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We purchase all the shoes we review at retail with our own money, then we run in them for at least 50 miles. We don't receive free samples from companies and provide only expert, unbiased opinions.

Running draws people of all shapes and sizes, from the thin, willowy runner that comes to mind for many people, to muscular athletes and weightlifters, to people looking to lose weight.

Running can put an average of 1.5 to 3 times your body weight of shock on the joints, making good form and the right shoes important for all runners, and this is especially true for heavy runners. For heavier runners, proper shock absorption and support is even more important.

Traditionally, runners are considered “heavy” if they have a BMI of over 27. Though BMI is not a perfect science it can provide a point of reference when shopping for the right pair of running shoes.

Here is a selection of running shoes that can help heavier runners offset the high impact of running. We have a guide about losing weight through running which you should check out!.

Neutral Running Shoes for Heavy Runners

If you have normal arches, which don't collapse inward while you run, you might be best suited to a neutral running shoe.

The shoes we selected here provide maximum shock absorption.

Saucony Triumph ISO 5 - Lateral Side
The Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is a high-cushion, high-mileage trainer that can work for any neutral runner. Although it is very pricey, you get a lot for the money. Read full review »

Pros

  • Incredible cushion
  • Good support on the upper
  • Great construction
  • Good traction on multiple surfaces
  • Lots of energy return

Cons

  • A little heavy
Mizuno Wave Creation 19 - Medial Side
The Mizuno Wave Creation 19 is a neutral highly cushioned shoe that is intended to be a daily trainer and for longer runs. This shoe is one of the heaviest shoes out there. It may be the heaviest shoe in the category. Read full review »

Pros

  • Soft cushioning
  • Fit (after a few false starts)
  • Well built

Cons

  • Heavy
  • A bit narrow
  • Blisters and Expensive
Altra Paradigm 4.0 - Lateral Side
The Altra Paradigm 4.0 is an ultra-cushioned daily trainer that is ready to tackle the high miles while providing a zero-drop set up. With lots of top-level technologies, you'll pay for the plush shoe. Read full review »

Pros

  • Tons of cushion
  • Super wide toe box
  • Light weight for the cushion
  • Good energy return
  • Soft, breathable upper

Cons

  • Slightly tight on the midfoot
  • Zero-drop takes getting used to

Stability Running Shoes for Heavy Runners

If your step is unstable, or your arches collapse excessively inward while running, you might want to considere one of the following shoes.

Hoka One One Gaviota 2 - Lateral Side
The Hoka One One Gaviota 2 is a max-cushioned stability shoe built for many miles. The cushioning is plush yet responsive with a smooth ride that is worth the substantial price tag. Read full review »

Pros

  • Max Cushioning that is both lightweight and responsive
  • Stable ride
  • Visual redesign makes it more appealing

Cons

  • Narrow in areas
  • Sluggish on speed work and tempo runs
Asics Gel Kayano 25 - Lateral Side
The Asics Kayano 25 is an all around great stability trainer built for miles upon miles. It’s sole can feel bulky at times and the price may turn some runners off. However, it provides runners with an ideal blend of cushion, responsiveness and control throughout every run. Read full review »

Pros

  • There are quite a few new updates which have all improved the shoe
  • The new two part midsole
  • Provides cushion, responsiveness, and control throughout your whole run

Cons

  • The color options are not visually appealing
  • The sole unit can feel bulky during runs
  • Price
The Saucony Redeemer ISO 2 is so close to be a great stability/motion control running shoe for runners with flat feet (or particularly unstable gait) but a very heavy and warm upper and an issue with heel slippage ruined the fun for me. Read full review »

Pros

  • Very very stable without feeling constrictive
  • EVERUN cushioning makes it very comfortable at each step

Cons

  • Heel is too wide, keeps slipping of my feet
  • Upper is very very hot and not very breathable

Effects of Extra Weight

With additional shock placed on the joints, it’s critical for heavy runners to carefully assess their biomechanics and running form. A good first step is to determine if you overpronate. For more information check out our article describing different pronation issues.

Overpronoation put more stress on the ankles and knees, making it even more important for heavier runners to address these issues. While some heavier runners may not have the biomechanical issues described above, durability of the outsole may also be an issue.

The Importance of Good Form

Proper running form is important for all runners, but focusing on running efficiently is vital for heavier runners, not only to improve performance, but also to help stave off injury. Proper running form with distribute shock more evenly, minimizing damage to the joints and tendons.

General strength and conditioning is also key for healthy, efficient running. Strong legs, core, and back will help improve running form and also help prevent injury. For tips on strength training, see Randy’s list of considerations. In addition, Runner’s World a great strength training overview.

For tips on proper running form, take a look at Randy’s overview. James also has an excellent round up of the top five most important habits for efficient running.


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