what are the best running shoes for marathon training
what are the best running shoes for marathon training

Looking for the perfect pair of running shoes to conquer your marathon training? Look no further, because we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll explore the top recommendations for the best running shoes that will support you every step of the way. Whether you’re a seasoned marathon runner or just starting your training journey, these shoes are designed to provide comfort, stability, and durability. So lace up your shoes and get ready to hit the pavement with confidence! When it comes to marathon training, choosing the right running shoes is crucial. The right pair of shoes can provide the comfort, support, and durability needed to endure the long miles of training and the race itself. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s why we’re here to help guide you through the different types of running shoes, considerations to keep in mind, top brands to consider, and even some reviews of the best shoes on the market for marathon training. So let’s dive in and find the perfect pair of running shoes for your marathon journey!

Types of Running Shoes for Marathon Training

When it comes to running shoes, there are several different types to consider. Each type is designed to address specific needs and provide different levels of support to accommodate various running styles. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of running shoes for marathon training:

Neutral Shoes

Neutral shoes are designed for runners with a neutral gait, meaning their feet don’t roll excessively inward (overpronate) or outward (underpronate). These shoes provide a good balance of cushioning and support, making them suitable for most runners. They are typically lightweight and flexible, allowing for a more natural and efficient stride.

Stability Shoes

Stability shoes are designed to provide extra support and stability for runners who overpronate. Overpronation occurs when the foot rolls excessively inward, which can lead to various injuries. Stability shoes often feature a combination of cushioning and medial support to help correct pronation and maintain proper alignment.

Motion Control Shoes

Motion control shoes are the most supportive type of running shoe and are designed for severe overpronators. These shoes offer maximum support and stability to control excessive pronation. They typically have a firm midsole and a rigid construction to provide extra control and prevent the foot from rolling inward.

Lightweight Shoes

Lightweight shoes, also known as racing flats, are designed for speed and performance. These shoes prioritize weight reduction and minimalistic design to maximize running efficiency. They are typically used for shorter distances or for runners with a more efficient running form. Lightweight shoes may lack the cushioning and support needed for marathon training, so they are not recommended for everyone.

Considerations for Choosing Marathon Training Shoes

Now that we know the different types of running shoes available, it’s important to consider several factors before making a decision. These factors can greatly impact your comfort, performance, and overall running experience. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:


Understanding your pronation type is crucial when choosing running shoes. As mentioned earlier, overpronation and underpronation can lead to various injuries, so it’s essential to find shoes that provide the appropriate support for your specific pronation needs. If you’re unsure about your pronation type, it’s best to consult with a professional or get a gait analysis done at a running specialty store.


Cushioning is an important feature of marathon training shoes, as it helps absorb impact and provides comfort during long runs. The level of cushioning can vary from shoe to shoe, so it’s important to consider your personal preference and the amount of cushioning that feels comfortable for you. Some runners prefer a plush and cushioned feel, while others prefer a firmer and more responsive ride.

Arch Type

Knowing your arch type can also help in selecting the right running shoes. There are three main arch types: low, medium, and high. Runners with low arches (flat feet) often require more stability and motion control, while those with high arches may benefit from more cushioning and flexibility. Runners with medium arches generally have more options to choose from, as they can typically wear neutral or stability shoes depending on their pronation.


Marathon training involves putting a significant amount of mileage on your shoes, so durability is an important factor to consider. Look for shoes with durable outsoles and uppers that can withstand the wear and tear of training. Reinforced areas, such as toe caps and heel counters, can also contribute to the longevity of the shoes. However, keep in mind that durability often comes at the expense of weight, so finding the right balance is key.

Top Running Shoe Brands for Marathon Training

Now that we’ve discussed the different types of running shoes and key considerations, let’s explore some of the top running shoe brands known for their quality and performance. These brands have established themselves as leaders in the running shoe industry and offer a wide range of options for marathon training:


Nike is a well-known and highly respected brand in the sporting world. They offer a diverse range of running shoes that cater to various needs and preferences. Nike’s shoes are often praised for their innovative designs, responsive cushioning, and lightweight construction. Some popular models for marathon training include the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly and the Nike Zoom Pegasus.


Adidas is another renowned brand that produces high-quality running shoes suitable for marathon training. Known for their comfort, durability, and stylish designs, Adidas shoes are a popular choice among runners of all levels. The Adidas Ultraboost and the Adidas Adizero Adios are popular options for marathon training, providing a combination of cushioning and responsiveness.


Brooks has earned a reputation for manufacturing reliable and comfortable running shoes. They are well-known for their extensive research and dedication to providing shoes that cater to individual biomechanics and needs. The Brooks Ghost is a popular shoe among both recreational and serious runners, offering a balance of cushioning and responsiveness for long-distance training.

