Finally, A Heel-First Strike Running Shoe By Adidas
Finally, A Heel-First Strike Running Shoe

With its slightly sloping angle, and a generous chunk of cushion on the heel, the new Adidas Switch FWD is ideal for heel-first strike that is common among most runners

Most running shoes that claim to make you faster—the ones with aero shapes, light materials, carbon-plates, and other superior tech—generally work best if you already have great running form. But let me clarify that this supposed “great running form” is based on the notion that a heel-strike as the first point of contact in a running gait cycle is the farthest from ideal. Everyone should strike the ground with the outer rear edge of the feet first and then roll forward gently onto the mid-portion of their feet and then keep rolling forward leading to a springy toe-off – that is what the pro-trainers will advise you.


Yet, despite this ‘advice’, 80% runners continue to run with a heel-first motion. They strike the ground with the heels, plant it in solid and then roll on through their gait. Which then raises the question, who exactly are these ‘advanced’ running shoes being made for and, more pertinently, is there anybody working to serve the larger chunk of the market who doesn’t run at pro-standards?


Well, Adidas is, for one. Their latest launch Switch FWD (that’s forward) eschews Boost foam in favour of old-style EVA in its midsole, all stacked tight and high for a generous cushy ride. The midsole seems inspired by their 4D construction, with large vents placed diagonally. It has quite an architectural feel to it, as if gazing at the façade of a fancy building that houses modern art. The outer Continental sole is grippy and has almost come to become standard issue in Adidas’ superior running range of shoes.



What’s different with the Switch FWD is that its slightly sloping angle lets your feet rest in a forward lean position even when standing. Combine this with a generous chunk of cushion on the heel and you soon realise that this shoe promotes a heel-first strike and then transfers the power along the cycle, resulting in a nice energy-driven toe-off. In fact, the way the shoe is constructed, you will find it quite difficult to strike the ground with other parts of your foot but the heel. All the better because most people find this the most comfortable (and natural) way to run when not running barefoot.


Furthermore, they have embedded a mildly stiff TPU plate (you can see it from underneath) running along the length of the shoe and you have minimal energy losses in each gait as this strip will contract and then expand to push the feet forward with extra bounce and power. 


The uppers are made with 50% recycled material but overall, the shoe isn’t the lightest around and with that 10mm drop, it is on the maximalist side of cushioning. 


Some have contended that the higher the mass which is exerted on the heel, thereby creating more compression and potential energy at the beginning of the cycle, the faster will be the toe-off. Frankly, I don’t think that this shoe will make heavier people run faster but it will certainly make running a lot more effortless for most of the runners out there. And injury free, which is a great plus for runners at all stages of their journey.



The shoe is priced at INR13,999/- and comes in a few fun colours, but frankly, whichever colour you choose, that sole is anything but inconspicuous. Go for it if you are training for an upcoming race or just want a fun, comfy running shoe to get some trots done in.


The Adidas Switch FWD can be purchased here.

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