Best Cushioned Shoes Reviewed & Rated

Shoes are essential; they protect your feet from the elements, and they give you support to prevent injury.  However, many shoes are painful to wear. They lack cushioning and padding and, as such, you step on a rock while you’re hiking and agony lights up your foot.  Or you step on something hard in your office shoes and you really wish that the universe conspired to make better shoes.  Fortunately for all of us, the universe did conspire to make better, more cushioned shoes.  

Last Updated: January 3, 2018
By Alice Frutis:

This update introduces the top ten best cushioned shoes with reviews for each.  Links to relevant content have been added throughout the article for addditional reading.  

Featured Recommendations

ASICS Gel Nimbus 18
  • ASICS Gel Nimbus 18
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • FluidRide Midsole
  • Price: See Here
Skechers Sure Track Trickel
  • Skechers Sure Track Trickel
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Memory Foam Insole
  • Price: See Here
Clarks Keesha Rosa
  • Clarks Keesha Rosa
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Ortholite Footbed
  • Price: See Here

Shoes come in a variety of cushioning levels.  There are minimalist shoes with the least amount of cushioning, which is supposed to help your feet move without being inhibited so you can run faster.  Then you have neutral shoes, which balance cushioning and minimalist traits, and you have maximalist shoes, which are shoes with the most cushioning available.  There are pros and cons to each type of shoe, but this list focuses on the shoes with the most amount of cushioning, and thus, the most comfort for your feet.  Your feet are likely your primary vehicle for getting around, and they deserve the very best in comfort and support.  So, why punish your feet for doing their job?  Find the most comfortable, cushioned shoes here and give your feet a treat.  

 

10 Best Cushioned Shoes

 

1. Asics Gel Nimbus 18

The Gel Nimbus is a long-running model from ASICS, which means they’ve had a lot of time to figure out the best balance between cushion and support. Its padding is superb. The seamless construction protects your toes from rubbing against an abrasive seam. It comes in a variety of colors, too. This shoe is the best choice for maximum comfort.
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FluidRide Midsole
The FluidRide Midsole cushions your feet and gives you some bounce back to make your walk or run more comfortable. This midsole was also designed to be lightweight and durable.

GEL Cushioning for Rear- and Forefoot
ASICS’s GEL Cushioning absorbs the shock from running and walking, which gives the shoe a walking-on-air feel. The cushioning in this shoe gives protection to your heel and your toes.

Cost and Value
The Gel Nimbus 18 is in the middle-to-high price range, but you are getting the best deal by purchasing this high-quality shoe. It also bears a stylish and eye-catching design.
Pros
  • FluidRide Midsole
  • GEL Cushioning for Rear- and Forefoot
  • Seamless Construction
  • Athletic Performance Driven
  • Stylish and Eye-catching Design
Cons
  • Toebox is smaller than previous Nimbus models
  • Shoe size may run small

2. Skechers Sure Track Trickel

The Sure Track Trickel is great for office work environments that don’t require loafers or dress shoes. It has a clean design, doesn’t draw undue attention to itself, and the cushioning is superb. Skechers is a well-known brand with a lot of experience in making the finest shoes. This shoe even professes to have some electrical hazard protection built in!
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Removable Memory Foam Insole
Memory Foam is some of the softest materials used in mattresses and bath rugs and now it’s in your shoes! Memory foam conforms to your feet to provide maximum comfort.

FlexSole Shock Absorbing Midsoles
The FlexSole Shock Absorbing Midsoles in these shoes offer you added comfort and protection. The shock absorption can prevent injury and cushions your feet as you walk, run, or jog.

Cost and Value
The Sure Track Trickel is in the low-to-middle price range. The price makes it great for someone looking for a reliable, sturdy, and nice-looking work shoe on a limited budget.
Pros
  • Removable Memory Foam Insole
  • FlexSole Shock Absorbing Midsole
  • Electrical Hazard Protection
  • Composite Safety Toe
  • Slip Resistant
Cons
  • “Steel Safety Toe” is not an actual steel toe
  • May need to be broken in
  • Can get smelly

3. Nike Free RN Distance

The Nike Free RN is a more minimalist shoe with a sleeker, slimmer design than some other entries on this list. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t cushioned and comfortable! It gives you lightweight protection and comfort for that marathon. It’s stylish, as well, with the prominent Nike “Swoop” and a nice color balance between black, white, and silver.
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Zoom Air Pockets
Nike’s Zoom Air technology protects your feet and ankles from the shock of running, jogging, and jumping. The air pockets contract and return to their original shape as you run.

Full-Length Foam Midsole
The foam midsole covers the entirety of your foot from heel to toe. This provides optimal cushioning, and your arches will be cushioned as much as your heel and toes.

