The best marathon running shoes for the 2022 running season were chosen after extensive testing by our team of runners and reviewers.
Choosing the right shoes for your marathon training and race can be challenging for anyone, whether you've never run a marathon before or have run dozens of them.
When your go-to pair suddenly goes out of stock or you're just ready for an upgrade, it can be frustrating.
Let's take a look at the features you should prioritize in a pair of marathon shoes, and then we'll give you our picks for the top-rated options out there.
Considerations for Choosing the Best Running Shoes for a Marathon
In my article "How to Choose Running Shoes," I explain how to go about making this important purchase. When shopping for marathon running shoes, comfort is of paramount importance.
The statement's apparent simplicity belies its truth.
If you don't feel at ease in the shoe while trying it on, you won't feel any better about running in it.
Even after a long distance run, you may not realize that a certain pair of shoes is not comfortable.
In order to help you find the most suitable pair of marathon shoes, here are some additional considerations to bear in mind:
- The shoe box should be no less than a thumb's width away from the longest toe. This prevents the toe from repeatedly striking the toe box, a common cause of runner's foot and other toe pain.
However, if the shoe is too large, your foot will shift inside it, and your toes will strike the toebox, which can cause blisters (Ouch). ) and similar bothersome matters
- Select footwear that is optimal for the marathon's course. Unlike road marathons, trail marathons feature very different surface conditions for runners' feet. (And, of course, mimic the conditions you'll encounter while running when you're training.)
- Get some help from a trustworthy running store.
If the salespeople at the store you're shopping at aren't runners, look elsewhere. It's crucial to have a third party observe your footwork in the shoe from a new vantage point.
- If something has been successful so far, keep doing it. Changing your marathon training shoes isn't always necessary, especially if you're committed to a specific brand or model. Rather than attempting to fix something that isn't broken, leave it as is.
- Bring your usual running insoles with you to the store if you plan on using them while trying on new shoes.
Is the wide selection of athletic footwear leaving you bewildered? Please refer to our Running Shoe Buying Guide for an in-depth explanation of the various options available to you.
Related: Here's Why You Shouldn't Run a Marathon Without Preparation.
When Should You Give a Pair of Marathon Shoes a Try?
For me, 4–6 weeks is plenty of time to "kick the tires" of my marathon shoes, prepare for the race, and identify any minor issues.
There will be some initial discomfort, but with today's shoe technology, that should pass quickly.
Since switching models requires using and working entirely new muscle groups, you should be prepared for some temporary discomfort.
It can take a few 12-mile runs in a pair of shoes before you realize you don't like them.
However, you may be wearing the incorrect shoe if the aches and pains don't subside after a few days.
So, with regular training, you should know within the first month if the shoe is going to be effective.
Amount of Marathon Shoes to Buy
Training for a full marathon? You have a few paths to take.
To begin, you might want to think about purchasing a second pair of the exact same footwear. (Do this only if you are positive you have located the shoe.)
Two, split your running shoe usage between a daily mileage shoe and a faster speed/tempo shoe.
After a while, the support and "bounce" of running shoes completely fail. Every 300–500 miles, you should get a new pair of running shoes.
Conversely, you should always break in new running shoes. A new pair of running shoes needs to break in before they can be worn in a race.
You shouldn't run the marathon in brand new shoes, but you also shouldn't use worn-out ones, either. They must be perfect.
Here is my preferred method of training for a marathon:
I buy a second pair of sneakers just like the first one.
What to Wear While Jogging
Next, I use my first pair for the vast majority of my training; by the time the marathon rolls around, they have become worn and uninspired.
The second pair, which I refer to as my "marathon shoes," I don't start wearing until about four to five weeks before the race. Until the marathon shoes have about 50 miles on them, I'll be alternating between the two pairs. Finally, they're prepared
The strategy you employ for your faster shoe also applies to the shoe you plan to use on race day.
The first pair should be used for the vast majority of your training, while the second should be reserved for speed and tempo workouts.
About 4 to 6 weeks before the race, I switch to this shoe for my long runs.
