8 Best Running Shoes for Forefoot Strikers of 2021 with Buying Guide

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks.

While most people subject their heels to impacts during landings, some subject their toes and the ball of the foot to impacts during the landing phase. Such runners require the best running shoes for forefoot strikers.

Your running style is critical, it even determines the best running shoes for you. Finding the best shoes on the market might be a daunting task, especially with many models available out there.

This review presents a few incredible running shoes for forefoot strike. It also looks at factors to consider when buying such shoes.

Read on to get equipped with more information so that you can make a more informed choice.

Comparison Chart to Best Running Shoes for Forefoot Strikers

RANK PICTURE PRODUCT RATING SHOPS
1. Altra Superior 4.0 Altra Superior 4.0
  • Altra Quantic™ foam cushioning.
  • A Zero Drop design for forefoot strikers.
  • TrailClaw™ design for extra traction.
4.7/5 Stars
For Men
2. Saucony Kinvara 11 Saucony Kinvara 11
  • Excellent
  • cushioning from PWRRUN foam.
  • A breathable upper unit.
  • PWRRUN+ responsive topsole.
4.6/5 Stars
For Men
3. New Balance Fresh Foam More V1 New Balance Fresh Foam More V1
  • 3D Fit Print overlays.
  • Injection-molded EVA foam cushioning.
  • Flex grooves on the outsole.
4.5/5 Stars
For Men
4. Hoka One One Bondi 7 Hoka One One Bondi 7
  • Excellent heel lockdown.
  • Breathable uppers.
  • Runs true to size.
  • Comfortable in-shoe environment.
4.6/5 Stars
For Men
5. Hoka One One Bondi 7 Altra Paradigm 4.5
  • Padded tongue for comfortable fit customization.
  • Altra EGO shock-absorbing foam.
  • GuideRail forefoot stabilizer.
4.4/5 Stars
For Men
6. Saucony Freedom ISO 2 Saucony Freedom ISO 2
  • ISOKNIT design for plush comfort.
  • ISOFIT feel on the skin.
  • Padded collar and tongue.
  • Durable TRI-FLEX crystal outsole material.
4.7/5 Stars
For Men
7. Nike Air Zoom Fly Nike Air Zoom Fly
  • Asymmetrical lacing for proper foot lockdown.
  • ZoomX cushioning material.
  • Nike React Technology for heel lockdown.
  • Carbon plate for a responsive ride.
4.2/5 Stars
For Men
8. Brooks Anthem 3 Brooks Anthem 3
  • BioMoGo DNA foam cushioning.
  • Stretchy uppers.
  • Breathable design.
  • Abrasion-resistant sole unit.
  • TPU heel stability
4.6/5 Stars
For Men

All Shoes Review

Our Top Pick

1. Altra Superior 4.0

Best Traction
ALTRA Men's ALM1953G Superior 4 Trail Running Shoe, Green - 8.5 M US

Weight: 224 grams Drop: 0 mm


Things we liked

A breathable
Wraparound upper mesh
Padded tongue and collar for support
Altra Quantic™ foam cushioning
A Zero Drop design for forefoot strikers
Good for slip-free running
Provides a barefoot experience
Lightweight

Things we didn’t like

The outsole is thin
Shoelaces are a bit long

The upper units of these running shoes boast high-quality wraparound textile material. The upper material is lightweight and has vents for breathability. You will have relaxed and dry feet for improved in-shoe comfort.

The upper unit of the shoes also has stitched-on overlays around the sides and the heel section that you will like. It is impressive how the overlays are also light and offer an excellent fit.

You will also like the printed overlays on your forefoot section to protect your toes from debris and objects lying around on the running trail. The fit is impressive, and your feet will not wobble inside the shoes, thanks to padded tongues and collars.

The Altra Quantic™ foam covers the entire length of the mid sole. It attenuates shocks and provides a responsive ride. The InnerFlex™ grooves on the mid sole make the shoes flexible. Having excellent foot flexion is never a problem in these running shoes.

The Zero Drop platform makes the shoe ideal for forefoot running strikers. It ensures your heel and the forefoot are on the distance form the ground.