Cost and Value
The Nike Free RN is in the middle-to-high price range with some of the highest price tags on the list. Nike, however, has a long history of making excellent shoes.
Pros
  • Zoom Air Pockets
  • Full-length Foam Midsole
  • Phylon Wedge Midsole for Heel
  • Mesh Construction
  • 3-Inch Shaft From Arch
Cons
  • Can be tight
  • Low traction

4. Rockport Style Leader 2 Bike

4. Rockport Style Leader 2 Bike
The Rockport Style Leader is a dapper looking loafer, which is perfect for any office environment. The cushioning in this shoe protects your feet and prevents pain during those long days at the office. It comes in a few colors and the sleek design of the shoe will help you make a strong impression on your coworkers, boss, and clients.
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Sponge EVA Footbed
The Sponge EVA footbed conforms to your foot, like memory foam. It is durable and comfortable and offers your feet protection from the shock of briskly walking through the office.

Synthetic Sole
The synthetic sole’s grooves make the shoe more flexible. It gives the shoe a secondary layer of cushioning and shock absorption, which in turn reduces foot fatigue, improving your workday.

Cost and Value
The Rockport Style Leader 2 Bike is in the middle-to-upper price range. Wearing these shoes will prove to you, your boss, and your coworkers that comfort can be stylish, too.
Pros
  • Sponge EVA footbed
  • Synthetic Sole
  • Bicycle Toe
  • Dewix Anti-Microbial Lining
  • Leather
Cons
  • Size runs narrow
  • May be a little bulky

5. Merrell Dassie Buckle

5. Merrell Dassie Buckle
The Merrell Dassie Buckle has it all: comfort, style, and ease of use. This shoe is a slip on with cushioning and it’s perfect for the office! Gone are the days of running around in flats that feel like you’re barefoot. The day has come when you can wear a stylish shoe without the pain that usually comes with it.
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Padded Collar
The padded collar in the shoe protects your ankles and Achilles tendons from rubbing against a hard, unforgiving material. The padding reduces the impact of the shoe on your ankle.

Padded Tongue
The padded tongue gives the top of your feet protection from rubbing painfully against the top of the shoe. The cushioning here can help keep your feet from feeling sore.

Cost and Value
The Merrell Dassie Buckle is in the middle price range. It’s reasonably priced for a cushioned, comfortable, and stylish office shoe. It’s comfortable, which makes your workday so much better.
Pros
  • Padded Collar
  • Padded Tongue
  • Removable M-Select FRESH Insole
  • M-Select GRIP Traction Outsole
  • Elastic Goring at the Tongue Area
Cons
  • Can be stiff
  • Not a lot of arch support

6. Clarks Keesha Rosa

6. Clarks Keesha Rosa
The Clarks Keesha Rosa is a small heeled shoe which is more comfortable than its un-padded, poorly cushioned contemporaries. Its extra shiny toe gives it a little more pop and flair. The cushioning is noninvasive and soft. It’s perfect for the office and any other workspace that requires you to be on your feet all day in stylish formal attire.
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Ortholite Footbed
The Ortholite Footbed is a durable cushioning insole. It was designed to maintain its shape even after continuous use. Long days at work are less tiring in these comfortable shoes.

Cushion Soft Technology
Beneath the footbed is a layer of additional cushioning designed to further reduce the shock on your feet. Clarks uses this “cushion soft technology” to offer you very comfortable experience.

Cost and Value
The Keesha Rosa is the best value in cushioned work shoes. It rests in the low-to-high price range. This shoe is fashionable and comfortable. For the price, that’s pretty impressive.
Pros
  • Ortholite Footbed
  • Cushion Soft Technology
  • Soft, Synthetic Linings
  • Flexible Rubber Heel
  • Low Heel
  • Fashionable
Cons
  • Tight in the toe box
  • Needs to be broken in

7. Hoka One One Arahi

7. Hoka One One Arahi
The Hoka One One Arahi is designed with two things in mind: comfort and performance. This is an excellent running shoe, but it also bears a stylish wave-like design. The cushioning in this shoe is built into every aspect of the shoe from the frame to the outsole. The Hoka One One strives to give you a seamless, comfortable stride.
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3-D Puff Print Frame
The 3-D Puff Print Frame offers support and padding to protect your feet from injury and discomfort. The puff frame protects your feet from painful rubbing on a long run.

Meta-Rocker Design
The Meta-Rocker Design provides a slightly different form of cushioning. The outsole of the shoe curves along the bottom to support your foot’s natural range of motion, reducing any discomfort.

