The 5 Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Men of 2023

Brooks Glycerin 18 offers soft cushioning, support, and a flexible fit

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If you run high mileage, have experienced foot pain in the past, or spend a lot of time on your feet, you may want to invest in a pair of well-cushioned running shoes. Cushioned shoes absorb the shock, provide support, and offer a comfortable experience while running. And if you're a long-distance runner, you know that cushion wears over time, which is why they need to be replaced every 300 to 500 miles.

Reviewed & Approved

Brooks Glycerin 18 has a cushioned and supportive sole for short and long runs. We also recommend the Adidas Ultraboost if you're going to be road running.

When looking for a cushioned running shoe, consider whether the sole is cushioned and supportive and is somewhat flexible. We researched dozens of cushioned running shoes and evaluated them for comfort, sizes available, fit, cushion, and price.

Here are the best cushioned running shoes for men.

Best Overall

Brooks Glycerin 18

4.9
brooks glycerin 18 mens shoes

Zappos 

We chose Brooks Glycerin 18 as our top pick because they're a high-quality running shoe with soft cushioning, good support, and a flexible fit. The shoes’ DNA LOFT cushioning dynamically adapts to each step with a soft feel underfoot, while the transition zone helps with shock absorption and evenly disperses impact for a smooth, comfy ride.

An extremely versatile shoe, the Brooks Glycerin is light enough for short runs or everyday wear but also provides the comfort and stability you need for longer runs. Users love that they fit well right out of the box and don’t require a break-in period. They’re available in men’s and women’s models and in a variety of fun or basic colors.

Price at time of publication: $160 in black/atomic blue/white

Best for Road Running

Adidas Ultraboost Men’s Running Shoes

adidas ultraboost men's running shoes

 Adidas

The Adidas Ultraboost running shoes offer the perfect combination of cushioning, stability, and support that you need when you’re pounding the pavement. The shoe’s plush boost midsole returns energy with every stride, and the breathable Adidas Primeknit upper expands for a flexible, supportive fit.

They also feature an ergonomic heel structure for additional support. The rubber outsole provides extraordinary grip and traction for use in all kinds of weather. Whether you run 5Ks or marathons, this shoe is an excellent choice for anyone who likes running on paved roads or paths.

Price at time of publication: $180

Best Lightweight

Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14

Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14

Amazon

One complaint about cushioned running shoes is that they’re often thicker and heavier than regular running shoes. But you can still have a sleek, lightweight fit without sacrificing comfort and cushioning with these Nike Air Zoom Vomero running shoes.

They feature Nike’s popular Air technology, a cushiony foam midsole, and a pressure-mapped outsole that softens impact and delivers a smooth, cushioned, and comfortable ride. Whether you want a durable shoe for running, walking, or other exercises, Nike Air Zoom Vomero is a highly versatile shoe.

Available in men’s and women’s models, they’re a great, stylish option if you’re looking for a well-cushioned shoe for daily use.

Price at time of publication: $139 in gunsmoke white oil grey and atmosphere grey

Best for Stability

New Balance Men's Vongo V4 Fresh Foam Running Shoes

new balance fresh foam vongo v4 running shoes

New Balance

If you’re looking for a high-quality, well-cushioned, versatile shoe that’s also very stable and durable, look no further than the New Balance Men's Vongo V4 Fresh Foam Running Shoe. Users love the fit and comfort of this shoe from the time they take it out of the box.

The shoe’s innovative one-piece Fresh Foam midsole delivers outstanding support and cushioning, while the dual-density rubber outsole provides additional stability. A soft, wide-toe box provides plenty of room and comfort for your forefoot, which is crucial for anyone who has experienced toe pain or numbness.

Price at time of publish: $86 for size 9 in chambray/lynx blue

Best Budget

ASICS Men's Gel-Venture 7 Trail Running Shoes

asics-gel-venture

Zappos

Highly flexible, comfortable, supportive, and breathable, ASICS GEL-Venture running shoes are an excellent pick for anyone looking for cushioned running shoes that are reasonably priced. They’re perfect for walkers, beginner runners, or anyone who spends a lot of time standing and needs a comfy yet stable shoe.

The shoes' trademark GEL cushioning system in the rearfoot and forefoot helps with shock absorption. The outsole features a durable carbon that protects it from wear and abrasion, which improves the shoe's sturdiness and stability.

Available in many colors and elegant designs, these shoes are a stylish choice, so you can even wear them when you're not running and get even more bang for your buck.

Price at time of publication: $70 for size 7 in black/classic red

What to Look for in Cushioned Running Shoes for Men

Functionality

While all running shoes are made for running, there are shoes designed specifically for running on various types of terrain. If you typically run on pavement, trails, or an indoor track, look for a shoe that works in those conditions.

Cushioning

The amount of cushioning you want in a running shoe will depend on several factors, including how far you run and the type of terrain on which you run. Perhaps the most significant factor, however, is how the shoes feel on your feet. Some people like to feel more of the ground beneath them, while others prefer as cushy of a landing as possible.

Fit

The fit of a running shoe is about more than just size. Consider the width, how flexible the shoe is, and how snugly the tongue and upper portion of the shoe fit your foot. While you can always lace shoes up more tightly, sometimes that can cause issues. Finding a shoe that fits as well as possible—laced or unlaced—is the ultimate goal.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the benefits of cushioned running shoes?

    If you are prone to painful plantar fasciitis and blistering, cushioned running shoes are designed specifically to help you avoid injuries. When you purchase cushioned running shoes, be sure to consider how and where you run most often to choose a pair that best meets your needs.

  • How often should you replace your running shoes?

    You should replace your running shoes about once a year or every 300 to 500 miles. You might need to replace the shoes earlier if they show any signs of noticeable creasing or unevenness, as this can lead to painful plantar fasciitis.

  • How do you clean running shoes?

    You can clean your running shoes using a few drops of detergent and water. Then air dry them. If you want to disinfect your shoes, using antibacterial wipes over all the surfaces of the shoes can help remove germs.

  • How many miles can you put on a pair of running shoes?

    According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, you can wear athletic shoes for approximately 300 to 500 miles before they lose their cushioning and support.

  • Are cushioned running shoes better for running?

    Cushioned running shoes are not necessarily better for running. You need to try out cushioned shoes to see if they work for you. According to some research, softer soles can help remove plantar pain as your feet strike the ground. However, another study suggests that running in highly cushioned shoes increases leg stiffness and impacts loading on the body. Every pair of feet is different and will react to cushioned running shoes distinctively.

  • Do cushioned running shoes help prevent injuries?

    Cushioned running shoes could help prevent injuries. According to a review on the role of footwear constructions in running biomechanics, shoes with softer and thicker midsoles decrease plantar sensations as your foot strikes the ground. In addition, researchers found that softer midsoles can reduce the impact your body feels as your foot touches down.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Running coach and marathon runner Christine Luff is no stranger to the discomfort and inconvenience of plantar fasciitis. She credits her podiatrist, a regimen of stretching and foam rolling, and wearing the right insoles and running shoes to help her rehab from it. For road and treadmill running, she prefers to wear Mizuno Wave Rider running shoes.

3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. How do I know when it is time to replace my athletic shoes.

  2. Sun X, Lam WK, Zhang X, Wang J, Fu W. Systematic review of the role of footwear constructions in running biomechanics: implications for running-related injury and performanceJ Sports Sci Med. 2020;19(1):20-37.

  3. Kulmala JP, Kosonen J, Nurminen J, Avela J. Running in highly cushioned shoes increases leg stiffness and amplifies impact loadingSci Rep. 2018;8:17496. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-35980-6