Big guys shouldn’t run!!
Have you heard this from a well meaning loved one or friend?
If you are a larger guy, or gal, take heart.
This little bit of advice is false!
Of course, heavy folks can run, they just need the right shoes (just like every other runner of any size).
And what are the best running shoes for heavy runners?
How do you choose good running shoes if you area few (or many) pounds over weight?
I will answer these two questions, review 17 of the best running shoes for big guys for 2019, and give you tips on what to look out for and think about before you start pounding the pavement.
What to Expect as a Big Guy Running
I am going to be real with you here.
There are three factors at play which accelerate the rate you shred the sole and wear out the bottom of your running shoe, and runner weight is one.
- Your weight – A two-ton truck needs more substantial tires than a lightweight Toyota Prius. The same goes for running shoes. A heavier runner puts more impact on the sole and causes more abrasion, wearing the sole faster.
- Your speed – Have you ever watched the Daytona 500? Those cars go through tires like celebrities go through relationships. Speed wears tires, and the faster you run, the faster you wear the soles of your running shoes.
- Sole material – Some sole material is more abrasion resistant than others. Often, you exchange abrasion resistance for softness or impact absorbing properties.
In the list of 17 great running shoes for runners with a few extra pounds, I call out running shoes with exceptionally durable soles.
Bombing out the bounce
I need to tell you the truth here.
The heavier you are, the faster the midsole cushion will flatten beyond recovery and the shoe will lose it’s bounce back, or energy return leaving you with a ride as flat as Paris Hilton’s backside.
Running shoe cushioning and foam break down over time.
A heavier runner will impact the midsole material to a greater extent than a lighter runner, running at the same pace.
Pay attention to the heel padding!
Heavier runners tend to put far more weight in the heel area than lighter runners, compacting the cushion in the heel area.
Heavier runners tend to wear the toe areas more too.
What does this all mean?
Heavier runners wear out shoes faster. They wear the soles down and compact the cushion drastically reducing the bounce or energy return.
In my reviews below, I point out running shoe choices with exceptional durability and longevity.
Tips For Choosing the Perfect Running Shoe for Big Guys
Alternate – Rotate – Switch Things Up
If you are tall, handsome, and happen to be carrying a few extra pounds, you might consider alternating between two pairs of running shoes.
No, this is not some gimmick to get you to buy more shoes.
The average life of a running shoe is about 500 miles, but a heavier runner can expect closer to 400 mile give or take due to the extra impact from the weight.
Rotating shoes can actually make each pair in the rotation last more miles and prevent injury.
How can rotation prevent injury? Great question! Scientist found that rotating shoes for each run varied the load placed on your body enough to prevent injury.
Sounds weird right?
Let me explain this weird science. Since your stride and impact vary with each shoe, the load and stress placed on your body change with each shoe.
You have a lower chance of repetitive movement injury if you use different shoes in rotation.
So how does rotation help my shoes last longer?
Shoes can take up to 24 hours or longer to recover their bounce. Yup, shoes need a recovery period too!
They also need ample time to air out and prevent bacteria from growing.
Giving your running shoes the rest they need will allow each pair to last just a little longer, stretching your investment.
Often a heavier runner will have a wider foot.
It makes sense, the extra weight and mass of the foot make it wider.
Its similar to how pregnant women gain a half size by the end of their pregnancy due to the added baby weight.
This means you should be aware of your foot width, especially if you gained weight recently, or at least since the last time you bought running shoes.
Your width may have changed.
Several of the shoes I reviewed come in wide widths, and I mention which shoes run wide, which run narrow, and which have more room in the toe or midfoot.
Now its time to move on to these reviews I have been talking about. The reviews are split, with one category for men, and one for women.
Nearly all these shoes are everyday running shoes, not race shoes nor trail shoes.
TOP 17 Best Running Shoes for Heavy Runners Reviewed 2019
Let’s start with 11 best running shoes for the overweight man.
Brooks Men's Glycerin 15 Neutral Maximum Cushion Running Shoe
Review: The Glycerin 15 make a great shoe for heavier runners due to its ample 24mm stack height which along with the soft super DNA cushioning make for a durable, long lasting and comfortable crash pad.
The shoe has a plush feel and a wide base along with ample heel cushion, making it a good choice for overweight or bigger runners.
- Three separate widths available.
- Wide sole base.
- 24mm stack height.
- This model has a narrower toe box than others.
A longer lasting running shoe for heavy runners, one of the best running shoes for big guys.
ASICS Men's Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe
Review: The Gel Venture 6 has a lot of cushion, good support and a nice thick sole with a 20mm stack height, while still maintaining a light weight.
- Rearfoot gel right where you need it, at the heel.
- Sturdy High abrasion rubber wear resistant sole allow the shoe to last longer.
- Insole is removable so you can use an orthotic, if desired.
