Most Cushioned Running Shoes for All-Terrain Types
Cushioning offers something different for each person depending on their needs. But whether you need a running shoe for everyday training or a pair for recovery days, there are benefits to wearing the most cushioned running shoes.
For example, if you want to rack up a lot of mileage without placing stress on your joints and bones, then a perfect pair of cushioned running shoes are just what you need. Why? Because it will help deliver smooth transitions and a soft ride.
Why Purchase The Most Cushioned Running Shoes?
The answer to this is quite simple. The most cushioned shoes pack the maximum amount of cushioning in your sole and deliver a soft underfoot sensation. They are designed to protect your feet from impact shock and make soft landings more forgiving.
Basically, if you want to manage that extra mile each day, you will need to purchase a running shoe that fits and is comfortable. A shoe that will provide the benefits you will need to last on the treadmill or running track.
The good news is that most footwear brands have caught on to this and have started to offer their versions of cushioned running shoes in the last few years. As a result, options out there can vary widely in style, features, and style. This makes it difficult to know the best and most comfortable running shoes.
To help you out, we compiled a list of what we think are the best-cushioned running shoes out there. We also included a pros and cons list for each option to help you choose the best one for you.
1. Vessi Everyday Move Sneakers
Vessi Everyday Move sneakers make the perfect running shoes if you need good cushioning for your low-impact running. As their latest collection, it boasts one of the highest arch supports the brand offers. The best part however is that the shoes are 100% waterproof!
The technology used to achieve that waterproofness is called Dyma-tex. This patented tech guarantees a high level of performance no matter the weather. These sneakers also have what's called feature zones that push away water and give better traction on different surfaces for a more comfortable ride.
In addition, these running shoes come with removable antibacterial insoles, moisture-wicking fabric, and a specially designed herringbone grip for extra grip.
Breathable mesh lining
Shipping not available for all countries
Lighter colours are hard to keep clean
2. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
The Nike Air Zoom 38 is an excellent running shoe if you already like the brand and are looking for a more responsive version of the React model. Nike added two millimetres to the underfoot are with the Air Zoom Pegasus.
As a reference point, the React gives a medium soft and moderately flexible feel with an outsole with extra flex grooves, and it can be used for any activity thanks to its versatility.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 comes with a rectangular tread pattern, improving the grip for the short runs off-road. It also features a wider toe box and a deep heel cup that minimizes slippage, and it's a significant improvement from the previous Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 model.
Wide toe box
Well-built and a durable shoe
Dual-density outsole with a rubber configuration
Responsive react foam
Available in different colorways
Not as bouncy as the Zoomx foam
3. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11
The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 offers the perfect combination of being lightweight while still offering great cushioning. Thanks to its super stretchy feel, and high breathability, these shoes will keep you comfortable even when your workout heats up.
These shoes also ensure you get a plush ride thanks to the Fresh Foam firm cushioning they're made with. It's an EVA foam variant that cushions every foot-strike. The New Balance Fresh Foam also includes a rocker-shaped midsole that makes transitions smoother, and a redesigned outsole that uses independent slabs divided by flex grooves.
Available in multiple widths
The upper might create additional pressure in the midfoot area
4. Asics Gel Kayano 28
Asics Gel Kayano 28 is touted as a flagship model. This is because of its most significant selling point, which is its robust stability.
The outer heel part is fitted with a high-quality gel that helps enhance comfort for long-distance runs, and the shoe also provides superior traction even in bad weather because it's tread-heavy. It has a seamless upper made of a form-fitting material that will wrap your feet like gloves and give a snug fit.
Designed with a midsole that's 55% lighter than regular foam, it's more responsive and increases the stability of every stride.
One thing to note, however, is that even though it delivers exceptionally well on all tracks and even uneven surfaces, it's on the pricer end.
High-quality gel on the outer heel
Exceptional stability and responsiveness
Needs a break-in period
May feel heavy and stiff at first
5. Brooks Glycerin 19
The Brooks Glycerin 19 is a well-cushioned running shoe that gives a user maximum cushioning and stability for a comfortable ride. This means you won't have to settle when you choose this versatile shoe.
This road shoe includes supportive features such as a DNA Loft Foam that offers plush cushioning with every step. And, it also includes GTS technology built into the plush bed for a stable ride and soft feel underfoot.
These shoes are excellent for high mileage and adds some bounce to your runs thanks to their energetic formula - making them a perfect shoe as a daily trainer or an all-day shoe. On top of that and for additional durability, the shoe has a rubber layer on the outsole which works well for recovery runs or long runs.
