The right pair of running shoes can help runners of any skill move to the next level. Comfortable shoes help you to focus on your sport rather than thinking about the blisters that are forming on your feet. After looking through the most highly-rated running shoes, we made a list of the shoes that provide the most comfortable experience for customers.
The Brooks Glycerin 17 Road Runner Shoe stood out as our top pick due to positive reviews and solid design. The innovative cushioning in these shoes provides unrivaled comfort without sacrificing attractiveness. Run longer and farther with these shoes and the rest of the comfort-driven shoes on our list.
9 Most Comfortable Running Shoes
1. Brooks Glycerin 17 Cushioned Road Running Shoe
These shoes were designed to be the ultimate in comfort without the chunky look of most other highly-cushioned shoes. Brooks’ signature DNA LOFT foam was made to provide the feeling of running on clouds. This thick cushioning combined with a soft and flexible mesh upper makes for a comfortable run no matter the distance. These shoes are a great choice for those with foot pain or for people running long distances on treadmills or flat roads.
Features: DNA LOFT cushioning, OrthoLite sockliner, Flexible 3D Fit Print mesh upper, 10mm heel-to-toe drop
- Brooks’ most highly rated for cushioning
- Flexible upper mesh material
- Wide or regular fit options
- Offers less stability than other Brooks models
- Recommended for neutral runners on roads or treadmills
2. Adidas Ultraboost S&L Shoes
Ultraboost technology in the sole of these shoes helps to put spring into each step and keep you energized throughout your run. A classic 10mm heel drop provides protection and cushioning where you need it. Unlike some shoes which are built primarily for comfort, the Ultraboost S&L features Adidas’ Torsion system between the heel and forefoot for stability. Confidently bring these shoes running in any weather conditions with this enhanced stability and grippy rubber outsole.
Features: Lightweight, 10 mm heel-to-toe drop, Continental rubber outsole, Torsion system for stability
- Thick foam Ultraboost sole for cushion and spring
- Extra grippy Continental rubber sole
- Added stability for over- or under-pronators with Torsion system
- Multiple reviewers report a narrow fit, which may not be suitable for those with wide feet.
3. Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3
Mizuno added two types of foam to their Waveknit 3 shoe for extra cushion and bounce while running. This is layered with their X10 durable carbon rubber outsole for excellent traction in any environment. The Waveknit upper material is flexible and fits much like a sock. You could almost forget you are wearing shoes with these lightweight and comfortable sneakers!
Features: Combination of Mizuno foam and XPOP PU foam, X10 durable rubber outsole, Waveknit upper
- Durable rubber outsole can withstand any environment
- Ultra-comfortable sock-like upper mesh material
- Very lightweight for those looking to improve speed
- Thicker upper material with sockliner does not dry quickly after getting wet
4. Nike Zoom Vomero 5 SP – Unisex
Like it or not, Nike may be best known for producing attractive shoes. These monochrome Nike Zoom Vomero 5 shoes don’t break that tradition but also offer so much more. These classic running shoes were built to last with durable soles and water-resistant material throughout. Comfort is a priority in the Vomero 5 with a thick midsole and cushioning everywhere, even in the tongue. Look great while feeling even better on your next run in the Vomero 5.
Features: Zoom-air cushioning, padded tongue, durable rubber outsole
- Solid, supportive rubber sole
- Water-resistant mesh and synthetic upper
- Durable and built to last
- Only comes in the one color option
5. New Balance Propel V1 FuelCell Running Shoe
Push yourself to the next level with the New Balance Propel V1 FuelCell shoe. Each aspect of these shoes was designed with speed in mind, as they are lightweight and responsive while remaining durable and cushioned. The unique FuelCell formulation in the rubber midsole helps to energize runners by optimizing rebound throughout your run.
Features: NDurance outsole, flexible mesh upper, lightweight design
- Shock-dispersing mid-sole
- FuelCell rubber for ultimate responsiveness
- Extra heel cushioning
- Smaller toe box than others, so may not be ideal for wide feet
6. New Balance 1080v10 Fresh Foam Running Shoe
Do yourself a favor and make running easier on your body with these New Balance shoes. The curved shape of these shoes promotes fluid motion from heel to toe. The Fresh Foam midsole provides a thick cushion for comfort, and the mesh upper allows your foot full range of natural motion. Customers report feeling like they are “walking on pillows” in these comfortable shoes.
Features: Fresh Foam midsole, rubber outsole, mesh upper
- Thick foam midsole
- Flexible upper material can adjust to any foot size
- Wide variety of color options
- Somewhat chunky look thanks to thick cushioning
7. Saucony Kinvara 10 Running Shoe
If there were such a thing as too much cushioning, these shoes would come close with their cloud-like midsole material. The Saucony Kinvara 10 shoes provide ultimate comfort with an ultra-responsive rubber sole and malleable footbed. Best of all, they are super lightweight and can help you to set a new personal record at your next race.
Features: Performance contoured footbed, mesh and synthetic combination upper, natural motion construction
- Responsive cushioning
- Very lightweight at 6.7 oz
- Contoured footbed forms to your foot
- May wear out more quickly than others because they lack a rubber outsole, which contributes to its light weight
8. ASICS Gel-Cumulus 21 Running Shoe
This is a traditional running shoe that supports heel-first running while employing new technologies for extra comfort. GEL technology offers shock absorption to make long-distance running easier on your body. Combine that with an EVA sockliner that molds to your foot and you will never want to take these shoes off. If comfort is your goal, you can’t go wrong with the Gel-Cumulus 21 running shoe from Saucony.
