7 Best Nike Long Distance Running Shoes in 2024

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Nike Long Distance Running Shoes in 2024
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Every model of Nike long-distance running shoes on this list accommodates various running styles, training or racing conditions, and budget.

The perfect pair of shoes for an experienced marathoner will be different from a runner who is training for her first 21K race. Whether you are the former or the other, it is best to consider several key factors and decide which specific features are more important for you.

We bought Nike long-distance running shoes using our own money and put them through a series of tests to reduce your possible choices to only the finest. If you have a specific preference in mind when it comes to overall fit and performance, check out our top picks in a variety of categories.

How we test running shoes

You don’t have to personally review over a hundred Nike running shoes available out there. You may, of course, do that if you have the time to read thousands of reviews on the web. At RunRepeat, we simplify everything for you to give you a quick browsing experience of the best Nike shoe for your next 21K or 50K race.

Our entire process to come up with our best selections involves:

  • We purchase all the shoes with our own money to avoid bias and brand loyalty
  • We run 30 to 50 miles on average in each model both on the road and on trails
  • We cut the shoes into their essential parts to get a much closer look
  • We measure over 30 parameters that contribute to the shoe’s overall performance
  • We summarise all comparable data we’ve gathered for your reading convenience

Best Nike long distance running shoes overall

Nike Vaporfly 3
87
Great!

What makes it the best?

Third time’s a charm for Vaporfly as it sustains lightning speed on long distances. We discovered through our lab and run tests that its soft and stacked cushion oozes comfort, balanced by an exceptionally responsive midsole. All these features are wrapped in an airy package. No doubt, it claims the top spot for Nike’s long-distance shoes.

Its Pebax foam gives a luxurious feel, effortlessly blending comfort and energy return. We couldn’t resist pressing it with our durometer. It emerged a pillowy 16.8 HA, 29.1% softer than average. Its above-average stack is bouncy — spoiling our legs with smooth and fast toe-offs while ensuring we’re protected from the harshness of long miles.

This racer can blaze through any distance, fueling us with boundless energy and unmatched speed. Putting it against our flex test, it emerged 88.3% stiffer than average! This didn’t go unnoticed in our runs as we immediately felt the carbon plate’s power in every stride.

VF3 is a featherweight champion, tipping the scales to a mere 6.7 oz (190g) — much lighter than other supershoes (7.5 oz/214g). Adding to the light feeling is the well-ventilated upper that received the highest possible score on our breathability test.

We don’t recommend this pair to runners with stability issues or wide feet since the 107.6/76.6 mm forefoot and heel are way below the 113.2/90.1 mm average.

Pros

  • Exceptionally breathable upper
  • Outstanding ZoomX cushioning
  • Superb choice from the mile to the marathon
  • Impressively low weight
  • Enhanced stability
  • Plush, cloud-like foam
  • Upgraded outsole for better grip

Cons

  • Uncomfortably large tongue
  • The heel is still too narrow
Full review of Nike Vaporfly 3

Best Nike long distance running shoes for marathon

Nike Alphafly 3
83
Good!

What makes it the best?

Nike’s Alphafly 3 is our best bet for breaking long-distance PRs. It shines in consistency, insane responsiveness, and leg-saving comfort—all in a lightweight package. It offers everything an endurance runner needs for peak performance, with a revolutionary stable ride as the cherry on top.

We’re in awe of the consistent energy this racer provides. It keeps our forward momentum strong with the rigid FlyPlate and the Air Pods in the forefoot. The shoe comes to life as we run longer and faster. Proven by our 90° bend test, it fearlessly exceeds the average stiffness of running shoes by 144.7%.

For its size, it's surprisingly light on foot. Our scales confirm an airy 7.1 oz (201g). The well-ventilated Atomknit upper adds to its lightness, as it received a perfect breathability score in the lab.

Its stacked and plush ZoomX midsole dampens the impact of repetitive landing—saving our legs from fatigue. The ride feels incredibly propulsive yet stable—thanks to the dual-density foam that's a soft 18.1 HA below for comfort, and a firm 29.3 HA on top for surefootedness. Enhancing stable landings are the midsole sidewalls and the broad landing base.

Like most supershoes, the outsole prioritises grip over durability. Our lab confirms the Fast Shot rubber is merely 1.9 mm thin. We recommend saving this pair for races.