Comfortable rear foot gel that wears well make these good running shoes for big guys.
HOKA ONE ONE Men's Clifton 4 Running Shoe
Review: Hoka is a brand known for plush running shoes, and the men’s Clifton 4 lives up to that reputation.
In addition to plush cushioning in the heel and forefoot, the Hoka Clifton has a wider forefoot area, which allows room for your toes, and works well for wide feet.
This is a neutral running shoe for runners with normal pronation.
- Well padded, yet flexible and responsive.
- Available in wide – One of the best running shoes for heavy runners with wide feet.
- Very lightweight.
- Model 4 of the Clifton’s runs about a half size too big.
Best cushioned running shoes for heavy runners.
Saucony Men's Kinvara 9 Running Shoe
Review: The Saucony Kinvara running shoe is surprisingly cushy for a pair of shoes that weigh so little. While the shoe has good cushioning, it is also very responsive and will put a little bounce in your stride.
The upper is very minimal, which helps with weight, and it should be noted that this is a neutral running shoe, for normal pronators.
It has a decent heel stack of 23mm with the sole providing a good amount of impact protection for bigger guys.
- EVA midsole spans the entire sole and adds durability.
- 3mm Eversole foam in the midsole which gives the shoe its bounce and energy return.
- Woven heel provides added heel support and locks foot in.
A responsive, decently cushioned and durable ride.
ASICS Gel-Kayano 25 Men's Running Shoe
Review: The Asics Gel-Kayano 25 is a well cushioned responsive shoe designed for over pronators and those with flat feet or those who need a little more arch support.
They are designed with light yet responsive Flylite foam midsoles and have a guidance line built into the midsole that adds structure and promotes proper gait.
- Flylite foam give the shoe good energy return and cushion.
- Exterior heel counter provides great support and makes the shoe more durable.
- Perfect for over pronators and those with flat feet.
- Not as cushy as other Asics models.
NIKE Men's Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Running Shoe
Review: The Model 34 Pegasus by Nike is both supportive and well cushioned in the heel and forefoot. It is a neutral shoe for normal pronation.
The Zoom midsole gives these shoes excellent energy return without adding weight. This is a road and urban terrain shoe with a 10 mm drop that will help move you forward and prevent heel strike.
- Flywire midsole locks in foot.
- Rigid Heel counter adds heel support and prevents heel slip.
- Black rubber sole wears well and gives great traction.
- Not super wide in the toe area.
Enough cushion to carry heavy runners without being mushy – in fact these shoes are incredibly fast regardless of the runners size.
Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 18 Running Shoe
Review: A good balance between cushion and support make the Brooks Adrenaline 18 one of the best running shoes for overweight runners.
These are support style shoes with plenty of structure and are designed for flat to medium arched feet. The shoe features Brooks DNA foam midsole for cushion and responsiveness and a midfoot post for support.
- Diagonal roll bar keeps your stride properly aligned.
- Breathable mesh upper keeps feet cool.
- Stability shoe.
- Supportive Heel counter with well padded collar.
- These new streamlined Brooks run a little small and narrow.
A great shoe for bigger guys who need the extra structure and support – this shoe provides all that.
Altra Men's Paradigm 4.0 Running Shoe
Review: A high level of underfoot padding and durability make the Altra Paradigm an ideal choice for big guys.
This shoe is designed with a guide rail that wraps around the heel, keeping your foot landing correctly whether you over or under pronate.
In addition to that, the stabilipod in the midfoot stabilizes the foot, preventing foot collapse and incorrect pronation.
- 30 mm stack height for plenty of shoe between you and the ground.
- Guardrail wraps around the heel for awesome heel stability.
- Wide forefoot, wide sole.
- A bit more pricey than last years model, but lots of improvements have been made too.
Is the Altra Men’s Paradigm 4 worth it? Yes!
It is the best running shoes for heavy runners 2019 in the stability category.
New Balance Men's Vazee Rush v2 Running Shoe
Review: Bigger guys will appreciate the durability of these running shoes. The rapid rebound midsole foam not only gives great bounce back and energy return, but it holds up to the high impact created by heavier runners for 400 plus miles before you need to replace them.
New Balance has been in the running game for a long time and you can count on them to make a high-quality shoe, and the Vazee Rush v2 is a great example of that.
- Rapid rebound high energy return midsole.
- Comfortable bootie construction.
- Extremely breathable, keeps your feet cool and dry.
- Order ½ size larger than your normal size.
- Not for under or over pronators.
Long lasting, fast and light running shoe that works well for heavy runners.
Mizuno Men's Wave Sky Running Shoe
Review: The Mizuno Wave sky is a neutral running shoe with a decent amount of cushion due in part to Euphoric X Foam that spans the entire foot in the midsole.
This shoe is a good fit for heavier runners with neutral gait because along with the X Foam, the shoe incorporates Cloudwave technology in the heel and midfoot of the midsole add cushion and responsiveness and absorb the higher impact heavier runners create.
