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Best Running Shoes for Heavy Men in 2021

 

Heavier runners are naturally a little harder on their shoes than lighter runners. You may find that your shoes don’t last as long and that the cushioning wears out more quickly than you expected.

Whether you’re running to shed a few pounds or you’re a naturally heavy and muscular guy, you may need to be more careful about your shoe choice. Choosing a pair of the best running shoes for heavy men may help your shoes last longer.

Our first choice is the Saucony Echelon. It’s a neutral shoe that’s lightweight but very supportive. It has a TRI-FLEX crystal rubber outsole, which helps to disperse pressure evenly across the sole, so it doesn’t wear out as quickly.

If you need more support, want extra cushioning, or a more colorful or neutral style, we found many other great options. Here are our top choices!

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Saucony Echelon 8

 

  • Impact-dispersing crystal rubber outsole
  • Well-cushioned midsole
  • Spacious toe-box
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Brooks Addiction 14

 

  • Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar
  • BioMoGo DNA midsole
  • Engineered mesh upper
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Hoka One One Gaviota 2

 

  • Arch-Lock wings for outer support
  • OrthoLite foam insole
  • Full-length EVA midsole
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Best Overall

 

1. Saucony Echelon 8

Saucony makes high-quality running shoes in a widely-ranging product line, and it wasn’t hard to choose them as our number one.

The Echelon 8 is a well-built shoe. It’s a good mix of stable, balanced, form-fitting, and well-cushioned.

Although it’s a quite stable shoe, it’s designed for runners with a neutral gait. If you overpronate, it may not be very comfortable on your feet.

Stability is an important feature, and the Echelon has a light but flexible panel under the midfoot to provide a great foundation. A 3D heel counterbalances the shoe out, and keeps your foot secure when it’s in the shoe, keeping you extra stable.

Saucony’s FORMFIT mesh cocoons your foot in a secure but comfortable way, leaving you feeling well-supported from top of the foot to the toes.

Flat laces allow you to close your shoe as tightly as you need to over your foot, so there’s no play that could cause you to feel unstable.

The PWRRUN midsole is soft and cushioned, so your joints will be protected with every step.

As well as a springy midsole, the TRI-FLEX crystal rubber outsole helps to spread the landing impact force over a greater surface area. This is particularly helpful for heavy runners, as it takes some of the pressure off your joints on the footstrike.


PROS:

  • Impact-dispersing crystal rubber outsole
  • Well-cushioned midsole
  • Spacious toe box
  • 3D heel counter for extra stability

CONS:

  • Doesn’t come in extra wide sizes

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Top Stability Shoe for Overpronators

 

2. Brooks Addiction 14

Overpronators, this is the shoe for you! Brooks is known for its impressive cushioning, so it’s a great choice for heavy runners who need shoes that will be easy on their feet.

The Addiction 14 has a removable foam insole that can be taken out to allow for more space if necessary. If you use a custom orthotic, you can fit it in the shoe quite easily.

Brooks’ unique BioMoGo DNA midsole offers very soft cushioning that adapts to your foot and your stride.

If you care about the environment, you’ll be happy to know that, in the landfill, it breaks down 50 times faster than similar midsoles, making it quite environmentally-friendly.

Other features that make the Addiction 14 a good option for heavy runners include an Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB), which prevents the foot from rolling, a Segmented Crash Pad to smooth out the landing and transfer impact away from the joints, and a wide variety of fits, including narrow, wide, and extra-wide.


PROS:

  • Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar for pronation control
  • Heel Segmented Crash Pad to ease landings
  • Eco-friendly BioMoGo DNA midsole
  • Engineered mesh upper

CONS:

  • Some runners may feel the shoe isn’t flexible enough

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Most Cushioned

3. Hoka One One Gaviota 2

Hoka One One is renowned for its cushioning. They may look a little unusual, but you can’t beat their plushness!

The Gaviota 2 wins first prize for the most cushioned shoe for heavy runners. It’s designed as a stability shoe, for overpronators, but it works equally well for neutral runners.

First, they have some useful features contributing to their stability. The upper is made from light engineered mesh, so you won’t find these shoes to be heavy on your feet. They’ll feel light, comfortable, and breathable.