Pros

  • Remarkably lightweight despite its broad size
  • Best-in-class breathability
  • Excels in the marathon distance
  • Repositioned Air Pods offer a better ride than the v2
  • ZoomX foam delivers massive energy return
  • Aids in forward momentum, especially when legs begin to fatigue
  • Better than ever for 5K/10K racing
  • Finally smooth transitions!

Cons

  • Heel strikers might wear down the outsole quickly
  • The arch could still be a challenge for some
  • The sock-like tongue might not suit everyone
Full review of Nike Alphafly 3

Best Nike long distance running shoes for daily training

Nike Pegasus 40
87
Great!

What makes it the best?

The 40th version of the Nike Pegasus line brings superior comfort, next-level durability, and unmatched versatility. As such, the Nike Pegasus 40 is crowned the best daily trainer among the Nike long-distance running shoe stable.

Comfort is a priority in the Pegasus 40. Its heel area, gusseted tongue, and dual-layer mesh upper are well-padded and provided an almost heavenly comfort for our feet. When we ran in these shoes, our feet felt fresh and strong even after long runs.

The Pegasus 40 also has a world-class outsole which is both durable and grippy. Even after miles of pounding the pavement, it still has no visible signs of damage. At the lab, we verified it to be 7.6% denser than average confirming the outsole durability—a force to be reckoned with.

The durability of this shoe extends to the upper. In our dremel test (applying exact force and RPMs to every shoe for 4 seconds), it scored 3/5 while the average is only 1.9. With its durability, this shoe will definitely withstand multiple marathon training blocks. 

While the Pegasus 40 is indeed reliable, it lacks the punch of a more energetic shoe. Runners may want to look the other way when looking for a more exciting shoe.

Pros

  • Plush and comfortable upper
  • Breathable
  • Secure lockdown
  • Has enough toe-box space
  • Not overly soft or firm underfoot
  • Good energy return
  • Great grip on most surfaces
  • Incredible durability
  • Perfect for everyday miles and LSDs

Cons

  • A generally narrow fit
  • Heavier than the v39
  • Not a very memorable ride
Full review of Nike Pegasus 40

Best comfortable Nike long distance running shoes

What makes it the best?

Providing more than enough comfort and cushioning for miles and miles, plus durability that's ready to take on high mileage—the Nike InfinityRN 4 takes the crown for best in comfort among the Nike long-distance running shoe roster.

It definitely takes the cake as it provides heavenly comfort on all levels from the upper to the midsole. We measured the heel stack on the InfinityRN4 to be 34.3 mm, 1.0 mm more than the average heel stack of 33.2 mm. The new ReactX midsole foam is also incredibly soft—48.98% softer than average. Our feet felt like running on a mixture of clouds, marshmallows, and pillows.

The Flyknit upper in the Nike InfinityRN 4 is thick, very stretchy, and hugs the feet providing extra comfort for long runs. Its tongue, which we measured at 5.6 mm thick, is just a touch below the 5.8 mm average but still thick enough to provide comfort.

Durability is not a concern with the Nike InfinityRN 4. The upper stands strong with a 4/5 rating in our Dremel test. The outsole continues this durability trend with a 13.28% denser rubber resulting in only 0.3 mm damage in our Dremel test (0.9 mm is the average). This shoe is definitely a workhorse ready to take on high-mileage training blocks. 

However, for all the comfort it offers, it is actually a whale on the scales at 316g (11.15 oz)—a whopping 48g (1.69 oz) above the average of 265g (9.35oz). Lighter shoes may be available for runners if weight is a concern.

Pros

  • All-new ReactX plush midsole
  • Soft and stretchy Flyknit upper
  • Ideal for heel strikers
  • Generously cushioned
  • Excellent for easy runs
  • Feels like running on clouds
  • Durable, long-lasting outsole
  • Reduced carbon footprint

Cons

  • Average-at-best breathability
  • On the heavier side
  • Sizes run notably small
Full review of Nike InfinityRN 4

Nike long distance running shoes with best cushioning

What makes it the best?

If plushness was a Nike shoe, this is it. The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 has the best plush cushioning out of all Nike running shoes for long-distance. Aside from the heavenly soft midsole foam, this max-cushioned trainer also boasts of a stable platform and great energy return.

During long runs, the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 felt unbelievably comfortable on our feet with its immensely soft cushion. In the lab, our measurements showed that its stack height is 2 mm more than the average road running shoe (35.2 mm vs. 33.2 mm). Meanwhile, the durometer test showed that the midsole foam is 40.3% softer than average, confirming the otherworldly plushness we enjoyed on our runs.

