Marathons have always held a special place in athletics. But off late, more and more people are taking up to the sport. And why not? It helps lose weight, boosts the immune system, and improves heart efficiency. The only equipment one needs for long-distance running is a pair of good marathon shoes. Professionals invest in the best marathon shoes for enhancing their performances.
Marathon shoes provide cushioning, stability, traction on difficult trails. But how to choose the best marathon shoes? There are a few things such as speed, stamina, energy return, the strain on legs etc., that we need to consider before buying a pair. So with further ado, let’s get to know the best marathon shoes in India…
Tips for testing a running shoe
- Always carry socks for testing.
- Try walking in the shoes first; this will give you a feel of the shoes. Comfort should be the first priority. If shoes do not seem right initially at the store, they will worsen over time.
- Shoes should not be too stiff or tight, even racing flats.
- Don’t go in with a fixed size. Sizes differ from brand to brand. Adidas, for example, generally makes shoes a size smaller as compared to other brands of the same size number. If you are ordering online, going through user experiences in the FAQ section or review section might help you to find the right fit.
- Last but the most important part – try a small spring with the shoes, preferably not on a treadmill. Try to check the pair’s support, stiffness and cushioning and whether it fits for the purpose you are buying it for.
The main questions that you should as are “Where will I use it?” or “What kind of running will I do?”
Best Marathon Shoes in India
1. ASICS Gel-Contend
One of the better shoes at this affordable price from Asics, this is a solid performer on roads. It comes in various width options and has a large toebox which is well appreciated.
A removable ortholite insole gives real comfort and upper mesh provides good breathability. Ideal shoe for beginner and intermediates. Extremely comfortable for a trainer shoe. The shoes get Asics’s standard Gel-cushioning system which helps a lot in shock absorption.
It is a road marathon shoe and is ideal for short to medium-distance runs.
- Inexpensive but top-notch quality
- Noticeable amount of comfort.
- Suitable for most athletes
- Good amount of cushioning
- Incorrect sizing, slightly large
- Less of arch support
2. FURO by Red Chief Men Sports Running Shoes R1014
This pair by FURO is extremely value for money. It does not have extremely advanced technology but does a really good job with its comfort and grippy sole. It is light in weight and is also ideal for beginners.
Although FURO is not a big name in professional athletics, this shoe is ideal for practising around going for 5k and 10k runs. This is also ideal as a stepping stone to better-advanced shoes.
- 4 colours
- Good looking
- Spacious and good built
- Not the best in this price range
- Bigger brands offer better alternatives
- No heel support
- Soft toe box
3. Adidas UltraBoost 20
One of the most trusted names in sports equipment is Adidas. Their flagship series of running shoes, the UltraBoost is out with its newest iteration, UltraBoost 20.
As usual, these shoes are the epitome of comfort and offer great styling cues too. Loaded with more Boost foam, the midsole has been updated and now is more responsive. The shoes offer a perfect fit with a foot-hugging Ultraknit upper and added reinforcements for support in particularly important areas.
The heel are is soft and made of elastane and provides a locked-in feel, keeping your heel secure. This soft cushioning and a deceptively responsive midsole is what makes these head-turners, worth a buy, despite their slightly high price.
- Solid fit
- Responsive midsole for lots of energy return
- Clean and stylish looks
- Could have been a bit more lightweight
- Could have done with more grip
4. Adidas Galaxy 4
You can always trust a product, if it has the Adidas “3 stripes” logo. Anything from this top sportswear brand is high quality, goes without saying.
The Galaxy 4 shoes give a lightweight and comfortable feel as you walk or run in them. The upper unit is a breathable, fabric which is light and will keep your feet dry. It additionally gets a midfoot cage for stability and has a fit that suits a majority of people. Along with that, the midsole which is Adidas’s CLOUDFOAM which is very plush and cushioned. The lightweight and low profile of these shoes is what makes them easy to wear long runs.
Above everything, it has a extremely affordable price tag.
- Breathable, lightweight upper
- Fit suits a majority of people
- Large midfoot cage
- Cloudfoam cushioning is great.
- Value for money.
- Lacks waterproofing
- Better support on heel and toe expected.
- Upper wears down quickly
5. Reebok Ultra Speed V3 Lp
If trust in a brand’s quality is a factory in buying sports equipment, Reebok ranks really high. Their shoes have always been among the best in the market, especially given their price points.
The Ultra speed range of runners has strong sole support by providing industry-standard EVA in the midsole, which also aids in comfort. The insole is also soft and cushioning is adequate.
They are a very functional pair of shoes, with its simple yet solid synthetic mesh which is very comfortable and offers nice grip from the EVA outsole. This is a good pair for beginners and intermediates to step up to better shoes.
