A couple of years ago, I ran a 60km ultramarathon. It was a spur-of-the-moment idea after running a couple of marathons and I had 3 or so months to train. I did not prepare well enough. While I did complete the full distance, I had done it in old, beat-up sports trainers that were no longer fit for a treadmill, never mind a gym. My feet and ankles took a beating.
I loved the experience, but after this race, I got really serious about my shoes.
What shoes are best for Ultramarathons?
Above all - you need something that is durable, comfortable and reliable. A shoe with a sold sole, with a decent amount of grip and a shoe that can take a bit of training, without tearing at the seams.
As a side note, my personal preference is a shoe that feels soft, has a good glide and isn't too heavy.
Brooks Cascadia 16 GTX
One of my favourite ever running brands is Brooks. They always knock it out of the park with great running shoes.
This is the Brooks Cascadia 16 GTX which is specifically designed for trail and long-distance running. The shoe is durable and grippy enough to be able to manage the gravel tracks of trail runs, but light enough not to start to drag after 20 or so miles.
The shoe also has a ballistic rock shield which offers support and protection on the rocky, or wooded ground. So any roots or rocks you catch won't be the end of the world.
SAUCONY Endorphin Trail
The Saucony Endorphin Trail shoes are new as of 2022. They include the progressive 'speedroll' technology that gives you that glide feel, as if you're being propelled forward. They are lightweight and padded enough to protect you on the rougher trails. The sole has 4.5mm lugs for grip and stability.
What I love about these shoes is that they have a really tight snug fit too. A shoe like this is ideal for racing, or for speed running.
These shoes fit like a precision glove.
Brooks Adrenaline Gts 22
This is another Brooks shoe for the list. Again, I think that Brooks are one of the most comfortable shoes on the market. They can be quite spongey to start with, and are not built for speed, but great for long training runs.
The Brook Adrenaline GTS 22 shoes are not best suited for any rough or 'off-road' terrain but are great for road running or hard paths. They have good cushioning, a robust heel block and sole. They offer great long-lasting support and will be a great shoe for hundreds and hundreds of miles.
Weight: 229.9 grams
ASICS Women's Novablast 2 Running Shoe
ASICS are another brand of running shoes that are my favourite. While I have found some of the models feel 'thin' on the sole (maybe better for a short-distance athlete).
The sole is made with a 'flytefoam lasting' sole which is designed for maximum cushioning and long-lasting support. They also have an anti-slip layer (AHAR Rubber).
Weight: 222 grams