Best Running Shoes for Big & Heavier Men
Maybe you're carrying a few extra pounds (darn you, Covid!) or perhaps you're just a bigger dude by nature. Either way, if you want to get out running, your physique will require specific shoe features to help you get the most out of your exercise and avoid injury.
So whether you’re running to lose weight or improve your performance, we have run the gamut of today's current market to highlight the best running shoes for heavy men.
Without further ado...
TL;DR? Just buy these and hit the road:
Best Running Shoes for Heavy Runners
1. Hoka One One Gaviota 2
Awkward arch support
Upper can feel a little loose on narrow feet
While stability shoes often have a reputation for being clunky and chunky, the Hoka One One Gaviota 2 works to change the stereotype. Packed with supportive features that protect your legs and knees throughout your gait cycle, the Gaviota 2 boasts a sleek frame and lightweight materials that keep you light on your feet. These babies are even supportive enough to wear all day long if you're a casual sneakers wearer.Read more
The most notable feature of the Gaviota 2's design lies in its midsole. While contending to be one of the thickest midsoles on the market, it is surprisingly lightweight. For some, it may take some getting used to but we didn't find it off-putting in testing. It's made with a dual-density RMAT--a blend of rubber and soft EVA foam. Hoka also includes their stabilizing J-frame technology in these soles for exceptional stability.
Weighing in at just under 12oz, these aren't super lightweight, but they're definitely lighter than they look!
When looking at the uppers, the Gaviota 2 is constructed with engineered mesh which we found slightly stretchier and more flexible than expected. This will play nicely for men with larger feet, however, men with narrow feet may find a bit of movement when running in these. Nonetheless, the uppers are light, breathable, and you can achieve good lock down in these sneakers for excellent control.
At the end of the day, the Gaviota 2 from Hoka One One is our top choice. Don’t let its large sole deceive you- these are surprisingly lightweight and responsive!
2. Hoka One One Rincon 2
Firm but comfortable upper
Natural and comfortable sole
May not be as durable over time or longer mileage
As an alternate to the Gaviota 2, the Hoka One One Rincon 2 offers an ultra lightweight option that we think is an excellent second choice from the Hoka lineup for heavier men.Read more
Weighing in at just 7.7 ounces, you may even forget you're wearing these shoes! The Rincon 2 is light, fast, and easy to slip on and go.
Unlike the Gaviota 2, The Rincon is not a stability shoe, per se, but its midsole is solid without being rigid or too firm, and it can comfortably take you for a long ride with decent responsiveness. Additionally, the sole features Hoka's meta rocker geometry design which will ease the transitions of your heavier strides.
The upper is also ideal for heavier runners. It's mesh upper is soft (but not spongy or plush) enough to secure your feet for a good lock down.
All in all, if you want a lighter alternative to the Gaviota 2, both in shoe weight and in price, but want to stay within the Hoka One One family, we suggest you give the Rincon 2 a try.
3. Brooks Beast 20
Guide Rail system
DNA LOFT midsole
The Brooks Beast 20 is the flagship of stability shoes. These things are built like tanks. If you need something that'll keep up with your workouts and your bodyweight without turning into a pancake go Beastmode.Read more
The most notable feature of the Beast 20 is a Guide Rail system in the midsole. This design helps to alleviate pain often associated with overpronation (a common occurrence in heavier runners) by correcting your gait as your foot strikes the ground.
Brooks also utilizes its DNA LOFT material in the midsole. This style of foam cushioning adds an extra spring in your step that you'll feel through the entire gait cycle. It’s slightly more stiff than some other cushioning designs, but it really shines when running on hard surfaces.
True story: I have a good friend who got into running to lose weight (he's a very large man) and quickly developed plantar fasciitis and some ankle issues. His PT suggested he switch to the Brooks Beast. The Beasts gradually eliminated his problems and he now runs pain free.
Whether you need to eliminate pain problems like my friend, or simply gear up for maximum running stability, the Brooks Beast 20 is one of your best options.
4. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20
DNA LOFT Crash Pad
BioMoGo DNA midsole
If, like us, you find that stability trainers are typically a little too stiff for your liking, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 is a great option. It's is a perfect blend of flexibility and support and won’t weigh your down with a bulky design. The "GTS" stands for "Go To Shoe" for a reason!Read more
If the Beast 20 is a tank, the GTS 20 is a lion. Still strong, still stable, but notably faster and softer. But it won't eat you.
