Home Guides Best Marathon Running Shoes 2020
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FIRST TIMERS

FIRST TIMERS

FIRST TIMERS

Brooks Ghost 12

Brooks Ghost 12
The Brooks Ghost with its comfortable fit and supreme cushioning will see you through training and your first 26.2 both.
The Brooks Ghost with its comfortable fit and supreme cushioning will see you through training and your first 26.2 both.
Taylor Gupton
Cross-country and track coach

OUTSTANDING

OUTSTANDING

OUTSTANDING

Nike React Miler

Nike React Miler
Newest shoe in the Nike React range, made for running long distance with long lasting shock absorption and reactivity.
Newest shoe in the Nike React range, made for running long distance with long lasting shock absorption and reactivity.
Sarah Dean
5k Runner, Personal Trainer

FOR STABILITY

FOR STABILITY

FOR STABILITY

Asics Gel Kayano 26

Asics Gel Kayano 26
If you need or enjoy some support over your long miles, the Kayano adds supreme cushioning to a top stability shoe.
If you need or enjoy some support over your long miles, the Kayano adds supreme cushioning to a top stability shoe.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.

FOR COMPETITORS

FOR COMPETITORS

FOR COMPETITORS

Nike Zoom Fly 3

Nike Zoom Fly 3
One of the best deal in marathon racing. Carbon Plate, soft foam and light weight to crush that personal best.
One of the best deal in marathon racing. Carbon Plate, soft foam and light weight to crush that personal best.
Andrew Leibowitz
Running Expert

SERIOUS SPEED

SERIOUS SPEED

SERIOUS SPEED

Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper

Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper
Skechers continues to stay relevant by introducing a fast, carbon-plated running shoe for marathon competitors.
Skechers continues to stay relevant by introducing a fast, carbon-plated running shoe for marathon competitors.
Jim Coulson
Fast Road and Trail Runner. Career Firefighter.

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 this reason, there is not a single best marathon shoes that will work for everyone.

We split our recommendation in three main sections:

  • First time marathoners
  • Runners trying to improve their PB
  • Competitors

First Time Marathon Runners - Neutral Shoes

If this is your first Marathon, it’s 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 is not to run fast, but to run long.

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

First choice

Brooks Ghost 12

Weight
10.1 oz.
Drop
12 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Brooks Ghost 12

Reasons to buy
  • Supremely cushioned and soft ride.
  • Highly durable shoe that will easily last 400+ miles.
  • Secure upper flexes flawlessly with the movement of the foot.
  • Excellent outsole grip.
“The Brooks Ghost represents a “Go-To” shoe for many runners. It is a reliable neutral runner with ample cushion for most distances while staying lighter weight and responsive enough to pick up the pace. ”
Recommended for
Neutral, high-mileage, and/or heavier runners looking for a daily trainer or long run shoe they can trust to last for hundreds of miles.
Taylor Gupton
Cross-country and track coach
Read the full review of Ghost 12
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Asics Gel Nimbus 22

Weight
10.9 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Asics Gel Nimbus 22

Reasons to buy
  • Comfort of the ASICS Gel Nimbus 22 far exceeds its competitors
  • The responsiveness of the ASICS Gel Nimbus 22 and the overall cushioning leads to comfort
  • The ASICS Gel Nimbus 22 offers a stable and steady feel
“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. ”
Recommended for
The ASICS Gel Nimbus 22 is made for high mileage. Which is nice since the more miles logged the cost versus mileage ratio begins to level out.
I would not be surprised if the ASICS Gel Nimbus 22 could take up to 600 plus miles. I would recommend the ASICS Gel Nimbus 22 ideally for those who...
Jeremy White
5k, 10k and Half Marathon Expert
Read the full review of Gel Nimbus 22
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
“The Nike React Miler is a completely new running shoe release designed to give a highly cushioned ride on your longer runs. If you're looking to go for miles on the road, this is an exciting shoe!”
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

First Time Marathon Runners - Support Shoes

These are our favorite long-distance support shoes that can double for marathon training and racing.

First choice

Asics Gel Kayano 26

Weight
11.1 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Stability

Asics Gel Kayano 26

Reasons to buy
  • Exoskeletal Heel Counter
  • FlyteFoam Propel Cushioning
  • Smooth Heel/Midsole strike to toe off
“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. ”
Recommended for
I would recommend the Kayano 26 to a runner who would like a daily trainer with max stability that’s built to last.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.
Read the full review of Gel Kayano 26
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Mizuno Wave Inspire 16

Weight
10 oz.
Drop
12 mm.
Category
Lightweight

Mizuno Wave Inspire 16

Reasons to buy
  • Upper redesign
  • Forefoot flexibility
  • Built for miles
“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. ”
Recommended for
A runner who is looking for a moderate stability trainer to add to their rotation that is built for miles.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.
Read the full review of Wave Inspire 16
or buy them here: Men / Women

Runners trying to beat their PR - Neutral Shoes

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.

