The 8 Best Marathon Shoes to Buy in 2018

Comfortable sneakers are a must for this ultra-distance race

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best Overall: Brooks Adrenaline GTS Running Shoe at Amazon

"Feels comfy and provides a great return, to keep your legs feeling fresh."

Runner-Up, Best Overall: ASICS Gel-Kayano Running Shoe at Amazon

"The Fluid Ride Midsole offers the perfect combination of responsiveness and durability."

Best Cushioned: Saucony Ride Women’s Running Shoe at Amazon

"This is a good option if you have wide feet or run in warmer weather when your feet swell more."

Best for Flat Feet: Mizuno Women's Wave Inspire at Amazon

"Thanks to the breathable and flexible mesh upper, your feet will stay dry and comfortable, even when training in the heat."

Best for Neutral Runners: Brooks Ghost Running Shoe at Amazon

"Feature high energizing cushioning, which really helps take the sting out of all that pounding during long training runs."

Best for Trail Marathons: ASICS Venture Running Shoe at Zappos

"The outsole features reversed lugs, providing the ideal traction for all types of terrain."

Best for Stability: New Balance 990 Running Shoe at Amazon

"They feature the perfect blend of firmness and cushion, so your feet will be sufficiently supported from your first to your last mile."

Best Budget: Saucony Cohesion Running Shoe at Amazon

"The padded tongue and collar add to the shoe’s overall comfort, while the rubber outsole makes it more durable and resilient on the roads."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Brooks Adrenaline GTS Running Shoe

A consistent top shoe among marathoners, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS is a lightweight shoe that provides the support and cushioning that distance runners need. It’s firm and supportive, but still feels comfy and provides a great return, to keep your legs feeling fresh. The molded foam insole supplies additional light underfoot cushioning but is removable if you want to replace it with another insert or your own custom orthotics.

The Adrenaline GTS also features a progressive roll bar to keep your feet aligned and control pronation, even after you’ve logged lots of miles. With a breathable, flexible mesh on the upper shoe, your feet will stay comfortable and dry, even during hot, long runs. An extremely versatile shoe, the deep V-grooves on the sole helps it handle all kinds of terrain and weather. The Adrenaline GTS is available in both men’s and women’s models.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: ASICS Gel-Kayano Running Shoe

Another perennial favorite among marathon runners, the ASICS Gel-Kayano is a lightweight running shoe that delivers on many features often found only in heavier shoes. The full-length Gel cushioning provides a smooth, comfy ride, no matter how many miles you’re running. We also love the shoe’s Heel Clutching System Technology, which creates a secure, but comfortable, fit. The Fluid Ride Midsole offers the perfect combination of responsiveness and durability, which are both critical for marathoners.

The Kayano is definitely not cheap, but it’s worth every penny for a solid, high-quality marathon shoe that will keep you running long, comfortably, and injury-free. Both the men’s and women’s Kayano are excellent options for marathoners.

Best Cushioned: Saucony Ride Women’s Running Shoe

With excellent shock absorption and an outstanding cushioning system, the Saucony Ride running shoe is a perfect choice for marathoners-in-training with high weekly mileage. The shoe’s midsole is made of Saucony’s SuperLight EVA, which provides superior cushioning and rebound, while still maintaining a lightweight feel that distance runners need.

Saucony running shoes are known for their roomy toebox, so this is a good option if you have wide feet or run in warmer weather when your feet swell more. The molded foam insole is removable, so it can also accommodate other inserts or custom orthotics. If you’ve had foot issues in the past and need a good amount of cushioning, the Ride is a solid choice for both men and women.

Best for Flat Feet: Mizuno Women's Wave Inspire Running Shoe

Marathon runners with flat feet usually overpronate​ or roll their feet inward when running, and therefore need running shoes that offer stability. They’ll definitely appreciate the support and comfort that they get from the Mizuno Women's Wave Inspire running shoe.

These shoes provide the perfect amount of stability and durability, without feeling too stiff. Thanks to the breathable and flexible mesh upper, your feet will stay dry and comfortable, even when training in the heat. The Wave Inspire running shoe is available in both men’s and women’s models. It also comes in various colors to suit all your needs.

Best for Neutral Runners: Brooks Ghost Running Shoe

The Brooks Ghost running shoe is a popular choice among both male and female marathoners who log most of their miles on the road or treadmill. Brooks is a brand that is made with runners in mind so you'll find many professional runners wearing this brand.

An ideal shoe for neutral runners, they offer medium to high arch support. They also feature high energizing cushioning, which really helps take the sting out of all that pounding during long training runs. Thanks to the breathable and stretchy mesh upper, your feet will stay comfortable and dry. Both the men’s and women’s Ghost running shoes are excellent options for marathoners.

Best for Trail Marathons: ASICS Venture Running Shoe

ASICS GEL-Venture® 6
Courtesy of Zappos

If you’re running a marathon that’s mostly on trails or you do much of your training on trails, the ASICS Venture running shoe is a solid choice. With ASICS’ popular GEL cushioning system, these shoes offer just the right amount of shock absorption and cushioning for your long runs. The outsole features reversed lugs, providing the ideal traction for all types of terrain. These shoes are also bargain-priced, compared to similar, high-quality marathon shoes. They’re available in both men’s and women’s versions.

Best for Stability: New Balance 990 Running Shoe

New Balance is known for its supportive and comfortable running shoes and their 990 is an ideal choice for marathoners who need good stability. They feature the perfect blend of firmness and cushion, so your feet will be sufficiently supported from your first to your last mile. With a lightweight, breathable upper, these shoes will also keep you cool and dry. Both the men’s M990 and the women’s W990 are a great value for a well-designed, extremely supportive running shoe.

Best Budget: Saucony Cohesion Running Shoe

The Saucony Cohesion running shoe provides a stable, comfortable ride, while still remaining lightweight enough to go long. Saucony’s heel GRID system offers stable cushioning, even after you’ve been hitting the road for many miles. The padded tongue and collar add to the shoe’s overall comfort, while the rubber outsole makes it more durable and resilient on the roads.

The durable rubber outsole makes it tough and comfortable for road jogging. The light, breathable upper mesh keeps your feet dry and comfortable. Priced below many comparable marathon running shoes, the Cohesion is a solid, high-quality, affordable choice for both male and female marathoners.

Was this page helpful?