Are you looking for the best running shoes for heel strikers? Here is a list of my top 5 recommendations just for you.
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1) ON Cloudstratus – Best Running Shoes for Heel Strikers
Provided by Amazon
ON has an amazing array of running shoes for most runners. It is truly a company that set out to make a difference in the running shoe industry. To help those of us who are heel strikers, they created the Cloudstratus.
The Cloudstratus have ample cushioning for a heel strike. They not only put one layer of their awesome CloudTec cushioning system in them, they put 2. Two layers of some of the most comfortable cushioning for a running shoe you can buy.
CloudTec cushioning is special. It has recoil with each step. Therefore, the amount of pressure that is exerted downward into the ground is bounce back slightly into your forward and upward movement whilst you are running. This has definitely helped me with my legs feeling less tired after a run.
I use the Cloudflow listed below and Nike Free for my run sessions. When I switch between my Nike Free and the Cloudflow, there is a noticeable difference in the amount of fatigue my legs feel. The CloudTec engineering is incredible and I feel the benefits of that ingenuity.
So, while you are on a long session of 10 to 30 miles, these shoes will help you maximize energy efficiency and minimize post run soreness. This is especially true if we strike with our heels while we run.
The ON Cloudstratus are also designed to maximize stability. Everyone’s foot rolls differently when we transition from our initial ground impact to our mid-foot and forefoot. With that in mind, ON created a solid heel and mid-foot support so that our feet can roll more surely on a run.
This reduces foot fatigue. And allows more energy to push forward and upward. Therein allowing your efforts to be more efficient on a run.
As a heel striker, you will need more support on the mid-foot and heel. This is because there is a greater impact on the heel than runners who strike the ground with their mid-foot or forefoot.
Again, each person’s foot and mechanics are slightly and sometimes vastly different. The main idea is to protect the heel, knee, hips and back from the strong ground impact forces that are created from a heel strike. The ON Cloudstratus help with this in spades with their support system and cushioning system inside the shoe.
What the People Say:
Bought theses cloudstratus’ to try them out. ….been using Brooks Beast 18 but have been experiencing foot pain and ankle discomfort. I have a history of severe ankle sprains and peroneal tendon surgery. I must say that I definitely have about 90% less pain with the cloudstratus stratus but I have have not ran the usual 16 miles a week but did run 4.6 miles on my cloudstratus christening and the after run swelling, soreness, and foot pain was about 90% less….would definitely buy them again. Great shoe!! JohnJohn from California
2) Under Armour HOVR Infinite – 2nd Best Running Shoes for Heel Strikers
Provided by Amazon
The Under Armour HOVR Infinite are designed for heel strikers. I had to do quite a bit of research on these bad boys to get a sense of what they are all about. But, the slogan of the HOVR Infinite is that they are built to last forever, hence the name ‘Infinite’, and create amazing comfort on your run.
The cushioning of these shoes has been reported as excellent. Runner’s World named the HOVR infinite as a 2019 recommended running shoe. After looking at the reviews and testimonials, the shoe seems to provide the comfort they advertise.
Like the ON’s SpeedBoard technology, the shoes are highly responsive. They propel you forward by using some of the downward energy from your heel and foot strike. The UA HOVR is the foam that provides the rebound of energy upward.
As a side point, there are not many details that are provided about how much energy is redirected forward and upward as you run. So, my recommendation is to base this upon how the shoes feel when you run! If you feel like you have less fatigue, then you are probably receiving a little boost from these shoes.
As I mentioned in the On Cloudstratus review, everyone’s foot rolls from rear foot to forefoot differently. One the most important designs of this shoe is that it is neutral. It provides more flexibility than a heavily supported shoe. This allows for a greater range of runners to have their feet roll more naturally than the On Cloudstratus.
From all of the reviews and design details provided, these shoes seem to be ideal for a runner who strikes the ground with their heels. They provide excellent cushioning, they are more flexible than a heavily stabilized shoe, and provide a recoil that reduces your energy output.
What Other Runners are saying:
Posted by CasBoneRuns September 9, 2019
Built to go the extra mile and then some more.
For a neutral ride, online order, out of the box shoe that will just keep going, you can’t go wrong here. I ordered my first pair in early 2019 for my marathon training and recently ordered my second pair I wore the first ones out. I put over 500 miles on the first pair of these shoes! Another caveat, the BT footpod was still going strong and syncing on the regular.Only reason I give 4 out of 5 stars is because they could benefit to be a bit lighter, but it’s not enough to be a negative buying point. If UA can find a way to lighten them up without sacrificing the durability these shoes will be even more of a game changer for entry level and experienced runners.Under Armour Review
3) On Cloudflow
Provided by Amazon
Soooo, I am a little biased when it comes to these shoes. I run and train in these shoes nearly everyday. And, although I’m not a heel striker, these shoes are just as good for those who are heel strikers. Here is why the are great running shoes for heel strikers.
