Best Marathon Running Shoes – 2018

Training for your first marathon or trying to set a new Personal Record? Here are the running shoes we recommend, both for training and for race-day

While the marathon racing distance is the same for everybody (26.2 miles), rarely we see a sporting event where the levels and expectations are so varied among its participants.

For some, running a marathon will be the longest mileage ever run in a single day. For others, it will be one of many marathons they run before and they are competing against themselves and others to obtain the best possible time. And everything in between.

For this reason we cannot recommend ONE marathon shoes to fit all. We will try and split our recommendation in three categories:

  • First time marathon runners
  • Runners trying to beat their PB
  • Competitors

First Time Marathon Runners

If this is your first Marathon, it’s very possible that your race day will be the day where you run the most miles. For this reason, we recommend to use a shoe with enough cushioning to take you comfortably to the finish line. Your objective here is not to run fast, but to run long.

One recommendation is to run the race with the same shoe you used for your long runs during training. You’ll be familiar with a shoe that served you well when you first started racking up serious miles and you’ll have no surprises on race day.

Neutral Shoes

The Brooks Ghost is one of our all time favourite shoes. It's the Goldilocks between the heavier but more cushioned Glycerin and the lighter but less cushioned Launch. It is a great option for both your training and race day.

The best Pegasus yet, with a full-length Zoom unit in a shape that mimics the plate in the Breaking2 shoe, it's a responsive (snappy) trainer that will feel at ease on race day.

Another staple shoe of Marathon training is the Asics Nimbus. Offering a very comfortable upper and soft, reliable cushioning, the Nimbus surely has taken many thousands of marathon runners to their first finish line.

Support Shoes

The Kayano is Asics' premium support shoe. Similar to the Nimubs, if offers soft cushioning and a premium, comfortable upper while providing a lot of stability.

The Mizuno Wave Inspire has enough cushioning to take you through your training and your race. It's a snappy, responsive shoe even though it provides a lot of cushioning - especially under the heel. With a very breathable and comfortable upper, it will be on your feet for hours without annoying you.

Another favourite shoe of mine, the Gaviota offers amazing support while feeling light and providing soft, plush, bouncy cushioning. I think it's an amazing shoe to run a marathon in.

Runners trying to beat their PR

These shoes are (generally) lighter, lower to the ground and with a lower heel drop. They could be your daily training shoes if you are particularly light or efficient, but work great as a race day shoe for runners who usually run in “more” shoe.

Neutral shoes

One of the most popular shoes full stop. With low weight, low drop but still snappy and comfortable cushioning it is a shoe that can double for fast training days and for marathon race day.

Here you find a shoe with an extremely low weight and a lot of cushioning. It's difficult to express how good this shoe is - read our full review to understand why this is a must-try and potentially a game changer for your marathon day.

The 890 continues to be the perfect blend of breathable and pliable upper materials, lightweight and responsive midsole foams, and a simple yet effective fit and construction.

Support shoes

The adidas Adizero Tempo 9 is a shoe that was meant for support during fast days and race day.

Another lightweight support shoe - this time with a low drop if that's your preference.

This is a little secret from Brooks. The Asteria is a lightweight, raceday shoe for overpronators that doesn't seem to be getting all the attention it deserves. If you feel enjoy the Adrenaline or Ravenna - the Asteria is the nimble and fast little cousin!


Are you trying to break under 3 hours or are you trying to get as close as 2 hours as possible? These are the shoes that can help you get there.

Nike's athletes used a tuned up version of this shoe for attempting their breaking 2 race last year. The Vaporfly 4% is as close to that shoe as you can get. Nike claims it will increase your performance by 4%. It is hard to verify this claim, but according to our own testing and what we hear on the internet - the shoe is the best marathon racer available on the market right now.

The Boston 7 is a solid racing or up-tempo training shoe with a superb fit and faster transition, smooth for those runners needing a little extra stability during races especially marathons.

A return to racing form for New Balance, the 1400 is one of the best marathon day shoes out there and a great companion for the NB 890.

So, here they are, our favourite Marathon shoes.

Have you run or plan to race your Marathon in one of those? Let us know what you think! Are there shoes that we forgot? Let us know!

Enjoy your marathon training!

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