The Best Walking Shoes for Overweight Walkers
Skechers Equalizer Persistent Slip-on Sneakers, which you can purchase here, are the overall best walking shoes for overweight walkers in this list. The cushioning is up to the standard, giving a wearer the comfort and flexibility to get through the day. Since the rubber outsoles provide good traction on different surface, you can expect a smooth footing between these shoes and the ground.
The elastic fiber is a plus, because it easily expands to accommodate your feet. These sneakers are easy to wear and take off, thanks to the slip-on profile. These shoes are also breathable, so air circulation isn’t a problem.
What You Need to Know
I know what it means to be overweight because I have been there. While I wasn’t exactly as morbidly obese as explained in numerous studies, my body wasn’t anything close to an average person.
And if there is one lesson that years of yoyo dieting and leading a sedentary life taught me, it is that you cannot eat junk and still maintain a perfect shape long term.
Even when I changed my diet and took to walking for fitness, I wasn’t exactly sure that I would shed off the pounds that I had willingly gained from poor lifestyle choices.
Walking wasn’t easy. As you can imagine, I was a heavy person who struggled a lot to get used to this exercise.
However, two years of consistent walking, using safe sneakers to workout, and eating right did pay off. Although I am in my best shape today, I have never stopped walking for my own good.
My consistency and my desire to achieve my fitness goals also brought with it so many lessons, one of which is that heavy people almost always struggle to walk.
A study conducted by Harvard University suggests that when a heavy person walks, they put more pressure on their feet than on any other part of the body. So if you carry more weight, your feet have to work harder to support it, hence the inability to get by.
Worse, the pressure impact on your feet can lead to stress accompanied by foot problems like overpronation, plantar fasciitis, and supination.
I’d like to believe that obesity has a solution, one of which is walking for physical fitness. In fact, if you make walking to different places your daily habit, you are highly likely to lose weight, gain shape, and improve your overall health over time.
But even before you create a workout plan, it is important to choose the right footwear for this very exercise. What you need right now are walking shoes designed specifically for big people.
Brooks Addiction Walker
Propet Stability Walker
Saucony Echelon LE2
Skechers Persistent Slip-on Sneakers
New Balance 990v4
What Should I Consider Before Buying Shoes for Overweight Men and Women?
If buying the right footwear for the right purpose were easy, everyone would be doing it with ease.
Sifting through hundreds, if not thousands, of shoes to find what’s suitable for you isn’t easy. Whether you are a fat guy or a plus size woman, here then is how you choose the right footwear.
1. Choose the Right Size
The first thing you need to consider is the size. They shouldn’t be too big for your feet because they’ll make walking difficult. And they shouldn’t be too small because they might cause foot pain.
Go for shoes that are a bit on the wide side. They have a sizeable toe box that let the toes spread out easily.
The extra room in the toe box gives the wearer an additional balance, especially when walking for long hours. As long as you choose a pair with the right size, you will experience minimal pain, less pressure and walk comfortably throughout the day.
2. Examine the Outsoles of the Shoes
Many people focus so much on the durability of the outsole and less on the type of sole itself. While this is fine for regular wearers, it is not exactly the same for heavy walkers.
Being big means that you have extra weight, so your feet need to be comfortable enough to handle the pressure.
Choose shoes with rubber outsoles because they make it easy for your feet to handle pressure from different surfaces.
You also need to make sure that the outsoles are thick enough because you don’t want to buy shoes that will last only a few days.
The sole should provide excellent traction on hard surfaces. And they should be slip-resistance to protect you from the likelihood of falling.
3. Don’t Compromise on Breathability
There is nothing worse like going for a walk only to go back home in sweaty and smelly feet. The odor is often pungent and disgusting.
The smell comes about when you buy shoes that aren’t breathable enough. Unfortunately, shoes that don’t have breathable uppers aren’t worth the money.
Because air circulation is ideal when walking for fitness, the shoes you choose should allow air to circulate right from the time you put them on to the time you take them off.
4. The Cushioning must be up to Scratch
I can’t stress enough just how important cushioning is. A cushioning system is just one of the things that you cannot afford to ignore when choosing this kind of shoes.
When a person walks, the feet absorb a lot of impact pressure from the ground than the rest of the body does. Wearing improperly cushioned shoe can therefore increase the chances of foot pain and risk of an injury.
Properly cushioned shoes, on the other hand, helps your feet handle impact pressure with ease, which makes walking for fitness doable and more fun than you would otherwise expect.
Moreover, good cushioning can help you to avoid metatarsal fractures and mettarsalgia on the go.