New Balance

New Balance is a brand that prioritizes comfort and performance. They are known for their wide range of sizes and widths, making them an excellent choice for runners with specific sizing requirements or foot shapes. The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 is a popular shoe for marathon training, offering plush cushioning and a comfortable fit.


Saucony is a brand that focuses on creating shoes with a perfect balance of cushioning, support, and flexibility. They are especially popular among runners who prioritize comfort and durability. The Saucony Kinvara is a top choice for marathon training, providing a lightweight and responsive ride.

Reviews of the Best Running Shoes for Marathon Training

To help narrow down your options, let’s take a closer look at some of the best running shoes for marathon training. These shoes have been highly reviewed by runners and have proven to be reliable and effective during long-distance runs:

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly

The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly is a highly acclaimed shoe known for its excellent energy return, cushioning, and lightweight design. It features a carbon fiber plate that helps propel the runner forward, making it a popular choice for marathon races. Many runners have set personal records and achieved significant performance improvements while wearing these shoes.

Adidas Adizero Adios

The Adidas Adizero Adios is a lightweight and responsive shoe that offers a combination of speed and cushioning. It features Adidas’ Boost technology, providing excellent energy return and impact absorption. Many runners have praised the shoe for its comfortable fit and versatility, making it a great option for marathon training and racing.

Brooks Ghost

The Brooks Ghost is a versatile and reliable shoe that offers a balance of cushioning, support, and responsiveness. It is known for its comfortable fit and smooth ride, making it a popular choice for long-distance training. Many runners appreciate the shoe’s ability to handle various surfaces and terrain, providing a consistent and enjoyable running experience.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 is a shoe designed for maximum cushioning and comfort. It features New Balance’s Fresh Foam technology, providing a plush and soft feel underfoot. The shoe’s roomy toe box and generous cushioning make it a favorite among runners looking for a comfortable and supportive option for marathon training.

Saucony Kinvara

The Saucony Kinvara is a lightweight and responsive shoe that offers a balance of cushioning and flexibility. It is known for its comfortable fit and natural ride, allowing for a more efficient stride. Many runners appreciate the shoe’s versatility, making it suitable for both long-distance training and faster-paced workouts.

Choosing the Right Size and Fit

Once you’ve narrowed down your options and chosen a specific shoe model, it’s essential to ensure you’re getting the right size and fit. Proper sizing and fit can greatly impact your comfort and performance, so it’s crucial to take the time to find the perfect match. Here are some tips to help you choose the right size and fit for your marathon training shoes:

Proper Sizing

Start by measuring your feet to determine your correct shoe size. Remember that shoe sizes can vary between brands and models, so don’t rely solely on your usual size. Refer to the brand’s sizing chart and take note of any recommendations regarding sizing up or down. Consider measuring both feet, as one foot is often slightly larger than the other. It’s generally recommended to go with the size that accommodates your longer foot.

Trying Shoes on

Once you have your size in mind, it’s time to try on the shoes. Visit a running specialty store where you can try on different models and brands to find the perfect fit. When trying on shoes, wear the same type of socks you plan to wear during marathon training to ensure an accurate fit. Walk around in the shoes and run on a treadmill if possible to get a feel for their comfort and performance. Pay attention to any areas of discomfort or tightness, as these can indicate that the shoes are not the right fit for you.

Considerations for Wide Feet

If you have wide feet, it’s important to take that into consideration when choosing your marathon training shoes. Look for brands that offer wide or extra-wide width options, as these can provide a more comfortable fit. Avoid shoes with narrow toe boxes, as they can cause discomfort and potential foot problems. Consulting with a knowledgeable salesperson or podiatrist can also provide valuable insight into finding the right shoe for wide feet.

Breaking in Your Shoes

Once you’ve found the perfect pair of marathon training shoes, it’s important to allow them some time to break in before embarking on long runs. Breaking in your shoes gradually can help prevent discomfort, blisters, and other potential issues. Here are some tips for breaking in your shoes effectively:

Gradual Break-in Period

Start by wearing your new shoes on shorter runs or during daily activities to allow your feet to adjust to the fit and feel of the shoes. It’s generally recommended to gradually increase the distance and duration of your runs in the new shoes to give your feet time to adapt. This will also allow any potential areas of discomfort or rubbing to be identified and addressed before undertaking longer runs.

Testing Shoes on Short Runs

During the break-in period, pay attention to how the shoes feel on short runs. Take note of any discomfort, pain, or rubbing. If you experience persistent issues, it may be necessary to reassess the fit and consider trying a different model or size. It’s better to address any potential problems early on to avoid discomfort or injury.

Listening to Your Body

Every runner is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s essential to listen to your body during the break-in period and throughout your marathon training. If you experience persistent pain, discomfort, or changes in your running form, it may be a sign that the shoes are not suitable for you. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments or try different models to find the perfect match for your feet and running style.

