue (023)
Peacoat India Ink Grenadine (435)
More colors

Marathon running shoes with best cushioning

ASICS Novablast 3

What makes it the best?

It's a comfy daily running shoe. It can go fast. It can go far. In the words of an expert, the Novablast 3 from ASICS "sets the standard for what a daily trainer should be." What's more, you can race in it in your next marathon too. Talk about versatility! And if you want a light shoe that won't drag you down, the ASICS Novablast 3 is the all-rounder you need.


  • 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


  • A tad too long
  • More expensive by $10
Full review of ASICS Novablast 3

Today's best price

Any color
Black/Amber (1011B458001)
Black/Island Blue (1011B458004)
White/Deep Ocean (1011B458100)
Cream/Fawn (1012B288101)
Black/White (1011B458002)
Sheet Rock/Black (1011B458021)
White/Piedmont Grey (1012B288102)
Electric Red/Midnight (1011B458600)
More colors

Comparison of the 7 best marathon running shoes

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4 things to look for in a marathon shoe 

Many experienced runners are OK with finishing marathons in racing flats. If you’re not an elite runner, light mesh and super thin foam won’t help.



Comfort above everything else. However hard you’ve trained for your marathon, you’ll appreciate the comfort along the way.

The right shoe will feel like an extension of your foot.


Marathon is a long distance and pavement is unforgiving. Feet get tired and after a while, you’ll want shoes that will go easy on you. This means you should look for cushioned marathon shoes.

Some of the advanced foams include Nike ZoomX, ASICS FlyteFoam, Saucony PWRRUN, etc. 

To learn about cushioning technologies in detail, read our guide to best cushioned shoes.

Comfortable toebox

Snug shoes are great when you’re racing, but marathon distance lasts long enough that your toes ask for more space. Plus, the extra space comes in handy when swelling happens. Look for medium or wide toe box marathon shoes.

There should be enough space to wiggle your toes freely.

Durable outer sole

If you want your shoes to last for more than a few long-distance runs, look for solid rubber rather than blown rubber. While rougher outsole might mean more weight, it’s good to consider it, especially if running during summer on red-hot concrete or asphalt.


Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 has one of the most robust outsoles among elite marathon shoes.

If, during the preparation period, you feel the extra weight slowing you down, look for lightweight marathon shoes. Keep in mind that beginners tend to choose cushioned over lightweight shoes.

Break-in period for marathon shoes 

You should never run a marathon in brand new running shoes. A general rule is to log at least 30-50 miles (50-80 kilometers) in them. Allow your feet to get used to the new shoes. This way you’ll avoid unnecessary risk of getting blisters, pain and soreness, or even DNF status.

Are your current shoes good for marathon runs? 

Stick to what already works.

  • Can you run long-distance sessions in them? 
  • Are they comfortable?
  • Are you happy with how they feel and how you perform in them?

If you have 3 yeses here, you’re ready to run a marathon in your current running shoes. 

Feels like for years there’s been more marketing than true innovation when it comes to running shoes. Then these super shoes entered the scene, causing the biggest hype and controversy. The biggest change happened right in the midsole: they became thick and highly cushioned and got a rigid plate that maximizes runner’s energy return.

Nike pioneered this movement with Vaporfly 4% and Next%, but soon others followed: Adidas Adizero Pro, Saucony Endorphin Pro, Brooks Hyperion Elite, etc. Even Hoka has seen a rise in popularity with their maximalist approach.


Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 (left), ASICS MetaSpeed Sky (center), Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 (right)

We even looked at the winners, both women and men, of 6 biggest marathons (Chicago, New York, Berlin, London, Tokyo, Boston) in 2018 and 2019. 78% of them wore Nike marathon running shoes (mostly Vaporfly).


In the end, shoes make the biggest difference. Choose the right size, fit, features. Even if your motivation hits rock bottom, if chosen wisely, shoes will help you cross the finish line uninjured. They might even help you set a new PB. 


Keep in mind that these shoes come with the latest innovative technologies, which come at a price. Literally. Plus, these are all made for elite runners or people chasing a new PB. More important takeaway should be the importance of cushioning: all of these shoes are chunky!


Marathon shoes vs. racing flats 

Some runners tend to run marathons in racing flats. In general, these are intended for more experienced runners. 

Racing flats are best known for minimal or zero heel drop, minimal weight and minimal cushioning. Lowering the values of these features might help, but only up to a limit.


Should you run a marathon in racing flats? Yes, if: 

  • Your current health allows you to give them a try - your feet aren’t flat and your pronation is neutral so you don’t need stability features and you have a good running form
  • This isn’t your first marathon - the longer you run, the longer your body needs to absorb impact forces, which calls for more cushioning
  • You took time to adapt to their features 

Keep in mind that not all elite runners choose racing flats. It’s a matter of personal preference, so do your best to find the perfect marathon running shoe for you.

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic

Whether it's a vertical kilometre or an ultra, climbing in the Alps or exploring local mountains, Jovana uses every opportunity to trade walls and concrete for forests and trails. She logs at least 10h/week on trails, with no off-season, and 4x more on research on running and running shoes. With a background in physics and engineering management, she prefers her running spiced with data.