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Best Running Shoes for Heavy Women in 2021

 

If you look around the world of running, one thing becomes quickly clear: there is no such thing as a “runner’s body.” Or, maybe better put, any body can be a runner’s body, as long as that body is running. After all, running is a great form a exercise accessible to athletes of all body shapes. Some might believe that running gear is made only with super-fit, lightweight runners in mind. But that’s not true. Running companies know that their clientele is a hugely diverse bunch of humans. Some of us don’t look like professional athletes. And let’s be honest – that’s many of us, and that’s 100% the way the world is.

The key is to choose gear, such as shoes, that are most ideal for those carrying a few extra pounds. Doing so will make both your feet and your pocketbook a bit happier. Heavy runners tend to wear out their shoes faster, which means you may find yourself having to replace your running shoes more often than you would like to.

The best running shoes for heavier women need to be durable and well-made so they last longer. They should also have moderate to substantial cushioning to help soften the impact of running.

Choosing inadequate shoes can increase your risk of injury. Plus, they may wear out more quickly and leave you buying a new pair yet again.

Our top pick is the Brooks Dyad 11, as it features dual stability arch pods for extra support, a segmented crash pad for absorbing shock, and a lightweight, minimalist design.

But while this is a great option, there are many others we think are also very good. Read on to see our top picks…

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Brooks Dyad 11

 

  • BioMoGo DNA midsole
  • Dual stability arch pods
  • Segmented crash pad
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Saucony Omni 19

 

  • FORMFIT technology
  • Extended medial post
  • ISOFIT dynamic fit system
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Hoka One One Gaviota 2

 

  • Full-length EVA midsole
  • Firm RMAT J-Frame
  • Arch-Lock wings
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Best Overall

 

1. Brooks Dyad 11

The Brooks Dyad 11 is built for runners with a neutral gait, but will also help counter supination. That’s when the foot rolls outwards during the foot strike. Runners with wide feet will find the spacious forefoot comfortable and roomy.

The Dyad 11 weighs around 11 ounces for a size 8 medium. Despite being light and airy on the feet, it has high-energizing cushioning that will help you bounce back effortlessly from heel strike to toe-off.

A number of features on this shoe make it a good choice for heavier runners. The blown rubber outsole is light but durable, and sports a segmented crash pad to help it not break down too quickly. This crash pad also absorbs impact so your feet can stay fresh and light without jarring your joints.

The BioMoGo DNA midsole is a mixture of BioMoGo (an environmentally-friendly compound), and Brooks DNA, and adapts to your gait quickly to provide the best cushioning for your particular stride.

The foam insole adds another light layer of cushioning, but it is also removable and allows you to insert an orthotic if you need to. A fabric lining inside the shoe allows good airflow and makes for a comfortable, plush feeling on your foot when it’s in the shoe.

The dual stability arch pods under the arch provide extra support and make each foot landing easier, less jarring, and less likely to cause injury.

These shoes may run slightly small and narrow. When you try them on, try a size up.


PROS:

  • BioMoGo DNA midsole
  • Dual stability arch pods
  • Segmented crash pad
  • Moisture-managing mesh and synthetic upper

CONS:

  • The shoe may run a half size small, and some may find them to be narrow

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Best for Overpronators

 

2. Saucony Omni 19

The Saucony Omni 19 is a stability shoe, meant to be worn by runners who overpronate, or roll their feet inwards while they run.

Especially for heavy runners, overpronation can lead to injury, so it is important to wear the right shoes to support your feet properly.

The Omni 19 has a wide toe box that allows plenty of space for runners who may land heavily and need a bit of extra space to prevent their toes from chafing.

The upper design adapts to the shape of your foot as you wear the shoe in, and conforms to suit your foot and its motion, making it much more comfortable on your feet mile after mile.

It has some great support features as well. FORMFIT technology surrounds the midfoot to keep it stable and aligned. An extended medial post in the midfoot stops the foot from falling over in classic overpronation style, so your feet will remain properly aligned while you’re running, keeping your form good.

The TRI-FLEX rubber outsole uses technology that spreads the force of impact from the foot strike over a larger surface area, taking pressure off your joints and reducing the chances of injury in the long run.

If you’ve worn the previous version of this shoe, the Omni ISO 2, you may find that this version is not as plush as the previous one. The extra firmness may be more firm than what you were expecting.


PROS:

  • FORMFIT technology
  • Extended medial post
  • TRI-FLEX crystal rubber outsole

CONS:

  • Some people may find that these shoes are firmer and not as plush as the previous version

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Most Cushioned

3. Hoka One One Gaviota 2

Cushioning is important for all runners, not just those who are heavier. Hoka One One has a reputation for making very cushioned shoes, and the Gaviota 2 would be a good choice for heavy runners who want a smooth ride.

