Best Ultra Running Shoes
If you are a runner who loves tackling ultramarathons, or races that are longer than 26.2 miles, then you know that getting a pair of shoes meant to assist you toward completing these types of races can really boost your level of performance. Having the right type of comfortable will give you the protection, responsiveness, and support you’ll need to keep going through these challenging and long races. That’s where purchasing a pair of ultra running shoes comes in handy, since these types of running shoes are designed to be lightweight, comfortable, and also help boost your performance when you have to go strong for a long period of time. Check out our guide to find the perfect pair to boost your performance.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
Built for speed
- Brooks PureFlow 6 Running Shoes
- On Cloudflyer Running Shoes
- Hoka One One’s Arahi Running Shoe
- Saucony Kinvara 8 Running Shoes
- New Balance Minimus 10v1
- Adidas Adizero Boston 6 Running Shoes
- Nike Free RN Running Shoes
- ASICS GT-2000 5 Running Shoes
- Newton Running Distance VI Running Shoes
- Hoka One One Clayton
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Brooks PureFlow 6 Running Shoes
Built for speed
Could offer better overall protection
Brooks PureFlow 6 Shoes offer you a lightweight design and a shoe that is developed for long distance running. It is so lightweight, in fact, it helps boost speeds and is designed to be a fast and effective shoe when you need to tackle an ultra marathon. With a lot of cushioning, comfort, and excellent responsiveness, these shoes will give you the performance boost you’ll want to complete long-distances with ease. Also, they offer you an affordable price option, too.Read more
When compared to some of the other product options on our list, these shoes aren’t built to be quite as responsive as some others. However, they do give you a moderate amount of responsiveness, and that’s about the level you really need and want. These shoes come with a DNA LT midsole that is made to be bouncy, and that’s where some of the responsiveness in this shoe comes from. You’ll still get a decent amount of stability with this product, which will help support you through longer runs.
The midsoles in these shoes will offer you plenty of comfort and cushioning while you are on the go. You also get flexibility mixed with support, meaning these shoes won’t restrict your movement. The midsoles feel firm but also have a bouncy effect to add a bit of spring in your step. You’ll get plenty of padding to help you out while you run. We also like that these shoes offer a nice ventilation system for more comfort.
Sometimes, with lightweight shoes, you wind up with a product that is less durable. These shoes are actually designed with features that help make them last longer, even for their lightweight design. For instance, you get a blown carbon outsole that helps protect the shoe and also cuts back on any excessive wear and tear you might experience on the go. The mesh upper is also strong and helps provide a lot of built-in durability as well. You get a nice design with durability here.
Considering these lightweight shoes offer you decent durability, that means they’ll last for a while, and that adds a lot of value to the product. Also, they’ll help boost your performance since they are lightweight and built for speed. The price of these shoes is affordable, and that makes them a nice option if you are shopping on a budget.
2. On Cloudflyer Running Shoes
Nice lacing system
Comfortable toe box
Can fit too tight
OnCloud’s Running Shoes are made by a Swiss manufacturer that lately has been bringing a lot of new and unique designs to the market. With a nice, fashionable design and several color options, you’ll get a lot to pick from so that you’ll love the appearance. Also, you get a strong outsole as well as a nice, comfortable midsole that gives you adequate cushioning and support. You get a speed lace system that will help get these shoes on fast and a very lightweight shoe that will help boost your performance when you run long distances.Read more
OnCloud’s shoes have a nice midsole design that gives you a light, responsive, bouncy feeling. With a lot of great cushioning in the interior area of the shoe, you’ll feel like there is a spring in your step whenever you run. The EVA foam midsole helps provide that bounce while still offering a combination of stability and flexibility while you are on the go. That means you get an effective, responsive shoe whenever you run.
Since these shoes have a lot of responsive cushioning features on the interior, you get a shoe that absorbs shock well and will bring you a lot of exceptional comfort on your long distance runs. There is cushioning all throughout the bottom interior of the shoe, and the firm EVA midsole also helps to absorb impact and make you feel well-supported. With plenty of flexibility as well, you won’t feel like your movement is restricted by these shoes.
