9 Best Cushioned Running Shoes – 2020

One of the things runners look for in new shoes is adequate cushioning, as the quality of the cushioning in any running shoe directly influences the comfort of the shoe. While these cushioned running shoes provide support for neutral runners, they are more needed by runners who underpronate.

However, buying the right cushioned running shoe is not as easy as one may think. There are countless options to choose from, so we have carefully reviewed some of the best options available, and we have ranked them according to their special features.

Hands down, our top pick is the Under Armour HOVR Infinite Running Shoe. It is an extremely comfortable shoe with a long history of providing stability, cushioning and responsiveness.

Top Picks & Favorites
IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Under Armour HOVR Infinite Running Shoe
  • High-energy returning HOVR foam
  • Energy-efficient
  • Solid rubber outsole covers
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Brooks Ghost 11
  • Has good traction
  • Energy-efficient
  • Suitable for long-distance running
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Saucony Kinvara 10
  • Lightweight
  • Suitable for casual wear
  • Reasonably priced
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Saucony Triumph ISO 5
  • Energy-efficient
  • Provides good support
  • Suitable for multiple surfaces
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9 Best Cushioned Running Shoes

Check out our full reviews below. There’s something here for everyone!

1. Under Armour HOVR Infinite Running Shoe – Cloud-like Comfort

A digitally-enhanced running shoe, the Under Armour HOVR Infinite running shoe, is one of the best cushioned shoes available. If you look carefully through the cutouts in the midsole, you will notice the HOVR foam. This foam has a high energy return, and it is unique to Under Armour shoes. As a result of the energy return, the shoe is a very responsive one. At first wear, it may feel too firm, however, when you step out in it and start running, you’ll get a feel of the excellent cushioning.

Also, in the midsole, the EnergyWeb is wrapped around the HOVR foam to increase responsiveness and keep the foam in shape. Inside the insole is a sensor that connects to your phone and tracks your speed, distance covered, stride length, and some other information. However, this technology can only connect to MapMyRun. If what you need is a digitally enhanced shoe that comes with excellent cushioning, you can’t go wrong with these UnderArmour shoes.

Features: HOVR Foam, Solid Rubber Outsole Covers, Digitally Enhanced

Pros

  • Track run metrics with a smartphone app
  • Solid rubber outsole covers
  • It is breathable
  • Adequate firmness

Cons

  • It can only connect to MapMyRun
  • Not suitable for long-distance running

2. Brooks Glycerin 17 Cushioned Road Running Shoes – Optimal Breathability

Cushioned shoes have become more prevalent in recent times, with the demand steadily increasing. One of the most popular and widely accepted cushioned shoes is the Brooks Glycerin 17. It closely resembles the earlier Glycerin 16, with just a few upgrades. The midsole is made from the patented DNA Loft foam. The foam is very light and soft. Still, it is a very responsive and durable product. Also, there are grooves in the midsole that further ensure flexibility. The outsole is made from HPR Plus Rubber, which increases the durability of the shoe.

Some customers have said that the Glycerin 17 sizes run small. However, this totally depends on the type of feet. While it is not the best shoe for wide feet, it is true to size and has a good fit. For breathability, a dual-layer mesh is used for the upper. However, the dual-layer mesh trap moisture when you run in the rain. All in all, the upper is very soft and comfortable. 

Features: DNA Loft Foam, HPR Plus Rubber outsole

Pros

  • The shoe is very breathable
  • Excellent cushioning
  • True to size

Cons

  • The upper retains water and sweat

3. Hoka One One Bondi 6 Running Shoe – Advanced Cushioning

The Bondi models from Hoka One One are some of the best cushioned running shoes on the market. Indeed, Bondi 6 is a bit firmer when compared to its predecessors. However, this takes nothing away from the functionality of the shoe. It remains soft and comfortable to run in. The shoe is particularly suited for beginners or and short distance runners. The running shoes come with thick and wide soles. The aesthetic is not the best; nonetheless, there are so many colors to choose from. 

People who underpronate when running need extra cushioning to prevent foot pain and some other issues. The pressure under your heels as they hit the ground is greatly reduced, and the balls of your feet are well-protected. For breathability, a unique mesh material is used for the upper, with the heel made of lycra. Furthermore, the shoe provides more stability than other Hoka One One shoes.