- Stylish Upper
- Good for beginners
- EVA cushioning
- Short sizing
- Colour options are less
- Unsuitable for long distances
6. Reebok Flyer Lp
These are a basic range of running shoes from Reebok. They are affordable, but do not compromise on quality. These are good for training beginners; ideal for short and medium distance runs and are good in terms of durability.
The insole is slightly hard and thus is not very comfortable to run long distances. But, its proper fit, synthetic mesh upper and EVA outsole make up for that. A decent entry-level shoe with clean looks, it also passes on as a good option for casual purposes.
- Clean, streamlined styling
- Proper fit
- Premium look
- Lack of any advanced features
- Unsuitable for people with flat feet
- Minimally cushioned
7. Nike Flex Rn 2019
Now, we are coming to some serious-level running shoe territory. The Nike Flex Rn 2019, although is a not a budget shoe, it is not too expensive. Being made of really high quality materials and having a very comfortable fit, makes it a capable and value-for-money offering.
It has a lot of improvements from the previous version. Starting with the single piece construction for a better sock-like fit, a SolarSoft foam in the midsole to the updated flexible outsole with flex grooves. The past-edition Flywire cables have now been replaced with synthetic overlays to reduce weight and secure the midfoot. Additionally, a heel strap is also added.
- Excellent looks
- Grippy sole
- Good levels of energy return
- Strong heel support
- Not very durable
- Restricts foot movement
- Not for ultra marathons
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8. Puma NRGY Comet
Looks like the NRGY series is a big bang for your buck option. The Comet is a proper road running shoe, unlike the Neko. It is a sleek, lightweight and functional shoe which can handle any paved terrain with confidence. The Comet gets a full-contact EVA midsole and EVA outsole, which improves cushioning and overall ride quality. The shoes, as told by most users are really comfortable and have a nice, snug fit.
A breathable upper unit, which keeps your feet cool and dry compliments the high cushioned TPU-based NRGY midsole. On the other hand, the soft and lightweight EVA in the outsole is supported by toe and heel bumpers which provide better grip and durability. So, if you are on a tight budget and want a decent, light trainer from a renowned brand, the Comet won’t disappoint.
- Soft EVA midsole and outsole for cushioning and responsive ride
- Toe and heel bumpers for increased grip
- Sleek and attractive design
- Fast and light
- Value for money
- Nothing really stands out as a con here!
9. NB Fresh Foam Beacon
By far the most balanced shoes in this list, the Beacon is lightweight, fast and yet is soft. The lightweight is ensured by the minimal use of rubber, only in places which are subjected to high wear. The rest of the outsole is just New Balance’s supremely durable, Fresh Foam’s Ground Contact compound.
The upper is a new, breathable and thin engineered mesh with a much roomier fit than before. A new 3D molded heel counter to perfectly cradle your heel is the highlight of the overall fit of the shoe. The midsole is thick and cushioned but not exactly very squishy. This makes it perfectly suitable for doing it all, from light jogs to speedy runs.
- Lightweight and fast
- Very versatile
- New, breathable, engineered mesh upper
- A roomy toe box and supportive, molded heel counter
- Well cushioned midsole with a firm ride
- Not suited for quick timings
- Fast enough but not for speedwork
10. Adidas SL20
Now this is an excellent marathon shoe! By every means, a great lightweight shoe for speedwork and uptempos, the SL20 delivers on the front its needs to, speed. Weighing in at just above 220 grams, featuring the lightweight, firm TPU-based Lightstrike foam and a breathable upper makes this a great shoe for short and medium runs in hot summer days.
The Lightstrike foam also comes with a midfoot torsional plate to increase stiffness and adds a spring to your stride. The outsole in the forefoot gets Continental rubber which offers superb grip on wet surfaces. Talking of the upper unit, it is thin yet stiff and breathable and has a very thin tongue. The fit of the upper is pretty good but the thin mesh really is scratchy and you will need socks. About other minor features, the heel counter and ankle cushioning is decent but the shoe feels flat during slow recover runs.
- Lightweight, firm Lightstrike foam with midfoot torsion plate
- Excellent for speed runs, especially during summer
- Fit is decent and comfortable
- Grip of outsole is excellent
- Good Value for money
- Upper unit is very thin and light
- The upper is really rough and scratchy
- Comfort levels are not great for long runs
- Flat feeling in recovery runs
11. Puma Emergence Running shoes
Offering a range of top-quality equipment at various prices is a specialty of Puma. The Emergence running shoes are a top-performing pair in a budget from the German sports giant. Sleek looks, a knit mesh upper and full length EVA midsole are what makes these suitable for logging the miles.
