7 Best Running Shoes For Heel Strike, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2023

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Running Shoes For Heel Strike, 100+ Shoes Tested in 2023

Choosing the right running shoe for heel strikers can be quite tricky. It’s not just a question of which model has less or more cushion. It’s a combination of many things like drop, rearfoot support, angles, and more. 

The good news is you don’t have to go through all those. Here, you’ll find the ten best running shoes for heel strikers from five different categories. 

How we test running shoes

To test their quality, we put all the running models on this list in a series of tests in our lab. To avoid brand loyalty, we purchase them with our own money. And we only give our feedback once we hit the 30 to 50-mile mark. 

This helps us assess the shoe’s strength and performance better. It doesn’t stop there, we also: 

  • Slice them open to see what’s inside
  • Measure every aspect of each shoe in various parameters
  • Generate their CoreScore for you to see how they stack up against other running shoes

 

Best running shoes for heel strike overall

NOBULL Knit Runner
NOBULL Knit Runner

CoreScore

93
Superb!
4.9 / 5 from 46,210 users
84 / 100 from 7 experts

Pros

  • Well-cushioned
  • Works for all-day wear
  • Stretchy sock-like upper
  • Long-lasting outsole
  • Simple yet attractive design
  • Grippy outsole
  • Reflective elements

Cons

  • Lacks stability
  • Not for wide feet
  • Quite expensive

Verdict

The NOBULL Knit Runner proves itself as a comfy athleisure /jogging option with an eye-catching design. It may be struggling with competition in the performance running shoe segment, but you can still expect a cozy ride for your shorter daily miles and walks. If unique looks and comfort are a priority for you, this could be a worthy investment.
NOBULL Knit Runner full review

Best road heel strike running shoes

Mizuno Wave Horizon 6
Mizuno Wave Horizon 6

CoreScore

93
Superb!
4.8 / 5 from 61 users
86 / 100 from 6 experts

Pros

  • Support that's not harsh
  • Impact-absorbing
  • Gives your stride a boost
  • Very comfy for recovery runs
  • Stable when cornering
  • Breathable
  • Keeps the foot in place
  • Grip that sticks

Cons

  • Long break-in period
  • Comes with a hefty tag

Verdict

The Wave Horizon 6 from Mizuno is a stability running shoe that's built ready for cruising long miles and giving your feet and legs the rest day they deserve during recovery sessions. Unlike other stability shoes, the Horizon 6 doesn't feel harsh. As a matter of fact, it's a very comfy shoe that will give you all the cushioning you crave.
Mizuno Wave Horizon 6 full review

Best trail heel strike running shoes

Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra
Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra

CoreScore

91
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 2,395 users
89 / 100 from 19 experts

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Nimble ride
  • Grippy outsole
  • Breathable
  • Dries quickly
  • Great lockdown
  • Reflective elements

Cons

  • Feels a touch minimalist
  • No heel pull loop

Verdict

Most trail runners haven't been very KEEN on Adidas trail shoes. They seemed like an afterthought given that the brand's focus was admittedly on sneakers and soccer cleats. But then the Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra arrived. It performed so well out on the trails that many runners have chosen it as their go-to.
Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra full review

Best Nike heel strike running shoes

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2

CoreScore

89
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 709 users
90 / 100 from 21 experts

Pros

  • Insanely lightweight
  • Very breathable
  • Bouncy
  • Responsive
  • FAST
  • No break-in period needed
  • Good grip on dry surfaces

Cons

  • Not ideal for wide feet
  • Unstable
  • Forefoot strikers only

Verdict

The Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2 is probably one of the fastest shoes on the market, but it has some problems that the majority of runners agree with. It’s unstable, a bit too narrow still, looks ridiculous, and hits the pocketbook hard. If your job is to run fast, or you’re a sponsored athlete I think these shoes may be the tool to help you win, but for the average joe who wants to drop two minutes off their 5K time, it may be too much tech in a shoe designed for the 1% club.
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2 full review

Best ASICS heel strike running shoes

ASICS Novablast 3
ASICS Novablast 3

CoreScore

92
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 1,403 users
91 / 100 from 14 experts

Pros

  • Super bouncy
  • Cushy feel for miles
  • Breathable
  • Light AF
  • Ready for cornering
  • Locks you in
  • Tongue stays in place
  • Grippy outsole
  • Mad durable
  • Sets the bar for a do-it-all shoe

Cons

  • A tad too long
  • More expensive by $10

Verdict

It's a comfy daily running shoe. It can go fast. It can go far. In the words of an expert, the Novablast 3 from ASICS "sets the standard for what a daily trainer should be." What's more, you can race in it in your next marathon too. Talk about versatility! And if you want a light shoe that won't drag you down, the ASICS Novablast 3 is the all-rounder you need.
ASICS Novablast 3 full review

Best value running shoes for heel strike

Under Armour HOVR Sonic 4
Under Armour HOVR Sonic 4

CoreScore

93
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 8,486 users
95 / 100 from 5 experts

Pros

  • Versatile daily trainer
  • Comfortable
  • Breathable
  • Durable outsole
  • Integrated tech provides coaching

Cons

  • Not for long distances
  • Clunky for speedwork
  • Lacks structure for stability
  • Too much toe room

Verdict

Under Armour HOVR Sonic 4 is a durable daily trainer for beginners who want a shoe that can transition from walking to running to the gym very easily. It is a simple, neutral running shoe that is not going to break any speed records or help you run a marathon.
Under Armour HOVR Sonic 4 full review

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Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.