9 Most Comfortable Running Shoes To Keep Your Feet Happy
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It’s not always easy to get up and go for a run. Whether it’s the weather or a busy day, there are plenty of reasons you might want to skip your daily miles. However, your running shoes should never be why you miss a run. If they are, then you’re probably not wearing the right ones. We don’t blame you — it can be hard to find just the right pair with all of the options out there today. To make life a little easier and the miles a bit more fun, we’ve picked out the most comfortable running shoes you can buy.
Our picks cover most of the top running shoe brands on the market. However, this list isn’t just max-stack shoe after max-stack shoe. We’ve tried to mix in a little trail coverage, a zero-drop option, and a lot more. Sure, more cushion is one of the best ways to add comfort, but we’ve got a little something for everyone.
It’s always a good idea to head to your local running store and get fitted for your shoes. You can get an idea of how different styles fit and what different foams feel like and then come back here to see what we think of each shoe. After all, what’s comfortable for us might not be just right for you, and vice versa.
As always, our picks for the most comfortable running shoes come from our own experiences. We’ve worn and reviewed almost everything on our list, and we turn to the community regarding shoes we haven’t worn. We’ll link to our reviews wherever possible to give you even more of our thoughts should you want them. Of course, this list only includes shoes that you can actually buy. Otherwise, we’d probably recommend shoes made out of Flubber.
Nike Pegasus Trail 4
Drop: 9mm | Price: $140
Since Nike debuted its React foam in 2018 with the Epic React, there’s no mistaking it– they have a lock on one of the most comfortable and resilient midsoles in the game. One of the best uses of React to date is in the recently-released Nike Pegasus Trail 4, which has become a fast favorite here at Believe in the Run. And not just for its performance as a trail shoe– in fact, we love it as an everyday shoe. In fact, Robbe thinks it’s one of the most comfortable shoes he’s ever owned. We loved the previous Pegasus Trail 3 in the same way, but this newest version comes with more width in the toe box, solving an issue that a lot of non-Nike people have had for, well… ever. Long story short it’s reliable, comfortable, and bound to last a ton of miles.
The Pegasus Trail 4 earns its place among the most comfortable running shoes for its flexibility. It’s not too different from the Pegasus 39 overall, but the rugged outsole gives it some extra trail prowess. While it might not be your first choice for the “Beast Coast” trails here in the Mid-Atlantic, it can still handle most terrain you throw at it, and the outsole is improved over last year’s version. Hands down, this is a great option for the West Coast adventurers. And like we said, we love it as much off the trails as we do on the trails (you can even use it as a daily trainer road shoe in a pinch). Need more protection? Wait ’til the fall for the eventual Gore-Tex version if you want some waterproofing to go with your comfort.
When you think of Italy, it’s easy to think of comfort. I mean, Tracksmith turns to the boot-shaped nation for almost all of its high-end fabrics. If you think Tracksmith’s standards are high, Diadora’s are even higher. Our review is jam-packed with delicious references to Italian cuisine, and the ride is just as premium. The Mythos Blushield Vigore (yeah, it’s a mouthful) is the first from the brand to feature a softer DD Anima midsole, but it also bears the stability mantle for Diadora.
Diadora’s brand-new midsole offers a ridiculously smooth ride — think Max Verstappen at Abu Dhabi smooth. We don’t know if the team at Diadora is big into the Brooks Aurora-BL, but it’s easy to make comparisons. Of course, the decoupled midsole is the easiest inspiration to pick out. Both shoes are among the most comfortable running shoes, too. Just mind the weight — like me, after a night at an Italian restaurant, the shoe has some heft to it.
I bet you expected us to list Meg’s precious Bondi X among the most comfortable running shoes. We almost did. It’s a good shoe and one of the few plated options that makes sense for daily miles. However, the Bondi 7 is a better bet for most people, and it’s more affordable to boot. The Bondi 7 is a classic case of more foam equals more comfort — this is one thicc boi. It’s not the lightest shoe in Hoka’s lineup, but it’s tough to keep the weight down with this much midsole underfoot.
If you liked the Bondi 6, you’ll be right at home in the Bondi 7. The main change comes in the lighter engineered mesh upper, but the ride is as smooth as ever. Thomas happily pointed out that the Bondi is meant for comfort rather than speed, but that’s the case for most of the shoes on our list. If you’re looking for fun, poppin’ colorways, you may have to go elsewhere. There are plenty of “dad shoe” options but not much else.
Note: The Hoka Bondi 8 is coming next month (July 2022) and features the same level of comfort, so enjoy that one if it better suits your style.
