211 best cushioned running shoes

Based on reviews from 753 experts and 80,292 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to cushioned running shoes. Updated Jan 2020.

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  1. Any color
    Brooks Ghost 11 - Ebony/Grey/Silver
    Brooks Ghost 11 - Navy/Red/White
    Brooks Ghost 11 - Grey/Blue/Silver
    Brooks Ghost 11 - Black/Silver/Orange
    Brooks Ghost 11 - Black/White/Merlot
    $120 $60 Save 50%
  2. Any color
    Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 - Black
    Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 - Red
    Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 - Black
    Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 - Black
    Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 - Gold
    $150 $50 Save 67%
  3. Any color
    Asics Gel Nimbus 21 - Black/Classic Red
    Asics Gel Nimbus 21 - Black
    Asics Gel Nimbus 21 - White/Deep Sapphire
    Asics Gel Nimbus 21 - Black/Classic Red
    Asics Gel Nimbus 21 - Black/Dark Grey
    $150 $69 Save 54%
  4. Any color
    Asics Gel Excite 6 - INDIGO BLUE/SHOCKING ORANGE
    Asics Gel Excite 6 - Mid Grey/Electric Blue
    Asics Gel Excite 6 - Steel Grey Classic Red
    Asics Gel Excite 6 - BLACK/WHITE
    Asics Gel Excite 6 - BLACK/SPEED RED
    $75 $45 Save 40%
  5. Any color
    $150 $60 Save 60%
  6. Any color
    $160 $80 Save 50%
  7. Any color
    $120 $60 Save 50%
  8. Any color
    $130 $100 Save 23%
  9. Any color
    $100 $69 Save 31%
  10. Any color
    $140 $77 Save 45%
  11. Any color
    $160 $76 Save 53%
  12. Any color
    $180 $62 Save 66%
  13. Any color
    $170 $75 Save 56%
  14. Any color
    $100 $60 Save 40%
  15. Any color
    $150 $40 Save 73%
  16. Any color
    $150 $80 Save 47%
  17. Any color
    $130 $70 Save 46%
  18. Any color
    $180 $120 Save 33%
  19. Any color
    $180 $108 Save 40%
  20. Any color
    $100 $70 Save 30%
  21. Any color
    $60 $40 Save 33%
  22. Any color
    $120 $68 Save 43%
  23. Any color
    $90 $45 Save 50%
  24. Any color
    $140 $33 Save 76%
  25. Any color
    $120 $25 Save 79%
  26. Any color
    $150 $135 Save 10%
  27. Any color
    $160 $125 Save 22%

The rise of the midsole in the early 1970s and ‘80s has taken the world by storm. Running shoes that relied on gum rubber soles and relatively hard configurations became things of the past when ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) was introduced by Brooks. Though spongy rubber from the tail-end of the ‘60s gradually transitioned the foot towards an era of comfort, the midsole foam was the one that truly changed the world of running.

Midsole technologies did not stop with foam, even when thoughts have settled on the fact that EVA is definitive enough that it may not need updating. But tech and innovation can never be halted. As the decades rolled in, new cushioning features popped up, even ones that are foam-like in construction and look.

Some well-known technologies for the best cushioned running shoes

best cushioned running shoes
Best cushioned running shoes - November 2019

Fans of running shoes have come to enjoy the benefits of products that help in the reduction of impact shock during the landing phase of the gait cycle. Enjoyment has eventually resulted in the rise of popular technologies that prominently highlight the series that they embody, even so far as taking spots in the naming conventions.

Here are some of the technologies that are as favored as the cushioned running shoes with which they are associated:

Boost

The history of this revolutionary technology did not actually start with the three-stripes brand. Still, its licensed use has since made ripples in the world of running and athletic footwear in general. The year 2013 debut of the Boost™ technology changed how runners saw Adidas running shoes. It wasn’t as explosive as expected, but the world gradually took notice of the midsole technology that offered reactive performances and comfortable foot-landings. The level of quality that is perceived by people is the reason why the term Ultra Boost is still relevant to this day.