The shoe’s base is stable, featuring a Late-Stage Meta-Rocker for stability. The purpose of a Meta-Rocker is to move you forward with ease, like rolling a wheel, while keeping you stable on your feet.

This is supported by an RMAT J-Frame designed to combat overpronation. It’s a dual-density foam layer, with a firmer section on the side of the foot where it tends to roll.

To keep the foot in place even more securely, Arch-Lock wings synthetic overlays prevent it from falling over, offering support from the outside as well as the inside.

When it comes to cushioning, there’s a molded OrthoLite foam insole and a bouncy EVA midsole that runs the length of the shoe. The insole is removable, in case you need to add a custom insert.

It’s even padded around and on top of your foot, with a cushioned tongue and collar, and fabric lining. The lace-up closure means you can adjust it to fit tightly but not uncomfortably on your foot.


PROS:

  • Arch-Lock wings for outer support
  • OrthoLite foam insole
  • Full-length EVA midsole
  • Firm RMAT J-Frame to counter pronation

CONS:

  • These shoes can run narrow or small

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Best Nike Shoe for Heavy Men

4. Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14

Nike fans, this shoe is our pick from their selection as the best running shoes for heavy men. It’s a sleek-looking neutral shoe that’s balanced yet dynamic under your feet.

Let’s begin with the upper. It’s crafted from lightweight mesh and incorporates Nike’s Dynamic Flywire technology. This is the addition of long, light fibers strategically placed to add stability to the shoe and support to your foot.

These long fibers also make the shoe super light on your feet, so they won’t get fatigued by heavy footwear.  Yet the shoe remains supportive in all the right places.

The supportive nature of the Flywire tech is most effective when the shoe is laced tightly, providing stability without compromising the natural movement of the foot.

Nike uses its own Zoom Air Cushioning System, which is a unique use of air pods in the heel and forefoot. These provide bouncy cushioning and contribute to a softer, easier landing.

The midsole is made of springy and comfortable Nike React foam, a great choice for heavier runners. It’s durable and won’t flatten easily.

There’s also a cushioned insole that provides a touch more comfort, or can be removed if you’d prefer to add a custom orthotic.

Other features include a carbon rubber outsole for superb traction, a padded ankle collar for extra comfort, and an internal heel counter for stable foot placement.


PROS:

  • Nike React technology and Zoom Air
  • Foam pods inside the collar
  • Dynamic Fit technology integrates Flywire cables
  • Anatomical flex grooves

CONS:

  • The forefoot of the shoe can run narrow and if you have a wide foot you may find this to be restrictive

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Best for Orthotics

 

5. Brooks Dyad 11

The Brooks Dyad 11 is aimed at neutral runners, but would also be suitable for runners who underpronate, too.

Not all shoes are great for custom orthotics. If you use your own inserts, it can be frustrating trying to find shoes that work well with orthotics in them.

But Dyads do work well, as they’re lightweight, have a removable insole, and also come in wide and extra-wide sizes. So they should be able to accommodate any orthotic with ease.

Whichever insert you choose to place in them, the BioMoGo midsole adapts to your weight, speed, and stride, and molds to it to give your feet the best experience.

Apart from those features, the Dyad 11 also has a synthetic upper that’s moisture-wicking and quick-drying, with a breathable lining that helps keep your feet cool while you’re getting warm during your exercise.

A segmented heel crash pad absorbs impact and helps protect your joints, and the blown rubber outsole keeps you steady on all surfaces. There are also two arch pods under the arch to support and cushion, keeping your foot from rolling when you run.


PROS:

  • Removable foam insole
  • Dual stability arch pods
  • Heel segmented crash pad
  • BioMoGO DNA cushioning

CONS:

  • May run small

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Best for Flat Feet

6. ASICS GT-4000 2

Flat footers who don’t wear the right shoes tend to find their feet rolling inwards when they run, or even walk.

That’s why a stability shoe is the best idea. It’s designed to counter that rolling movement, which is why we’ve chosen these as our best stability running shoes for heavy men.

The ASICS GT-4000 2 is a stability shoe, and it has good feedback from flat-footed runners. Many report the arch support to be perfect for flat-footed runners.

