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9 Best Cushioned Running Shoes in 2021

BEST FOR WOMEN
New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1 Check Price

New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1
BEST FOR MEN
Asics Gel-Venture 7 -men Check Price

Asics Gel-Venture 7
BEST FOR INJURIES
Brooks Ghost 13 - men Check Price

Brooks Ghost 13
BEST LIGHTWEIGHT
Adidas CF Lite Racer Byd- Men	Check Price

Adidas CF Lite Racer Byd
BEST FROM ASICS
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 - Men	Check Price

ASICS Gel-Nimbus 22

Best Cushioned Running Shoes - Content

Best cushioning shoes that are high plush with foams in the midsole, mainly but not limited to providing comfort over long mileage. They absorb shocks super amazingly & prevent injuries and leg-aches. Although, every other running shoe comes with somewhat good cushioning in the midsole, however, the running shoes we picked for this guide are versatile shoe that are highly known for comfortable ride or mainly constructed to add ample cushioning and plush feel.

Best cushioning shoes that are high plush with foams in the midsole, mainly but not limited to providing comfort over long mileage. They absorb shocks super amazingly & prevent injuries and leg-aches. Although, every other running shoe comes with somewhat good cushioning in the midsole, however, the running shoes we picked for this guide are versatile shoe that are highly known for comfortable ride or mainly constructed to add ample cushioning and plush feel.



New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1

Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Women

New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1 - Men
For Men
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Pros
  • ✔️ Secure yet comfortable upper
  • ✔️ Light-weight feel
Cons
  • ❌ Not versatile
  • ❌ Bit clunky

Whom is it best for?
Designed to be an adaptable training partner, this shoe is top of the line for everyday runs, recovery runs, slow runs and tempo runs


85

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 70%
Softness Level 95%
Weight 92%
Price 85%

Women have less muscle mass than men and tend to weigh less as a result. For this reason, women need running shoes to have a lighter and cushier midsole to make up for the lower degree of impact put on the shoe with each stride. The reason we chose New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1 best cushioned running shoe for women is that it is unbelievably lighter and pillow at the same time. It has a thick bed of foam that centers your foot in a slab of thick cushioning with a firm heel and super soft forefoot. You can also check New Balance Women's Fresh Foam Roav V1 Running Shoe that is not only a great cushioning but takes the shape of your feet.



Asics Gel-Venture 7

Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Men

Asics Gel-Venture 7 - Men
For Men
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Pros
  • ✔️ Sock-like fit
  • ✔️ Very flexible
  • ✔️ Responsive ride
Cons
  • ❌ Reduced ground feel
  • ❌ Less breathable
  • ❌ A bit pricey

Whom is it best for?
This is a perfect shoe for half marathons, tempo long runs, recovery runs, and for runners who want a more cushioning daily training shoe that can stand wear and tear of regular use.


80

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 84%
Softness Level 90%
Weight 78%
Price 68%

Most male runners like plush cushioning that absorbs impact forces which are very important for long runs. Plush cushioning can reduce aches in tired feet and joints, and that’s what works great for males because they weigh heavier than women. For this reason, we choose Asics Gel-Venture 7 best for male runners seeking extra cushioning to support their strides. Deep cushioning sometimes lead to stilted gaits and less rebound, but Asics Gel-Venture 7 with its astounding energy return put this trait to bed. Its DNA loft foam inside allows the runner to soar instead of sinking your foot in the cushioning. If this doesn’t fit your style, you can also check Asics Gel-Contend 5 that takes the shape of the user’s feet.



Adidas Cloudfoam Pure

Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Heavy Runners

Adidas Cloudfoam Pure - Men
For Men
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Adidas Cloudfoam Pure - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Appealing visual
  • ✔️ Soft midsole
  • ✔️ Responsive ride
Cons
  • ❌ Not so durable
  • ❌ Not super light-weight
  • ❌ Pricey trainers

Whom is it best for?
We would recommend these shoes for comfort runs, long runs, everyday runs, and marathon training to people who are seeking a soft stability shoe are heel strikers


81

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 89%
Softness Level 91%
Weight 70%
Price 76%

For heavy runners, a softer ride equates to better shock absorption, however, so more cushioning makes the shoe unstable and that’s where other shoes fail. Adidas Cloudfoam Pure offers a stable midfoot shank that gives stability to the ride, which is crucially recommended for heavy runners. With a plush secure upper, it has a generously segmented outsole that helps spread the heavyweight evenly to make the loading process smoother. It offers a very supportive and smoother ride and we think it is perfect for daily training, junk mileage days, and for long runs.