It’s also a stability shoe, so it’s best for runners who overpronate. The heel-to-toe drop is smaller than many shoes, at only 5mm. An engineered mesh upper hugs the foot and provides a good fit, while allowing for good airflow.

This shoe is very supportive, and heavy runners won’t have to worry about being unstable or unsure on their feet when running. The support begins with Arch-Lock wings in the midfoot: extra supportive material added to prevent your foot from falling to one side.

For heavy overpronators, Hoka uses their RMAT J-frame, a strategically shaped, firmer piece of foam that runs along the inside of the foot, to guide the foot into a neutral alignment. The RMAT material blend also adds extra durability.

A molded OrthoLite foam insole on top of a full-length EVA midsole provides maximum cushioning for runners who prefer a soft and cushioned landing. The tongue and collar are also padded, adding some cushioning to the top of the foot as well. A late-stage meta-rocker makes the heel-to-toe transition easier and less strenuous on the foot.

Some runners may find the toe box narrow, and the shoes tend to run half a size too small. It’s advised to buy up half a size.


PROS:

  • Full-length EVA midsole
  • Molded OrthoLite foam insole
  • Firm RMAT J-Frame
  • Arch-Lock wings

CONS:

  • These shoes run a half-size small
  • Some people may find the toe box to be too narrow

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Best for Orthotics

 

4. Saucony Echelon 8

If you wear custom orthotics, you need a shoe that can comfortably and safely accommodate them. The Saucony Echelon is a neutral shoe with balanced cushioning that makes a good base for your own orthotic.

The PWRRUN midsole is responsive and light, and a 3D heel counter stabilizes your foot while you’re moving. The orthotic-friendly Foundation Platform sockliner is soft and plush, and can easily be removed if necessary.

Like all Saucony shoes, the generous toe box allows space for the toes to spread out and stay comfortable while you’re running. Your midfoot will stay firm and stable so your toes can have their freedom, as it’s kept in place by the FORMFIT mesh upper and traditional lacing system.

The unique TRI-FLEX crystal rubber outsole disperses the force of landing impact over a wide area, preventing jarring to your joint and pain in the bones or muscles of the foot.


PROS:

  • Foundation Platform sockliner
  • PWRRUN midsole
  • 3D heel counter
  • FORMFIT mesh upper

CONS:

  • Some may find the weight of the shoe to be a bit heavy when walking

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Top Brooks Shoes for Heavy Women

 

5. Brooks Addiction 14

If Brooks is your shoe brand of choice and you don’t like the Dyad 11, our next choice is the Brooks Addiction 14. It is also designed to be supportive for overpronators, and offers maximum cushioning.

The engineered mesh upper not only provides breathability, but also features a structured saddle – an extra supportive material wrapped around the midfoot to keep your foot from falling over to either side while you’re running.

The inner workings of the shoe are designed to provide a supportive environment. The BioMoGo DNA midsole offers impressive cushioning and is also eco-friendly. The insole is spongy foam for extra springiness and has a plush sockliner to offer long-lasting comfort and underfoot softness. The insole can be removed for an orthotic.

There is even more support in the form of the Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB), which helps to keep the foot upright when it naturally wants to roll over. This shoe is really about support and stability from the ground up, as the heel segmented crash pad disperses force and makes transitioning along your foot strike smoother.

HHR Plus technology also adds an extra element of durability, so you shouldn’t need to replace these shoes too soon even if you use them very often. Some runners may find the shoe to be too inflexible for their liking, because of its many stability features.


PROS:

  • Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar
  • BioMoGo DNA midsole
  • Structured saddle
  • Spacious toe box

CONS:

  • Some people may find that these shoes are a bit stiff for their liking

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Best New Balance Shoes for Heavy Women

6. New Balance 1540v3

The New Balance brand is one of the best for runners with wide feet. The shoes traditional, middle-of-the-road design results in durable, supportive footwear with comfort at the forefront.

The New Balance 1540v3 is classified as an A5500 diabetic shoe and Medicare-approved, so it’s designed to be easy on the feet and to reduce pressure points.

These shoes are a good combination of stable and soft cushioning. The upper is constructed of mesh and synthetic material, which allows for breathability and structure, but it may not be as durable as some others.

An ENCAP midsole features soft, comfortable EVA cushioning with a PU rim that gives you the best of both worlds: comfort and support. It uses ACTEVA LITE foam, which is 24% lighter than the normal New Balance midsole foam, so these shoes will be well-cushioned but remain light on your feet.

For extra support, the ROLLBAR posting system prevents the heel from moving around and compromising the stability of your foot. The combination of superior cushioning and sturdiness makes these shoes a good choice for heavy runners.


