Best Running Shoes With Wide Toe Box and Narrow Heel

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I know you’re having a hard time finding good running shoes with wide toe box and narrow heel that fit properly.

Sometimes, if you get a wider shoe you end up with your heels literally swimming in the heel cup. And if you get narrow shoes, your wider forefoot can’t have enough room to breathe and splay.

The good news is you don’t have to be frustrated anymore. The 10 shoes reviewed below have a wider forefoot and a narrow heel at the same time.

Let’s dive right in …

Asics GlideRide

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The Asics GlideRide fits your narrow heel, high arch, and wide forefoot well according to this review on Amazon.

The GlideRide is a classic example of a company taking an existing shoe, making refinements, and ending up with a better shoe.

The GlideRide is the shoe that I wish the Nike Zoom Fly has always been. It took all of the problems I had with the Zoom Fly and fixed them.

It’s a softer, more stable version of the Zoom Fly with comfortable plush upper and you still get the propulsive feel inside.

Upper

The GlideRide’s upper is extremely structured on both sides. It might be one of the most structured uppers I’ve ever run in.

The upper is made from engineered mesh that doesn’t stretch and is smooth inside the shoe. However, this thick mesh and the structured upper means that the shoe runs on the warm side.

The unsleeved padded tongue and the heel counter are generously filled with foam.

The tongue doesn’t move around at all during runs and the plastic clutch external molded heel counter secures and locks down the heel really well.

There are reflective overlays by the laces and around the counter for better nighttime visibility.

The GlideRide fits true to size and the toe box has plenty of depth and foot splay room.

Midsole

The GlideRide has a dual foam setup of FlyteFoam Propel and FlyteFoam.

The top part of the midsole is FlyteFoam which is firmer and more responsive and the bottom part is FlyteFoam Propel which is softer and bouncier.

The GlideRide is a cushioned shoe and the FlyteFoam is much softer than the React foam used in the Zoom Fly 3.

The combination of these foams provides a great balance of cushioning for comfort and firmness needed for the plates in the shoe to work.

The GlideRide is a really unique tune and the longer you run in it, the better it feels.

Outsole

The outsole is full-contact blown rubber. Asics says that it’s an AHAR rubber sponge, but it’s definitely not the same AHAR rubber used on the Cumulus or the Nimbus series.

The rubber does grip well on wet and dry surfaces, though.

The Guidance Line that runs through the length of the outsole helps keep the foot centered.

When the shoe is loaded, the exposed area in the Guidance Line touches the ground. This gap in the outsole provides extra cushioning.

The GlideRide has a high toe spring because of the rocker geometry it has.

This upward angle is how the shoe rolls you forward along the front of the shoe instead of flexing like with most shoes.

The GlideRide is cushioned enough for long marathon distances and responsive enough for tempo workouts.

If you didn’t like the Nike Zoom Fly, then you should try the GlideRide because the latter runs rings around the Zoom Fly.

This shoe is softer, more stable, more responsive, more comfortable, and cheaper than the Zoom Fly 3.

The Asics GlideRide is super fun to run in and it’s hands down one of the best daily training plated shoes on the market.

Cons

  • rocker bottom might require some getting used to.
  • a bit pricey.

Hoka Clifton 6

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Read Hoka Clifton 6 Full Review

A Little History

The Hoka Clifton 2 was actually one of the best shoes in the past couple of years. It was the one that won a lot of awards for Hoka.

Throughout the years, Hoka has sort of made some changes on that shoe and it seemed like the Clifton was getting firmer and firmer.

The Hoka Clifton 4 was like a rock under your feet. It seemed like all of the cool characteristics about the Clifton and the Clifton 2 had gone away.

Well, I’m happy to say that the new Hoka Clifton 6 feels like the old Clifton 2 in a lot of ways.

Updates

A couple of little changes from the Clifton 5 to announce just so people who have been coming through the generations of it can know, the Clifton 6 actually got a little bit lighter.

Usually with Hoka, the sizing was really dialed in and the Clifton 6 runs true to size.

The 6 still has a lot of the same characteristics as far as the stack height. It’s still coming in with a five-millimeter heel-to-toe drop. So the offset and the height of the cushion haven’t changed much.

Meta Rocker

The idea behind the Meta Rocker platform is when you land, the shoe immediately just smoothly gets you from heel to toe.

