7 Best Chunky Trainers in 2024

Jaydee
Jaydee on
7 Best Chunky Trainers in 2024
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Love them or hate them, chunky trainers are undeniably one of the popular trends to date. These beefed-up kicks are a constant to almost all fashion runways, events, and several influencers' social media accounts. 

Whether you are a true-blue trend lover or simply enjoy the cosiness of these bulky kicks, we've tested several chunky trainers so we can fact-check claims by brands and endorsers. We don't recklessly believe every hearsay - we actually see it for ourselves. As a result, we have curated our highly recommended chunky trainers to suit every taste and budget level. 

How we test trainers

We carefully scrutinised 200+ chunky trainers to help you find the best stocky solemate. To give you honest and fair reviews, we:

  • Buy these chunky kicks using our own money. 
  • Thoroughly test these trainers to check their comfort, durability, and many more specs. We wear them in our daily activities and even on special casual occasions. 
  • Finally, we wield our calliper, durometer, drill, and other instruments to measure the different parameters of the shoes. We also carve up and segment the shoes using our knife to grant us a more intensive view of their parts and techs.

Best chunky trainers overall

What makes it the best?

With its substantial design that not only captivates the eyes but also serves as a foot haven, the New Balance 9060 tops the chunky sneaker category. Our lab agrees that its padded interior offers unparalleled comfort while the durable outsole and steady ride are a testament to its robust construction, keeping us confident in all our adventures on foot.

The shoe delivers among the plushest sensations we’ve encountered underfoot. Our durometer shows a 19.4 HA reading, 38.2% softer than average. What further accentuates its luxurious feel is the massive 37.3/26.0 mm stack, erasing all kinds of ground feel and impact. It was easy to walk all day because our feet were spoiled with cushy goodness. 

Even with its soft base, we felt incredibly well-planted even as we shifted our weight laterally. The midsole features a wide 121.0/103.1 mm base and a flared design that excellently offsets any imbalance. On top of that, the twist-resistant platform keeps us centred. Our manual assessment reveals a high torsional rigidity of 4/5.

A chunky sneaker needs a sturdy outsole and that’s exactly what 9060 delivered. It resisted our aggressive Dremel impressively and showed minimal damage vs. average, promising longevity.

However, all the padding and support made this sneaker 1.1 oz (30g) heavier than average. Those who prioritise lightness and agility can explore alternatives.

Pros

  • Next-level comfort
  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Quite heavy-duty
  • Dope aesthetics
  • True to size
  • Looks better in person
  • Premium-grade materials
  • Stable

Cons

  • Limited colour options
  • Squeaks
  • A tad warm
Full review of New Balance 9060

Best futuristic chunky trainers

What makes it the best?

With its towering 32-mm stack height and distinctive exposed air bubble, the Air Max 270 takes its place as the best futuristic chunky sneaker. This sparks a dynamic shift in the Air Max lineup, being the first model to be a 100% lifestyle shoe. Surprisingly lightweight despite its substantial midsole, these kicks felt comfy and breezy during our city adventures.

While most trainers are more grounded, AM270 elevates the heel to an unprecedented 32mm, cementing the AM270's legacy in the realm of chunky footwear. Despite this, it never felt bottom-heavy during our strolls. Its extremely flexible nature added to its weightless feeling, easily bending with our natural foot flexion.

Crafted from breathable mesh and gentle neoprene, the Air Max 270 kept our feet cool and comfortable throughout the day, even without socks. Its inner lining feels soft to the touch while the well-ventilated space ensures a sweat-free experience. On top of this, the upper greatly resisted our abrasive test, showing only minimal fraying and proving its durability.

However, the high and soft nature of the heel led to discomfort with prolonged wear as we kept trying to maintain our balance. For those seeking supportive trainers, we suggest exploring alternative options.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Instantly comfortable
  • True to size
  • Durable
  • Can be worn without socks
  • Flexible
  • Super breathable
  • Sleek modern looks
  • Crazy number of colorways

Cons

  • Heel height might need adjusting to
  • Not the best for standing all day
Full review of Nike Air Max 270

Best classic chunky trainers

Nike Air Max 90
89
Good!

