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Should Runners Be Wearing Memory Foam Shoes?

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Should Runners Be Wearing Memory Foam Shoes? Should Runners Be Wearing Memory Foam Shoes? www.runnerclick.com

When you think about memory foam, if the only thing that pops into your head is old lady shoes, you have not been keeping up! Memory foam has evolved to include so much more than your mattress topper, folks.

The runners of RunnerClick have reviewed memory foam shoes to find the best out there. Take a peek at the 7 Best Memory Foam Shoes!

What Is Memory Foam?

Made primarily from polyurethane, chemicals are added in order to add density to the product. The combination allows the foam to essentially mold to the contours of your foot. What that means for the runner is that there are no uncomfortable spots where your foot lacks support or comfort. Why? Because it customizes to the foot of the person wearing the shoe.

Allowing for an even distribution of balance, memory foam can be a real game-changer for people. Whether you are looking for a shoe to run in, for walking, or because you stand at work for long periods of time, memory foam is an optimal choice.

Are Memory Foam Shoes Good for Plantar Fasciitis?

If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you need to look for certain things in a quality pair of shoes. Shoes should have good arch and heel support, for starters. These are the most crucial components to the prevention of PF. In addition, an extra-rigid sole and cushioned mid-foot are also great! 

New Balance 1540V3
New Balance 1540V3

A shoe that is popular among runners suffering from plantar fasciitis is the New Balance 1540. This shoe does have memory foam. However, that does not mean all shoes with memory foam are good for that foot problem.

As with any running injury or ailment, you need to be a smart consumer. Shoes are not one kind fits all. 

Are Memory Foam Shoes Good for Flat Feet?

First off, you probably want to know that there are two types of flat feet. Some runners have collapsed arches while others have feet that are just naturally flat (as in that is how they were born). Analysis of which type of flat-footed runner you are helps to determine what specific kind of shoe you want and need. 

aSICS gel Kayano 27
aSICS gel Kayano 27, asics.com

The New Balance 880 is a popular memory foam shoe for runners who have flat feet. Another quality shoe for flat footed runners is the Asics Gel Kayano. This shoe is a fan favorite for a stability trainer and features memory foam around the heel and in other parts of the shoe.

Are Memory Foam Shoes Good for Arthritis?

Picking shoes that will be best for your arthritis is definitely impacted by where your arthritis is located on your body. If you suffer from all over body aches and pains due to your arthritis, normal activities such as walking or standing for an extended period of time can be quite difficult. 

Cushion and arch support are the two most important features in shoes when shopping for someone with arthritis. Why? Because this will cushion the impact of being on your feet whether you are walking or engaging in other activities. 

This for sure could include shoes with memory foam. Hokas often score high rating among people with arthritis pain. New Balance shoes also rank right up there on the list of favorites.

Are Memory Foam Shoes Bad for Your Knees?

Knee, hip and back pain can actually start with a problem stemming from the feet. Most people incorrectly assume that if they have knee pain, the knee is the issue. While sometimes the case, it is not always true.

Having a strong “base” for your activities can help you to keep your body strong and healthy. This includes having adequate shoes on. While memory foam shoes are super comfortable, offer a lot of cushion, and seem to make your feet very happy, they are not what is in everyone’s best interest. 

hoka bondi 7
Hoka Bondi 7, fleetfeet.com

One thing everyone needs to be aware of is that memory foam shoes wear out and once the cushion of the foam is broken down and compromised, you need to replace them quickly!

Honestly, most running shoes rank pretty high for people with bad knees, if they are in the correct shoe for how they walk or run. Many of these models also have memory foam in them. The best advice we at RunnerClick have for you is to get a gait or stride analysis to be sure that the shoes you are wearing are good for how you move. 

This is far more important than what the shoes are made out of!

Why Do Memory Foam Shoes Start to Smell Funny?

Oddly enough, the components used to create memory foam shoes actually emit an odor as you start to wear them. Couple this with the fact that feet are stinky and you have a perfect storm of yucky odor. 

This is one reason that many people favor shoes with removable insoles. Those can be easily cleaned and put back into place. 

One way to combat odor is to use baking soda inside of your shoes. The powder helps to combat the odor as it has absorbing power.

You can also purchase little balls to put inside of your sneakers. There are many good deodorizing sprays and products made for shoes. 

How Long Do Memory Foam Shoes Last?

If you are looking at a pair of running shoes, remember that most pairs of shoes are good for anywhere from 350 – 500 miles. Oftentimes a pair of running shoes looks just fine but the cushion has been broken down to where many people need to replace them. 

what is memory foam

Although it can be tempting to keep wearing a pair of shoes that still look great, if they start to hurt your body in any way, you need to get new ones. Each person’s normal wear time for a pair of shoes is slightly different. You should begin to see a pattern so that you can easily recognize when you need new sneaks.

Once they start to no longer feel good, it’s time to replace!

Can Memory Foam Shoes Be Washed?

You can clean the outside of most pairs of sneakers using mild detergent and a soft brush. Memory foam insoles can be removed and washed in the same way, then left out to dry.

Some memory foam running shoes, such as Skechers, can be machine washed on gentle, but you should always wash shoes by hand if possible. Washing shoes by hand will ensure they last as long as possible!


If you are on the fence about memory foam shoes, we strongly encourage you to give them a try. And remember, they are not just for running. I have some super comfortable casual shoes in memory foam. They are for sure worth checking out.

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