Running shoes for heavy runners | RUNNER'S WORLD

 Running shoes for heavy runners |  RUNNER'S WORLD

Running shoes for heavy runners | RUNNER'S WORLD

The range of running shoe models that are now available makes it possible to cover many individual needs. Even runners get their money's worth, whose body weight does not correspond to the ideal image of the magazine cover and fitness advertising.

Many earlier running shoes were not suitable for heavier runners, despite their high cushioning values. In fact, the soft EVA foams in running shoes of the time were often the reason why the shoes quickly deformed or wore out. Heavier runners now have a much wider choice.

Why do heavier people need specific running shoes?

Why do heavy runners actually need different shoes than narrower sports enthusiasts? To become more aware of the difference in the nature of the shoes, a simple comparison is suitable: A large, heavy family van also runs on different tires than a small car. Some shoes are designed to be lighter in weight. This typically applies to many competition models, i.e. shoes that are used for running at high speeds.

And one more thing to be careful about, namely the false conclusion that heavy runners are best kept in sturdy shoes - that's not entirely true. If someone puts more weight on the scales, it says nothing about the roll-off behavior or the biomechanics when running. So it may be that someone with heavier weight still has a neutral running style. Another blanket statement: A maximum of cushioning is suitable for a lot of weight. There is a misunderstanding behind this, because a soft shoe does not also offer better shock absorption. Slightly harder midsole foam can be much better suited for pressure distribution. In addition, the statics of the shoe are changed less when running: the sole characteristics of a running shoe change during the rolling process due to the weight load. That's easily two to three times your body weight, depending on your pace and running style.

Blast is just a stat

The drop of a shoe – this applies to both light and heavy runners – changes when running: the static value is always given for running shoes, and it tells you how big the difference between the rear and forefoot is in millimeters. Measured in the laboratory, this is usually between 6 and 12 millimeters for training shoes. Some shoe manufacturers (like Altra, Joe Nimble) deliberately construct their models with zero drop, forefoot and rear foot are on the same level, like flip-flops. If the shoe is loaded - and most runners land heel first - the "dynamic drop" is significantly lower - and can sometimes put a lot more strain on the musculoskeletal system. Precisely when the midsole of the running shoe is too soft, the heel sinks in too far and the body then has to work harder to let the foot roll; it would be easier with a firmer midsole.

Examples of midsole foams that work well even with higher weight loads are products like Adidas Boost, Asics Flytefom, Brooks DNA, Nike React, Reebok Floatride or Saucony Pwrrun+. In any case, it is decisive in which model these foams are embedded.

Our running shoe recommendations for heavier runners

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21


Order here: women's model (€139.95) or men's model (€139.95)

The Adrenaline is a constant hit, for the fourth time in a row it took first place in its category (motion control shoes) in the RUNNER'S WORLD readers' poll: and with the best result it has ever achieved in the readers' poll. With the current revision, its target group has become even larger. The Adrenaline is a stable constructed training shoe. The midsole provides good cushioning, especially for heel runners, but is not too soft and offers even softer rolling comfort than the GTS 20 - heavier runners also benefit from this. The "Guiderails" in the midsole are something like a lane keeping assistant in a car; the more the movement deviates from the center, the more the rail intervenes. Otherwise: the upper is very soft, the strap is connected to the sole area, the drop is quite high, the forefoot is quite wide. A tip for beginners or frequent runners.

Weight: 258 grams (women), 294 grams (men) Drop: 12 millimeters Price: 140.00 euros

Brooks Cascadia 16


Order here: women's model or men's model

The Cascadia 16 now has a new outsole, a midsole with more responsive DNA Loft V2 foam and a new fit through the new upper. There is noticeably more space in the toe area. "The fit on the foot is great, the walking comfort is even higher," confirms a test runner. The all-round and trail properties have been improved once again. The quality of the upper and the fit are also improved. If you want to find points of criticism, runners with narrow feet commented negatively on the wide fit of the upper material and the slightly poorer traction compared to other models.

Otherwise, the Cascadia 16 has what it takes to surpass its popular predecessor models in every respect. It may not be as cushioned as Brooks' Caldera 5, nor offer as much speed as the Catamount, but the Cascadia is the all-purpose offering with more trail suitability. And it can be compared to models like the Hoka Speedgoat, Altra Olympus or the Asics Trabuco Max.

