If you land on your heel first and not forefoot or midfoot when you walk or run, you are a heel striker. It can be a bad or good thing, and this can depend on many things and circumstances. On the bad side, a study by Harvard discovered that heel strikers are far more prone to mild and moderate foot injuries than forefoot strikers.
Don’t get us wrong; mid and forefooters can experience foot problems. It’s just the nature and scale of the condition that will vary. According to Healthline, problems heel strikers face include hip pain, knee pain, and heel spurs.
If you are facing problems because you mostly land on your heel, you could look into the best running shoes for heel strikers. These kicks mostly future pronounced heel cushioning, support, and other special features that protect your heel from taking on too much heat.
For those in a hurry, the one shoe that comes highly recommended for heel strikers is Brooks Men’s Ghost 13. It is nicely padded with a higher heel drop to lessen the striking impact. The style is also downright amazing. Ready to check the reviews? Nice, let’s get this show on the road ASAP.
Best Running Shoes for Heel Strikers
|Brooks Men's Ghost 13||Check Price||Mesh||Rubber|
|ASICS Women's Gel-Cumulus 22 Running Shoes||Check Price||Mesh||Rubber|
|Mizuno Men's Wave Rider 24 Running Shoe||Check Price||Mesh||Rubber|
|Saucony Men's Ride 13||Check Price||Synthetic and Mesh||Rubber|
|New Balance Women's 680 V6 Running Shoe||Check Price||Synthetic||Rubber|
|Inov-8 Men's Trailtalon 235 (M) Trail Running Shoe||Check Price||Textile and Synthetic||Rubber|
|adidas Women's Edge Lux 4 Running Shoe||Check Price||Synthetic||Rubber|
|HOKA ONE ONE Men's Bondi 6 Running||Check Price||Synthetic and Leather||Rubber|
Here are some of the best running shoes for heel strikers:
1. Brooks Men’s Ghost 13
Meet Brooks Men’s Ghost 13, the one running shoe that understands what comfort really means to runners. This sneaker combines DNA Loft and BioMoGo DNA, two of the finest comfort-enhancing technologies to bring you the next-level of coziness. You could run all day in this shoe, and your feet will not hurt. The good thing is you’ll actually get tired and want some rest.
Besides the said technologies, this colorful sneaker comes with a segmented Crash Pad, which is basically an integrated cushioning system that serves to absorb impact during heel-to-toe transitions. This is definitely something you need if you land on your heel often.
There’s still more. Brooks Men’s Ghost 13 is designed with a 3D Fit Print. This tech features stretch material strategically placed in the shoe for the best possible fit. Yet, this doesn’t hamper breathability. As an upgrade of Ghost 12, Brooks Men’s Ghost 13 will definitely tick many of your boxes. But there’s a catch-the price. The shoe can go as high as $1,000.
- Soft top fabrics
- Mesh panels
- Lace-up style
- 3D fit print
- Segmented crash pad
- DNA LOFT and BioMoGo cushioning
- Multiple color choices
- Redefined comfort
- An amazing 3D Fit Print that allows wearers to achieve the best fit
- Breathable for long hours of exercise
- Cushions the heel during transitions
- Durable and ultra-responsive
- Costs close to a hundred bucks and higher
Brooks Men’s Ghost 13 sports superior cushioning that is ideal for long-distance running, treadmill running, and cross-training. You can count on this shoe to give you the best heel support and comfort to alleviate any pain you may be going through. The price is a bit high, though.
2. ASICS Women’s Gel-Cumulus 22 Running Shoes
We know right now we should be focusing on how good a shoe is at helping with heel problems, but we can help but focus on the beauty of ASICS Women’s Gel-Cumulus 22 Running Shoe. It is so delicately charming with the ASICS logo boldly visible in a spectrum of flashy colors.
Amazing design aside, this fashionable sneaker comes with a premium Flytefoam cushioning in the midsole. This offers a pillow-soft type of cushioning that the previous models could not. If you look at the heel designed, it is redesigned to isolate the impact and promote a better, pain-free landing.
An abrasion-resistant and impact-absorbing AHAR outsole is strategically placed in various areas of the sole to promote many miles of running. To top that up, Gel-Cumulus 22 Running Shoe is designed with 3D Fit Print that gives you the best balance and comfort right out of the box. This is the perfect shoe for those who dream of nothing but the ultimate best.