A bootie construction collar makes it a comfortable fit too, easing the process of wearing. Puma’s trademark Softfoam sockliner is given too for added comfort. The outsole is made of EVA too and has decent traction.
- Really cool design
- Strong, grippy EVA outsole
- Very comfortable
- Sockliner for added comfort and ease of wearing
- Could have used a more breathable mesh
- Minimal protection and support
12. Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2
One of the legendary speed trainers from Nike, the Turbo 2 is a huge name. The new version delivers even more cushioning and responsive ride. It gets the light and best-in-class(85% energy return), ZoomX foam featured in Nike’s racing shoes complimented by the lasting React foam midsole. This combo gives these shoes a nice mix of comfort, cushioning and a smooth ride. Along with that, there is overall weight reduction to a meagre 204 grams and 196 grams for men and women, respectively. The upper is a synthetic mesh is which is minimally padded and very breathable. Overall, one of the best lightweight shoes for running in its segment.
- Super soft and responsive, best-in-class ZoomX midsole.
- React Foam midsole for increased life.
- Better energy return than Turbo,
- Good for a serious runner
- Less durable than the first Turbo.
- Not a good daily trainer
13. Skechers GoRun Razor 3
This shoe comes with Skechers’ well-acclaimed HyperBurst foam at an astonishingly light, 181 grams! This soft and lightweight foam makes this a really strong tempo shoe competing against the likes of Pegasus Turbo 2 and Adidas SL20. The shoe’s lightweight construction is due to its really light and breathable upper with minimal reinforcements, which keeps your feet cool and the thin midsole, which gives a really firm feeling and ample protection. The shoes have a firm and racy feel to them but less responsive on slower runs. The outsole has rubber webbing which provides decent traction.
- Very responsive Hyperburst foam
- One of the lightest among lightweights.
- Breathable upper
- Firm ride
- Great for speedwork
- Struggles on slow runs
- Can lack ground contact feel
14. UA HOVR Infinite
The HOVR Infinite is a serious running shoe from Under Armour. It is versatile and will cover everything from indoor gyms to medium distance runs on tarmac. The light weight, snug fit and grounnd-contact feel of the shoe makes it a really preferable option as running shoes. Some users have really commended about the responsive HOVR foam which gives a lot of ennergy return
The Micro G midsole is responsive and helps in cushioned landings. On the other hand, the mesh upper is light and breathable while the padding on the ankle and tongue is very comfortable. The materials used in this shoe are among the best Under Armour has to offer, so no question on quality. But there are some minor glitches which make it susceptible to running long hours in this. It will comfortably handle a couple of long marathons but running miles everyday can be slightly tough.
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Good for beginners and amateurs
- Light and breathable upper
- Extremely value for money
- Extremely good quality materials
- Not for a professional athlete/runner
- Can’t run everyday; has a long break-in period too.
15. Asics Patriot 10
Asics is always there in best running shoes list! The Patriot 10s are top-quality, value for money lightweight shoes for running, jogging or any other casual purpose. At just, 212 grams it is a featherweight! A lightweight construction and a responsive midsole are its best features. The Amplifoam material does not have great cushioning but provides a good smooth ride. On the looks department, they are clean and sleek. The upper mesh is very well-ventilated and the shoes are very durable. Buying them new, will take some to adjust to your feet due to a slightly long break in period.
Overall, a budget friendly shoe for your regular runs!
- Comfortable design and fit
- Attractive yet simple looks.
- Very long lasting
- Cool in-shoe environment
- Lengthy break-in period
- Better midsole expected
16. NB Fresh Foam Tempo
New Balance has built a knack of building superior quality of shoes in all categories. Weighing just around 240 grams for men and 193 grams for women, this is the replacement of the NB Zante, which features later in the list. Overall, the shoe adds a new heel counter, redesigned upper and outsole and the new Fresh Foam X midsole.
This new midsole is really soft to touch but has a firm ride, ideal for lightweight shoes for running fast tempo runs. Although, it lacks responsiveness and bounce. The new outsole is a full-contact unit with blown rubber at the heel and toe only, to keep weight in check. A completely redesigned upper, now gets a breathable, double-layer mesh and adequate padding on the heel and tongue area, which give both protection and a premium feel. Overall, the shoe has a snug fit and toebox but your feet won’t feel cramped at all.
- Freshly updated upper and midsole.
- Firm ride, good for quick runs.
- New breathable double mesh upper
- New plastic heel counter gives structure.
- Not as bouncy or responsive
- Feels less connected to the ground
17. Asics GT 2000-7
This is an excellent shoe from the house of ASICS. It is ideal for both indoors and also for some outdoor running. The cushioning is top-notch while the heel counter provides great support to the heel. The Midsole is made of EVA and front fits like a sock with its Ortholite Sockliner.
