Sneakers are many things to many people — from professional athletes who need the latest tech to the sneakerhead who stacks boxes high just to have a few pairs on ice. But one defining aspect is that they are the most comfortable shoes in a field full of uncomfortable footwear.
Built with breathable fabrics, soft cushioning, and flexible sole units, comfortable sneakers are everywhere to be found. However, finding a sneaker that has the perfect balance of offering all-day support, staying secure without being overly tight, and not feeling like a sweatbox, takes a bit of research.
Our feet contain about one-quarter of all the bones in the human body, and arch height, foot width, and pressure points vary wildly. Point being: not every sneaker will be comfortable for every person.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most comfortable sneakers on the market that you should consider picking up for a variety of reasons. From New Balance and adidas to the most comfortable Nike shoes on the market. Keep scrolling for a selection that your feet will thank you for.
Shop the Most Comfortable Sneakers of 2024 Below
On Cloudstratus 3
Any shoe that features On's signature CloudTec technology is bound to be ultra-comfortable, but the Cloudstratus has a few extra tricks up its sleeve to maximize cushioning.
The chunky shoe doubles up on CloudTec bubbles in the sole which has been proven by an independent study by Loughborough University to reduce muscle soreness. Meanwhile, the cutting-edge sole also has a nylon Speedboard to propel you forward and a Helion™ superfoam midsole that softens landings.
Athletic Propulsion Labs TechLoom Zipline Running Sneakers
Blending luxury and performance, APL's expertly crafted technical footwear has seen it named “One of the Five Best New Sportswear Brands in the World” by ISPO amongst many other awards.
This model is its most advanced running shoe to date and includes too many technical features to dive into them all. To mention a few of the features that the TechLoom Zipline has, the shoe includes a single-layer upper with seamless TechLoom construction for breathability, a two-piece APL FutureFoam midsole developed for running, and an APL Soufflé sock liner for increased cushioning.
New Balance 1080 13
While its lifestyle models, such as the 550 and 990, get much of the limelight, it's easy to forget that New Balance's line of running sneakers is up there with the best.
The 1080 is its most versatile running shoe with heaps of tech to make it suitable for a range of conditions. The shoe includes a soft Fresh Foam X midsole for cushioning while smooth transitions are provided by its Rocker profile and pinnacle underfoot cushioning that is fine-tuned with updated midsole mapping.
adidas Ultraboost Light
The adidas Ultraboost was already one of the most comfortable sneakers on the market when it first dropped in 2014. At the beginning of 2023, just when we thought adidas couldn’t go any further, the German sportswear giant unveiled another new iteration of the sneaker which is even more comfortable.
The Ultraboost Light features a closer focus on performance that's carried over from the Ultraboost 22. A lighter heel means that the sole unit is packed with the latest technology and you really feel the difference since the shoe weighs around 43g less than its predecessor. Whether you're going about your daily activities or running a quick 12k, the Ultraboost Light is sure to keep your soles comfy every step of the way.
ASICS GEL-QUANTUM KINETIC
A leader in the athletic footwear space, I challenge anyone to find a pair of ASICS shoes that aren't comfortable. Its top-of-the-range running shoes come with heaps of tech that is carried over into its lifestyle models, such as the GEL-QUANTUM KINETIC.
This model is the latest to come from the label's continued relationship with designer Kiko Kostadinov and includes its signature FF BLAST and GEL cushioning for a soft ride. On the upper, a chunky mesh is deployed that lets your feet breathe.
HOKA Bondi 8
HOKA’s rise to prominence is solely linked to the French company's knowledge and craftsmanship of high-quality running sneakers. Founded in 2009 by ex-Salomon employees, the brand is known for its chunky silhouettes that support everyone from marathon runners to folks who value sturdy, all-day cushioning.
Now onto its eighth iteration, this version of the brand's ultra-cushioned Project Clifton model comes with softer, lighter foams and a new extended heel geometry for smoother transitions. But you haven't got to just take it from me that Bondi 8 is going to keep your feet comfortable: the Royal College of Podiatry (RCPod) also recognizes that the shoe is beneficial to foot health.
Nike's line of performance running sneakers recently got a new edition in the form of the Motiva, which was released earlier this year.
The wide-fitting shoe contains more room in the toe box, arch, and forefoot guaranteeing an adequate amount of space for anyone. Unlike other Nike sneakers, the Motiva has a 12mm heel-to-toe offset and extra cushioning which assists folks who prefer running at a slower pace.
Mizuno Wave Prophecy LS
Nearly 25 years ago, Mizuno launched its Wave series which combines its cutting-edge tech and dedication to craftsmanship with a focus on lifestyle sneakers. And it's from that line that the Wave Prophecy LS emerges.
The shoe incorporates the iconic Infinity Wave structural technology throughout the entire length of the silhouette for enhanced cushioning and stability. Meanwhile, on the upper, the sneaker deploys AirMesh fabric for superior feel, breathability, and comfort.
norda 001 M
norda shoes are designed and made by lifelong endurance athletes with decades of combined shoe industry experience. They care about your feet and how they feel, whether you are training on the trail or simply out and about in the city.
The 001 model rocks a seamless upper made entirely of Dyneema®, a bio-based composite unidirectional laminate that offers excellent energy absorption and enhanced protection, all in a lightweight solution. The material makes the 001 M one of the lightest trail-running sneakers on the market.
New Balance 9060
Each of New Balance's lifestyle silhouettes comes from a lineage of cutting-edge running sneakers made to perform on all terrains and the 9060 blends features from some of the company's greatest models into one chunky sneaker.
The brand’s familiar ABZORB and SBS cushioning platforms deliver optimal comfort in a dual-density midsole while a mesh upper with pigskin suede overlays is both durable and breathable.
Founded by mountaineer and trail runner Kilian Jornet in 2022 alongside the family-owned footwear company Camper, NNormal creates durable outdoor equipment while aiming to have minimal impact on the environment.
The Tomir shoe is a versatile running model with an EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning and a Vibram sole that is hard-wearing and grippy. Equally durable, the upper consists of monofilament polyester and TPE which is craft-stitched onto the midsole.
Salomon Odyssey Elmt Low
Salomon sneakers are usually comfortable, yet sturdy off-road-ready beasts. And the Odyssey Elmt is no exception.
The hybrid shoe is made for both urban and outdoor exploration with a proprietary Advanced Chassis providing stability and inner Sensifit™ keeping your feet snug. Beyond the cushioned sole unit, this model also includes a two-part upper with a protective gaiter to battle against the elements.
When it comes to comfortable running sneakers, perhaps no other brand has positioned itself for success as much as ASICS. From classics like the GT-II to more recent models like the GEL-NYC™, the Japanese brand remains consistent with its approach to quality and comfort.
The Superblast is one of ASICS premier running sneakers and comes with a combination of its signature FF BLAST™ PLUS and FF BLAST TURBO™ cushioning for lightweight impact absorption, a responsive rebound, and compression. The shoe is more than capable of handling everything from long-distance runs to long days running errands.
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