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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!