Features: Early Stage Meta Rocker Geometry, EVA midsole

Pros

  • Excellent stability
  • Available in a lot of colors
  • Shoe is breathable

Cons

  • Not the best in terms of durability

4. Brooks Ghost 11 Running Shoes Review – Excellent Responsiveness

It may not be the best in terms of aesthetics. Nonetheless, Brooks Ghost 11 running shoes rank among the best cushioned running shoes in the world. The unique DNA Loft foam is used under the heel to give a softer feel and to make it more responsive. The shoe is heavily cushioned and it provides a lot of support. Also, it performs well on a number of surfaces, so you don’t have to worry about the terrain. In the midsole, grooves and a segmented crash pad are incorporated to make the shoe flexible.

The outsole is made from rubber, notable for good grip and durability. The upper is majorly made up of a dual-layer of engineered mesh that ensures breathability. As the shoe is tight-fitting, people with wide feet may not find it so comfortable. If you, however, need a cushioned shoe that can give you good fit and stability, this is an interesting option for you.

Features: Segmented Crash Pad, BioMoGo DNA foam, DNA Loft Cushioning

Pros

  • Has good traction
  • Energy-efficient
  • Suitable for long-distance running

Cons

  • Not the most attractive running shoe
  • Some people may find it too firm

5. Saucony Kinvara 10 Running Shoe – Lightest Weight

Running shoes can be quite expensive. If what you are looking for is a well-cushioned shoe that is reasonably priced, the Saucony Kinvara 10 is one of the Shoes you should be looking at. It is a lightweight running shoe suitable for use on a number of different surfaces. The outsole is predominantly made up of EVA+ foams with a firm layer of blown rubber under the parts of the heel and the big toe. Although the EVA sole is firm, when combined with the EVERRUN topsole, it becomes softer and more comfortable.

The seamless upper is made with an engineered woven mesh that is really durable. It hugs the foot comfortably and conforms nicely to the foot-shape. This particular shoe is a remarkable improvement on the earlier versions as it combines some selected features from the old version with new and improved technologies that have made the shoe one of the best in terms of cushioning.
Features: EVERUN Topsole, Engineered Mesh Upper, Flexible EVA+ Midsole

Pros

  • Can be worn casually
  • Very comfortable 
  • It is reasonably priced
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • On wet surfaces, it loses traction

6. Under Armour Speedform Gemini 3 Running Shoe

Under Armour has become popular in the sporting goods game. The Speedform Gemini 3 is another perfectly cushioned shoe that comes with all the essential features for comfort and stability. The sole is made using Under Armour’s Charged cushioning, and it provides an impressive level of support. With this high level of cushioning, the shoe is also suitable for some long-distance running, The heel cup features Micro G cushioning, just in case you land on your heels when running. 

The outsole is made of blown rubber to help keep weight down and, at the same time, encourage energy-efficiency in the shoe. The typical Speedform construction is used in the upper. This makes the shoe a tight-fitting one and unsuitable for people with wide feet. Furthermore, the shoe will last you for a long time as it is quite durable. Even though the toe box is quite narrow, it remains one of the best cushioned shoes on the market.

Features: Micro G Cushioning, Charged Cushioning, Threadborne Midfoot Panel

Pros

  • Shoe is lightweight
  • Responsiveness is commendable
  • It is quite durable

Cons

  • The toe box is a bit tight

7. New Balance 1080v9 Fresh Foam Running Shoe – Perfect Stability

In response to the complaints of customers about the V8, there are major improvements in the area of firmness. The earlier 1080 models were too firm for some people. However, the V9 has been redesigned, and the underfoot cushion has been increased for smoother rides and better comfort. Also, the midsole material used is Fresh Foam. This softens the landing and provides support for the runner. The inclusion of these new features does not in any way affect the responsiveness. It is still a very responsive and energy-efficient shoe. Blown rubber is used on the outsole to increase durability and further increase the traction.

The engineered Fantom Fit upper is very breathable and adds to the overall comfort of the shoe. Another interesting thing about this shoe is the roomy toe box. If you have wide feet, it will accommodate them and still give your toes space to flex as you move. The only downside to this shoe is that the foam may become firmer under cold conditions.

