This article is going to go over the best running shoes for forefoot and midfoot strikers. Are you a forefoot or midfoot striker or trying to be one? If your answer is “Yes”, then you would most probably know the benefits and disadvantages of being one. Forefoot running is known to be the most efficient and effective of all the running techniques. However, the risk of injuries is also greater!
In this article, we’ve brought you a list of the best running shoes for forefoot strikers but before moving on to review it, you must know a little about what exactly forefoot strike means. If the heels of your feet doesn’t touch the ground while running, it is said to be forefoot striking or forefoot running. Most of the athletes and sprinters prefer this type of running mainly to achieve lots of speed.
A forefoot running shoe is specially designed to help the athletes to gain greater pace and hence, improves their performance. There is a huge variety in the quality and value of forefoot shoes but most of them are very minimalistic allowing your feet to feel as free as possible. As compared to other standard running shoes, they are more durable and the runners feel more comfortable while wearing these.
Before waiting for too long, here is the list of the best running shoes for forefoot strikers. These shoes have been selected based on the buyer’s reviews, needs or forefoot strikers, and their durability. Let’s have a look, shall we?
Table of Contents
Best Running Shoes For Forefoot And Midfoot Strikers
Brooks Transcend 7 is, no doubt, the best running shoes available for forefoot strikers. It is a perfect pair of shoes and can act as your everyday long run trainer or workhorse. It is because these shoes are equipped with special DNA loft cushioning that helps in providing a comfortable and softer ride for your legs.
Whenever you feel like your body is tearing up or you are feeling pain in your legs while running, Brooks Transcend 7 is something you are missing. These shoes can be a solution to these problems because of their stability and fantastic cushioning system. The shoe’s soft and spineless platform makes it one of the best forefoot cleats for long runs.
The Brooks Transcend 7 has a lot of midsole, whether in the front or rear. This is very important in providing cushioning and smooth motion against the foot-strike pattern. To reduce the friction while landing or to overcome non-jarring landings, the forefoot is provided with a rubber outsole. The midsole of this shoe is very supportive and helpful throughout its length therefore, the Brooks Transcend is also known as the stability shoe.
This excellent shoe is less soft in the heel as compared to the forefoot due to the addition of the guide rail system in the midsole. Most of the forefoot strikers felt more confident and less wobbly when running in these shoes and rated the Brooks Transcend “the best” in terms of stability and cushioning.
Super soft cushioning
Different colors available
Internal stretch bootie and 3D fit print
The Brooks Transcend 7 is very adaptive and is used by a large number of footwear strikers for long runs. It is not overly firm and can also be used to walk around. However, be aware of its fluffy backside while running fast.
The Bondi is Hoka One One’s best and the most cushion providing forefoot striker shoe. Now in its 6th version, it has undergone many changes and is probably the best of all the Bondi’s models. To provide a smoother ride, it is updated with excellent cushioning and its upper is made with engineered mesh and lycra, which provides a plush feeling as well.
Compared to its previous models, Bondi 6 running shoes have gained some more weight and some modifications have been made to the early meta-rocker design to ensure a softer ride that feels pillowy soft. This reliable forefoot cleat consists of a full EVA midsole and overall provides a comfortable and easygoing motion.
The lateral side of its outsole has a greater amount of rubber compared to its previous models. This slight modification is important because the lateral side is where the impact typically occurs. The meta-rocker shape is really important in providing soft and less bouncing cushioning.
Hoka one one Men’s Bondi 6 running shoes have a wide base that makes it highly stable. Reviews of most of the forefoot strikers reveals that it is an excellent shoe for long distance and recovery runs. You’ll never feel sorry after buying these fabulous shoes and your feet will always be happy running.
As discussed earlier, Bondi 6 comes with new engineered mesh that is specially used for better durability and stability. The mesh is a soft material and to enhance breathability, it has specific cutouts. However, it still does its job brilliantly, I’d say that the mesh used in the upper is slightly of less quality as compared to that of Bondi 5.
Padded insole for cushioning
Durable full-length EVA midsole
New engineered mesh material
Softer and a wide base
Two-layered foam midsole
Overall, Bondi 6 is a great upgrade to the bondi line and is definitely of higher quality and more comfortable that the others. This shoe is a workhorse which means that it can carry more weight.
If you are looking for a pair of cleats that provides you with the expert balance of comfort and balance, Saucony Men’s Kinvara 11 is what you should be eyeing at. This shoe comes with a 4mm heel-to-toe offset and the ridges in its outsole do not pick up road debris, whether running on natural-surface paths or rocky-roads.
Kinvara 11 is an ideal forefoot shoe for long runs and tempos. Its ride is pretty smooth but snippy. Its previous model consists of a full-length EVA midsole but in this model, it has been replaced by the PWRRUN foam midsole. Also, an additional 5.5mm of foam is also present in Kinvara 11. There isn’t much of a difference between the two except the PWRRUN foam provides an excellent balance between the lightweight cushion and responsiveness.
To keep the shoes weight down, very little rubber is used in the outsole however, the midsole foam is exposed to ground contact in this way. Blown rubber is only used in the most important areas such as under the lateral side of heel and under the toe. It helps in noticing the wear just after the first run and distributes shock evenly across the sole. To encourage smooth and straight transition from landing to toe-off, guidance lines are employed throughout the length of the outsole. Saucony Kinvara 11 also prevents your feet from various types of injuries and pains. If you want to know more about the shoes that relieves pain and are very comfortable and supportive, read out our article on Best Shoes for Metatarsalgia.