First choice

Saucony Kinvara 11

Weight
9 oz.
Drop
4 mm.
Category
Lightweight

Saucony Kinvara 11

Reasons to buy
  • Lightweight
  • Cushioned, yet responsive
  • Versatile
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transition
“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. ”
Recommended for
Neutral runners seeking a reliable daily trainer with unrivaled versatility and comfort; marathoners seeking the perfect lightweight race shoe that balances cushion with responsiveness to produce optimal performance over long distance.
Taylor Gupton
Cross-country and track coach
Read the full review of Kinvara 11
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance 890 v8

Weight
8.4 oz.
Drop
4 mm.
Category
Cushioning

New Balance 890 v8

Reasons to buy
  • Sleek, edgy aesthetics
  • Snug, sock-like fit
  • Lightweight
  • Quick heel-toe transition
“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. ”
Recommended for
Runners with a neutral foot-strike that are looking for a lightweight performance trainer to round out their shoe rotation.
Taylor Gupton
Cross-country and track coach
Read the full review of 890 v8
or buy them here: Men / Women

Runners trying to beat their PR - Support Shoes

Here are fast options for runners who need support.

First choice

Adidas Adizero Tempo 9

Weight
8.90 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Lightweight

Adidas Adizero Tempo 9

Reasons to buy
  • Lightweight with stability features
  • Streamlined design
  • Durable, responsive sole unit
  • Excellent cushion with maintained road feel
“The adidas Adizero Tempo 9 is a shoe that was meant for support during fast days and race day. ”
Recommended for
This shoe is perfect for those who want to buy one shoe for training and racing or for those wanting a stable yet lighter shoe for speed workouts and racing.
It will hold up for many miles but will not be an everyday shoe for those with high support needs.
Kristin Lassen
Fast Runner and Stability Shoe Expert
Read the full review of Adizero Tempo 9
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Saucony Liberty ISO 2

Weight
9.9 oz.
Drop
4 mm.
Category
Stability

Saucony Liberty ISO 2

Reasons to buy
  • Fast ride with a dash of support.
  • Redone comfortable knit upper.
  • Sturdy outsole that complements an explosive midsole.
“The Saucony LIberty ISO 2 packs a punch with a dash of support. While pricey, it is built for the long run with a sturdy construction.”
Recommended for
Ideal for runners seeking a fast shoe that offers a dash of support. It is best for distances up to the half marathon.
Jon Ober
Serial Marathoner and Stability Running Shoe Expert
Read the full review of Liberty ISO 2
or buy them here: Men / Women

Competitors

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.

First choice

Nike Zoom Fly 3

Weight
8.9 oz.
Drop
8 mm.
Category
Lightweight

Nike Zoom Fly 3

Reasons to buy
  • Carbon Fiber Plate Midsole is Responsive and Fast
  • Improved Outsole Durability and Traction from Zoom Fly Flyknit
  • VaporWeave Upper Material
  • Cheaper and More Durable than Higher-End Options
“Nike took the world by surprise recently with their near miss breaking 2:00:00 in the marathon with their Breaking2 project. The Zoom Fly is the more affordable version of the Zoom Vaporfly 4% that came out of the Breaking2 research and the Zoom Fly is a serious contender for best value for perform ”
Recommended for
The Zoom Fly 3 is best suited for more experienced runners willing to shell out some cash for a premium performance shoe, but not willing to break the bank on the less durable higher end models, and runner's looking for a top end distance training/racing shoe.
Andrew Leibowitz
Running Expert
Read the full review of Zoom Fly 3
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Adidas Adizero Boston 8

Weight
9 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Racing

Adidas Adizero Boston 8

Reasons to buy
  • Updated upper has a more relaxed fit.
  • Retooled last creates a Roomier toebox
  • Improved responsive ride
“The Boston 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. ”
Recommended for
Runners who are looking for a fast, up-tempo racing, or training, shoe with mild support.
Jim Coulson
Fast Road and Trail Runner. Career Firefighter.
Read the full review of Adizero Boston 8
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance 1400v6

Weight
7.10 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Racing

New Balance 1400v6

Reasons to buy
  • Lightweight and nimble.
  • Revlite midsole foam provides a responsive smooth ride.
  • Newly constructed upper is highly breathable and comfortable.
  • Simple and effective traction
“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. ”
Recommended for
The 1400 v6 is a superbly designed racing flat, with a peppy ride. This flat would be the perfect choice for the competitive runner looking to enlist a race shoe capable of taking on distances from 5k up to possibly a marathon.
Jim Coulson
Fast Road and Trail Runner. Career Firefighter.
Read the full review of 1400v6
or buy them here: Men / Women

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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