What makes it the best?

The Nike Air Max 90 was a not classic chunky shoe that we got just for the sake of having it. It’s something that we would want to wear not only because of the statement that it made but also because of its amazing breathability and durability. It was pretty resistant to stains, too! It was simply the best chunky classic for us!

The Air Max 90 retained the trendy bulky look of thirty years ago, and our retro-loving hearts were beating fast for it. We were in awe at how it managed to be breathable in spite of having layers and layers of materials all over. Design genius, we should say!

Durability was also a highlight. We subjected this classic sneaker to some physical torment in the lab, and we were glad to see that it still came out relatively unscathed. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, indeed!

A good bonus for us was the fact that this shoe was a bit resistant to stains. We put chalk and dye and dirt on the upper, and it was quite easy to remove them all with a simple wash. 

We just wished that the sole were a bit more flexible. While wearing the Nike Air Max 90, the bottom was just so unrelenting our steps became a bit clunky.

Pros

  • Very durable
  • Breathable
  • The stuff of legends and rightly so
  • Huge amounts of colorways
  • Great price for a statement shoe
  • Fits true to size
  • Quality materials
  • Easy to clean
  • Stain resistant

Cons

  • So stiff it asks for an adjustment period
  • Normal and wide feet find it too narrow
Full review of Nike Air Max 90

Chunky trainers with the best cushioning

What makes it the best?

The midsole of the Adidas Alphaboost V1 was visibly thicker than average, giving it the chunky look that many of us loved. But it doesn’t stop at being thick. The midsole also delivered the softest pampering that we’ve ever experienced, making it the best in cushioning among all the chunky trainers we wear-tested. That this sneaker was also twist resistant was already the icing on the cake.

With a thickness of 41.8 mm (ave 31.3 mm) at the heel and 28.3 mm (ave 20.0 mm) in the forefoot, the midsole succeeded in making us feel taller and more prominent. We also loved how its chunky look was so on trend.

When it came to softness, the midsole surely did not hold back. With a softness rating of only 22.4, it was definitely softer than the typical midsole that would get 30.9. The midsole’s softness allowed us to walk, run, and move for a longer time without feeling any pain. 

Just because the midsole was soft did not really mean that it was easy to bend or twist. Quite on the contrary, it actually showed tremendous resistance during our manual lab tests. The Adidas Alphaboost V1 ultimately got a perfect 5 for torsional rigidity.

Unfortunately, the heel counter did not have the base’s resistance. It was pretty easy to squeeze and deform it. In the end, the heel counter got a relatively low rating of 2 out of 5 for stiffness.

Pros

  • All-day comfort
  • Springy ride
  • Well-cushioned
  • Great for casual runs
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • Amazingly stable platform
  • Futuristic look
  • Versatile for many activities

Cons

  • Largely inflexible structure
  • Flimsy heel hold
Full review of Adidas Alphaboost V1

Chunky trainers with the best comfort

Adidas Ozweego
96
Superb!

What makes it the best?

The Adidas Ozweego defies expectations with its unique balance between chunkiness and lightness, and cushioning and stability. Its plush ride takes centre stage without foregoing our safety, ultimately being the most comfortable chunky sneaker. Tracing back to its running roots, it retains not only its retro look but also the brand’s running technologies for cushioning and shock absorption.

In the lab, we discovered that the midsole's thickness and composition contribute to its substantial appearance and plush nature. At 32.2/26.8 mm, both our heel and forefoot are spoiled with bottomless cushioning. Our durometer reveals it’s 14.6% softer than average. Surprisingly, the sneaker feels light on foot which prevents leg fatigue for all-day walks. At 12.7 oz (360g), it’s 9.3% below average.

Despite Ozweego’s stack, it maintains a commendable balance between height and stability. Its wide platform, measured at 121.0 mm at the forefoot and 98.9 mm at the heel, surpasses average dimensions, ensuring steady footing and minimal wobbling. 

