12 Best Cushioned Running Shoes Of 2024, Recommended By An Expert

Be it rocks, marsh, concrete, or road, run free and easy without worrying about injuries.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Bruce Pinker, DPM, AACFAS, FAPWCA, DABPM, FACPM Dr. Bruce Pinker Dr. Bruce PinkerDPM, AACFAS, FAPWCA, DABPM, FACPM facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness Aditi Naskar MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Edited by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Rajeshwari Das MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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Of course, you will need the best cushioned running shoes for an impactful run, ensuring real results and an enhanced running experience. The plush cushioning makes you agile, prevents you from severe injuries while you’re running on a fast track or even doing a casual walk on that hard concrete. Although all shoes come with some cushioning, the special ones can absorb shock and facilitate arch support for the feet.

Dr. Bruce Pinker, board-certified foot and ankle surgeon, says, “Saucony, Asics, New Balance, and Brooks are some of the best running shoe brands in terms of quality, durability, and support. For most running shoes, they should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles, as the midsole wears out. The midsole provides cushioning and shock absorption, which can help prevent injury, so sneakers should be replaced periodically.”

Therefore, we have featured some must-have running shoes with cushioning for women. Comfort, overall performance, durability, aesthetics, everything’s been checked.

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Arch Support:ASICS Gel-Contend 5Price on Amazon
Best Lightweight:Adidas FW5100 Questar FlowShoesPrice on Amazon
Best Durable :Saucony S10471-1Women's Cohesion 12Price on Amazon
Best Stretchable:New Balance FreshFoam Arishi V2Price on Amazon
Best Secure Fit:Topo Athletic Magnify 3Price on Amazon
Best Speed Enhancing :Brooks Revel 4 Women's Road-Running ShoePrice on Amazon
Best Sweat-Absorbing:ALTRA Women's Paradigm 6 Road Running ShoesPrice on Amazon
Best Breathable Shoes : Under Armour Women's Charged Impulse Running ShoesPrice on Amazon
Best Ergonomic Sole :HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 Women's ShoesPrice on Amazon
Best Support:Feethit Women Tennis Walking ShoesPrice on Amazon

12 Best Cushioned Running Shoes For All Terrains

1. Best Arch Support:ASICS Gel-Contend 5

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4.4

With Asics Gel-Contend 5 running shoes, you can run a marathon or sprint around your track with finesse and ease. These shoes offer cushioned support and stability to enhance your performance. Its Rearfoot Gel Technology and AmpliFoam midsole provide maximum cushioned support, while the Ortholite sock liner aids in managing moisture. The athletic mesh rubber makes the shoes breathable and keeps your feet fresh and odor-free. If you want a detailed review of the product based on the reviewer’s experience, make sure to take a look at this video.

Product Dimensions: 12.44 x 6.3 x 4.75 inches | Weight: 1.44 Pounds.

Pros
  • Flexible rubber sole
  • Arch support
  • Lightweight
  • Long-lasting
  • Secured fit
  • Removable sock liner
  • Breathable mesh
  • Keeps feet odor-free
  • Easy to clean

Cons
  • Cramps toes

Our Tester's Experience

"The Asics Contend 5 sneakers fit true to size and are comfortable for walking or running. The styles and colors suit every season. They've proved great for my daily walks for six months, but they wear at the toes while the soles remain hardy."


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A pair of running shoes can efficiently last between 400 to 500 miles of running time. If the midsole and outsoles start compressing and look worn out, the shoes should be replaced.

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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has received 12,080 reviews on Amazon and is a popular choice among shoppers.

2. Best Lightweight:Adidas FW5100 Questar FlowShoes

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When style meets comfort, you get the super comfortable Adidas Questar Flow Shoes. These shoes offer all-around comfort and support your feet during lightweight running. The soft OrthoLite sock liner and Cloudfoam midsole cushion your feet, while the synthetic outsole with ridges provides stability. The full mesh design on the upper makes the shoes breathable – so no more stinky odor! The molded heel counter enhances stability, the lace-closure improves fit, and the pink pull tab ensures ease of wearing. You can also check this YouTuber’s detailed review to know more about the results after using this product.

