10 Best Cushioned Running Shoes For Women in 2022

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
10 Best Cushioned Running Shoes For Women in 2022

Picking the perfect running shoe goes far beyond stylish design and durability. For the ladies who love that “aahhh” sensation of the first step in a shoe fresh off the box, choosing a well-cushioned footgear is a huge oomph factor to consider.

The market today is saturated with multiple brands offering various types of cushioning technology for smoother, softer rides. To help you select the right one, we have rounded up 100+ cushioned running shoes for women and tested them on the road and in the lab. The models we handpicked here undeniably stand out in the cushy department.

The result? Find out ahead our fantastic selection of women’s cushioned running shoes that deliver on performance and value.

How we test running shoes

We at RunRepeat are individuals who love running and, yes, love running shoes, a little bit too much. We know exactly what makes great cushioning great. There is a method to our obsession and this is how we approach it:

  • We have a team of runners who tests each pair of running shoes for at least 30 miles and come back to us with their comprehensive review.
  • We also have a lab at RunRepeat dedicated to tearing apart each shoe to weigh and measure 30+ parameters.
  • We want to be thorough in the testing process, especially on the cushioning system of each shoe. For instance, we put shoes in the freezer to check how a particular cushioning technology fares in cold temperatures.
  • By the way, we buy all these running shoes with our own money. This is to make sure we remain unbiased.
  • We also gather reviews from various experts and regular users, which is in line with our goal to be more comprehensive.

Finally, what you are going to see is the overall verdict on each shoe as shown in our CoreScore system. It ranges from 0 to 100 showing comparative data and rank of over 1000 cushioned running shoes.

Best women's cushioned running shoes overall

Brooks Ghost 14
Brooks Ghost 14
Top pick

Corescore

93
Superb!
4.7 / 5 from 30,995 users
91 / 100 from 15 experts

Pros

  • All about comfort!
  • True to size
  • Lots of padding
  • Smooth ride
  • Really stable, even on light trails
  • Breathable
  • Great out of the box
  • Built for longevity (500 miles, easily)
  • Great grip 

Cons

  • Lacks breathability for hot summer days
  • Not the best for long distances

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
Nike Free Run 5.0
Nike Free Run 5.0
Also great

Corescore

83
Good!
4.3 / 5 from 12,271 users
86 / 100 from 1 experts

Pros

  • Insane lightness
  • Glove-like fit
  • Heel loop
  • Easy lacing system
  • Super breathable 
  • True to size
  • Comfotable as an everyday slipper
  • Extremely flexible

Cons

  • Short runs only
  • Lack of proper outsole
  • Insole not removable

Verdict

Ah, the Nike Free Run… Calling this a running shoe is a stretch, but there’s still a vestige of folks out there in the minimalist fan group that likes the slipper-like feel of Nike’s long-running “Free” lineup. The 2021 update steers back toward a less bizarre-looking shoe than we saw in 2020 but continues with the ultralight and ultra-flexible design.
See our full review and facts

Best road cushioned running shoes for women

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
Top pick

Corescore

92
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 5,723 users
95 / 100 from 8 experts

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • High price point for stability aimed at beginners
  • Midsole is too hard for some

Verdict

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.
See our full review and facts
Brooks Glycerin 20
Brooks Glycerin 20
Also great

Corescore

88
Great!
5.0 / 5 from 5 users
92 / 100 from 2 experts

Pros

  • Plush cushion
  • Awesome step-in feel
  • Responsive ride
  • Breathable during hot days
  • Tank-like build
  • Weighs less than it looks
  • Great-value choice
  • Comfortable fit
  • Grippy even on wet road and gravel

Cons

  • Laces don't stay tied
  • Blocky ride

Verdict

"The hype is real." This is how runners find the Glycerin 20 from Brooks. They even hail it as the best Glycerin to date. With its luxe comfort and a touch of pop, it's a fun and lively workhorse that works perfectly for recovery days and long miles on the road. Overall, the Brooks Glycerin 20 is a tried-and-true daily trainer that's a cozy and reliable pick for both beginners and seasoned road runners.
See our full review and facts

Best trail cushioned running shoes for women

Salomon XT-6
Salomon XT-6
Top pick

Corescore

85
Great!
4.7 / 5 from 6 users
97 / 100 from 1 experts

Pros

  • Fit true to size
  • Superb responsiveness
  • Quicklace system is a breeze
  • Zero Heel-slip
  • Amazing grip
  • Breathable
  • Super stable ride
  • Great protection
  • Stylish
  • Durable

Cons

  • Quite heavy as some trail shoes go
  • Stiff in colder conditions

Verdict

The Salomon XT-6 has been a hugely popular shoe for nearly a decade both for its looks and its ability to take you anyway on a trail. With heaps of protection, insane grip, and a responsive, speedy ride the XT-6 is still a relevant trail shoe to help you explore the less beaten trails. It’s a shoe that’s sure to leave you confident traversing steep gradients, or comfy at the end of a long hike.
See our full review and facts
Altra Lone Peak 5.0
Altra Lone Peak 5.0
Also great

Corescore

92
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 5,179 users
89 / 100 from 19 experts

Pros

  • Great for wide feet
  • Superb grip (rocks, mud, ice, snow) 
  • Stiff and durable 
  • Sheds mud easily
  • Great water drainage
  • Balanced and stable ride
  • Removable Ortholite insole
  • Great for road-to-trail transitions
  • Extremely breathable
  • Rock plate for technical terrain
  • Gaiter-friendly
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • No ground feel
  • Too cold for winter days

Verdict

The Altra Lone Peak 5.0 is a trail shoe that will make you run with confidence! It's sturdy underfoot, supportive, and it's got the right blend of comfort and responsiveness. Throw in any terrain, and this shoe will bite its way through them!
See our full review and facts

Best value cushioned running shoes for women

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
Top pick

Corescore

86
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 2,306 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

If there's one thing we can't take away from the Pegasus 38, it's that it's the GOAT of all workhorse shoes in our arsenal! It oozes with plushness, stability, and pop. It can do slow days, tempo sessions, and even gym workouts. If you want a fun ride, take the Pegasus 38!
See our full review and facts
Brooks Revel 5
Brooks Revel 5
Also great

Corescore

86
Great!
4.4 / 5 from 6,199 users
89 / 100 from 4 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Fits like a dream
  • Accommodating stretchy upper
  • Efficient transitions
  • Surprisingly peppy
  • Laces stay tied tightly
  • Low to the ground
  • Durable construction
  • Great deal
  • Do-it-all shoe
  • Impressive weight
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Not for long runs
  • No reflective details

Verdict

An affordable trainer that's got the makings of advanced running shoes? Hello, Brooks Revel 5! It's a smooth and lively jack-of-all-trades that will keep your feet comfy and bouncing. It can push the pace, eat up half-marathon distances, and breeze through your daily runs!
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.