Last Updated: August 9th, 2022
Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate and an affiliate for some reputed brands, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost you. I may recieve a commission if you purchase something mentioned in this post. See more details here.
There are various types of heel-to-toe drop running shoes that are available in the market. If you observe, most of the companies are shifting towards lower drop shoes with the exception of a few.
But high drop running shoes have their own usage and cannot be ignored completely. However, it is difficult to find such shoes in this entire running shoe universe.
This is why we have done the research for you and selected 10 of them from reputed brands that will help you out.
We have put in almost everything that is there in the mix like different types of pronation, trail running, snow running, road running, good for women, men, etc…so that you can select one for your needs.
Also, I think, Brooks Ghost 14 is the best one for most the runners who need a high drop running shoe. However, please do check out the rest of the best running shoes with high heel drop on this list.
We have included running shoes starting with a 12mm drop to up to a 15mm drop. Hope you will find your match…
Top 10 Running Shoes With High Heel Drop (12mm – 15mm)
1. Brooks Ghost 14 – Best for ladies
2. Mizuno Wave Creation 20 – Has a drop of 15mm
4. ASICS Nimbus Lite 3 – Has a drop of 13mm
5. ASICS Gel-Nimbus 24 – Best for India
9. Saucony Cohesion TR14 – Trail running shoes with 13mm drop
10. La Sportiva ULTRA RAPTOR II GTX – Best High Drop Shoe for Trail running in Winter
Table of Contents
Best Running Shoes With High Heel Drop (12mm – 15mm)
Best High Drop Running Shoes (Detailed Review)
Brooks Ghost 14 – Best for ladies
Brooks Ghost 14 is a very popular running shoe among runners and is among very few shoes that have maintained a high drop.
The drop of Brooks Ghost is 12mm which is high if you consider running shoes from other brands. Although, the stack height of both forefoot and rearfoot is also high with the rearfoot being at 36mm and the forefoot being at 24mm.
Some of the brands like Hoka, don’t even have running shoes that have such a big drop.
Despite this big drop, Ghost remained a very loved running shoe and is excellent for running different kinds of distances.
Their fit seems to be comfortable and with Ghost 14 I felt the fit to have been slightly wider, and mind you when I say broader, I have a medium-sized bunion on both of my feet.
Many will think that Brooks Ghost will be uncomfortable due to the high drop, but on contrary, this is one of the most comfortable running shoes around.
It has a good amount of cushioning that is bordering on the sides of maximalism…provides you with excellent arch support, and having 100% DNA LOFT on both lateral and medial sides, provides you with excellent shock absorption.
What I most liked about this high drop of Ghost is that it releases the pressure on the Achilles which is apparent when you run. You will not feel so stretched as you do with low-drop shoes and if you have inflamed Achilles, you won’t get aggravated pain.
This will also reduce your chances of getting Plantar Fasciitis if you have an inflexible sole of the foot.
However, Brooks Ghost is a neutral running shoe and may not be suitable for overpronating runners. For them, you have Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 which has a similar drop and a similar stack height for both forefoot and rearfoot.
- Good fit and style.
- No breaking-in period is needed.
- Available in a wide range of fits and sizes.
- Arch support feels a bit less.
Related: 10 Best 5mm Drop Running Shoes
Mizuno Wave Creation 20 – Has 15mm drop
Mizuno Wave Creation 20 was a surprise for me. If you check the entire running shoe universe of the most popular brands, you will hardly find one shoe with 13mm…
But with Mizuno Wave Creation the heel-to-toe drop is 15mm. That was a pure WOW for me…
If you are a beginner, generally it is recommended to go for a running shoe with around 8mm drop which is neither too high nor too low and mostly this suitable.
This kind of drop is suitable even for more seasoned runners, so, retaining a 15mm drop is really a bold move if you ask me.
But the real question is, with this high drop, is this running shoe uncomfortable?
On the contrary, Mizuno Wave Creation is one of the most comfortable running shoes around. It is well cushioned and provides you with good responsiveness.