Cost and Value
The Arahi rests in the upper middle-to-high price range with some of the highest price points on the list. However, this shoe’s support and cushioning promise to protect your feet.
Pros
  • 3-D Puff Print Frame
  • Meta-Rocker Design
  • J-Frame Technology for Support
  • Synthetic and Mesh Construction
  • Rubber Sole
  • Padded Tongue
Cons
  • Soles may come loose
  • Can be noisy

8. Brooks Ghost 10

8. Brooks Ghost 10
It may not look like much, but the Brooks Ghost 10 has state-of-the-art cushioning technology and protects your feet with a segmented crash pad. The tapering effect on this shoe supports natural foot motion and the soft fabric lining provides a gentle embrace. The rubber outsole helps cushion your feet as you run or walk. It’s stylish and sleek too.
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BioMoGo DNA
Brooks’s MoGo cushioning technology boasts increased cushioning compared to other synthetic soles, but the BioMoGo midsole in this shoe has the added benefit of being environmentally friendly because it’s biodegradable.

Plush Tongue and Collar
The tongue and collar of this shoe are soft and plush, giving your ankles and the top of your feet extra padding. This prevents injuries to your vulnerable Achilles tendons.

Cost and Value
The Ghost 10 is in the middle-to-high price range, but you are getting a respected brand and a comfortable running shoe. The Ghost 10 balances excellent cushioning with lightweight support.
Pros
  • BioMoGo DNA
  • Soft Fabric Lining
  • Plush Tongue and Collar
  • Full-Length Segmented Crash Pad
  • Soft Rubber Sole
Cons
  • Not very supportive
  • Grips may come loose

9. Brooks Glycerin 15

9. Brooks Glycerin 15
The Brooks Glycerin is touted to have the maximum amount of cushioning that they have available. It’s curved along the sole, and the frame of the shoe stretches to fit comfortably while you are running, walking, or standing. Like the Brooks Ghost, this shoe also boasts a full-length, segmented crash pad to reduce the impact of running on your feet.
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S-257 Cushole Midsole
The S-257 Cushole is a sturdy yet gentle midsole designed to reduce discomfort. It provides cushioning and flexibility with each step. It’s excellent for professional runners and speed walkers alike.

Padded Tongue and Collar
The padded tongue and collar protect your ankles, Achilles tendons, and the tops of your feet from rubbing, which prevents injuries. The padding is like a pillow for your feet.

Cost and Value
The Brooks Glycerin is in the upper price range. However, this shoe has had fourteen previous models, which means Brooks had plenty of time to develop the very best shoe.
Pros
  • S-257 Cushole Midsole
  • Padded Tongue and Collar
  • Full-Length Segmented Crash Pad
  • Air Mesh with 4-Way Stretch
  • Smooth Fabric Lining
Cons
  • Small Toe Box
  • Not Very Supportive

10. New Balance M1080v7

10. New Balance M1080v7
New Balance gets a lot of flack because it isn’t a big brand shoe like Nike, but New Balance shoes can be just as durable, affordable, and cushioned as other shoes on this list. The padding, paneling, and cushioning built into this shoe should not be dismissed before you try it. The M1080v7 New Balance shoe offers support and comfort.
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ABZORB Rubber Sole
The ABZORB Rubber Sole provides more cushioning and increases compression resistance, to absorb the impact of running or walking on your feet. This can prevent injuries while also providing comfort.

N2 Heel Cushioning
Cushioning doesn’t have to be big and bulky to be effective. The N2 Heel in the M1080v7 gives your heel maximum cushioning without giving your running shoe a high heel.

Cost and Value
The New Balance M1080v7 lies in the middle-to-high price range. Don’t let that scare you away, though. Shop around and you are sure to find a decently priced, comfortable pair.
Pros
  • ABZORB Rubber Sole
  • N2 Heel Cushioning
  • Air Mesh Panels
  • T-Beam Lightweight Support
  • FantomFit Upper
Cons
  • Cushioning is tapered from heel to toe
  • Wide heel

Naturally, many of the shoes on this list are for running, but in your search for cushioned shoes, don’t limit yourself to just athletic shoes.  Cushioned, comfortable shoes don’t have to be running shoes.  They can be office shoes, like the Merrell Dassie Buckle and the Rockport Style Leader.  You can walk around the office in style without sacrificing comfort.  Cushioned shoes also don’t have to be expensive.  Be a savvy shopper and you’ll be able to land a decent pair of well-cushioned shoes for a fair price.  

In your search, be sure to consider the durability and longevity of each shoe and its cushioning.  If it’s going to fall apart after a day or two, you will want to look into a different pair.  Be sure to note if the shoe you are interested in runs small or runs large, too.  Otherwise, you may find yourself with a shoe that is your size, but it doesn’t fit.  

Be good to your feet and invest in a cushioned shoe to decrease pain from walking, running and working.  Hopefully, this list will help you make an educated decision on finding the most comfortable shoes for you.