Weight: 298 grams (men), 269 grams (women) Drop: 8 millimeters Price: 140 euros

Saucony Guide 14


Order here: women's model (€132.95) or men's model (€132.95)

The Guide 14 has undergone an upgrade, which - like Brooks and Asics (above) - has become significantly more comfortable in the new version. This is due to the Guide 14's additional cushioning layer with "PWRRUN+", a very soft and responsive foam. As a result, there is at least 32.5 mm of cushioning foam under the rear foot, which also adapts well to higher body weight. This dampens the rolling process, which is still characterized by stability, reason: the very stable medial TPU construction. Runners who want to slow down the inward bending of the foot will find a robust solution here. In addition, the well-padded, but nevertheless extremely stable heel cap prevents the foot from breaking out to the side. The good fit in the midfoot also helps, where the strap is connected to the side of the midsole via elastic straps. The "Fascia" straps that wrap around the middle of the foot stabilize the rolling process.

Weight: 266 grams (women), 298 grams (men) Drop: 8 millimeters Price: 140.00 euros

Adidas Ultraboost 22


Order here: women's model or men's model

Even in the latest version, the successful Adidas model guarantees maximum comfort with efficient energy return. This is ensured by the tried and tested Boost cushioning in the midsole, which consists of tiny pressed eTPU beads. The Ultraboost 22 is very soft, especially under the heel, so that runners who land on the heel can enjoy comfortable cushioning here. The Ultraboost is a neutral shoe for long runs and moderate speeds, but it doesn't sacrifice anything dynamics on. Runners with Achilles tendon problems will enjoy the soft and flat heel cup. A novelty: for the first time there is a specially developed women's version of the shoe that is tailored to the female foot anatomy.

Weight: 283 grams (women), 338 grams (men) Drop: 10 millimeters Price: 180.00 euros

Asics Gel Nimbus 23


Order here: women's model or men's model

A leaflet would be needed to list all the technologies that Asics has packed into the Nimbus. For the running impression, however, one thing counts: The Nimbus belongs to the top group of the comfort class. A test runner promptly remarked: "Asics has taken it to the extreme here in terms of soft rolling behavior, but the feeling of running or the desire for speed are left behind!" But if you want to run fast, you'd rather use other (Asics) models . The comfort artist Nimbus takes care of the gentle pampering program for runners' feet and is also very suitable for heavier runners with neutral rolling behavior. Definitely worth mentioning: The women's version is "gender specific", which not only affects the fit, but also the sole construction: the heel is higher, the forefoot is more flexible. "A feel-good shoe for long runs, leisurely runs and chatting," sums up one test runner. Comfort also for middle and forefoot runners: Also in the forefoot area there is GEL cushioning under the ball of the foot plus the Flytefoam Propel midsole.

Weight: 250 grams (women), 309 grams (men) Drop: 13 millimeters (women), 10 millimeters (men) Price: 180.00 euros

Mizuno Wave Skyrise 2


Order here: women's model (€125.96) or men's model (€132.95)

"Wow, is it comfortable?" begins a runner in her test report. And that refers to the total work of art that Mizuno has created here. The upper is made of one piece, which consists of two layers: an outer knit with different firm areas (directly above the sole and in the midfoot and lacing area firmer, over the toes more airy and elastic) and a light inner padding. The combination follows all movements and nestles gently against the foot. The tongue, heel area and shoe collar are comfortably padded. The stable heel cap and toe protection fit seamlessly into the shaft. The "Foam Wave" gives the shoe dynamism, "even for long-distance runs," according to one tester, "but I can also imagine half-marathons or marathons with the Skyrise 2." The lacing has a classic design, "but can be adjusted exceptionally well ' such a tester.

Weight: 240 grams (women), 300 grams (men) Drop: 10 millimeters Price: 140.00 euros

On Cloudstratus 2


Order here: women's model (€179.95) or men's model (€179.95)

The Cloudstratus was first launched in summer 2019 - now in its second generation, it has softer cushioning, an optimized midsole and more recycled content in the upper shoe. With a focus on improved cushioning and energy return, the performance-proven Helion Superfoam was used in the midsole for the double "Cloudtec" cushioning arranged here. It cushions better than any other On model. This is fully confirmed by test runners: "Extremely comfortable cushioning," writes one tester and adds, "I didn't know that from On until now." In combination with the stable Speedboard and the external heel cap, the Cloudstratus offers a lot of stability. the "star lacing" is fiddly, but ensures a good fit, the fit is rather wide, like its predecessor. The curved last shape is well suited for heel and midfoot strikes. The result: a pleasantly dynamic running feeling. Good: Designed a little wider on the forefoot area to give the toes more freedom of movement.

