Top 10 Best Cushioned Running Shoes – Buying Guide

The best cushioned running shoes support greatly smooth ride transitions and provide a super-soft and comfortable ride for runners of all levels. There are lots of factors that contribute to a quality pair of cushioned running shoes. 

But it is best to choose a pair of running shoes that can meet the requirements of the following factors:

Many shoe brands are launching various cushioned running shoes to meet the increasing demand of runners today. That's why you can be confused when choosing the most suitable pair of shoes.

To make everything easier for you, we have compiled a list of the best running shoes with great cushioning available on our market for your consideration. Let's get started!

In-Depth Reviews of Top 10 Best Cushioned Running Shoes

In this section, we will explain the features of the best cushioned running shoes, along with their pros and cons.

#1. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 - Best Overall

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 cushioned running shoes

Specification

  • Size options: 7 - 16 X-Wide
  • Materials: Synthetic and Mesh
  • Outsole: Rubber
  • Weight: 9.3 oz

Editor’s Rating 

  • Cushioning: 10/10
  • Arch support: 10/10
  • Comfort: 10/10
  • Price: 10/10

Review

We will start with our winner - the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 for its best overall performance. This cushioned shoe features precise, fresh foam midsole cushioning to provide an ultra-soft and lightweight ride.

Though these shoes come with a soft cushioning layer, they are firm enough for a versatile ride. Featuring a weight of only 9.3 oz and a drop of 8 mm (about 0.3 inches), these shoes will make you feel the air on your feet in daily training runs.

Moreover, thanks to the Ultra Heel Technology, these shoes will give extra support for your heel during running sessions. We are confident new runners can get a lot from these 1080v11 shoes, especially if they are training for the first marathon or half marathon. 

It's quite versatile to wear for the race and your everyday training. We also like its synthetic sole with upper bootie construction to hug your feet for a snug and supportive fit. 

You will also love their synthetic mesh upper and OrthoLite sock liner for extra comfort. This daily trainer is built for high mileage loads and can run for a long distance of about 12 miles (around 20 kilometers). 

Besides, compared to its predecessors, the 1080v11 is lighter with a breathable soft knit upper to deliver strategic areas of stretch and high arch support

This suggestion comes in various colors, making it a favorite among energetic young runners. Its price is also acceptable for all features it offers to wearers.

Problems With This Product

You might feel these shoes are slightly tight in the beginning. However, they will break in after being worn for a while. A small tip is using thick socks to loosen them faster.

Besides, the shoes might have initial unpleasant chemical smells. Still, you don't need to worry much as they will vanish over time. Besides, you can use a shoe spray to solve this problem.

Advice From Experts And Users

Many runners recommend choosing your true sizes when buying this pair of shoes. Thereby, you will find no issues with rubbing.


#2. ASICS Gel-Kayano 27 - Best For Technology

ASICS Gel-Kayano 27 cushioned running shoes

Specification

  • Size options: 6 - 16 X-Wide
  • Materials: Synthetic 
  • Outsole: Rubber
  • Weight: 11.1 oz

Editor’s Rating 

  • Cushioning: 10/10
  • Arch support: 9/10
  • Comfort: 10/10
  • Price: 10/10

Review

Our runner-up is the ASICS Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes for its technologies. This cushioned shoe features the DYNAMIC DUOMAX technology to increase stability for those who tend to overpronate while running

This latest DuoMax system and the FlyteFoam Propel Technology – an exclusive ASICS energetic foam design provides improved platform support. They help deliver the supreme bounce for long-distance runners with a special elastomer compound. 

Not to mention, the brand also equips the ASICS Gel-Kayano 27 with the FlyteFoam Midsole Technology for exceptional responsiveness irrespective of the distance. Thus, you can wear this pair of shoes for a half marathon or marathon. 

Moreover, this responsive shoe also comes with Space Trusstic Technology to lower the sole weight while offering additional stability and retaining the shoes' structural integrity. 

Also, the redesigned plush upper keeps your feet cool while their sole is more flexible to promote natural rolls through the gait cycle. It will start in the heel with extra flex grooves to support to isolate initial impact to force a smoother and softer feeling at the foot strike. 

On top of that, you will love this footwear for its wide range of reflective materials and colors that can keep you visible when running in low-light conditions.

Problems With This Product

On the downside, this pair of shoes can wear out easily. Therefore, it would be better if they come with more durable materials.

We also found that these shoes come with low-quality liners. You might notice these linings have some holes in them after several uses. It is advisable to replace them regularly to ensure the best appearance of the shoes.

