Best Running Shoes for Heavy Men – Top Picks For Bigger Runners

This guide will show you how to find the best running shoes for heavy men so that you can have the tools to pursue your running dream.

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Quick Look: Top Picks

Why Are the Right Running Shoes Important When You’re Heavier?

Running is great exercise and has many health benefits, but it can take a toll on your body. You’ll feel yourself getting fitter with each run you take, but it isn’t always easy. Your body, joints, and muscles can all feel the strain.

Don’t worry about that though. If you stay the course, you’ll start to improve. The most important thing is running consistently and making sure you’re being smart about it. Listen to your body and pay attention to what it’s telling you.  

To make sure you aren’t overdoing it, especially in the beginning when you can be overly gung-ho about getting started, you need to focus on a few basic rules designed to help heavier runners.

  • Keep an eye on your heart rate: This will help you realize if you’ve been overtraining. If your pulse is a little higher the day after a big run, you might need an extra recovery day.
  • Take some rest days: You shouldn’t go from running no days a week to tackling seven days a week. Start with three and progress from there as your body gets more comfortable with running.
  • Walk when you need to: Don’t feel bad if you can’t run a mile without stopping. Not many of us could when we started running. Walk breaks can help you catch your breath and keep going after a few minutes.
  • Get good, supportive shoes: This is the number one thing you can do to improve your running experience. If you start running in your everyday old tennis shoes, you run the risk of injuries. Even if you don’t get hurt, you’ll ache more and that may make you want to quit.

If you try to run wearing old shoes and then try running in a pair of new, well-designed running shoes, you’re going to notice the difference immediately. You’ll notice the difference right after the run because your feet and legs won’t hurt as much. But you’ll also notice the difference the next day when you get out of bed in the morning and start walking around.

While many companies in the past haven’t given much thought to the needs of heavier runners, they’re getting better about it now by making running gear aimed at that segment of the population. They’re realizing that running is no longer for the super thin athletes who barely hit double digits on the scale––and that’s good news for every heavier runner out there.

What Should I Look for in a Pair of Running Shoes?

When you’re a heavier runner, midsole cushioning––the cushioning that covers between the ball and heel on your foot––is going to be one of your greatest allies. It can take the load off of your heel, which is a necessity because heavier runners have a greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis, a running-related injury.

To reduce your risk of plantar fasciitis, you should increase your mileage slowly and find a properly-fitting supportive shoe that has enough cushioning to absorb some of the shock your heels are subjected to.

In addition to midsole cushioning, you need to make sure your shoe offers the arch support you need.

Just those two features on your running shoes can help you avoid injuries like tendonitis, pain, and stress fractures.

Plus, as an added benefit, the right running shoes will help your performance and may even give you faster times. If you’re more comfortable, you’ll run more––both in distance and frequency. Running regularly is the single best way to improve your running times.

When you look for your running shoes, you’ll also want to find a pair that will hold up well to the extra weight you’re carrying. You’ll want something durable with a thicker sole that won’t be worn out too quickly.

And once you’ve found your dream shoes and find out they work well for you, you need to keep in mind that you’ll have to swap them out for another pair in about 300 to 400 miles.

Some runners try to get a little more time out of their running shoes before springing for new ones, but you shouldn’t play that game. As a heavier runner, you don’t want to risk running on dead shoes and creating an injury that may cost you thousands of dollars to correct just because you were trying to get a few more miles from your current shoes.  

The Top 5 Best Running Shoes for Heavy Men

  1. New Balance Men’s 1260v6 Stability Shoe

New Balance Men's M1260V6 Running Shoe, Grey/Yellow, 9 D US
  • Pronation-minded running shoe...
  • ACTEVA LITE lightweight foam...
  • No-sew FantomFit upper for...
  • New Balance
  • 9 D(M) US
Beginning a running program can be hard enough when you’re a stick figure, but when you have some extra meat on your bones, it’s even scarier. Finding the right shoes to support you becomes even more crucial.

If you tend to pronate a bit when you run, this shoe will keep your feet steadier and will keep them from rolling as much when you’re working out. It’s a good shoe for runners who need that extra touch of stability.

Pros

  • This shoe has a great foam midsole that is lightweight and feels springy.
  • This shoe can help stabilize your foot as you run, which can lead to less injuries.
  • New Balance shoes are known for having a roomy toe box and this shoe delivers on that reputation, which means you won’t have cramped, pinched, and blistered toes after longer runs.
  • It gives you a soft run when you’re carrying extra weight.
  • The material of the shoe is breathable so you’ll be able to stay cooler on your run.

Cons

  • If you have a really high arch, you may want to add an arch support insert.
  • Despite the lightweight foam midsole, these shoes are fairly heavy, which may turn off some runners who don’t want to notice the weight of their shoes.
  • The shoe can feel stiff in the beginning.