PROS:

  • ENCAP midsole
  • ROLLBAR posting system
  • Dual-density foam collar

CONS:

  • The upper may not be as durable as other shoes

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Top Nike Shoe for Heavy Women

7. Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14

Nike produces so many great shoes that it’s hard to keep track of them all. But this is the Nike shoe we have chosen as best for heavy women. Durability and comfort is the focus. It has a durable mesh upper that is tight but not uncomfortable and adds some additional support.

The shoe features full-length cushioning made of Nike React foam, and a Zoom Air Unit embedded in the sole for responsiveness. Nike’s DynamicFit technology creates support in an unusual way, by using Flywire cables to deliver structural support on either side of the foot.

The easy-to-use lacing system provides something like a third set of Flywires, and when laced properly and comfortably, creates a tripod of support.

There are also extra foam pods in the collar at the heel, which push back against the heel in a soft but supportive way. Some runners may feel that this cushioning is too high and uncomfortable on their feet.


PROS:

  • Zoom Air unit
  • Dynamic Fit technology
  • Nike React cushioning
  • Flywire structural support

CONS:

  • Some people may find the cushioning in the heel to be uncomfortably high

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Best for Flat Feet

8. Brooks Ariel 20

Runners with flat feet, or those with low arches, are prone to overpronation, So this shoe is another stability shoe to prevent the foot from falling over inwards while running.

It has the maximum cushioning of any Brooks shoe with a durable BioMoGo DNA midsole. Remove the Ultimate Sockliner to allow space for an added orthotic. An external heel counter keeps the heel locked in and solid.

Below that, the rubber outsole is durable and has a full-length segmented crash pad for easy transitioning from heel to toe. The textured sole also offers a good grip on a wide variety of surfaces.

This shoe features helpful GuideRails technology, which keeps your foot aligned and helps you keep your form right as you run.


PROS:

  • Embroidered saddle
  • BioMoGo DNA midsole
  • Full-length segmented crash pad
  • GuideRails technology

CONS:

  • Some people may find that there isn’t enough arch support
  • Quite heavy

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Top Lightweight Stability Shoe

 

9. Mizuno Wave Horizon 4

The Mizuno Wave sports some interesting technologies that all contribute to making a safer, more stable shoe, especially for heavier runners. The new XPOP midsole offers superior cushioning, responsiveness, and rebound.

A unique Mizuno Wave Plate lessens the impact of landing on your feet and joints by dispersing the forceful energy across the bottom of the foot instead of concentrating it on one area. This allows the cushioning to do its job better, and support and comfort your feet.

The light cushioning is offered by the U4icX midsole, helped in comfort and softness by the premium sockliner. SmoothRide midsole technology assists with a bump-free heel-to-toe transition.

No matter how much support you need, this shoe should give it to you. The AIRmesh upper has structurally-placed synthetic overlays to provide a tight and supportive hold. An AeroHug upper molds to your foot to provide exceptional comfort and practicality.


PROS:

  • Mizuno Wave Plate
  • SmoothRide midsole
  • XPOP PU foam midsole
  • AIRmesh upper

CONS:

  • Some people may find that the heel is a bit too wide, which leads to heel slippage

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Best for Heavy Steps

10. ASICS Gel-Kayano 27

Heavy steps can cause the durability of a shoe to diminish, and you may find the outsole becoming worn a lot more quickly than you anticipated. It can also put a strain on your feet, ankles, and knees.

The ASICS Gel-Kayano is a good option for heavy runners who step heavy too, as it’s easy on the feet and durable. It is also quite light, with the Dynamic DuoMax Support System boosting stability and support without adding extra weight.

It keeps your foot safe from the impact of heavy steps by offering excellent rebounding cushioning in the SpEVA 45 midsole, and reducing the shock on the rearfoot and forefoot using GEL cushioning systems throughout the shoe. FLYTEFOAM Propel technology helps you move faster with less hard landing and pushing off.

The Guidance Trusstic System uses guidance lines built into the shoe to help keep your foot in its natural position, reducing the chance of injury due to heavy landing and potentially landing wrong. An external heel counter also keeps the heel still and stable in the right position.

The outsole features molded AHAR rubber material that is placed in high-impact areas to reduce the chance of wear.


PROS:

  • Dynamic DuoMax support system
  • FLYTEFOAM Propel technology
  • Guidance Trusstic System
  • SpEVA 45

CONS:

  • The shoe can run narrow in the toe-box
  • You may need to order a pair in wide

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FAQs

What Should I Look For In Running Shoes If I’m A Heavy Runner?

When you’re looking at what type of running shoe to buy, you should look at shoes with good cushioning, support, and stability. Heavy runners need a shoe that has plenty of cushioning so that it can absorb and disperse the shock of impact from your foot strikes.

