Best Running Shoes For Heel Strikers


Heel striking is a running technique that involves landing on your heel first, then rolling through to your toe. Some runners find that this helps them run more efficiently, as it gives them a gentler landing and allows them to use their calf muscles more effectively.

Heel strikers often find that they can run faster and for longer periods without getting tired. However, some runners find that heel striking can cause pain in their joints, particularly in their knees and ankles.

If you’re a heel striker, it’s important to make sure that you wear shoes designed for this running, as they will provide more cushioning and support to help reduce the risk of injury.

Why should you carefully select shoes for Heel Striking?

A shoe built for your running style can provide more comfort and support. It can also help improve your running economy—or how much energy you use to run at a given pace.

The right shoe can make you a better, more efficient runner. But with all the different types of shoes on the market, how do you know which one is best for you?

The answer lies in understanding the three main types of running shoes: stability, neutral, and motion control. Once you know which category your foot falls into, finding the right shoe is simply trying on different models and finding the one that feels best.

Of course, even the perfect shoe won’t magically transform you into a world-class runner. But it will give you a leg up on your journey to becoming one.

Types of Running Shoesrefully select shoes for Heel Striking?

There are three main types of running shoes: Stability, Neutral, and Motion Control.

Stability Shoes:

Stability shoes are designed for runners with low or flat arches and need extra support. These shoes have a denser foam material on the inside edge of the heel to help prevent overpronation, which is when the ankle rolls inward too much during impact. The result is greater stability and comfort for the runner.

Neutral Shoes:

Neutral shoes are best for runners with high arches or normal pronation. These shoes provide cushioning and shock absorption but don’t offer extra support. As a result, they’re often lighter and more flexible than stability shoes.

Motion Control Shoes:

Motion-control shoes are designed for runners with severe pronation issues. They have extra support and stabilization features to prevent the foot from rolling inward too much. These shoes are usually heavier and less flexible than other running shoes.

About Heel Striking

Heel striking is the most common type of foot strike, and many people think it’s dangerous. However, it’s not necessarily more dangerous than other foot strikes. If your heel strikes, you need a pair of shoes with good support and cushioning in the heel. Here are our picks for the best running shoes for heel strikers.

Factors to Consider Before Buying | Buying Guide

When you are heel striking, it is important to choose the right shoes. Heel strikers need shoes with a lot of cushioning in the heel to protect the foot from the impact of each step. 

There are a few key things to keep in mind before purchasing shoes for heel striking. Here are these buying factors;

Type of Surface

First, consider the type of surface you’ll be running on most often. If you do a lot of roads running, you’ll want to invest in a pair of shoes specifically designed for that purpose. Trail running shoes are also available, and they offer more protection and stability than road running shoes.


Second, think about the support you need. For example, if you have high arches, you’ll want to look for shoes that provide more arch support. On the other hand, having flat feet, you’ll want to find more flexible shoes.


Third, consider your pronation. Pronation is the way your foot rolls when it hits the ground. If you have a high arch, you’re likely to have a higher degree of pronation, which means your foot will roll inward more when you run. Conversely, if you have flat feet, you’re likely to have a lower degree of pronation, which means your foot will roll outward more when you run.

Size and Fit

Finally, make sure you choose a shoe that fits well and is the right size. You should always try on shoes before buying them and make sure they’re comfortable and provide enough support. It’s also important to choose a shoe that’s the right width for your foot. Shoes that are too narrow or too wide can cause problems.

Shoes with good arch support are also important for heel strikers to prevent the overpronation that can lead to injuries. Look for shoes with a cushioned heel and good arch support to stay comfortable and injury-free when you are heel striking.

How do we test running shoes for heel strikers?

When testing running shoes for heel strikers, we consider several factors.

  1. First, we evaluate the shock absorption and cushioning of the shoe to ensure that it can protect the heel from impact.
  2. We look at the shoe’s stability to ensure that it provides a good foundation for the foot when striking the ground.
  3. We also consider the shoe’s weight and how it affects the overall efficiency of the runner’s stride.

10 Best Shoes for Heel Striking

Finding the right shoe for heel striking isn’t an easy job. You have to look after many factors before buying. But don’t worry at all, we have tested tens of products available on the market and found the best one for your shoes.

These are then tested and proven shoes for heel striking. Let’s review each one in detail;


Hoka One One Men Running Shoes, Black, 11 US
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The HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 8 is a great running shoe for those who are looking for a light and comfortable option. The shoe is made with a breathable mesh upper that helps to keep your feet cool and dry, and the cushioned midsole provides ample support and shock absorption.

The shoe’s outsole is designed for durability and traction, making it a great choice for runners who want a shoe that will last mile after mile.

Overall, the best HOKA running shoe is a great option for runners looking for a light and comfortable shoe that will provide them with support and traction on any surface.

