All athletes need good, supportive shoes that match their feet well and help maximize performance. Runners are no different, especially due to the impact we create on our legs, ankles and heels. If you wear shoes that are comfortable and supportive, you’ll minimize injuries and problems that can cause foot pain, such as heel spurs.
Runners are especially at risk for developing heel spurs, a usually-painless deposit of calcium under the heel bone. These deposits are often caused from foot muscle strains, issues with your plantar fascia, or frequent tearing of the membrane around the heel bone…all things that can happen regularly when running on hard surfaces. Runners with flat feet or excessively high arches have even higher potential for developing heel spurs.
You can minimize the likelihood of getting heel spurs by wearing appropriate shoes. You should shop for shoes that fit well, have plenty of cushion in the heel to absorb shock, and a higher heel-to-toe drop. The list below will go over the features and benefits of several different shoes that can be helpful to avoid heel spurs.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Hoka One One Bondi 6
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Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14
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Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19
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1. Hoka One One Bondi 6
The Bondi 6 is Hoka One One’s most cushioned shoe. The midsole is extremely plush, and is also durable, so that even heavy runners are supported by the cushioning.
A large improvement to the current version is the rubber outsole. It is now made to be much lighter, while also being more durable. The smooth shape of the outsole was designed for improved heal to toe transition.
The Bondi 6 has a full-length EVA midsole. This helps with balance during your run, not to mention that it’s super-soft and cushioned. Some runners have noted that the support from the midsole seemed to provide more bounce.
An internal heal counter adds additional support to the Bondi 6 and helps the shoe feel more secure. It’s available in a large number of widths too, making it a viable option for runners with wide feet.
- Exceptional comfort with a plush midsole
- Variety of width options
- Durable and lightweight outsole
- Great support and responsiveness
- Some runners didn’t like the width of the shoe
- The extra stability has made the shoe feel stiffer for some
2. Brooks Glycerin 17
The Brooks Glycerin 17 is designed for comfort, and it is their softest shoe. This is accomplished with the Brooks signature DNA Loft full-length midsole. This midsole was developed to disperse the support where it was needed most and promote smooth transitions from heel to toe.
The midsole also helps the foot strike feel more natural, as it transitions from one area of impact to the next. The Glycerin 17 is still a very responsive shoe, even with all the added cushioning. The wider platform on this model improves the landing as well.
Brooks improved the design with a sleeker upper mesh than what the previous model had. Yet it keeps the same soft feel and cushioning to the max as before. The high heel-to-toe drop of 10 mm is great to offset the possibility of heel spurs as well.
- Good for medium and high arches
- Cushioning provides for the most luxurious feeling runs
- Breathable, flexible mesh support
- Very durable and long-lasting construction
- Too much cushioning for minimalist runners
- Cushion makes the shoe a little on the heavier side
3. Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14
The Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14 was completely remodeled and developed to be extremely responsive while also giving as much cushioning as possible. With the combination of the Nike React cushioning technology and a full-length Zoom Air unit, you can be agile on your run while keeping your stride and foot strike smooth.
The mesh upper is super sleek but designed for strength and support. Extra soft cushioning in the midfoot and Flywire cables combine to produce the Dynamic Fit technology that is a hallmark of Nike’s updated design.
A very nice heel-to-toe drop of 10mm helps with those heel spurs you want to minimize. The shoe feels substantial under your foot and provides a great deal of traction on the road. Extra foam pods surround the heel collar to give you extra support and comfort.
- Very responsive, even with extra cushioning for those with a heavy heel strike
- Superior traction and quick pick up
- Supportive throughout, minimal foot movement
- Some felt the shoe was too stiff in the heel collar
- Shorter tongue can cause ankle irritation to some runners
4. Adidas UltraBoost
The Ultra Boost by Adidas is great for all types of running, whether indoors or out. Adidas’ goal for this shoe was simple: to be the best on the market. Regardless of whether they achieved that lofty goal, this is an impressive shoe.
With their signature full length Boost midsole, you’ll have cushioned comfort with every mile. Their Primeknit mesh upper creates a great deal of support, especially if your feet run a little narrow. Each version of the UltraBoost just gets better and better, with the most recent 2019 version being the first 3D-knitted running shoe.
Additionally, the UltraBoost is designed to last hundreds of miles. That’s thanks to the Adidas Torsion System. This includes an arch support bar which provides independent movement for the front and back of your foot as they respond to different terrain. This helps the midfoot relax and respond naturally.
- Superior cushioning with the midsole
- Very durable, a shoe that will last many miles
- Natural running feel for added comfort
- Evenly distributed pressure points
- Mesh upper can feel restrictive for runners with wider feet
- Some felt the fit wasn’t as secure during sprints
5. New Balance 1080v9
The New Balance 1080v9 has set the bar on superior cushion with its laser engraved fresh foam midsole. The toe box is also nice and roomy for those with wider feet. However, it has been noted by some that it may be narrower than previous versions.