Weight: 270 grams (women, size 38), 349 grams (men, size 43) Drop: 8 millimeters Price: 179.95 euros

Asics Gel Kayano 28


Order here: women's model (180.00 €) or men's model (180.00 €)

The Gel-Kayano is a stable training shoe. It doesn't belong in the category of super comfort shoes. It doesn't belong in the class of dynamic shoes with super energetic midsoles. It's not meant for running fast. But the Gel-Kayano is an excellent all-round solution for everyday training use. Whether for marathon training, long, easy runs, or for the beginner who is looking for a reliable, more stable training shoe. The Gel-Kayano 28 offers a wide range of uses. The fit has remained the same compared to its predecessor, with the very comfortable shoe collar, padded tongue - but slightly larger toe box. The now flatter heel cap and the sole stability elements have been changed: The gender-specific "Space-Trusstic" and "Duomax" now work more in the background and do not intervene so directly in the rolling process. Together with the new, very reactive midsole foam, the result is a significantly more dynamic walking experience. A stable, very well cushioned training shoe for light to heavy runners.

Weight: 250 grams (women), 310 grams (men) Drop: 10 millimeters Price: 180.00 euros

Brooks Glycerin 19 GTS


Order here: women's model (€169.95) or men's model (€139.95)

The stable version "GTS" of Glycerin is now available alongside the neutral variant Glycerin 19 - and it really impressed the test runners. The GTS version has stabilizing elements, "GuideRails", on the outside of the midsole. They act like a kind of railing and reduce buckling of the foot during the rolling movement. This is an interesting mixture, because the Glycerin, like its predecessor, is very flexible and torsion-friendly, plus it is extremely comfortably cushioned and has a soft rolling behavior that is recommended for heel strikes. "The shoe has relieved me of my knee pain," writes a test runner enthusiastically. In addition to the Beast and the Ghost from Brooks, the Glycerin 19 GTS is the more dynamic variant, which, like the other two models, is also very suitable for heavier runners.

Weight: 266 grams (women), 303 grams (men) Drop: 10 millimeters Price: 170.00 euros

Mizuno Wave Rider 25


Order here: women's model (€134.96) or men's model (€134.96)

The anniversary version Wave Rider 25 combines the soft, dynamic running feeling of Mizuno Enerzy foam with a more stable and larger Mizuno Wave. Thus, the rider is now soft and bouncy, but at the same time stable in the rearfoot area.

Weight: 230 grams (women), 275 grams (men) Drop: 12 millimeters Price: 150.00 euros

Brooks Ghost 14


Order here: women's model (€139.95) or men's model (€139.95)

The Brooks Ghost is one of the best-selling running shoes for a reason: It offers an extremely successful combination of very good cushioning, dynamic, smooth running behavior and low weight. And best of all, it suits an extremely wide range of demands in terms of speeds, distances and types of runners. A perfect all-rounder, which is now also produced in a CO2-neutral manner. What more do you want.

Weight: 255 grams (women), 280 grams (men) Drop: 12 millimeters Price: 140.00 euros

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit


Order here: women's model or men's model

Three elements stand out in the ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit. First, gone are the days at Nike when super-stiff motion control shoes were seen as the solution to all runners' problems. The pronation control paradigm that was behind it was replaced. Dampening is now considered the supreme and most important principle.

The second point concerns stability: the days of pronation control are over. According to Nike, there is no evidence that they prevent injuries. And the team, according to a Nike developer, was "looking for a more democratic approach to stability—without motion control." The developers found a technical solution in a simple trick. The midsole platform has been enlarged to accommodate the additional cushioning and provide a more stable platform.

Third point: To enable a smooth, fluid transition, the Nike development team copied in-house. The rocker geometry is borrowed from the Vaporfly models. The rolling comfort allows both a calm, slow pace as well as a brisk training pace, whereby the shoe is clearly aimed at beginners and hobby runners who are looking for a comfortable all-round training shoe for firm ground.