Saucony Cohesion 13

Best Neutral Cushioned Running Shoes

Saucony Cohesion 13 - Men
For Men
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Saucony Cohesion 13 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Durable midsole & outsole
  • ✔️ Fragile laces
  • ✔️ High energy return
Cons
  • ❌ Not light-weight
  • ❌ Lacks breathability
  • ❌ A bit expensive

Whom is it best for?
They’re perfect for everyday training, recovery runs, and for long runs


80

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 87%
Softness Level 90%
Weight 75%
Price 70%

Saucony Cohesion 13 Neutral running shoes are made for people who have a neutral, 'correct' running pattern. For people seeking maximum cushioning, excellent energy return in neutral training shoes and price isn’t a problem, this one is the best cushioned running shoe that’s worth investing in. You will experience long-distance comfort and bottomless cushioning and like a sock-fit due to its streamlined collars. It may feel heavier, but when you get to notice the bounce and supportive upper, the weight won’t count as much.



Brooks Ghost 13

Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Bad Knees

Brooks Ghost 13 - Men
For Men
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Brooks Ghost 13 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Stability shoe
  • ✔️ Very supportive
  • ✔️ Responsive ride
Cons
  • ❌ Get a bit tight
  • ❌ Unstable at times

Whom is it best for?
We recommend this for shorter and longer runs and for runners looking for a soft stability shoe.


90

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 87%
Softness Level 96%
Weight 90%
Price 89%

Times when your knees beg to you when you run, don’t curse them for being fragile, because it is time to go “Black Shoe Black Shoe Change Your Shoe!” Yes! You need some extreme cushioning to put your knees and even feet to rest. A thick and supportive chunk of foam prevents the impact of shockwaves to lead up to your legs, and one such perfect pair of shoes we tested were Brooks Ghost 13. It sports plush level 5 EVA foam cushioning that absorbs shocks between feet and the concrete very well.



New Balance 481 V3 Trail

Best Cushioned Trail Running Shoes

New Balance 481 V3 Trail- Men
For Men
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New Balance 481 V3 Trail - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Solid traction
  • ✔️ Protective cushioning
  • ✔️ Great energy return
Cons
  • ❌ Uncomfortable laces
  • ❌ Very expensive

Whom is it best for?
This shoe is perfect for long days on the trail, OCR races, and for marathons.


87

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 98%
Softness Level 94%
Weight 89%
Price 70%

Cushioning, fit, and traction are all that everyone needs in trail running shoes.

Perfect for long days, New Balance 481 V3 Trail is designed for aggressive running on a wide range of technical terrain. It incorporates a thick symmetrical stack of rubberized foam cushion without additional prescriptive technologies that provide the support you want and nothing you don't. This rubberized cushion, when you run provides plenty of protection, soft landing with amazing energy return. One noticeable thing is the new upper that’s not actually but kind of like mesh, fused with a roomier toe box that stretches when your foot swells.


Adidas CF Lite Racer Byd

Best Lightweight Cushioned Running Shoes

Adidas CF Lite Racer Byd - Men
For Men
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Adidas CF Lite Racer Byd - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Runs fast
  • ✔️ Lightweight & firm
  • ✔️ Very versatile
Cons
  • ❌ Bit unstable
  • ❌ Narrow toe box

Whom is it best for?
We’d recommend this for runners seeking a firmer, light-weight shoe for recovery runs, tempo runs, long weekend runs, or even for race day situations.


