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I used to wear my race shoes in training. However, I soon realized that race shoes have a shorter lifespan, and using them as daily training shoes break them down faster. If you’re a runner who trains daily, it’s important to have a reliable pair of running shoes that is comfortable and durable to handle your training volume.
The best running shoes for daily training should have soft cushioning to absorb as much impact from your daily runs. They should also have durable outsoles and a well-built upper so they can handle the wear and tear of being used in everyday runs.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best running shoes for daily training. But in order to truly understand what comprises good daily training shoes, let’s talk about what to look for when shopping for a pair.
What to Look for in a Daily Trainer
Soft Yet Responsive Cushioning
First and foremost, good daily training shoes should have thick cushioning to help protect your joints from the impact of running. This is especially important for heavier runners or those who are prone to joint pain. Look for shoes with a soft, yet relatively responsive cushioning material such as the DNA Loft from Brooks, Air Zoom from Nike, or Gel from Asics.
Thick Outsoles and Durable Upper
Durability is also an important consideration when shopping for daily training shoes. Since you’ll be using these shoes on a regular basis, it’s important to choose a pair that can hold up to the wear and tear of daily training. Look for shoes with high-quality materials and construction, as well as a sturdy outsole that can withstand the added wear of using it on different types of surfaces daily.
Aside from the outsoles, you should also check the upper quality. Preferably, the shoe upper should be made of a durable material like Nylon. Some running shoes often have a thin, “sock-like” material that could easily stretch or degrade when used as often as daily trainers.
Having a running shoe rotation is also recommended. A shoe rotation is a collection of running shoes that you switch out depending on the type of training. It gives your shoes time to recover which will extend their lifespan. I detailed how to build a running shoe rotation in another article. If you have plans to build a running shoe rotation, I highly recommend that you check that out.
Has The Right Stability For You
Stability is another key factor to consider when shopping for daily training shoes. If you’re an overpronator (someone who tends to roll their foot inward excessively while running), look for shoes with a more stable platform to help reduce overpronation and improve your overall running form. Features such as Brook’s Guiderails or a medial (inside) post can help provide stability and support.
In terms of fit, it’s important to choose a daily training shoe that fits snugly but comfortably on your foot. You should have enough room in the toe box to wiggle your toes, but the shoe should not feel too loose and slippery on your foot. A good rule of thumb is to have at least half a thumb’s width from the tip of your longest to the front of the shoe as allowance.
It’s also preferable for daily trainers to have a cushioned upper to improve comfort. This gives you a plush fit that is ideal when gathering running mileage.
Now that we’ve covered some of the key features to look for in daily training shoes, let’s take a look at some specific shoe recommendations.
Recommended read: 9 Signs You’re Wearing the Wrong Running Shoes
Brooks Ghost 14
With its soft and smooth DNA loft cushioning and sturdy construction, the Brooks Ghost 14 (the Ghost lineup, basically) is one of the most popular daily trainers in the market, and so far, my favorite daily trainers.
What I like most about the Brooks Ghost lineup are their midsoles. The DNA Loft cushioning feels soft yet not too much that your feet sink. It has enough balance of responsiveness and softness which is very comfortable on long runs.
Its upper is well-cushioned and it almost feels like a soft pillow hugging certain parts of your feet. I never had any issues with hot spots or discomfort with this shoe. However, this shoe has a 12mm heel-to-toe drop which may be quite unusual for runners who are used to the more common 10mm.
ASICS Gel-Cumulus 24:
If you’re looking for a shoe that has the durability and cushioning of a daily training shoe without sacrificing the lightness and bounces that you get from a speedy shoe, the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 24 is one of the most versatile running shoes in the market today.
Its predecessor, the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23 was known for comfort, utilizing their basic Flytefoam midsoles. In the 24th iteration, however, ASICS upgraded its midsoles to Flytefloam Blast adding responsiveness to its arsenal and making the cushioning even softer.
Like every ASICS shoe, it has a perfect upper which hugs the foot evenly in all areas of the foot. Plus, it’s even more breathable than its predecessor.
Because of its versatility, comfort, and fit, I believe the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 24 is a good starting point for most runners. This would be a shoe that I could recommend to a group of people and expect most of them to be happy with my recommendation.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39:
The Air Zoom Pegasus 39 is Nike’s go-to shoe for daily training. Like the two shoes mentioned above, Nike Pegasus has balanced cushioning making it perfect for building up mileage or doing some speed runs.
The Pegasus 39 feels lighter on the feet to the point that it almost feels like a race shoe. Not to mention, its curve platform gives you a bit of a rollover motion which helps propel you forward.
However, I find it less comfortable than the two running shoes we’ve discussed above. It also takes time to get used to, especially if you are still working on your form. Durability-wise, the Nike Pegasus 39 is well-built and will probably last for at least 400 miles. This shoe is best for those who are looking for a fast daily trainer.
New Balance 880v12:
The New Balance 880v12 is far from the most popular pick, but this workhorse has some serious durability and premium comfort. This shoe, however, is a bit too soft for speed work in my opinion.
When I do speed work, I like to be able to feel the ground and not bury dampen the force of my stride in the shoe’s cushioning. Hence, I go for a more balanced cushioning or a firmer ride. However, I would like to note that this shoe is not intended for speed work purposes. Hence, it is still a great shoe for casual daily runs or building up mileage but I wouldn’t consider it an all-around shoe like the other shoes we’ve discussed.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 is the stability version of the Brooks Ghost 14.
Unlike other stability shoes, this shoe uses a “GuideRails” support system which helps keep your foot in the proper alignment without interfering with your stride when you don’t need them.
The shoe also has excellent DNA loft cushioning which makes it comfortable to wear for long hours. This makes the Adrenaline GTS 22 a great option for runners who need extra support and stability during their training.
In addition to its supportive design, the Adrenaline GTS 22 is also built to last. The outsole is made from a durable rubber material that provides good traction on a variety of surfaces. The shoe is also well-ventilated, which helps to keep your feet cool and dry during long runs making it a great option for runners who put in a lot of miles on a regular basis.
Another great thing about the Adrenaline GTS 22 is its comfortable fit. The shoe has a snug, yet not too tight, fit that keeps your foot securely in place without causing any discomfort.
When shopping for daily training shoes, look for a pair that has thick cushioning, durability, stability, and a good fit. These features will help ensure that your shoes can handle the demands of your training schedule and provide the support and comfort you need to run your best. Be sure to get your shoes fitted by a professional to ensure you have the right fit and support for your individual needs.
If new to running and aren’t sure how many miles to run, I created an article that talks about the ideal running mileage per week. I highly recommend that you check it out.