My Cart

Our Top 7 Cushioned Running Shoes

Our Top 7 Cushioned Running Shoes Featured Image

Max cushion shoes were once seen as a curiosity, but the benefits can now be seen across the running world. As a result they seem to be everywhere. If you are gearing up for a race, on your feet all day, or just curious about this season's most cushioned running shoes, I hope this guide will provide some help.

Just be warned, once you slip a pair on, you may never go back. 

 

Hoka Bondi 8

This is max cushion royalty. Beloved by runners and walkers alike, the popularity of the Bondi over the years has shifted the market, influencing competitor brands to follow its max cushioning trend. The latest iteration manages to refine its look and remain a neutral shoe, yet add some subtle arch support and drop weight for a plush, supportive fit. 

Beneath the hood Hoka introduces Glide+ foam midsole that, coupled with the wider footprint, gives the shoe a soft and stable feel. The step-in feel is also truly chart-topping. There is a secure and comfortable padding around the heel collar, and the upper contours to your foot effortlessly. And if you need a little more volume, they do make the Bondi 8 in wide and extra wide fit both men and women. 

It is also stamped with the seal of approval by the American Podiatric Medical Association.

With its max cushion, and a gentle rocker that guides you through your running cycle, it has seen massive success within our shop for alleviating regular causes of foot pain. The Hoka Bondi 8 is truly the crème de la crème of comfort and support that will keep craving more of the outdoors, for plenty of length runs, long walks, and 12-hour workdays.  

Specs: 
Category: Neutral
Offset: 4mm drop

$199.98
$199.98
$199.98
  

 

    Mizuno Wave Sky 7

    It is time to give Mizuno some much deserved love. Mizuno's don’t get the hype of Hoka, New Balance, or On Running, but they bring out some mighty shoes that make those who take the plunge remain loyal for years. With many running shoes getting much softer, the Wave Sky blends two different foams, one immediately under your foot that is firmer for more support and structure, and a second beneath that for added shock absorption. A snug but plush heel counter also ensures some strong Achilles support.

    The Mizuno Wave Sky 7 follows the trends of 2023 running shoes by increasing the stack height, and softening the midsole, but epitomises the Mizuno values, and as such what a great running should provide, a premium and plush feeling that is stable and offers great balance, return of energy and durability. 

    Specs: 
    Category: Neutral
    Offset: 8mm drop

     

    New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13

    You wouldn’t be amiss thinking you were drifting amongst the clouds in the New Balance 1080v13. Fresh Foam X is the name for their workhorse foam, yet they have added some much-needed luxury. It is their softest to date and one of the softest in our running shoe selection. The 1080 lets you gently sink in then rock back up through your run cycle, like rocking in a hammock. 

    The upper holds your foot in place yet is stretchy enough to allow my grumbling toes some much needed respite. However, where the 1080 truly shines is the weight, or remarkable lack of. It is a much sleeker alternative to the sometimes-cumbersome competitors and looks great in a variety of settings. New Balance also appreciates those of us blessed with wide feet and comes in multiple widths. 

    However, tread lightly (midsole pun intended), because being the softest also means the foot increases its range of motion in all directions and could cause issues for severe overpronators. Nonetheless, the New Balance 1080v13 is a winner in my book - it enjoys the splendour of max cushion but provides a polished look that keeps your feet feeling fresh and happy for daily miles and long days. 

    Specs: 
    Category: Neutral
    Offset: 6mm drop

    New Balance Fresh Foam X 840v1

    While we’re on New Balance, the New Balance 840v1 is cozy, soft and with some strong support.

    There's a nice amount of volume for orthotic wearers that also comes in multiple widths. The upper wraps like a blanket around your foot and the midsole feels silky but very stable. 

    If you are looking for a comfortable daily trainer or an athleisure wear shoe that provides ample support with a plush underfoot experience, look no further than the 840v1. This shoe now also comes in leather, with a slip resistant outsole if you are looking for more support and protection.