The StoneGuard layer protects you from sharp debris on the trail.

It delivers a lot of traction on all surfaces, including trails to ensure a slip-free running. Besides, the shoes also have the TrailClaw™ design for a lot of traction.

It means that these shoes have what it takes to enhance your forefoot strike running performance. They will keep you in good running form.

The shoes lack arch support because Altra shoes desires that the foot work naturally after landing. This feature offers minimalist running or a more barefoot feel. The barefoot feel will help you in effective and long running.


2. Saucony Kinvara 11

Best Responsive Ride
Saucony Men's Kinvara 11, Blackout, 7 Medium

Weight: 255 grams Drop: 4 mm


Things we liked

Excellent
Cushioning from PWRRUN foam
A breathable upper unit
PWRRUN+ responsive topsoil
Versatile usage
4mm drop for smooth heel-to-toe transition

Things we didn’t like

Insufficient traction on wet surfaces
Shoelaces are short
A little costly

These Saucony Kinvara running shoes are good for your daily training needs. They are also good for marathons and long-distance running.

The upgraded EVA foam excellently attenuates shocks. It means that you will even have a smoother feel throughout your running experience.

The shoes also have PWRRUN and PWRRUN+ topsoles that provide a responsive ride. The topsoles also make your underfoot very comfortable for an enhanced running experience. The shoes also conform well to the contours of your underfoot, thanks to the FORMFIT mid sole design.

The upper material is stretchy and adapts to your foot’s shape well. The Jacquard mesh is flexible, and it allows you to flex your feet as naturally as possible. Achilles pillows are also in these shoes for comforting Achilles. They are removable so that you may always reduce the pressure on your Achilles whenever you need to.

The breathable upper unit has flat laces that are good in distributing the pressure when tightening them. The tongue also has sufficient padding to cushion the top of your feett from the pressuring shoelaces. As such, these shoes are very comfortable and stylish.

If you’re looking for good traction, these running shoes might be your right option. Their 4mm heel-to-toe drop makes them ideal for forefoot running strikers. The treads on the outsole have a great grip on the road to provide a non-slip running experience.

The shoe also features an ISOFIBER that offers increased midfoot structure and security.


3. New Balance Fresh Foam More V1

Best Support
New Balance Men's Fresh Foam More V1 Running Shoe, Black/Orca, 7.5 M US

Weight: 292 grams Drop: 4 mm


Things we liked

Double jacquard breathable mesh uppers
3D Fit Print overlays for stability and durability
Injection-molded EVA foam cushioning
Flex grooves on the outsole
Excellent traction
Good for midfoot runners

Things we didn’t like

Heel cup rubs against the skin
The mesh uppers fray after a short time

The choice of material for the New Balance running shoes’ uppers makes the New Balance Fresh Foam More V1 breathable. A double Jacquard mesh is the material of the shoe uppers. Also, the uppers feel soft on foot, thanks to the close-knit design.

The 3D Fit Print overlay on the upper of the New Balance provides support to the shoes. The overlays also protect the upper to make it durable. As such, you will get good durability from your New Balance daily trainers.

These pair of New Balance shoes get their “Fresh Foam” signature name from their midsole. You will get good cushioning from the injection-molded EVA foam within the mid sole. This material attenuates shocks well, making the shoe ideal for long-distance running.

The new foam material also aids in a softer landing. Since it covers the entire length of the midsole, it cushions the foot well even if you’re a forefoot striker. The heel section of the shoe has a beveled design. The purpose is to maintain your running posture besides absorbing shocks to your heel.

Unlike most running shoes that use rubber outsoles, these pair of New Balance shoes use a ground-contact fresh foam material like the one you find on their midsole. But the outsole fresh foam material is densely packed to help you get excellent grip and durability.

The laser-engraved flex grooves help the outsoles to be flexible. You will flex your foot as naturally as possible when running. The flex grooves ensure you have a smooth heel-to-toe transition for an improved running experience.