Two types of technology contribute to this: the DuoMax support system and the SpEVA Foam 45. DuoMax helps to keep the shoe balanced without increasing the weight too much. SpevaFoam uses a full-length cushion to create a supportive platform that’s firm but easy on the foot.

Another feature that helps immensely to keep the flat-footer’s gait stable and as natural as possible is the Impact Guidance System, which works hand-in-hand with the Guidance Trusstic System to keep the foot stable in the right position.

Heavy runners should find these soft and comfy on the feet, with a FlyteFoam Lyte midsole that provides good cushioning and doesn’t flatten over time as others do, thanks to organic nanofibers.

There’s also special rearfoot GEL cushioning to absorb the shock of landing and facilitate a smooth heel-to-toe transition.


PROS:

  • SpEVA Foam 45 cushioning
  • Impact Guidance System
  • Rearfoot GEL cushioning
  • FlyteFoam Lyte Technology midsole

CONS:

  • The toe box may feel too narrow for some runners

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Top Shoe for Older Heavy Men

7. New Balance 1540v3

The New Balance 1540v3 is designed for overpronators, but it would be a worthwhile choice for older heavy men who need something quite supportive.

It’s a near-perfect mix of comfortable cushioning and impressive stability. This shoe would also be beneficial to runners who struggle with other foot issues such as plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.

To cushion older feet and reduce the impact on the joints, these shoes feature an extra-soft EVA cushioning, a removable foam footbed, a dual-density foam collar, a plush tongue, and a soft fabric lining for superior comfort.

For stability and security, it has some equally useful features. The EVA cushioning is housed in an ENCAP TPU frame, proving a framework of stability. The ROLLBAR posting system reinforces certain sections to improve the solid feel of the shoe and prevent rolling to either side.

These shoes are reportedly very durable, making them an excellent option for heavy runners of any age.


PROS:

  • Extra soft EVA midsole
  • Rollbar posting system
  • Plush tongue and collar
  • No-sew upper for added comfort

CONS:

  • Some buyers expressed frustration at the shoelaces being too short

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Most Comfortable Shoe for Heavy Men

8. ASICS Gel-Kayano 27

The ASICS Gel-Kayano 27 is our choice for the most comfortable running shoes for heavy men.

They’re also stability shoes, which means they’re very supportive and are good for overpronators in particular.

What makes them so comfortable is a combination of things. Like the previous ASICS shoe listed above, it consists of SpEVA Foam to provide a firm yet responsive platform. An EVA sockliner also contributes to a springy rebound and soft cushioning.

One of the biggest comfort factors on these shoes is the presence of GEL cushions in both the forefoot and rearfoot. You may not notice anything but their bounciness, but they help to absorb shock and provide a powerful heel-to-toe transition and toe push-off.

In addition to the comfort level, you’ll find useful things like an Impact Guiderail System to keep the foot properly aligned, ASICS’ Dynamic DuoMax support system to increase stability without added weight, and heel lock tech to keep your foot from moving around in the shoe.


PROS:

  • Dynamic DuoMax Support System
  • Heel lock technology
  • Rearfoot and forefoot GEL cushioning systems
  • FLYTEFOAM Propel technology

CONS:

  • May be tight at the toe

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Best Lightweight Stability Shoe

 

9. Mizuno Wave Horizon 4

Mizuno is a name you may not be too familiar with, but they make good-looking running shoes that have some highly useful technology.

The Wave Horizon 4 is Mizuno’s top offering in the stability shoe category. If you’re a heavier runner who needs a stability shoe, their cushioning and support are top-notch. And it’s robust enough to handle a heavier runner with ease.

A Mizuno Wave Plate in the sole uses their Foamwave technology to make a big difference to the impact when you land. It disperses that impact across a wider surface area, taking the strain off your points and providing a much more balanced ride.

The U4icX midsole is designed for comfort, featuring a lightweight cushion and a soft and cushy feeling underfoot. It uses a unique PU foam compound, known as XPOP, which is both durable and highly responsive, with great energy return.


