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WHAT SHOES ARE BEST FOR LONG-DISTANCE RUNNING?

Long distance marathon running shoes

Whether you’re just starting to log serious miles for your first race or you’re lacing up in preparation for your seventh marathon, you demand a lot of your running shoes. Your mileage, run type, and run surface may fluctuate from week to week—every run has a purpose and so does each of our running shoes. We’ll help you pick just the right pair (or pairs), based on your preferred fit, the types of runs you do, and your running surface.

FIT AND FEEL

Every runner has a running shoe fit and feel they prefer. Some runners go up half a size to account for foot swelling during longer runs. Other runners prefer a snug, sock-like fit. Which is right for you? The right fit is whatever feels best. And the only way to know for sure is to get out there and put some miles in.

TRAINING SHOES VERSUS RACE DAY SHOES

It’s common for runners to have multiple pairs of shoes for different types of runs. The majority of your runs will use training shoes—they’re typically slightly heavier with more cushion to absorb impact and help make all those miles easier on your legs.

Racing shoes are focused on performance and speed—think maximum energy return, lightweight uppers, and propulsion in every step. Remember to break in your race day shoes with a few fast runs to make sure the fit and feel is just right.

DISTANCE, SPEED, AND SURFACE

As you work toward a race or goal, you’ll take on different types of training runs—longer and slower, along with shorter and faster—and potentially on different surfaces. We’ve got you covered no matter how far, how fast, or what surface you run on.

EASY LONG RUNS

Easy long runs are a must for any runner and any training regime. A nice easy (or medium effort) long run helps build strength and improve aerobic base, and they can help you recover from a hard run. These shoes are made for smooth and easy running.

ON THE ROAD

  • Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2: This pair helps your feet feel serene as the miles pile up. It has a new breathable Flyknit upper with Flywire technology for support, and a generous helping of React foam designed to absorb lots of impact to help keep you moving comfortably mile after mile (after mile).
  • Nike ZoomX Invincible Run: You can’t reach your goals if you’re not out there running. This one will help you grab serious miles with our responsive and light ZoomX foam and a full-length waffle outsole for traction. We also added a more stable upper to keep your feet secure for the long haul.
Best long distance marathon running shoes

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2

ON THE TRAIL

  • Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 6: React cushioning and a full rubber outsole helps lessen the impact of roots and rocks. The upper has enhanced ventilation and a collar designed to keep debris on the trail and not in your shoe.
  • Nike Pegasus Trail 2: A mountain-bike inspired React outsole means a smooth and stable ride, and a breathable mesh upper offers a secure fit.
Best long distance trail running shoes

From left to right: Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 6 and Nike Pegasus Trail 2.

TEMPO/SPEED RUNS

Mixing speed runs in your training requires the right shoes. Speed work improves your cardiovascular health and helps you sustain a faster pace for a longer period to get you ready for race day—maybe even a personal record.

ON THE ROAD

  • Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37: This classic just keeps getting better and better. The Pegasus 37 is a fast shoe with React foam and a custom Zoom Air unit for men and women. It’s versatile and could fall under any of these categories—it’s great for any run.
  • Nike Zoom Fly 3: Ready to feel fast? The Zoom Fly 3 has a full-length carbon fiber plate that’s great for interval work or repeats on the road or track. The newly redesigned upper conforms to your feet and provides the comfort you need to crush speed runs.
  • Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT%: From the ZoomX foam and dual Zoom Air pods in the forefoot to the React heel, get ready for one of the most responsive and fast rides you’ve ever had. We’ve added high-abrasion rubber in key outsole areas for durability, so you can reach for them more often.
Best long distance marathon running shoes

From left to right: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37, Nike Zoom Fly 3, and Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT%.

ON THE TRAIL

  • Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 6: Lighter than the Air Zoom Wildhorse, the Air Zoom Terra Kiger has a great bounce to it. React foam and a heel Air Zoom unit give an ideal balance of speed and comfort despite rough terrain.
Best long distance trail running shoes

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 6

RACE DAY/MARATHON

Whether you’re lacing up to finish your first marathon or going for a personal record, all of your training comes down to race day. The right shoes can help you push through the last mile. It’s key to have race day shoes under your feet that you’ve broken in and feel confident in.

  • Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%: A healthy portion of ZoomX foam and two Zoom Air pods provide absurd energy return and help keep your legs fresher longer. Our AtomKnit upper helps reduce weight, increase breathability, and limit water absorption.
  • Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%: Perfect for your next road race. We paired responsive ZoomX foam and a wide toe box for stability to help keep you fresher when pounding the pavement.
Best long distance marathon running shoes

From left to right: Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% and Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%.

NEXT STRIDES

We understand the importance of finding the perfect shoes for long-distance runs—your training regimen and race day depend on it. And we know there’s no substitute for testing the shoes on a long run, so we give you 60 days to try them out. Put them to the test, take them on a run. If you don’t like them, return them. Miles and all.

If you still have questions about our running shoes, reach out to our Nike Experts through the Nike App.

What Shoes Are Best for Long Distance Running? 2021 | Nike Help

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