On Cloud’s Running shoes offer you a lightweight choice that is also durable by design. While some more lightweight shoes don’t offer this much durability, you get a shoe that features a strong sole design that helps protect the outer area of the shoe from excessive wear and tear. Also, the upper on this shoe is quite strong, and even after using the shoe for a long time, it will hold up. So, you’ll get plenty of reliable performance out of this shoe.
This shoe comes with an affordable price tag, which we really like given the
overall quality of the design. You’ll get plenty of cushioning and support but also shoes that are very lightweight so that you’ll hardly feel them when you are running for a long time. Plus, there is a lot of durability with the design of this shoe, meaning you won’t need to worry about replacing them any time soon.
3. Hoka One One’s Arahi Running Shoe
Lots of stability
Might feel bulky to some
Hoka One One’s Arahi Running Shoes comes with a lightweight design and offers a lot of cushioning if padding is one of those things you don’t want to sacrifice. These shoes are made to run ultra marathons but also give you plenty of padding and shock absorption while you are on the go, giving your body plenty of protection to withstand those long distance runs. These shoes offer a lot of stability by design, but also feature an overall flexible design as well that helps give you all the comfort you need.Read more
Hoka One One’s Arahi Running Shoes offer a lot of responsiveness in their overall design, and the EVA midsoles and J-Frame guidance structure help to make it a shoe that helps you land with ease. The EVA midsoles also have a bouncy feel to them whenever you hit the ground, so you’ll feel like you spring upwards with your stride. You’ll get a lot of support in this design, and these shoes will make it easy for you to run and keep going on your long races.
These shoes come with a nice ventilation system that adds a lot of comfort to your performance since you won’t need to worry about the shoes rubbing from your own sweat. Also, you get a nice EVA midsole that helps cushion the foot and absorb shock. With the nice, strong outsole as well, these shoes do a great job of absorbing shock each time you land, so you’ll get plenty of comfort with that bonus. With their lightweight design, they pack a lot of performance with them.
Hoka One One’s Arahi Running Shoes have a lot of durability in their design, and even though they are a lightweight shoe, they are still built strong. First, the upper on the outside of the shoe gives extra protection from wear and tear while you are on the go. Plus, the sturdy zonal rubber outsole on these shoes not only protects you from impact, but also helps protect the outer area of the shoe from excessive wear and tear. So, although they are lightweight, they will give you a lot of durability and reliable performance.
Hoka One One’s Arahi Running Shoe are priced very affordably, and are one of the least expensive shoes on this product list. So, if you are shopping on a budget and want some lightweight shoes with great cushioning and support, this might be the product for you. Not only will you get a lot of comfort, but the design of the shoe offers you a lot of durability with the upper and the sole of the shoe. So, this is a nice, cost-effective option.
4. Saucony Kinvara 8 Running Shoes
Tongue could have a better design
Saucony’s Kinvara offers a well-designed running shoe full of padding and cushioning, but also designed to be very lightweight. Their lightweight design also makes them a fast shoe to run in, and plus the come with an affordable price tag. You’ll get plenty of support and flexibility with this shoe, and you’ll feel great running in them for long periods of time because of their great cushioning and incredibly lightweight design.Read more
Responsiveness: Saucony’s Kinvara Running Shoes offer a nice, responsive design which will make you feel like you are bouncing with each stride. With a midsole that features EVA cushioning and an Everun topsole in these shoes, you get the bouncy EVA foam that will add a spring to your step and a topsole that can give you a great energy return. So, you’ll feel like you’re getting help being propelled through your long-distance race with plenty of great features.
Comfort: These shoes bring you a lot of cushioning, and a nice EVA midsole which adds that bouncy feeling each time you hit the ground, packing in energy with your stride. You get a lot of comfort when you hit the ground because the cushioning system helps absorb impact. Also, the durable outsole on these shoes helps to absorb shock as well, and that makes this shoe very comfortable to run in. You’ll also get a great ventilation system so that your feet will be able to breathe.
