Best Cushioned Running Shoes (2017 Edition)

best cushioned running shoes

Sometimes, we all need a little more comfort and cushioning when we run.

Whether you’re coming back from injury, recovering from a tough session or simply want a more comfortable ride; a little extra foam in the sole can go a long way for to help you get more enjoyment from a run. In this guide, we take a look at the best cushioned running shoes for both men and women.

It’s worth noting that if you’re looking for a shoe that offers stability or is suitable for over-pronation then a cushioned running shoe probably isn’t for you as these shoes are designed for those with a neutral or slight under-pronation in their foot strike.

Quick List: Top 5 Cushioned Running Shoes For Women & Men

  1. Hoka One One Mafate 4 – When it comes to cushioning, th Hoka One One Mafate offers the ultimate in softness.
  2. Altra Torin 2.0 – he Altra Trorin 2.0 maybe zero drop but this low profile shoe pack in a lot of cushioning.
  3. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V6 – a soft cushined shoe for people who don’t like soft, spongie shoes.
  4. Mizuno Wave Enigma 5 – This high mileage shoe is incredibly soft and comfortable.
  5. Asics GEL-Nimbus 18 – the classic, The Asics Nimbus 18 offers unbeatable comfort and cushioning.

Why Some Runners Need A Little Extra Cushioning

If you find that running is frequently leaving you injured then one change that you might want to make is to your shoes. One of the easiest changes you can make is to add a little extra cushioning to your footwear.

Sometimes through being ‘too heavy’ for your shoes or inexperience you can find that the shoes that you’re wearing aren’t right for you.

Let’s face it, if you’re planning on putting the miles in then a lightweight racing flat simply isn’t going to cut it – a quality cushioned running shoe can make a big difference and can even help reduce injuries.

Judging Criteria


It may seem obvious but to make our list of ‘top 5 cushioned running shoes’ a shoe should offer you an above average level of cushioning.


This might seem a little diversive but it’s one thing for a running shoe to offer you a pillow-like level of softness but a pillow-like level of support is something to avoid in a shoe.


You’ll often find that the more cushioning a shoe provides, the heavier it weighs. We’ve searched through over 50 shoes to make sure that the shoes we recommend below won’t weigh your foot down.


Everyone loves a bargain and we’ve searched long and hard to find shoes that offer the right amount of cushioning and support, that aren’t too heavy and are at the right price.

So here it is – we’ve picked out 5 of the best cushioned running shoes on the market today.

5 Best Cushioned Running Shoes

Hoka One One Mafate 4

The Hoka One One Mafate 4 is a trail shoe that excels in the level of cushioning that it provides runners – this is the perfect shoe for ultra distance athletes or those simply looking for additional comfort when running off-road.

While these certainly aren’t minimal cushioned running shoes, weighing in at 383 grams they certainly offer unrivaled levels of comfort and really are the best running shoes for both cushioning and stability.

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Altra Torin 2.0

Altra have become well known for designing running shoes with zero drop and while these shoes won’t be for everyone, there’s no denying that these neutral cushioned running shoes pack one heck of a performance punch.

Pull on the Torin 2.0 and you instantly get a feel for how lightweight and comfortable this shoe really is. The fit is fantastic and unlike say the Hoka One One Mafate 4, the Torin seems to provide just enough cushioning without falling into the ‘maximal’ category making it an attractive alternative.

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New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V6

The thing we like most about the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V6 is that it’s a super soft shoe that is comfortable enough to be an everyday high mileage shoe. After running the London Marathon in these then we can honestly say that after 26 long, hot miles they are still every bit as comfortable as at mile 1.

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Mizuno Wave Enigma 5

Mizuno have a long history of producing high-quality shoes and this certainly continues with the Wave Enigma 5, their latest cushioned shoe. Featuring some pretty advanced technology and available in some pretty awesome colors – this is a pair of cushioning running shoes that will keep going no matter how many miles you throw at it.

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Asics GEL-Nimbus 18

I’ve been a fan of Asics running shoes for the longest time and the latest Nimbus shoe in their Nimbus range may be their most comfortable shoe yet. The Asics GEL-Nimbus 18 is their premium cushioned running shoe and offers you a soft yet stable ride with a springy energy return feel when you’re running.

While the Asics GEL-Nimbus 18 is one of the more expensive shoes on our list, it’s worth every penny as this high miler will comfortably see you running over 600 miles without any degrading of the cushioning.

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