4. Hoka One One Bondi 7

Best Breathability
HOKA ONE ONE Men's Bondi 7 Running Shoes Odyssey Grey/Deep Well 8 M US

Weight: 303 grams Drop: 4 mm


Things we liked

Excellent heel lockdown
Breathable uppers
Runs true to size
Comfortable in-shoe environment
Impressive cushioning
Sufficient traction on surfaces

Things we didn’t like

The shoes are a bit pricey
The shoes are a bit heavy

These running shoes are very one o the most breathable, thanks to the engineered textile mesh. The textile mesh upper has seamless overlays for aesthetics and stability. The overlays also protect the uppers, making the shoes durable.

Your feet will stay comfortable in these shoes since there is a soft textile lining. Runners may wear the shoes without irritation or discomfort of any kind. What’s more, the textile lining is also breathable to help your feet remain fresh and dry throughout your runs.

They are also highly cushioned to protect your feet from shocks and impacts. That’s why they have built a full-length EVA midsole to protect your feet from shocks at impacts. Besides attenuating shocks, the midsole is going to provide you with stability.

The rubber outsole provides a lot of traction on all surfaces. The new synthetic rubber material is very durable. As a result, your shoes are going to protect you for an extended period. You also get a rubber insert for additional grip if you invest in these running shoes.

The snug forefoot fit makes the shoe great for forefoot running strikers. The full-length midsole cushioning also ensures your forefoot section is shock-free at landing. As such, these are yet another running shoe ideal for forefoot strikers.


5. Altra Paradigm 4.5

Best Flexibility
ALTRA Men's ALM1948G Paradigm 4.5 Road Running Shoe, Blue/Yellow - 8 M US

Weight: 318 grams Drop: 5 mm


Things we liked

Breathable shoe uppers
Padded tongue for comfortable fit customization
Altra EGO shock-absorbing foam
Guide Rail forefoot stabilizer
Excellent traction
Offers a barefoot experience

Things we didn’t like

The toe box is a bit stiff and wide
The midsole material isn’t very durable
Runs a little shorter

Paradigm 4.5 is a running shoe that you can rely on for breathability. Runners may benefit a lot from the knit upper material that allows air to circulate within the shoes. Your foot will stay dry and fresh so that you may run better.

The uppers also have a padded tongue. Together, the shoe uppers and the tongue feel like a second skin when wearing the shoes. These are one of the best running shoes for forefoot striking since they have the StabiliPod in the midsole.

This robust feature stabilizes your feet around the forefoot and heel section. A forefoot striker could use a bit of stability on the forefoot section. Another feature, the Guide Rail, also stabilizes the foot by realigning it. The Altra EGO foam in the midsole attenuates shocks excellently.

The midsole absorbs shocks when running on a road and other surfaces. What’s more, the Altra EGO foam is lightweight and doesn’t throw extra weight at you to deal with. The FootPod sole technology ensures you have sufficient traction on contact areas of the sole unit.

The outsole adapts to the foot’s contours for flexibility and a great feel. Forefoot running requires much flexibility and cushioning, especially at the front end of your shoes. Since these shoes have all the features of forefront running shoes, they ideal for forefoot strikers.

The shoes also are good for minimalist running and a more barefoot experience. The barefoot experience is critical for effective and long running.


6. Saucony Freedom ISO 2

Best Comfort
Saucony Men's Freedom ISO 2 Running Shoe, Teal/Black, 13 M US

Weight: 340 grams Drop: 10 mm


Things we liked

ISOKNIT design for plush comfort
ISOFIT feel on the skin
Padded collar and tongue
EVERUN cushioning for a responsive ride
Durable TRI-FLEX crystal outsole material
Excellent traction by gripping lugs

Things we didn’t like

They run large
It is a little expensive than the predecessor

These forefoot running shoes by Saucony use the brand’s ISOKNIT material in the shoe uppers. The uppers have air vents on the front and sides for impressive breathability. ISOKNIT has a lightweight design and adapts to the shape of the feet.

The uppers feel comfortable on the skin, thanks to their ISOFIT design. A supportive frame on the heel section of the uppers is made of durable synthetic material. Its purpose is to bolster the uppers for stability that the runner might need.