90

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 80%
Softness Level 96%
Weight 96%
Price 88%

Adidas is known for offering speedy running shoes with comfort and cushioning but without the bulk, so a low weight cushioned running shoe has to be something from Adidas! We found its Adidas CF Lite Racer Byd to be a perfect match for runners seeking extra cushions. It is one of Adidas most light-weight shoe that doesn’t compromise on cushioning. Weighing 10 ounces, it has a thick bed of firm EVA foam cushioning that gives amazing speed and nice stability. Moreover, it provides a slipper-like fit and amazing breathability. You may find it a bit snugger but it goes well and not too restrictive to most of the runners.



Skechers After Burn - Memory Fit

Best Midfoot Cushioned Running Shoes

Skechers After Burn - Memory Fit - Men
For Men
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Skechers After Burn - Memory Fit - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ No slippage
  • ✔️ Responsive forefoot
Cons
  • ❌ Narrow midfoot
  • ❌ Wide toe box
  • ❌ Expensive trainers

Whom is it best for?
It is great for easy long runs, race day, marathons, and fast runs below 15 kilometers.


87

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 93%
Softness Level 90%
Weight 90%
Price 76%

Midsole thickness between the rearfoot and midfoot is an important factor for both comfort and injury prevention and nothing quite understands this factor better than Skechers After Burn. This shoe features dual category midsole foams (the more durable Skechers Memory foam in the heel section and the bouncier Skechers Memory foam in the midfoot and forefoot) that not only provide comfort and support but give extra bounce to strides. Under the ball of the foot, you will notice firmer nylon air pods that feel nice.



Asics Gel-Contend 5

Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Marathon

Asics Gel-Contend 5 - Men
For Men
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Asics Gel-Contend 5 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Very lightweight
  • ✔️ Like sock fit
  • ✔️ Supportive & stable
Cons
  • ❌ Too pricey

Whom is it best for?
We would recommend this for runners who are looking for a plush interior feel, soft cushioning & would like a daily trainer with maximum stability, protection, and structure that’s built to last. Highly recommended to mid to high-mileage runs, marathon training, and full/half marathons.


84

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 96%
Softness Level 91%
Weight 89%
Price 60%

Marathons require a shoe that stays cool for you until you cross that red line and Asics Gel-Contend 5 from ASICS sound true durable shoe for the job if you’re after cushioning. Inside it is a thick bed of a combination of the largest GEL units of any ASICS stability shoe, a dual-density foam midsole, and the newly enhanced sock line. It offers premium support with rear and forefoot gel cushioning, attenuates socks during impact and toe-off phases, and allows movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gate cycle.



9 Best Cushioned Running Shoes 2021 (Buyer's Guide)

1. Best-Cushioned HOKA Running Shoes: Hoka Bondi 7

Hoka Bondi 7 - Men
For Men
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Hoka Bondi 7 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Very comfortable
  • ✔️ Nice arch support
  • ✔️ Stable midsole
Cons
  • ❌ Doesn’t run fast
  • ❌ Bit heavy
  • ❌ Gets warm

Whom is it best for?
It’s an ideal shoe for recovery runs and all-around comfort but not very much recommended for speedwork or for tempo runs. If you’re someone who gravitates towards highly cushioned trainers, you can buy them.


88

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 79%
Softness Level 98%
Weight 90%
Price 86%

Hoka Bondi 7 is known to be the most cushioned running shoe from the brand in the year 2021, so we had to check if the hype is real and yes! It’s literally so cushy that it makes other running feels like running on granite. It has a thick slab of EVA foam in the midsole and a memory foam collar that helps secure the foot and surrounds the Achilles with pillow-soft padding.

The midsole is very thick which makes the ride higher (4mm drop) than most others, so it took us a while to get used to for us (first-timers with Bondi).



2. Best-Cushioned Brooks Running Shoes: Brooks Glycerin 18

Glycerin 18 - Men
For Men
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Glycerin 18 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Sock-like fit
  • ✔️ Very flexible
  • ✔️ Responsive ride
Cons
  • ❌ Reduced ground feel
  • ❌ Less breathable
  • ❌ A bit pricey

Whom is it best for?
Perform for all categories of runs, especially for high mileage runs.


