Shoes are runners’ most valuable possession. With the right pair, you can test your limits, improve your performance, and above all — enjoy the run.
Unfortunately, most runners give up at the first sign of aching feet, blisters, or simply shoes being uncomfortable. The right shoes for you are out there — you just need to know where to look.
The perfect long distance running shoe offers lightweight protection while allowing you to get over, through and around any hurdle that dares get in your way.
As you head down the road or off the beaten trail, these long distance running shoes will make sure you are performing at maximum levels.
Here are the most durable long distance running shoes.
Run on Clouds
The previous Hoka model wasn’t that successful — Evo shoes were too stiff, and their breathability properties were practically nonexistent. However, they managed to fix everything with ATR 5. Although the two models might look similar, they are actually completely different.
You’ll probably think that they look unusually robust and bulky — that is because there’s an extra 32mm of cushioning. Because of this design, you won’t feel the difference between terrains. You will feel like running on clouds.
Although they might look heavy, they are not; as a matter of fact, ATR 5 is lighter than the previous model. Comfort and breathability are the two most influential factors that Hoka team had in mind during the development of these shoes.
They also tried to incorporate stability and thus create the perfect running shoes. Something went wrong — Hoka tried to mix up two different technologies that are usually successful separately:
- deep foot frame,
- and meta-rockered geometry.
However, this experiment slightly backfired. Somehow, these two don’t work together, and therefore stability isn’t this shoe’s top feature.
500 Mile Run
Although there are no significant upgrades when compared to the previous model, Mizuno Wave Inspire 15 is still an impressive pair of shoes. With it, you can easily run over 500 miles.
Thanks to U4ICX, which is incredibly soft foam, U4IC which Mizuno uses for its midsole, and recognizable wave plates that made this brand stand out from the crowd, your run will be smooth and comfortable.
One of the best things about these shoes is their resilience. Mizuno Wave Inspire 15 is designed to withhold harsh weather conditions — even snow. In case you’re looking for shoes that can adapt to any climate, this is the right pair for you.
The only potential problem you might have with them is the breaking-in time. Perhaps you even might have to go a size higher. Inspire 15 will break-in evenly to adapt to your foot. If you manage to survive that initial period, you’ll fall in love with these shoes.
Smooth City Ride
Long distance running shoes are usually bulkier than street footwear. There’s a good reason behind their appearance — not one but several actually. Long distance running shoes need to provide comfort, stability, breathability, and support. They aren’t something most people put on when going out.
However, Adidas is trying to change this. It’s obvious that these shoes are meant to be worn by different types of runners — they are trying to expand their audience.
This experiment wasn’t completely unsuccessful. As you can see, Ultra Boost shoes are aesthetically pleasing. Ultra Boost is quite comfortable as well. You’ll also find that these shoes are bouncier than the previous model — an additional layer of foam has been added to provide runners with some return-energy with each step.
Ultra Boost is a great choice for runs around the neighborhood — they are durable and comfortable. But, I wouldn’t put them on and go on an outdoorsy adventure.
Speed of Light
Speaking of street smart — Nike has also released a model that should be the clash of sports and fashion. It’s even more aerodynamic and smoother than Adidas’ model.
Pegasus 35 is created for speed junkies. It’s lightweight, springy, and comfortable. You won’t have any issues with developing and maintaining a certain speed. These shoes are also high performing in other tempos; you’ll be quite comfortable running slowly or warming up.
Achieving superspeed is possible because Pegasus 35 contains a very special layer — magic/hero foam. This material is simultaneously bouncy and cushioning.
Considering the brand behind them and their price, these shoes shouldn’t be anything but absolutely perfect. They are — you won’t find a single stitch out of order.
The only complaints so far are about their shape; it doesn’t fit every foot. It seems to be designed for people with narrow feet — you might have comfort issues in case yours are wider.
Lightweight & Durable
Unlike Pegasus 35, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18 provides an excellent fit. Everything about these shoes is slightly elastic — even the laces. Because of that, shoes will gently but securely encase your feet.
Not only is this a lightweight model, but it’s also reasonably priced, breathable, and durable. Your runs will feel secure, safe, and most importantly — blister-free.
Furthermore, the outsole is made of durable rubber that doesn’t stay in the way of flexibility which is always the priority. You might have some issues with pebbles; they have a tendency to get stuck among grooves.
However, they might be too comfortable. Brooks promised comfort, and they delivered exactly that, but some runners find the cushioning — well, too cushy. Instead of getting a slight bounce and an energy-return, your feet will just comfortably sink into the soft, comfy shoes.
Perhaps this may not be a downside for you, but don’t expect them to be springy.
