7 Best Ultra Running Shoes in 2022

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Ultra Running Shoes in 2022

Finishing an ultra is a great feat. And behind every successful run is an excellent ultra running shoe that has ample cushioning, support, and grip packed in a lightweight shoe. 

We know it’s a tedious job to go through the tens of ultra running shoe models on the market. So, we’ve decided to test them out ourselves and see which ones are the pick of the bunch from across categories.

How we test running shoes

When we assessed the ultra shoes on this list, we got down to the tiniest details to make sure they aren’t a letdown. We purchased them ourselves to prevent bias and examined them thoroughly in our independent shoe testing lab. 

We also carefully follow these steps throughout our tests: 

  • Run at least 30-50 miles in each shoe.
  • Cut them into pieces to scrutinize their parts.
  • Measure each part through 30 different parameters.

And to analyze how they stand against other running shoes, we come up with a Corescore that’s entirely based on thousands of expert and user reviews.

Best ultra running shoes overall

Salomon Ultra Glide
Salomon Ultra Glide

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 258 users
90 / 100 from 13 experts

Pros

  • Durable
  • Breathable
  • Grippy
  • Great lockdown
  • Plush and comfortable
  • Great lacing system
  • Protective overlays
  • Energetic ride
  • Cushioned

Cons

  • Runs a bit long
  • Runs narrow
  • Narrow platform

Verdict

Plush comfort in a Salomon! It’s what we’ve all been waiting for. The Ultra Glide is Salomon’s answer to Hoka’s reign over the cushioned trail shoe category and they nailed it. This shoe has a peppy, energetic ride, a soft, breathable upper, and a grippy, durable outsole. It’s worth a look at $140 and has a ton of great features. The only gripe I could conjure up is it’s a touch narrow if you have a wide foot. 

See our full review and facts

Best max-cushioned ultra running shoes

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

Looking for a versatile trail shoe? Take the Altra Olympus 4.0! From gravel path, dirt single track, beat-up forest roads, and technical rocky climbs, this shoe just made us run with confidence! And since it's billed as a long-distance trail shoe, we had to see for ourselves that it delivers. And deliver it did! It gave our feet all the protection and comfort they could ask for. 

See our full review and facts

Best lightweight ultra running shoes

Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra
Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra

Corescore

89
Great!
4.4 / 5 from 423 users
91 / 100 from 9 experts

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Nimble ride
  • Grippy outsole
  • Breathable
  • Dries quickly
  • Great lockdown
  • Reflective elements

Cons

  • Feels a touch minimalist
  • No heel pull loop

Verdict

I’ve never really been keen on Adidas trail shoes, they seemed like an afterthought to me and their focus was admittedly on their soccer cleats and road shoes. But then the Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra arrived and I just refused to cut these in half. They are that good out on the trails, and that sexy on your feet that I had to do this review without taking the saw to them! 

See our full review and facts

Ultra running shoes with best grip

Inov-8 Terraultra G 270
Inov-8 Terraultra G 270

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 619 users
90 / 100 from 32 experts

Pros

  • Flexible upper
  • Very comfortable
  • Secure lockdown
  • Gusseted tongue
  • Outstanding grip
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Not for wide feet

Verdict

Overall, it’s a better version of the last model, which I liked. This is a great mountain running shoe that I’ll be taking up to altitude over and over! Thank you for Inov-8 for improving the G260 and its few flaws.

See our full review and facts

Ultra running shoes with best protection

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor

Corescore

87
Great!
4.4 / 5 from 2,340 users
82 / 100 from 12 experts

Pros

  • Breathable upper
  • Protects the foot
  • Durable
  • Stable ride
  • Grips on rocky surfaces

Cons

  • Slippery when wet
  • Mid-priced shoe
  • Bulky and unwieldy

Verdict

The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor is a neutral running shoe designed for trail running. It features a combination of comfortable, stable, and responsive parts that gives an adequate ride. You can use this shoe as a daily trainer or for long-distance running.

See our full review and facts

Best value ultra running shoes

Saucony Peregrine 11
Saucony Peregrine 11

Corescore

89
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 3,138 users
85 / 100 from 18 experts

Pros

  • Outstanding grip
  • Perfect foot lockdown
  • Great for mud, ice, rocks 
  • Durable as a tank

Cons

  • For narrow feet only
  • Not breathable
  • Heavy

Verdict

Plush comfort in a Salomon! It’s what we’ve all been waiting for. The Ultra Glide is Salomon’s answer to Hoka’s reign over the cushioned trail shoe category and they nailed it. This shoe has a peppy, energetic ride, a soft, breathable upper, and a grippy, durable outsole. It’s worth a look at $140 and has a ton of great features. The only gripe I could conjure up is it’s a touch narrow if you have a wide foot.
See our full review and facts
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.