The mesh on the 1080v9 has been improved, minimizing the amount of overlay, which also makes it lighter. The redesigned jacquard upper mesh has been developed to provide improved support, comfort, and an airier feel. And it looks great, too.
The outsole of the 1080v9 is made a very durable blown rubber and has extra grooves throughout to help it flex and improve responsiveness. The design of the sole shows the different areas of impact during running, increasing support to those areas impacted the most.
The 1080v9 has been improved from its previous version by using bootie construction inside the shoe, rather than New Balance’s traditional separate puffy tongue and heel. This has made the inside of the shoe much more comfortable.
- Bootie construction
- Jacquard upper mesh for support
- Sole groves create improved responsiveness
- Superior cushioning in the midsole
- Not as comfortable for those with low arches
- Low heel has been reported to be uncomfortable for some
6. Hoka One One Clifton 6
You’ll find the Hoka One One Clifton 6 to follow the same award-winning design as previous versions, with the famous Hoka One One midsole. The super-cushiony midsole creates a comfortable, lightweight, and surprisingly responsive shoe for fast runs.
The forefoot of the Clifton 6 acclimates well to your own foot strike patterns, giving you a very fast but smooth run. The mesh upper was designed with a minimalist, clean style and of course an airy, comfortable feel. There are fewer overlays in this shoe, which helps keep it breathable.
The midsole of the Clifton 6 is full length and made from EVA foam, with traction that helps propel you forward. On the overlay, there are 3D puff prints that are placed at various spots on the shoe to enhance its structure and durability. New to version 6 is a softer midsole – more like the original Clifton – that still remains fairly durable.
Bottom line: this is a great shoe for all types of running.
- Maximum cushioning for comfort
- Breathable and supportive
- Fast, responsive shoe
- Some runners may feel this shoe is a little stiff
- Some felt the foam pieces wear down too quickly
7. Saucony Triumph ISO 5
This well-designed shoe has many positives, but perhaps the biggest plus to the current version of Saucony’s Triumph ISO is the underfoot Everun technology. This foam is responsive, with improved energy return to help you power through those super-long runs.
The upper also includes a superior mesh combined with ISOFIT technology, helping your feet stay airy and dry while maintaining good foot control. These shoes are known to give your foot a customized feel due to a footbed that shapes to your foot with FORMFIT cushioning.
If you are a runner that suffers from under-pronation, this shoe is designed to help improve that issue. This is a nice natural running shoe that offers great road traction.
- Super-plush cushioning
- Great for mid to high arches
- Minimal upper mesh, making them airy
- Great for logging long miles
- Slightly heavier than desired by some runners
- Toe box too wide for runners with narrow feet
8. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19
One of the biggest upgrades in the Adrenaline GTS 19 the GuideRails holistic support system. This system helps minimize impact on the knees while running by subtly guiding your feet toward a stronger stride and alignment.
While the Adrenaline GTS 19’s weight is on the higher end, it’s not terribly noticeable during a run. The moderate cushioning is enough for heavier runners, but is still pliant enough to work well for lighter runners.
Brooks has added its new DNA Loft crash pad to the shoe. This provides much-improved durability in the cushioning, which will prolong the life of the shoe. If there is a downside to this, it’s that it does seem to be firmer than the previous version.
The durable rubber outsole is great on any terrain, including wet surfaces. The upper mesh has been improved to provide better comfort and sleeker style.
- Support system intended to decrease knee injury
- Best for those with a flat or medium arch
- Soft, yet responsive cushioning with the Loft crash pad
- Outer mesh allows excess water in during a wet or rainy run
9. ASICS Gel-Nimbus 21
You usually can’t go wrong with ASICS, and they kept their high standards when they designed the Gel-Nimbus 21. The Nimbus 21 kept many of the great features of previous models, best of all their standard extreme cushioning for comfort. One update however, is that it is even a little softer than the previous version.
They have improved the meshing around the whole foot for improved airflow to keep your feet cool. They also changed the construction of the upper and sole combination, which helps give the forefoot more room and a better fit.
- Extreme cushion and a high quality shoe
- Breathability is great, so you don’t get too hot
- Durable shoe to last a long time
- Some neutral runners may find the shoe a little too stiff
- Shoe runs smaller than standard ASICS models
10. Mizuno Wave Creation 20
Mizuno made some great improvements with the Wave Creation 20. This is their comfort flagship, using their Infinity Wave geometry and shape. Cushioning doesn’t get much better than this – a high level of comfort and cushiness while maintaining responsiveness on the road.
Mizuno also included a full-length U4icX bottom midsole, making the shoe flex more easily and feel softer. The rest of the midsole is built on four thicknesses of EVA foam, making the ride extremely smooth.
The improved traction on the Wave Creation 20 is also quite impressive. The X10 high-density rubber outsole provides a wider base than previous models, which helps with control and stability.
- Very comfortable fit that feels natural
- Great traction on the outsole
- Durable for high miles, especially for neutral runners or those who tend to under-pronate
- Some runners felt the toe box was narrower than previous versions
- May run slightly small for some, and some recommend buying up a half size