Home Guides Best Cushioned Running Shoes 2021
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MOST COMFORTABLE

MOST COMFORTABLE

MOST COMFORTABLE

New Balance Fresh Foam More v2

New Balance Fresh Foam More v2
Fresh Foam More! The name already suggests how cushioned this shoe is... very!
Fresh Foam More! The name already suggests how cushioned this shoe is... very!
Michael Mason-D'Croz
Long distance runner, shoe expert.

BEST OVERALL

BEST OVERALL

BEST OVERALL

Brooks Ghost 13

Brooks Ghost 13
The Ghost is one of the most cushioned running shoes in the mid-price range. We praise this shoe year after year for the comfortable ride.
The Ghost is one of the most cushioned running shoes in the mid-price range. We praise this shoe year after year for the comfortable ride.
Brandon Law
Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert

FOR LONG RUNS

FOR LONG RUNS

FOR LONG RUNS

Nike React Miler

Nike React Miler
One of thelatest Nike. With a ton of React foam, the Miler allows runner to log tons of miles while preserving that incredible cushioning and support.
One of thelatest Nike. With a ton of React foam, the Miler allows runner to log tons of miles while preserving that incredible cushioning and support.
Sarah Dean
5k Runner, Personal Trainer

SOFT BUT FAST

SOFT BUT FAST

SOFT BUT FAST

Hoka One One Rincon 2

Hoka One One Rincon 2
The Rincon offers the plush, premium cushioning you've come to expect from a Hoka shoe - and it is comfortable at faster speeds.
The Rincon offers the plush, premium cushioning you've come to expect from a Hoka shoe - and it is comfortable at faster speeds.
Henry Howard
Ultra runner and certified running coach.

LIGHTWEIGHT

LIGHTWEIGHT

LIGHTWEIGHT

Asics Novablast

Asics Novablast
Latest entry in the Asics family, the Novablast provides a bouncy experience at a very light weight.
Latest entry in the Asics family, the Novablast provides a bouncy experience at a very light weight.
Jeremy White
5k, 10k and Half Marathon Expert

Cushioned running shoes are all those running shoes who put one thing above the others: shock absorption, leading to more comfort over long mileage.

Although most running shoes provide some degree of cushioning, the shoes we selected for this guide are the ones that have TONS of cushioning and provide a plush, comfortable run over any kind of mileage.

We will divide this list in two parts: "traditional" cushioned running shoes and "maximal" cushioned running shoes.

Best Cushioned Running Shoes - Traditional

This category includes the best traditionally cushioned running shoes from most brands.

First choice

Brooks Ghost 13

Weight
10.1 oz.
Drop
12 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Brooks Ghost 13

Reasons to buy
  • Stable ride
  • Luxurious upper
  • Smooth ride transitions
  • Versatile ride
“The Ghost is one of the most cushioned running shoes in the mid-price range. We praise this shoe year after year for the comfortable ride. ”
Recommended for
Whether you’re a beginner just starting out or a seasoned marathon runner looking for a dependable trainer to eat up training miles, the Brooks Ghost 13 is a reliable option.
It’s an incredibly well-balanced trainer best suited to everyday easy-paced runs.
Brandon Law
Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
Read the full review of Ghost 13
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10

Weight
9.5 oz.
Drop
8 mm.
Category
Cushioning

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10

Reasons to buy
  • Fresh Foam X provides a plush, but stable ride for high mileage.
  • A sock-like knit upper keeps the foot locked down without feeling restricted.
  • Responsive and somewhat firm cushioning, combined with a rocker shape, allows for faster paces.
  • Relatively lightweight for the amount of protection compared to other max cushioned models.
“Fresh Foam is the collection of New Balance shoes that provide maximum cushion. The 1080 is a staple in NB's lineup, providing soft landing without being, or feeling, heavy. ”
Recommended for
The 1080v10 will work for any type of runner, beginner, enthusiast, or high mileage runners.
The neutral design and responsive cushioning should work for most runners, but will be especially appreciated by high mileage runners looking for a a shoe for their easy days and long runs.
Thomas Caughlan
Ultrarunner and 10-Year Running Shoe Tester
Read the full review of Fresh Foam 1080v10
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Nike Zoom Pegasus 37

Weight
9 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Nike Zoom Pegasus 37

