Best Marathon Running Shoes: Summer 2024

Expert Advice on Running Shoes,Marathon & Half-Marathon Training Advice
Best Marathon Running Shoes: Summer 2024

How to choose marathon shoes?

You’ve put in the training and now it's time to prepare for that long-distance race. Maybe you're planning to run a half or full marathon, or perhaps an ultra, and you're wondering how to choose your running shoes.

For most runners this is the most important question when it comes to such an important event. Whether you're a beginner, a bit of an expert, or are hoping for a faster race, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right ones for you. 

There's a lot of information out there, and you may be a bit overwhelmed. To make your search easier, and to change your running game for your next marathon, keep reading....


Tips for choosing your marathon shoes

  1. Buy your shoes in a specialist running shop
    The technical aspects of your gait and stride are important, as well as the terrain on which you're going to run (road or trail). So, if you don't know what you need, we would recommend you visit our London store for Natural Gait Analysis to find a suitable pair. Otherwise, feel free to follow our 5-step Online Gait Analysis assessment. 
  2. Choose your marathon shoes early
    Weeks and months goes fast, so don’t leave it too late. Give yourself enough time to try the shoes and break them in. We recommend at least 4-6 weeks ahead of the race.
  3. Set your goals
    If it’s your first marathon, you’d probably be happy to just finish – yay! If, on the other hand you're looking for a PB, you may want something a bit faster for race day.
  4. Get the right size
    Your feet swell on long runs, so make sure you have enough space for your foot to expand (at least a thumb's width at the end when standing). Usually your running shoes should be a size bigger than your casual shoe size, but some runners like to take extra room for long-distances – the longer the distance, the more space needed. No black nails!
  5. Replace your running shoes in time
    Bear in mind that if you're training for a marathon, you're going to be putting in a lot of miles. Replace your running shoes after 400 miles or once a year; lightweights and racers more like 250 miles. Ideally you would have two pairs so you can rotate them. 
  6. Pick comfort over looks
    This is the first thing you’ll be thinking if at mile 2 you're already feeling something digging or uncomfortable. Focus on what’s right for you. You'll be happy you went for the ones that serve you best :-)
  7. Wear running socks
    When you go to buy your marathon shoes, make sure you bring the socks you usually run in. The thickness of the socks makes the shoes fit a little differently and could even influence the size you choose. Or maybe it's time to invest in a few more. If you don't have specialist running socks, put them on your must-haves – you won’t regret it.
Men's New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v14

For COMFORT or BEGINNER MARATHONERS

For runners tackling their first marathon, or for anyone seeking to complete rather than compete, comfort is a priority. We've selected some examples of well-cushioned road shoes, but it's important to know your foot strike, and what type of support you need. Running in the wrong type of shoe can cause injury.

Ideally visit our London store for Natural Gait Analysis. This also allows you to try the shoes on and find the best fit, as well as the feel of the cushioning and anti-pronation support if you need it. We also offer Online Gait Analysis.

