A lot of running shoes currently on the market are undoubtedly geared towards rearfoot strikers. If you aren’t a rearfoot striker this can be a little bit of an issue - after all, it’s important to accommodate your unique running style. Thankfully there are a lot of options available for mid and forefoot strikers too.
When we say a lot, we really do mean A LOT. The amount of options available can be somewhat overwhelming, especially if you are not well versed in the world of running shoes. Thankfully, we’re here to take a lot of the guesswork out of buying the right pair of running shoes for you.
Read on to find out more about the best running shoes for mid and forefoot strikers. We’ve also written a handy buyer’s guide to help you to narrow down your decision.
The Best Running Shoes for Mid and Forefoot Strikers
OUR TOP PICK
For a mid or a forefoot striker, there’s a lot to love about the Brooks Transcend 7. These running shoes have a bunch of cushioning regardless of where you land on the foot, providing you with a well cushioned and enjoyable ride. In addition, the forefoot has a soft blown rubber outsole, and the shoes have a great grip.
When you’re running in the Brooks Transcend 7 running shoes, you can expect ultra smooth transitions as a result of the single density midsole and the full contact outsole.These running shoes are designed for stability too, so they are very stable throughout the whole shoe. The shoes feature an 11mm drop for men and 9mm drop for women.
As a whole, most reviewers of these running shoes have commended the highly cushioned ride that they provide and the great stability on offer for neutral runners and for those who overpronate. There’s not the best energy return in comparison to a lot of other running shoes on the market, but as a whole they’re definitely a great option for mid and forefoot strikers.
- Good grip
- Smooth transitions
- Well cushioned
- Not a lot of energy return
- THIS SHOE IS FOR: Runners who want pure luxury right at their feet. Super-soft cushioning, innovative support and a plush fit add up to maximum comfort. This is Brooks most cushioned shoe for feet...
- PLUSH FIT: The plush interior liner surrounds your foot and moves and expands with your unique running stride. The engineered mesh upper and 3D Fit Print technology only enhance the fit.
- FOOT SUPPORT: Ideal for runners looking for support. Our Guiderail Support System focuses beyond the feet to the most injury-prone part of a runner’s body: the knees. GuideRails keep you moving...
The Hoka One One Bondi 6 running shoes are a great option if you want comfortable, well cushioned shoes and you also want a responsive ride. These running shoes have a wide midsole throughout the length, and it’s also very stable and cushioned. This is also the case no matter where you strike with your foot when you run.
The shoe features a midfoot outsole that is bridged onto the medial side in order to get smooth transitions during your gait cycle. The shoes have a very comfortable upper and overall the ride is quite soft and enjoyable. The shoe is quite wide in the toe area, giving you plenty of space to wiggle those toes as you run!
The shoes have a wide base for plenty of room, even if you have slightly wider feet. They are extremely durable, even after around 200 miles they still hold up well against the wear and tear. It should be noted that the shoe isn’t as breathable as it could be, however, so this is something that you should be mindful of.
- Upper is comfortable
- Roomy toe box
- Not as breathable as they possibly could be
The Hoka One One Clifton 6 is yet another example of how a brand can create running shoes correctly. Featuring a lot of plush cushioning, these running shoes are incredibly comfortable. In addition, similarly to a lot of other Hoka One One products, the Clifton 6 has a broad outsole footprint that gives lots of stability while you run.
Additionally, the shoe offers a rocker midsole that is transition friendly, helping you to get quick and smooth roll offs and more than enough cushioning for longer runs. The shoes are ideal for the midfoot striker due to the 5mm heel offset. The shoes are very durable too, so you can really clock in those miles wearing these running shoes!
In addition to this, the running shoes feature an upgraded mesh material in comparison to the previous model, which means they are much more breathable than ever before. You can tell a lot of thought went into creating these impressive running shoes.
- Lots of stability
- Smooth transitions
- Good choice for every day use
- Breathable mesh upper with seamless synthetic overlays
- Breathable textile lining for abrasion-free wear
- Removable, foam padded insole for cushioning and support
We’ve also mentioned the New Balance 1080V10 in our article about rearfoot strikers. Now, you may not think that a shoe that works well for a rearfoot striker would be a good fit for those who strike with the forefoot or the midfoot, but with the New Balance 1080 V10 running shoes that’s simply not the case.
These shoes are thickly stacked which means that the cushioning is a good fit no matter where you land on your foot, even after numerous miles of running. The shoes feature an 8mm heel offset so it’s ideal no matter what your running style is. The shoe has a wide upper that’s ideal for those who have wider feet, and the shoes have plenty of cushioning and responsiveness to go around.
In addition to this, the running shoes have an almost sock like knit upper that will keep the foot locked into place but there’s no feeling restricted when you’re wearing them. They’re pretty lightweight despite the sheer amount of protection that they offer your feet too, which means you don’t feel weighed down by excessively heavy running shoes. It’s worth mentioning though that while the ride is well cushioned it’s also a little firm - this is a great thing for a lot of people but for some it may not be ideal, so if you aren’t fond of a firmer ride then you may want to give this one a miss.
- Not all runners will enjoy the slightly firmer feel
The Saucony Kinvara 11 features a 4mm drop so the thickness of the forefoot and heel midsole doesn’t vary all that much. The running shoes feature the Saucony Pwrrun cushioning which means that landings, no matter where you land on your foot, are efficient and comfortable.
These running shoes are ideal - they’re lightweight enough so that you feel like you’re having a nippy ride. They’re very well cushioned and yet they provide just the amount of responsiveness that you need when going out on a run. In addition, they work well on a number of different kinds of terrain so they’re pretty versatile.