What we like about it:

It provides good cushioning and support while still feeling relatively soft. It is also responsive, meaning it springs back well when compressed, and has durable heel rubber. All of these factors make the shoe comfortable and stable to run in.


Perforated mesh upper enhances ventilation
Light, soft, and protective cushioning
Extended heel crash pad provides softer landings
Strategic outsole rubber placement


Needs a bit of a break-in period


Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Mens Running Trainers CW7356 Sneakers Shoes (UK 11 US 12 EU 46, White Black Pure Platinum 100)
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The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is a running shoe that provides exceptional cushioning and support. It features a Zoom Air unit in the forefoot for responsive cushioning and a full-length Nike, Reacts foam midsole for a soft, springy ride.

The shoe also has a breathable mesh upper with Flywire cables for a secure fit and a thick rubber outsole for durability and traction.

Whether training for a marathon or just going for a daily run, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is a great option.

What we like about it:

The shoes are very comfortable, have a lot of cushioning in the heel, and are easy to transition from heel to toe. They also look stylish and are a great value.


Dialed in upper with roomy toe box
Quick heel-to-toe transition
Supportive, responsive cushioning
Durable, grippy outsole


Runs slightly warm


ASICS GEL-KAYANO 28 is a high-performance running shoe that offers great cushioning and support. It is designed for runners who need extra stability and is ideal for long-distance running.

The ASICS GEL-KAYANO 28 has several innovative features, including a new FlyteFoam Propel technology that provides a softer and more responsive ride.

The shoe also has a new asymmetrical lacing system that helps to reduce pressure on the foot and provides a more comfortable fit.

If you are looking for a high-performance running shoe that can offer you great cushioning and support, then the ASICS GEL-KAYANO 28 is ideal.

What we like about it:

The heel cushioning in this shoe is excellent. Three layers in the heel effectively disperse pressure and reduce shock, making the feet more comfortable during impact.


Versatile, everyday running shoe
Balanced cushioning that’s responsive and bouncy
Stable, peppy ride while the shoe flexes with your foot
GEL cushioning is molded into the heel and forefoot


Run a touch heavy


The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 is a stability shoe designed to provide support and comfort to runners who need it.

The shoe has several features that make it a good choice for those looking for a stable shoe, including a dual-density midsole and an adjustable saddle.

The Adrenaline GTS 22 also has many different color options, so you can choose the one that best suits your style.

What we like about it:

A variety of widths, a comfortable and shock-absorbing heel cushion, and a balanced cushion make this shoe perfect for people with wide feet who want heel protection and a comfortable feel underfoot.


Structured mesh upper with spacious toe box
Great for runners with moderate overpronation
Versatile shoe for daily miles, long runs, and up-tempo work
Segmented Crash Pad offers maximum protection


The firmness may take some getting used to


The Glycerin 19 is a part of Brooks’ Glycerin collection, designed for runners who need a little extra cushioning and support.

The Glycerin 19 features a plush foam midsole that provides ample shock absorption and a comfortable ride. The upper is made from a breathable mesh material that helps keep your feet cool and dry.

The shoe also has a supportive heel counter that helps stabilize your foot as you run. 

If you’re looking for a cushioned, comfortable running shoe, the Glycerin 19 is a great option.

What we like about it:

This shoe is designed for people who supinate and who heel strike. It has extra cushioning in the heel and arch support to help keep the foot stable. The wide base provides inherent stability.


3D Fit Print upper is stretchy, supportive, and snug
Wider base than the previous version
Strong, high arch support
Durable rubber outsole


The midsole may stiffen up in the cold


ASICS GEL-NIMBUS 24 are high-quality running shoes perfect for those who want to improve their performance. They have a comfortable fit and provide good support to the feet, making them ideal for long-distance running.

The shoes also have a gel cushioning system that helps absorb impact and reduce stress on the feet and legs.

With a wide range of sizes and colors available, there is sure to be a pair of ASICS GEL-NIMBUS 24 that is perfect for you.

What we like about it:

The gel cushioning in the heel of this shoe is comfortable and supportive and helps protect against impact for those who strike the heel first. You can’t beat the gel cushioning for shock absorption and comfort.


Soft, responsive, fun sensation underfoot
Trusstic System provides extra support
Gusseted tongue provides a snug foot lockdown
Combination of FF Blast foam and Gel cushioning


High arch support may feel intrusive for some


HOKA ONE ONE BONDI 7 is a versatile and comfortable shoe perfect for runners of all levels. The Bondi 7 provides cushioning and support while still giving a natural feel when running.

The shoes are also very lightweight, making them ideal for those who want to run without feeling weighed down.

Overall, the HOKA ONE ONE BONDI 7 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality, comfortable running shoe.

What we like about it:

The Bondi 7 provides excellent padding and shock absorption, making it extremely comfortable to wear. The heel strike running is hardly felt due to the amount of padding, making it an ideal choice for those who want a luxurious and comfortable experience.