The cushioned tongue and collar also provide stability since they prevent in-shoe quavering. The EVERUN midsole material cushions the runner from shocks. It also provides a responsive ride. As a result, you may cover more miles while running on a train in these shoes.

Since the EVERUN material is also in the midfoot section, forefoot striking is painless and yields as much kinetic energy as heel striking. The sole unit also has a high-quality material – the TRI-FLEX crystal.

It protects the midsoles from wear and tear. You may also have a lot of traction, especially with the grip lugs in place. Flexibility is another great benefit of the shoe, thanks to the vertical and horizontal grooves on the outsole. Flexing your feet as naturally as you can is possible for an enhanced run.


7. Nike Air Zoom Fly

Best Foot Stability
Nike Zoom Fly 3 Aw Mens Bv7778-100 Size 6

Weight: 238 grams Drop: 10 mm


Things we liked

Asymmetrical lacing for proper foot lockdown
ZoomX cushioning material
Nike React Technology for heel lockdown
Carbon plate for a responsive ride
Excellent traction from rubber outsoles

Things we didn’t like

Only a pair available per customer
The outsole starts wearing out after 50 miles

Nike is a brand that has built a reputation among road runners. With two Zoom Airpods at the forefoot section, Nike offers a cushioned ride. As such, it is one of the best running shoes for forefoot strikers. Nike also understands that running shoes should be breathable.

This is essential to keep runners fresh and dry within their shoes. To make the shoes breathable, Nike uses the novel Atomknit uppers. The material stretches and adapts to your foot’s shape for a comfortable fit.

As a runner, you’re going to experience Nike’s responsive ride, thanks to the great carbon plate. What’s more, the carbon plate covers the midsoles’ entire length for a uniform energy return. The ZoomX foam in the midsoles absorbs all shocks, especially in the forefoot section.

The asymmetrical lacing system properly locks down the foot. The shoelaces guide the foot back to the underfoot sock liner for a better running experience. With a lot of traction rubber-made outsoles, you may be sure that your daily trainer will have sufficient grip on the road. Therefore, Nike has what it takes to cushion forefoot strikers.


8. Brooks Anthem 3

Best Cushioning
Brooks Anthem 3 Grey/Alloy/Blue 7 D (M)

Weight: 212 grams Drop: 10 mm

BUY Women’s

Things we liked

BioMoGo DNA foam cushioning
Stretchy uppers
Breathable design
Abrasion-resistant sole unit
Excellent traction
TPU heel stability

Things we didn’t like

The forefoot wears out too soon
Cushioning materials don’t sufficiently offer support

The running shoes’ uppers boast a high-quality lattice-like engineered mesh. This material has an improved airflow, making this pair of shoes very breathable. The uppers are also stretchy and you will like the comfortable feel on your foot.

This Brooks running shoe model also has Printed overlays on the uppers’ sides and eyestays. Their purpose is to bolster the shoes for stability and durability. Runners will benefit from the TPU heel counter that ensures you have proper heel lockdown as you run.

Wearing the shoes is simpler, especially with the pull tab on the heel collar. It is in the midsoles that Brooks road running shoes get better. The BioMoGo DNA foam covers the full-length of the midsoles for great shock absorption.

The sock liner that sits atop the BioMoGo DNA gives the runner a plush feel for extra comfort. A favorable and comfortable in-shoe experience enhances the running performance. Brooks uses an abrasion-resistant rubber outsole.

The sole unit protects the midsole from abrasive road and trail surfaces. It also protects runners from such unforgiving surfaces. The outsole also provides sufficient traction on wet and dry surfaces for a slip-free running experience.

The crash pads are strategically placed on the outsole unit. Much of the crash pads are on the forefoot section. Therefore, these running shoes are great for forefoot strikers.


Buying Guide for Best Running Shoes for Forefoot Strikers

Breathability

Much fresh air should be flowing into your in-shoe chambers. This is essential to keep your feet fresh and dry to prevent in-shoe slips. The breathability of your running shoe is necessary to enhance your running experience.

