5 Best Running Shoes for Forefoot Strikers

Women’s and Men’s – Best Forefoot Striker Shoes

Here are the best running shoes for forefoot strikers.

1. On Shoes – Cloudswift

2. On Shoes – New Cloud Terry

3. Nike – Air Zoom Streak LT 4

4. Nike – Free 5.0

5. Adidas Takumi Sen 3

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Are you someone who likes to run on their forefoot and looking for a new pair of shoes?

Listed below are five of my top picks for running shoes that will be most beneficial to forefoot strikers.

Women’s and Men’s – Running Shoes for Forefoot Strikers

As a forefoot striker/mid-foot striker myself, I am always looking for a pair of shoes that will let my feet feel free and pain free.

I recommend trying on each shoe in the store to make sure that you have a good idea of what they feel like before you purchase them.

Some of the shoes on the list are my personal preferences as running shoes for forefoot strikers. But, most of the shoes I have on the list are based on reviews from runners/triathletes just like us.

All of the shoes are for distance runners. That means those of us that are running anywhere from 5k races to 50 mile marathons. All of the shoes below are of good quality and should last you longer than the average pair or running shoes.

Now, for a description of each shoe in detail.

1. On – Cloudswift – (The Best Running Shoes for Forefoot Strikers)

On Cloudswift | Lightweight urban running shoe with Helion™ superfoam

On’s Cloudswift is a running shoe that is light and soft, yet agile and swift. Run the city in this shoe with superior cushioning and road protection. Engineered with Helion™ superfoam.

As women’s feet and men’s feet are pretty much the same, I am going out on a limb here to say that these shoes are perfect for forefoot strikers. I have tried these shoes on in the men’s. They are light-weight and very well designed.

One of the first things I noticed about the shoes, is that they are made for running in all kinds of weather conditions except for the extreme cold and snow.

They are are very well suited for the hot roads or trails. Though they are marketed as an urban/road shoe, but they are well suited for off-road as well.

Why are They the Best Running Shoes for Forefoot Strikers?

First off, the sides and upper mesh are very airy. The material dries quickly after being wet. There are little holes that go from inside the shoe to the outside of the sole. This allows for water to drain quickly.

Like most ON shoes, the sole’s design is very unique. These are meant to absorb more shock than the average shoe, and they are designed to last a very long time.

Now that we have told you about all the good. I have one little thing to pick on about these shoes, they are not as flexible as I like my running shoes to be. But, that being said, most people like a little bit more rigidity in their running shoe.

So, on the whole, this shoe is definitely a winner for forefoot strikers and mid foot strikers, if you don’t mind the sole being a little stiff.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Great Cushioning in the Forefoot and Mid-foot Area
  • Breathable Upper Mesh
  • Drainage Holes in the Soles
  • Durable

Cons:

  • The Sole is Slightly Stiff

2. On – New Cloud Terry

The New Cloud Terry – Lightweight Running Shoe | On

Experience the lightest, fully cushioned running shoe in a standout design for non-stop comfort and performance. Wrapped in vegan leather this shoe brings new perspectives to the iconic silhouette of the Cloud. Discover now!

You may be wondering why I have chosen a more casual/street style shoe as the #2 shoe on this list. It’s because of the sole. The profile of the sole is low. The thickness in the heal and mid-foot are not that much greater than that of the forefoot.

I prefer using shoes, as a forefoot runner, that have a fairly even height distribution along the sole. The New Cloud Terry provide a nice stylish shoe for the same performance you get in the Cloudswift.

These are better suited for cooler weather. But, they have a wonderful low profile that allows for smoother transfer of power from your mid-foot to you forefoot.

Pros:

  • Low Profile (Slight change in height from front to rear of sole)
  • Very Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Allows the Foot to Move more Freely
  • Better for Cooler Weather

Cons:

  • Not the Best for Hot Weather
  • Less Versatile for Off Road or Wet Weather

3. Nike – Air Zoom Streak LT 4

Nike Air Zoom Streak LT 4 – Reviews by 7 Runners & Experts

I’m a tall, medium build, supinating, fore-midfoot striker and I train mostly in barefoot/minimal shoes. But I’ll try anything once! In my epic hunt for a racing flat that would not only be suitable for race day but also do well over long runs and on the odd bit of off-road, I came across the Nike Zoom Streak LT4.

