7 Best Running Shoes For Heavy Men in 2024

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
7 Best Running Shoes For Heavy Men in 2024
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Running shoes for big guys have loads of cushion to keep the feet protected. And more importantly, they're built durable. 

Whether you're running on pavement or on the trails, these shoes can take a beating. 

Choosing from more than 300 running shoes for heavy men can be a lot. To help you, we put them under the microscope (figuratively and literally) and tested each of them rigorously. Then we filtered them and only selected the optimum ones, resulting in our list that's trimmed down to the best of the best from different categories.

How we test running shoes

To keep everything as bias-free as possible, we buy all the shoes we examine with our own money. And to be objective, we have our own shoe testing lab for a more data-driven review. 

On top of these, we also: 

  • Run in each shoe for at least 30-50 miles. We get the big guys among us testers to run the show to really provide an authentic review from their POV.
  • Cut them open to assess what's inside. We evaluate every little detail that we encounter.
  • Measure each part and parameter. We analogize the results we obtain to our experiences while trying on and testing the shoes.

Best running shoes for heavy men overall

Hoka Bondi 8
84
Good!

What makes it the best?

The 8th iteration of the Bondi series keeps its charming massive look and solidifies its appeal to heavier running enthusiasts. It runs ultra-comfy and feels utterly enjoyable, all while boasting an otherworldly stable ride that propelled this kick to the pinnacle of this list.

Our feet melt into the lofty midsole right from the very first step, with its foamy texture emerging as 26.8% softer than average in our durometer. This rather balanced density offers a downy feel without losing its composure or risking to bottom out. A generous amount of this foam stands underfoot, with our caliper measuring a stack of 36.2 mm at the heel and 30.0 mm at the forefoot - wildly beyond the average of 33.2 mm and 24.3 mm, respectively.

The footprints we left on dirty roads looked monstrous, and that’s where its stunning stability game comes from. While the norm would be a 112.8 mm reading, our caliper revealed a 126.5 mm midsole width at the forefoot - this is gigantic! A wider platform for the feet to land offers a more supported and safe stride, and the Bondi 8 masterfully translated into the running world.

It’s in the toebox department that this Hoka stumbles. Wide-footers might experience a snug fit, as the widest part of the toebox measures 91.6 mm, a substantial 6.3 mm narrower than the average running shoe.

Pros

  • Oozing with comfort
  • Gliding ride
  • A touch springy
  • Feels stable
  • Breathable
  • Upper is soft as hell
  • Highly durable

Cons

  • Tight midfoot
  • Narrow toebox
  • It's still heavy
Full review of Hoka Bondi 8

Running shoes with best cushioning for heavy men

What makes it the best?

When it comes to indulgent comfort, the Invincible Run 3 is the real deal. Big guys seeking a homey-feeling shoe to gobble landing impact might find solace in the ZoomX foam, with the upper padding sealing the deal.

The midsole’s score in our durometer left us with water in our mouths. A delightful 14.5 HA softness threw the Invincible 3 to the top 10% plushest shoes we ever put our feet in. In practical terms, this translated into a velvety sea where our feet gladly immersed with each step. Surprisingly, the widened base managed to keep our strides impressibly stable, with our caliper measuring a midsole width at the heel 12.2 mm above average.

Sweetening this cocoon of comfort, the upper is greatly padded as observed in the 7.4 mm thick tongue. No nefarious effects on the divine Flyknit though! Smoke pumped into the shoe could easily pass through the entire length of the fabric, earning the Invincible a notable 4 out of 5 in our breathability test.

In traction matters, the Invincible left us utterly disappointed. The shoe struggled to maintain its composure on wet surfaces, so beware the wintry season.

Pros

  • Way more stable than previous versions
  • Tall stack of impact-absorbing cushioning
  • Good energy return
  • Comfort for the entire foot
  • Thicker, more durable outsole
  • A solid ride that works for more runners
  • Breathable
  • Great for recovery days and long easy runs

Cons

  • Poor grip on wet roads
  • Heel slippage
  • Heel clip can be irritating when cornering
Full review of Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3

Best comfortable running shoes for heavy men

What makes it the best?