Just like with the Beast, the Adrenaline GTS 20 features the stability guide rail system and its midsole is reinforced with the DNA LOFT Crash Pad, which is great if you're carrying a little bit of extra weight. These crash pads provide extra support and stability just where heavier runners need it most.
The upper is where the Adrenaline GTS 20 really shines. The 3D print mesh upper cradles the foot and promotes lockdown while wicking away moisture to keep your feet cool and dry. Plus, we think it's the best-looking shoe in the Brooks lineup.
If you want a lightweight alternative to the Beast, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 will not disappoint. It is the perfect marriage between support and freedom, making it great not only for running, but cross-training and weight lifting as well.
5. ASICS Gel-Kayano 27
A ton of ASICS technology
Gel cushioning for shock absorption
A little on the heavier side
A classic staple in stability shoes, the ASICS Gel Kayano 27 is the latest iteration of a tried-and-true winner for heavier runners.Read more
The Gel Kayano 27 makes its mark on our list by offering one of the most stable heels in the running shoe market. ASICS stuffed almost all of its technologies into this one shoe, and it somehow works beautifully.
Heavier runners will appreciate ASICS's Dynamic Duomax™, gender-specific Trusstic system, and external “heel clutch," all of which combined together might make a better foundation than some concrete slabs I've seen in my day. In addition to that, you add the FlyteFoam and gel and you have a recipe for stable comfort!
The engineered upper starts out more rigid in the back and becomes more flexible and stretchy as you move toward the toes. All together, they feel great both at the initial lace-up and after you've run 1, 3, or 10 miles.
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 27 is a strong choice for heavier runners seeking stable and comfortable running shoes.
6. ASICS Gel-Nimbus 22
Many colors available
Trusstic System technology
Narrower toe box
Also featured in our best shoes for shin splints list, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 23 is a perennial favorite of everyday runners seeking comfort and support. This shoe gets the job done! We also love that Asics gave us a a host of color schemes to choose from. With color choices ranging from poppy and bright to neutral, you can find a pair to match your personality, while knowing you'll be well supported as you set off to run.Read more
As a slightly lighter weight option within the ASICS family of shoes for heavier men, the ASICS Gel Nimbus 23 is a strong option.
Featuring ASICS' Trusstic System technology, this shoe utilizes lightweight materials and reinforced padding on high impact areas to provide excellent support without the need for bulky materials. ASICS also added some gel in the heel to double down on support for heavy strikers
Also to love about the ASICS Gel Nimbus design is that the upper really hugs your foot. The tongue and the heel are engineered to promote lockdown and prevent movement which can cause blisters. The uppers are a little on the bulky side and offer less breathability than other models, but its a small tradeoff for this shoe's lockdown foot support.
In short, the Asics Gel Nimbus 23 is an excellent everyday trainer which will provide excellent support, comfort, and durability for big and heavy runners.
7. New Balance Fresh Foam More v2 - Bonus!
SO MUCH FOAM
Good shock absorption and cushion
Soles are on the stiff side
Uncomfortable heel collars
Just look at these shoes. LOOK AT THEM.
If you're a bigger guy, you need more stability and more cushion.
These shoes offer MORE of just about everything.
I'm not gonna lie - looking at these shoes makes me chuckle. I mean, can it get any more American than a shoe called "More"? More is better, right?
Well, if you're a heavier man looking for running shoes with cushion and comfort, more is absolutely better! With the New Balance Fresh Foam More v2, you will absolutely get more of what you need when it comes to sole cushion.
With a 34mm heel stack (whoa), bigger men will get plenty of shock absorption and cushion out of these shoes. Not only that, but these shoes are surprisingly lightweight. With a weight of only 9.6 oz, you will feel quite light on your feet, even if you might not be in the best shape.
If there's any downside to these shoes, the uppers aren't the most comfortable we've tried. The heel cup performs well and keeps the foot nice and snug for stability, but the heel collar includes added padding which, while well-intentioned, can be uncomfortable for some.