Advice From Experts And Users

As the shoe sizes are cut small, many recommend you order sizes that are ½ bigger than normal.


#3. Brooks Glycerin 19 - Best For Comfort

Brooks Glycerin 19 cushioned running shoe

Specification

  • Size options: 5 - 14
  • Materials: Synthetic and Mesh
  • Outsole: Rubber
  • Weight: 9 oz

Editor’s Rating 

  • Cushioning: 10/10
  • Arch support: 9/10
  • Comfort: 10/10
  • Price: 8/10

Review

The next position belongs to Brooks Glycerin 19. This pair of shoes comes with super-soft cushioning and rubber soles to provide the ultimate softness and supreme comfort for daily training runs.

Furthermore, the shoes feature the DNA Loft technology to provide great plush cushioning. Therefore, the wearers, especially experienced runners, can enjoy optimal comfort going the distance. 

Besides, the push feet of its internal stretch booties around your feet can move and expand with your stride. Its engineered mesh upper and plush interior liner surrounding the feet also enhances the fit and snug.

You can feel the extreme lightweightness when wearing this pair of shoes as their weight is only 9 oz. We also like its smooth transition to make every move from your heel to toe feel significantly smooth and soft. 

On top of that, the Brooks Glycerin 19 can give neutral support while providing the optimal cushioning, suitable for long-distance running and cross-training. There is also a wide variety of sizes and color variations for your choice. 

Thanks to its eye-catching design, it is a great choice for all ages to wear when running. 

Problems With This Product

Its price might be slightly high compared to those of other shoes. Another minor problem with these shoes is the bottom that might annoy you. The sole’s rubber material is relatively stiff and sometimes might create a squeaky sound when you walk.

Advice From Experts And Users

Many recommend buying the same size as normal for the best fit when choosing these shoes.


#4. Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 - Best For Responsiveness

Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 cushioned running shoe

Specification

  • Size options: 6 - 11
  • Materials: Synthetic, Textile, and Mesh
  • Outsole: Rubber
  • Weight: 9.9 oz

Editor's Rating 

  • Cushioning: 10/10
  • Arch support: 9/10
  • Comfort: 9/10
  • Price: 9/10

Review

We cannot forget to mention the Mizuno Wave Horizon 5 Running Shoes for their outstanding responsiveness. 

Thanks to its exclusive new Mizuno Enerzy Foam, the dual-layer midsoles are more responsive and offer more springy qualities than the former EVA technology of U4ic. In particular, it offers 15% more responsiveness and 17% softer than U4ic.

Besides, the X10 outsole of this responsive shoe is made of durable carbon rubber and features a straight-line design to allow for longer wear. We are also impressed with its foam support wave to give your feet extra support and comfort. 

And with a weight of only 9.9 oz and a drop of 12 mm (merely 0.5 inches), this comfortable running shoe can support you to run long distances without any hassle. The heel collar is specifically designed to enhance the comfort of runners when wearing.

The Mizuno Running Shoes are available in various sizes with three main color variations: Black, Silver, and Violet. And as these shoes come with a modern look, young-aged runners will love them.

Problems With This Product

This pair of shoes does not offer as much arch support as its predecessors. It would be great if the manufacturer offered their shoes with firm and thickly cushioned soles.

Besides, we found that the toe box's durability is not as high as we expected. After a while of using it, we noticed some small tears on this part. The best solution is to upgrade the material of plastic or foam and redesign the toe box.

Advice From Experts And Users

Many suggest buying a half size up as the sizing of these shoes is slightly small.


#5. ALTRA AL0A4VQT Torin 4.5 - Best For Zero Drop

Altra AL0A4VQT Torin 4.5 cushined running shoes

Specification

  • Size options: 7 - 16
  • Materials: Synthetic and Mesh
  • Outsole: Rubber
  • Weight: 9.1 oz

Editor’s Rating 

  • Cushioning: 10/10
  • Arch support: 8/10
  • Comfort: 8/10
  • Price: 9/10

Review

This Altra AL0A4VQT Torin 4.5 made its way on our list thanks to its zero-drop design. In other words, there is no height difference between toe and heel. This feature can let you run with more natural motion.

Moreover, this cushioned trainer is built on a premium outsole and midsole for a smooth, lightweight, and responsive ride. We also love its new kit plush upper, which is both breathable and comfortable. 

This model is over an ounce lighter (about 9.1 oz) than its predecessor, enhancing your comfort when wearing it, especially in long-distance running sessions. 