Cushioned Neutral Road Running Shoes / Cushioned Support Road Running Shoes

Cushioned Neutral Road Running Shoes

Men's Brooks Ghost 16

Men's Brooks Ghost 16

£135

Men's New Balance 880v14

Men's New Balance 880v14
Men's Neutral Road Running Shoes
£140

Men's Brooks Glycerin 21

Men's Brooks Glycerin 21
Men's Neutral Road Running Shoes
£165

Men's Hoka Bondi 8

Men's Hoka Bondi 8
Men's Neutral Road Running Shoes
£150

Women's Brooks Ghost 16

Women's Brooks Ghost 16

£135

Women's New Balance 880v14

Women's New Balance 880v14
Women's Neutral Road Running Shoes
£140

Women's Brooks Glycerin 21

Women's Brooks Glycerin 21
Women's Neutral Road Running Shoes
£165

Women's Hoka Bondi 8

Women's Hoka Bondi 8
Women's Neutral Road Running Shoes
£150

Women's Hoka Arahi 7

Cushioned Road Running Shoes with Anti-Pronation Support

Men's New Balance 860v14 D

Men's New Balance 860v14 D

£140

Men's Asics Gel Kayano 31

Men's Asics Gel Kayano 31

£180

Men's Brooks Glycerin GTS 21

Men's Brooks Glycerin GTS 21
Men's Support Road Running Shoes
£165

Men's Hoka Arahi 7

Men's Hoka Arahi 7
Men's Support Road Running Shoes
£130

Women's New Balance 860v14 B

Women's New Balance 860v14 B

£140

Women's Asics Gel Kayano 31

Women's Asics Gel Kayano 31

£180

Women's Brooks Glycerin GTS 21

Women's Brooks Glycerin GTS 21
Women's Support Road Running Shoes
£165

Women's Hoka Arahi 7

Women's Hoka Arahi 7
Women's Support Road Running Shoes
£130

Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

For SPEED or EXPERIENCED MARATHONERS

Carbon-Plate or Nylon-Plate Racing Shoes / Lightweight Racing Shoes

Carbon-Plate / Nylon-Plate Racing Shoes

Looking for a PB? Check out the latest breakthrough in technology. A carbon or nylon plate is now built into the midsole of some racing shoes for added propulsion. You feel pushed forward with each step, helping you to run faster and finish the marathon in your best time.

The only downside of carbon/nylon-plated shoes is that you have to be strong enough to handle them, or you could feel it in your hips, knees or ankles. As with any shoes you plan to use for a long-distance race, make sure you practice on long runs.

Hoka Mach X and Saucony Endorphin PRO feature a carbon plate alongside a high level of cushioning for a racer. These deliver comfort as well as speed during a marathon or even ultra-distance. Saucony Endorphin Speed, with its nylon plate, is more flexible. It still has good propulsion, but it's easier on your hips and body in general.

Men's Saucony Endorphin PRO 4

Men's Saucony Endorphin PRO 4
Men's Road Racing Shoes
£230

Men's Saucony Endorphin Speed 4

Men's Saucony Endorphin Speed 4
Men's Road Racing Shoes
£180

Men's Hoka Mach X

Men's Hoka Mach X
Men's Road Racing Shoes
£160

Women's Saucony Endorphin Speed 4

Women's Saucony Endorphin Speed 4
Women's Road Racing Shoes
£180

Women's Hoka Mach X

Women's Hoka Mach X
Women's Road Racing Shoes
£160

Lightweight Racing Shoes

Some experienced runners want only a feather-light feel on their feet, even in a long-distance race. If you prefer to sacrifice the level of cushioning for less weight, and you're not ready to try a plated shoe, here are some options:

Men's On Cloudflow 4

Men's On Cloudflow 4
Men's Neutral Road Running Shoes
£150

Men's Hoka Mach 6

Men's Hoka Mach 6
Men's Road Racing Shoes
£140

Men's Altra Escalante 4

Men's Altra Escalante 4

£125

Women's On Cloudflow 4

Women's On Cloudflow 4
Women's Neutral Road Running Shoes
£150

Women's Hoka Mach 6

Women's Hoka Mach 6
Women's Road Racing Shoes
£140

Women's Altra Escalante 4

Women's Altra Escalante 4

£125

FAQs

Do shoes matter for a marathon?

Yes, in every case properly fitted running shoes will really make a difference to your performance. Firstly they are specially designed to withstand high-impact and provide the necessary cushioning to run long distances. They also offer a snug fit, flexibility, and comfort when you move, reducing the chances of chafing, blisters or other foot issues. They come in many types of support to match your gait, so you have the best possible chance of avoiding injury. Find out more about our Natural Gait Analysis service.

Would training/racing in one pair of shoes be enough?

Running in old or worn out shoes can lead to injury. Consider alternating between two pairs during your training – remember you should be replacing your running shoes every 300/400 miles. But while you will run in new shoes during training, you shouldn't wear new shoes on race day.

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