The running shoes don’t have the best traction when you are on wet surfaces so if you tend to run in the rain a lot then that’s definitely something that you should keep in mind. Otherwise, the shoes provide an enjoyable and consistent ride that you will most definitely enjoy.
- Not the best traction on wet surfaces
The Best Running Shoes for Mid and Forefoot Strikers - Buying Guide
There are a couple of things you need to consider when you’re buying a pair of running shoes for mid and forefoot strikers. First of all, you need to ensure that the shoes have a stable forefoot. With that being said, you may find this through a shoe that has a firm midsole, a wide flare of surface area or both combined. You also need a secure upper fit. You don’t need to worry about high midsole stack as long as both of these other factors add up.
You also need to consider the quality of the transition and whether that’s compatible with full contact landings. Having a smooth transition can come down to a number of different design factors such as the density of the foam and formulation, the geometry of the grip and outsole, or the structure of the midsole itself. You should also consider the amount of cushioning your running shoes have.
Here are a couple of key things that you should remember for when you are buying not only running shoes for mid and forefoot strikers, but also for when you are buying running shoes in general.
Comfort is always important when you run. So, when writing our review we’ve prioritized shoes with extra cushioning, made out of high quality materials and ones that have innovative designs. We’ve also made sure that the shoes on this list also have a lot of padding and cushioning around the Achilles and an adequate heel segment. Of course, we’ve also double checked what other wearers have said about the shoes to ensure that they’re comfortable across the board.
It can sometimes be a little bit difficult to check how comfortable a pair of running shoes can be when you only have 5 minutes in the middle of a department store to get a feel for them - you only truly know what they’re like once you’ve been running in them.
Breathability is a key element when you’re thinking about buying running shoes. If you don’t have proper breathability, you could end up having some major problems. First of all, improper breathability can cause all sorts of havoc for the durability and longevity of your running shoes. Your shoes are going to smell and gradually will get more and more damaged. In addition to this, you could end up getting issues with your feet such as blisters because your shoes aren’t properly ventilated.
In order to stop your feet from overheating or getting blisters, you should ensure that your shoes have the right amount of ventilation. Look for shoes that have breathable materials with mesh or vents on the upper part, as this will stop hotspots and will ensure that your feet can breathe with ease.
If you do end up having problems with breathability or overheating a lot, you may want to think about replacing your socks. Your shoes aren’t going to fix the problems caused by improper socks!
It’s vital that you buy a pair of shoes that provide plenty of support. Supportive shoes are going to keep you comfortable while you are running but in addition to that, supportive shoes will stop injuries from happening as a result of your running shoes. If you don’t have the proper support your runs just simply won’t be as effective, ultimately resulting in you not enjoying yourself and not getting the results that you desire.
Of course, you need to ensure that as a mid and forefoot striker that you have plenty of cushioning in all the right places. Additional things designed for support such as reinforced plates or beams are going to help with durability too.
It’s always important to consider where you plan on running before buying new footwear, to ensure that you get the protection that you need while running. Usually terrain doesn’t deviate much from asphalt or a treadmill belt but there are a lot of people out there that do live near to running paths and outdoor trails. For this reason, we highly recommend getting running shoes that fit with where you will be running, especially if you are running trails often.
Usually, an aggressive pattern means that you’ll have good traction on dusty trails and loose pebbles. If you think you’re going to be coming across terrain like this on your run, it’s also worth thinking about choosing a pair of running shoes that have a rock plate just for more protection - your safety should be paramount.
Of course, nobody wants to spend potentially hundreds of dollars on a pair of running shoes for them to disintegrate in mere minutes. That’s why it’s so important to check whether your shoes are durable. Of course, you may be wondering how this is even possible if you don’t own the shoes yet, but the solution is simple. First of all, check the materials if you are able to try them on in store. Do they appear to be flimsy? If not, also check online for any reviews. Do the reviewers seem happy with the overall durability, or are people often disappointed? Reviews can give a lot of insight into how good a pair of running shoes are so always check up on that before buying.
Your performance isn’t necessarily going to be directly affected by the style of your running shoes, but it’s still something to consider! Think about what you want to look like as you run once you’ve considered all of the key elements when finding a pair of running shoes. A lot of studies have suggested that runners who enjoy the shoes they are running in usually tend to run more because they feel confident. Having a pair of running shoes you like is a good way to motivate you to get out there and run.
Value for money is important when making any kind of purchase. If you’re just getting started with running then you don’t necessarily need anything that’s got a million bells and whistles. You won’t be used to running yet and you may not like running in them as a result. Something basic with a decent price tag is definitely something you should be setting your sights upon.
Of course, the person who knows your body best is ultimately you. Because of that, you should find a pair of shoes that are going to provide you with what you need to get your best performance, and get a pair of shoes that are at a price you can reasonably afford.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know what size I am in jogging shoes?
You can usually get your feet measured at any location where shoes are sold. With that being said, when you’re running your feet tend to swell. If you are able to, measure your foot at the end of the day or once you’ve done quite a lot of activity. Make sure that you wear the socks that you intend to wear while you run. Also consider that not all brands size things the same way, so check sizing charts to ensure that you get the right size for you. Some manufacturers can make shoes that run a little small.
How long do running shoes usually last?
Most runners usually get around 200 to 400 miles out of their running shoes. If you don’t track your mileage there are also plenty of other ways to check whether you need to get a new set of running shoes. To start with, look at the outsole. If your treads are worn down smooth or if there is a lot of wear in one set area, then you need to think about buying a new pair of running shoes. It’s also possible to examine the midsole. If your midsole is crushed down then you are more likely to get injured. You should definitely think about having two different pairs of running shoes so that you can alternate between the two of them so you can get a longer life span out of your running shoes.