That’s why not only is the Clifton one of the best shoes for runners specifically doing longer stuff, but also people on their feet all day like health professionals, chefs, teachers, you name it.

Neutral

The Clifton 6 is a neutral platform shoe, so it’s great for somebody who has just very bit of mild over or underpronation, but not too severe.

Almost all Hoka shoes have a little bit more of an arch than most shoes. So if you’re coming from a traditional shoe like a New Balance 1080, Brooks Glycerin, or something that big max cushion neutral platform, the arch is just a little bit higher, but it’s not a firm arch, either.

If you are looking for something firmer and more stable from the Hoka family, there are certainly other options out there you can check out like the Hoka Arahi or the Gaviota.

Active Foot Frame

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You might think that such a high stack height might just be unstable. The thing is your foot is not actually on top of this oversized midsole but inside it. The foot rests inside a kind of saddle called Active Foot Frame that just acts like a canoe to give your foot a little bit of inherent stability.

Who is it for?

The Clifton 6 is great for somebody who’s going to be walking, running on longer distances, and someone who wants to have that smooth transition from heel to toe.

Anybody who’s been in the Clifton series for a while is going to be happy with the new updates especially how soft it is compared to previous models.

Widths

Another nice thing that’s been newer for the Hoka Clifton franchise is the shoe is now available in widths.

Hoka has only been doing wides for about a year or two years now so it’s nice that they’re changing.

For the women’s, they’re doing a standard B and D for their wide, and on the men’s, it’s a D and a 2E.

There is talk of bringing in even wider on both the men’s and the women’s going up to a 4E for me and 2E on the women’s, but for now, it’s a D on the women and a 2E on the men.

Cons

  • might require break-in period

Brooks Ghost 12

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Read Brooks Ghost 13 Full Review

The Ghost 12 is your go-to daily mileage grinders and a workhorse shoe. Think of it as a jackknife of Brooks lineup.

It is a neutral cushioned shoe weighing in at about 10.4 ounces with a 12-millimeter drop from heel to toe.

I put the Ghost through quite a few different tests, some long runs, some shorter runs, some tempos, some interval, sprints, what not. I even did some body exercises like some eight counts, mountain climbers, a little bit of weights.

The point is, no matter what I threw at the Ghost 12, it handled it just fine and it felt good the whole time.

Now, let’s start from the bottom and kind of work our way up and explain why the Ghost is one of Brooks’ best-selling shoes.

Midsole

In the heel, you have a DNA Loft midsole composite, which creates a soft landing and a smooth transition as your gait moves forward into your midfoot and forefoot.

At the midfoot, you see the BioMogo DNA which is a firmer and more responsive cushioning that relates in a quick toe-off. These DNAs do help the shoe to adapt to your foot over time.

Again, BioMogo DNA is a little bit firmer resulting in higher turnover because you have a quicker movement to the big toe.

The shoe is cushioned but not so much that you feel sinking or dragging weight behind you. But if want a softer and higher stack cushioned ride, you should be looking at the Glycerin 18.

It has a wide toe box, it’s plush on the heel, and it’s quick off the toe in the midfoot.

It’s great for low miles, high miles, slow runs, a bit of fast runs, and everything in between. But people who like a firmer quicker transition can either look at the Brooks Launch 7 or the Revel.

Outsole

I don’t think that that absorption is going to take too much momentum from you because Brooks threw in this harder tread on the rear of the outsole.

The rubber on the heel, besides having grip, is a little harder as I mentioned and that provides a little bit of feedback.

So even though it’s taking some of the blow and it has a good cushion to it, that feedback keeps you moving the whole time.

The tread up front is a little bit thinner and has some good flex grooves on it. The forefoot is also softer and has an amazing grip the whole time.

You can take the Ghost out on some rainy runs, on asphalt, pavement, brick roads, even across some metal areas, and your feet will never slip.

That’s very nice to have underfoot because when it’s raining, you don’t want to slip and you want to get home safely.

Upper

Moving up to the upper, this engineered mesh wicks moisture very well. It doesn’t breathe ver well, but your feet also won’t really get hot too much and won’t get too wet, neither.

With the wicking, as you start to keep going and putting some more mileage on, it’s going to help keep your feet dry and you really want that.