Very thick midsole cushioning
Memory foam collar hugs your foot
Midsole cushioning rebounds quickly
Slightly beveled heel provides smoother transition


Not responsive enough for speedwork


Nike Men's Air Zoom Vomero 16 Running Shoe, Cool Grey/Black-Anthracite-Kumquat, 10 UK (10.5 US)
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The Nike Air Zoom Vomero 16 is a running shoe that offers a comfortable ride and a responsive feel.

The full-length Zoom Air unit provides a smooth ride, while the Flywire cables support and lockdown. The Lunarlon foam in the midsole provides cushioning, and the rubber outsole provides traction.

The Nike Air Zoom Vomero 16 is a great choice for runners who want a responsive, comfortable shoe.

What we like about it:

This shoe is perfect for running on the road. It has a great combination of comfort and bounce, and it will last for many miles before the outsole wears out.


Medium-soft cushioning in the heel
ZoomX core offers great energy return
Midfoot panels distribute pressure evenly
Thick, hard-wearing rubber outsole


May be a little heavy for some


Mizuno Men's Wave Rider 25 | Neutral Support Running Shoe |Eco Friendly Materials | Imperial Blue | US 11
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The Mizuno Wave Rider 25 is a comfortable and responsive daily trainer built for runners of all levels.

The shoe features Mizuno’s trademarked Wave plate technology in the midsole, providing a springy feel and a smooth transition from heel to toe. The Wave Rider 25 also has a snug-fitting upper with breathable mesh panels to keep your feet cool and dry, even on long runs.

Whether you’re just starting, the Wave Rider 25 is a great option for a versatile and reliable running shoe.

What we like about it:

The shoe is designed to be lightweight and comfortable with a stable heel. It has cushioning in the heel to absorb impact and protect your foot.


Rounded toe box offers plenty of wiggle room
Stiff heel counter
Lots of foam cushioning in the heel
Great for those who need mild stability


May be some heel slippage


The Brooks Ghost 14 is a high-performance running shoe that provides runners with the cushioning and support to go the distance.

The Ghost 14 features a full-length foam midsole that provides a responsive, comfortable ride, while the air mesh upper allows for breathability and flexibility.

The ghost 14 also features an updated crash pad that provides better cushioning and supports underfoot, making it ideal for long runs or race days.

If you’re looking for a reliable, high-performance running shoe, the Brooks Ghost 14 is a great option.

What we like about it:

The heel cushion is a perfect mix of firm and comfortably soft, effectively absorbing shock. The wide base is also appreciated, as it adds stability and security.


Great blend of cushioning and support
Roomier fit in the forefoot
Wide, stable platform
Excellent traction on most surfaces


Fairly heavy shoe

Benefits of Heel Strikers Running shoes

Some of the benefits of heel striker running shoes are that they can help improve your running form and technique, make you run more efficiently, and help reduce the impact on your joints.

Heel strikers tend to have a more efficient running form than those who strike with their midfoot or forefoot first, which can lead to improved performance and reduced injury risk.

Additionally, heel strikers typically generate less impact force on their joints than other runners, which can help reduce the risk of joint injuries. Ultimately, whether or not you should use heel striking running shoes depends on your individual preferences and goals.

However, if you want to improve your running efficiency and reduce your injury risk, heel striking shoes are a good option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is heel striking good for running?

Most distance runners are heel strikers. This means that they hit the ground with their heels first, regardless of whether they are elite or recreational runners. Heel striking is more energy-efficient at slow to medium speeds, so most runners do it.

How do I stop my heel striking from running?

Imagine your feet hitting the ground as you run. After sprinting on a track, put on your shoes and try to keep the same form. Another way to improve your form is by running barefoot. Most people run barefoot on softer surfaces like sand, dirt, or grass.

Does heel strike cause plantar fasciitis?

The commonly held belief is that Plantar Fasciitis is caused by the repetitive impact of landing on your heel when running. If you repetitively strain your feet in a way that causes impact, you may be more likely to develop Plantar Fasciitis.

Should you run on your toes or heels?

You can move faster and cover more ground without becoming fatigued when you run on your toes. When your heel strike while running, your body has to work harder, which creates a disadvantage. Running on your forefoot engages more muscles and produces more power.


Heel strikers may be better off with a different type of shoe than those who strike the ground with their forefoot or midfoot. Heel strikers need a shoe that provides cushioning and support to reduce the impact on their joints.

In addition, heel strikers should look for a shoe with a wide toe box so that their toes can spread out and grip the ground properly. Although there are many different types of running shoes on the market, heel strikers should take the time to find a shoe that meets their specific needs.

With the right shoe, heel strikers can enjoy all the benefits of running without putting unnecessary strain on their bodies.


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