Best Running shoes for overweight runner 2021 – AthleticGens

My recommended running shoes for overweight runners is Brooks Glycerin 17. Read on to find out why and other great options! If you are a beginner, check out our ultimate guide to start running posts to learn the best way to get started! 

Are there any running shoes made specifically for overweight runners? Yes, but only if you know how to recognize it, choosing the correct running shoes for you is one of the important things you should do if you’re overweight. Because wrong running shoes hurt you, yes it does.

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You can’t expect to run for a long mile with the wrong shoes. Although choosing a running shoe is largely based on individual preference, there are a few things to look out for if you want a best running experience. Quick summaries, the three most important characteristics of running shoes for heavy runners are:

  1. Moderate Cushioning
  2. Durable Outsole
  3. Correct shoes upper fitting

Before we get into the best running shoes for overweight runners, I’d like to make it clear what’s considered overweight.

If you have 190lbs of body weight, but 6’ 3’’ high, you are not considered overweight. One way to know if you are classified as overweight or obese is from Body Mass Index(BMI) estimation. Although it’s not the best method, it does give you a good approximation. Utilize this tool to estimate your BMI.

The 11 best running shoes for overweight runners

  1. Asics Gel-Kayano 26 (Best stability shoes)
  2. Adidas Solar Drive 19 (Best for price)
  3. Brooks Glycerin 17 (Recommended)
  4. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 (Best for severe overpronation)
  5. Mizuno Wave Rider 23 (Best for cushioning)
  6. Nike Epic React Flyknit (Best lightweight)
  7. Asics Gel Nimbus 22
  8. Reebok Harmony Road 3
  9. Saucony Freedom ISO 2
  10. Altra Paradigm 4.5
  11. Hoka One One Bondi 6

What to look for when choosing a running shoe ?

Moderate cushioning 

Many beginners will make a mistake by getting a super-cushioned running shoe. Because that’s probably the advice you are likely to get from online forums or local shoe stores.

You heard “running shoes with soft-cushioning have better shock absorption feature for overweight runners”. Such advice is not entirely wrong, but it missed a few points.

Most running shoes with super soft-cushioning have higher stack height (distance between bottom of your foot and the ground). Which makes it relatively unstable, especially on a smooth surface. Your body will have to constantly try to readjust during runs to keep yourself stable, which isn’t ideal for an overweight runner. Max-cushioning shoes are usually well liked by experienced runners, due to impact protection features over long distances.

running shoes

If you’re just started out, you don’t want to force your body to run for such a long distance without stopping, you probably do not need super-cushioned shoes. Not saying that you should get rock hard minimal shoes, but a shoe that has a good cushioning system to run comfortably. Avoid max-cushioning shoes if possible!

Durable midsole

A firm and durable midsole is also one of the things you should aim for. Traditional midsole cushioning systems use EVA(Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) rubber foam as shock absorption material in the midsole.

More and more newly designed running shoes use expanded Polyurethane polymer. It holds their cushioning better in the long run. Such running shoes usually sold at a higher price point than EVA made midsole shoes, due to the cost of material. But they proved to have higher mileage(last longer) than their traditional counterpart. Firmness and structure integrity in the midsole are important to keep runners stable and comfortable.

One way of preserving the firmness of your running shoes is by rotating between at least 2 running shoes. In this way, both shoes extend their mileage and runners decrease their possibility of an injury. 

Shoes weight doesn’t matter

If you are a frequent marathon runner or into track and field running, the weight of running shoes does play an important role. These racing shoes usually have shorter mileage, but it does give you a greater speed. You are just starting out, it’s advised to just get comfortable shoes with durable cushioning and a proper support system. 

Having more than one pair

Of course you can choose to have just one pair of running shoes at a time. But having multiple running shoes(2 to 3) to be able to rotate on helps to lengthen their mileage. A standard mileage of a shoe is from 350-500 miles, this will depend on the type of running pattern, running terrain and the shoes itself.

It’s important to keep track of total distance travelled for your running shoes. You can track it easily with free apps like Runkeeper or Nike Run Club. Heavier runners should be checking the wear and loss of their shoe when it reaches 200 – 250 mile range, to prevent potential injury.

Asics Gel-Kayano 26 (Best stability shoes)

For Men:

For Women:

Facts

  • Terrain: Road/Treadmill
  • Activities: Casual Road Running, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 10mm
  • Pronation: Overpronation
  • Arch type: Medium Arch
  • Arch support: Stability
  • Weight: 315g(Men) 315g(Women)
  • Strike Pattern: Heel strike

Features

Outsole: AHAR(Asics High abrasion Rubber) outsole, made up of blown rubber. This material is used in the heel section of shoes, its durable construction helps to lengthen the life of midsole material. Forefoot section of the shoe is made up of DuraSponge. A softer material than heel section; such design helps you in the toe-off phase, allowing you to have a better gait cycle. ASICS Gel-Kayano 26 is known for its durability for long distance runners.  