This gives me time to get used to how they feel at greater distances and to find a better fit if necessary.
This cycle's reduced number of speed workouts will leave your shoes in peak racing condition.
Here's How to Keep Your Running Shoes Looking New for Longer
Best Shoes for Marathon Training
The past year was a fantastic one for footwear.
The list certainly could have included many other models. Here are some of the best marathon-specific running shoes I've tried this year:
Topping the list is the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2.
-Pale, snappy, and long-lasting
Flexibility: -Perfect for both training and competition
These days, when I'm training for a marathon, I wear the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2. Amazing comfort for running 26.2 miles in!
Each stride is propelled by the shoe's responsiveness.
When it comes to running shoes, the Endorphin Speed 2 is hard to beat. This cutting-edge footwear features a revolutionary Nylon plate that reduces wear and tear while providing maximum energy return.
Since it's a neutral shoe, the PWRRUN PB Foam insole provides superior shock absorption.
Overall, a leading model for 2021 that can support your marathon preparations.
Learn more about the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 in our in-depth review!
Second, an ASICS Nimbus Gel 23
Excellent for inexperienced runners
Comfort is highly rated.
Asics Nimbus has been a staple of any serious runner's wardrobe for decades. Among runners, many are dedicated Nimbus fans who purchase each new model as soon as it hits the market, and the Nimbus 23 is widely considered to be among the best of the bunch.
This supportive, cushioned sneaker is easy on the feet, which is helpful as mileage increases. The Gel 23 is a more universally sized model than its predecessors.
This is the shoe for you if you need something dependable that also provides maximum comfort.
A comprehensive look at the Asics Gel Nimbus 23.
3. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
-An Everyday Shoe That Can Do It All
Pure, time-tested solace
The Adrenaline GTS 21 from Brooks Running is a reliable model. When compared to other running shoes on the market, this one sells like crazy.
Purely from a comfort standpoint, the shoe excels, and Brooks has a good handle on the market. The Guide Rail system in this shoe provides a solid foundation that prevents excessive inward or outward rolling of the foot.
Despite its plushness, the DNA loft foam provides a pleasant spring to each step. Not only does this shoe come in a wide range of sizes and widths, but it also accommodates a wide variety of foot shapes.
A Brooks is a safe bet in any situation.
To be NEUTRAL, **The Brooks Ghost is a fantastic**
4th Place: Hoka Clifton 8
When it comes to long distance races, Hoka is performing admirably. Several of their models are strong contenders for best, but the Clifton 8 meets the most criteria for long distance running.
The Clifton 8 is comfy, light, and durable enough to travel miles. It works wonderfully for training and is light enough to be a viable option on race day.
It's a neutral shoe with more support than the models that came before it. It's made with a cushiony EVA foam midsole and has that classic Hoka rocker feel. You can run in it with little to no discomfort.
Please find our comprehensive review of the Hoka Clifton 8 below.
A faster and more lightweight alternative is the Hoka Rincon 3.
5. New Balance 1080v11
The 1080v11 had some ground to make up, but they're back in the running as a top 2021 sneaker now that they've caught up.
You can expect an even more cushioned and easygoing ride from this model. The rubber outsole provides excellent traction.
The 1080v11 provides superior cushioning and energy return compared to the other models on this list.
The toe box is narrower than usual for New Balance, and the heel can roll awkwardly onto the ankle at times.
In sum, this New Balance model is excellent and serves as a great marathon runner's training shoe.
There are plenty of other pairs of shoes that could have been included, and many companies now offer neutral and stability options.
The Adrenaline 21 and the Brooks Ghost 14 are a couple of these.
If you're looking for more inspiration, try these other fantastic examples:
New Balance 880v11, On Cloudflow, Mizuno Wave Rider 25, Altra Paradigm, ASICS Novablast 2, and Saucony Endorphin Shift 2
Training for a marathon is no laughing matter, so you should wear clothes that fit well and are comfortable.
Thank you for reading this breakdown, and best of luck with your decision-making process.