    Specs: 
    Category: Neutral
    Offset: 4mm

       

     

      Brooks Ghost Max

      A new shoe for Brooks and definitely their most innovative in recent times. It is new to our line up but has sold extremely well across North America and in our store so far. It features some similarities to the ever popular and reliable Brooks Ghost but with a pillowy heel, a roomier but very secure toe box, Max stack height, but with a little firmer midsole than others in its category, and a gentle rocker to guide you through your walking or running cycle. The result? A very cushy, and smooth sensation that provides great underfoot protection and effective energy return.

      The Ghost Max is a combination of the great tried and true fit, structure, durability, and support of Brooks shoes in the past, then injects some modern trends to create a versatile cushy option for any running workout.  

      Specs: 
      Category: Neutral
      Offset: 6mm drop

         

       

      On CloudSurfer 7

      You will be hard pressed to not hear one mention or see someone wearing On running shoes, whether at your run club, gym, morning walk or supermarket shop. They have taken over the active lifestyle market by developing aesthetically sleek and stylish running shoes that pack sensational performance. The On Cloudsurfer 7 is no different. 

      They have deviated away from the plastic plate (speedboard) built within the midsole, seen in most of their running shoes to date, and now feature a brand new CloudTec Phase midsole that compresses each of the pods in a domino-like fashion for a super-smooth run that is less stiff and more cruise-like. And it’s not as bulky as other max stack running shoes, passing my supermarket test with flying colours (a test I use to see whether I can elegantly wear this shoe in my day-to-day life). The upper also breathes really well and the heel collar is padded. However, the shoe isn't the most structured, and people who are struggling with severe over pronation may want to add an orthotic or look elsewhere. 

      The On Cloudsurfer 7 has taken me on some of my most relaxing runs to date, because I know when I lace up a pair that I will forget about the sweat and regret once I'm miles in, and will go gently mile by mile. A great option for an active lifestyle and daily training.

      Specs: 
      Category: Neutral
      Offset: 10mm drop

       

      Saucony Triumph 21

      The Triumph 21 is one of our Rackets & Runners Run Club's favourite running shoes. It is packed full of their performance midsole foam that offers great high impact protection, with a gentle but efficient rocker for great energy return. Many max cushion shoes fit a little wider, for those with a narrower foot, or looking for a locked in feel, the Triumph 21 delivers that contoured fit that many appreciate. The outsole rubber has also received positive feedback from our customers for its longevity and grip run after run. 

      It is one of the most natural feeling, versatile running shoes out there and is an easy shoe to forget about and plug away long miles.

      Specs: 
      Category: Neutral
      Offset: 10mm drop

       

       

        Honourable Mention

        Asics Gel Nimbus 25

        Now, the Asics Gel Nimbus 25 deserves to be in our top max cushion running shoes, however a new version is coming out soon, so it has to remain here as an honourable mention, so keep posted, because we hear great things. 

        The shoe is an absolute delight. if looks could kill, send the Nimbus to jail NOW. I hardly need to describe what the midsole feels like. It speaks for itself, it has an exorbitant amount of pillowy cushion, with gel in the heel that laps up the ground, and offers great shock absorption with the geometry of the shoe offering a hefty rocker like sensation through your stride. The heel feels locked in but the upper stretches nicely for an adaptive fit. Now if you are a traditional daily trainer, low/mid stack loyalist, and want versatility, this isn't it, it's heavier, higher off the ground and a little bulky. However if you are spending hours on your feet, or want luxury while you run, the Asics Gel Nimbus 25 will carry you on all your adventures.

        Specs: 
        Category: Neutral
        Drop: 8mm

           

        It is easy to get overwhelmed by the choice, especially as the max cushion market gets ever more crowded.

        However, the market has also never been better. Everyone's feet are different, so everyone has different needs. I hope this list has narrowed down your search and you find something that works for you.

        At the end of the day  fit is king, so come to the store and one of our footwear specialists will be happy to assist you.  

         

         

        Related Articles