The cushion on the inside, especially on the heel, is a little bit thicker on the sides.

However, the cushion around the heel is a little bit different. Even though it’s thicker, it works very well on the heel.

While it does a great job at securing your heel, you won’t notice it rubbing or anything like that the whole time especially during the breaking period.

The shoe has some reflective panels on the toe box. So if you’re running at night, then cars can spot easily.

Cons

  • colors are bland and uninspired

Altra Paradigm 4.5

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The Altra Paradigm is has a good narrow heel cup and wider knuckle area. It has enough room on the outside edges that most shoes tend to chop off.

Read Altra Paradigm 4.5 full review.

Saucony Freedom ISO 2

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Back with an all-new design, the Freedom ISO 2 takes the essence of its predecessor and offers small changes to further enhance performance and comfort.

If you liked the first edition of the Freedom ISO, you’re definitely going to like the second one.

The Freedom ISO 2 features a 4-millimeter drop with 22 millimeters of cushioning in the heel and 18 in the forefoot. It is exceptionally light and comes in at 9.10 ounces for a men’s size 9 and 8.2 ounces for a women’s size 8.

Best of all, this sleek-designed looking shoe is exceptionally breathable and comes in a number of exciting colorways.

Midsole

The Freedom ISO 2 features a full-length EVERUN midsole that offers

In the midsole, we see the continued use of a full-length EVERUN material to create exceptional cushioning and enhanced responsiveness.

The new design offers a contoured shape and higher sidewalls to improve the underfoot feel and create an ultra-smooth transition.

Outsole

The shoe continues to use a sticky crystal rubber TriFlex outsole, which means it’s going to have great durability and last for many many miles possibly up to more than 600 miles. Also, the addition of strategic flex grooves in the forefoot and heel create added flexibility.

Upper

For ultimate comfort, the Freedom ISO 2 gets an upper overhaul. The overall design is fairly similar to its past version, but the use of a new ISOKNIT helps create a superior sock-like fit and feel with increased support and breathability.

This is a great combination of materials and engineering that creates ultimate comfort, support, breathability, freedom of movement, and minimal chafing within the upper.

Plush cushioning, exceptional energy return and ultimate comfort make the shoe ideal for every and any type of run from easy days to speed workouts to performing on race-day.

For those who already love Saucony, this is the perfect hybrid between the durability of the Saucony Ride ISO 2 and the speed and responsiveness of the Saucony Kinvara 11. The result is a Freedom that is great for a quick tempo or performance and racing.

Combined, the versatility, durability, and ultimate comforts of the Freedom ISO 2 make this shoe a must-have for your rotation.

Cons

  • N/A

Saucony Kinvara 11

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Read Saucony Kinvara 11 Full Review

The Kinvara 11 has a 4-millimeter drop and a size 9 comes in at 7.8 oz.

Upper

The Kinvara has the FORMFIT upper which wraps around your foot pretty well.

I wouldn’t say the upper is super forgiving, so when you buy this shoe and you lace it up, make sure that you buy it true to size.

Again, it’s not going to have a ton of give, but it will fit your foot just right if you get the right size.

Sticking with the upper, Saucony has risen the heel counter slightly to wrap onto your Achilles a little bit more.

There’s a band that wraps around the heel counter that kind of serves like one continuous wrap around your heel, which kind of reinforces that hug on there.

So when you’re lacing in and you’re really tightening down these laces, that’s going to help with securing your heel so you’re not going to have any heel slippage in this shoe.

The tongue is attached on both sides, which just helps with the lockdown there. It has that breathable and moisture-wicking material all throughout.

It’s a pretty thin tongue that goes really well with those flat laces. The laces give you a really secure fit without kind of feeling bulky like round laces do.

The tongue and laces kind of give you a sleek feel and a sleek look, as well. I would say the Kinvara 11 is a great all-around shoe and I love how it feels on the top of your foot.

When you go on longer miles, sometimes your foot might swell up a little bit and your shoes get a little bit tighter consequently.

The Kinvara doesn’t get too tight on top. It’s going to secure your foot in really nicely and you’re not going to feel that swelling.

Midsole

The Kinvara uses the PWRUN midsole which I think is fantastic. It’s super responsive and it’s not like the most cushioned shoe.