Midsole: ASICS Gel shock absorption technology is used to design the majority part of midsole. This silicon gel material absorbs shock generated by foot strike., you will get a smoother ride with this shoe. The Dynamic DuoMaxTM is a dense foam present under your midfoot to support the arch.

It helps runners with overpronation to gain stability during run or standing idly. A removable sockliner design by ASICS offers your foot extra cushioning. It also have antibacterial and anti moisture features to keep your feet odourless.

Upper: The upper unit is made up of jacquard mesh. The material offers flexibility for you to stretch freely, without sacrificing fitting properties. The FluidFitTM construction adapts to the motion of your foot as you run.

Highlight(s): If you have a flat-feet or overpronation, this stability running shoe is right for you. It is praised for its high quality midsole and responsiveness. The shoe appeared to be worth buying despite a slight higher price point. However, it do face some criticism about narrow toe-boxes for some runners. 

Pro(s):

  • High quality midsole
  • High responsiveness 
  • Durable Outsole
  • Good for overpronator

Cons(s): 

  • Some runners want a wider toe-box 
  • Midsole is too thin for some buyer

Adidas Solar Drive 19 (Best for price)

For Men:

For Women:

Facts

  • Terrain: Road/Treadmill
  • Activities: Casual Road Running, Long Distance Running
  • Heel to toe offset(drop): 10mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 318g(Men) 278g(Women)
  • Strike Pattern: Heel strike

Features

Outsole: Wear resistant technology(AdiwearTM) in outsole design protects the shoe from uneven surface. Most buyers are satisfied with the traction provided by this shoe in their run. Shoes with good traction provide you enough stability. This is so important to reduce the chance of possible injury, especially for plus-sized runners.

Midsole: You might have heard before, Adidas Boost Technology. Solar Drive 19 utilizes this technology to boost your running speed, by having efficient energy return in take off phase. This is achieved by natural properties of material used by Adidas in their midsole, as opposed to standard EVA midsole. With great stability and boost features, this midsole does perform a good job in giving runners a smooth running experience.

Upper: Standard engineered mesh upper. It provides enough breathability by permitting air to flow through the shoes, which also means the shoes aren’t waterproof. This type of upper construction is suitable for people who like casual road/treadmill running, especially in summer. 

Highlight(s): Most buyers have a positive feedback after getting this shoe. The most notable feature is the comfort it offers over long distance running. Due to the efficient midsole technology, Adidas Drive 19 is relatively light and responsive, allowing long distance runners to preserve their energy in the long run. However, there are some complaints about the stiffness of the shoes, some users think that the shoe’s upper can be softer.  

Pro(s):

  • Breathable upper
  • Durable Outsole
  • Affordable
  • Good traction 
  • Efficient midsole construction

Cons(s): 

  • Some buyer think shoe upper is too stiff

Brooks Glycerin 17 (Recommended)

For Men:

For Women:

Facts

  • Terrain: Road/Treadmill
  • Activities: Road Running, Treadmill Running, Marathon Training, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 10mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 300g(Men) 261g(Women)
  • Strike Pattern:Heel strike

Features

Outsole: The entire bottom of the midsole is covered with rubber compound, which has a net-like structure to provide enough traction and protection to the midsole. Flex grooves structure designed by brooks in this shoe allow the shoes to bend naturally during heel-to-toe transition. It’s a standard outsole for casual road running, if you are into trail running, this might not be your go-to shoe.  

Midsole: Brooks utilizes its DNA LOFT technology, which uses a long lasting foam to create a relatively thick cushioning system. It doesn’t have a substantial weight despite its thick cushioning. Many runners expressed their satisfaction with its responsiveness during the toe-off phase. Above the midsole is the OrthoLite sockliner, which is said to have anti-moisture and antibacterial properties. 

Upper: Woven cloth is used to make up the shoe upper. Many runners love its soft construction, the material adapts to the natural shape and motion of your foot as you run with this shoe. This shoe’s upper receives many positive feedback from existing buyers from various online shopping sites.

Breathing hole is present in various parts of the shoe upper to allow ventilation and air circulation. Sets of synthetic print(3D print technology) are present in the left, right, and heel side of the shoe not only to add colour to the shoe upper. It also results in firmer upper with long lasting integrity.  

Highlight(s): Without surprise, this shoe impresses many runners with its overall shoe quality. Lots of people use this shoe for speed training, casual road running and even gym exercising. With its medium cushioned midsole and firm shoe upper, it’s a shoe that is worth considering for overweight runners. 

