They don’t make cushioned running shoes for just people who wouldn’t mind a bit of pampering for their feet. Also called for neutral running shoes, these admittedly cushy models are for runners who actually need very little support along the arch, and a great deal of cushioning over the midsole. These are for runners to have excellent gait. At an expert running footwear store, they probably won’t even sell you cushioned running shoes if they judge your running technique to be less than efficient (you’ll know this means you if your feet run straight without toe-in or toe-out, and your feet strike the ground at full stride at the forefoot. Let’s check out some of the top models of cushioned running shoes there are for under $75 (just to keep it reasonable).
Let’s start off with a pair that costs no more than $70; the New Balance 750 is a racer that is designed for the punishing environment that the competitive runner dwells. The shoes carry extra protection for medial support with great cushioning all around. These are racing shoes, and the way they are featherlight quite convinces you of that claim.
Up next is the Adidas Response system, a fixture in the company’s cushioned running shoes line for more than 10 years. This year’s model has lavish cushioning installed for some of the best biomechanically fortunate runners. The balance offered is superb, although people with somewhat large feet will find the leader of the shoes somewhat tight. The tightness is for a reason.The shoe provides excellent lateral support, and you don’t need any inserts ever with this model. The shoes are perfectly flexible on the forefoot, and at $75 a pair, they can be said to be cost-efficient .
The ASICS GEL-Pulse running shoes, running enthusiasts seem to feel, is an even better-engineered product than the more upscale Cumulus 11. The gel cushioning around the toes and the heel are routinely superior without getting too mushy, and the bare Speva midsoles offer grip and better hold. The heel-to-toe transition is helped by the flex grooves in the heel; and for neutral runners who need only a little help with stability, these are perfect. The fact that they go for a surprising $70 a pair makes them a real steal.
At about $10 more than the GEL-Pulse model above, the Saucony Progrid Ride 2 is a stylish pair of neutral runners that seem to be designed true to the description – they don’t offer any kind of compensation for feet with fallen arches or for poor technique. All you get is a well-cushioned pair of shoes that are designed flat inside; your midfoot landing doesn’t crash into a bulbous arch support. Add to this the fact that these shoes are built for looks and for durability, and they just might be the best cushioned running shoes in this review.