Saucony Peregrine ISO
Boost of Confidence
Peregrine is a well-known brand among long-distance runners. Among fans, this company is famous for staying true to quality and durability.
Peregrine ISO is a go-to shoe if you plan on setting off to an adventure and you’re ready for a change of scenery. Peregrine ISO showed itself as a great choice for wild terrains.
Thanks to 78 deep lugs and five vertical grooves made out of resilient rubber, your performance will be enriched by an empowering boost of confidence.
The Peregrine ISO midsole is built out of quality materials — PWRFOAM, EVA, and
EVARUN. Because of these materials, its midsole is slightly bouncy, so your run will be additionally energized.
You should know that some people find them too stiff. They are not developed for pavement joggers but to provide long distance support. If your workout routine is based on city jogging, you might want to look for another, lighter pair.
Off the Beaten Path
The tremendously named La Sportiva Ultra Raptor is touted as the perfect shoe for the adventurous runner who ventures off the beaten path.
Half the attraction lies in the cushioning you need for day-long stints on the trail. In addition, an original feature – a “flexible rock plate” saves your foot from nasty surprises, potentially preventing many an athlete from spraining their ankle or taking a tumble.
The “aggressive outsole”, which makes these shoes sound as if they are alive, is designed to help you race over technical and stony terrain. Meanwhile, the wicking mesh upper should keep you cool.
Your Raptors should enable you to tackle just about any surface imaginable except maybe brass tacks. You can wear your La Sportiva Ultra Raptors off-road, along distance trails, and even on ultra-marathon contests.
“The Ultra Raptors gripped on rocky and slick terrain and softened impact better than any other trail shoes we tested,” reports Backpacker magazine, adding that the slip-resisting kicks enable a dramatic increase in your trail-run stride.
Under Armour Spine Reflective Storm Running Shoes
The Under Armour Spine Reflective Storm Running Shoes may well be the most expertly-engineered in this stiffly competitive list. Under Armour Storm footwear deploys “P2i technology” to stave off water without sabotaging breathability or adding weight.
“UA Spine chassis technology” generates a deliciously light, flexible feel without undermining stability. Other perks include the “ripstop”, water-resistant upper and the solid rubber outsole designed to afford full ground contact and top-class traction, while carbon rubber lends the heel durability.
Oh, and let’s not forget the 360 degree reflective material meant to make you more visible during low-light long distance runs. Impressively high-tech. Great support and great construction on make this shoe a winner.
Whatever the weather – storms welcome – and regardless of lighting conditions. Extraordinarily, the shoes take a cue from some of the most dynamic motion systems in nature: starting with the human spine.
Adidas Supernova Glide 5 ATR
The Adidas Supernova Glide 5 kicks are designed to keep you on track when the going gets rough. In fact, the high-mileage, durable running shoes are built to help you tackle the grittiest of runs. The shoes boast a weather-resistant upper and a trail-ready outsole to help stave off the elements.
“When you don’t know what to expect, look to the Supernova Glide ATR and be ready for anything,” the tagline says. Stability attributes include an independent “crash pad” and a plastic shank for extra midfoot support. The upper uses active “for motion” technology designed to supply stretch as your foot moves through the gait-cycle.
Another perk – the high-tech rubber outsole – provides improved traction over any terrain and even in wet conditions. Plus, the shoes are said to be comfy. Should you start getting seriously sweaty, the breathable air mesh should lower your temperature a little.
Merrell Mix Master Tuff
The name of these shoes conjures up the image of a kitchen blender. If you put some into one you might find that they come out unscathed. These Merrell Mix Master Tuff kicks sport a rugged build meant to make them ready to mix it up with technical and nasty conditions. Read rocky terrain and savage weather.
According to the manufacturer, while the chunky upper shields your foot from trail hazards, the outsole “lugs” generate sensational traction on a range of terrain types. A burly pair of Mix Master Tuffs occupies the edgy middle ground between a running shoe and a lightweight hiking boot.
Unless you make a habit of slogging through swamp and across razor-sharp scree, these shoes should last. The manufacturer describes them as “tough-as-nails” – capable of conquering the most challenging terrain.
Unusually, the shoes, which are part of the “Outventure range”, also cater to the yuk factor – foot odor through an antimicrobial treatment. The EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) insole is said to provide both comfort and shock absorption. Versatile.
Some shoe features may be a dealbreaker for a group of runners, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have an issue with them. You should experiment until you find a combination of properties that suits your needs.
The only mistake you can really make is getting city shoes for outdoors running. Pavement experience is significantly different than the one you’ll have in nature.
With this in mind, you should be able to make an informed choice.