Pro(s):

  • Comfortable shoe upper
  • Outsole with great traction
  • Responsive and light midsole

Cons(s): 

  • Some people don’t like its colour

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 (Best for severe overpronation)

For Men:

For Women:

Facts

  • Terrain: Road/Treadmill
  • Activities: Road Running, Marathon Training
  • Heel offset drop: 12mm
  • Pronation: Severe overpronation
  • Arch type: Low Arch
  • Arch support: Motion control 
  • Weight: 302g(Men) 266g(Women)
  • Strike Pattern: Rearfoot strike

Features

Outsole: Brooks makes use of blown rubber(air-injected rubber) in its construction of the entire outsole of this shoe. This material is more light and flexible than the conventional rubber, allowing it to have better protection against abrasion. Like Brooks Glycerin 17, Flex grooves structure designed by brooks in this shoe allow the shoes to bend naturally during heel-to-toe transition.

Midsole: This running shoe is specially designed for people with severe overpronation who need a support system. GuideRails support technology by Brooks keeping your foot in place in the case of excessive movement. Overpronators and even neutral runners who have poor gait cycle should make use of this feature to correct their striking and toe-off pattern.

Other than DNA Loft technology like Glycerin 17, this shoe also uses BioMoGo DNA foam, which is a firmer material, to provide responsive structure to the toe area. Overall, this is a medium cushioned structure that provides runners with a good amount of comfort with responsiveness. 

Upper: Double layer FlexFit upper was designed to fit and stabilize the foot of overpronator. The firmness in shoe upper helps to secure the runner’s foot in place, yet doesn’t sacrifice flexibility. Despite the double layer upper feature of this shoe, Brooks was able to come up with lightweight upper structure. 

Highlight(s): Best for people with flat-feet or severe overpronation. The shoes receive compliments for its quality midsole, wide toe-room, and modern looking shoe upper. Some people are disappointed with its narrow heel section, and lack of colour choice. Overall, people with overpronation are satisfied with the performance offered. If you are plus-sized runner with severe overpronation, this shoe is definitely recommended, without question. 

Pro(s):

  • Roomy toe-box
  • Quality midsole support system for runner with overpronation
  • Modern-looking design
  • Firm but flexible shoe upper 

Cons(s): 

  • Narrow heel section for some runner

Mizuno Wave Rider 23 (Best for cushioning)

For Men:

For Women:

Facts

  • Terrain: Road/Treadmill
  • Activities: Road Running, Marathon Training, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 12mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 289g(Men) 241g(Women) 
  • Strike Pattern: Heel strike

Features

Outsole: Durable carbon rubber makes up the heel section of the outsole, giving runner traction during heel striking. Meanwhile, forefoot outsole uses a softer blown rubber to provide enough responsiveness during toe-off phase. The plush quality of blown rubber also acts as an extra layer of cushioning to support the midsole.

Midsole: Different technologies that Brooks created are put together to create a lightweight and durable midsole. The U4ic is a lightweight foam used as the main cushioning material from heel to toe. U4icX, which is only located in the heel section, is a softer foam that can help you in shock absorption during heel striking phase.

A piece of rubber, made from TPU(Thermoplastic Polyurethane), is present under your heel to give you springiness during heel striking or just standing up. These midsole technologies greatly increase the mileage of the shoe, and provide some level of firmness and responsiveness to the midsole, which is perfect for overweight runners.

Upper: Wave Rider 23 ‘s upper is made up of dual layer engineered mesh. It gives you a good level of comfort and flexibility, while preventing debris to enter from small holes. Many runners are happy with the shoe upper because of its stretchability. Dynamotion Fit Technology by Mizuno wraps around your foot naturally, even when your foot expands or shrinks, if you get the correct size.

Highlight(s): Mizuno Wave Rider series has been on the market for a long time. It remains a reliable choice for runners who look for durable running shoes that can withstand a high mileage. With the consistency in providing comfort and supportive midsole, each version in the series doesn’t disappoint most of the runners. 

Pro(s):

  • Stretchable upper
  • Roomy toe-box
  • Durable and supportive midsole, good for overweight runner
  • Lightweight

Cons(s): 

  • People who own Mizuno Rider 22 think it’s not worth upgrading, commenting that overall design is almost the same. 

Nike Epic React Flyknit (Best lightweight)

For Men:

For Women:

Facts

  • Terrain: Road
  • Activities: Road Running, Marathon Training
  • Heel offset drop: 10mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 239g(Men) 195g(Women) 
  • Strike Pattern: Heel Strike

Features

Outsole: Unlike the conventional outsole, where shoe’s bottom is covered by rubber, Nike Epic React Knit only places 2 thick translucent rubber on the toe and heel section of the outsole. These 2 rubber were placed strategically to give you enough traction on various surfaces. 

Midsole: Nike claims that the shoe is at the cutting edge of sneaker innovation. With its newly designed midsole. The rubber-based midsole is 30% lighter than most of the conventional midsole, it’s called “React foam”. 