Durability: These shoes offer about average durability considering their lightweight design. They will last you some time, but they aren’t as durable as some of the other product options on our list. However, the shoe does come with iBR+ rubber placed in areas that wear down more quickly, and that does help to extend the life of the shoe. You’ll still get use out of them, but you’ll notice they wear out more quickly than some of the other products we listed here.
Value: Saucony’s Kinvara comes with an affordable price tag, which makes it a nice choice if you can’t spend too much money on your shoes and still need a nice product. You’ll get a decent amount of durability with these shoes, although they aren’t as long-lasting as some of the other options on our list. Also, you’ll get a lightweight pair of shoes that offer a lot of cushioning and support on your runs, so you’ll complete your ultra marathons with ease.
5. New Balance Minimus 10v1
Sizes run small
New Balance’s Minimus 10v1 comes with a minimalist design to give you a natural gait and feel when you run. The overall design of this shoe makes it very sturdy, and it is also ultra-lightweight, which makes it great for ultra-marathons. You’ll get a lot of use out of these long-lasting shoes, and you’ll also get a stylish look that features a fashionable design. These shoes offer a lot of nice support and flexibility, and you’ll feel great when you run with them.Read more
New Balance’s Minimus 10v1 means you get a minimalist shoe that is going to make you use your body more than the actual shoes. If you don’t like minimalist shoes, then these shoes might not be for you, but if you do, then expect to get the typical responsiveness from this shoe that you would with any other minimalist shoe. The Acteva midsole and the Vibram rubber offer plenty of sturdiness as well as energy. However, you won’t get much more than average responsiveness from these shoes because of their minimalist design.
New Balance’s Minimus 10v1 doesn’t offer the level of cushioning that some other products on our list, but that’s because of their minimalist design. People that prefer minimalist shoes will appreciate the low-level cushioning in these shoes. Also, the landing is what you’d expect with a pair of minimalist shoes, since you do get a nice rubber outsole that can help equalize force and make you feel like you are balanced each time you land.
These shoes feature a sturdy rubber outsole that helps to absorb impact and equally distribute weight, but that also helps to protect the outer area of the shoes from excessive wear and tear. So, these shoes are built to last a long time, and do offer a lot of durability by design. Since they have a minimalist design, there isn’t a lot that is fancy about them, but they will give you reliable performance and a lot of use.
New Balance’s Minimus 10v1 is priced to be inexpensive, which makes this a nice product if you are looking to save some money. As long as you are a fan of minimalist shoes, these shoes will give you the design that you’ll love and plenty of comfort. They are also made with durability in them, so you’ll get plenty of use out of these shoes.
6. Adidas Adizero Boston 6 Running Shoes
Can feel narrow
Adidas’s Adizero Boston 6 Running Shoes come with a nice design that is quite simple and doesn’t offer a lot of bonus features, but the straightforward look and feel of these shoes is nice for those that prefer more traditional running shoes. You’ll get shoes that are made to be very lightweight, and offer a lot of good cushioning to help you complete your ultra marathons with ease. They have a nice, solid landing function and also absorb impact well so that you can keep going strong for a long period of time. You’ll also get an affordable price tag with these shoes, which makes these shoes a nice option if you are shopping in a budget.Read more
Adidas’s Adizero Boston 6 Running Shoes bring you a lot of effective responsiveness in their design, and that’s a nice feature considering how lightweight these shoes are. While some more lightweight shoes tend to be less responsive, these are made with a lot of stability because of the torsion system technology designed into them. You also get a nice outsole that has a midsole with a lot of responsiveness to boost your stride and give you a spring in your step.
These shoes are quite comfortable by design, and they have a nice cushioned design that helps absorb impact while you are on the go. Also, you’ll get a strong outsole that also absorbs shock and will make it easier for run for long periods of time. The mesh upper on these shoes is made to offer you plenty of breathability and ventilation for extra comfort. Also, with the stable and flexible design of these shoes, you won’t ever feel like your movement is restricted while you are on the go.