The stability of the shoe will play a role for heavier runners as you move. You’ll want your shoe to help maintain overall balance and provide a degree of motion control while you’re running. Look for a shoe that has a sturdy construction and offers good support in the midsole and insole.

You want a shoe that provides plenty of arch support, especially if you have flat or low arches. The arch support of the shoe will also help to absorb and disperse the impact of your footstrike.

If your shoes don’t have enough arch support then your body will need to compensate when distributing the weight, which could lead to you experiencing pain in your feet, ankles, knees, and legs.

Before you buy a pair of running shoes, you should understand what type of arch you have, as this will help you choose a shoe with the right amount of support.

Can Heavy Runners Wear Minimalist Shoes?

While minimalist shoes can help you run faster and heavier runners could wear them, it would be better not to wear minimalist running shoes. Before buying a minimalist shoe, it would be wise to check if you pronate when you run.

If you tend to pronate, then it would be advisable to get a running shoe that offers adequate cushioning to reduce the stress on the ankles and the knees. This will also minimize the risk of injury.

If you do choose to get a minimalist running shoe, you’d need to be conscious of your running form. When running with proper running form, it disperses the shock more evenly and reduces the pressure on the joints.

If I Have High Arches, What Type Of Shoe Should I Look For?

Feet with high arches tend to be less flexible and need plusher cushioning to maximize comfort. So if you have high arches, look at shoes that have plenty of cushioning. This will absorb and distribute the shock of impact evenly.

Look for running shoes that have an arch extension, which would feel like the shoe has a bridge that runs across the length of the shoe from the forefoot to the heel.

The running shoe should have a deep heel cup and plenty of rearfoot support. It may have extra padding around the ankle, which helps to keep the heel locked firmly in place as well as helping with pronation.

You want to make sure that when the shoes are laced, they don’t create pressure points on the top of your foot. When the laces are tied, make sure that you pay attention to how the foot feels in the instep. If there’s too much pressure, it can lead to discomfort on long runs.

The best way to ensure that you’ll have a snug and secure fit is to look for a running shoe that has enough volume in the footbed.

If I Have Low Arches, What Type Of Running Shoes Should I Look For?

If you have low arches or flat feet, look at shoes that help with overpronation and that have additional support and stability. the best options will have a firm heel counter, which provides stability and support, as well as protection for the Achilles tendon.

Get a shoe that has a spacious or wide toe box. This will help reduce pressure on the forefoot, and your toes will have enough space to splay naturally. You also need to see if your feet have low arches that are flexible, as this would mean that stability running shoe with soft arch support would be better.

If you have low-to-flat arches with rigid feet, it would be best to get running shoes that are designed for motion control, and that have adequate cushioning to protect the foot when it hits the ground.

What Are Some Running Tips For Heavy Runners?

Running advice doesn’t really change with your body weight. What constitutes good running for one runners is most likely good for everyone. You know the basics: you should always make sure that you run with good form. This will reduce the risk of injury.

Make sure that you keep a straight back, shoulders in their natural position, head up and don’t look at your feet while running.

As you get tired, be aware of what your body is doing. You don’t want to be leaning forwards or backwards from your waist. Rotate your arms from your shoulders and keep your forearm at a 90-degree angle that’s in line with your shoulders.

Focus on pacing. If you’re an experienced runner, you probably know where your various heart rate zones are, and how to balance easy/recovery runs with harder tempo and interval workouts. If you’re newer to running, consider using a run/walk interval method at the start as you build your mileage. Taking regular walking breaks will help you to improve your running performance, and can actually result in a faster overall pace. You’ll find that your lungs will adjust and that you’ll build more stamina in your legs to start running for longer.

When you go for a run, make sure that you’re wearing the right running gear. You may want to look into compression shorts or tights, as they can help prevent chafing, as well as speed up muscle recovery. If you’re not comfortable wearing compression tights, then consider using anti-chafing products like BodyGlide.

Shoes are important, and you’ll need to make sure that you pay attention to the wear and tear of the midsole and outsole of your shoes. Heavy runners tend to exact more wear and tear on the shoes, and if you see that the shoes have started to break down, then you’ll need to replace them.

How Long Do Running Shoes Last For Heavy Runners?

Running shoes for heavy runners can be expected to last for 250 to 300 miles before they need to be replaced. They could wear and break down a bit sooner, depending on what surfaces you’re running on, as well as how frequently and how far you run. As far as that goes, they could also last longer. What are your feet telling you?

You’ll know that you need to change your running shoes when they start to lose their support and cushioning, the outsole is very worn and doesn’t provide enough traction, or if you start to feel any discomfort or pain.

The Wired Runner