Since shoes with mesh uppers are very breathable, they should be your go-to shoes. Besides, their uppers stretch and accommodate your foot’s shape. Therefore, you may be sure to buy running shoes with mesh uppers. One benefit of the mesh uppers is that they are lightweight. They don’t subject you to extra weight when running on a road or trail.

Support

You will need much support from your running shoe. You will need to have your heels supported. A heel counter comes in handy to give a runner sufficient heel stability. Also, your ankle should have all the support it needs.

Padded ankle collars supports the ankle for impressive ankle stability. The shoe uppers should also have plenty of support for stability. Overlays work excellently to bolster the uppers. As such, you should invest in running shoes with bolstered uppers.

You will also need to have your underfoot supported when running. The midsole unit is the component that supports your underfoot. Some midsoles have TPU plates for arch support. They are your ideal running shoes for supporting your arch.

Cushioning

As you make a forefoot strike, you need plenty of cushioning on the forefoot section of the running shoes. There are excellent midsole materials that cushion the forefoot section excellently against shocks at impacts. One excellent material is the BioMoGo DNA foam.

Shoes with this robust midsole material attenuate shocks and transform the energy into a responsive ride. EVA foam also cushions the foot excellently, and it’s another midsole material you would like. Therefore, you should buy running shoes with either one of these two midsole materials.

Terrain

Each running shoe is suitable for a given terrain. If you’re looking to run on the road, be sure to buy road running shoes. Trail runners can also find the best shoes that can handle trail running. Once you’ve figured that out, you can check for shoes with the best traction for the terrain.

Traction

Your running shoes should sufficiently grip the road or running trail. This will ensure you have slip-free runs or jogs. Excellent traction comes from outsoles made of specific materials. Rubber sole units have sufficient grip on the road.

If the road is the running surface you like, looking for rubber-made outsoles might be of great value. But other outsole designs provide impressive grips. A great example is a TrailClaw™ design by Altra Superior 4.0. If the shoes you like provide traction, they are ideal for a safe and slip-free running experience.

Sizing

Choosing right-sized shoes is essential for comfort. A wide toe box is vital for toe splay. Minimalist shoes will exert pressure on your feet and reduce your running performance. Also, your feet will wobble inside wide shoes and slow you down when running.

 Your best option is buying shoes that fit you perfectly well. Besides, such shoes provide the stability that you need to enhance your performance. If a minimalist space of half an inch remains between your longest toe and the end of the shoes, then your shoes should fit well.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cushioning?

Cushioned shoes absorb part of the shocks during foot strike. Plenty of materials go into the midsoles to make the best running shoes. Examples include BioMoGo DNA and EVA foams.

If you usually run daily, be sure to look for maximally cushioned shoes. Minimalist shoes provide less cushioning and are lighter. They could be your shoes if you’re looking to run fast in a sprint race.

Is forefoot striking a better running style?

Forefoot striking is a running style that subjects the forefoot section of the foot to impacts at landing. Your ball of the foot will also face the impacts. This kind of impact reduces shocks to the knee. But it subjects more load to the Achilles tendons and calf muscles.

What’s the best time to buy running shoes?

Your feet will start swelling in the morning, and they won’t stop until 4 pm. They will be as big as they ever get at 5 pm. Be sure to test your shoes at this time to make sure they fit perfectly well.

How do I know my running shoes fit perfectly well?

A snug fit isn’t always better. There should be some space left between your longest toe and the front end of the running shoe. ½-inch space is ideal. Also, the toe box should be wide enough for a better toe splay.

Conclusion

Your running style could be different from another person’s. Therefore, be sure to invest in running shoe that supports your style. If your forefoot section comes into contact with the ground first, you should buy the best running shoes for forefoot strikers.

These shoes have a design that meets your needs. They cushion the entire foot but place more cushioning on the forefoot section to protect you from shocks at impacts. As such, be sure to look for such shoes if you’re looking to train and exercise by running or jogging.

This post has presented a few incredible shoes for forefoot strikers. We’ve also looked at a few factors to consider when shopping for running shoes. As a result, finding your best running shoes might be easier than before. Be sure to check them out, and perhaps you might find the shoes that impress you.

Out Top Pick Running Shoes for Forefoot Strikers: