Over the past few decades, people have come to realise that eating healthy and keeping fit are the keys to living a long, healthy, happy life.
As a result, the popularity of the ‘fitness movement’ has increased dramatically, with one of the most popular forms of fitness being getting out and running.
However, this new fitness craze has produced a new type of athlete. One which is less conditioned and less knowledgeable about training techniques, and therefore are more prone to injury.
It has been said that 50 to 70% of casual runners will suffer some type of running related injury, whether it is ankle injury, knee injury, or even back injury.
The running shoe
The running show is an important component in treating and preventing running induced injuries.
Over the past five decades, running footwear design has changed in order to influence biomechanics and thus help prevent running injuries.
Various characteristics have been added to or removed from running footwear to keep on pace with changing trends and developing technology, and as a result it can be a rather daunting and dizzying prospect to pick and choose which running shoes are right for you.
Although this can be good news for people who are suffering from back pain as a result of their running exploits, as there is no shortage of options for finding the right pair of running shoes to help ease the pain.
Acute low back pain is related to shock absorption changes to impulse loading in the musculoskeletal system.
So, when choosing the right shoes to help back pain relief, it is important they have good stability and extra cushioning.
As such, we have made a list of the best cushioned running shoes on the market.
The 15 best running shoes for back pain
Asics GlideRide 2
Price: $130 US
Reviewer – “I highly recommend this shoe for anyone who is looking for a max-cushioned neutral shoe.
The GlideRide 2 does exactly what it says it does. It glides your whole ride. It will save you energy during your longer runs and is also a fantastic choice for recovery runs”.
Something Asics has always done well is produce a well-rounded, comfortable, durable running shoe, and the GlideRide 2 is no exception.
The Asics GlideRide 2 is a shoe designed to make running feel easier
By reducing energy through the phases of the gait cycle from foot strike to toe-off, this running shoe can help you cover greater distances.
You can find a pair to buy on Amazon here.
Asics Gel Nimbus 22
Price – $89 US
Reviewer – “The ASICS Gel Nimbus 22 is hands down my favourite running shoe. The ASICS Gel Nimbus 22 offers a smooth run that offers a great deal of not only comfort but also boasts increased flexibility and comfort over previous models.”
The Asics Gel range is top of the range in running shoes and leading the pack is the Asics Gel Nimbus 22. The comfort and cushion provided by this shoe make it unrivalled from its competitors.
The shoe is not necessarily built for speed but what it is built for is high mileage. Comfort and durability make this shoe a wise investment, even at $89.
Buy a pair of Asics Gel Nimbus 22 here.
Asics Gel Contend 7
Price – $43 US
Reviewer – “The Asics Gel Contend 7 are a fantastic find for a budget friendly running shoe. They go above expectations and you get more than you’re actually paying for”.
Coming in at a slightly more budget friendly running shoe from Asics is the ‘Gel Contend 7’.
The shoe is a great choice for the more casual runner who is looking more for cushioning and support rather than arch support on heavy mileage runs.
They are very lightweight and perfect for wearing all day even while going about your daily routine.
Buy a pair of Asics Gel Contend 7s here.
Price – $43 – $89 US
Reviewer- “The Brooks Revel is a daily trainer intended to offer, at a lower price, quality performance while maintaining “street-style” for daily wear”.
While Brooks is not as well know a brand as Nike or Adidas, the quality and comfort of this shoe makes it a wise choice when looking for a casual running shoe with great cushioning.
There has been a number of upgrades such as the Revel 2, 3, and 4, but they all share the same bouncy, cushioning sole that makes this range in the Brooks family so well liked.
You can buy a pair of Brooks Revel here.
Brooks Ghost 10
Price – $115 US
Reviewer – “The Brooks Ghost 10 is a daily neutral trainer that can take a beating and delivers a comfortable run every time. Priced well, and designed for all neutral runners, this is a “go-to” shoe”.
Another entry from the Brooks family, the Ghost 10 is a well cushioned, extremely comfortable running shoe, that has an incredible asphalt grip and can log in a serious amount of mileage.
While 115 is a bit of a steep price for casual runners looking for comfortable footwear, the durability over long distances, along with the responsiveness to upped speeds, make this a serious wise investment for the more serious runner.