Replacing Your Marathon Training Shoes

As you log more miles during your marathon training, it’s important to keep an eye on the wear and tear of your shoes. Running in worn-out shoes can lead to various injuries and negatively impact your performance. Here are some guidelines to help you determine when it’s time to replace your marathon training shoes:

Mileage Guidelines

The lifespan of running shoes can vary depending on several factors, including your running style, body weight, and the terrain you run on. As a general guideline, it’s recommended to replace your marathon training shoes every 300-500 miles. However, it’s essential to monitor the condition of your shoes and make adjustments as needed. If you notice significant wear or loss of cushioning before reaching the mileage range, it may be time for a new pair.

Signs of Wear and Tear

Inspect your shoes regularly for signs of wear and tear. Look for visible signs of breakdown in the midsole or outsole, such as compression, cracks, or loss of tread. Check the upper for any fraying, holes, or separation from the sole. Additionally, pay attention to changes in the cushioning and support. If you notice a significant reduction in comfort or an increase in pain or discomfort during your runs, it may be a sign that your shoes are no longer providing adequate support.

When to Buy a New Pair

If you have a marathon race approaching, it’s generally recommended to purchase a new pair of shoes at least two to three weeks before the event. This will allow enough time for the shoes to be broken in and for any potential issues to be identified and addressed. It’s important not to wait until the last minute to buy new shoes, as you may not have sufficient time to adjust or find a suitable replacement if needed.

Tips for Maintaining Longevity and Performance

To extend the lifespan of your marathon training shoes and ensure optimal performance, it’s important to take proper care of them. Here are some tips for maintaining the longevity of your shoes:

Cleaning the Shoes

Regularly clean your shoes by removing dirt and debris. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub away any dirt or stains. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as these can damage the materials of the shoes. Allow the shoes to air dry naturally, preferably away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

Storing Properly

When you’re not using your shoes, store them in a cool and dry place. Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, as this can cause the materials to deteriorate. It’s also a good idea to stuff the shoes with newspaper or shoe trees to help maintain their shape and absorb any excess moisture.

Rotating Between Pairs

Consider having multiple pairs of running shoes and rotating between them during your marathon training. This allows the shoes to have time to fully dry out between runs, reducing the risk of odor and extending their lifespan. It also allows different parts of your feet and legs to experience slightly different support and cushioning, potentially reducing the risk of overuse injuries.

The Importance of Proper Training and Preparation

While choosing the right running shoes is essential for marathon training, it’s crucial to remember that shoes alone won’t guarantee success. Proper training and preparation play a significant role in your overall performance and injury prevention. Here are some important factors to consider:

Gradual Mileage Increase

One of the most critical aspects of marathon training is gradually increasing your mileage. Pushing your body too hard and increasing mileage too quickly can lead to overuse injuries and burnout. It’s essential to follow a structured training plan that incorporates rest days, cross-training, and gradual mileage increases. Listen to your body and give yourself enough time to recover and adapt to the increased demands of training.


Incorporating cross-training activities into your marathon training can help improve your overall strength, flexibility, and endurance. Activities such as cycling, swimming, yoga, and strength training can complement your running workouts and reduce the risk of overuse injuries. Cross-training also provides a mental break from running, helping to prevent burnout and keep you motivated throughout your training.

Recovery Practices

Proper recovery is essential for optimizing your marathon training. Make sure to incorporate rest days into your training schedule to allow your body to recover and repair. This includes getting enough sleep, fueling your body with nutritious foods, and practicing active recovery methods such as foam rolling, stretching, and massage. Prioritize your recovery just as much as your training to ensure you’re in the best shape for race day.


Choosing the right running shoes for marathon training is a crucial step towards a successful and injury-free race. By considering factors such as pronation, cushioning, arch type, and durability, you can identify the shoes that best suit your specific needs. Top running shoe brands like Nike, Adidas, Brooks, New Balance, and Saucony offer a variety of models that cater to the demands of marathon training. Break in your shoes gradually and replace them when signs of wear and tear appear to ensure optimal performance. Don’t forget to take care of your shoes by cleaning and storing them properly. Lastly, remember that proper training, preparation, and recovery practices are just as important as the shoes you wear. By following these guidelines and finding the right pair of shoes, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the challenges of marathon training and achieve your running goals. Happy running!

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Ryan Simmons
I'm Ryan Simmons, a passionate running enthusiast and shoe enthusiast. I have been running since I was a kid and never looked back. I started the website Max Shoes Running to share my knowledge and experience with other running aficionados. I have extensively researched the best shoes for running and am constantly testing new shoes to find the best ones for different runners. I'm also a big fan of sharing running tips and advice to help others reach their running goals. I'm always looking for new and innovative ways to improve my running, and I'm sure I can help you too.