These are my favorite running shoes. A fellow runner, who is a woman, loves these shoes. She has been running in them for just over a year. And they haven’t broken down on her at all.

The great thing about these shoes is the low profile. There is virtually no change from the mid-foot to the heal in the height of the soul. And the forefoot, though lacking a bunch of cushioning, is designed very well for almost any terrain.

If you’re used to a lot of cushioning on the forefoot, then this will take time to adjust too if you purchase these shoes. But, I feel like it is worth it.

Too much cushioning is never really a great thing. Here is a little study that was done by a Harvard Researcher. It talks about his findings on the benefits of forefoot/mid-foot striking. And here is a Time Magazine article about how not having too much cushioning in your shoe strengthens your feet.

These shoes are perfectly designed for hot to cool weather. The are good for outdoor trail running as well.

Pros:

  • Minimalist
  • Low-Profile
  • Very Lightweight
  • Great Colors
  • Help Strengthen Your Feet
  • Comfortable
  • Good for Road or Trail

Cons:

  • Not Great for Cold Weather
  • Not Much Cushioning

4. Nike – Free 5.0

Nike Free 5.0 – Reviews by 4080 Runners & Experts

The Nike Free 5.0 is true to its size. The available sizes for this running shoe adhere to the standard measurements for men and women. The width is medium, so it accommodates the runner who has a medium sized foot. Its semi-curved shape follows the natural curvature of the human foot.

I run in the Nike Free 4.0s every week. I love them.

The biggest reason I still run in them is because the shoe lasts forever. I have had them for over 2 years now.

The cushioning is still great. The sole is practically indestructible. And the sole is highly highly flexible. I like me feet to be able to move as it wishes to a point. The midfoot has a slight raise in at the arch which doesn’t allow my foot to pronate as much as I would prefer.

Like most running shoes, these are very easy to clean. The sole is still a pretty nice white after all the mud and nasty that I have run through and stepped in.

Though these shoes are softer ans lighter to touch than most running shoes, I feel that they are super durable. I have never had a puncture push through sole. And the mesh upper on the shoe is very durable. After 2 years I barely have a scratch on the mesh upper.

Pros

  • The Soles Last Forever
  • Very Flexible
  • Good for Trail, Road, or Track
  • Upper Mesh is Very Durable
  • Easy to Clean
  • Designed for narrower feet

Cons

  • The heal of the sole is higher than I prefer
  • The Profile from to toe to heal is a little too drastic
  • Not the best for wider feet

5. Adidas – Takumi Sen 3 (The Second Best Running Shoes for Forefoot Strikers)

Adidas Adizero Takumi-Sen 3 – Reviews by 111 Runners & Experts

lightweight racer for the neutral runner. It has an advertised heel-to-toe drop of 9mm (heel: 25.5 mm / forefoot: 16.5 mm) on the official Adidas website. The Takumi Sen 3 sees significant changes from the previous versions. New models don’t necessarily translate to improvements from past iterations.

I recently found these shoes through a friend. I really wanted to put these on the top of the list. But, I have not tried them on and don’t know exactly how great they are.

Lots of long distance runners love them. This includes my friend who is a marathon runner.

These shoes have a great low profile. The change in soul height from the heal to the forefoot is minimum. These are definitely made for those who like minimal cushioning and having the ability to feel the ground. It does offer ample protection like most running shoes, but it’s not going to be like walking on clouds.

I believe this is a good thing though. The stronger your feet are, the less likely you are to injure your feet. A lot of people want ample cushioning. But, this is not necessarily good for our feet. The muscles and tendons and ligaments throughout our ankles and feet need to move and build up strong and naturally.

Being as close to barefoot running as possible is most likely the best thing for 90% of us. The best running shoes for forefoot strikers is definitely a personal preference. Each persons foot is as different as our fingerprint.

Pros

  • Excellent Profile – nearly 0% increase from the mid-foot to the heal
  • Great for Road, Track, and Light Trail Running
  • Touted as the best by those that have them
  • Great Design

Cons

  • Don’t have a lot cushioning
Running Shoes for Forefoot Strikers - Triathlete Running on his Forefoot

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