With specially engineered woven mesh, the upper feels very soft and smooth against the foot and moves naturally with every step. At the top shoe-lace eyelets, leather-like overlays are beautifully imprinted giving the shoe a premium touch. In Kinvara 11, the center shoe-lace eyelet has been removed to improve the feel of the shoe. The only drawback of these cleats is that the laces are too short and do not provide enough real estate work with.
Flexible sole helps in transition from landing to take-off
PWRRUN foam midsole balances lightweight cushion and responsiveness
FORMFIT provides the best fit and feel from every angle
Specially engineered woven mesh
The Kinvara 11 is Saucony’s flagship shoe that provides high-performance comfort for athletes and forefoot strikers. Certain changes have been made in these shoes to improve its functionality and give it a premium feel.
The Hierro v3 is the latest and probably the best New Balance trail forefoot cleat. With the highest amount of cushion offered, these shoes are ideal for long-runs or sprints. At this price point and cushioning ability, Hierro v3 competes against the likes of Nike Terra Kiger, North Face Ultra Vertical, and Saucony Xodus ISO.
Hierro v3 uses high-quality materials to help you along the way and its sole unit is absolutely amazing. The midsole of these cleats consists of Fresh Foam used for padding. It also helps in providing a smooth feel for your feet and cushioning. The midsole has an a8mm drop and is stacked fairly high to allow for a pillowy feeling. The outsole of Hierro v3 consists of a material called Vibram. This material is not sticky and has a great grip on dirt, gravel, concrete, and snow.
These running shoes consist of a wide base allowing for greater stability and a soft yet responsive ride. They can tackle all the given surfaces whether rocky, muddy, or grassy. As compared its previous models, the upper of Hierro v3 is completely restructured and is known as the sock-like upper. It consists of two durable materials that provides a supportive feeling and also increases breathability.
To keep the upper as comfortable as possible, they use a material called Hyposkin. Just like many of the forefoot cleats, Hierro v3 also contains a layer of blown rubber across the toe to help with rocks and sticks and increase durability.
No-sew material application
Fresh Foam midsole
Overall, Hierro v3 shows a different and unique side of New Balance trail offerings. Forefoot strikers reveals that these shoes can cover more than 170 miles on any given surface such as concrete, gravel, mud, dirt, grass, snow, or rocky roads.
Beautiful Vibram outsole
Tons of cushion for long runs
Sock-like upper keeps mud out
Wide platform provides extra stability
Narrow trails can be hard to navigate due to wide base
This forefoot cleat is amazing when it comes to speed, I should say it is very very fast. It comes with an engineered mesh to optimize comfort and breathability. For the midsole, it uses a thick piece of EVA foam and from the side, it looks thicker than what actually sits beneath your foot.
As compared to other models, the heel of Clifton 5 is fairly firm but still, it feels soft and smooth when you strike on the ground. On the other hand, the forefoot is remarkably pillowy. The rubber configuration under the foot is exceptionally engineered and a couple patches of rubber are also present at the back of the shoe. To reduce weight of the shoe and increase durability, more rubber is present in areas of high abrasions such as the forefoot.
Clifton 5 is different from its previous models in that it uses an elastic mesh in the upper which ensures proper flow of air inside the foot. The mesh also contains a 3D Puff Print Frame which enhances its durability.
Full-length EVA midsole
Elastic and engineered mesh
Lightweight rubber on outsole
Ideal for long-run
If you are looking for cleats that are highly comfortable to wear, provide a soft and smooth motion, and are very fast, order Hoka One One Clifton 5 now!
From year to year, Wave Rider keeps on producing high-quality sports products and the latest one is the Mizuno Men’s Wave Rider 22 running shoes for forefoot strikers. Although it looks pretty similar to that of Wave Ride 21 but some key changes are being made in these cleats such as an updated upper and midsole for better breathability and smoother ride. Reviews from its users suggest that Wave Rider 22 are the softest and smoothest of all the Mizuno options while maintaining the firm feeling of the plate as well.
The brand’s X10 carbon rubber and the durable blown rubber is used in the construction of its outsole. The carbon rubber is applied in the heel area to reduce the pressure felt by the feet while landing and hence, increases the durability. The blown rubber is used in the forefoot to make the shoe feel lightweight and more flexible.
The midsole of Mizuno Men’s Wave Rider 22 is made of a special material known as U4ic. It is not only lightweight in nature but also provides responsiveness, better performance, and resilience. This material also distributes force evenly and gives a soft underfoot feel.
These shoes are firmer than the other running shoes offered by various brands for forefoot strikers and have a beautiful Dynamotion Fit Design. The logo of Mizuno Wave Rider is printed on the lateral side and is made up of synthetic material.
Blown and carbon rubber in outsole
Use of U4ic in the midsole
Dynamotion fit design
Lace-up closing system
So that’s all about the best shoes for forefoot strikers in our today’s article. These shoes have been selected after a thorough research and the reviews from the athletes that wore it. Hope you like it. For further such interesting and informative articles, stay tuned with us!
Adil has been combining his love for fashion with his passion for writing for years. He enjoys tinkering with Shoes, scoping out the latest watches, and whiling away the hours at the computer - usually by writing about his findings.
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