React

Nike is a leading company when it comes to innovation of technology and the mixing of functionality and style. Anyone well-versed in the roster of significant inventions remembers 1987’s debut of the Air Max, the cushioning system that utilized compressed air. Now, the Swoosh brand is taking on Adidas’ premier midsole element with the React. This is a feature that is touted to have all the necessary traits for a cushioned running shoe: responsiveness, flexibility, a lightweight build, and responsible impact attenuation. Some Nike running shoes are slowly embracing the React, with debuts like the Epic React Flyknit line leading the charge.

HOVR

The year 2018 saw one of Under Armour debut one of its most efficient cushioning technologies yet with the HOVR™. This is a system that involves a core foam wrapped by a fabric net called Energy Web and a full-length carrier piece that secures everything together. These elements work together to maintain a consistent underfoot experience that is akin to hovering over the ground. Early material sagging is a bane that the technology strives to avert. Current-day Under Armour running shoes are now highlighting this accouterment.

Several brands with tried-and-true cushioned running shoe series

Hoka One One

Known for its expertise in the max cushioned shoe department, Hoka One One is a leader in the business of doling out generous underfoot support throughout the activity. The general designs of this brand’s models encompass uncluttered upper units that complement midsoles that are hefty in size and look. However, the shoes are relatively lightweight, a trait that runners enjoy despite the imposing frames of the products. Hoka One One running shoe series like the Clifton and the Bondi have taken their places in the pantheon of reliable cushioned running shoes due to well-realized features and updates.

New Balance

One of the most innovative technologies in running shoe development is the Fresh Foam, a New Balance technology that is springy yet durable. One of the details that embody the responsiveness of this brand’s premier technology is the presence of sipes at the sides. This pattern of rippling craters acts like a spring that heightens the bounciness of the whole feature. They also add some oomph to the looks because the exteriors of most midsole foams are devoid of flairs. The Fresh Foam Zante and Fresh Foam 1080 line are examples of the Fresh Foam family.

Frequently asked questions

Are men and women’s cushioned running shoes exclusive to running?

While there are shoes that are optimized for running, most of the same models are actually versatile enough to function well as companions for other purposes. The presence of the cushioning systems can contribute to a sense of comfort that lasts as long as the activity. Moreover, the brands that make the running shoes are now leaning towards ‘athleisure,’ with some shoe series functioning as options for both casual and active lifestyles. When it comes to running shoes, it is helpful to gauge your comfort levels and sense of confidence when trying and vying for a choice.

Is a cushioned running shoe enough to combat overpronation?

Support is a fundamental aspect of a running shoe. The concept of ‘cushioning’ entails the holistic support of the foot as it goes through the gait cycle. But the plane on which the foot-pad relaxes is neutral, so those who have no unusual inward pronation are the target of such a design. The anti-pronation posts and guide rails of stability running shoes are ideal for overpronated motion. Underpronation, or the high-arch stance of the foot, benefits from neutral cushioned shoes because it is much simpler to manage and align the anatomy of the foot.

Is it recommended to have many cushioned running shoes?

It is not necessary to have plenty of running shoes in your rotation, although you may benefit from an extra pair if you are an avid fan of running. Familiarizing yourself with your performance while partnered with one type of running shoes is an advantageous practice. You can determine your speed and level of comfort when you’re focusing on a pair. But rotating to another set or two might widen your horizons when it comes to the vast pool of possibilities that are the variety of options in the market. Also, you may find that having extra pairs might prevent your favorite product from deteriorating quickly.

15 best cushioned running shoes

  1. Altra Escalante Racer 19
  2. Asics Gel Excite 6
  3. Asics Gel Kayano 25
  4. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9
  5. Brooks Ghost 11
  6. Asics Gel FujiTrabuco 7
  7. Under Armour HOVR Infinite
  8. Asics Gel Nimbus 21
  9. Hoka One One Bondi 6
  10. Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14
  11. On Cloud
  12. Nike Epic React Flyknit 2
  13. Asics Gel Kayano 26
  14. Asics Gel Sonoma 4
  15. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36
Author
https://cdn.runrepeat.com/wp-content/uploads/jens-jakob-andersen.jpg
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.

jens@runrepeat.com
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CoreScore
A score from 1 to 100 that summarizes opinions from users and experts. The average CoreScore is 78. More...