Buy a pair of Brooks Ghost 10s here.
Hoka One One Clifton 6
Price- $129 US
Reviewer – “The Clifton 6 sheds some weight and moves to a softer midsole foam giving it a soft, smooth and highly cushioned ride.
The ride combined with an upgraded upper made of higher quality and more durable materials than in previous years make this a shoe worth looking into”.
Like Brooks, Hoka One One is a brand that is not that recognisable, but it makes up for that in quality and comfort.
It is known for lightweight cushioning and was one of the very first shoes to bring an overly cushioned yet lightweight style of shoe to market.
The Hoka One One’s have a unique look and the Clifton 6 is no exception.
At $129 US, it is on the steep side of pricing, so maybe make sure you are committed to the runner’s lifestyle before picking up a pair. However, the durability of these runners make these a great investment.
Buy a pair of Hoka One One Clifton 6s here.
New Balance Fresh Foam More V2
Price – $109 US
Reviewer – “The New Balance Fresh Foam More v2 is a super plush runner that offers a lot of features you want in a daily and high-mileage trainer. The ride is soft and quick”.
If you are looking for a running shoe that is lightweight, yet provides a ton of cushion, then this pair of New Balances are right up your alley.
They provide a responsive ride, have an extremely comfortable upper, and the design allows for a wide toebox.
One big drawback for such a high price is the fact that the outer sole visibly wears down pretty quickly.
But still a pretty smart choice for the long-distance runner
Buy a pair of New Balance Fresh Foam More V2 here.
Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%
Price – $275 US (from the Nike warehouse)
Reviewer – “The Alphafly Next% is the flagship Nike marathon racing shoe and is deserving of its premium price.
Light, breathable Atomknit makes its debut while the combination of ZoomX and a stiff carbon plate results in a propulsive ride second to none”.
Like most things with a ‘tick’ emblazoned on the side of it, you are going to be paying a little bit more for it.
However, the Alphafly Next% seemingly justifies it’s high price tag.
If you’re a runner looking for a highly cushioned race day option which is super responsive and very stable, the Alphafly Next% is a great choice.
What makes it stand out, besides the price, is the highly cushioned mid-sole, as well as the explosive responsiveness from the air pods.
At such a high price, and with most marathons being cancelled over the past 15 months, you think these would have been hard to sell, but no, the Alphafly sells out in seconds.
If you’re lucky, you can buy a pair here.
Nike Phantom Run 2
Price – $140 US
Reviewer – “The Phantom Run 2 is a superb, every day, neutral trainer and can hold its own against the best staple daily trainers on the market. Even though it looks like a casual shoe, the Phantom Run 2 is a serious running shoe with a versatile and supportive ride”.
The Phantom Run 2 is for the runner who wants a versatile and supportive neutral trainer which can be slipped on and off with ease.
It isn’t as expensive as the Alphafly Next % but it is a bit more casual.
However, this is not to say that it is a sneaker intended for the occasional jog.
The Phantom Run 2 is a dependable performance running shoe which has a versatile ride. It has just the right amount of cushioning and can be used for daily training, long runs and even tempo runs.
You can buy a pair of Phantom Runs 2 here.
Saucony Freedom ISO2
Price – $69 US
Reviewer – “The Saucony Freedom ISO 2 improves on the very popular and highly regarded first version. By adding more EVERUN and focusing the shoe more on a comfortable ride the Freedom ISO 2 exceeds its lofty expectations”.
The Saucony Freedom ISO hit the shelves in the summer of 2017 and the shoes were highly sought after for being one of the most comfortable pieces of footwear on the market at the time.
The Saucony Freedom ISO 2 improved on an already incredibly comfortable shoe by making it even more comfortable and durable at the same time.
Since it has been on the market now for a couple of years, the price has come down making it a very attractive purchase for those looking for a well cushioned shoe with an extremely comfortable fit.
The EVERUN soil runs throughout the sole giving it very good shock absorption, making it nice and springy. It also has a very comfortable upper.
At $69US, it has a very high durability making it a very wise purchase for people looking for a cheaper pair of running shoes.
You can buy a pair of Saucony Freedom ISO2s here.
Skechers GOrun 8
Price – $69 US
Reviewer – “The Skechers GOrun Ride 8 is a budget-conscious option for a daily trainer with a lot of upside. These shoes hit a ton of high notes while keeping costs fairly low”.
