Athletes have hundreds of different body types, so why does so much sportswear favor the slim and wiry?
Heavier runners have specific support needs because of the high impact of their strides. We’ve put together our top 5 running shoes for heavy women.
The Best Running Shoes for Heavy Women Athletes
|Product||Upper Material||Sole Material||Number of Available Colors|
|#1. ASICS Women's Gel-Cumulus 18|
Our Best Pick
|#2. Mizuno Women's Wave Creation 18|
|#3. ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 22|
|#4. New Balance Women's W990V4 Shoe-W|
|75% pigskin 25% mesh||Rubber||3|
|#5. Nike Women's Air Zoom Pegasus 33|
#1. ASICS Gel-Cumulus 18
The ASICS Gel-Cumulus is an ideal shoe if you’re a neutral runner. The upper has a great deal of flexibility and good cushioning, and the shoes provide enough stability for both short springs and long-distance runs.
Heavier runners have heavy foot strikes, which can lead to greater impacts through the body. Running is one of the highest-impact exercises.
If you don’t have adequate cushioning, the shock will reverberate through your body, causing pain and lowering your stamina.
But the engineering of this shoe helps neutralize the strike of your foot against the ground.
Overall, it’s a solidly-built running shoe with adequate, lightweight cushioning. The model utilizes the Convergence GEL sole to provide padding and impact management.
In addition, the Impact Guidance System increases your overall running flexibility without sacrificing the cushioning. You get a natural gait that doesn’t jar your teeth.
Even though the shoe has additional impact cushioning, it doesn’t feel heavy or like it’s weighing down the stride.
In comparison to the previous Gel-Cumulus model, ASICS has now eliminated the fabric overlays across the upper’s toe-box. This causes less pressure against the foot.
The upper is made from breathable mesh, so fresh air flows to your feet with each stride.
The tongues of the shoes stay in place even after long-distance runs, and the laces are easy to tie. In addition to being great for heavier strides, they’re designed to prevent supination, plantar fasciitis, and knee pain.
#2. Mizuno Women’s Wave Creation 18
This offering from Mizuno is a good choice if you’re going to run long distance and need good cushioning. With that said, the shoe is fairly heavy, clocking in at 12.7 ounces.
The majority of the weight comes from the moving tongue. Because of the design, it also requires some effort to toe off, so you may expend more energy than with a lighter-weight option.
The Creation 18 includes an anatomical sockliner that conforms to the foot, increasing the underfoot comfort and allowing the shoe to adapt to a variety of foot shapes.
The design includes a full-length midsole combined with a 12 millimeter drop, so there’s more shock absorption than with an average pair of running shoes.
The toe box is roomy enough to keep from pinching or creating blisters as you go through your workout.
The shoe’s soft heel collar is designed to hold it in place throughout your stride. The fabric doesn’t easily rub against your skin, but if you’re not a fan of sneaker fabric against your ankles, you should use a pair of socks when you run.
The upper tends to fit most feet well, and the sole provides ideal traction on dry roads and other typical running surfaces. The shoe’s overall flexibility provides stability while you run.
#3. ASICS Women’s GEL-Kayano 22
The GEL-Kayano is another offering from ASICS that’s good for women with heavy strides. It’s made with a mesh upper that can stretch and conform to the foot.
Meanwhile, the sole is made with Dynamic DuoMax Support technology and FlyteFoam.
The engineering provides necessary cushioning and balance to protect your body from impact throughout each stride.
The heel drop is 10 millimeters, a good height for those who tend toward overpronation. The sole is engineered to be stable over a variety of outdoor terrains, so the shoes will suit you whether you’re on the treadmill or running a mountain trail.
One notable design feature is that the toe of the sole is crafted with DuraSponge material, which allows for shock absorption during the heel-to-toe strike.
Instead of having DuraSponge throughout the sole, the heels are made with high abrasion rubber, so they can handle striking rough ground without wearing down.
In comparison to previous iterations of the shoe, the mesh upper has been slightly redesigned. It now offers mixes of fabric that strategically provide air and breathability to key parts of your foot with each step.
This redesign also makes the upper more flexible and less constricting, a must for long-distance running.
#4. New Balance Women’s W990V4
This shoe model is built with lighter cushioning than some others on the list, designed to prioritize stability.
The combination of strategic cushioning and forefoot engineering provides runners with good arch stability. Arch support is one of the most important aspects of a comfortable shoe for heavy runners.
The midsole is designed with torsional stability and “stabilicore” technology, which makes the heel-to-toe transition smoother and less jarring.
Because it’s designed with stability as a main priority, this shoe makes a great option if you tend toward overpronation.
The shoe’s N2 heel cushioning provides comfort and support while reducing the negative physical effects from repeated heel-strike impacts.
There’s enough room to comfortably move the toes, and the arches and joints are provided extra support.
If you’re a heavy runner who tends toward overpronation or knee pain, this is a joint-soothing shoe that’s a great option.
The rubber sole is durable enough to stand up to heavy use, while the upper has thin and breathable mesh to increase airflow.
In addition, the shoe’s interior sock lining absorbs and siphons away any sweat or other moisture that might accumulate, so your feet remain dry and comfortable.
The footbed uses springy, shock-absorbing Ortholite technology. It’s good for people with flat feet, as well as those who tend to roll their feet inward or overpronate.
Because the outsole and midsole are created with the company’s Beam TPU system, there’s proper support and a natural correction of your gait.
The only real drawback is that these tend to be a little pricey and on the heavier side of the list.
#5. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33
The Pegasus 33 is a new generation of one of Nike’s most classic running shoes.
The sneaker’s upper is made with breathable mesh and features Flywire cable laces that lock the shoes to your feet. Increased cushioning helps negate the pain from heavy strides.
In contrast to some other soles, these shoes have flex grooves built into their rubber, so they have better grip and traction on difficult terrain.
The sneaker is built for long-distance runners, offering a neutral and cushioned ride. In addition, the footwear has been fitted with smooth foot strikes to add durability.
The outer sole uses responsive cushioning, which adapts to your gait to make the heel-to-toe transition seamless. This is a perennial favorite of heavy runners because of the sheer durability.
Like other running shoes, these are designed with uppers made of breathable, engineered mesh. The internal sock lining also removes moisture.
Though the engineering is meant to be sturdy and durable, the designers also worked to make it lightweight, so it’s easier for those with knee issues and lower stamina.
Unlike many other shoes, these use a combination of rubber and pylon to provide their responsiveness. The one main drawback is that the sole may be a bit narrow, so it’s not a good idea for those with wider feet.
Also, though the design uses durable materials, it may not provide the stability and gait correction that overpronators and underpronators need.
All of these shoes provide the support and impact cushioning that a heavy runner needs during her runs. The best one depends on your unique running needs and preferences.
In terms of well-rounded quality, the Gel-Cumulus 18 is a winner. It combines stability, flexibility, and extra cushioning to give you the all-around support you need.
The design also helps prevent and mitigate plantar fasciitis and knee pain.
For those who don’t mind a heavier shoe, the Mizuno Wave Creation provides incredible cushioning. You’ll just need to put in a little extra energy to toe off.
Meanwhile, the Gel-Kayano 22’s unique sole engineering makes it great for smooth strides during outdoor runs.
The New Balance shoes are the best if you’re prone to gait issues like overpronation, or you suffer from joint pain or other leg issues. They provide specially-contoured support.
Finally, the Pegasus 33 is a great choice if you want a lightweight, comfortable shoe. Its cushioning is ideal, but it may not be as stable as the others.