Already in its name, Fresh Foam X More v4 gave us comfort like no other in our runs. This max-cushioned trainer dampens the impact of landing and keeps us steady throughout every stride. Supported by our lab results and actual runs, we find that it provides the best comfort for heavier runners.

The cushion is buttery smooth, giving a bounce that makes the ride more enjoyable. Our durometer shows the foam is 35.7% softer than average, yet we never feel like bottoming out. It has a wider-than-average base and a more leveled 4.6 mm heel drop, as confirmed by our caliper. Both features promote a more even weight distribution, ensuring a securely planted sensation. A vast landing platform encourages more stable landings. Fun fact: this model accommodates all types of feet as it’s also available in wide and extra-wide options.

Further enhancing our control is the grippy outsole that handles dry-to-wet pavements effortlessly. Upon checking with our durometer, the rubber is 6.4% softer than average. This means better traction as more rubber clings to the ground. High-impact areas are covered with this rubber to lengthen the shoe’s lifespan.

With padding all around, this pair kept our feet toasty. We don’t recommend this for training in warm weather.

Pros

  • An armor from fatigue
  • REALLY cushy for long days
  • Puts life in your run
  • A stable ride
  • True to size
  • Superb heel clutch
  • Markdown price
  • Long-lasting
  • Reflective

Cons

  • Easily feels hot
  • Chunky and clunky
  • Low energy return
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4

Best stability running shoes for heavy men

What makes it the best?

Gel Kayano 30 has substantial stack height combined with the soft FF Blast+ foam to mute out the landing impact in our runs. Even with its flexible build, it holds supportive features to ensure safe and sound strides for all types of runners. Our actual runs and lab tests confirm it's the leader of the stability game for big guys.

GK30 proves a cushioned shoe can be stable through its 4D Guidance System and vast platform. It integrates a softer foam under the arch and adjusts to our feet for custom protection. The wide midsole provides enough allowance for steady landings. It accommodates even the widest feet with an extra 11.2/15.3 mm in the forefoot and heel.

The FF Blast+ — ASICS' softest cloud-like foam — gives a homey feeling, measuring 31.4% softer than average. Its skyscraper stack sits well above the average to ensure a smooth and bouncy ride for heavier runners. Beneath the cushion, its outsole promises durability by providing an extra 1.0 mm of rubber.

Unlike most stability shoes, this pair isn’t stiff. Its loose build allows us to move naturally and supports us without much restriction. Our flex test confirms it’s 17.5% more adaptive than average.

As expected from a cushioned shoe, GK30 sits heavier at 10.7 oz (303g) vs. the average running shoe (9.5 oz/268g).

Pros

  • Exceptionally cushioned
  • Impressively stable with 4D Guidance System
  • Lighter than it seems
  • Top-notch breathability
  • Effective maximalist design
  • Superior durability and comfort
  • Ideal for high-mileage runners
  • Ultra-plush FF Blast+ foam
  • Amazing build quality

Cons

  • Actual drop exceeds stated measurement
  • Midsole might require a break-in period
Full review of ASICS Gel Kayano 30

Best running shoes for heavy men for wide feet

What makes it the best?

Its stable and smooth ride granted the Altra VIA Olympus a spot in this list, but it’s the roomy toebox that demands the spotlight. Heavy wide-footers, we present to you the epitome of easy running for any distance.

Fatty digits are delightfully welcomed in the VIA Olympus experience. We could certainly splay out our toes in the front, inviting us to dig deeper into precise data. Putting our caliper into action, we measured a marvelous 101.4 mm toebox width, 3.5 mm beyond average. These numbers’ effect is enhanced by the squared shape of the forefoot, adding to the sensation of boundless room.

Tailor-made for big guys, the stability system of this Altra was phenomenal throughout our long strolls. The midsole’s broad foundation ensured steadfast landings, exceeding the average by 2.1 mm at the heel and 4.0 mm at the forefoot. Moreover, we locked the shoe by its tip to assess its resistance to being bent 90 degrees. Our force gauge unveiled a titanic 72.1N force, marking the shoe as an astonishing 135% stiffer than average! This attribute grants a composed and structured feel to the shoe, and that didn’t go unnoticed in our runs.

