January 18, 2023

Best Running Shoes for Heel Strike Runners

For heel strikers, finding the ideal running shoe might be challenging. Not merely which model has more or less padding is at issue. It incorporates a variety of factors, including angles, drop, rear foot support, and more.

In this article, we have done all the hard work for you. We have collected together the best running shoes for heel strikers, which will make your choice even easier.

There is also a buyer’s guide further along to help you know what to look out for when it comes to purchasing running shoes for heel strikers.

Adidas Solar Glide 5

The Adidas Solar Glide 5 offers a generous heel stack, an outstanding 10 mm drop, and a beveled rear foot outsole. This is everything you could possibly want in a pair of running shoes for heel strikers.

The boost cushion core is responsive and padded, but not excessively soft. The cushioning is kept from becoming overly clumpy thanks to the solid EVA rim and plastic midfoot shank.

The beveled heel is also adjustable for improved durability and responsiveness, as well as transition support. In addition to that, there are heel locks which help to create a tight yet secure fit for your feet.

There is a lot we liked with this running shoe. It also has a removable textile insole for even more comfort while running.

Pros:

  • Beveled Heel – The beveled is adjustable, which makes it a lot more responsive. While also being extremely durable.
  • Cushioned Core – Adidas have given you a cushioned core, which makes these running shoes extremely comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
  • Heel Locks – These shoes have been dCons:esigned with a heel lock to help create a secure fit.
  • Weight – Some customers have noted that these shoes felt a bit heavy while being worn.

Also, available to purchase from Adidas.

Reebok Floatride Energy 3

The Reebok Floatride Energy 3 is a good option if you strike your heels first and are seeking for a new pair of running shoes that won’t set you back more than $100.

Out of all the shoes on the list, these are the most affordable. Though their prices can differ sometimes.

While it may not be ideal to have an obvious beveled heel without a substantially latticed crash area.

It does have some other great qualities that make up for the fact that it misses some of the more sophisticated midsole technologies of the other shoes on this list.

With a 9 mm drop, it competes favorably with some of the more expensive alternatives. Also, the full-length rubber outsole ensures excellent durability on any surface.

Pros:

  • Affordable – Reebok Floatride Energy 3 is now one of the most affordable products we have on our list today. Meaning, anyone is able to purchase a pair of these running shoes, even if they are on a budget.
  • Durable – Thanks to the rubber outsole, this helps to make the shoes a lot more durable. Hence, they will last a lot longer.
  • Cushioning – These shoes are very comfortable to wear thanks to the cushioning used. This cushioning stays in place and doesn’t become warped through repeated use over time, either.

Cons:

  • Padding Around The Ankles – Noticeably, there isn’t much padding around the ankles. Therefore, some runners have noticed that chafing around the ankles can be common.

Also, available to purchase from Reebok.

Saucony Ride 14

The Saucony Ride 14 is perfect for heel strikers who want to rack up some significant miles. Mile after mile, the patented PWR RUN midfoot cushioning, will keep you comfortable while running.

It gives this product the ideal balance of support and comfort.

Based on customer input, the FORMFIT upper has been newly developed and tweaked. Providing a mesh upper that is more slender and ventilated than ever.

Additionally, we noticed that this product is a little lighter than other heels-striking shoes. Also, if that wasn’t enough, this product uses recycled materials.

Pros:

  • Lightweight – These running shoes are quite lightweight compared to other heel striking running shoes.
  • Designs – There are a wide selection of designs and sizes available for you to choose from.
  • Cushion – Saucony Ride 14 has plenty of cushioning that allows you to run for multiple miles.

Cons:

  • Beveled Heel – Some customers noted that the heel isn’t as beveled compared to other brands.
  • Stiff – These running shoes can be a bit stiff sometimes and need to be worn in.

Also, available to be purchased from Saucony.

Asics Glide Ride 2

Super-advanced midsoles may or may not benefit heel strikers. This is often up for discussion.

As the runner glides through their stride, some extremely soft midsoles might actually reduce stability and raise the chances of injury.

