Running is a popular activity that people do for all sorts of reasons whether it’s to get in shape, race, relieve stress, compete in sports, or to meet a physical requirement.
But if you plan to do it long-term (or even in the short-term), you never just want to lace-up and go for a run without the proper footwear or even before learning proper technique. While the latter is a topic for another day, today is all about the best running shoes for heavy men.
There are several criteria to look out for when deciding on a good shoe for any type of run and we’ve provided more details after our list of favorite running shoe picks.
- Saucony Triumph 17 – Buy here Editor’s Choice
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 (Best Support) – Buy here
- Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 (Most Versatile) – Buy here
- Hoka One One Clifton 7 (Best For Road Running) – Buy here
- New Balance 1080v10 (Best Neutral Runner) – Buy here
- Adidas Ultraboost 20 (Most Breathable) – Buy here
- Brooks Ghost 13 (Best All-Day Wear) – Buy here
- Topo Athletic Phantom (Best For Natural Movement) – Buy here
- WITHIN Trail Runner (Best Minimalist Option) – Buy here
- Under Armour HOVR Infinite 2 (Best Tracking Technology) – Buy here
- Altra Paradigm 4.5 (Best For Weak and Tired Feet) – Buy here
- Asics Gel Venture 6 (Best For Trails) – Buy here
The Saucony Triumph 17 has to be one of the most praised running shoes on the market, and it’s as good as it gets for male runners on the heavier side.
They use a PWRRUN+ cushioning which is their lightest and most cushioned option (you’ll definitely feel like you’re floating on air). This cushioning also allows for maximum flex and the perfect amount of responsiveness and soft landing.
The shoe uses a Formfit technology that provides a super-snug fit all-around, and many report not needing to break them in. The Triumph 17 is also a neutral shoe so it’s ideal for most runners.
It’s really hard to beat this shoe if you’re a heavier runner for the support, comfort, and performance that it offers.
If you’re a runner, then you’ve either heard of or have/had a pair of Brooks running shoes. They have some incredible offerings with all the features a serious (and heavier) runner could need.
The Adrenaline line is among their popular options, and a lot of runners find themselves opting for the GTS 20, especially if those who overpronate (roll the feet inward) while running, have plantar fasciitis (inflamed plantar fascia), or flat feet. The guide rails keep your movement in the optimal direction.
It’s also a lightweight and breathable shoe that has medium cushioning which provides a soft run but nothing too crazy. Although you’ll still feel like you’re running on clouds with the advanced cushion technology.
You can run long distances with these shoes and are less likely to get the running hangover. The fit and comfort of this running shoe is unparalleled.
If you need a shoe that you can do everything with, the Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3 is it. For comfort, it’s among the top choices. Whether you’re working, lifting, traveling, or training, these are very comfortable from the midsole to the upper, plus it’s lightweight, plush, and breathable.
The XPOP PU foam and Mizuno Foam Wave technology make for a soft and bouncy shoe that’s also perfect for the neutral runner or for people who don’t need as much support.
It’s also a rather nice-looking shoe which is good since it is an excellent option for all uses.
Easily interchangeable with the Editor’s Choice pick; the Hoka One One (Pronounced Onay Onay) Clifton 7 is a top-choice of runners who like lots of cushion and stability for when you’re on the road, trails, hills, mountains… you name it.
It’s the ultimate functional running shoe that’s lightweight and does not compromise on comfort. The full-length EVA midsole also offers the best shock absorption.
The upper is made from engineered mesh and the midsole has an early-stage meta rocker for the smoothest ride possible (what more could you ask for).
Oh, and we also can’t forget how streamlined and sexy these shoes are.
New Balance has some seriously impressive performance technology with its Fresh Foam X collection, and they have great aesthetics too!
The 1080v10 has the signature high-performance midsole that is softer and more responsive than their V9 model. It also has a comfortable upper knit material and 3D heel that’ll hold up to lots of miles on the road.
A lot of people find that this shoe offers the perfect amount of support and flexibility.
The Ultraboost was slated to be the next big thing since its inception back in 2015. But in recent years, it sort of took a backseat to other offerings from competitors. But it’s still an impressive and much-loved shoe, especially with the newer Ultraboost 20 which represents the start of a new decade.
