The Best Walking Shoes For Overweight Walkers

Walking is an excellent, low-impact way to lose weight and get in shape, but finding shoes that work well for overweight walkers can be tricky. This guide will help plus-sized walkers find the best shoes for their needs.

Benefits of Shoes Designed for Overweight Walkers

Compared to standard walking shoes, specially designed overweight walkers have a few distinct advantages.

  • Added cushioning and stability.
  • Wider sizing options accommodate larger feet. This is important for reducing the pain that may come with normal footwear.
  • Additional foot room helps maintain blood circulation in the lower extremities.
  • Increased shock absorption reduces joint stress while walking.
  • Reduced impact force reduces risk of stress fractures and plantar fasciitis.

Reviews Of The Best Walking Shoes For Overweight Walkers

New Balance M990V4

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This leather/fabric blend is available in multiple sizes, up to 16 6E.

Offered in both a men’s and women’s model, the M990V4’s extra width is great for larger feet that need the room.

New Balance increased the amount of room in the shoe’s forefoot and heel area. This keeps pressure off of the toes and gives the back of the foot space.

The midfoot area still conforms to the foot, giving a tighter center fit. The result is a shoe that is simultaneously roomy and snug.

Generous toe room helps minimize the risk of several common foot ailments such as plantar fasciitis.

Additional cushioning and arch support reduces shock and strain on the plantar fascia. This helps to minimize pain or discomfort one might have felt while engaging in prolonged walking.

These shoes have blown rubber cushioning and include New Balance’s ACTEVA and ABZORB midfoot cushioning.

This adds to the shoe’s ability to absorb shocks and remain comfortable. It also increases grip and traction when traversing most surfaces.

To help with traversing flat ground, these shoes have a flat outsole. When striking the ground the bottom of these shoes conform to the ground in a way that some other shoes cannot.

The combination of high-tech materials used in the M990V4 keeps the weight of the shoe down without sacrifice durability.

The result is a shoe that withstands wear and tear but isn’t a burden on the foot. It also allows the wearer’s feet to breathe, which is vital for regulating foot temperature.

Things We Liked

  • Lightweight shoe
  • Exceptional cushioning
  • Wide and roomy
  • Made for support on flat ground
  • Shoe can take a beating

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The rubber can have a strange odor at first
  • Sole is somewhat harder than previous iterations
  • Susceptible to water damage

Check current price and read customer reviews.

Nike Free 5.0 Running Shoe

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Official Nike Free 5.0 product page.

Available in both women’s and men’s versions, the Nike Free is available up to 15D to ensure sizing availability for a wide range of feet. This running shoe is designed fits like a glove without restricting the movement of the foot.

Nike has shaped synthetic material contours to the surfaces of the foot. The heel curves to match yours. The upper fit area lays well over the top of the foot.

The result is that the shoe syncs well with the wearer’s movements. The shoe can give and flex, gently shielding the foot on the way.

Materials are lightweight and comfortable. While the Free 5.0 has less cushioning in these shoes than some of the other models we’ve covered, they are still very comfortable shoes.

The interior foams and mesh are thinner but provide a level of padding comparable to other shoes. They also reduce the shoe’s weight, and the level of pressure on the feet.

The Free 5.0’s minimalist, open design allows for the wearer’s toes to spread out comfortably. This offers increases balance and reduces the amount of pain felt in the feet.

These comfort could also allow for longer exercise sessions. In turn, you might be able to reap greater benefit from the practice of walking.

Things We Liked

  • Lightweight shoe that eliminates bulk
  • Shoe is flexible and allows for balance
  • Does not put undue pressure on feet
  • Contours to wearer motions
  • Maintains comfort through advanced materials

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Sizes tend to run small
  • Soles can scuff easily
  • Can cause some discomfort if flat-footed

Check current price and read customer reviews.

More info at the Nike Free 5.0 product page.

Adidas Performance Thrasher 1.1 M Trail Running Sneaker

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Available for both men and women, Adidas created the Performance Thrasher shoe for durability first. The outsole is thick rubber, and stitching rugged.

The shoes is designed to perform well on a variety of surfaces. Users will be able to walk or run on pavement, sand, loose gravel, trails, and dirt without any issues.

An aggressive rubber sole also provides excellent grip. This is a good choice if you need assistance with maintaining balance.

Adidas did not sacrifice comfort for toughness, though. These shoes are still roomy and cushioned.

There is extra padding in places that may need more support. The heel in particular benefits from this added material.

The synthetic mesh upper material conforms to the shape of the foot for comfort while also allows for increased. This promotes breathability and reduces of “hot spots” that might occur while wearing other shoes. As an added bonus, the increased airflow helps limit foot odors.

A tough but flexible mesh material reduces the need for having to “break-in” the shoe. Out the box, it will have a contoured, comfortable fit.

The synthetic construction help manage the weight of the shoe, although this shoe will steel feel heavier than some other options.

The shoe’s shape is geared more towards running, but they they are still well suited for walking.

Things We Liked
  • One of the more durable pairs of walking shoes
  • Excellent grip and traction
  • Flexible and breathable
  • Good on all terrain
  • Can change insole if desired

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Somewhat heavier than other shoes
  • Susceptible to water damage
  • Some wearers might find them stiff

Check current price and read customer reviews.

ASICS GT-1000 4 Running Shoe

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The simple design of the ASICS GS-1000 4 hides many advanced features.