What makes this comfortable running shoe different from other products is the 5mm Premium PU Sculpted Footbed, along with a quantic midsole. These features help this responsive shoe become more comfortable and deliver great support for your feet. 

It also comes with FootPod Technology for its outsole, adding to its overall comfort. Many declared that wearing these shoes is like running on pillows. Besides, we also love its thick cushioning layer that provides great support for runners' feet when wearing.

This durable shoe comes with the APMA Seal of Acceptance, which is a program to recognize products found beneficial to the health of feet. 

There are many sizes and color variations for you to choose from. With the basic design, we believe these shoes might be an ideal choice for minimalists. 

Problems With This Product

Several runners said that these shoes lack arch support. Therefore, it would be better if the manufacturer worked more on this aspect. 

Besides, some users claimed that the shoes tend to feel tight across their foot top, occasionally causing blisters. Therefore, we would appreciate it if the manufacturer offered a wider foot top area to provide higher comfort for runners.

Advice From Experts And Users

Some reviewers suggested you choose the same size as regular when buying this pair of shoes.

Related post: Top 10 Wide Toe Box Running Shoes


#6. ASICS Gel-Venture 7 - Best For Trails

ASICS Gel-Venture 7 best sneakers for flat feet

Specification

  • Size options: 7 - 15
  • Materials: Synthetic and Mesh
  • Outsole: Rubber
  • Weight: 10.7 oz

Editor’s Rating 

  • Cushioning: 10/10
  • Arch support: 9/10
  • Comfort: 9/10
  • Price: 9/10

Review

The ASICS Gel-Venture 7 is an excellent option for those who often participate in trail running. This suggestion comes with robust construction for high durability in every condition, both on streets and off.

The shoes stand out among other products for their amazing rearfoot Gel cushioning technology. Accordingly, it can attenuate shock during all impact phases and deliver smooth ride transitions to midstance for any trail runner.

These running shoes also come with an Ortholite X-40 sock liner to provide an incredible cushioning underfoot layer for high rebound properties while offering great moisture control and breathability. 

It can also mold to your foot shape to deliver a comfortable and stable ride. With these features of the Gel-Venture 7, you can take on the hardest terrain in trails with confidence.

The extra support of these trail shoes comes from a robust upper made of synthetic leather. Besides, their internal heel counter can gently help the feet of runners stay in the natural motion for more efficient running sessions.

The shoes also boast ASICS high abrasion rubber outsole placed in important areas for exceptional durability.

Problems With This Product

We found that this pair of shoes is slightly heavy. It comes with a weight of up to 10.7 oz. It would be better if the ASICS provider could equip this suggestion with lighter materials.

Furthermore, their laces tend to be relatively loose. It is advisable to buy replacements from a local shoe shop nearby your place. Higher quality laces will help your shoes fit the feet better.

Advice From Experts And Users

These shoes are said to be true to size. Thus, you don't need to size up when buying.


#7. Brooks Ghost 13 - Best For Long-Distance Running

Brooks Ghost 13 women running shoes for high arches

Specification

  • Size options: 5 - 15 X-Wide
  • Materials: Synthetic and Mesh
  • Outsole: Rubber
  • Weight: 10.1 oz

Editor’s Rating

  • Cushioning: 9/10
  • Arch support: 9/10
  • Comfort: 8/10
  • Price: 9/10

Review

If you seek supportive cushioning to bring you for miles, the Brooks Ghost 13 might be your answer. The Brooks Ghost 13 delivers high energizing cushioning with neutral support, making it ideal for long-distance road running, cross-training, and treadmill running. 

The exclusive DNA Loft and BioMoGo DNA superior cushioning cooperate to offer optimal softness underfoot experience without compromising durability and responsiveness. Moreover, these shoes can provide smooth ride transitions for no distraction in your ride. 

Notably, this shoe's Segmented Crash Pad shock absorber system can cushion every single stride and step for significant smooth heel-to-toe transitions.

We are also impressed with its newly engineered mesh and 3D fit print that can practically disappear on your feet with the strategically positioned structure and stretch. Additionally, the air mesh upper can hug your feet for a secure yet breathable fit.

This versatile shoe comes in various colors and sizes of 5 to 15 for you to choose from. Thanks to elegant and simple design and a suitable drop of 12 mm (about 0.5 inches), these road running shoes can meet the preferences of all ages.

Problems With This Product

However, like the ASICS Gel-Venture 7, this suggestion is slightly heavy with a weight of 10.1 oz. Therefore, it is better to innovate the design to make the shoes more lightweight.