Weight: Men 314 g (US 10), Women: 253 g (US 8) Heel drop: 9 mm Price: 180 euros

Saucony Triumph 19


Order here: women's model (€161.45) or men's model (€161.45)

The checkered flag look makes the shoe look fast. But the tuning of the midsole and the associated rolling comfort are designed for maximum comfort, even with a higher body weight. Saucony relies on the midsole foam known from its predecessor ("PWRRUN+") in the midsole, which provides a soft cushioning feeling and gentle rolling comfort, "which is soft even for forefoot and midfoot impacts," according to a test runner. "But at a calm training pace, it runs very comfortably." The new upper material is also noticeably more airy: "The shoe feels lighter with it," says a test runner, "but it doesn't sit as tightly in the midfoot area."

Weight: 258 grams (women), 290 grams (men) Drop: 8 millimeters Price: 170.00 euros

Joe Nimble Nimble Toes Trail Addict


Order here: women's model or men's model

As with all Joe Nimble models, the Addict consistently follows the principle of toe freedom: there is currently hardly a comparable running shoe with so much space in the toe area. The manufacturer speaks of its "Functional Footwear" concept because the foot is given the necessary toe freedom. The Addict also has a flat sole construction, heel and forefoot are on the same level (0 mm drop). Despite the flat shoe construction, the Addict offers a comfortable, slightly cushioned rolling behavior. Despite the cushioning layer, the construction of the Addict is extremely flexible. This is mainly due to the outsole, which comes from rubber specialist Michelin.

As a welcome side effect, the sole and the overall construction of the shoe have proven to be extremely robust and durable. "No other test shoe currently has this level of quality," says one test runner. The Addict is not only recommended for ambitious runners. If you feel comfortable with the Addict but want to run on trails and forest paths, you can also take a look at the trail version of the Addict. In addition to better traction, the Addict Trail convinces in direct comparison with a significantly more robust upper material.

Weight: 250 grams Drop: 0 millimeters RRP: 179 euros

Hoka Speedgoat 4


Order here: women's model or men's model

The Speedgoat 4 might seem a bit daunting at first: The voluminous midsole, in the Hoka way, the rough outsole profile and the eye-catching design - you have to like all of that. The running characteristics of this trail all-rounder are characterized by the "rocker" construction of the midsole, the very comfortable cushioning and the coarse-profiled outsole. The outsole, which has now been slightly revised, comes from Vibram, the Italian outsole specialist, and also works excellently on wet surfaces. Above all, the grip is exceptionally good on sand and soft ground. And that applies above all to downhill passages: "The Speedgoat provides noticeably more support than many comparable trail shoes," says a test runner, adding, "But the sole also has excellent hybrid properties, you can also use it for asphalt passages without restrictions." to run."

Contrary to the bulky visual impression, the shoe, which weighs around 300 grams, runs quite dynamically. In this respect, the Speedgoat is a recommendation even for ultra trail distances. But with its all-round qualities, the flagship of the Hoka trail shoes is functionally so broad that it represents an extremely attractive, comfortable solution for runners, trail beginners and trail professionals alike. Here is the detailed test report.

Conclusion: The Speedgoat 4 is suitable for any form of trail use, a trail all-rounder so to speak, it is suitable for passages from alpine terrain to paved forest paths and for almost all running speeds and distances.

Weight: 306 (men), 263 grams (women) Drop: 4 millimeters Price: 140 euros

Asics Trabuco Max


Order here: women's model or men's model

The Trabuco has been one of the most popular trail running shoes for many years. With the new version as Trabuco Max, this should solidify. Because the Trabuco has always been popular as an all-rounder - with which you can travel very comfortably on easy trails, forest paths or hiking trails. The "Max" emphasizes this strength - now offers even more cushioning with the 28 millimeter high midsole (heel; 23 millimeters at the front) and an additional "Flytefoam" cushioning layer. "Wonderfully cushioned, super soft ride with a high bounce effect, great!" describes a test runner. This Trabuco is therefore even better suited for long trail stretches, even over rough ground, only in deep mud are the rather flat lugs quickly overwhelmed. The "Guidesole" with its light rocker construction (also known from the Glideride street running shoe) then fits the impression of comfort, brings a lot of protection and stability in the rolling process. The speed lacing system was also good for such use, "I was able to quickly adjust the lacing depending on the route - whether uphill or downhill," said one tester. The Trabuco Max now has the potential to win the hearts of hardcore trail runners. There is one caveat to bear in mind: the shape of the last is better suited for narrow and medium-wide feet. Otherwise, it quickly becomes too tight in the toe area. It can be compared to models like the Altra Olympus or a Hoka Speedgoat.

Weight: 297 grams (men), 237 grams (women) drop: 5 millimeters price: 160 euros

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Urs Weber
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