ASICS offers both a men’s and women’s version of the GT-1000 4, and in both cases the shoe is deceptively roomy. You can find this shoe in sizes up to 16D.

The shoe runs large, though. Wearers may need to buy a half size down to accommodate their feet.

The shoe’s upper area is a lightweight mesh. This is good for keeping pressure off of the feet.

This also allows for breathability and temperature control. As a result, the shoe feels comfortable for most larger feet.

Asics made the shoe interior for comfort as well. The material is soft and just as breathable as the exterior mesh.

The shoe flexes with the foot, supporting walking motions. It is still durable though and not prone to damage.

As far as walking performance, the soles and heel cushioning help immensely. The soles of the shoe absorb impact, keeping the joints from overloading.

The cushioning and control from the mid and undersole also come in handy. They limit shocks transferred back to the legs, reducing shin splints and other conditions.

The bottom of the shoe is also contoured to help keep the wearer in a “natural stance.” This is useful, as it again reduces pressure on the feet and legs.

Things We Liked

  • Simple, functional design
  • Very durable exterior
  • Soft, lightweight materials
  • Great support for walkers
  • Shock control and impact protection

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Sizes run somewhat large
  • Shoe is not water resistant
  • Bottom padding can wear quickly

Check current price and read customer reviews.

More info at ASICS.com: Men’s Version | Women’s Version

Saucony ProGrid Guide 5 Running Shoe

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Designed for women and men, the Saucony ProGrid 5 most interesting feature is “gait stabilization.” This shoe has several features specially designed to provide extra support for overweight walkers and runners.

The shoe is light, so pressure on the feet is minimal. This is in part to the breathable mesh uppers and flexible interior lining.

Proprietary cushioning materials help reduce weight further while still providing ample support for large feet.

The ProGrid 5’s bottom cushion and outer sole are both shaped to help those with foot arch issues. This is also beneficial for those who may worry about stressing the legs and joints.

Highly efficient impact absorbing foam helps reduces pain and discomfort, especially during long wear sessions. This allows for more dedicated workouts and increases the potential benefit from exercising. The shoe also features a padded tongue and snug midfoot fit.

An interesting feature of the ProGrid 5 are the  elasticized laces. These specialized laces help the laces stay tied while also reducing tightness and hot spots on the foot.

To round out the shoe’s benefits, Saucony included interior anti-microbial and moisture wicking fibers. This promotes a cleaner in-shoe environment and fresher post-workout feet.

Things We Liked

  • Flexible shoe with excellent support
  • Shoe helps with moderate over-pronation
  • Includes shock absorbing materials
  • Has a traction outsole
  • Combines advanced features and lightweight

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Offset is different from previous models
  • Shoe lacks some durability
  • Could agitate Achilles pain in some individuals

Check current price and read customer reviews.

What To Look For In Walking Shoes For Overweight Walkers

Size

The shoe has to be large enough to fit the feet. If a shoe is too small, it adds pressure to the feet and causes pain for the wearer.

When looking for shoes for overweight walkers, wide versions are helpful. These have extra room in the toe box and let the toes spread out.

This has the added advantage of providing additional balance. It also lets the wearer assume a more natural stance.

The reduction in pain and pressure allows users to wear the shoes longer and work out more.

Cushioning

Cushioning adds stability and helps absorb impacts while moving. This is important, as it reduces energy transferred back to the legs and joints.

That reduction in repeated shocks reduces pain and risk of injury.

You can avoid joint issues, shin splints, and more with the aid of proper cushioning. Metatarsalgia and metatarsal fractures are another set of common issues that one can nullify.

Ample cushioning also feels good on the feet. Once again, this lets the user wear the shoes longer, and exercise more often.

Support

A related characteristic is foot support. This is particularly important for those who also have arch issues or overpronation.

These individuals tend to have less natural shock absorption, and an awkward stance.

Shoes with adequate support can conform to the foot and correct some of the issues.

Weight And Breathability

If a shoe is too heavy, it will be difficult to move in. If it is too restrictive, it will make the foot uncomfortable.

Shoes made from lightweight materials with good ventilation are preferable. They don’t overburden the feet.

In addition, they allow the foot to “breathe.” This reduces the amount heat buildup and keeps the foot cool.

Additional Features

Good shoes have perks that make them feel better to wear.

Special materials can increase a shoe’s durability. They also provide traction on a range of surfaces.

Some shoes can “flex” with the foot. You can often wear these kinds of shoes without socks.

Shoes with elasticized laces stay tied longer. Shoes with collar and tongue padding are less rough on the top of the feet.

There are also “moisture-wicking” materials that keep the feet dry. In many cases, they have the added benefit of fighting off bacteria and foot odors too.

Final Thoughts

While all of the shoes covered in this guide are good products for overweight walkers, the Saucony ProGrid Guide 5 edge out the competition. Here’s why:

  • Saucony designed this shoe to cater to heavier users. It also has extra perks that make it a superb overall shoe.
  • The Progrid is lightweight, breathable, and flexible. It puts the minimal amount of pressure possible on the feet.
  • Fit is pain-free, and the support for the feet is great. This makes the shoe a great option for those looking to correct their gait.
  • Synthetic sole is tough enough to provide traction on multiple surfaces.
  • Lining is plush and cushioned. It also has anti-moisture and germ properties to keep the feet clean.

For these reasons, the ProGrid is a good starting point for anyone seeking for a supportive walking shoe for overweight walkers.

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