The marathon is seen by many as the ultimate test of endurance, a 26.2 mile run that will test you both physically and mentally. But it’s not just about the race itself, most of the exercise comes from the training schedule. You will be expected to run many miles each week, and many people set aside 3-4 months to get in shape (while others require considerably more time).
Over such distances, small issues with your running technique (that may not have been noticed during a shorter run) will soon become large issues. That’s why finding the perfect pair of marathon running shoes is so important. You want shoes that are comfortable, well cushioned, stable, and most importantly you want shoes that are durable. Ones that are going to last you through hundreds of miles without falling apart.
This article is going to review eight of the best marathon running shoes that are currently on the market. We will look at price, durability, comfort, stability, and style (if you’re going to run hundreds of miles in them, they should at least look nice). After that, you should be able to make your own mind up as to which shoe suits your needs.
The 8 Best Marathon Running Shoes
|Saucony Ride 10||3/5||4/5||3/5||4/5||4/5||18|
|Reebok Harmony Road||3/5||5/5||3/5||4/5||4/5||19|
|Adidas Adizero Boost 3.0||2/5||4/5||4/5||4/5||5/5||19|
|ASICS Gel Hyper Speed 7||3/5||4/5||4/5||4/5||4/5||19|
|Hoka One One Clifton 3||4/5||4/5||4/5||5/5||5/5||22|
|Saucony Kinvara 8||4/5||3/5||4/5||5/5||3/5||19|
Best Marathon Running Shoes #1: Saucony Ride 10
While Saucony may not be as well known as the big names in sportswear (Nike, Adidas, Asics etc) they have been around longer than almost any of them. Formed in 1898 in Pennsylvania, Saucony have been running for 120 years. Their shoes are often targeted at the more serious runners, those who aim for fast times rather than brand new runners or walkers.
The Saucony Ride 10s are a great example of this, the shoes are lightweight but durable, with excellent cushioning (considering the weight). These shoes would suit a fast 10km race, while also being perfect for longer distance races (including the marathon).
The uppers are made with a synthetic mesh that has been designed to be extremely breathable. This will really help keep your feet cool during long runs, and limit the amount of perspiration. The shoes look very stylish, particularly the Black Citron combination and the Grey Black. The price is fair but some may find it a little on the pricey side. Considering just how well these shoes perform over long distances though, they really should be considered a bargain at any price!
Best Marathon Running Shoes #2: Altra Escalante
While on the one hand you have a shoe company like Saucony that has over a hundred years of experience, on the other you have a company like Altra. This Utah based company has only been running for 8 years but has already built up quite a reputation for delivering high quality shoes. The Altra Escalante is one of the most comfortable road shoes around.
The first thing that really stands out about the Altra Escalante is the FootPad Outsole, it is shaped exactly like a foot with extra grip around the balls of your feet and your heels. The shoes have a great collar around the heel which will prevent your feet from slipping, and keep them nice and comfortable throughout the run.
They use a full knit upper which really helps improve the comfort while running long distances, this does mean that they would not be great in certain conditions, particularly during cross country. But on a road race like the marathon they are perfect. These shoes look great and could be worn at home just as easily as on the road, they are decent for stability, but are a little on the pricey side. Perfect if you are looking for a long-lasting running shoe that places emphasis on comfort.
Best Marathon Running Shoes #3: Reebok Harmony Road
Reebok is an English shoe company that is now owned by Adidas, it has been running since 1895 and is well known for making excellent sports gear. The Reebok Harmony Roads are an excellent road running shoe that would be perfect for marathon training, while the first two shoes that we looked at would have been perfect for the race itself, the Reebok Harmony Road shoes are better suited to the weeks of training.
They are probably the most durable shoes on this list, and are also very stable. The shoes are also well cushioned and will result in a very smooth ride. The aesthetics of this shoe is not going to be universally loved, but the bold choice of colours, and the interesting outsole will be enjoyed by quite a few. The price of the Reebok Harmony Road is fairly average for this list, but remember that these shoes are built to last better than any of the others.
Overall these shoes are perfect for multiple long distance runs, which will suit the marathon runner down to the ground. They’ll outlast any other shoe, will keep you comfortable throughout, and have decent stability.
Best Marathon Running Shoes #4: Adidas Supernova
Adidas are one of the biggest sporting companies in the world, their shoes are always of the highest quality and are usually stunningly beautiful shoes to look at too. The Adidas Supernova running shoe is another great product for marathon runners. The shoes uses boost technology in the sole, which means that every step taken will provide a burst of energy. They will also help to improve shock absorption and massively increase comfort.
The shoes are perfect for longer distance runs, they aren’t light enough to be beneficial for shorter distance races, but the shock absorption and boost soles will really help reduce fatigue and improve running technique. The shoes also have a Fitcounter moulded heel which will really help with your stability while running, as will the excellent grip that the continental rubber soles provide.