You’ll get a lot of durability out of the design of these shoes, because they feature high-quality materials that add a lot of strength to them. That’s a real plus for a lightweight shoe, since some tend to be not as durable as this. The strong upper on the outer area of the shoe is designed to protect the rest of the shoe well. You’ll also get a solid outsole that helps prevent excessive wear and tear on the outer area of the shoes, meaning you’ll get a lot of use out of this product.
This product comes with an affordable price tag, which makes it a nice option considering the durability you get here. These shoes are built to last, and that makes them even more cost-effective. You’ll also get plenty of great features with these shoes, like their cushioning system and excellent shock-absorption.
7. Nike Free RN Running Shoes
Can feel too tight
Nike’s Free RN Running Shoes are very lightweight shoes designed for long-distance running, so they’ll help you with your ultra-marathons. You’ll get a pair of shoes that works well to boost performance and is designed to be so light you’ll hardly notice you are wearing them. You get a lot of support out of these shoes, and they also bring you a nice cushioning system that will help absorb shock and impact while you are on the go. While they aren’t as durable as some of the other options on our list, they are still a nice product with an affordable price tag.Read more
Nike’s Free RN Running Shoes has a nice design that makes these shoes not only very fast and lightweight, but very responsive when you run. They have a lot of nice plush foam cushioning that you’ll find in the midsole, and while the midsole doesn’t help with overall responsiveness, the rest of the shoe design does. Made with a nice upper that features flywire arch wraps, you’ll get a shoe that adds a lot of responsiveness in, and that will help you feel like you have a spring in your step while you run.
Nike’s Free RN Running Shoes come with a lot of built-in comfort that we like. These shoes have a nice, padded midsole area that helps absorb shock while you are on the go. Also, the durable outsole helps absorb impact as well, protecting your feet while you run. You’ll also get a lot of flexibility and a good range of motion with these shoes. With the nice ventilation system that is built into these shoes, your feet will stay cool and dry and you’ll feel great for hours.
These shoes were made to be lightweight and fast, and while they are decently durable, they aren’t as durable as some of the other products on our list. They won’t last you as long as some of our other options, but they will give you decent performance for some time. So, you are trading off the lightweight design here for some durability issues.
Nike’s Free RN Running Shoes are priced affordably, and that makes them a nice value product. With these shoes, you’ll get a lot of nice features like a lightweight design and good cushioning. However, this product isn’t as durable as some of our other options, but it still has an affordable price tag.
8. ASICS GT-2000 5 Running Shoes
Lots of stability
Tongue can feel uncomfortable at times
ASICS GT-2000 5 Running Shoes offer you a nice, traditional shoe that features a lightweight design to help you complete your ultra-marathons with ease. You’ll get a nice level of cushioning and a thick midsole if you want that kind of relief with your padding. Plus, these shoes feature arch stability and a lot of comfort in their design. They feel great over long distances, and will work well on all of your runs. You’ll get a lightweight, spongy feel with your runs, and your feet will feel great when you go long distances.Read more
ASICS GT-2000 5 Running Shoes give you a lot of stability and support by design, and with those features you will get stabilization and fluidity with your gait. The FluidRide midsole in these shoes is well padded, but doesn’t feature a lot of bouncy cushioning like some of the other products on our list. There isn’t a lot of firmness in that area, so getting the spring-like effect is not much of a possibility in these shoes. However, you will get stability and a lot of impact resistance for your runs.
ASICS GT-2000 5 Running Shoes come with a nice cushioning system that will give you plenty of comfort across long-distances. These shoes have a gel cushioning system and a dual-density FluidRide midsole so that you’ll land with ease and you won’t feel a lot of impact across your long-distance runs. Plus, the durable outsole on these shoes also helps to protect you from impact whenever you land. These shoes help to balance you out on your runs, and also offer a decent ventilation system that provides you with some level of breathability and comfort.
ASICS GT-2000 5 Running Shoes offer a lot of durability in their lightweight design, which is a nice bonus to have. Because they are made to be stable, they feature a lot of strong shoe areas, like the heavy mesh that helps resist tears and also makes the shoes very strong. You’ll also get some nice rubber outsoles that cut back on excessive wear and tear while you run. These shoes also have some high abrasion rubber placed in high-wear areas for extra protection, further extending their life span.