- U4ic foam midsole plus cloudwave technology equals max underfoot cushion.
- Thick, plush, removable foot-hugging sock liner.
- Well padded collar.
The plushest Mizuno shoe available, a great choice for heavy runners.
New Balance Men's 1080v8 Fresh Foam Running Shoe
Review: This shoe is a favorite for all types of runners, including heavy set runners and big guys.
Why does everyone love the 1080v8?
The memory foam style collar that protects the ankle and keeps the heel locked down, the thick responsive fresh foam midsole that provides comfort and energy return and the wrap around outer heel support are all reasons this shoe is one of the best running shoes for big guys.
- Comfortable foam collar locks foot in without chafing.
- Ortholite removable insole adds cushion and arch support.
- Thick fresh foam midsole offers long lasting cushion.
Springy plush and supportive ride for big guys with a neutral gait.
Let’s continue with 6 best running shoes for overweight women.
ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoe
Review: This is a stability running shoe that gives heavy set women a comfortable supportive ride.
There are strategically placed gel pads in the heel and forefoot to reduce the impact on your joints as you run, a guidance trussic system in the sole that adds structure to the midfoot and a sturdy external heel counter for foot lockdown and added heel support.
- Flylite midsole foam for lightweight reactive cushion.
- Rear and forefoot gel pads ease shock impact.
- External heel counter supports heel -great for heel strikers.
- Wider than other Kayano models.
Great running shoe for heavier runners who over pronate.
Saucony Women's Omni 15 Running Shoe
Review: The Saucony Omni 15 running shoe is ideal for runners who are heavier and who overpronate.
The sole is denser on the outer edge to correct pronation issues, and overall the shoe is well padded to reduce impact shock on the joints.
This model is the first to include the Everun midsole foam which is more durable and responsive, providing a cushioned landing without adding weight to the shoe.
- Shoe is stable for mild to moderate over pronation.
- Everun light responsive midsole foam.
- Removable sock liner adds cushion and support.
- Available in wide.
- Some find the padding is too much.
Superior support for heavy set ladies and for over pronators.
Mizuno Women's Wave Paradox 3 Running Shoe
Review: This stability shoe is perfect for gals who overpronate and may be carrying a few extra pounds.
The wave plate, built into the outer side of the midsole is firm and corrects pronation while the U4ic and U4icx midsole layers add comforting cushion to absorb impact and alleviate stress on the joints.
- Support and stability shoe for over pronators and flat feet.
- Two layers of midsole cushion, the U4ic, and U4icX layers.
- Tough wearing carbon rubber in the heel so the shoes last longer.
- Runs wider than other models.
Best running shoes for heavy female runners with flat feet and over pronation issues.
New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 1080v7 Running Shoe
Review: The New Balance 1080v7 is a well cushioned, supportive, and very light weight running shoe made with a fresh foam midsole that makes the shoes comfortable, impact absorbing and just a joy to wear.
These shoes work well for women who carry a few extra pounds due to the ample cushion.
- Neutral running shoe-perfect for normal pronators.
- Lightweight daily runner, just 9.1 oz.
- Light and plush fresh foam midsole.
- Several runners have noticed the collar tends to roll in as you put the shoe on.
Superlight weight neutral running shoe that works well for heavy set gals.
Brooks Women's Glycerin 16 Running Shoe
Review: The Brooks Glycerin 16 is a neutral running shoe designed for urban terrain and road surfaces. It works well for med and high arches, and performs well for heavy set ladies too.
This is NOT a minimalist shoe, it is soft, plush and luxurious. Absorbs impact and makes running pain and injury free.
- DNAloft cushioning in the midsole hold up under heavy impact and remains responsive mile after mile.
- Bootie upper design conforms to your foot without creating hot spots.
- Breathable mesh upper for dry cool feet.
- Heel strikers beware: could use more cushion in the heel.
Soft as running on pillows, one of the best shoes for heavy runners.
On Running Women's Cloud X Running Shoe
Review: If you have never heard of ON Running or their Cloud X running shoes, you are missing out on this Swiss performance running shoe.
It is one of the lightest fully cushioned running shoes you can get, weighing in at a mere 6.5 oz for woman’s size 7.
This shoe works well for heavier women because it is fully cushioned with ON Running’s 0 Gravity foam and a CloudTec sole that returns energy like no other.
- Dual density foam insole for added luxe.
- Cloudtec sole gives the shoes great bounce.
- Trim and minimal heel profile.
- Breathable fresh feeling upper.
- Hard to find larger sizes. Boo! (Are you listening ON Running?)
Fresh, fun and light on your feet. A great running shoe for women of any build!
This wraps up my reviews of the 17 best running shoes for heavy runners.
I hope you find the perfect pair for your feet.
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I will see you on the road!