Impact absorbing cushioning
Flex grooves in the front
Added durability and traction
Treads are not the best in wet conditions
Low energy return
Who Needs The Extra Cushioning In a Running Shoe?
Everybody is different. Some people will run better with barefoot-style shoes while others will do better with more cushioning. In contrast, others will depend on their foot condition, terrain, body type, length, and gait when deciding if they need more shoe cushioning or not.
a) Foot conditions
Cushioned running shoes are a great option for people who carry a bit more weight since it will offer a way to distribute said weight more evenly. Highly cushioned shoes will cradle and support the arches and heels of your feet, and combined with superior shock absorption, they will help prevent and treat plantar fasciitis.
It's also worth noting that even what would be considered slim people who exercise vigorously can sometimes benefit from added cushioning. This is because both them and those with diabetes, can develop plantar fasciitis. This is can happen because of intense workout routines, spending a lot of time on your feet, or running long distances without proper footwear.
If you want to run long distances or prefer working out over rough terrain, you'd probably benefit from additional cushioning. Long-distance runs are less tiring when your feet are sunk into a soft and plush interior. And if you are running over bumps or rocks, the soles of your feet will appreciate the extra protection.
One way to know if you need cushioned footwear is to evaluate your gait. To determine this, there's a quick at home test you can do. First, dampen your feet with water (not too much) then place them on a piece of paper to check the imprent left there.
If you see your entire foot's print, then your feet will tend to roll inwards while running. This means you may need running shoes with a less flexible sole and a very firm arch support. High levels of cushioning would also probably ont be needed. If there is a small and dry space for the arch, you have a neutral gait and your feet roll outwards when you are running. This means you will thrive with maximum cushioning.
d) Personal preference
Some people who love long-distance running find extra cushioning helps them find comfort and relief from leg fatigue. Cushioned footwear also allow you to run further while taking less time to recover.
However, some people say they extra cushioned shoes tend to be kind of awkward in shape and too bulky to be comfortable. Luckily, with all the options out there in the market today it should be easy to find the best pair for your feet.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Cushioned Running Shoes
When it comes to breathability, the idea is to find a well-ventilated shoe that will allow your feet to breathe easier. Breathability is essential for various reasons like keeping your feet cool and preventing bacteria that causes odours. It's also crucial when it comes to keeping moisture at bay since too much of it can eventually affect the shoe's structure.
When it comes to comfort, it's all about the amount of cushioning you prefer which varies from one user to another. For more information on how comfort affects your running check out the section above where we talk about it more.
The fit of a running shoe is more than just the size. You also need to consider the width, flexibility, how snug the tongue is, and how the upper portion of the shoe will fit your foot. Even though you can lace your shoes up it can actually cause issues and so the best solution is finding shoes that fit the best - whether laced or unlaced.
As much as running shoes are made for running purposes, there are shoes made to be used on certain types of terrains. That should be a factor to consider as well. If you're going to be trail running, look for the best running shoes for trails. The same idea applies if you're running on pavement or indoor tracks.
Consider where and how you run most often and pick a pair that will best meet your needs.
Depending on how often your run, you will need to pick a shoe for durability which has nothing to do with body type or distance. The terrain or particular surface you will be running on is actually what will affect your footwear lifespan.
Therefore, if a running shoe is meant for light or moderate trails, it should be able to weather the expected conditions. It's the same if a shoe is meant for long distances on the hard road.
6. Flexibility and support
It's crucial to have enough room in the toe box area when choosing shoes. Cramped toes when it comes to running shoes can cause blisters or foot pain. There also nothing worse than a stiff shoe that will not move with your every movement. Combined with comfort, flexibility in a shoe can directly affect your from when wearing them.
Frequently Asked Questions on The Most Cushioned Shoes
1. What is the difference between cushion types in running shoes?
Each manufacturer has its unique cushioning system when it comes to the outsole and midsole of their running shoes. However, most companies use a standard EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam and blend it with their special materials.
For example, Asics are famous for their gel cushioning system while Brooks is popular for their BioMoGo DNA cushion. To figure out the differences in each it's worth speaking to their Customer Service team for more help, or checking out their website.
2. What are other cushioned footwear options for additional support?
While the brands we mentioned so far in this article are some of the best options on the market, they're not the only ones available. Some other options that fall under the best cushioned running shoes list for those looking for additional support include:
Hoka One One