ASICS GT-2000 5 Running Shoes come with an affordable price tag, making them a good option if you need something that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. You’ll get shoes designed to offer a lot of cushioning and support, but that are also made to be lightweight so it is easy to wear them over long distances. Plus, they have a lot of durability built in them, and that will help you save a lot of money in the long run.
9. Newton Running Distance VI Running Shoes
Can fit wide feet
Can feel heavy to some for a lightweight shoe
Newton’s Running Distance VI Running Shoes features an innovative design that provides a lot of comfort. You’ll get a decently lightweight shoe that can handle a lot of abuse on the trails, and they also offer plenty of stability and shock absorption as well. You’ll get a lot of comfort out of the nice cushioning system this shoe offers, and they will also give you a nice feel for all of your ultra marathons. These shoes are great over long distances and will keep you running strong, boosting your performance and helping you reach your goals.Read more
Newton’s Running Distance VI Running Shoes give you a lot of nice responsiveness in the design, and they have a nice landing platform on them that will keep propelling you while you run. However, although they have a lot of cushioning packed into them and a nice midsole, the cushioning isn’t stiff enough to give you that bouncy feeling that some of the other products on our list do offer. Also, there could be a better balance overall each time you hit the ground. Otherwise, though, you do get a lot of shock absorption as you run from the design of these shoes, which is a nice bonus and will help you out on your long distance runs.
Newton’s Running Distance VI Running Shoes have a lot of nice, comfortable features packed into them. You get a nice EVA midsole that helps to absorb impact while you are on the go, and a strong rubber outsole designed to cut back on shock as well. You’ll also get a nice, stretchy feel in this shoe, and a lot of flexibility so you won’t feel like your movements are restricted. There is a lot of stability behind this design as well which will give you the support you need. You’ll also get a nice ventilation system so you’ll never have to worry about your feet feeling like they are going to overheat.
Newton’s Running Distance VI Running Shoes offer you a durable design considering they are a lightweight running shoe, and that is a nice bonus. They offer enough extra features that help protect the shoe and increase its overall life span. The upper in these shoes helps to protect the outer area of the shoe from wear as well as tears. Also, the nice sole on these shoes will give you extra protection from excessive wear and tear. There is some high abrasion rubber on the heel area, too, which also helps to make this shoe last a long time.
Newton’s Running Distance VI Running Shoes are one of the more expensive product options on our list, so if you are shopping on a budget, they might not be for you. However, what we do like is that these shoes are lightweight and comfortable, and will help boost your long-distance running performance. Plus, they feature a lot of durability in their design for a lightweight shoe, so even though you’ll pay more for them, you will have them for a long time.
10. Hoka One One Clayton
Great cushioning and support
Not available in narrow or wide
The Hoka Clayton is a great balance between a lightweight running shoe and a supportive shoe that's comfortable to wear during a long run. The Clayton is top-rated high performance running shoe with the comfort, stability, and features endurance runners need. It is available in both men's and women's sizes.Read more
These shoes were definitely designed to be responsive. The various sole components work together to take you faster during your races. The construction of the shoes makes it possible for the fore foot area to be harder than the rear in order to provide more efficient propulsion. Experienced athletes think these shoes are among the most responsive ones they've tried.
These shoes have been designed to provide the very best support and comfort to runners. The PRO2LITE technology in the midsole provides softer surface in the heel area and firmer in the forefoot. This helps enhance efficiency and comfort.
Most runners have found the Claytons very durable. For most runners the Claytons are very perfect, and the deterioration (however minor) starts after over 250 miles. Most users found a decrease in cushioning after a couple of hundred miles. However, most runners have found that these shoes hold up very well.