PROS:

  • Mizuno Wave Plate
  • Foamwave technology
  • XPOP PU in U4icX midsole
  • Flat laces for easy tightening

CONS:

  • These shoes are a little heavier than most others

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Top Shoes for Men with Heavy Steps

 

10. Saucony Omni 19

Some runners just land harder than others, and as a result, their shoes wear out faster. If you’re one of these guys, then we recommend the Saucony Omni 19 as the shoe for you.

This list starts and ends with Saucony, which should tell you how we feel about them!

Saucony’s ISOFIT tech molds to the shape of your foot, and adapts to your running style too. You’ll find that your foot moves naturally and comfortably in these shoes because they’ve shaped themselves to work with your gait and foot flex when you’re on the move.

If you’re a heavy lander, these shoes have some features that could help. A TPU heel counter keeps your heel stable and locked in, so it won’t move up and down in your shoe as you run.

Medial posts strategically placed in the shoe keep the feet (and therefore the rest of the body) properly aligned. You may be surprised at how much this can help you control your landing!

The TRI-FLEX outsole is a heavy striker’s best friend. It takes the impact on the foot and spreads it out across a wider surface area, reducing the force on a single point of the foot, which can reduce susceptibility to injury.

The outsole is also quite durable, and is designed to withstand the road and its harsh conditions. They’re also available in wide sizes.


PROS:

  • ISOFIT adaptive shape technology
  • Durable TRI-FLEX outsole
  • Extended medial posts for stability
  • Available in wide sizes

CONS:

  • A little heavier than most, which is great for heavy steppers, but may be uncomfortable

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FAQs

What should I look for in running shoes if I’m a heavy runner?

Heavier runners need to make sure they are wearing the correct shoes for their foot type and gait. It’s important that running shoes provide enough support and stability for all runners, but it’s especially important for heavier runners.

Minor issues like mild overpronation or high arches – which are less of a problem for small and petite runners – become a more pressing concern for heavy runners. Flat arches become flatter and high arches need more protection. It’s for this reason that you need to make sure your running shoes have enough support and cushioning.

If you have flat or low arches, be sure to find running shoes with enough support to prevent overpronation. It may be necessary to try a motion control shoe – a running shoe with the highest amount of stability – to provide enough support.

Runners with medium to high arches need to look for a shoe with support, but also a running shoe that has plenty of cushioning to protect your feet. Hoka One One shoes are a good running shoe to consider for runners who need extra cushioning.

If you are not sure whether you overpronate, supinate, have low or high arches, check out our article on choosing running shoes. and get yourself down to your local running store, where they can help you analyze your stride.

Can heavy runners wear minimalist shoes?

Yes, but we’re going to put a large asterisk next to that.

Any runner, regardless of body type, should have good running form to run in minimalist shoes.

This means:

  • taking short, quick strides
  • leaning slightly forward
  • landing on the ball of your foot (as opposed to landing on your heel)

Because we’re used to running in cushioned modern running shoes, most runners don’t run in this manner naturally. It takes practice and thoughtful running to master running this way. If a runner has sloppy form, there is a very likely chance of running in discomfort or getting injured when switching over to minimalist shoes.

For heavier runners who land with more force and impact, running in a minimal shoe with bad form intensifies the likelihood of injury. You don’t have the crutch of a cushioned, structured shoe to protect your feet when you run.

That being said, proponents of minimal shoes will say that using them will coax you toward better form. And if you have great form, then you should be able to run in minimalist running shoes. Just watch out for aching joints or acute pain – symptoms you may be nearing injury.

What if I also have high arches? What type of shoe should I look for?

Heavy runners with high arches need a well-cushioned running shoe with enough support to keep your feet aligned as you run.

When you have high arches, your feet don’t flex in a manner that allows them to absorb the pounding they take while running. A foot with medium arches flexes, almost like a spring, to help protect your feet as your run. A high arch is too rigid to flex in this same manner.

Because your feet aren’t able to absorb this pounding, you need the cushioning in a running shoe to do it for you.

At the same time, you want a shoe with enough support to keep you foot secure with each foot strike. You want the shoe to keep your foot centered to allow the cushioning to protect your feet.

If I have low arches, what type of running shoes should I look for?