However, the VIA Olympus finds its niche, as its minimal 1.6 mm drop may prove rather awkward for extreme heel strikers.

Pros

  • Comfortable and premium-feeling upper
  • Roomy, unmistakably-Altra fit
  • Secure lockdown even for narrow feet
  • Smooth and responsive ride
  • Good for any distance at an easy pace
  • Effective, but not obtrusive, rocker
  • Copious amount of padding
  • Breathable
  • Absorbs impact well

Cons

  • Cushioning on the firm side, but a toss-up on how firm
  • Doesn’t feel like a zero-drop shoe
  • Substantial break-in period
  • On the heavier side
Full review of Altra VIA Olympus

Best trail running shoes for heavy men

Altra Olympus 5
80
Good!

What makes it the best?

Big guys seeking a muscled trail shoe for a day in the woods might hit the jackpot with the Olympus 5. It boasts cushioning to give and sell, confidently gliding over both wet and dry trails.

A protective foam kept our feet shielded and far from the rough terrain as we ventured into the wilderness. Back in our lab, we dissected this Altra and studied its midsole with our caliper. The heel stack already stands a fair 1.4 mm above average, but it’s in the forefoot that the trick is unveiled - a stack of 31.0 mm sends this shoe far deep into the max-cushioned range, topping our database average of 24.2 mm.

While towering, the Olympus is nowhere near unstable. Its widened heel platform ensured steady landings even on uneven grounds, emerging as 11.6 mm wider than usual. As it couldn’t be otherwise, the traction of the Olympus is top-notch, with the sharp 3.0 mm lugs taking care of mud or unforeseen roots.

However, durability is a big NO! For $180, it doesn’t offer much value with the outsole showing serious signs of wear before hitting the 50 miles mark.

Pros

  • Grippy on wet and dry trails
  • Protective muscles
  • Comfort is a 10/10
  • Toe box welcomes wide feet
  • Gives out energy
  • Breathable
  • Stable ride
  • Heel lockdown is terrific!
  • Easy on and off

Cons

  • Durability couldn't be worse
  • Annoying lace bites
  • It's a splurge
Full review of Altra Olympus 5

Best budget running shoes for heavy men

What makes it the best?

Alphabounce+ delivers premium comfort, energy, and stability in our runs. It’s an excellent shock absorber with its double-foamed midsole and tough outsole. With a platform that can take a beating, this shoe offers significant support to heavier runners. The awesome part is it falls within the $100 range, making it the best budget shoe for big guys. 

The main star is the midsole, composed of a Bounce foam in the heel and a soft Cloudfoam that completes the rest of the midsole. Honoring its name, the first foam offers a lot of bounce and energy for heel strikers. Our durometer shows it’s slightly softer than average, allowing us to enjoy cushioned landings and snappy takeoffs. Meanwhile, the Cloudfoam feels plush underfoot. Our durometer confirms it’s 9.9% softer than average.

Each stride of ours met a vast platform, especially in the heel, ensuring rock-steady landings. Our caliper shows an extra 13.8 mm space in the heel vs. average!

The outsole has a monstrous build and is tough enough for abrasions. It stands thicker than average at 4.3 mm. Our durometer also shows it’s 9.3% harder than average. 

This pair feels heavy, making it difficult to perform faster efforts. It reached 12.0 oz (340g) in our scales — 2.5 oz (72g) heavier than average!

Pros

  • Great impact protection
  • Bounce midsole foam at the heel provides a premium feeling ride
  • Good for walking, gym days, as well as easy runs
  • Remarkably stable underfoot
  • Grippy and durable outsole
  • Budget friendly
  • Stylish and sustainable design

Cons

  • Very heavy for a road shoe
  • Breathability could be better
  • Not for long distances or tempo sessions
  • Lacking in upper durability
Full review of Adidas Alphabounce+
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.