Nonetheless, if you truly want--or need--more, the New Balance Fresh Foam More v2 might be just the trick for you.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Without good support it is hard to enjoy your runs and workout sessions, especially if you are carrying around a few extra pounds. The best shoes for big and tall men are those with proper support and that are designed to meet the unique needs of these runners!
You should know more about your feet and any issues if they exist. Understand how your feet pronate, what type of arch you have, whether or not you require more support or less.
The more weight coming down with the wrong kind of support underneath, well, that could lead to discomfort or even other problems. Let's face it, more weight requires more support.
Also, when you add more weight to the mix, you might have to consider the possibility of other issues such as pronation, incorrect running gait, more stability, and even flat feet.
Here at RunnerClick, we know how difficult it can be to find shoes that fit well and support your feet and we understand this struggle is all the more real for the big and tall runners out there. That is why we wanted to make sure to address this dilemma and help you find the best running shoes for overweight men that offer the support you want and need!
When it comes to running shoes for big guys, stability comes down to the way the shoes are designed and how they can help you keep your balance and keep your footing while you run. Stability ensures you keep your footing and maintain good form while on your runs.
Stability can often become much more needed with heavier guys than it might be with smaller lighter people. This is especially the case if you're taller. The stability of a shoe would cover the overall balance and motion control.
Stability comes from a mix of decent support, sturdy construction, a proper outsole, midsole, and insole that allows the shoe to perform as intended.
The RunnerClick team knows that stability is important for everyone but for some, the struggle to find shoes with good balance and stability is even harder. For those runners who are on the bigger size, the added weight can make stability difficult to maintain so the shoe design and features are all the more important!
If your shoes are not comfortable you are not going to wear them, that is a simple truth all runners will admit if they were asked. So, finding running shoes that are comfortable and that have the cushioning and fir you need is critical to getting the most out of your runs!
This probably goes without being said, but comfort is king. Why would you want to go on a run in a pair of shoes that is uncomfortable, or just plain hurts? You wouldn't.
Overall comfort is owed to all of the parts of a shoe coming together and working in unison. The cushioning, impact absorption, seamless upper, overall fit, insole, midsole, and even the outsole. We even researched customer feedback to see what everyone else is saying about their own experiences.
Here at RunnerClick, our team of running enthusiasts and industry experts have researched many different shoes marketed to big and tall men and have focused on the comfort factor very closely. We wanted to provide you with shoes that are comfortable and easy to wear no matter when or where you are going for your runs!
Another key feature to consider in your search for the best shoes is to check for breathability. Shoes without good air flow will leave your feet hot and sweaty and stinky. Shoes with good breathability will keep your feet cool and comfortable.
Materials and construction make or break a shoe, with regards to its ability to properly breathe. There are few things more annoying with a shoe other than when the heat and moisture stay locked inside. And with heavier guys, well, the sweat tends to build up a little more.
Look for models made of more technical materials, designed with breathability in mind. Well ventilated forefoot, mesh or knitted upper, only the necessary amount of overlay covering the upper material, etc. these are a few things to look for.
Shoes have to be durable or they are not worth much. Runners in general tend to be very rough with their shoes and they can wear down very quickly compared to non-runners. For big and tall men this can happen even faster so durability is a must!
Durability is something that matters, not only for comfort and safety but also for your wallet. It stinks when you pay out your hard-earned money to then be disappointed when those expensive running shoes fall apart shortly after you lace them up a few times.
The RunnerClick team focused on durability because we understand how much of an investment a good pair of shoes can be and we know no one likes to waste money on shoes that won’t last or hold up. The shoes featured on our list are rated for their durability and will be a smart investment for any runner who values durability and reliability!
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Low profile shoes like barefoot or minimalist models look super cool, but are they right for everyone? The answer in some cases is probably not.
While they are cool looking, they offer much less in the way of support, which is needed more for heavier runners. This is especially the case with those who are just getting started. These days there are so many options on the table that finding the right shoe, and having it be one that you actually like, is much easier, that is if you have a better understanding of what you really need.
Our term "heavier men" is a little broad. What should be considered is how the weight is dispersed. Are you taller than average, thus weighing a bit more? Or are you picking up running to get rid of some unwanted pounds? These are a couple of things to think about before choosing the right support and cushion for you.