- Rubber outsole with ASICS’ AHAR components
- Breathable upper
- Multiple flashy color picks
- 3D Print construction
- Flytefoam midsole cushioning
- Exceptional durability
- Better support and comfort
- A flashy model for pulling the best looks
- Supremely flexible
- Unsurpassed traction
- Costs more than ordinary running shoes
ASICS Women’s Gel-Cumulus 22 Running Shoes is one of the best running shoes for heavy heel strikers that gives you the best performance. From the looks to performance, you get it all. Given the 3D print, it’s possible those with minor foot problems can enjoy its company as well. But you will shell a bit more for its exceptional design and performance.
3. Mizuno Men’s Wave Rider 24 Running Shoe
Too much cushioning tends to increase the weight of sneakers. But Mizuno Wave Rider 24 took an innovative approach by including a unique U4ic cushioning. This technology offers lightweight padding for a superior and responsive ride all day long.
An additional and even superior Mizuno Energy foam adds more spring to this shoe. If you are a pro-level runner with miles of running each day, this should be your pick. It offers optimal impact absorption, lightweight performance, and disperses energy away from the heel, thus helping heel strikers get more from their workout or walks.
Mizuno Men’s Wave Rider 24 Running Shoe features a Smoothride technology for smooth, heel-to-toe transitions. This way, heel strikers will not feel fatigued faster. The bottom bears an X10 carbon rubber that withstands tough conditions a bit longer than ordinary rubber shoes. This shoe too arrives in around four eye-candy colors.
- Rubber outsole
- Energy-dispersing Mizuno wave plate
- U4ic midsole
- Smoothride transitioning technology
- Lace design
- Mesh upper
- Dual cushioning for a springy feel
- Lightweight performance
- Breathable mesh upper
- Long-lasting outsole
- Superior traction for all-surface performance
- No deal-breaking flaws
Whether you will be running on hard concrete surfaces, treadmill, or in the gym, Mizuno Men’s Wave Rider 24 Running Shoe will get you covered. This is a 5-star-rated product with a good number of heart-warming reviews.
4. Saucony Men’s Ride 13
There is not going to be so much difference between Saucony Men’s Ride 13 and the Wave Rider Above. Besides sharing a price range, this shoe too features an extremely flexible TRIFLEX outsole and A Formfit 3D-print upper for a fit like no other. These features ensure runners enjoy unlimited freedom and comfort.
There are two good reasons why this Saucony sneaker is ideal for heel strikers; the first is the engineered fit, and the second is PWRRUN Cushioning. The first one involves placing stretch materials in strategic places, while the second ensures every landing is superbly cushioned.
Saucony Men’s Ride 13 provides more spring feedback for longer rides. All you have to do is lace it up and get going. No matter the temperature, the breathable mesh will ensure your feet remain cool, so you are not distracted. This shoe has good arch support and comes in multiple vibrant colors.
- Synthetic and mesh top
- Rubber sole
- Engineered mesh
- 3D Print overlays
- TRIFLEX outsole
- New PWRRUN cushioning
- Very light and comfortable
- Reliable arch support
- Wide toe box for toe splaying
- True to size
- Breathable for long runs
- The price is the only catch; you need $100+
Saucony Men’s Ride 13 has all the features of the best running shoes. This is not a cheaply made shoe as it goes all-in when it comes to comfort, support, and flexibility. If you are a Saucony fan, this pair will make all your running workouts fun and successful.
5. New Balance Women’s 680 V6 Running Shoe
Not exactly a top-selling New Balance sneaker but New Balance Women’s 680 V6 Running Shoe gives beginners and those on a budget a good start. And true to that, this shoe has thousands of reviews indicating that people do like and are going for it.
Even at a budget price, this running sneaker still manages to incorporate a dual cushioning midsole to lessen the impact. ABZORB and ACTEVA provide both lightweight and fairly long-lasting padding. Add on top the engineered mesh construction, and you have yourself a dependable running sneaker that fits just the way you like.
New Balance Women’s 680 V6 Running Shoe is feather-light and for those with foot problems, you’ll be glad to know that this comes with a no-sew construction. Such a design does not rub on your feet. To the bottom, the flexible rubber outsole gives you a dependable base for both light and intense running exercises.
- Synthetic overlays
- Mesh panels
- ABZORB and ACTEVA midsole cushioning
- Engineered mesh upper
- No-sew construction
- Injection-molded EVA foam in the underfoot
- Molded sockliner
- NB Response 2.0 performance insert
- Extremely lightweight
- Breathable uppers
- Adequately padded to boost comfort
- A versatile design for multiple exercises
- One of the most affordable running sneakers
- Inconsistent quality
- Padding seems to be flimsy for some people
New Balance Women’s 680 V6 Running Shoe presents you with an opportunity to get your hands on good quality running shoes without breaking your bank. But for such a low price, you should expect a few quality flaws.