Runners with low to flat arches typically overpronate. This means your feet severely roll inwards from heel to toe as you run. This can create excessive pressure on knees, ankles, and hips, leading to discomfort and sometimes injury.

For heavy runners, this overpronation is more pronounced. There is more downward force exerted on low arches, causing more a inward roll as you run.

It’s important to find a shoe that has enough support, stability, and cushioning. The support and stability will help reduce the amount your foot overpronates (and it’s not a bad thing if it pronates mildly). The extra cushioning will help protect your feet from the forceful impact as you run.

What are some running tips for heavy runners?

As a heavier runner, it’s important to follow a few tips to ensure you get the most from your runs and help you avoid injury.

Run with good form

Being an efficient runner will help you run farther, longer, and more comfortably. This will help you get in better shape and lose more weight, if that’s your goal.

The best way to become more efficient is to work on your running form. Make sure you take short, quick strides. Land on the ball of your foot and with your feet under you – not out in front. Also, practice a slight lean forward as you run. keep your arms low, hands near your hips, moving them straight back and forth in sync with your legs.

Don’t be afraid to walk

If you are new to running, don’t be afraid to take walking breaks. Even better, try a run/walk program where you alternate running with walking breaks (for example, run for one minute, walk for one minute – repeat). Some new runners feel this is cheating, somehow, or that you aren’t allowed to stop running. But one popular run/walk method, the Galloway method, has seen practitioners finish marathons in under 3 hours. That’s fast in anyone’s book. Run/walk works – use it.

Walking breaks give your body a chance to recover. You’ll be able to run longer in a way that’s less aerobically stressful. This keeps the run from being too hard, which can lead to a frustrating experience, burnout, and ultimately giving up!

Build up your mileage slowly

Many new runners get injured early on after starting to run. Then, they never seem to find their way back to running once healed. The problem is most runners begin by running too much, too soon.

A common scenario is – after a few weeks of running – when you are just starting to get in the groove – you feel so good, you start running farther. And farther. And farther. Every day you run a longer distance and at a faster pace. The problem is, your body needs time to build the strength and resiliency needed to absorb all those miles. The result? You get hurt and have to stop completely. Once you stop, it’s just hard to get back into it.

To prevent this from happening, you should slowly build up your mileage. A good rule of thumb is to add  no more than 10% more milage per week. Also, use one week per month as a recovery week – fewer miles and lighter effort – to let your body heal and get stronger.

Use BodyGlide

Chafing is a common running problem. It’s a bigger issue with heavy runners carrying more weight. The solution is to use BodyGlide before you run to lube up those problem areas and prevent chafing.

Replace your running shoes

Heavier runners put more stress and impact on their running shoes than other runners. This means the shoes wear out faster, losing their cushioning and support. It’s important to replace your shoes frequently (start checking them when they have around 200 miles on them) and replace them before all the cushioning and support is lost.

How long do running shoes last for heavy runners?

The standard guidelines about replacing running shoes are that they should be retired somewhere between 350 and 500 miles. This depends on the type of runner, the way they run, and the shoes they are running in. Lighter shoes typically wear out faster than sturdier, more cushioned shoes. Minimalist shoes tend to last longer than shoes built around copious amounts of foam.

For heavy runners, there is more force and impact put on a pair of shoes. Combine this with an increased chance of injury when running in shoes that have exceeded their lifespan, and you can see it’s important for heavy runners to replace their shoes more frequently than lighter runners.

Heavy runners should be monitoring their shoes for wear and loss of cushioning when they’ve reached 175-200 miles. The shoes might last longer than that – but that’s a good time to start checking.

How do you know if they should be replaced? Look at the wear on the sole. Excessive wear (the tread is low or wearing through) combined with cushioning that feels hard and dense, not springy and soft, suggest your shoes should be replaced. (**If you wear stability shoes, check the cushioning on the outside of the shoe. The foam on the inside of the shoe is designed to always be hard and dense.**)

Choose Support and Stability

Gravity takes its toll on all runners, and when you have a higher body weight, you’ll feel the shock of the asphalt more acutely. As a result, support and stability are key for runners with a higher BMI.

Whether you’re an overpronator or a prefer a neutral shoe, there’s a shoe available to protect you when you hit the road.

The Wired Runner