Other Factors to Consider
The footwear on our list is meant to last. We wanted to provide you with highly durable options because training and conditioning should be high on the heavy runner’s priority list. No matter the amount of shoe tech and features, nothing will ever compare to your natural strengths and muscles when it comes to working together to make your runs easier and more efficient. We’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing good running shoes for heavy guys that are ready for high endurance training.
This will help you determine your running style and gait and can then purchase the type of running shoe that provides the specific support you need. Some things the wear pattern can indicate are pronation, foot strike, and stability.
Read also about youth running shoes here
Not every foot is shaped the same, so neither should all models be the same size. Some people have wide feet, and this can be more common in heavier runners. Putting your foot into a too narrow running shoe is not only painful but can increase your chances of developing blisters and hotspots. It also can cause damage to your toes because they will be scrunched at the front and sides and are unable to splay naturally. If needed, buy one in a wide width. Many companies make models in both normal and wide widths. Also remember to try on your shoes later in the day, as feet swell the longer we are on them.
Remember that orthotics are not just for over-pronators. If you need additional support or stability, be proactive and get some quality insoles that can help. It’s important to be your best advocate, you should know what you need once you take your shoes out for a couple of runs.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: I’m an overweight guy and want to achieve higher distance, any advice?
Yes, look for the most stability in the lightest weight package. This will help with endurance and give you the best chances and stay energized over long distances. Also read above about orthotics; if you’re planning on going longer distances, they may be more of a requirement than a suggestion. Testers had nothing but good things to say about them, all runners can really benefit from adding an insole.
q: My feet are not flat, but I still over-pronate and have an inward roll. Why is this happening?
Weight is a major factor when it comes to over-pronation, even if you don’t have flat feet. This is why high stability model with a strong cushion is important towards your selection of running shoes for heavy men. Don’t worry too much about it, today’s models are more than capable of helping with the issue. Just remember that they may wear out faster, so keep an eye on your tread.
q: How do I know if I have enough stability from my footwear?
The best way to tell if your shoes are providing you with enough stability is by taking them on a run test. If they are stable enough for you-great! If not, exchange them for a pair with higher rated stability.
q: What are some weight specific issues that may arise from my running shoe selection for big guys?
Today’s runners don’t have to worry too much about the build and quality; especially if they make a well-informed decision. So you don’t have to worry about your shoes falling apart on you mid-run. We’ve selected the best of the best. Heavier men should be looking for is extra wear on the outsole. You may get less mileage from than most runners. So start checking them around 200 miles and remember to replace them when you need to. Never try to stretch the life, it’s not worth the injury.
q: What are the features I should look for in a shoe as I am a heavy runner?
When you carry more weight you put more pressure on the shoe, create more shock impact and for most of us heavy runners we find our feet are wider and we need more space in the toebox. Certainly, you want to choose a choice which features a very good shock absorbing capability, has a built-in strategic cushion in abundance, a robust external heel counter for extra stability, a one-piece seam-free upper for stability.
Arch should be suitable for flat-footed runners because we are transferring more weight to the soles of our feet and our foot arch. Choose a brand which states that they offer the shoe in a selection of different width sizes. We want a robust strong lace-up system for more support for stability. More weight can mean more friction so look for a shoe which focuses on including a soft friction free interior.
q: Why should I be investing more money into shoes specialized for big and tall men?
When you are carrying around extra weight you need more support for your feet. Your feet carry all of the weight so you will want to take care of them and make sure they are not being injured with poorly designed shoes, Without good cushioning and support and without proper stability, you can experience many different issues from stress fractures in the feet, toe pain, pronation issues, development of flat feet, and many others!
It is always best to buy shoes made for your feet and body types and that investment will pay for itself ten-fold with less foot and leg pain and better results and more enjoyable runs.
q: Where can I find shoes for big and tall men like me?
These shoes may be a little harder to find than regular shoes but you can still find them in several places. Many shoe specialty stores have a section in the men’s area dedicated to big and tall men and can help you find shoes that meet your wants and needs.
You can also shop online through shops like Amazon or specific brand’s online shops. Some cities have shops dedicated to big and tall men and they often have a shoe section as well.