However, this Adidas isn’t the most breathable pair and not the most protective from the cold either. We recommend avoiding extreme temperatures while sporting the Ozweegos.

Pros

  • Unbelievably comfortable
  • Long-lasting outsole
  • Surprisingly lightweight
  • Great for all-day wear
  • Very stable and ideal for wide feet
  • 90's retro vibe with futuristic details
  • Compliment magnet
  • Lots of colorways
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Lack of quality materials
  • Not the most breathable
Full review of Adidas Ozweego

Best premium chunky trainers

What makes it the best?

Chunky, cushioned, and durable plus light and breathable on foot—these are qualities that don’t usually go together but New Balance’s 990 v6 makes it happen with its top-level craftsmanship. Our lab reveals it makes use of robust materials and the FuelCell cushioning technology, undoubtedly claiming the premium title among chunky trainers.

990 v6 delivers unmatched cushioning and responsiveness through its stacked FuelCell foam, which is often reserved for high-performance running shoes. Our feet luxuriated in its lasting comfort, magnified by a plush 28.3 HA reading from our durometer. To our surprise, the midsole offers remarkably stable landings through its vast base and firm ENCAP encircling our heel for added support.

The upper has real suede layers, which our torch test proves when the material doesn’t melt away. While we expected it to feel like a sauna, it delivered a stark contrast of seamless ventilation. Our breathability test confirms its exceptional airflow through the mesh panels, earning a well-deserved 5/5 rating. Underfoot, we’re also protected with a tough 89.0 HC Ndurance rubber, honouring its name by enduring long miles without any significant wear.

Because of its size and support, 990 v6 feels a little stiffer than the average sneaker. Those who prefer minimal resistance to bending should look elsewhere.

Pros

  • Unexpectedly lighter than average
  • Real suede and quality materials
  • Extra thick cushioning for all-day wear
  • Comfortable and springy FuelCell foam
  • Mind-blowing arch support and stability
  • Exceptionally hard-wearing outsole
  • Fantastic breathability
  • Well-padded all around
  • Six(!) widths available

Cons

  • Very delicate toebox mesh
  • A bit stiff
Full review of New Balance 990 v6

Chunky trainers with the best colorways

PUMA RS-X
89
Good!

What makes it the best?

As lovers of colourful chunky shoes, we felt we hit the jackpot with the PUMA RS-X. This sneaker’s platform did a good job of lifting us high up the ground. It’s a very welcome bonus that the midsole was also amazingly soft! And the colorways… they were just divine! They had personality. They delivered style. They made heads turn. The best colorways as far as chunky trainers are concerned, if you ask us!

Compared to the typical sneaker, the midsole of the PUMA RS-X was significantly thicker. Our calliper measured it to be 39.9 mm thick at the heel (ave 31.3 mm) while it was 22.7 mm thick at the forefoot (ave 20.0 mm). We just loved how it made us feel so tall!

What made us fall in love even harder with the RS-X was the softness of the midsole. In the lab, we learned that it was softer than the average by as much as 50%! Walking on clouds stopped being a dream when we started walking around in this shoe.

We just wished this sneaker were a little lighter. At 16.05 ounces (455 grammes), the PUMA RS-X was 2 ounces (57 grammes) heavier than average.

Pros

  • Retro charm
  • Numerous vivid colorways
  • Very comfortable step-in feel
  • Plenty of cushioning for all-day wear
  • Breathable, summer-ready upper
  • Very stable platform
  • Highly durable outsole
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Heavier than average
  • Stiff forefoot
Full review of PUMA RS-X
Author
Jaydee
Jaydee
Jaydee dispels the myth that women can't be experts when it comes to trainers. With hundreds of sneaker articles under her belt, she gained a surefire edge over others claiming to be experts. Since joining RunRepeat in 2017, she’s published formidable arrays of sneaker write-ups - some covered in lifestyle magazines. Interested in scrutinising a pair of trainers? Jaydee is the best person to talk to as she can intuitively chew it over with you even while doing her laundry. When she’s not writing, you can catch Jaydee playing with her two kids, online shopping, and spending far too much time on Instagram.