Top Shoes for Heavy Runners

A breakdown of issues faced by heavy runners—plus 6 shoes that can help

Even if you run a multimillion-dollar company, if you can't see your toes past your stomach, you might have problems running. The repetitive strain running places on muscles, joints and ligaments is taxing at any weight—but add a few extra pounds to a runner’s frame, and the risk of both acute and chronic injuries shoots up dramatically. Certain shoes are better for heavier runners than others. These models are able to cushion and support the stress of running, help correct muscular imbalances, and support the workouts of people looking to burn fat or put on muscle.

Heavier runners face the biomechanical challenges all runners experience—sore legs, aching joints, and general muscle pain. They also tend to have flatter foot arches, which provide less bracing upon footfall and push-off. Low arches can result in knee and ankle pain, as the joints are forced to absorb more of the impact of running. These runners also tend to over-pronate—leading the foot to roll inward at exaggerated angles. Over-pronation can lead to further joint pain as it works its way up the kinetic chain.

To help alleviate these issues, heavy runners with low arches should seek running shoes within the stability or motion control categories, as these shoes’ features and cushioning can help allay pronation issues. Heavy runners with medium to high arches still suffer from potential joint pain, due to the amount of stress placed upon legs to support their frames. As such, a shoe with neutral cushioning provides an excellent option to help soften the impact of landing while providing a comfortable ride on runs of any distance.

Click through to the slideshow for six top picks for heavy runners—three for runners with low arches; three for runners with neutral or high arches.