The Best Cushioned Running Shoes 2024

Here are the year's most comfortable running shoes for runners craving a max cushion daily trainer for everything from regular jogs to running your next marathon in.

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All opinions are our own and never influenced by brands. If you buy through links, we may earn a commission.

For all the runners out there seeking a running shoe that offers the maximum cushioning underfoot, this roundup is for you! As someone who’s run in and reviewed hundreds of running shoes, I’m in the unique position to have first-hand experience of what each of these shoe brands and models are like to run in, and what type of runner they’re best suited to.

Not all running shoes are created equally, some are considerably more cushioned shoes than others – they’re what we call ‘Max Cushion’ running shoes here at Trail & Kale – and this list includes our recommendations if you crave that plush ride.

More Road Running Shoe Roundups:

Within this category of running shoe there’s a wide range of brands and styles to choose from, which can be somewhat overwhelming when you’re looking for one that’s just right for you, hence why we created this guide!

This article is designed to help you find the most comfortable shoe to suit your feet, running style and personal preference, whether you’re a new runner, or looking for the best max cushion running shoe with great shock absorption for running your next marathon in.

Don’t forget your running shoes should bring you joy when you lace them up! Because when you’re loving what you’re doing, you’ll find it much easier to stay motivated to run, whenever your Trail & Kale training plan requires it.

The Best Cushioned Running Shoes 2024 1 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

HOKA Skyward X ($225 / £185)

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  • Sizing and fit: True to size, medium width with a roomy toe box.
  • Weight: 10.8oz (306g) for a size US men’s 9.
  • Drop: 5mm

If you’re searching for the best cushioned running shoes, the Hoka Skyward X should definitely be on your list. After testing these out, I can confidently say they excel in comfort and performance. The plush cushioning is fantastic for long runs, making each mile feel smooth and enjoyable.

The Skyward X features an integrated carbon fiber plate, which adds a responsive, springy feel to your stride. The rocker geometry enhances this effect, ensuring a smooth transition from heel to toe, making every step feel efficient and natural.

The breathable upper keeps your feet cool, and the secure fit ensures your feet stay locked in place, even during intense runs. Whether you’re prepping for a marathon or just love cushy runs, the Hoka Skyward X combines comfort, support, and advanced tech to keep you running strong. These shoes are a must-try for anyone looking to elevate their running experience – if your budget doesn’t allow for the Skyward X, consider the Clifton 9 instead.

On Cloudeclipse review 22

On Cloudeclipse ($180 / £170)

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  • Fit & Sizing: True to size, wide throughout (not just the toe box)
  • Weight: 9.8oz (278g) for a size US(M)9
  • Drop: 6mm

The On Cloudeclipse boasts maximum cushioning with a double layer of CloudTec Phase midsole foam, providing a plush, cushioned feel that makes these not just excellent running shoes but also a stellar choice for walking.

With its roomy fit, this highly cushioned shoe accommodates a wider range of foot sizes, perfect for runners needing extra space. It features an X-shaped speedboard in the midsole for a wider platform that provides a stable ride, making it ideal for running longer distances as well as those who spend a lot of time on their feet during the day.

Brooks Ghost Max review 29

Brooks Ghost Max ($150 / £140)

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  • Fit & Sizing: True to size, medium width, also available in wide and extra wide
  • Weight: 10.2oz (289g) for a size US(M)9
  • Drop: 6mm

The Brooks Ghost Max boasts plush cushioning which provides not only comfort but also a surprising amount of stability and responsiveness, despite not being designed or promoted as stability running shoes. This makes this Editor’s Choice Award-winning shoe ideal for road running, long runs, and as a reliable choice for everyday training.

For those seeking a versatile, cushioned, and stable running shoe, the Ghost Max might just be the perfect fit, especially as there are Wide and Extra Wide versions available for runners with wider feet.

Nike Invincible 3 Review Trail and Kale web wm 28

Nike Invincible 3 ($190 / £175)

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  • Fit & Sizing: True to size, medium width
  • Weight: 9.9oz (280g) for a size US(M)9
  • Drop: 9mm

The Nike Invincible 3 are bouncy, well-cushioned, yet supportive running shoes that are INSANELY FUN to run with. The midsole cushioning provides so much energy return (by virtue of Nike’s ZoomX foam underfoot) that you’ll be wanting to run back-to-back marathons in them.

These highly cushioned Nike running shoes also benefit from other performance features such as a breathable mesh upper using Nike Flyknit, that helps keep your feet cool when running on hot days.

Saucony Triumph 21 review 11

Saucony Triumph 21 ($130 / £170)

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  • Fit & Sizing: True to size, medium, also available in Wide
  • Weight: 9.7 oz (275g) for a size US(M)9
  • Drop: 10mm

The Saucony Triumph 21 represents the pinnacle of comfort and performance in Saucony’s long-standing running shoe lineage. Ideal for everything from daily jogs to marathon training, this shoe stands out with its luxurious PWRRUN+ technology and sockliner, providing plush underfoot comfort.

The flat-knit upper, redesigned lacing system and well padded heel collar enhance the fit, ensuring a secure and comfortable run every time.

The Best Cushioned Running Shoes 2024 2 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 ($165 / £160)

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  • Fit & Sizing: True to size, medium, also available in wide and extra wide
  • Weight: 9.8 oz (277g) for a size US(M)9
  • Drop: 6mm

The New Balance 1080 v13 has super plush cushioning that is perfect for long runs, while also offering great comfort and support. The Fresh Foam X midsole provides a responsive yet soft feel which for me is what makes these so special.

Additionally, the shoe’s rocker geometry ensures a smooth, efficient stride, making each step feel effortless. The breathable upper keeps your feet cool, and the snug fit prevents any slipping. Overall, the New Balance 1080v13 is an excellent choice for those seeking maximum cushioning and comfort on their runs.

Asics Gel Nimbus 26 review | Trail & Kale Running Co

Asics Gel-Nimbus 26 ($160 / £180)

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  • Fit & Sizing: True to size, medium width
  • Weight: 10.7 oz (304g) for a size US(M)9
  • Drop: 8mm

The Asics Gel Nimbus 26 are good-looking, daily trainers with a high level of cushioning for long road runs or simply everyday wear. They feature a woven mesh upper, plenty of outsole tread for traction, and other thoughtful features include a lace-loop to hold them in place, and a heel loop to help pull the shoes on.

Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.

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