Reasons to buy
  • Versatile consistent cushion for long runs, tempos and intervals.
  • Durable midsole and outsole capable of withstanding many miles.
  • Comfortable lightweight upper.
“Usually the Nike Pegasus is a shoe that is more reactive than plush. But this version (2020) has switched to React foam - Nike's softest - and it resulted in a shoe that is soft and comfortable, but that can also pick up the pace when needed. ”
Recommended for
The Pegasus 37 is a wonderfully Versatile shoe cushioned enough for beginners and has a snappy ride for picking up the pace. This is a do it all kind of shoe that works for any runner.
Jim Coulson
Fast Road and Trail Runner. Career Firefighter.
Read the full review of Zoom Pegasus 37
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Asics Novablast

Weight
9.5 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Asics Novablast

Reasons to buy
  • Ample cushion that is very responsive.
  • Breathes well, keeps the feet cool on runs.
  • Lightweight .
“Latest entry in the Asics family, the Novablast provides a bouncy experience at a very light weight. ”
Recommended for
The ASICS NOVABLAST is for anyone who is looking to experience running comfort. ASICS has hit a home run with the new FlyteFoam.
FlyteFoam provides not only a responsive feel to the NOVABLAST but it felt like I was running on a mini padded trampoline due to the fact that there is bounce while...
Jeremy White
5k, 10k and Half Marathon Expert
Read the full review of Novablast
or buy them here: Men / Women

Best Maximal Running Shoes

There is not a proper definition of "maximal" running shoe. You could look at stack height (the overall thickness of the sole), but that might be misleading.

We put in this category the running shoes with our - tested - highest amount of cushioning.

First choice

Hoka One One Rincon 2

Weight
99 oz.
Drop
5 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Hoka One One Rincon 2

Reasons to buy
  • Lightweight yet firm
  • The fastest Hoka road shoe I’ve tried!
  • Versatility.
  • Balanced cushioning and high energy return
“Hoka One One is the brand that put maximal running shoes on the map. Most of their shoes can be included in this category, but we decided to have the Rincon to champion them all because of its incredible versatility. ”
Recommended for
The Hoka Rincon 2 is a great option for many runners and types of runs. It will please those who want a firmer, lightweight maximal shoe that can handle tempo runs to recovery runs.
The Rincon can also be used for long weekend runs and on marathon race day.
Henry Howard
Ultra runner and certified running coach.
Read the full review of Rincon 2
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Saucony Triumph 18

Weight
11.1 oz.
Drop
6 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Saucony Triumph 18

Reasons to buy
  • Deep, bottomless cushioning
  • Springy TPU midsole
  • Durable outsole and midsole
  • Luxurious, plush upper
“One of the staples of the maximal category, the Triumph is a seriously cushioned and comfortable running shoe! ”
Recommended for
If you're a runner looking for a durable workhorse which specialises in slow-paced, long-distance workouts, the Triumph 18 is the shoe for you.
The Triumph 18 manages to have a plush ride without feeling mushy and has the bounciest ride of all the max-cushioned trainers.
Brandon Law
Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
Read the full review of Triumph 18
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance Fresh Foam More v2

Weight
9.4 oz.
Drop
4 mm.
Category
Cushioning

New Balance Fresh Foam More v2

Reasons to buy
  • Tons of cushion
  • Responsive ride
  • Supremely comfortable upper
  • Wide toebox design
“Fresh Foam More! The name already suggests how cushioned this shoe is... very! ”
Recommended for
This shoe is for any runner looking for high cushion and is tackling long miles. With only a 4mm heel-toe drop, it might be a tough shoe for beginners.
Michael Mason-D'Croz
Long distance runner, shoe expert.
Read the full review of Fresh Foam More v2
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Brooks Glycerin 18

Weight
10.2 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Brooks Glycerin 18

Reasons to buy
  • Super soft cushion
  • Responsive ride
  • Soft, flexible upper
  • Great traction
“The Glycerin is the "premium" version of the Brooks Ghost. If the Ghost is already among some of the most cushioned shoes out there, you can imagine how cushioned the Glycerin is. This 18th edition dials all the details and presents the best version yet. ”
Recommended for
This shoe is made for any neutral runner looking to get some cushion for your runs. Great shoe for beginners or heavier runners.
Michael Mason-D'Croz
Long distance runner, shoe expert.
Read the full review of Glycerin 18
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Nike React Miler

Weight
9 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Nike React Miler

Reasons to buy
  • Highly cushioned
  • Super comfortable
  • Great for longer runs
  • Reflective panels for dark runs
“Here comes one of the latest Nike shoes. With a ton of React foam, the miler is faithful to its name and allows runner to log tons of miles while preserving that incredible cushion. ”
Recommended for
The React Miler is for neutral runners, looking for a plush cushioned ride and abit of help with stability on longer runs.
Sarah Dean
5k Runner, Personal Trainer
Read the full review of React Miler
or buy them here: Men / Women

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