6. Inov-8 Men’s Trailtalon 235 (M) Trail Running Shoe
For runners, cushioning is everything because it’s impossible to achieve as many miles as possible without it. The only drawback to thick cushioning is that the shoe will either look bulky or actually weigh more. The one shoe that could promote ultra-fast performance is Inov-8 Men’s Trailtalon 235 Trail Running Shoe.
This shoe takes a narrow design stripped of chunky construction. But not to worry about cushioning because it still does pack quite a sufficient amount. In fact, the midsole features a proprietary foam called Power flow that delivers better shock absorption without tacking on too much weight.
And when it comes to traction, there is a possibility no shoe in this review can outshine Inov-8 Men’s Trailtalon 235 Trail Running Shoe. It sports three sticky rubber compounds in the outsole making it extremely durable for running on the hardest trails. The aggressive multi-directional lugs provide the most dependable traction one can ever dream of. The design of the lugs also helps to quickly release the debris. So if you run in places with sticky soils, this should be your favorite trail running sneaker.
This runner is fully breathable. Additionally, it sports a heel cage in the rearfoot, which serves to offer better support. This is the feature that makes it one of the best shoes for heel strikers.
- Textile and synthetic top
- Rubber outsole with sticky lugs
- Powerflow midsole
- Breathable upper
- Toe bumper protection
- Superior traction
- The outsole releases debris quickly
- Designed with a heel cage to offer better support to heel strikers
- Stripped down for lightweight performance
- Supremely breathable
- A long-lasting trail running shoe
- No major issues but we think its design is only for those with healthy and strong feet
Inov-8 Men’s Trailtalon 235 Trail Running Shoe is ideal for trail runners. The outsole design allows you to ace any terrain you will ever find yourself on. It’s also lighter, fully breathable, and of outstanding quality than many running shoes.
7. adidas Women’s Edge Lux 4 Running Shoe
Most ladies fall in love with Adidas Women’s Edge Lux 4 Running Shoe because of its magnificent beauty. But beauty is nothing without substance, right (we can argue about this later, LOL). That’s why this sneaker carries all the cross-training characteristics to help you with anything.
Think of this, you have work to attend to, a mid-day gym session, and a run later in the evening. Basically, you should carry several pairs of shoes. Quite frankly, most of us can’t do that, can you? However, Adidas Women’s Edge Lux 4 is a cross-trainer-meaning; it is the one shoe you can carry for practically everything you are going to do. Cowabunga!
Even though some people complain about its comfort, this shoe sports sufficient bounce thanks to the thick midsole cushioning. Furthermore, this is a cross-trainer, and thus lightweight padding has to be expected in order to promote speed and agility. The stretch knit upper expands and contracts with your foot to foster a comfy snug fit.
Adidas Women’s Edge Lux 4 sports a good quality rubber outsole with multidirectional lugs to keep you steady and firm no matter what surface you are on.
- Luxurious synthetic top
- Rubber sole
- Mesh upper
- Multidirectional traction pattern
- Stretch Knit upper
- Bounce midsole cushioning
- Lace closure
- Amazing grip in all directions
- A sleek, modern design
- Flexible cushioning
- A women-specific design that can fit any woman
- A versatile cross-trainer
- Mildly padded
Adidas Women’s Edge Lux 4 is a cross-trainer that can get you sorted on many workout sessions. The fact that it sports sufficient spring and Bounce midsole cushioning makes it one of the best running shoes for heel strikers. It’s a worthy grab for any Adidas fun.
8. HOKA ONE ONE Men’s Bondi 6 Running
Not every runner has perfectly healthy feet. A good number of them deal with plantar fasciitis, Stress fracture, runner’s knees, fat pad syndrome, metatarsalgia, neuropathy, and many more. If you have one of these conditions, then you could benefit from Hoka One One Men’s Bondi 6 Running Shoe.
This shoe’s level of cushioning has no comparison in this review. The midsole is basically a huge chunk of EVA, which kind of messes the look while taking impact absorption to extremely great heights. One reviewer acknowledged that they helped with plantar fasciitis despite their Herman Munster look (just google that name to see how the guy looks. It’s a fictional character anyway.)
Like other running shoes, Hoka One One Men’s Bondi 6 Running Shoe is breathable and can allow the use of custom orthotics. You can check out our guide on excellent neuropathy shoes for other comfy ultra-comfy footwear.
