Why you should trust us

We purchase all the shoes we review at retail with our own money, then we run in them for at least 50 miles. We don't receive free samples from companies and provide only expert, unbiased opinions.

First Time Marathon Runners - Neutral Shoes

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

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.

Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 - Lateral and Medial Side
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. Read full review »

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Looks Great
  • Quick but cushioned feel
  • Wider toe box makes this shoe fit many different foot shapes

Cons

  • Cushlon foam struggles with heat
  • Mid-sole started showing some compression at around 60 miles.
Asics Gel Nimbus 20 - Pair
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. Read full review »

Pros

  • Minimal changes to this update will appease diehard fans.
  • Fit is improved through a progressive mesh upper that allows for a better forefoot fit.
  • Very high construction quality throughout the shoe for a long and durable lifespan.

Cons

  • At $160 MSRP, Asics really isn't giving us anything new here but the price keeps increasing.
  • Runs small compared to other current Asics models, and the appearance is dated.
  • Very firm, and stabilizing, ride may not work for true neutral runners.

First Time Marathon Runners - Support Shoes

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

Asics Gel Kayano 25 - Lateral Side
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. Read full review »

Pros

  • There are quite a few new updates which have all improved the shoe
  • The new two part midsole
  • Provides cushion, responsiveness, and control throughout your whole run

Cons

  • The color options are not visually appealing
  • The sole unit can feel bulky during runs
  • Price
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. Read full review »

Pros

  • Good stability throughout the whole gait
  • Soft cushioning
  • Really comfortable upper
  • Good fit for my foot, with securely locked heel, wrapping midfoot and good room in the toebox

Cons

  • $130 price point maybe a bit high
  • The 12mm drop might be a little too high, if you are used to land on your midfoot.

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.

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. Read full review »

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Soft, yet responsive ride
  • Versatile
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transition
  • Improved outsole for traction

Cons

  • Pro-lock technology in the midfoot upper is unnecessary and can restrict natural foot movement if not adjusted properly.
New Balance 890v6 - Pair
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. Read full review »

Pros

  • Engineered mesh upper that has excellent, comfort, breathability, and durability.
  • New last improves the fit from previous versions.
  • RevLite foam midsole material

Cons

  • Heavier than previous version.

Runners trying to beat their PR - Neutral Shoes

Here are fast options for runners who need support.

Adidas Adizero Tempo 9 - Medial Side
The adidas Adizero Tempo 9 is a shoe that was meant for support during fast days and race day. Read full review »

Pros

  • Lightweight with stability features
  • Streamlined design
  • Durable, responsive sole unit
  • Excellent cushion with maintained road feel
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Upper fit could be more secure (but that's being picky, and its lack aids the light ride)
Brooks Asteria - Pair
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! Read full review »

Pros

  • Fast and responsive ride.
  • Light construction.
  • Just the right amount of support.
  • Great price point.

Cons

  • Lacing unit does not feel durable.

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.

Nike Zoom Fly - Pair
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 performance marathon shoe ever. Read full review »

Pros

  • New sole materials and design for efficient running
  • Snug lacing system
  • Full rubber coverage under forefoot
  • Simple and effective upper design

Cons

  • This shoe is in a class by itself and only competes against the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%
Adidas Adizero Boston 7 - Pair
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. Read full review »

Pros

  • Lightweight trainer racer
  • Comfortable and breathable mesh upper
  • Smooth ride and transition

Cons

  • Lack some responsiveness.
New Balance 1400v6 - Pair
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. Read full review »

Pros

  • Lightweight and nimble.
  • Revlite midsole foam provides a responsive smooth ride.
  • Newly constructed upper is highly breathable and comfortable.
  • Simple and effective traction
  • Great price point.

Cons

  • Not available in wider widths.

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!


This web site uses cookies. Click Accept to continue. Review Our Cookie Policy

On these and other websites owned by RSG Media BV we use cookies and other similar techniques.

We place and use different types of cookies for the following purposes:

Functional cookies:
To make our websites work as intended.

Analytical cookies:
To collect and analyze statistics to improve the experience on our websites and the effectiveness of advertisements.

Tracking cookies:
To build personal profiles of you so that we can show you targeted content and advertisements that match your interests.

Social cookies:
To allow you to share your reaction through 'likes' or commentary.

In addition, third parties (which are partly outside the EU) can place cookies on our websites, including tracking cookies that can also be used to build up a profile of you. Tracking cookies may have an impact on your privacy.

By giving your consent below, you agree that we place and read cookies on all our websites (see this overview) and combine these collected data.

Your consent remains valid for 6 months unless you withdraw it.

Close