It’s 20% more responsive compared to the original Boosts and a welcome improvement overall. The Primeknit + textile upper provides a sock-like fit and it’s very breathable. Plus, nothing changed about the sexy look of the Ultraboost.
The Brooks Ghost 13 is their newest of the collection and if you’ve ever owned any of the Ghosts then you’d know the type of following that it has.
It’s a neutral support shoe with their DNA LOFT cushioning technology that provides optimal transition from heel to toe. The mesh upper gives a strong fit and offers that great breathability.
The Brooks Ghost 13 is the perfect option for people on their feet all day, and, of course, you’ll be happy running in them too because they’re light, supportive and offer elite performance.
We recommend this shoe only because it sounds really cool… OK, we’re not serious, although you have to admit that it does.
We like Topo Athletic shoes, especially the Phantom because they’re designed for runners who want that natural movement with a wider toe box and heel, but that also desire the awesome features of the traditional running shoe.
The Phantom is a lightweight and breathable road shoe that has tons of cushion and a widened heel for optimal stability. Their Zipfoam midsole also offers more bounce than EVA material. Also, the Antimicrobial ortholite footbed prevents odor from building up in the shoe which no one likes!
Minimalist style shoes aren’t typically recommended for heavier runners. However, some do prefer this style of shoe and so it’s only fair to offer an option.
With that being said, you should already be accustomed to running in minimal, zero-drop shoes before running in these. If you jump right into them (pun intended) and start running without first going through the necessary transition period, it won’t be pretty.
Like with most minimalist running shoes, the toe box is wider allowing for the toes to move more freely and naturally. It also has a removable sockliner if you want to be closer to the earth (or pavement) during your runs. This is recommended for more experienced minimalist runners.
We also like that the shoe has a thick rubber sole to keep your feet safe despite it being very lightweight and flexible. The drawstring w/ velcro provides a really snug fit.
It’s also important to mention that the price of these shoes is very attractive compared to others in its category.
Under Armour may not be the first choice by runners much less heavier runners. But a lot of people really like the HOVR Infinite 2 and some of the other models for the support, durability, and versatility.
These shoes are best for neutral runners and the UA HOVR technology reduces harsh impact. They’re also lightweight and ventilated with a full-length EVA sockliner that models to the foot for optimal snug and performance support. You’ll also get lots of flex and comfort out of the HOVR Infinite 2.
We also can’t forget the compatible app with Under Armour shoes allows you to track essentially all of your running metrics. This is a great feature.
Another famous running shoe brand, Altra is a top choice among Ultrarunners. The Paradigm 4.5 is a max cushion shoe with the Altra EGO midsole and integrated StabiliPods and guide rails to guide and provide the best support when needed for all running activities.
It also gives the perfect energy return with the advanced midsole and the toes will have proper room in these shoes. The Paradigm 4.5 is also excellent for walking/all-day wear.
The design is a perfect combination of support, stability, and versatility without taking away from natural comfort.
It can’t be a list of best running shoes without the Asics Gel Venture 6. It’s just short of their newest generation but why fix something that ain’t broken, right?
It’s a trail shoe that has a reverse lug pattern outsole made from their own high-abrasion rubber which is optimal for max grip on various terrains. The rearfoot has a GEL cushioning technology to absorb shock during your runs, plus you can remove the sockliner and replace it with your own inserts.
The Gel Venture 6 is an all-around good running shoe choice.
Why Do Heavy Runners Need Specific Shoes?
You don’t have to know anything about running to understand that body weight plays a role in the life/performance of a shoe.
But not all running shoes are created equal which is exactly why you should be selective when it comes to finding a pair that’s most suitable for you. This also applies to lighter runners and choosing any shoe for that matter even if not made specifically for running.
It’s just like if you were to try on a pair of jeans or glasses… different sizes, shapes, and, of course, personal preference, will determine the ideal fit and function. So why would choosing a pair of running shoes be any different? It’s not!
What To Look For/How We Determine Our Top Picks
Here are what we believe to be the most important criteria to consider when choosing the best running shoes for heavy men.