Besides, its durability should be improved as its nylon material is likely to break easily after several months. The manufacturer can choose the material of rubber to improve its durability.

Advice From Experts And Users

Lots of users said that the fit of the shoes is narrow and small. Thus you might have to size up when buying this pair of shoes.


#8. Saucony Cohesion 14 - Best For Budget

Saucony Cohesion 14 cushioned running shoes

Specification

  • Size options: 5 - 12 Wide
  • Materials: Fabric and Synthetic
  • Outsole: Rubber
  • Weight: 9.1 oz

Editor’s Rating 

  • Cushioning: 9/10
  • Arch support: 8/10
  • Comfort: 8/10
  • Price: 10/10

Review

The Saucony Cohesion 14 Running Shoes will be an excellent affordable option for tight budgets or beginners to start their running journey. 

You will not have to break the bank to get good running shoes. Despite the low cost, happy customers praise this pick for its high quality and performance. 

The Saucony Cohesion 14 are no-frills shoes to provide enough support and incredible cushioning to handle running long distances. We love its redesigned outsole for the smooth feel that can hold up to many miles. 

Additionally, they are one of the most lightweight shoes on our list, at just 9.1 oz. Thus, you will feel no burden when wearing these shoes on your feet.

We are also impressed with its VERSARUN superior cushioning system. It can effectively absorb impact and lower pressure for better strides at all running levels.

Problems With This Product

The shoes appear to be slightly firm and do not provide much responsiveness or spring in steps. It would be better if they came with improved midsole cushioning to give more rebound ability.

Besides, this pair of shoes also have a small problem with the heel area, which is slightly stiff and probably rubs around your ankle. The better material will make it softer to enhance comfort when wearing.

Advice From Experts And Users

Some users say the shoes fit true to your size. Thus, you don't need to size up when buying them.


#9. Under Armour HOVR Infinite 3 – Best For Support

Under Armour HOVR Infinite 3

Specification

  • Size options: 7 - 15
  • Materials: Textile
  • Outsole: Rubber
  • Weight: 10.1 oz

Editor’s Rating 

  • Cushioning: 9/10
  • Arch support: 8/10
  • Comfort: 8/10
  • Price: 9/10

Review

The Under Armour HOVR Infinite 3 comes with various advanced technologies to boost its performance and provide your feet with great support.

With a breathable and lightweight engineered mesh upper and a heel height of merely 1.4 inches, the shoes will give strategic support wherever you need it. 

The point that impresses us most is the UA HOVR technology that offers a zero-gravity feel to keep your energy return. This feature can lower impact and buffer every step you take. 

Moreover, a Compression Mesh Energy Web contains and molds the UA HOVR foam, helping give back the power you put in. Notably, you can connect to UA MAPMYRUn to track and analyze your running metrics. 

By following your progress, you can become a better runner with this pair of shoes. 

This suggestion also stands out with an innovative internal heel counter to give extra support to keep your foot rear locked in place. We also love its die-cut EVA sock liner to mold to the feet. 

Accordingly, they can eliminate slippage and provide perfect underfoot comfort. Many wearers praise it for an easy on/off ability, thanks to the stretch bootie design. 

One more thing, there is a wide range of sizes and colors available for you to choose from. With the basic design, it is suitable for all ages to wear.

Problems With This Product

With the weight of 10.1 oz, you might feel it is slightly heavy compared to other products. And if you are on long-distance runs, your feet might feel tired when wearing this pair of shoes.

Advice From Experts And Users

Many users suggest you size up when buying this pair of shoes as they are quite smaller than normal shoes.


#10. Adidas Ultraboost 21 – Runner-Up For Comfort

Adidas Ultraboost 21 Running Shoes for Supination

Specification

  • Size options: 5 - 12
  • Materials: Textile Synthetics
  • Outsole: Rubber
  • Weight: 9.8 oz

Editor’s Rating

  • Cushioning: 9/10
  • Arch support: 8/10
  • Comfort: 9/10
  • Price: 8/10

Review

Our last pick is the Adidas Ultraboost 21 Running Shoes. They win our hearts for optimal comfort in every single step. In particular, these shoes come with 100% textile synthetics and rubber soles to provide essential support in your single step. 

Besides, its sock-line fit can perfectly hug your feet to make you feel comfortable when putting it on. This suggestion also stands out for precision-made Primeknit with seamless zones to combine strength and performance for smooth comfort. 