Product Dimensions: 11 x 4 x 7 inches | Weight: 9 Ounces

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Provide stability
  • Fashionable
  • Secured fit
  • Durable

Cons
  • Lacks arch support
  • Expensive

Our Tester's Experience

"These shoes definitely got me through long nursing shifts with great comfort. Though the color choices could be better, personally, I rock the pink without issue. The lightness and simplicity of these shoes still impress me."


3. Best Durable:Saucony S10471-1Women’s Cohesion 12

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4.4

Saucony Women’s Cohesion 12 combines performance and style to create the perfect running shoes. It features a stylish breathable upper that keeps your feet dry and a durable rubber outsole that uses grid technology for a firm grip on a slippery slope. These shoes come with VersaRun cushioning insoles to reduce pressure on the feet, knees, and calves. Plus, the arch support assists in distributing pressure and preventing pain. For a thorough review of the product along with the reviewer’s experience, have a look at this YouTube video.

Product Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 10 Ounces

Pros
  • Durable outsole
  • Flexible
  • Stylish
  • Wide interior
  • Non-skid outsoles
  • Comfortable
  • Suitable for people with planter fasciitis

Cons
  • Not water-resistant

Our Tester's Experience

"In my experience, these shoes have proven very comfortable and supportive, especially perfect for my narrow feet. They are stylish, complement my casual attire well, and offer ample space for my toes. Although they can be a little tight, they have significantly reduced my foot pain. It’s a relief to have them in my life, leading me to even get a second pair."


protip_icon Quick Tip
Your feet grow over time, which is why it is essential to measure your shoe size before buying. Feet expand throughout the day, so measure the shoe size at night, and try walking in both sides of the shoes before purchasing.

4. Best Stretchable:New Balance FreshFoam Arishi V2

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4.3

These bouncy and light shoes, featuring the Fresh Foam midsoles, deliver soft cushioned support to your feet while running on a track or concrete. It’s no-sew knit mesh upper allows smooth airflow and keeps your feet sweat-proof. Plus, the rubber outsole with ridges enhance your stability while running or walking and prevents accidents. The New Balance Arishi V2 offers premium underfoot comfort in an attractive running shoe design.

Product Dimensions: 8 x 4 x 7 inches | Weight: 1.4 Ounces.

Pros
  • Athletic look
  • Long-lasting
  • Adjustable lace closure
  • Lightweight
  • Reduces pain
  • Stretchable material
  • Removable insoles
  • Breathable upper

Cons

None

Our Tester's Experience

"I find New Balance shoes ideal for me, especially due to their consistent sizing. Their rubber soles offer great comfort and keep my feet from being injured due to unstable steps. Definitely recommend it to everyone!"

5. Best Secure Fit:Topo Athletic Magnify 3

Unlike running on grass trails, jogging or running on concrete or asphalt roads can increase your chances of injury. While running on artificial terrains, you need special running shoes to support and cushion your body on impact. The ultra-light Magnify 3 road running shoes from Topo Athletic feature 2-density midsoles and the Ortholite footbed to protect you from unwanted injuries. The stretchable rubber sole has a long toe sweep that runs through the metatarsal to allow full movement of your feet in a comfortable move while supporting the body in the gait cycle. Plus, its low-seam construction keeps blisters and scratches at bay.

Product Dimensions: 10 x 15 x 6 inches | Weight: 2 Pounds

Pros
  • Breathable
  • Secured fit
  • Neutral drop design
  • Ortholite insole
  • Protects throughout the gait cycle
  • Multi-density midsole
  • Lightweight shoes
  • Wide toe box

Cons
  • Expensive

Our Tester's Experience

"I've completed nearly 750 miles in these reliable companions without blistering or discomfort. Their design accommodates my toes comfortably and provides fair support. The shoes are a perfect blend of style and reliability. I will invest in a second pair soon."