Not only that, it is a long-distance running shoe and is good for running distances longer than 10K.
However, when you wear the shoe, you won’t feel that high of a drop, probably because the effective drop is around 10mm, but nonetheless, this is a high drop and you would need a couple of runs to get used to it.
It is a premium shoe with good arch support and will cater well to neutral runners. Unfortunately, such a drop is not available for overpronating runners from Mizuno.
Also, from the looks of it, since most of the running shoe industry has swayed away from high drop shoes, Mizuno may eventually stop this model and who knows 20 may be the final version of Wave Creation.
Whatever it is, enjoy the ride, that Mizuno Wave Creation brings to you with its Infinity Wave. They are supportive and excellent for your long-distance rides.
- Good for long-distance running.
- Premium experience.
- Not available in a wider fit.
Mizuno Wave Inspire is a running shoe for overpronation. If you are upset that you don’t have a high drop shoe from Mizuno for overpronation, then this is it.
However, the drop in Mizuno Wave Inspire is not as high as Mizuno Wave Creation, but nonetheless, it stands at a tall 12mm with forefoot stack being at 26mm and rearfoot stack being at 38mm.
Although not 15mm, this is quite a drop and is good for your everyday running and this difference of 3mm will hardly make a difference.
If you have an Achilles or Plantar Fascia issue, this will be equally effective as a 15mm heel-to-toe offset.
It will not let you flex your Achilles Tendons so much as to overload them and make them painful. The same goes for you Plantar Fascia. This will reduce the overall load from these two areas and you will have a comfortable ride.
Also, one thing I noticed is the width of the forefoot. It feels slightly narrow than the previous version.
However, since in general, I need a wider shoe, this may not be a problem for most of you as the medium or D width is pretty standard from Mizuno.
I didn’t find the drop of 12mm uncomfortable as this is the same drop as that of the Ghost or more appropriately, the Adrenaline GTS.
The arch support also felt comfortable and the Mizuno ENERZY Foam along with the Double Fan Wave provides that additional pep to your ride.
- Good for runners with Achilles and Plantar Fascia issues.
- Comfortable for long-distance running.
- Feels a bit narrower.
- Toe-box feels slightly shallow.
Asics Gel-Nimbus Lite 3 is a good running shoe and is a more recent model than its predecessor Nimbus, which is running for 24 generations now.
Nonetheless, though being a pretty young shoe, it blends in the nuances of Nimbus and some newness of its own and provides you with a similar yet different experience than Nimbus.
One more interesting fact is that this running shoe has separate drops for men’s and women’s versions of the shoe. Though both are high drop, the women’s shoes have a heel-to-toe differential of 13mm whereas that of men’s shoes have a drop of 10mm.
But why is this difference?
I seriously don’t know…however, it seems like they are trying to do something different due to the different foot anatomy of women as the difference is present in many of the other shoes from Asics.
What does a 13mm drop feel like?
The 13mm drop feels comfortable and will not hinder your running performance, but it surely gives you a forward tilt and gives a slight additional push to you forward.
The stack height of this shoe is good and provides you with excellent cushioning. The midsole is made from Eco Content FlyteFoam which is similar to the existing FlyteFoam from Asics but is more environmentally friendly.
This version of Nimbus Lite also has forefoot and rearfoot gel cushioning which is excellent with shock absorption. They have not changed it and are similar to the one that is present with Asics Gel-Nimbus.
I thought that with such a big drop, the feet will slide forward and will bump onto the walls of the shoe, but that is not the case. Despite the drop, your feet will remain in place and will not slide around and make you uncomfortable.
Overall, this shoe will prove to be comfortable, and will the 13mm drop will not interfere with your performance.
- Heel flare for more heel support.
- Not available in multiple widths.
- Good for shorter distances.
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 24 – For India
Like Asics Nimbus Lite, Asics Nimbus 24 also has a 13mm drop for the women’s version of the shoe. For the men’s version, it is 10mm which also comes in the high drop range of the running shoe.