There’s one thing that heavier runners have to accept and that is, they just aren’t going to get as much mileage out of their shoes comparatively. Now, of course, it depends on the quality of the shoe/manufacturer, weight of the individual, etc. So this will vary between individuals.
We made sure to select our best shoe options based on a combination of comfort, durability, and function. Although we can’t necessarily promise that a shoe is better suited than another due to having to consider many factors.
Budget may play an important part in how long a shoe lasts or stands up to running activities, and that’s perfectly fine.
As implied, a heavier runner will naturally create more wear and tear on their shoes. So to ensure that the shoes last and perform as long as possible while also preventing injuries, one very important factor in choosing a good shoe is the thickness of the rubber outsole (the bottom of the shoe).
Not only does more rubber lengthen the lift of the shoe from the constant contact between it and the ground; it also protects the midsole which is the part of the shoe between the upper and the outsole. The midsole is where the cushioning and supportive technology is housed.
While we’re on the topic of the midsole, you want to choose a shoe that, if needed, has a specific technology to support your movement habits.
Some people overpronate (foot rolls inward), or need more arch support. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 or Altra Paradigm are great options for someone who overpronates or who needs more stability because they have guide rails and performance-specific cushioning.
Overpronation places a lot of stress on the joints/ankles and you need that support. Many of the options on our list have good support, in general, although some better than others. But stability and shock absorbing technology is going to be of more importance than simply choosing a shoe with lots of cushioning, especially for heavy runners, so look out for these qualities if needed.
It’s important to note though, that the majority of runners have neutral movement and there are plenty of suitable choices such as the Triumph 17, 1080v10, and Ghost 13 to name a few. Shoes that provide stability are not always necessary for those who have normal or high arches and can actually make things worse, causing the foot to roll on its outer part.
Choosing the right shoe requires some strategy but it doesn’t have to be a stressful process.
A lot of heavier dudes have wider feet; some more than others. There are some great shoe options that offer wider fits and more roominess in the toe box while also having a wider heel. This is going to provide the ideal comfort and performance for heavier men.
But ultimately, you’ll need to know your ideal size and fit to choose the best option for you. Most companies offer a variety of sizes and widths.
Related review: 13 Best CrossFit Shoes For Men Reviewed for 2021
Why You Should Consider Buying More Than One Pair
We already mentioned the importance of a durable shoe since the heavier runner will wear theirs out a bit faster. And this alone could be reason enough to pick up a few pairs. But there are a few other reasons why you should.
As a heavier runner, the cushions will take a little longer to recover and return to their full shape following a run or whatever activity/s you participate in. Having more than one pair will allow one shoe to revert back to the original shape and you can alternate like this.
And it never hurts to have different styles and colors to match your choice of clothing and accessories too. We’d have to agree that receiving compliments on our outfits gives a nice mental boost.
But ultimately, your budget will determine how many shoes you can add to your collection, although, there are plenty of affordable options, and you’ll be happy you did.
Is running good for overweight or obese people?
The short answer, no. Running is a high impact activity that can cause a lot of joint and tendon problems for excessively heavy runners.
We recommend that overweight/obese individuals consider lower impact forms of activity or walking instead.
How do I know if I'm too heavy to run?
While there’s no perfect answer to this as you have to consider several factors, a body mass index (BMI) of over 25 is considered overweight.
It’s not the best tool for determining an ideal weight though. So, use your best judgment and listen to your body.
What's the number one best running shoe for heavy men?
There’s no such thing. Different men will have specific needs when it comes to the perfect running shoe. Thankfully, we’ve shown you 12 options that you can pick from that all offer something unique.
Can I use running shoes to lift weights?
Absolutely. However, running shoes aren’t going to be as versatile or appropriate for heavy lifting compared to cross trainers that provide more performance features comparatively.
Look, there’s no perfect shoe out there for everyone. But that’s exactly why we chose 12 of the best running shoes for heavy men. You get to decide which one fits your needs (and feet), and there’s plenty of information to help you make the best possible decision.
Have any questions about the information in this article? Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below. Also, check our review of the 10 best weightlifting shoes for 2020.
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