6 Great Everyday Training Shoes
Our selection of the best training shoes of 2022 that are primed to go the distance
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When it comes to running shoes lately, marathon super shoes with carbon-fiber propulsion plates embedded in their midsoles and trendy athleisure kicks are creating all the buzz.
But what about the everyday training shoes that you log most of your miles in? Functional utility isn’t as glamorous as race-day zest or the lifestyle vibe of your sneaks that look good with jeans, but the kicks you lace up most often are arguably also the most important running shoes in your quiver.
Here’s a rundown of six of the best running shoes that can handle from long runs to recovery runs with aplomb and a lot more. We’ve split these into two categories — smooth-riding, thickly cushioned shoes, and moderately cushioned trainers that are slightly lighter, speedier and more versatile trainers — to present a range of great shoes no matter if you’re a new runner, occasional runner or a high-mileage runner training for your next marathon.
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Cushy Daily Trainers
These are shoes that make running feel good, with copious amounts of soft cushioning and buttery smooth rides. They’re high off the ground, but all of that midsole cushiness helps dampen the impact with the ground and feel as comfy in the last mile of your run as it does in the first mile.
New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12, $160
The Fresh Foam 1080 v12 continues a legacy as a best-in-class neutral cushioned trainer with a soft, smooth, stable ride and opulent interior comfort. It’s an everyday high-mileage workhorse that’s best for long runs, recovery runs and tempo runs. Its two best features are the premium form-fitting Hypoknit mesh upper that helps provide a locked-down fit and the top-tier Fresh Foam midsole cushioning that absorbs shock and puts a little bit of springiness into your stride. It’s not quite as peppy as some other shoes, but it’s as smooth and comfortable as any other model you’ll find at your local running store.
- Weight: 8.3 oz.
- Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm
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Hoka Bondi 8, $165
The Bondi 8 has cushioning for days, but it’s also surprisingly light. One of Hoka’s original maximally cushioned training shoes designed for optimal long run comfort and consistency, the Bondi 8 has evolved to become lighter, bouncier and more agile. It has a new EVA-based midsole that’s soft but somewhat firm like the previous Bondi models, meaning it’s not mushy and won’t compress as much as some other thickly cushioned shoes. A new extended heel feature creates a bigger, more shock-attenuating crash pad, while the slightly wider footprint gives it improved lateral stability without getting in the way of your running gait.
- Weight: 8.9 oz.
- Heel-Toe Offset: 4mm
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On Cloud Monster, $170
With a clean upper design and an innovative CloudTec cushioning system, On running shoes have soared in popularity in recent years. The Cloud Monster is its first maximally cushioned shoe, but within the thick layer of soft Helion foam cushioning is a semi-stiff Speedboard that puts a bit of energetic pop into your stride as your foot rolls forward to toe-off. It has a plush interior for optimal comfort on long runs and recovery runs, but this cushy field also has a lively demeanor makes it a great choice for tempo runs and longer intervals.
- Weight: 8.1 oz.
- Heel-Toe Offset: 6mm
Also consider: Brooks Glycerin 20, Saucony Tempus, Hoka Clifton 8, Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2, ASICS Gel-Nimbus 24, Altra Paradigm 6.0, Adidas Ultraboost 22
Speedy Daily Trainers
These cushy shoes have a bit of a split personality, with enough cushioning to be a high-mileage workhorse but a light and agile vibe that allows them to run faster paces with ease. That versatility means you can lace these up for just about anything — weekend long runs, recovery runs, spicy tempo runs, fartlek workouts and longer intervals.
Brooks Launch 9, $110
An everyday training shoe for just 110 bucks? Heck, yes! Although it has a throwback price tag that’s easy on your budget, it’s a modern marvel of a versatile everyday training shoe that’s capable of running as fast and long as your training plan prescribes. It’s been updated slightly with a thicker layer of lightweight and cushy BioMoGo DNA foam and a new Green Rubber outsole that’s made from silica instead of petroleum-based rubber that made it lighter, softer, springier and more sustainable. There are few high-tech features built into this shoe, but it’s still a reliable and versatile everyday trainer.
- Weight: 7.1 oz.
- Heel-Toe Offset: 10mm
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39, $140
The original Pegasus debuted way back in 1983 and, although it’s changed considerably through the years as shoe design, materials and technologies have evolved, it’s always been a good, do-everything shoe for all levels of runners. That latest edition has a thick, springy React foam midsole with two supplemental Air Zoom units embedded in the heel and forefoot, putting in a moderately soft sensation in every step that results in a smooth and responsive ride. There’s more interior comfort in this year’s edition than the more spartan predecessors, but it’s always been the versatility that’s been the Peg’s biggest selling point.
- Weight: 7.7 oz.
- Heel-Toe Offset: 10mm
Saucony Endorphin Speed 3, $170
Few shoes have combined thick midsole cushioning and a peppy ride the way the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 does. Each edition of this shoe has earned rave reviews because it’s almost as light and as fast as your favorite racing shoes, but it’s also as comfortable and cushioned as your favorite training shoes you wear on long runs. The secret sauce is a combination of the thick layer of Saucony’s lightweight and hyper-repsonvei PWRRUN PB midsole foam, a curvy carbon-fiber plate and SpeedRoll rocker geometry. With a slightly thicker layer of PWRRUN PB foam than previous editions and a more stable makeup, it’s essentially a maximally cushioned everyday training shoe that runs like a light and speedy performance trainer.
- Weight: 7.2 oz.
- Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm
Also consider: Altra Vanish Tempo, ASICS Novablast 3, Hoka Mach 5, Brooks Hyperion Tempo, New Balance SuperComp Trainer, Saucony Kinvara 13