If you are a heavy runner, you may have heard a lot of misconceptions about what kind of running shoes will work best for you. You may have heard that a soft running shoe will work best. However, this is rarely the case. This section will outline exactly what you should be looking out for when shopping for a new pair of running shoes.
Fit & Protection
You want to ensure that your shoes fit with enough room to wiggle your toes around without being too loose. Shoes that are too loose won’t lock down your heel, which will lead to less stability when running, increasing the chance of spraining your ankle or otherwise injuring yourself.
Depending on the type of running you are doing, you may also want to look into protective shoes. These shoes have special padding and features that protect your feet from impact or sharp objects underfoot. Such features could include hardened toe caps or rock plates added to the midsole.
If you mainly run on concrete, then you will want a very different type of protection than you would for running on dirt trails. Shoes with a large rubber tread and a rock plate won’t perform well for street races, just as shoes with a shallow tread and gel inserts won’t do well off-road.
Softness & Cushioning
Again, you may have heard that soft shoes work best for larger runners, but the opposite is true. Shoes that are too soft won’t offer the support you need and will be much less stable than a shoe that has a firm midsole. Also, if you are on the heavier side, you will likely wear through a soft midsole very quickly.
If you want a durable running shoe that will last you for many years, you should look for a well-cushioned shoe instead of a soft one. These shoes have lots of padding to help them feel soft but still have a firm and supportive midsole. Look for midsoles that incorporate guide rails, as these are other features that will help support your feet.
Ample cushioning and support will help you to run longer distances without your feet getting too tired. If you buy the right shoe, supportive cushioning can also help combat under or overpronation of the feet. If you take one thing away from this guide, always remember that cushioning is much better than softness.
The upper of your shoe needs to be firm and not too stretchy if you want it to hug your feet the way it should. Stretchy upper materials will become distended over time, leading to your shoes becoming too loose.
You want the upper of your shoe to be made from breathable and lightweight materials. A lighter shoe will help you to run faster since it will require less effort to lift off the ground. Meanwhile, a breathable upper will allow air to pass through the shoe and keep your feet cool and well-ventilated. This stops your feet from overheating, which could cause them significant damage.
The outsole is the final thing you should consider when shopping for running shoes. This is the rubber tread that makes contact with the ground. You want your shoes to have a durable outsole that provides enough traction on the surfaces you intend to run on. Good traction will greatly improve your running stability and lower the chance of injury. The tread is also the part of the shoe that will experience the most wear and tear. If you want your shoes to last a long time, you should look for ones with a thick tread made from durable hardened rubber or Vibram.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Extra Weight Affect Runners?
Extra weight can negatively affect the body, such as dramatically increasing your heart rate and oxygen consumption. It can also strain the joints in your legs, which is why it is so important to have a supportive running shoe built for your weight category. While slimming down can help to improve your running performance, you shouldn’t aim to become underweight either, as this will affect the power you can put down on the track.
What Type Of Shoe Is Good For High Arches?
People with high arches will benefit the most from neutral running shoes. If you have exceptionally high arches, you could invest in orthotic inserts that help to take some of the strain off your arches, but generally, neutral shoes will suffice. On the other hand, if you have very low arches, you will do best with a stability or motion control shoe. These will help your feet move properly so that they don’t suffer excessive strain when running.
Should You Run If You Are Overweight?
Yes, running is a great way to lose weight and improve your overall fitness. However, it may be a good idea to share your running plan with your doctor so they can tell you if it is completely safe. If you have certain cardiovascular issues, you may want to start with walking instead of running to rule out the risk of an injury. Provided your doctor gives you the go-ahead, starting a running regime will be a fantastic way to improve your fitness and get regular exercise.
What Are Some Running Tips For Heavy Runners?
A good tip for heavy trail runners is to start small and gradually increase your distance. Trying too much at once could lead to problems and put you off running altogether. Plan your routes to ensure they don’t include grueling uphill or downhill sections.
While running uphill may feel more difficult, remember that running downhill can also be very tiring. Furthermore, running downhill puts even more stress on your ankles and shins, so bear that in mind when planning your route.
It also helps to implement a walk, run, and walk plan for your first few runs. This is when you start your journey with a brisk walk to warm yourself up and then run for 1 minute before walking for 2. Repeat this pattern for the entire length of your route, and you will find it much more manageable. Always do stretches before setting out on your trail runs so your muscles are ready for action.