The shoes also have a great shock absorption capability.
- EVA midsole
- Usable for both indoor and outdoor
- Ortholite sockliner ensures great fit
- Noticeable cushioning
- Ankle pain due to metal inserts
- Not very durable
18. Fila Men’s Rold Running shoes
It provides a good cushioning and is ideal for regular use by beginners. It is very suitable also for medium-distance runs, especially for slow training. The shoe is really well styled and has a unique look. Fila has always got a thing for stylish looking footwear
The sole is grippy and aggressive while the comfort is not bad for the price.
- Good grip
- Aggressive styling
- Good Cushioning
- Good colours
- Have a tight fit
- Better quality at this price available
- Support could have been better
19. Lotto Men’s Splash Running Shoes
Italian company, Lotto has been one of the leading names in the sports industry for a long time now. This pair from Lotto is a well-designed product at a very affordable price. It provides adequate cushioning and has a mesh upper. It has a tough sole and is grippy.
- Very inexpensive
- Used for casual as well as proper running
- Suitable for both road and trail
- Tough toebox
- Aggressive grip
- Not the best for a proper marathon
- Fewer colours
- Satisfactory flexibility
20. Nike Zoom Pegasus 36
The Pegasus line from Nike is renowned for some of the best trainer shoes. The Pegasus 36 is the latest in the long line of them. A neutral, regular trainer, it is not as lightweight as some of the others in this lineup and quite evidently features lower. It is pretty well constructed and the materials of the engineered mesh upper are excellent and the unit is stretchy and ventilated. This keeps the shoe really cool and dry. It gets Flywire cables on the sides that help in better locking of the foot in place. The midsole is the hero of the shoe. A combo of Cushlon and Zoom Air makes it feel adequately responsive and shock absorbing. It’s outsole has good levels of grip on all surfaces and remains unchanged from the previous version.
Design wise, it is classic Nike; looks sleek and fast but looks are deceptive. Weighing at 283 grams, it is not the fastest and you would love the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 for a more firm and bouncy run. Despite that, the runs are pretty easy and smooth, if you maintain a moderate pace.
- Engineered mesh upper is ventilated and has a secure fit.
- Cushlon and Zoom Air midsole gives a bouncy feel.
- Classic sleek Nike design
- Grippy outsole
- Has a lot of legacy behind it
- Not really fast. Switch to the Turbo, if you want that.
- Cheaper options like Downshifter and Winflo available from Nike.
Is the brand of running shoes important?
Brand, for shoes, is just like any other product- a label. But over the years, certain brands have developed a cult status amongst the running enthusiasts by providing top-notch quality in terms of performance, comfort, and durability.
These include Hoka, Brooks and Saucony part from the usual ones like Puma, ASICS, Nike, and Adidas. But these are slightly expensive and are preferred by professionals. If you are a beginner, brands like Lotto, Fila, Skechers, New Balance might well provide reasonable performance without having to burn a hole in the pocket.
What are the types of running shoes?
Before buying a pair of shoes, it is important to know the type of running shoes, since each of them serves a specific purpose. The shoes can be divided based on
- Intensity of running
- Kind of surface ( indoors, gym, Trail, track, road)
- User’s biomechanics ( weight, foot width etc.)
Based on these there are 5 major kinds of marathon/running shoes :
These are the most common types of training shoes that you are going to use. These are for everyday use, for short and long runs, recovery and rehab running. They are more durable than other types of trainers and are also heavier but more cushioned too. This durability factor makes them suitable for rigorous daily use.
As the name suggests, they are lighter than their regular counterparts and are used in speed training mostly before races. They are less cushioned but stiffer than trainers. They are relatively durable and are flexible to use, unlike racing flats. Shifting from regular to light trainers need some time of transition for the foot to adjust to less cushioning and should be developed over a period of few weeks. Some athletes even like to race in these shoes.
These shoes are for different kinds of off-road terrains like mud, sand, rock and these shoes provide absolute best in comfort, protection and support. They are made of stickier rubbers and have an enhanced tread pattern, provide superior grip on slippery surfaces and also more protection on the ankles, midsole and tongue to protect the toes from roots and rocks.
Stability/Motion Control Shoes
These shoes are for particular runners who have excess pronation. Pronation is the inward rolling movement of the foot as result of impact due to contact with the ground. Now, this is a normal human movement but an excess of that can be painful. Motion-control shoes provide more stability and support and are more rigid than a regular shoe. They also have a wider sole and are ideal for heavier people.
These are the ideal racing day shoes. They are very light compared to other shoes and are stiffer than trainers of any kind. But they are not as flexible as trainers and don’t build foot strength and come with minimal to really good cushioning based on the distance of the race. They are not durable to survive for everyday rigorous use.