6. Best Speed Enhancing:Brooks Revel 4 Women’s Road-Running Shoe

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4.5

Premium Brooks Revel 4 is a high-performance shoe made to last long. Its responsive cushioning and springy outsole keep your feet protected from injuries while providing all-day comfort. The knitted upper has a fashionable and aesthetic look that looks perfect with casual wear and workout clothes. Brooks Revel 4 comes with its patented BioMoGo DNA cushioning that helps in impact absorption and adapts to your stride and speed. Its arrow pointed outsoles help you transition faster from toe to heel, enhancing your performance. This running shoe features a pull tab for ease of wearing and cushioned collar to protect your heels. It uses heat-activated yarn that does not lose its shape even after constant use.

Product Dimensions: 10 x 15 x 6 inches.

Pros
  • Responsive ride
  • Quick transition
  • Versatile style
  • Energized ride
  • Adds bounce
  • Breathable material
  • Enhances the speed

Cons
  • Expensive

Our Tester's Experience

"I simply adore the comfort and fit that this pair of shoes offers. My walks are effortless as my feet feel no pain. Plus, it's spacious enough for full-length arch support. It significantly aids my feet, knees, hips, and back. The toe box and support are just fantastic!"


7. Best Sweat-Absorbing: ALTRA Women’s Paradigm 6 Road Running Shoes

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The ALTRA Women’s Paradigm 6 Road Running Shoes are ideal for those looking for comfort and support. These marathon running shoes are made to give your feet the highest amount of cushioning and support, enabling you to run for extended periods of time without experiencing any pain or discomfort. With each stride you take, these have an Altra EGOTM MAX midsole foam, which offers exceptional cushioning and energy return. For people who prefer running on hard surfaces like roads and pavements, this technology helps lessen the impact and reduces injuries. The upper layer in the pronation control shoes is constructed with breathable mesh, which promotes maximum airflow and keeps your feet dry and comfortable while you run. The InnerFlexTM technology is also used in the outsole’s design allowing for flexibility and better performance on various terrains.

Product Dimensions: 11 x 4 x 7 inches | Weight: 3 Pounds.

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Sweat-absorbing
  • Breathable upper
  • Anti-skid design
  • Shock-absorbing outsole

Cons
  • Sizes run small

Our Tester's Experience

"These shoes provide comfortable fit and support but I had to tweak the laces. This pair also allowed my feet to spread out with no awkward toe curl-ups! Overall, I like these shoes as every day wear."


8. Best Breathable Shoes:Under Armour Women’s Charged Impulse Running Shoes

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Under Armour Women’s Charged Impulse Running Shoes are designed to offer flexibility, cushioning, balance, and good foot support. These lightweight trail running shoes are constructed with 100% synthetic breathable mesh upper for a ventilated and uninterrupted airflow. Their Dual-Layer Charged Cushioning midsoles adapt to your stride and weight, while the rubber soles provide flexibility and cover you on high-impact zones. The bootie construction of these shoes allows a snug fit for a comfortable ride.

Item Weight: 15 Pounds | Color: Black | Material: PVC | Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 10.9 x 7.4 x 4 inches; 6 Ounces

Pros
  • High-impact sole
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Lightweight shoes
  • Flexible support
  • Easy to maintain
  • Good arch support

Cons
  • Tight interiors

Our Tester's Experience

"Most shoes slip off due to my oddly skinny ankles and cause blisters. However, these shoes were a cozy fit with no slippage. The bonus? They're impressively light and comfy, perfect for my 10000+ steps daily walk. They keep my feet cool, so I got a second pair as well!"