Skechers are renown for the comfort above all else in their footwear, whether it is running shoe or loafers, and over the past number of years people have certainly come to realise that it is a brand to give serious consideration to when choosing a running shoe
With the GOrun ride 8, Skechers have produced a sneaker that offers a seriously lightweight cushion combined with amazing durability that make it a steal at $69US.
Definitely a pair to look at for people who are on a budget, but still want top brand comfort.
You can buy a pair of Skechers GOrun Ride 8s here.
Under Armour Charged Bandit 3
Price – $73
Reviewer – “The Under Armor Charged Bandit 3 is a lightweight shoe that performs well on runs of all distances. The shoe moulds to the foot which creates a great fit which in turn leads to a comfortable run”.
Under Armour have recently started to rival the biggest brands in the industry and are providing top quality sportswear for all types of sports.
Running wear is no exception, and with the Charged Bandit 3, they have provided a running shoe which should turn some heads of people looking for a sleek, comfortable well cushioned running shoe without breaking the bank.
It is a lightweight shoe, which provides a lot of cushion in the heel.
The light material also makes it very breathable and comfortable.
Durability is assured with this shoe too, as the cushion recovers surprisingly well after several days of long runs.
You can buy a pair of Under Armour Charged Bandit 3s here.
Mizuno Wave Shadow 3
Price – $83 US
Reviewer – “The Shadow 3 has shed many of the quirks that have held it back. The shoe has now developed into a go-to choice for up-tempo sessions or road racing”.
The Wave Shadow 3 is best suited to any runner who is looking for a lightweight neutral trainer for mid to moderate up-tempo running sessions.
Along with being springy and responsive, it is very flexible and lightweight.
It is definitely for people who prefer a firm feel with a nice cushion, so perhaps not great for long-distance running.
The price is a little steep for being a little flat when wanting a comfortable sneaker to wear all day, every day. But as a running shoe, and for the person who wants something different to the Nikes and Adidas of the world, this is a great choice.
You can buy a pair of Mizuno Wave Shadow 3s here.
Adidas Adizero Adios Pro
Price – $200 US
Reviewer – “The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro is the flagship Adidas racing shoe and is a serious competitor to the Vaporfly and Alphafly Next%.
Its new Lightstrike Pro midsole provides a bouncy, fun ride while its extreme rocker results in a propulsive, forward tipping sensation during every toe-off.
The Adios Pro is a force to be reckoned with and at $50 less than the Vaporfly Next%, it’s a steal”.
This flagship entry for Adidas, which more than rivals that of Nike, is the Adizero Adios Pro, and boy does it pack a punch, despite its high price.
If you’re a runner looking for a max-cushioned, stable marathon racing shoe with excellent energy return, the Adios Pro is a fantastic choice.
The Adios Pro provides tons of cushioning and foot protection, is a bouncy fun ride, and is extremely breathable, making it especially comfortable.
So, if you are dedicated to your long-distance running, this Adidas ‘runner’ is a fun choice.
It’s funky, unique design will also make you stand out from the pack.
You can buy a pair of Adizero Adios Pro here.
Saucony Endorphin Speed
Price – $159 US
Reviewer – “The Saucony Endorphin Speed is perhaps the best overall shoe in which I’ve run for ‘Running shoes Guru’. This shoe is fast, cushioned, designed to log miles and to be able to log long runs.
I found it really difficult to find negatives for this shoe. It’s nearly perfect”.
This shoe is for a serious runner, as the price suggests. This is NOT for new runners. There is plenty of cushion for larger runners, and lightweight enough for the speed demon.
They are not everyday sneakers, and you may actually have to learn how to run properly in these due to its nylon mid-sole plate, but once you do, you’re away!
The plate allows for a snappy toe off and helps propel you forward during your stride, which allows for a more efficient and stronger push off and quicker pace.
The Endorphin Speeds also have a very unique look and have a real classic running shoe look.
So, if you are a dedicated runner, and looking for the best out there with a good cushion and money is not an object, look no further than the Saucony Endorphin Speed.
You can buy a pair of Saucony Endorphin Speeds here.
All reviewer quotes were courtesy of The running shoes Guru.