Most user found that these shoes are within the normal price for their category. Having been on the market since spring 2016, you might be able to find them in a good discount. The average price of the shoes are $150 USD. The price may vary by size. Most users believe this is a reasonable price for the quality of the shoe.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Responsiveness in a shoe means how well the shoe gives you an extra spring in your step. When midsoles have adequate cushioning and a stiff design, they are made to help you get more bounce in your gait and propel you forward, which can make it easier for you to complete your runs. The ultra running shoes on this list give you a lot of nice responsiveness in their design, and they have a nice landing platform on them that will keep propelling you while you run. Many of these shoes come with a DNA LT midsole that is made to be bouncy, and that’s where some of the responsiveness in these shoes comes from. You’ll get a great amount of stability with these running shoes which will help support you through longer runs.
Comfort is very important when considering a pair of long-distance shoes. You’ll want to make sure they are lightweight and have the cushioning and support you need. Also, check out their ability to breathe so that you stay comfortable over long distances. The midsoles in the shoes on our list will offer you plenty of comfort and cushioning while you are on the go. You also get flexibility mixed with support, meaning a lot of these running shoes won’t restrict your movement. The midsoles feel firm but also have a bouncy effect to add a bit of spring in your step. You’ll get plenty of padding to help you out while you run. We also like that these running shoes on our buying guide offer a nice ventilation system for more comfort.
Durability of shoes has much to do with their design and materials. Many lightweight shoes designed for ultra-marathons wont’ be quite as durable as other options. However, some designs provide enough durability to be decently long-lasting. A lot of these shoes are actually designed with features that help make them last longer, even for their lightweight design. For instance, you get a blown carbon outsole that helps protect the shoe and also cuts back on any excessive wear and tear you might experience on the go. The mesh upper is also strong and helps provide a lot of built-in durability as well.
Value has much to do with the price of a shoe as well as what the shoe offers for that price. We analyzed what each shoe offered, how long it would last, and its price tag when we considered the overall value of each product on our list. Many of these running shoes on our list are lightweight and comfortable, and will help boost your long-distance running performance. Plus, they all feature a lot of durability in their design for a lightweight shoe, so even though you’ll pay more for them, you will have them for a long time. Having a well made high quality running shoe means you won’t need to worry about replacing them any time soon.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Either way you slice it, when running an ultra marathon you will want to have the best possible running shoes to help you finish the race comfortably and give you the extra edge over the competition. Do not make the mistake of thinking you can wear a regular pair of running shoes when participating in an ultra marathon as you may seriously injure yourself. Look for a great pair of ultra running shoes to add to your collection, and when you think you have found the pair for you, make sure you go into a store and try them on to make sure they fit comfortably. Lightweight shoes really are a must, and some shoes are designed to be lightweight but can still feel heavy on your runs. So, make sure the shoes you pick give you the lightweight features that really boost your performance.
Other Factors to Consider
When you are looking around for an ultra running shoe, you need to make sure you purchase a pair with very good ventilation. Since you’ll be running some very long distances in these shoes, remember to check out the overall breathability of the shoe so that you know your feet will stay dry and free from moisture on your runs. That will not only make you more comfortable, but also prevent the shoes from rubbing and causing other foot problems. Making sure your ultra running shoes are the proper fit and have very good ventilation is important for a high quality shoe.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Is it better to have a responsive shoe?
We think so, however, this one is up to personal preference as well. Responsiveness helps give you more energy and propels you forward, but some runners like this, and others do not.
q: Should I get a minimalist shoe?
That’s up to your personal preference. If you aren’t used to them, it does take time, so the best way to consider this option is to try some of those shoes on at your local store.
q: If I buy a lightweight shoe, will I get less durability?
In some cases, yes, Some of the products we reviewed are lightweight and offer more durability than others, but you’ll usually find a trade-off with durability and weight with these shoes.
q: If I am shopping on a budget, do I need to worry about sacrificing durability?
Not necessarily. While some of the products on our list are more durable than others, we did list a few affordable options that are still durable.
q: Do I need a good ventilation system in my shoes?
Yes, for long-distance runs, you need excellent ventilation, actually. Since ultra-marathons last so long, you’ll want shoes that will keep your feet dry and free from moisture.