The Asics Glide Ride 2, on the other hand, has a midsole which is absolutely perfect for heel strikers.

The Glide Ride 2 includes the regular Asics FlyteFoam, which offers shock absorption and superior cushioning. As well as a Nylon plate that uses GUIDESOLE technology.

This is included into the midsole to aid in the creation of a rocker-like finish and roll the wearer through every step.

Additionally, their GUIDELINE technology’s curved sole shape and stiff forefoot limit ankle flexion. This also offers a shock-absorbent landing area to reduce other leg muscles’ exhaustion and boost runner efficiency.

Whilst also offering supple cushioning, thanks to the FLYTEFOAM Technology. These shoes are all about getting the most out of your running and keeping your body safe at the same time.

Pros:

  • Dual Density Heel – By using a dual density heel, this helps to absorb as much shock as possible with every stride.
  • Ankle Flexion – The stiff forefoot and curved sole design helps to reduce your ankles from flexing. This then limits injuries while running.
  • Breathable – Asics Glade Ride 2 are created using mesh and synthetic materials to produce a breathable shoe so that your feet won’t overheat.

Cons:

  • Narrow – A few customers have noted that these shoes are much narrower than they expected. Thus, you should be aware if you have wide feet on what size you choose.

Also, available to purchase from Asics.

Brooks Ghost 14

The Brooks Ghost 14 is capable of handling the job if you frequently land on your heels, which can cause damage to the rearfoot of your shoes. No matter how many steps you take, your landing will not falter.

This is thanks to its segmented crash pad’s clever utilization of a rubber pattern in the heel to reduce impact.

Additionally, the Ghost 14’s midsole incorporates just the appropriate amount of BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT technology. This helps to deliver the necessary softness without compromising durability.

These heel striking running shoes are really versatile as they can be used for cross-training, gym and road running. Hence, you can get a lot of use out of them.

Pros:

  • Durable – These running shoes are made from durable materials that will survive many miles of running.
  • Traction – There is a lot of traction on these running shoes. This makes them ideal for running on various different types of terrain and surfaces.
  • Comfortable – There is no denying that these running shoes are extremely comfortable to wear.

Cons:

  • Breathability – Some customers have noted that due to these shoes being so durable, they aren’t as breathable. This isn’t a huge issue, but something to be aware of.

Also, available to purchase from Brooks Running.

Buyers Guide

You have now got a clearer idea on the best running shoe for you if you are a heel striker. Yet, with that being said, it is important that you have an idea on what you should be looking out for.

When it comes to shoes for heel strikers, the technology is always evolving, changing and improving for runners.

We have put together this quick and simple guide to help you make your choice. We will cover everything you should consider when purchasing running shoes for heel strikers.

Then you will be able to make a much more informed decision on what you are looking for.

What Is A Heel Strike Running Shoe?

Before we get into the details on what you will want to look out for when it comes to a heel strike running shoe. First, you need to make sure you are aware of what it is.

Heel striking is a type of high impact running. It is due to your heel being the first part of your foot to make contact with the floor with each stride.

Usually, shoes made for heel striking in mind will have a large, cushioned heel. This large cushion on the heel makes heel striking running feel a lot more comfortable.

Without this cushioned heel, heel striking can be quite painful on your feet, ankles and body while running.

Rearfoot Support

For heel strikers, a high heel stack and lots of midsole padding in the rearfoot is ideal. To achieve the best outcome for heel-to-toe runners, however, additional considerations must be made than just cushioning.

In actuality, heel strikers do not benefit from having an excessively soft heel. A marshmallow-like heel will sacrifice support during heel strikes, endangering the runner’s safety.

Therefore, it would be wise to do a straightforward thumb pressure test on the midsole heel stack.

For heavy heel strikers, it is probably not a good choice if your thumb makes a small dimple with very little pressure being used. Instead, you should look at alternatives with a firmer EVA midsole formula.

Cushioning bias inside the heel is another feature to watch out for. This happens when the heel has a softer surface on one side than the other, which can make strides less stable.