Features: FlyteFoam Propel foam technology, lightweight midsole, EVA sockliner
- Flytefoam Propel foam puts bounce into your step
- GEL technology for shock absorption
- Breathable mesh upper
- Not ideal for people with flat arches who may overpronate while running. These are designed for people with higher arches.
9. Mizuno Wave Horizon 3 Running Shoe
Mizuno is known for producing stabilizing and supportive court shoes and these running shoes are a good representation of what they do best. Their Cloudwave technology provides stabilization to runners by preventing overpronation, a common running problem defined by feet rolling inward to place weight on the arch and big toe side of the foot. These shoes are designed for comfort all around with a snug-fitting upper material but roomy toe box.
Features: Made from textile and synthetic materials, rubber sole, low-top arch
- Aerohug technology fits the foot like a glove
- Supportive sole that prevents overpronation
- SmoothRide technology creates smooth transitions from heel to toe
- The extra support in these shoes also results in extra weight compared to other shoes on our list.
10. Reebok Fusium Run 2.0
Reebok has bee know to provide some of the best running shoes for people who are on a budget. These are the quality budget shoes you have been looking for. Quite simple in design, these are a solid shoe for leisurely runners. EVA is a typical foam technology for tennis shoes and has proven to be long-lasting and comfortable. Previous customers have commented on the shoe running small, so consider ordering a size up for a new reliable running shoe.
Features: EVA midsole, Flexweave technology weave upper, lightweight, low cut structure
- Lightweight and flexible Flexweave upper
- Quick-drying fabric throughout
- Minimal support, allowing for a lightweight and versatile shoe
Comfortable Athletic Shoes – Buyer’s Guide
The time has come for new running shoes and you’re wondering where to start. Whether you are new to running or a seasoned marathoner, comfort should be at the top of your priority list especially if you have issues with knee pain, which Stay on Trails did another extensive review of those types of running shoes. Here are some features to consider when buying running shoes:
- Your Goals
- Positive Reviews
Are you new to running? Will you be training every day? Are you using specific treadmill running shoes? Do you run in cities or on more rugged trails? What type of race, if any, will you be completing? Considering all of these factors can help you to choose the right shoe.
Those who are new to running and just trying to pick up a new hobby may benefit from shoes with the most support. On the other hand, seasoned runners looking to improve their speed may opt for lighter-weight shoes. Special trail running shoes have more durable soles with extra traction for uneven terrain.
The amount of support you need depends on your personal preference and training goals especially if you have an issue with pain like plantar fasciitis, which the Stay on Trails blog did a review on New Balance shoes for that specifically. There are many factors that impact the amount of support a shoe offers, but a few are cushioning, heel drop, flexibility, stability, and neutral support. You can read more info here.
Cushioning – Do you prefer to feel the ground underfoot or would you rather have a soft cushion to step on? Cushioning is determined by both the firmness of the foam used in a shoe and the thickness of the sole (also called the stack height). You may be interested in foot compression sleeves and socks for plantar fasciitis and the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis here.
Heel Drop – If shoes are “zero-drop” this means that there is no height difference between the heel and toe. You can read more about it here. Running shoes range from 6-12 mm heel drops, on average. This provides your heel with extra protection and is important if you strike your heel first when running. It’s basically the opposite of high arch running shoes. Here at StayonTrails did an extensive review of these types of shoes.
Flexibility – This is dependent on the material and thickness of both the sole and upper material of running shoes. Road running shoes are typically more flexible and lighter weight, while trail shoes offer less flexibility to support stabilization when running on uneven surfaces. You may also be interested in our post on the Stay on Trails blog about the best shoe stretcher spray to buy.
You may also like: Best Insoles for Shoes
Stability – Some runners need extra stability in their shoes because of variations in their natural gait. Neutral shoes are good for a majority of people, and they don’t have any motion control features. Stability shoes often include guide rails to create an even stride, which helps people who tend to place most of their weight on either the arch side or outside of their foot. You may also like our post on the best manual treadmill guide here.
Reading customer reviews can help you to make the right choice in shoes. Look for sizing guidelines, as some shoes may run smaller or larger than expected. Also, look into common issues other customers are having and avoid shoes with frequent technical complaints.
All of the shoes on our list have received tons of positive reviews, so proceed confidently if you decide to purchase any of our recommendations!
What Are the Most Comfortable Running Shoes? – Final Thoughts
The wide array of running shoes would not exist if all runners preferred the same type of shoe. Think about your body and natural gait, as well as your goals as a runner, when you are looking at new running shoes. The Brooks Glycerin 17 Cushioned Road Running Shoe is a good neutral running shoe for those seeking out comfort while on treadmill or road runs. Brooks is a trusted brand among runners and this particular shoe received their highest possible rating for cushioning.
More cushioning often translates to better comfort, but some individuals will need a shoe with good support in order to feel truly comfortable. Determine your intended running environment, listen to your body, and use this list as a starting point for finding your most comfortable running shoe yet.
If you like to go running right after work, you may want to have a backpack with shoe compartment so check out our recommendations here.