If you’re looking for extremely soft cushioning, you have the Saucony Freedom 2 and the Saucony Triumph 17. These shoes run on the PWRUN+ cushioning material that feels like running on clouds.

PWRUN+ is great for your recovery days, rest days, and just long miles.

The Kinvara 11 is a little bit quicker and the PWRUN foam is a little bit firmer than the PWRUN+ and it’s a lot more responsive.

This shoe is great for a marathon distance, half marathon distance, this is the perfect shoe for going distance.

Before you get into the super-fast pro racing shoes like the Reebok Nano Run Fast Pro, this is like the perfect average marathon shoe that I would recommend most people get.

Outsole

There’s not much going on there. The outsole is 99% bare PWRUN midsole cushioning with some XT900 rubber in the forefoot and the outside of the heel.

Cons

  • laces are a bit short.

Brooks Launch 7

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Read Brooks Launch 7 Full Review

The Launch 7 is a no-frills, no bells and whistles neutral running shoe that is really affordable.

If you’re walking into a run specialty store, I don’t think the wall does not have the most-bang-for-your-buck Brooks Launch.

Let’s get into the overall tech specs and see how the Launch differs from Brooks Ghost, the Glycerin, or even their Levitate series.

The offset is 26 millimeters in the heel and then 16 in the forefoot. Subtract both of those and you’ll have a nice 10-millimeter offset ride.

Brooks is letting us know that a size 9 weighs in at 9.6 ounces, which is a really nice weight for such an introductory trainer.

Midsole

The midsole of this Brooks Launch 7 is that EVA foam from Brooks that they call their DNA BioMogo foam.

This cushioning setup is not that crazy spongy soft DNA Loft that you’ll see in the Ghost or the Glycerin, but it gets the job done.

Upper

Moving from the midsole to the upper of this Brooks Launch 7, we’re going to see a single layer engineered mesh that’s laid over an internal bootie system to create a snug and breathable wrap.

The internal bootie system is going to create additional comfort in a sock-like fit.

What I also like about this no-frills trainer is that there’s not going to be any sort of stitching because Brooks wanted it to be as lightweight as possible.

So, both the logo and when you move from the reinforced toe box up the laces to the tongue, you’ll see that everything is fused on with either glue or whatever type of fusing materials that they have.

And as we flip to the heel, we’ll that that Launch 7 logo is actually sort of a fused placement to cover up the stitching where the heel counter is met.

The heel features that internal heel counter which will lock in your heel and then when you tie the laces, you’ll have that nice one-to-one fit.

So the narrow heel and wider toe box make the Brooks Launch 7 one of the best budget shoes for narrow heels and wide toe box.

Outsole

On the outsole, there’s that HPR Plus which is Brooks’ high-abrasion resistant rubber for long-lasting durable traction.

The full layer of durable rubber on the outsole makes this shoe really adaptable for a variety of workouts, distances, and terrains.

There’s going to be that DNA call-out on the foam to just let you know that this midsole is that BioMogo DNA.

Once again, if you’ve run in the Ravenna and you’re familiar with the setup of the outsole and the midsole, that’s exactly what you’re getting with the Brooks Launch 7.

Like I mentioned before, the Brooks Launch 7 is probably the best money can buy. You’re going to get a great shoe that’s going to last anywhere from 400 to 500 miles.

Family of Shoes

One thing I wanted to mention that Brooks is doing is they’re creating a neutral line and a stability line that literally mirror each other just without GuideRails.

Let me break this down for you real quick. If you look at the Ravenna 10, it’s the Launch 7 with the GuideRail support system.

Then you move up to the Ghost. The Ghost has the DNA Loft in the heel but nothing in the forefoot, and if you look at the Adrenalin GTS 20, it’s the Ghost with GuideRails.

Then, Brooks’ high-cushioned shoe, the Glycerin, has full-length DNA Loft but no GuideRails.

But if you want full-length cushioning and stability, you go for the Transcend that has full-length DNA Loft and GuideRails.

So, I really like that Brooks is kind of moving to this because it really kind of unites their lines and brings them all together.

It’s like Bam Bam Bam neutral, Bam Bam Bam stability.

Cons

  • a bit stiff and unforgiving

I hope you find one of these running shoes with wide toe box and narrow heel helpful so that you can keep doing the sport you actually love, running.

Stay safe 🙂

Best lacing technique for wide toe box and narrow heel

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