In order to keep a regular stride and reduce the danger of damage during a heel impact, it is preferable to select a shoe that gives a constantly plush heel.

Beveled Heel Edge

The foot can land gradually rather than suddenly on the edge thanks to a heel with an angled curve. This is also known as the heel spring.

A groove that separates or segments the outsole crash pad from the main outsole is helpful. When landing, these crash pads expand for seamless transitions.

As a result, you have a larger landing area. This gives you more stability while running and also reduces chances of injuries from forming.

Strengthened Upper

Toe splaying needs to receive a little more care. The toes will naturally be elevated, known as distal phalanx extension, a little more than for forefoot runners.

This is because the heel is the initial point of contact with the floor for heel strikers.

Those who run this way, may stress this action, applying more pressure to the top of the upper, if their toes are very active. If the upper is too weak, holes may eventually start to appear.

In order to help prevent these holes from appearing, opt for strengthened uppers with a bit more stitching if you are a heel striker with noticeable distal phalanx extension.

Heel To Toe Drop Size

Heavy heel strikers will need a shoe with a considerable heel-to-toe drop. Much like runners who are healing from an Achilles tendon injury. There are several causes for this.

High drop shoes typically have thick heel stacks. For heel strikers, the additional padding in the heel will absorb shock and improve running comfort.

Additionally, by preventing excessive extension throughout a typical heel-to-toe stride, it reduces stress on the Achilles and calf.

It is typically advised that heel strikers select shoes with at least a 5 mm drop to ensure the best possible balance of comfort and performance during each stride.

The bigger heel additionally encourages pleasant rearfoot landings in addition to producing more cushioning.

Midsole Features

For shock absorption, heel strikers will need a lot of midsole cushioning. Additionally, it is a great idea to search for footwear with a rocker design.

This enables a seamless transition for “easier” strides and guarantees that the runner doesn’t land on a surface that is entirely flat.

This is because the shoe can assist the runner in “rolling” through each heel-to-toe action. It is an engineering concept that is especially helpful for heel strikers.

Blown Rubber Outsole

Blown rubber is typically the ideal material for a running shoe’s outsole. Since it increases the shoe’s traction, responsiveness, and durability.

It is crucial for heel strikers to purchase a pair of running shoes that have additional blown rubber put strategically in the heel area to prevent the shoe’s backfoot from deteriorating quickly.

As we have mentioned above, to create a gentler landing area when hitting with the heel, it is better if the heel is somewhat curved, or beveled. Shoes with a split rubber outsole in the heel are a good option as well.

For heel strikers, this gap in the outsole’s “crash area” enhances flexibility while landing and encourages more gradual transitions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Heel Striking In Running?

The heel striking approach is exactly what it sounds like. The toes and midsole come off the ground last, and you make contact with the floor with your heel first.

Rear foot striking is preferred by the majority of runners, since it frequently feels more comfortable than forefoot or midfoot running.

Are Most Runners Heel Strikers?

Heel strikers make up the majority of distance runners. Regardless of whether they are elite or recreational, at least 70% of them land on their heels first.

This could be as a result of the fact that heel striking is seen as more energy-efficient at moderate to medium speeds. Yet, it is up to debate about whether you should run this way.

Can Heel Striking Cause More injuries?

Compared to forefoot or midfoot strikers, heel strikers do not generally have a higher risk of injury.

The more overuse and stress-related problems, including knee pain, shin splints, and hip discomfort, are more likely to occur with heel striking.

As opposed to runners who strike with their forefoot, heel strikers are probably less likely to sustain problems like sprained ankles or calf strains.

As a result, you aren’t more likely to get more injuries from this type of running. However, you are just more prone to other types of injuries instead.

How Do You Know If You Are A Heel Striker?

If your foot impacts on the heel initially before shifting towards the front of the foot, you are a heel striker.

The easiest approach to identify stride style is to have a friend record you running, so you can slow it down, pause it, and really see how you are landing.

This is the best way if you are unsure how you are running.

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