- Heel pull strap
- Padded collar and tongue
- EVA midsole
- Breathable upper
- Lace closure
- Internal heel counter
- Heavily cushioned for comfort
- Breathable panels for long workouts
- Ideal for dealing with multiple foot problems
- Promotes better propulsion for heel strikers
- Ideal for both over and underpronators
- Could be hard to adapt to the ultra-thick soles
- It’s not that good-looking (we wouldn’t want to lie to you)
While the looks may scare you, Hoka One One Men’s Bondi 6 Running Shoe could be the only shoe that can help with neuropathy, plantar fasciitis, and other painful conditions. In fact, podiatrists and other pain doctors will refer you to get this shoe and no other. But if you have perfectly healthy feet, just scroll back up for some good-looking models.
Also, the massive midsole padding makes it one of the best shoes for heavy runners. Believe it when we say, this one will take time to give in to your weight.
Things to Consider Before Making the Purchase
You got the money ready. All that remains is to place an order. But the question is, do you know what exactly qualifies as the ‘best ‘shoe? No clue? Well, here is everything you need to consider while buying the best shoes for heel strikers:
Thanks to foam war, now runners can enjoy some of the most comfortable and lightweight paddings ever seen. Cheap sneakers just squeeze together fabrics leading to padding that lacks durability. Instead, you should be looking for premium cushioning like Gel, EVA, Boost, Bounce, Flyte Foam, ABZORB, and other premium technologies.
Premium cushioning material not only lasts long but can offer comfort without tacking on too much weight. The good news, most of them don’t mark up the shoe’s price. Need something comfortable for daily activities? Jump over to our guide on the best everyday shoes.
Runners need traction. How intense it needs to be will vary depending on where your exercises take place. Trail runners need aggressively grippy outsoles with multi-directional lugs. It would be best if the lugs are big enough to let off debris easily.
Breathability is an inherent design in all the best running shoes. Virtually all of them sport a mesh top to allow complete air circulation. Without this, you will sweat, overheat, and lose focus on what matters. Usually, it is good for the shoe to have a sockliner to dry out any accumulating moisture as quickly as possible.
Many running shoes are designed with neutral runners in mind. Therefore, underpronators and overpronators can find them hard to use. However, if a shoe can allow the use of custom inserts, you could boost support and comfort by purchasing a custom insole.
You are a heel striker, and this is the first part of your foot that holds your entire weight for a second. Imagine for a minute how overwhelming that can be. This means the best running shoe for heel strikers needs to have the best heel support. Things like heel cushioning and crash pads add some base for shelving massive weight.
If by any chance, you need extra support to the ankles, check out this article on shoes for ankle support.
If you don’t mind burning more energy with each stride, then you can tolerate overweight shoes. However, most running shoes are supposed to be light so you can run faster and for longer. This way, you’ll be sure to hit your goals day after day.
On average, a medium-level men’s running shoe should weigh around 270 grams (9.5 ounces. This means the weight should be considerably lower for ladies’ shoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the best heel drop for running shoes?
A. Heel drop can affect your performance because it directly impacts your walking style. On average, heel strike runners need a slightly higher heel drop of about 7-10 mm to offer better support and protection to the Achilles tendon. If you land on your midfoot or forefoot, a lower heel drop of 0-6 mm will suffice.
Q. What are the best Hoka running shoes for heel strikers?
A. Hoka One is known for making some of the most massively padded shoes in the running industry. One of their best models for heel strikers includes Hoka One One Men’s Bondi 6, Hoka One Carbon X, Hoka One Speedgoat 4, and Hoka One Bondi 7.
Q. Besides shoes, what else can you do to reduce the pain from heel striking?
A. Heel strikers can experience a wide range of painful foot conditions. While shoes form the first layer of protection, serious pain may need more attention such as taking a rest, icing inflamed spots, massage, night splint, heel pads, and orthotic inserts.
If you are a heel striker and realize this landing style takes a toll on your feet, there is always something you can do. The first, easiest, and probably most convenient is to look for the best running shoes for heel strikers.
Good running shoes can act as a soft and supportive base that minimizes the level of torture you get from barefoot or walking in flimsy shoes. You can go over the buying guide section again to know what exactly you should be looking for. Our review section is also laden with cool and practical choices that take away heel pain.
If your pain ceases to abate, you either need to rest from your activities or change the way you land. The latter is not so easy as it involves changing how you walk, and doing this takes time. As always, a podiatrist, running coach, or physical therapist can be of invaluable help when going through foot pain. All in all, we wish you luck not just in finding a good shoe but in all your daily pursuits.