Although it is a max-cushioned shoe, we could still pick up the pace easily when needed and we greatly enjoyed the pop we felt with every step. For this, we have the ZoomX to thank, which is also the same foam in Nike’s supershoes. 

The shoe measures 121.8 mm on the forefoot (9 mm wider than average) and 102.1 mm in the heel (12.2 mm wider). This wider-than-usual platform, coupled with a heel clip, provides stability despite its super soft midsole. True enough, we confidently navigated various terrain

While the 4-mm thick outsole is 0.6 mm more than the average, it lacks the grip on wet surfaces. Runners may look for other shoes for traction on wet surfaces.

Pros

  • Way more stable than previous versions
  • Tall stack of impact-absorbing cushioning
  • Good energy return
  • Comfort for the entire foot
  • Thicker, more durable outsole
  • A solid ride that works for more runners
  • Breathable
  • Great for recovery days and long easy runs

Cons

  • Poor grip on wet roads
  • Heel slippage
  • Heel clip can be irritating when cornering
Full review of Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3

Best Nike long distance road-to-trail running shoes

What makes it the best?

The Nike React Pegasus Trail 4 is a triple threat: noteworthy cushion, excellent grip, and feather-light. These provide more than enough to tackle roads, trails, and anything in between. Deservingly, the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 is our pick for the best hybrid long-distance running shoes in Nike’s lineup.

It has a generous portion of a midsole. With a heel stack of 35.5 mm, it is significantly taller than the average of trail running shoes (31.7 mm). Our feet felt very cushioned and protected—especially when we switched from roads to trails. 

The tread pattern on the Pegasus Trail 4 along with the 3.4-mm deep lugs provide the shoe with traction that works great along various terrain. May it be road, gravel, or rock, these shoes helped us confidently tackle these terrains in both dry and wet conditions.

For a trail running shoe with its capabilities, it was surprisingly lightweight. At 272g (9.59 oz), it weighs so much less than average trail running shoes (296g or 10.44 oz). With less weight to carry in every stride, we felt like we were soaring through trails and pavement.

The Nike Pegasus Trail 4 definitely excels as a hybrid. However, runners could look for shoes with beefier lugs for use in super muddy and technical trails.

Pros

  • Efficient road-to-trail
  • Well-cushioned
  • Stable ride
  • Excellent, secure fit
  • Very breathable
  • Great traction
  • Unexpectedly light
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Not for muddy areas
  • Not for wide feet
  • Could be more stylish
Full review of Nike Pegasus Trail 4

Best Nike long distance trail running shoe

Nike Ultrafly
90
Superb!

What makes it the best?

We explored trails and tested Nike long-distance running shoes in the lab to search for the top trail model — all roads led to the Ultrafly. We found a reliable endurance trail partner with immense comfort, high speed, and stability. Ultrafly makes long miles roll by effortlessly, allowing us to soak in our adventures without worries.

We can’t help but emphasise how luscious and buttery smooth the ZoomX foam is. With a higher and softer stack than average, the ride feels enjoyable at any pace and distance. Our durometer confirms our observation, emerging 63.7% softer than average.

Ultrafly is proof that comfort doesn’t have to sacrifice speed. With a rigid carbon plate in its midsole, it gives a strong and consistent energy return. Our bend test confirms it’s 31.5% stiffer than average. We can speed through moderate trails without worries as the Vibram outsole and 3.0 mm lugs ensure our grip.

We dived in a vast midsole that enhances safe and sound landings. It's accommodating to wide feet and can support those with mild pronation. The heel and forefoot areas are both wider than average, catering to all footstrikers.

To our dismay, Ultrafly is not a good place to be in during long summer days. The Vaporweave upper lacks breathability, which can lead to hotspots and extra sweaty feet in tropical weather.

Pros

  • Optimised for trail races
  • Accommodates wide feet with ease
  • Full-length, responsive Pebax midsole
  • Equipped with a Vibram Megagrip outsole
  • Ideal for long-distance training
  • Offers outstanding comfort
  • Remarkably stable
  • Suitable for 100-mile races

Cons

  • The Vaporweave upper could be more durable and breathable
  • Heavier than expected even for a trail racing shoe
  • The £270 price tag might be steep for some
Full review of Nike Ultrafly
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.