Two words: Flytefoam Blast+. ASICS packed one of its bounciest, most comfortable foams into the latest iteration of its rockered max cushion trainer. Jarrett absolutely loved version two and was already building hype for this version months before it arrived. Oh yeah, that’s right — it comes in wide. If you’ve got a foot that can double as a scuba flipper, the Glideride 3 might be the most comfortable running shoe for you.
It’s also remarkably stable despite the stack height since your foot sits down in the foam rather than perched on top of it. ASICS built the top layer of its trainer sandwich out of Flytefoam Blast+, as we mentioned before. Below that, you get a more durable one-two punch of traditional Flytefoam with an EVA plate that runs most of the length of the shoe. If there’s one flaw, the upper can get a bit warm, but there’s nothing wrong with saving the Glideride 3 for cooler weather.
Nobody ever said zero-drop and comfort had to be mutually exclusive. Sure, it might take some adjusting when you first switch into a pair of Altra running shoes, but the comfort will come. If you’re looking for a more padded way to make the change, the Altra Paradigm 6 is the way to go. This is a rare case in that we haven’t reviewed the latest Paradigm (we tried, but there were supply chain issues), but we don’t have any doubts about the quality. Why not? Well, it helps that Olympian Kara Goucher had a hand in its design.
The Paradigm line was already Kara’s favorite shoe, and Altra sat down to figure out some ideas on how to make it better. For starters, there are a few poppin’ colorways to sink your feet into. It rides on a thick, and we do mean thick, bed of Ego Max foam, which offers extra bounce and response through your miles. The Paradigm 6 is a light support shoe, and it packs a GuideRail on the medial side for support only when you need it.
When is the best Hoka running shoe not made by Hoka? When it’s made by New Balance, duh. We love Fresh Foam X in almost all of its forms, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that this one left us looking for More. It’s not hard to think of the Fresh Foam More v3 as a puffed-up version of the New Balance 1080v11, but this comfortable running shoe has a much more accommodating heel. Thomas described the More v3 as the perfect balance of cushion, weight, and ride, which is really all you can ask for.
Meg and Ben Johnson weren’t far behind, with Meg admitting to cheating on her beloved Clifton just a little bit with this new spring fling. It’s not as light as the previous version, but it’s softer and more comfortable, and this is even a running shoe for the Jarretts of the world (shoutout #WideFootFam). If you’re short, the Fresh Foam More v3 might also help you see over some heads at a summer concert.
The Skechers GoRun Ride series has been a go-to of ours for a few years now. Sure, Skechers tends to do some funky things here and there, but it’s tough to argue with the value. This is easily the most affordable running shoe of our bunch, and Skechers has mastered the art of supercritical foam. It offers a plush, neutral ride with plenty of HyperBurst cushion underfoot, and the M Strike technology encourages proper midfoot technique.
If you’re not prone to midfoot striking, there might be a bit of a learning curve, but you’ll probably find that the GoRun Ride 10 wants you to push the pace. It has plenty of bounce to get you through your GRIT miles, and the Goodyear rubber outsole is bound to last far beyond when you want a new pair of shoes. While the Skechers GoRun Ride 10 isn’t a wide-foot shoe by default, it has ample room in the upper to accommodate most feet — just not really narrow ones.
The Brooks Ghost might be low-hanging fruit on our list of the most comfortable running shoes. It’s a go-to among specialty running shops when newcomers are looking for recommendations, but that’s for a reason. Brooks somehow manages to churn out comfortable upper after comfortable upper while slowly improving the midsole feel. This time, it’s rolling on a layer of DNA Loft, an air-injected EVA that’s soft to the touch without too much squish.
Both Robbe and Adrienne enjoyed putting their miles on the Ghost 14. While it’s not bound to be the most exciting running shoe, it’s the dictionary definition of reliable for a whole heap of miles. Even heel-strikers can get plenty out of the 12mm drop. It’s steep for your average neutral trainer, but it seems to work pretty well for most people.
The Saucony Triumph 19 is a tricky one. It looks like a shoe built for speed with its PWRRUN+ midsole and racing-inspired upper. In truth, it’s an easy cruiser. The Triumph has been around the block a time or two — or 19 — and it’s a testament to the comfort. Saucony managed to trim about an ounce of weight from the upper, but the plush midsole stays just as good as ever. You’re also looking at an 8mm drop in the Triumph, which feels like the sweet spot once you’ve moved on from the high drops of most beginner running shoes.
Our gang had some questions regarding the lockdown through the midfoot, but there are plenty of ways to mitigate that. You won’t be turning to the Triumph for anything bordering on racing, but that’s the case for most of these picks. It could probably slot into the same role that the Endorphin Shift fills in Saucony-focused rotations.