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Best Sneakers for Long Distance Running

If you're upping your running mileage to tone up, to cross-train for another endurance sport, or if you're training for a marathon, then you're going to need a quality pair of sneakers. There isn't one brand or style of running shoe out there that is considered the ultimate shoe, because everyone's feet are different and so is the way in which they run. Here's some criteria you should look for in a shoe:

  • The sneaker should be lightweight and breathable. After continuously pounding your feet on the ground for almost an hour, you want as little weight on your feet as possible to avoid injuries to your joints and to conserve energy. Running for long periods of time will also raise your body temperature, so you want a shoe that has some type of ventilation (sweaty feet can cause blisters).
  • The sneaker should be made for your type of foot. Flat-footed people who overpronate when they run need extra arch support. If you have high arches and underpronate, you'll need extra cushioning. If you're not sure what type of foot you have and where you fall on the pronation scale, go to a specialty running store for expert advice.

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  • The sneaker should be made for the type of surface you plan to run on. If you're jogging on dirt, uneven, or wet terrain, make sure the sole of the shoe is meant for that, and the frame is sturdy.
  • Go for comfort, not appearance. Your feet could care less if your sneaks look cute with your new running skirt. So make sure they offer optimum cushioning and support. Finding the best fit is the point, so try on every brand and style of shoe in the store (even if they're hideous).
  • Don't be afraid to put down the dough. A solid pair may end up costing around $150, but it's totally worth it since you'll be spending a lot of time in them. If your feet are protected, it'll help avoid injury and improve your performance.

If you're at a loss for which ones to try out here's a list recommended by Consumer Reports: Nike Air Zoom Vomero+ ($120), Nike Air Pegasus+ 2007 ($65), Puma Complete Infinitus ($85), and Reebok Premier Hatana ($89).


Join The Conversation
ElvisFreshly ElvisFreshly 8 years
If you are looking for customizing your own shoes go to to purchase a custom kit. Also, best place on the net for custom sneakers.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 8 years
KSansha - that really sucks. But your running shoes are supposed to be bigger than your regular shoes because your feet swell up when running. I thought my running shoes were HUGE, but after running a half marathon, they fit kind of snug. And I ended up with two black toe nails. The trail you went on, was it a trail trail (as in tree roots and holes and uneven ground), or a concrete running path? Trail running is a completely different thing and if you are new to running, can be quite difficult. I even still have trouble running on a woodchip trail.
KSansha KSansha 8 years
I did go to the running store and was fit by an "expert.." I'm training or a half marathon, my first, and was really excited and purchased what I affectionately called my school bus shoes. They were a size and a half larger than my street shoe. They were new balances. I wore them the second time on a trail and a mile and a half in, I tripped and sprained my ankle.I left a drag mark from my toe. 7 weeks later I still have pain and swelling. I don't plan on wearing those shoes again. any suggestions on how to get back up and going? shoes? anything?
cotedazur cotedazur 8 years
Eh, I'm not so sure how I feel about this advice. I would highly discourage a lightweight shoe for marathon training. If you're a competitive 5 or 10K racer, look for a lightweight shoe; if you're training for a marathon, get something more substantial. Cutting weight off a running shoe means you get less support and less cushioning, both of which are essential for those long training runs. I also am not at all an advocate of Nike shoes, which have a much shorter lifespan than other running brands. Every Nike I've ever owned has been in the trash before 300 miles, but my Asics Kayanos took me over 500 miles before I replaced them. However, it is true that what's most important is to find a shoe that fits your foot and not necessarily a brand that "knows" running.
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 8 years
Thank You! ;)
EastVillageAmy EastVillageAmy 8 years
I second the JackRabbit recommendation. They are awesome for fitting and have training run classes too. As someone with high arches and underpronates I always had hard time finding a good fitting shoe, but these guys are great.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 8 years
I've heard about Jackrabbit and want to go there! Unfortunately i'm in LA. But we have some great running stores here as well and I was fitted in Asics GT 2130. They are amazing. I need to replace them though, because they've seen me through endless training miles and a half-marathon, and i'm noticing some tweaks in my knees that I usually otherwise never feel. But yes, when it comes to running shoes, its function over fashion. Unless you want to end up in physical therapy.
onlybrowncarbs onlybrowncarbs 8 years
I will agree on this, too. I have run 1 marathon and am about to run another. I used to be concerned about style and I ended up with severe problems. Now I have horrible gold running shoes but I am injury free! I have had snot green shoes, black, red...many "unflattering" colors that make you question, "are these REALLY women's running shoes?" And yes, putting down money is worth it. Don't always go for the $30-40 sale pair. The extra money you save may just end up what you spend going to the doctor later (and then some). I am loyal to a few brands and there are a few brands I won't go near, but different shoes work best on different people.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i have to agree that a lot of these tips are really sound - and can even be applied to non-distance running shoe searching. i think that there are a lot of misconceptions that you have to stick to one brand or another since they are the ones that 'know' running or whatever it is that is promoted - but that's not always the case. try on a lot of different things to see what feels the best and don't be afraid to go back if they hurt your feet or just aren't right. if you're paying the money for the shoe then you should be happy.
LTrav1023 LTrav1023 8 years
For any New Yorkers who second guess themselves on shoe shopping, I would totally recommend Jackrabbit downtown. They have treadmills and cameras to check pronation and help you shop for a shoe - while teaching you how to do it yourself next time. I swear I love this place - and they have a great Bikram clothing collection too!
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