The Best Long-Distance Running Shoes, According To Runners

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After the new year, people across the country take a breath from the chaos of the holidays to reevaluate their healthy habits, whether it’s choosing to meal prep over turning to Seamless, learning how to be less wasteful or just hitting the gym a few times more frequently.

For many people though, 2019 is the year they finally run their first ever marathon. If you’ve decided to make the commitment and run your first marathon this year, you’re in good company — about 60 million Americans participated in running, jogging and trail running in 2017. That’s a lot of people hitting the pavement for all kinds of reasons, from health and fitness to stress relief.

By choosing to run a marathon, you’re committing to much more than 26.2 miles in one go. There’s also the many miles you’ll cover during training. If you want to avoid injury, you have to know how long it takes to train for a marathon, build the right training schedule and know what exactly you need to train for a marathon, because that old pair of Chuck Taylors certainly won’t do.

To help you get over that finish line this year, we spoke with a handful of long-time runners about their favorite running shoes for marathons. Read on for a practical list of marathon-worthy sneakers from some experienced runners.

FYI, HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

Zappos

“My main squeeze is the New Balance Zantes,” says Ashley Raymond, a teacher in Chicago who coaches high school cross country and recently completed the Chicago marathon. “I am on my ninth pair of them. They are an incredibly light trainer that you can’t help but feel fast in. The coach in me hates to admit it, but I actually love them even more because of how they look…I love that I can wear them when I am running, coaching or out to brunch after a lunch run. It is their combination of speed, comfort and style that keeps me coming back.”

Newton Running Distance

Zappos

Paulo Saini is a marathon and ultra-marathon runner based in Chicago. He stumbled into marathoning about eight years ago and now racks up an average of about 200 miles a month. One of his favorite pairs of shoes right now is the Newton Distance. “The human body is proficient in running and evolved running barefoot,” he says. “I try to stick with a barefoot experience in running shoes. Minimalism in life, shoes and running attire!”

New Balance 880v8

New Balance

Kristine Gift ran her first half marathon more than ten years ago. Today, she runs four to six days a week. Her running shoe of choice is the New Balance 880. “It fits my foot like a glove, and it’s light enough to use for both quick races, like 5Ks, and long hauls, like this year’s Marine Corps Marathon,” she says. For Gift, the 880’s versatility is key. “They work for any distance, which makes them a must-have in my collection of shoes.”

Nike Epic React Flyknit

Finish Line

“Now that I’m training for the Boston Marathon, I run six times a week,” says Alex Amaya, a graduate student in Chicago. He recommends the Nike Epic React Flyknit. “I really like the lightness in these shoes and the glove-like feel that comes with the Flyknit technology. They also feel very comfortable for shoes that are this light.”

Innov-8 Trailroc 285

Zappos

“I have wide feet, so it’s hard to find shoes that fit,” says Walter Handloser, a data scientist based in San Luis Obispo, California. Handloser says he got serious about running about eight years ago, and since has completed 24 marathons and 39 ultra-marathons, many of which are trail races. “There still aren’t a lot of wide shoes out there. The lack of options really made me into a shoe hound. The wonderful part about Innov-8 shoes is that they make things for just about every surface, from road to mud, snow and hard-packed trails. If I had to choose a favorite from the bunch, I’d go with the Innov-8 Trailroc 285. It’s that rare shoe that does everything right: enough traction for trail work, not too aggressive for road and a healthy amount of foot protection from rocks and roots.”

Adidas Supernova Glide

Amazon

“Adidas has always been my favorite brand, whether it comes to clothes or shoes,” says Diego Castañeda, a neighborhood transportation engineer in California who has completed 11 marathons, the most recent in Zurich for News Year’s Day. “The Supernova Glide were very good running shoes for marathon running. Adidas has other great running shoes for shorter distances, but these last long and kept their shape over distance,” he says. Castañeda also recommends that new runners consider Brooks and Mizuno running shoes.

Saucony Kinvara

Zappos

Saucony Kinvara shoes have been my favorite type of shoe for the past three to four years,” says Julie Knaus, a massage therapist. Knaus has completed six marathons in the past seven years while dabbling in long distance triathlons. “They’re lightweight and comfortable for long distances,” she says. This shoe’s most recent design, the Kinvara 9, boasts firm cushioning and comes in nine different color combinations.

Adidas Running adiZero Boston

Zappos

Jeanne Boone, whose been running since 2011, recommends the Adidas Boston for track work. “I like a tighter and narrower fit on my foot, so Adidas is great,” she says. “I switched from a heavier shoe and never looked back. I’d much rather have to throw in an insert if I need some more support than go back into my previous shoes that seemed to be just a little too high in stability and a little heavier.”

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