80

OVERALL SCORE

Support 95%
Versatility 84%
Softness Level 90%
Weight 78%
Price 68%

Brook Glycerin 18 is one of the most selling in the market that is pretty much a complete package. Over the years, Brooks has been trying to shed weight from their top-selling trainers and came out with their jaw-dropping line as Glycerin, in which 18 is the most advanced update with a 10mm midsole drop. The first impression is very appealing and the first swash we did was very responsive and most comfortable running shoes. The midsole is a thick bed of DNA Loft foam, which incorporates air and rubber to Brooks’ formula of DNA foam.



3. Best-Cushioned ASICS Running Shoes:Asics Gel Nimbus 22

Gel Nimbus 22 - Men
For Men
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Gel Nimbus 22 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Soft cushioning
  • ✔️ Highly breathable
  • ✔️ Lightweight construction
Cons
  • ❌ Nondurable upper
  • ❌ Mild tongue slide

Whom is it best for?
They’re perfect for daily runs, recovery runs, speed work, and training. However, if you under-pronate, this isn’t totally your thing because the brand missed stability plates with the new upgrade, so you better look for original Nimbus shoes.


85

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 89%
Softness Level 93%
Weight 80%
Price 78%

We’ve been testing the Asics Gel-Nimbus family for ages and are head over heels about the cushy feel. Like many other lightweight-yet-cushy running's, Asics has its Gel Nimbus 22 to compete in. It has a thick rear heel stack, impressive forefoot stack height, sits on a solid amount of foam, and with a padded mesh upper outsole with rubber coverage...and there’s no weight! Unlike its previous models,Asics Gel Nimbus 22 feels faster, more responsive, less clunky, and comfier. It’s built with ASICS strong cellulose nanofiber that the company uses only for their high-level that never sags.



4. Best-Cushioned Saucony Running Shoes: Saucony Cohesion 11

Saucony Cohesion 11 - Men
For Men
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Saucony Cohesion 11 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Lightweight feel
  • ✔️ Super breathable
  • ✔️ Well-cushioned shoe
Cons
  • ❌ Not super fast
  • ❌ A bit unstable

Whom is it best for?
We would suggest these shoes for tempo runs, easy effort runs, morning runs, high mileage runs, and training. Even though it’s not super heavy, but it’s just not nimble enough for fast workouts.


87

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 89%
Softness Level 96%
Weight 93%
Price 70%

Now, this one is hands down when it comes to cushioning! Highly raved for being as soft as butter, we must say the plush feel it gives is outstanding. If your feet sore a lot, just buy this accessory and your feet will be addicted. The ride feels springy and lightweight which is because of Saucony’s new PWRRUN+ foam that is molded in a way that allows the full length cushioning to absorb 5% more shocks (the ant ordinary shoes) without sacrificing the integrity underfoot.



5. Best-Cushioned Mizuno Running Shoes: Mizuno Wave Rider 23 WAVEKNIT

Mizuno Wave Rider 23 WAVEKNIT - Men
For Men
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Mizuno Wave Rider 23 WAVEKNIT - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Lightweight construction
  • ✔️ Stable support
  • ✔️ Very durable
Cons
  • ❌ Kind of over flexible
  • ❌ Low energy return

Whom is it best for?
This is highly recommended for heavy miles, all-round training situations, and for runners seeking the feel of pillowy old-time stability shoes underfoot without weight. Not suitable for heavy runners.


85

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 90%
Softness Level 90%
Weight 93%
Price 70%

If you want an impressive amount of support and flexibility, right where you need them, we would recommend going for Mizuno Wave Rider 23 WAVEKNIT. It is one of the most loved shoes from the lineage of Mizuno, and we bet this hype must be for the snug fit and for the cushioning. It has a combo layer of XPOP PU foam and Mizuno foam that really feels very snug and stable when you put your foot in and take them for a test drive.



6. Best-Cushioned New Balance Running Shoes: New Balance MX608 V5

New Balance MX608 V5 - Men
For Men
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New Balance MX608 V5 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Thick cushion
  • ✔️ Responsive ride
  • ✔️ Great energy rebound
Cons
  • ❌ Traction issues
  • ❌ Constrictive toe-box

Whom is it best for?
We’d recommend this for runners seeking a lightweight, neutral, protective, and responsive running shoe for everyday training, and longer runs.