9. Best Ergonomic Sole: HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 Women’s Shoes

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HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 Women's Shoes Image: Hoka
Now 24% Off

The HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 Women’s Shoes comprise the perfect combination of comfort, style, and performance. The shoes feature a full-length EVA cushioned midsole, which provides exceptional cushioning and shock absorption, ensuring a comfortable ride with every step. The shoes are also equipped with Meta-Rocker technology, which enhances the natural rolling motion of the foot, providing a smoother transition from heel to toe. The outsole is designed with a beveled heel, providing a smooth and stable transition from heel to toe. The upper layer of the shoes is made of breathable mesh material for optimal airflow.

Product Dimensions: 11 x 4 x 7 inches | Weight: 3 Pounds.

Pros
  • Air-cushioned heels
  • Soft interior design
  • Ergonomic sole
  • Flexible foam insole
  • Ventilated upper fabric

Cons
  • Not durable

Our Tester's Experience

"I work at a hospital and these shoes have been my savior! They help me walk without any foot soreness. The relief they bring to my feet is hard to ignore. I usually toss them into the washer to keep them clean. I haven't noticed signs of wear, tear, or pilling yet."


10. Best Support: Feethit Women Tennis Walking Shoes

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4.2
Feethit Women Tennis Walking Shoes Image: Feethit

Whether you are playing tennis, taking a walk, or just doing errands, the Feethit Ladies Tennis Walking Shoes are made to offer the utmost comfort and support. The mesh upper layer of these shoes provides maximum airflow, keeping your feet dry and cool. The strong rubber outsole of these sneakers provides stability as you move around. The insoles are made with sufficient arch support, giving your feet additional padding and comfort. The removable insoles also allow you to customize your level of comfort and support as needed.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Breathable
  • Snug fit
  • Good arch support

Cons
  • Some users find these shoes slippery

Our Tester's Experience

"My everyday shoes for the past year! These are comfortable and offer the stability and support I need due to chronic back problems. While they run larger, I usually adjust the sizing with socks and insoles. These are ideal for both gym workouts and regular strolls."


11. Best Shock-Absorbing:Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 24 Waveknit Running Shoe

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4.3

When it comes to finding the right running shoe fit, the Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 24 shoes are designed to deliver a secure and comfortable experience. Constructed with the Mizuno Energy Technology and a dual compound U4ic midsole, these shoes provide a smooth and flexible fit. Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 24 shoes are designed for comfort and a secure fit with unwavering performance. The durable X10 carbon rubber outsole lasts very long. The Mizuno Wave plate offers optimal cushioned support that evenly distributes energy while you are running, preventing chances of injuries and discomfort. The engineered mesh upper is both ventilated and ensures durability for high-performance activities.

Pros
  • Shock-absorbing
  • Durable
  • Ventilated
  • Resilient to impact
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile application
  • Toe protection
  • Good grip

Cons
  • Sizes run small

Our Tester's Experience

"These Mizuno shoes offer great comfort and support, but they run smaller in size. I like the shoes because they come with apt cushioning. If you manage to get the sizing right, you might also find them fitting perfectly."


12. Best Flexible Sole: Reebok Women’s Walk Ultra 7 DMX Max Shoe

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The Reebok Women’s Walk Ultra 7 DMX Max Shoes are designed with a sleek and stylish design, making them a perfect choice for both casual and active wear. These shoes are equipped with the latest DMX MAX technology, which provides targeted cushioning and support to your feet. This technology allows air to flow through the shoes, creating a cooling effect, while the EVA foam midsole provides additional cushioning and shock absorption. The upper layer of the shoe is made from soft, yet durable leather, which ensures a comfortable and secure fit. The stability shoes also feature a durable rubber traction outsole, which provides excellent traction and grip.

Pros
  • High-quality fabric
  • Non-slip outsole
  • Flexible sole
  • Snug fit
  • Ventilated design
  • Offers stability

Cons

None

Our Tester's Experience

"In spite of my two ACL replacements and a torn MCL, these shoes proved themselves to be a reliable companion during a 40-mile walk at Disney World. They also held up during a challenging hike in Utah and a stroll along the Las Vegas strip, all without causing knee pain. Looking ahead, I see myself sticking with these fantastic shoes."