As a result, it can ensure distraction-free movement. Also, this pair of shoes features stretch web outsoles that can naturally flex for an energized and bouncy ride. You will love its continental rubber as it can give you superb traction.

The shoes are made of PrimeBlue – a high-performance material made in partnership with Parley Ocean Plastic to deliver the optimal comfort for runners.

Half of the upper of this shoe is textile, and 75% of the textile is Prime Blue yarn, which is quite stretchy and comes with a sock-like fit. Thanks to its Linear Energy Push system, the shoes have better midfoot and forefoot stiffness. 

We also like the S-curve heel of this suggestion as it can lower slip when running. With the superior cushioning system, the shoes can return energy to every single stride.

Adidas often offers various beautiful designs with stunning colors for their shoes, and these Ultraboost 21 running shoes are no exception. 

These shoes come in many lovely colors, which are suitable for young runners. There is a wide range of sizes from 5 to 12 for you to choose from as well.

Problems With This Product

We found that the design of the shoes' top area can make running in marathons impossible as it can hurt your feet. It would be better if the top area of the shoes is designed with better construction and materials.

Moreover, the shoes come at a higher price than other products.

Advice From Experts And Users

As per many users, these shoes run true to size. Thus, you had better choose your normal size if you want to buy it.


Best Cushioned Running Shoes Buying Guide

Here are some key factors you should keep in mind when buying a pair of running shoes.

Types Of Cushioned Running Shoes

There are three types of running shoe support as follows:

Neutral: 

This type is a durable option for neutral runners and those frequently overpronating or rolling outward. 

Neutral shoes offer much cushioning yet come with no motion control and are more lightweight. They can also enhance the soft underfoot feeling and faster movements.

Stability: 

They offer extra stability to prevent pronation and often deliver a little additional support for side-by-side motion control. This type is ideal for runners moderately or mildly overpronating.

Read more: Best stability running shoes

Motion Support: 

These shoes are the most stable models with high motion control. They can counter severe or moderate overpronation effectively. 

Besides, they can help control or eliminate the foot's excessive rolling. They also offer extra shock absorption and are the best rigid shoes.

Comfort

The right cushioned running shoes will make you feel like foamy clouds on your feet. The cushioning layers of the shoes have to be soft and comfortable. They can let your feet run without feeling a little terrain detail.

Cushioning

A supportive cushioning layer will boost the ground-contact stability and help the ground to feel much softer underfoot. Thus, you can get the best condition to run long distances without hurting your feet.

Drop

This factor makes the difference in the level of cushioning from the back foot to the forefoot. The lower it is, the more conducive the running shoes are for fast running style. Typical speed running shoes will have about a 4mm drop (merely 0.16 inches).

Weight

Lighter running shoes come with less cushioning to give a better rebound capacity off the ground. As a result, they support powerful runs and speedy splits. If you run long distances, it is best to choose heavy shoes with thicker cushioning layers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions people ask when shopping for cushioned running shoes.

Is Cushioning Essential For Running Shoes?

Cushioning is critical for under-pronating runners. Either whether your feet roll outward much or don't roll inward enough. The rolling motion can help your feet absorb the shock of your single step. If not, it can be sent through the joints towards your spine.

Do I Need Support Or Cushioned Running Shoes?

If you have natural pronation patterns, you will be able to run in various kinds of shoes, yet specialized neutral cushioned running shoes are the most suitable choice. 

The reason is that they can boost natural foot motion. Thus, beginners probably want to opt for cushioned shoes for support since they can build muscle strength.

How Long Does Cushioning In Running Shoes Last?

The running shoes' lifespan depends on various elements such as terrain, running form, weight, built-up mileage, and shoe materials. The cushioning layer cannot last forever, and you had better consider purchasing new shoes whenever:

  • You feel foot pain or fatigue, especially in your knees, after an average run.
  • You feel hurt or begin aching on impact (there is not enough impact absorption.)
  • Your shoes might look great outside, yet inside, the cushioning is probably deteriorating. Therefore, it is critical not to pay attention to just visual inspection.

Conclusion 

So you have gone through our top 10 best cushioned running shoes in-depth reviews. In short, before making the final decision, it is imperative to carefully consider the key factors in the buying guide, including the cushioning, comfort, drop, and weight.

And among the above products, we love the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 most for its exceptional performance in all aspects of cushioning, arch support, comfort, and price. 

In particular, the shoes come with an excellent cushioning system with precise midsole foam. Also, the Ultra Heal Technology greatly helps deliver optimal comfort and durability for the shoes.

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