They are not as squishy cushy as the Cloudstratus, but they are at least half as comfortable. The heel of these shoes has a drop to toe of about 6 mm. They are pretty flat. But, the cushioning on the heel is ample for even a heavy heel striker.
I feel like these shoes were built as an all around shoe for the majority of runners. It seems that no matter where I strike on these I feel comfortable. They have the same CloudTec that the Cloudstratus do, but they only have one layer instead of two. They are highly durable. After 300 miles, they feel better than they did the first day that I purchased them!
For a heel striker, these shoes offer good support on the achilles and ankle area. The do not offer much support on the forefoot or mid foot area. They are designed as a neutral shoe with great cushioning.
This a perfect shoe for heel strikers who like a little give in their forefoot. Those who have larger feet might like the freedom the mid foot and forefoot area have.
These shoes are in a word, amazing! Go try on a pair!
What others have to say:
Typical Distance: Over 40 km
Best Race Shoes Ever!
This is my second pair of On Clouds and they are perfect … straight out of the box! I’m training hard for my first marathon in November and wanted a pair of race shoes that would not cause problems whilst ‘breaking in’. Worn them for intervals, tempo running and foundation runs and they just give me so much confidence in my preparation. They will be my racing shoes on the day and I have complete confidence in them. Excellent build quality, great fit and top quality materials – buy, run, win!
4) HOKA Bondi 6 – Running Shoes for Super Heel Strikers
Provided by Amazon
The goal of this shoe is to make you run comfy. This is readily apparent by the stack height of the shoe. They ain’t pretty, but these shoes are great for runners who are heel strikers.
It’s all about the cushioning with these guys. They were designed specifically so that you can be on a pillow while you run.
I like to think of them as the massage spa of running shoes. They look like you’re on a cloud with the white thick soles floating from the bottom of your feet. They are very durable and can handle a lot of force that is put down with everyday running.
Hoka One One is a company dedicated to running and triathlon. They design shoes for everyday runners to ultra athletes. And they spent a lot of time designing their shoes to fit the needs of their customer base.
The American Pediatric Medical Association has given them an accepted seal of approval. This approval makes claim that their shoes promote good foot health.
So these shoes are very well planned for those who strike the ground with their heels. The cushioning relieves some of the excessive force that is put on the ankles, knees, and hips from a heel strike.
The Bondi 6 have been designed to provide a neutral running form. They are not especially supportive throughout the sole of the shoe. They are however very supportive in the ankle and rear foot area.
The upper mash and tongue of the shoe are well-designed for long distance running. This is definitely a shoe that is design for those who want a little more give for their foot to move freely. So, if you need more support throughout the shoe, these might not be the best option for you. But, if you like a little freedom, give these a try for sure.
What Other Runners have to Say:
For two months I had walked and ran in an old pair of NB that I bought on sale. Being I was getting more serious about my health, I decided to go to the local running store and inquire about a pair of running shoes for a fat guy with sore knees. The store suggested these. I slipped them on and was wowed! So plush and comfortable. I quickly put 500 miles on them. Over that time I lost weight and my knee soreness diminished. Absolutely love this shoe.Mark from Alabama
5) Nike Joyride Run – A Heel Strikers Dream
Provided by Amazon
These are some of the coolest shoes Nike has put out in a long time. The Joyrides have beads in them. The heel and the forefoot have all of these cool colored beads that absorb and cushion the forces that come down on them. These shoes were designed for all runners, but they are designed perfectly for runners who are heel strikers.
Not only do the Joyrides look cool and have a great name, they are functionally designed for heel strikers. The beads shift and rebound the energy brought down by all the force of the ground strike. After compression, the bead’s form recoils into it’s original form.
This creates lots of cushioning for your heel and the rest of your body. You are floating on beads of clouds. And for heel strikers, you really need that extra cushioning. The Joyrides provide a wonderfully responsive cushion that helps your legs feel less fatigued during a run and post-run.
For those of you who are heel strikers and want a good amount of support in the heel and mid-foot, these are well designed for you. The Joyrides are designed to help your foot work less. They help your mid-foot remain arched and stabilized.
There is a support bridge for the arch of the foot. This keeps the arch in a more stabilized position when you land on it. Most of the stabilization of this shoe is located in the mid-foot. Which is a very important place for heel strikers.
This is another great option for heel strikers who would also like to look good while running.
All the shoes listed above are solid options for those that run and strike the ground with their heels. The best thing to do is go try them on in the store, and see how the feel when you run in them.
If you have read any of my other posts you will know that I am not in favor of promoting heel striking. Anatomically and bio-mechanically people don’t naturally run on their heels. Many people make the jump that because our walk begins with the heel that our run should begin the same way. This is a misconception. Do a little research, watch pro distance runners, and ask coaches what the most efficient and natural way to run is.
But, if you have no problems with the way you run, you aren’t experiencing any pain, or will continue to strike with your heels, try the shoes I have listed. They will benefit you greatly!
Have an amazing day! Stay awesome!