A few good shoes for distance runs
For regular distance workouts, runners know that every little thing matters. You’ll want the right watch or fitness tracker with which to monitor your progress. It’s advisable to wear secure but comfortable sunglasses, or you may want to bring along headphones that won’t slip or fall out. And of course, the right apparel for a long run is of paramount importance, as it will determine your comfort throughout the workout. More important than any of these gear and apparel choices though is picking out the right pair of shoes for your specific running form and gait. You need footwear that fits well and keeps you comfortable, that cushions your run well, and that also has adequate traction and stability for distance runs. The good news is that there are plenty of options out there! And to help you narrow them down if you happen to be in the market, here are some of the best options. Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 Saucony is a brand you probably didn’t ever pay much attention to until you started running. It’s recognized as a runner’s brand, and so it emphasizes functionality and comfort for long hours on the pavement. Saucony is maybe best known as something of a counterpart to ASICS (another runner’s brand), so it’s worth looking into the differences if you’re considering either. Per a side-by-side comparison, the main distinction is that Saucony may be a little better for speed and a light fit. If that appeals, check out the Endorphin Speed 2 as one of the latest and most impressive shoes from the company. ASICS Gel-Nimbus Lite 2 The aforementioned comparison gives Saucony the edge for speed and light material. It also notes, however, that runners who want a little more padding when they run will often prefer ASICS, which simply places a little more emphasis on thick, shock-absorbing midsoles. This makes them a better option in particular to people who may have trouble with their feet, shins, knees, or even lower backs. As for a specific pair, a lot of ASICS feel and function quite similarly to one another. The Gel-Nimbus Lite 2 is an excellent choice to start out with. HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 8 HOKA ONE ONE (pronounced o-nay o-nay) has burst onto the scene in recent years and quickly carved out a place in the running community. The shoes are defined by light builds and extremely soft and thick cushioning, but still have the soles and durability to handle distance runs. HOKA ONE ONE unveiled the Clifton 8 as its latest shoe just a few months ago, announcing at the time that it is 15% lighter than its (already quite light) predecessor. That instantly made it one of the more intriguing athletic shoes of 2021, and another great option for runners to explore.
Brooks Levitate 4 If you’re looking for a well-rounded running shoe with a tried-and-true reputation, look no further than the Brooks Levitate 4. Brooks has about as strong a pedigree among runners as any other brand, and the Levitate has been a virtually flawless series for a while now. These shoes have long boasted a combined emphasis on stability, cushion, traction, lightness, and fairly neutral aesthetics that make them — perhaps — the most universally appealing options on the market. And the Levitate 4, as the latest in the series, continues the trend. On Cloudstratus On is a relatively new Swiss brand that caught on fairly quickly with serious runners, and was then catapulted to greater relevance by an investment from Roger Federer. Now, it’s looking to become a true competitor in athletic wear, with its innovative “cloud” tech running shoes leading the way. The shoes are certainly unique, and there are already several varieties (with some meant for road running, some for trails, etc.). The Cloudstratus offers their best cushioning yet though, and is likely on its way to being On’s most popular running option. One note: People tend to either love this shoe or find it uncomfortable. Be sure to try a pair on before committing to it. There are of course plenty of great running shoes not listed here. Many people swear by one Nike series or another; the Ultraboost line has more or less re-established Adidas on the running scene; even New Balance has produced a strong option in the form of its Fresh Foam X (in a few different editions). But these shoes listed here represent our suggestions for runners eyeing distance routines in 2021 and beyond.