     2. Hoka One One Clifton 3 Men’s Running Shoe

HOKA ONE ONE Men's Clifton 3 Shoe (11.5, Silver/Formula)
  • ***Update***No-Sew SpeedFrame...
  • ***Update***Accommodating Forefoot...
  • Air Mesh Upper - Allows ventilation...
  • Early-Stage Meta-Rocker - Helps...
  • (HIP) CMEVA Full-Length Midsole -...
When it comes to thick cushioning, no one seems to do it better than Hoka. This is the go-to shoe for many runners who struggle with plantar fasciitis. Because the soles are so thick, it can take some time to get used to running in these, but for heavier runners, the extra effort can be worth it.

Pros

  • You have several color selections to choose from.
  • This shoe has a wider forefoot so your foot won’t feel compacted, which can help you avoid pain during and after your run.
  • The shoes are highly breathable, which makes your feet feel cooler and more comfortable even in hot weather.
  • The shoe is so lightweight you won’t get that heavy leg feel like you will with other shoes.
  • These are the ultimate in comfort if you like cushioned shoes.

Cons

  • These shoes are a little pricier than some other brands.
  • The shoes are pretty tall so they take some getting used to.

     3. Brooks Men’s Beast ‘16

Brooks Men's Beast '16 Peacoat Navy/China Blue/Gold 12 D US
  • Go HAM on those last few miles as...
  • Predecessor: Beast 14.
  • Support Type:...
  • Cushioning: Maximum cushioning.
  • Surface: Road. Differential: 12 mm....
When you are heavy, you’ll need lots of cushioning to spare your feet from as many aches and pains as possible. The Beast delivers that cushioning and has built up a reputation as a great shoe for heavier men.

Pros

  • This shoe offers outstanding cushioning.
  • If you’re an overpronator, this shoe will give you enough motion control to help stabilize your foot.
  • Despite the motion control, this shoe still delivers enough flexibility to make it feel comfortable and responsive.
  • The mesh upper on the shoe helps your feet stay cool.
  • The shoe comes with a removable sockliner.
  • This is a nice-looking shoe with a few color choices.
  • For a motion-control shoe, which tends to be heavier than neutral shoes, this one is fairly lightweight.

Cons

  • This shoe is more expensive than many other options.
  • The fit is pretty narrow and it runs small so you’ll want to size up at least a half size.

     4. Mizuno Men’s Wave Creation 18

Mizuno Men's Wave Creation 18 Running Shoe, Dress...
  • Infinity Wave Technology
  • U4ic Midsole
  • Classic 3D Mizuno Fit
  • Breathable Air mesh with 3D...
  • EVA Strobel last for underfoot...
If you’re looking for heavy-duty support while still maintaining that cool look, these shoes are a good pick.

Pros

  • These shoes utilize breathable mesh to keep your feet cool and comfortable.
  • This shoe will hold up well, even with the extra weight you’re carrying.
  • The sole offers a lot of cushioning and will feel springy when you’re out on a run, which is great for people who do a lot of road running.
  • This shoe is great for any distance of running, whether you just want to polish off a quick 5k or you want to test your limits with a marathon.
  • These are a great pick for runners who want neutral shoes.

Cons

  • This shoe is pretty expensive, which can be a turn-off to runners who are on a tighter budget.
  • These are also a little heavier on the feet than some runners like.
  • The toe box is a little tight, which can cause some foot pain for some runners.

     5. Mizuno Men’s Wave Rider 20

Mizuno Men's Wave Rider 20 Running Shoe, Light Grey/Black,...
  • Running shoe with triple zone...
  • U4IC midsole foam for response and...
  • Mizuno
  • 11 D(M) US
  • Light Grey/Black
If you like to have a lot of color options when it comes to your shoes, you’ll love this type. You get 14 color options so you’ll be able to find a great fit for your running outfits.

Pros

  • Some of these running shoes are very bright, which is good for runners who like to make themselves more visible while they are running on the road.
  • These shoes feel responsive to your moves; in other words, they won’t feel clunky.
  • They have a foam midsole that is lightweight and durable.
  • The cushioning is better than it is on some other Mizuno models.
  • The mesh on the shoes is stronger than it is on some other brands, which will give it extra durability––that’s nice for runners who have worn through the mesh on other brands in the past.
  • The shoes are pretty lightweight.
  • These are good for runners looking for neutral shoes.

Cons

  • These run small -- you’ll need to order a bigger size than you normally wear.
  • Some runners have complained about these shoes making a noise when wearing them.

And the Winner Is …

Hoka One One Clifton 3 are the best running shoes for heavy men. Are they the coolest looking shoes you’ll ever own? No. But they’ll feel good on your feet and when you’re beginning a running program that’s the most important thing.

While these shoes will take some getting used to, the thick cushioning will shield your feet from the worst of the aches and pains you’ll feel when you start running.

The shoes are breathable and will keep you cool when you’re out there busting your butt and working up a sweat. 

Shannon Serpette
 

Shannon Serpette is an award-winning writer and avid runner. She ran her first 5k two years ago, and hasn’t stopped running since. She has completed a half marathon and recently earned her first Top 3 performance medal for her age category in a race.

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