85

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 78%
Softness Level 89%
Weight 96%
Price 78%

Over the past years, New Balance MX608 V5 has built up a massive following due to the amazing New Balance Fresh Foam X comfort and fit and their V5 is the latest version of the company’s most well-cushioned running shoes in the market. Its first impression when we tested was awe-inspiring, and we got to know why everyone gaga is over the plush feeling. It’s undoubtedly because of the balance of the New Balance Fresh Foam cushion that’s neither too hard nor super soft making the ride feel smoother and softer. One noticeable thing about it that we appreciate is weight—yes, that thick slab of the cushion doesn’t weigh you down.



7. Best-Cushioned Nike Running Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 - Men
For Men
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Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Very durable
  • ✔️ Responsive ride
  • ✔️ Very stable
Cons
  • ❌ Irritable tongue
  • ❌ Firm ride

Whom is it best for?
They may not be great shoes for your foot when you speed up because their original purpose isn’t actually to speed runs. It’s a max-cushioned trainer that you can take for long distance running, recovery runs, tempo runs, and everyday training.


82

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 89%
Softness Level 93%
Weight 67%
Price 80%

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 is a very successful and one of the most loved running shoe family that offers max-cushion. They’re springy and very well cushioned at the same time, however, many runners were disappointed with older version that wasn’t as cushy and comfortable. For this, Nike made amazing upgrades to the shoe and came out with Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 with a complete makeover. The meet of the shoe is a Zoom Air Unit in the forefoot, a ZoomX core, and an SR-02 carrier foam to protect the ZoomX layer. The upper is thickly padded that combined with a ZoomX cushion in the midsole to cocoon the feet with a plush feeling.



8. Best-Cushioned Altra Running Shoes: Altra Escalante 2

Altra Escalante 2 - Men
For Men
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Altra Escalante 2 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Well-cushioned shoe
  • ✔️ Bouncy ride
  • ✔️ Nice energy return
Cons
  • ❌ Baggy midfoot
  • ❌ Bit heavy
  • ❌ Feels chunky

Whom is it best for?
It is ideal for longer runs, recovery runs, and for wide-foot runners who need a more generous fit in their running shoes.


85

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 89%
Softness Level 93%
Weight 70%
Price 89%

Altra Escalante 2 has a hype for having max-cushion which sounds true when you test it. It offers a rounded foot-shaped toe box with its signature Balanced Cushion platform, which is ideal for people struggling with balance, has a poor alignment, circulation, and bunions. Unlike most cushioned shoes, our feet were impressed by spring, energy rebound, and bounce which doesn’t let the foot sink in, thanks to their Ego foam technology.



9. Best-Cushioned Adidas Shoes: Ultraboost 20

Ultraboost 20 - Men
For Men
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Ultraboost 20 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Outstanding durability
  • ✔️ Roomier toebox
  • ✔️ Solid traction
  • ✔️ Appealing look
Cons
  • ❌ A bit heavy
  • ❌ Bit expensive
  • ❌ Runs slow

Whom is it best for?
Top of the list for recovery runs, medium to low mileage runs, and for runners seeking reliable stability. And if you’re heavy on speedwork, don’t buy it.


79

OVERALL SCORE

Versatility 89%
Softness Level 91%
Weight 67%
Price 69%

Adidas Ultraboost family is known for its responsive and thick cushion technology, that’s one of a bunch of reasons it’s very famous among elite runners.Adidas Ultraboost 20 is the newest upgrade with a 20% more plush cushion and boost foam in the midsole that absorbs shocks even more. The thick midsole gives a nice power and springier ride while there is cushion and padding in the heel also which makes the shoe give extra support and stability.


How We Picked the Best-Cushioned Running Shoes


Today, the market is loaded with sportswear brands digging deep to innovate new technologies that make shoes specially midsole foam very rewarding.

Cushioned shoes make running less distracting, absorb shocks and make the run more comfortable. These elements can be a real challenge when there’s not enough ventilation in the shoe, the foam lets the feet sink in or the shoe feels heavy when you run. Keeping these in mind, we have tested some of the top-selling cushioned shoes in the market that suit different types of runners for a range of purposes.

Video Credits : kofuzi

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