Nike also introduces a new technology, called “Fluid Geometry”. They alter the design of the midsole by extending the midsole rubber to the heel side, this helps to enhance stability of runners. If you’re getting the shoes, expect it to be responsive, medium cushioned and bouncy. 

Upper: Upper of Nike React Flyknit is made up of a single piece element (Flyknit Cleatie). The minimal construction results in great breathability. It’s perfect for people who love lightweight, and breathable shoes. 

Highlight(s): Newly designed midsole has just the right amount of cushioning, without being too soft or too firm, as explained by one of the reviewers. The shoes are perfect for overweight runners who like road running, with lightweight shoes. Most people are pleased with how responsive the midsole is.

However, the shoe isn’t without criticism, some people complained that the 2 rubber on toe and heel side of the outsole wear out too quickly. 

Pro(s):

  • Breathable upper
  • Light, durable and bouncy midsole (Great feature!)
  • Great energy return during toe off
  • Upper fit the foot easily

Cons(s): 

  • Outsole isn’t durable for some people
  • Rigid heel counter

5 Alternative running shoes

Asics Gel Nimbus 22

For Men:

For Women:

  • Terrain: Road/Treadmill
  • Activities: Casual Road Running, Marathon Training, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 10mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 309g(Men) 255(Women) 
  • Strike Pattern: Heel Strike

Reebok Harmony Road 3

For Men:

For Women:

  • Terrain: Road
  • Activities: Road Running, Marathon Training, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 10mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 275g(Men) 247g(Women) 
  • Strike Pattern: Heel strike

Saucony Freedom ISO 2

For Men:

For Women:

  • Terrain: Road
  • Activities: Road Running, Marathon Training, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 4mm
  • Pronation: Neutral
  • Arch type: High Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral 
  • Weight: 258g(Men) 232g(Women) 
  • Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike

Altra Paradigm 4.5

For Men:

For Women:

  • Terrain: Road/Treadmill
  • Activities: Casual Road Running, Marathon Training, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 0mm
  • Pronation: Overpronation
  • Arch type: Medium Arch
  • Arch support: Stability
  • Weight: 318g(Men) 261g(Women) 
  • Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike

Hoka One One Bondi 6

For Men:

For Women:

  • Terrain: Road/Treadmill
  • Activities: Casual Road Running, Marathon Training, Long Distance Running
  • Heel offset drop: 4mm
  • Pronation: Neutral 
  • Arch type: Medium Arch
  • Arch support: Neutral
  • Weight: 303g(Men) 252g(Women) 
  • Strike Pattern: Forefoot strike

In case you are trying to lose some weight…

It’s without a doubt that running is an excellent sport for weight loss.  But there are other things you need to incorporate in your routine if you are trying to slim down. One of the important things, probably more important than running, diet (no surprise).

Calorie Deficit

You probably heard it before, but it’s worth reminding. In order to lose extra weight, you need to allow your body to be in a state of “calorie deficit”. So it uses body fat to convert energy that you need in daily activity. Running requires substantial energy, it allows your body to convert body fat into energy, but that is just the second part.

healthy food

You need to reduce calorie intake first! Runners often make a mistake by overcompensating for calories used in exercising by eating too much after calories-burning activities.

You will certainly feel hungry after running, reducing your calorie intake after running is a great thing you can do if you are trying to lose weight. You can get a meal plan from verywellfit.com.  

Why don’t I see any progress?

A reasonable rate of weight losing is about 1 to 2llbs per week. If you constantly run and perform cardio activities, your body will get stronger, leaner and grow more muscle. You might even see an increase in weight in this situation due to muscle weight. You are encouraged to use other methods to keep track of your progress, like body fat percentage, or noticing your clothes fitting. 

How to reduce belly fat with running?

Running will not help you to reduce fat in specified areas (spot-reducing). Though it’s an extremely great activity for reducing visceral fat( fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity). Combining a proper meal plan and aerobic exercise like running and other cardio activity is the best way to start losing belly fat!

slim women running

How can I run less and get more results?

The key to get more results in any fitness program is consistency. You don’t want to get burned out in a month and stop for a few months. Start small(click to see benefit of starting small). I know it’s a little out of topic here, but I’ve seen many people start and give up in the first few months. Start small and allow your body to get used to new activities, this will help you to stick to new habits and be consistent. 

Wrap it up…

I hope you find this post helpful! Choosing the right shoe for you can be hard if you are not equipped with the correct information. Having to narrow down with all these shoe technologies is surely a daunting task.

Brooks Glycerin 17 continues to be my recommendation due to its comfortable fitting and high quality mid and outsole, which I think it’s suitable for most overweight runners. If you are running to lose weight, schedule you running/ cardio exercise hours, combine with an effective meal plan. Running can be a super effective exercise if you are consistent. See you on the road!  

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