Aesthetically they are decent looking, if a little dull. The excellent cushioning may be really effective, but it does not improve the looks of this shoes. You can’t say that they look bad, but they don’t look as good as you would come to expect from Adidas. For the serious runner, these shoes are fantastic. Definitely worth considering.
Best Marathon Running Shoes #5: Adidas Adizero Adios Boost 3.0
Another pair of Adidas running shoes, this time from the Adizero range. The Adizero Adios Boost 3.0 is probably the nicest looking pair of shoes on this list. They look exactly like a good pair of running shoes should look like. Stylish, no nonsense, great colour choice, and the Continental tyres rubber soles look great in contrast. But enough about how they look, what are they like to run in?
Compared to the other shoes on this list, the Adizero Adios Boost is a fast running shoe. These are a little more lightweight than the others, but not as lightweight as typical fast running shoes. In other words, if you are looking to run a marathon in a quick time, then the Adizero Adios Boost might be the right shoe for you.
Ideally you would want to pair this with a more cushioned shoe that you could do the majority of your training in, and then wear these for speed work and for race day. The shoes have unrivalled grip, are quite durable, and provide excellent stability. They’re a bit pricey, but well worth the investment if you’re looking for a fast time in your next marathon.
Best Marathon Running Shoes #6: ASICS Gel Hyper Speed 7
Asics is a major player in the running shoes market, and they are often worn by professional and amateur marathon runners alike. The Hyper Speed 7s are a really good set of shoes, and an improvement on the previous shoes in the Hyper Speed series. They have clearly been made for running long distance, and have excellent cushioning for that, on the other hand they are also durable, and provide excellent stability.
The shoes use Guidance Line Technology which helps improve running technique and economy. Over the course of a long run this can make a huge difference as an improved running economy leads to less calories burned. The outsole is really impressive, due to its thickness it helps to improve shock absorption and again will help improve running economy. These shoes have actually been used by professional runners for these very reasons.
Aesthetically the Asics Gel Hyper Speed 7 looks great, with the blue and green combination mixing well together. It’s a shame that the range of colour schemes available are so small, but the options that are available are decent. Overall these shoes are a decent weight, look good, have excellent cushioning, and will help improve running economy and stability. They will work really well for you on race day.
Best Marathon Running Shoes #7: Hoka One One Clifton 3
When most people think about comfortable running shoes, they think of Hoka One One. The shoe company that has really changed the industry when it comes to cushioning. But that doesn’t mean that Hoka One One don’t also know how to make good running shoes that perform well during races, and the Hoka One One Clifton 3 is a perfect example of that.
What’s great about the Clifton range is just how light they are considering the amount of cushioning they fit into the shoe. It almost defies logic! The midsole contains CMEVA foam, which gives it that incredibly comfortable, but light weighted feel. But it’s not just about how comfortable the shoes are, it’s about how they feel during a hard run (like a marathon).
The shoes use an early stage meta rocker, this is where the shoe is raised up slightly at the front and the back which is supposed to help improve your running gait. In practice this appears to work really well, your running becomes smoother and you basically glide through your race.
All Hoka One One shoes have a distinct look, and you’re either going to love it or hate it. Due to the large amount of cushioning the shoes tend to look quite bulky. We really like this, and as such have given the shoes a high score for style. But you’ll really have to decide for yourself.
Overall these shoes are potentially the best on this list, they are a great price, they look good, they are ridiculously comfortable. But they are also light weight and they aim to improve your running technique and economy. What a great combination of benefits.
Best Marathon Running Shoes #8: Saucony Kinvara 8
The Saucony Kinvara 8 is a really good shoe, and is the second Saucony running shoe on this list. If you were looking for a marathon shoe that you could wear throughout the many weeks of training, a shoe that would hold up to the rigours of many miles, and allow you to run at pace, then this would be the shoe for you.
The shoes are ridiculously comfortable, which is always the most important thing to consider when running very long distances. They are also responsive to your running style and the conditions, which can make a big difference. They are light weight, just like the Hoka One One’s and are also pretty durable.
Aesthetically they don’t leave much to the imagination, the colour schemes aren’t great and the shape is pretty poor. But these are the shoes that will get you through training, and help you to conquer one of the toughest races there is, so maybe their style isn’t so important? These are a really good workmanlike shoe that will keep your feet feeling comfortable throughout.
As you can see from our comparison table, the Hoka One One is the clear favourite. It’s a decent price, it is durable, the stability when running is fantastic. But most of all it is incredibly comfortable, and yet remains light weight and will get you running fast. The shoes also look really good, which is definitely a bonus.