The 6 Best Racewalking Shoes to Buy in 2018

Walk fast with these shoes for racing

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A racewalking shoe must be extremely flexible as racewalkers roll through each step. A racewalker strikes with the heel, but it is a more gentle impact than that of a runner. A low, tapered, and not overly-cushioned heel is the best design for racewalking. The shoe should be flat from heel to forefoot, which is known as having a low heel drop or being a zero drop shoe. The shoe should be lightweight for speed. Another factor is that it will still need enough cushioning for long distance, as racewalkers compete at distances from 20 kilometers to 50 kilometers, which is in the half marathon to ultra range.

Mizuno Wave Universe

Mizuno Wave Universe
Mizuno Wave Universe. Courtesy of

This is a very lightweight racing flat for racers with ​a neutral gait. They will turn your feet into chariots of fire, right? They come in very bright colors and styles as you might expect racers to enjoy. Mizuno makes them for both men and women. Because they don't have​ much cushioning, they are best for shorter distances.

adidas AdiZero Boston

adidas AdiZero Boston Performance Shoe
adidas AdiZero Boston Performance Shoe. Courtesy of

This is a high mileage trainer, so if you are training to race a half marathon or marathon, the adiZero Boston has enough cushioning. They boast of an energy-returning midsole. They also tout their continental rubber outsole as having great grip in both wet and dry conditions. They have a ​10-millimeter drop. They come in a variety of colors and designs for men and women, but they come only in a single width.

Brooks Hyperion

Brooks T7
Brooks T7. Courtesy of

This is an extremely lightweight racer. It lacks cushioning and has a minimalist design, so it is best used for shorter distance and for racing. The low profile and flexibility are good for racewalkers. It weighs only 5.4 ounces and has a low 10-millimeter heel drop. They are made for neutral gait and have no motion control elements. These shoes come in versions for men and for women and in a variety of colors. However, they come only in average width.

Saucony Grid Type A6

Saucony Grid Type A5
Saucony Grid Type A5. Courtesy of

Many walkers like the fit of Saucony. This lightweight neutral racing flat comes in at less than 6 ounces per shoe, having trimmed weight from the version A5. The heel drop is minimal at 4 millimeters. They say it should be good for distances from 5 kilometers to half marathon.

Reshod Walking Shoes

Reshod Fitness/Training Shoes
Reshod LLC

Racewalker Carmen Jackinsky patented a sole built to enhance the natural heel plant/roll through foot motion of walkers and racewalkers. Her company, Reshod Walking Shoes, offers both a racewalking at a fitness walking version of her innovative shoes. The racewalking version has zero heel drop. The foam supporting the heel is softer so you get cushioning when you plant your heel. Beneath it is dense foam so you get lateral stability and a good transition. Unlike the other shoes listed, these shoes are not flexible in the forefoot. That is in keeping with Jackinsky's philosophy of what racewalkers need. She believes in vertical flexibility instead. The uppers are designed with a bunion window so you don't get rubbing in that sensitive area. The toe box is generously sized so your toes can spread out and not be constricted. If you usually buy wide shoes to get that extra space, you will like these shoes.  

Hersey Custom Racewalker

What could be better than custom shoes made to fit your foot by a craftsman? Hersey Custom Shoes designed a racewalking trainer and a racewalk competition shoe that was used in the Olympics. The drawback? They are definitely not inexpensive, although not that much more than a high-quality running shoe. There is also a significant lead time as they make a form to match your feet. There is a charge for a last and pattern fee the first time you order shoes. They say the typical turnaround time is 24 weeks, which is about five months. You get a small number of choices for shoe color, trim, materials, and insoles. The uppers should last for 1,000 to 2,000 miles and you can get the soles replaced. If you have a hard-to-fit foot, Hershey is a good option as they can make dress shoes, hiking shoes, and comfort shoes from your custom shoe last.

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