Features like flexibility, breathability, and style make a running shoe the best in its class. Here are some other features of performance shoes that are worth mentioning.

How To Choose The Best Cushioned Running Shoes

  1. Mesh Upper: The mesh upper fabric makes the shoe well-ventilated and provides breathability. It helps to keep your feet dry and odor-free. Preferably, choose a shoe that is stretchable, soft, and breathable.
  2. Heel Counter:The heel counter in a shoe provides stability to the foot and aids in stable landing while running, a crucial aspect emphasized by athletic trainers.
  3. Some shoes have heel counters concealed under the rear foot to support the heel, while others have external heel wraps.
  4. Outsole: Rubber outsole provides traction and durability without adding excess weight or stiffness.
  5. Midsole: Shoes that use memory foam insoles give well-cushioned support. Choose a material that uses the right midsole thickness that is neither too soft nor too firm.
  6. Arch Support: While running, your feet need full flexibility. Arch support in the shoe gives you the right feel throughout your run, from touchdown to toe-off.
  7. Reviews: It is always advisable to run through the reviews, pros, and cons of the brand you have chosen. So that you get direct feedback and insider tips from other users to help you narrow down your search.

The Bottom Line

There are many benefits of wearing a well-cushioned shoe. These shoes are ideal for everyday training, walking, running, and even for those who are working for long hours on their feet. Prioritize odor-free footwear with the ASICS Gel-Contend 5. For long runs, the ALTRA Women’s Paradigm 6 Road Running Shoes is ideal as it offers ample cushioning for enhanced endurance. The HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 Women’s Shoes offers superior shock absorption and optimal support for impactful activities. The best-cushioned running shoes will allow super soft transitions for runners and feel super soft and comfortable during any physical activity. When it comes to durability, comfort, and aesthetics, these cushioned running shoes will be your best pick. Consider the outsole, midsole, arch support, heel counter, mesh upper, and reviews while purchasing the best-cushioned running shoes.

Staying up-to-date with the latest running shoe trends allows you to choose from a wide range of well-cushioned options that meet your specific needs. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting your fitness journey, investing in the best-cushioned running shoes can greatly enhance your performance and overall enjoyment of physical activities.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Aditi Naskar, holds a diploma in health and wellness and is a fitness enthusiast. She shares tips for choosing cushioned running shoes and explains how to consider parameters such as the sole, arch support, and heel counter to reduce stress on the joints. In addition, she has carefully studied the product specifications and user reviews to create this list of the best ones. These products will enhance your performance without compromising your health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you use cushioned shoes while running?

Cushioned shoes reduce the force created by your body’s collision with the ground, relieving strain on your body. Furthermore, the cushioning in your running shoes reduces the adaption required to reach optimal comfort while utilizing the least energy.

Do cushioned running shoes slow you down?

No, cushioning provides support and increases speed.

Can cushioned shoes cause knee pain?

No, an optimal level of cushioning will not cause any knee pain. But running shoes with excessive padding may cause knee pain as the nervous system cannot sense surface hardness and give ideal foot strike action. Additionally, cushioning behind the heel induces overstriding, lowers foot placement awareness, and results in a higher force exchange, which causes knee pain.

Do heavier runners need more cushion?

Yes, heavier runners have more weight striking the ground with each foot strike, so they must require more shoe cushioning to absorb that increased impact.

How often should I replace running shoes?

If you run frequently, replace your running shoes every 4-6 months.

How many pairs of running shoes should I have?

You need at least 2 pairs of running shoes to use alternately if you run most days of the week.

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Dr. Bruce Pinker

Dr. Bruce PinkerDPM, AACFAS, FAPWCA, DABPM, FACPM

Dr. Bruce Pinker is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon with 50 years of experience, a professional foot and ankle health and wellness speaker, and an expert in corporate health and wellness. He is also a faculty member of the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center Podiatric Surgical Residency Program, Brooklyn, NY.

Read full bio of Dr. Bruce Pinker