If you’re a big guy and you’d like to get into running. This guide will help you find the right pair of running shoes.
The two main points you will need to consider more than others are; stability and arch support.
With some careful thought and consideration you can find the right running shoes for you. These are my top picks running shoes that have the characteristics that are the best running shoes for a big guy.
Table of Contents
Running shoes take a beating. With every step 3 to 4 times your body weight is transferred through your legs to the road. As a bigger runner your shoes will wear out faster. Expect to be replacing your running shoes after 300 to 500 miles.
Try to understand your feet and consider these points when looking for a new pair.
If your running shoes are not comfortable you’ll be less lightly to go for a run. Comfort will always be at the top of my list of running shoes characteristics.
A few things combine that means bigger guys are likely to over pronate (see the next two points for details). To find out if you are an over pronator its best to get yourself checked out in a good running shop.
If that’s not possible take a look at the your current running shoes. If they have an unusual wear pattern you may be over pronating. Take your current running shoes to the shop when you buy your next. They will be able to tell just by looking at the wear if you need a different type of shoes.
Running in a neutral shoes means you legs and posterior chain will be working harder than required to maintain form. Even more so if you’re a big guy.
Some running shoes have different materials in the midsole to assist with stability. For example, softer on the outside of the shoe, harder on the inner part of the midsole. In that example the foot would be encouraged to pronate. That might be a bad thing for the bigger running. Or it might not. Just be aware and use that information when buying your next pair.
Bigger guys have a tendency to have flatter feet. This can be compensated for by making sure the shoes you buy have adequate arch support.
Orthotics can change the characteristics of a shoe in one or two ways.
- Extra cushioning
- Arch support
They could do both, so its not one or the other.
Custom orthotics are best as they are designed to work specifically with your feet. However they are also the most expensive. You’ll also need to see a podiatrist to get them designed and built for you.
Off the shelf orthotics are good if you want to add a bit more cushioning.
In both cases you may need a slightly larger shoe to accommodate your feet and orthotics. So if you think you’ll be trying orthotics, get the next half or full size shoe up.
Sorry to say that big guys will burn through shoes at a higher rate than the lighter runner. There’s no clear cut method for deciding when your running shoes should be replaced. However, if you can feel the difference from when they were new its time to change. Also if you do the visual check, if they look beat up, think how that translates to your feet and legs.
Unless you’re buying a pair of running shoes for racing. Get some with plenty of rubber on the sole. All to often these days manufacturers are producing shoes with minimal rubber to keep weight down. However, generally speaking the more rubber the longer they will last.
Size: Go Big
The bigger guy will find that their feet splay out more than others. Give them the room they need and make your next pair half to one size bigger than you would normally expect to buy.
Other Things to Consider
I was a bigger guy a few years ago so I speak from personal experience. When I started running I took it slowly and made sure I didn’t over stretch myself by running too far. I didn’t know about strength and form when I started.
BMI or body mass index is a good idicator of where you are at with your weight. Its not foold proof and is just a number. Check your here if you are interested
Strength and Conditioning
Your shoes will only carry you so far. If you try to run too far too soon there’s a good chance that you’ll cause yourself an injury. This is true for anyone but if you’re a bigger guy you’ve got more weight and therefore risk to carry with you.
A good routing of strength for a few weeks or months before you start running will help prevent the risk of injury.
As will walking. If you cant easily walk a few miles a day, you cant expect to run them. I was an avid walker for a year before I started running. That may be a little extreme but I was pleased I took my time. The transition to running was relatively seamless.
Check out this video for a brief explanation of running form. Its very relevant to big guys who want to run as good form will help prevent injuries.
Good form also loops back to stability shoes. Stability shoes will help you maintain good form for longer without getting tired.
Conclusion: The Best Running Shoes For A Big Guy
Buy shoes with the correct cushioning, stability and arch support for you.
Look at your old running shoes if you have any and try to get some information from them that will help your next purchase.
Speak to professionals if you’ve tried and struggled with shoe selection in the past. The guys in your local running shop should be able to advise in the first instance. If you’ve tried that and you still have problems. A podiatrist could be your next stop.
Frequently Asked Questions
Best shoes for beginner overweight runners?
Shoes that have stabilizing characteristics cushioning and good arch support.
Best trail running shoes for heavy runners?
The same principals apply as for a road shoe, stabilizing characteristics cushioning and good arch support.