Features: Fantom Fit Upper, Blown Rubber Outsole

Pros

  • Wide toe box
  • The shoe is very responsive
  • Very breathable

Cons

  • The shoe may become firmer in cold weather

8. Altra Olympus 2.5 Athletic Shoe – Best For Long Distance

This is one for long distances. The Olympus 2.5 is designed with long-distance runners in mind. It features soft cushioning with sufficient toe space so that the shoe doesn’t feel tighter as you move. Also, it has good traction and can perform well on rugged terrains. However, it performs the best on easy trails. It won’t perform well on sandy or muddy trails because of the premature wearing of the outsole. Judging solely by the cushioning, this is one of the best running shoes available.

Additionally, the shoe is perfect for people who have wide feet as there is sufficient space in the forefoot area. The upper fits better and gives more support when compared with earlier versions. The Vibram MegaGrip material used for the outsole is responsible for the good traction. The midsole is made from EVA material, and it provides reasonable bounce for the wearers. This is the perfect choice for people looking for cushioned shoes that will fit wide feet.

Features: EVA Midsole, Zero Drop Construction, Vibagram MegaGrip Outsole

Pros

  • Suitable for wide feet
  • Energy-efficient
  • Good Responsiveness

Cons

  • The shoe is a bit heavy

9. Saucony Triumph ISO 5 Running Shoe – Best Traction

Another Saucony product that is heavily cushioned for runners with underpronation and neutral runners that want the highest level of comfort. In particular, the Triumph ISO 5 is very responsive as it returns considerable energy when running. The topsole on top of the EVERUN midsole is responsible for this responsiveness. Directly below the midsole is a flexible and durable Tri-Flex Crystal Rubber outsole. Likewise, the outsole has a good grip. All the features and technologies incorporated make the shoes a bit heavy.

The upper is designed to adapt to the feet during movement and lock it in. The Jacquard mesh used for the upper flexes easily with the feet and is very durable. This upper is perfectly joined to the Formfit contoured footbed that holds the feet perfectly and provides support. Energy efficiency is the highlight of this shoe, in addition to the excellent cushioning.

Features: Tri-Flex Crystal Rubber Outsole, EVERUN Midsole

Pros

  • Energy efficient
  • Provides good support
  • Suitable for multiple surfaces

Cons

  • The shoe is a little heavy

10. Mizuno Wave Horizon 3 Running Shoe

Arguably the softest and most stable shoe from Mizuno, the Wave Horizon 3, is a maximally cushioned running shoe that can help you achieve soft landings as you run. The shoe a fan-shaped CLOUDWAVE to prevent overpronation, and at the same time, provide a cushioned ride. The topsole is very plush, but the midsole is a bit too firm – probably in a bid to achieve reasonable firmness. Nonetheless, it is a very comfortable running shoe that also does well in the area of durability.

The sole area of the Wave Horizon 3 remains the same as its predecessors. The sole is made up of an elastic plastic placed in between two layers of soft cushioning, all the way from the heel to the midsole. This is responsible for the stability and springiness of the ride. On the other hand, the upper is significantly different from the earlier versions. An AeroHug technology was used to create a more adaptable fit. It is a bit heavy and lacks responsiveness; still, the cushioning is commendable.

Features: AeroHug Technology, Engineered Mesh Upper, New Premium Sockliner

Pros

  • Durable
  • Very Stable
  • Shoe is breathable

Cons

  • It is a bit heavy

Most Cushioned Running Shoes Buying Guide

Cushioned running shoes come with special insoles and lining. These unique features provide excellent comfort and shock absorption for the wearer. Typically, they are heavier than neutral running shoes, but there are lightweight options available also.

What makes cushioned running shoes interesting is that they strike the perfect balance between soft and firm, providing comfort and support at the same time. Cushioned shoes are not exclusive to runners only. They are also used for workouts and other daily activities. 

However, these shoes have different levels of cushioning, so you need to be able to pick the right level of cushioning that will work best for you. Here are some of the important things you should look out for when buying cushioned running shoes.

  • Comfort
  • Fit
  • Responsiveness

Comfort

Comfort is the biggest characteristic of cushioned shoes. However, some are more comfortable than others. Padding and lining vary from brand to brand, and even from one model to another. This implies that there will be different levels of comfort to be gotten from different cushioned running shoes.

They are generally comfortable, but you should take time when buying to get shoes that can provide the perfect level of comfort for your feet. Also, you should consider the distance you would be running in the shoes; some shoes can last for long distances and still remain comfortable, while some are designed for short-distance running only.