As mentioned above, with this level of drop Asics Nimbus is still a very comfortable running shoe.
Apart from the forward tilt that comes with these high drop shoes, you will not feel much of a difference between a low or medium drop shoe and this one.
Also, the arch support that comes with this shoe is also good and will not cause any pain or problem while running.
I felt the heel of this shoe is a bit of a snug fit, this helps to lock the heel in place…However, if you have a wider heel, you will feel slightly tighter in that area.
Since Nimbus doesn’t come in a wide fit, this may be a bit of an issue, if you have wider feet.
However, dropwise, this is a comfortable heel drop and will help you not overload your Achilles.
But why is this shoe good for India?
First of all, Asics has been in India for some time now and is now available online as well. These are well-made and durable shoes that work well on Indian roads.
Being a premium brand and available more easily now, the Indian runners can throughout the country experience the comfort of this shoe.
The other brands, are just coming to India and are just available in pockets and in one or two cities.
- Comfortable for any type of running.
- Shock absorbing.
- Tongue placement is a bit odd and may scrape on the top of the feet.
Too much of Asics isn’t it? Well, what can we say…this is probably the only brand that still manufactures running shoes with 13mm drop and Asics Gel-Kayano Lite 2 being one of them.
But then again, this is for the women runners and men will still have to settle for a 10mm drop.
Not really…because any runner who has a high drop requirement, irrespective of the gender can use this running shoe.
You will feel the drop if you don’t wear socks and you may feel like something abruptly ending just under the ball of your feet…but with a sock, you will not feel such a thing.
Also, like Nimbus, Kayano Lyte also uses Eco Content Flyte Foam. This reduces the carbon footprint of the shoe and makes it more environmentally friendly.
The forward tilt that you get with this high drop helps you to have a faster take-off. Also, if you are a heel striker, then you have better shock absorption, due to additional materials on the heels.
The arch support is on the higher side, though runningwarehouse mentions it as a medium to high. Low arch people will have problems while wearing this shoe.
I would have expected it otherwise as many of the overpronating runners have low arches and this is a stability running shoe.
Nonetheless, this is a comfortable running shoe, with excellent impact absorption and smooth landing.
The only thing I feel could have been better with this shoe, is that it should have been available in the wide fit also.
It is only available in medium fit and people with wider shoe requirements like bunions will have to look for an alternative.
- Very comfortable.
- Max stability.
- Should have been available in a wider fit.
- Not as comfortable for long runs.
This is a very popular running shoe and has a long history behind it. It is one of the few running shoes that are manufactured in the USA and provides you with a solid build and comfort.
Also, this is one of the few shoes that still have a high heel-to-toe drop which is around 12mm.
The drop is gradual and you will not feel a sudden drop and will not feel uncomfortable wearing this.
The amount of cushioning that is present in this shoe is also good and has a good stack height on both forefoot and rearfoot.
This is great for heel strikers and will also provide you with a softer landing.
This running shoe is comfortable even when you are running longer distances. It is comfortable even for everyday running and is excellent for wearing the whole day.
The arch height of these shoes is also decent and can cater to runners with medium to high arches.
Being a neutral shoe, this is a good arch height, otherwise, it would have been a problem for runners with a neutral gait.
- Cushy and shock absorbing.
- Available in multiple widths.
- Good for multi-sport.
Saucony Cohesion TR14 – Trail running shoes
Till now we have listed all the road running shoes. However, there are runners who love to run the trails and some of them have a high heel-drop requirement.
This is why we thought to include some trail running shoes which have a high heel drop in this list.
One of them that I think is a good option is Saucony Cohesion TR14. This is a trail running shoe with a drop of 12mm.
This is excellent for trails, however, if the trails are too technical, then this may not be suitable.
The drop of 12mm is not sharp but rather is gradual and you will feel it when you wear the shoe.
