6 Best Cushioned Running Shoes

Engineered to minimize impact and reduce foot fatigue

Cushioned running shoes are designed to provide more flexibility and cushioning than typical running shoes. The additional padding and support can help minimize the impact on joints, ligaments, and tendons, making them ideal for both weekend runners and professional athletes alike.

Runners who generally do best in a cushioned shoe are those with high arches, a ridged foot, or a tendency to supinate (roll outward during the foot strike). Runners with a neutral foot strike will also find that a cushioned insole and sleeve provides added comfort and stability when on longer runs or uneven surfaces.

If a cushioned shoe seems the right choice for you, look for those described as either flexible, cushioned, or neutral. Six of the brand we most like include:

All Mizuno Wave models are specifically designed to reduce and redirect the direct impact your foot takes when hitting the ground with every foot strike. This feature makes most Mizuno running shoes especially good for those with high arches. The Rider is also a good choice for runners looking for a nice blend of cushion and neutral support.

The adult Mizuno Wave Rider sells for between $60 and $200, depending on retailer.

The Brooks Glycerin is one of the most cushioned running shoes that we have sampled. While its contoured foam insole may be considered too soft for many runners, it may be ideal for those with a very high arch, providing a whole lot of bounce and give over varied terrain.

The Brooks Glycerin is perfect for runners in training as it offers stability and mid-foot support over long runs with very little foot fatigue.

The Glycerin retails for between $85 and $230.

Nike is one of the most trusted performance apparel brands, so it is no surprise that they offer one of the better options in cushioned running shoes. One of the pioneering cushioned running shoes, the Nike Air Pegasus, is still a bestseller after more than three decades.

The Air Pegasus shoe offers good support and stability thanks to the new midfoot Flywire system that ensures a lockdown fit and with plenty of cushioning to reduce road shock. All in all, the Air Pegasus is a nice overall trainer shoe.

The Nike Air Pegasus retails for between $50 and $225.

The Asics Nimbus is among the most popular cushioned shoe design and continues to get high marks year after year from runners who love the perfect fit, loads of cushion, and ample mid-foot and heel support. The foam-lined interior gives the shoe a snug fit but without any stress on the pressure points. The asymmetrical lacing system, which is showing up on more and more shoes, is another nice feature.

The Asics Nimbus retails for between $90 and $250.

This popular training shoe from Saucony offers more cushioning in the midfoot without giving up weight and speed. The ProGrid Triumph boasts an eight-millimeter molded heel with superior breathability and comfort. Moreover, the soft inner sleeve has a sock-like fit with cushioning distributed evenly between the heel and forefoot. It's a great choice for a neutral shoe.

The Saucony ProGrid Triumph retails for $60 to $130.

Adidas named this shoe perfectly. The Response Cushion is a lightweight and flexible cushioned trainer that can take a lot of pounding without causing foot fatigue. The EVA insole is anatomically molded for comfort, providing mid-foot stability and forefoot propulsion in one nifty package.

This smartly designed running shoe has every necessary feature a neutral shoe needs with a price that fits most budgets. The Adidas Response Cushion retails from $80 to $150.

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