Fit

The fit is another vital thing to consider. There’s not much that can be done in shoes that don’t fit, so if you want to enjoy your running experience, make sure you get shoes that fit you perfectly. Furthermore, a shoe that doesn’t fit you well will cause discomfort and can also lead to injury. On the other hand, tight-fitting shoes are not the best, the feet swell under intense activity, and when you buy a tight-fitting shoe, it may become uncomfortable while running.

Make sure your heel sits perfectly and that there is little space in the shoe above your big toe. Also, choose based on the width of your feet. Regardless of the size, some shoes are designed to fit wide feet and others, narrow feet. Some even come in wide or narrow options.

Responsiveness

Now, a lot of people get confused about the real meaning of responsiveness in running shoes and think it means the push it gives. However, this is not true. When you run, a certain amount of energy is created in the body, and a part of this energy gets lost in the shoe in the form of heat. Shoe manufacturers are always looking for ways to minimize this energy loss by making more responsive shoes.

Your performance will be enhanced, and you will always get the bouncy feeling when you land when running if your shoes have excellent responsiveness.


Most Cushioned Running Shoes FAQs

How do you properly take care of cushioned running shoes?

It surely helps to go for a durable option when buying running shoes. However, if you don’t take care of them properly, they won’t last you for a long time. If you are not sure how to take proper care of your cushioned running shoes, here are some tips you can follow:

1. Don’t wear them casually

There are cushioned running shoes that can be worn casually. If you want them to last you for a long time, avoid wearing the shoes casually. The more you wear them, the more the cushioning wears out. So if you are not using them for the purpose you bought them, they will not last you long enough for you to get a return for the money spent on them.

2. Regular cleaning

It goes without saying that you need to clean your cushioned running shoes regularly. Running outside will undoubtedly make your shoes dirty. Try to clean them as soon as you are through with running before the stains set in. Remove the laces and insoles, brush the dirt away with a cleaning brush, clean with suitable sneaker cleaner, and the air dry. You can also treat your running shoes with anti-dirt, and to avoid odors, let them dry out properly before you put them on. 

3. Let them rest 

Continuous use of a cushioned running shoe will only shorten the lifespan. Give your shoes a 2-day rest before using them again. This is why it is necessary to have more than one pair if you run regularly.

4. Keep away from direct sunlight

Cushioned running shoes should not be dried in direct sunlight. In hot conditions, running shoes will shrink, and the midsole will harden. This may cause a loss of form or fit. Also, the cushioning and the durability will be affected.

Do I need cushioned running shoes?

Cushioned running shoes are the best running shoes for people who underpronate. If your foot rolls outwards as it hits the ground when you’re running, you probably need a cushioned running shoe for better support, comfort, and flexibility. However, cushioned shoes are not only for underpronators neutral runners can also use cushioned running shoes, depending on personal preference.


What is the Best Cushioned Running Shoe? – Final Thoughts

Buying a good cushioned running shoe may cost you a considerable amount of money. However, it is usually a worthy investment as you get to enjoy the comfort of running in cushioned shoes.  

These shoes reviewed are some of the best cushioned running shoes you can get on the market. Regardless of what your personal preferences are, one of these shoes will satisfy you. Also, make sure you take adequate care of your shoes if you want them to last long.

We know you’ll love the Under Armour HOVR Infinite Running Shoe. You get great responsiveness and excellent cushioning in one of their most comfortable shoes. The high-energy returning HOVR foam, unique to Under Armour, easily makes this our #1 top pick.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Under Armour HOVR Infinite Running Shoe
  • High-energy returning HOVR foam
  • Energy-efficient
  • Solid rubber outsole covers
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE
Brooks Ghost 11
  • Has good traction
  • Energy-efficient
  • Suitable for long-distance running
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE
Saucony Kinvara 10
  • Lightweight
  • Suitable for casual wear
  • Reasonably priced
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE
Saucony Triumph ISO 5
  • Energy-efficient
  • Provides good support
  • Suitable for multiple surfaces
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE
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Austin Mills

Austin Mills in an outdoor enthusiast. He's been featured on some of the top outdoor & fitness blogs sharing his expertise in order to help others. In his free time, he likes spending time with his dogs enjoying the outdoors.