The slight forward slant that you will feel when you wear the shoe, only makes it easier for you to take off.
The arch support of this shoe is medium and is comfortable for neutral runners.
This version of Cohesion also uses VERSARUN as the foam and is excellent in shock absorption.
- Good for medium trails.
- Excellent shock absorption.
- Reasonable price.
- May show signs of wear and tear early.
La Sportiva ULTRA RAPTOR II GTX – Best For Trail Running In Winter
La Sportiva is a brand that is focused on trail runners. It is good for any kind of trail, especially technical trails.
Like Salomon, it is also a very brand among trail runners. However, unlike Salomon, La Sportiva has some models which have a high drop.
Since we have already selected Saucony Cohesion TR which is perfect for normal weather, we thought to include something that will work great in snowy winter or monsoon.
La Sportive Ultra Raptor II GTX has a drop of 12mm which is uncommon in trail running shoes. This high drop will help runners with certain foot issues to run the trails again.
Also, being a neutral running shoe, it will cater to a wide range of runners who have neutral or underpronation.
The stack height of Ultra Raptor II GTX is also good and is cushy. It is not squishy and holds well for a long time.
If you don’t want to go for GTX, you can go for Ultra Raptor II, however, the drop will reduce by 3mm as Ultra Raptor has a drop of 9mm.
If you love technical terrains or trails in general, you will love Ultra Raptor II GTX.
- Great for technical trails.
- No break-in time is needed.
- Good arch support.
- For some, the side of the shoe may be high and uncomfortable for the ankles.
- Doesn’t come in wide.
What is the best heel-to-toe drop in running?
The best heel-to-toe drop for running is 8mm. It is neither too high nor too low and is a perfect heel-to-toe drop for beginners.
Being said that, the best heel-to-toe drop for running is very subjective.
For example, if you have some foot issues like Achilles Tendonitis or Plantar Fasciitis, a higher heel drop is comfortable. You should not go below 8mm of heel drop in such cases, whereas an even higher drop of 10mm or 12mm is good in this case.
Such a drop is good for heel strikers as well.
But let’s say, you want to improve on the flexibility of your overall feet or want to run on your midfoot or forefoot.
In this case, a lower drop of 5mm or less is better. You will find many shoes in this category even the most cushioned ones like the Hoka Bondi which has a drop of 4mm.
There are some shoes that have 0mm drop like Altra or Vibram V-fingers. They encourage a more natural running experience, especially Vibram V-Fingers which enables your feet to move more naturally.
Does heel-to-toe drop matter in running shoes?
Yes, heel-to-toe drop matters in running shoes. You can use different heel drops for different purposes and will support different aspects of your running.
As mentioned above, some foot issues are best tackled by high drop shoes. With a high drop shoe, your calf muscles and your Achilles Tendons are not overloaded.
If these are already inflammed, then any excess load on them will cause more trouble and pain for you. A higher drop reduces this load on your Achilles and Calf muscles and will make your running more comfortable.
However, with a higher heel drop, the center of gravity of the shoe is backward, so, it is easier for you to land on your heels. Also, the additional heel drop helps you with good shock absorption and protects your ankles, knees, and hips.
If you want to run forefoot, a lower drop is more desirable. This encourages forefoot strike and you will have a more natural running. This also strengthens the forefoot muscles and to some extent may prevent injuries.
What heel drop is best for heel strikers?
A drop of 8mm or above is best for heel strikers. A higher drop ensures additional cushioning of the heels and protects the heels from injuries.
Although there are running shoes that have drops of around 15mm, this may not be necessary if you are a heel striker.
The whole point is to have a thicker cushioning at the heels and for that a drop around 8mm or so is fine.
Also, there are some shoes like Clifton EDGE, which don’t have so much of a drop (5mm), but due to a protruded heel, it is ideal for heel strikers as it provides you excellent cushioning.
So, although a higher drop is desirable for a heel striker, however, if you have any additional features like those mentioned above is also fine.
Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.