5. Go for Lightweight Shoes
For an obese person, walking in heavy shoes is the same as adding pain to an existing injury.
Heavy footwear only adds to your overall body weight. This makes walking more difficult, not to mention the possibility of feet ache after a short walk.
Choose lightweight footwear that can handle heavy-duty performance. Because as long as the shoes feature durable materials and are well cushioned, you will always walk comfortably without worrying about foot injuries.
Best Walking Shoes for Overweight Walkers
1. Brooks Addiction Walker Walking Shoes
It’s more than 100 years since Brooks Sports released its first shoes, with the Addiction Walker taking a top spot in the brand’s latest walking shoes series.
The pair is a unique combination of design and comfort. And while I am more than willing to admit that shoes by Brooks aren’t close to as fashionable as you would wish, they serve their very purpose nonetheless.
Designed to last for long, even with daily aggressive use, this shoe features just the right manufacturing technologies that make them ideal for heavy men and obese women.
A slip-resistant rubber compound makes the outsole. Since the material is less subject to wear and tear, the shoe can get you through vigorous every day walk on rough surfaces, unfriendly roads, and hard pavements.
The MC Pod construction, a denser groove at the forefoot, boosts the contact between a foot and the ground to provide stability and balance.
The BioMoGo DNA platform, commonly described as biodegradable foam that protect the foot from excessive force, making these shoes ideal for an overweight female and a heavy male.
Built right into the midsole, the platform adds to the cushioning to give you the comfort you need to walk better. It also absorbs shock to give you an outstanding walking experience throughout the day.
2. Propet Stability Walker Sneaker
Propet has established a very strong brand name in the market, especially for designing shoes that can handle just about any foot problem.
Take their Pedwalker 3 Oxford, for example. They are among the most comfortable options for wearers that struggle with swollen feet, an ailment often caused by health problems, lifestyle choices, foot injuries, and regular use of low quality shoes.
The Propet Stability Walker Sneakers are among the brand’s most recommend health shoes. Like the Pedwalker 3 Oxford, they are ideal for obese people because they keep the feet pain and stress free.
Since they feature sufficient cushioning that provide maximum comfort throughout the day, one can walk in these shoes for long hours without worrying about feet discomfort.
This pair fits well and breaks in within a very short time. They feel soft on feet from the very first day you wear them, with no instance of rubbing.
It takes just a few days for the leather body to soften up a bit more, adding to their overall comfort. The outsole features treads that hold different surfaces quite well, so these should work fine on wet surfaces.
Now, the brand’s commercial advertisement states that these ones can last up to 1,000 miles of walking. But that’s statement is far off from the reality of things.
Talking of durability, these can last only about a year. After that, the heal portion starts to wear out, the plastic part starts to rub, and the shoes get uncomfortable. As such, it is best to replace them every once a year.
3. Saucony Echelon LE2
I am a long distance walker. And if shoes like Saucony Echelon LE2 didn’t exist, I’m sure I’d repeatedly suffer from foot pain.
Known as the most comfortable go-to walking shoes in the market, especially for their cushioning and feet support, the pair can give you an effortless and painless walking experience for sure.
The outsole is made of the brand's iBR+ technology, a material that’s 30% lighter than conventional rubber. Not only does this ensure that the midsole is abrasion free, it also provide more cushioning for comfort and easy movement.
The brand employs the XT-900 material to enhance the durability of the outsole and to provide sufficient traction on different trails.
The midsole features a shock absorbing SRC Impact Zone and a lighter and durable PWRGRID compound foam, which help to manage impact from different surfaces.
Th Comfort Lite Sockliner, which easily takes the shape of a wearer’s foot, not only offer arch support but also provides additional cushioning.
The upper is made of a soft, full-grain leather, which perfectly covers the top section of your feet while giving you the flexibility you need to move from place to place. Since the upper has a larger volume, these shoes can easily accommodate insert without altering their fit.
Perhaps the biggest problem with Saucony Echelon LE2 is size. The pair fails to fit well for many wearers, hence not a good option for everyone.
Other downsides include the high price, insufficient support on the upper, and the style could use some makeover.
4. Skechers Equalizer Persistent Slip-on Sneakers
Skechers brand designs some really good shoes for the market. And, the Equalizer Persistent Slip-on Sneakers for men and women are a good example.
Since the pair is comfortable, lightweight, and properly cushioned, it gives a wearer the comfort they need for a good walking experience throughout the day.
Designed to provide sufficient traction on different surfaces, the rubber outsoles ensure a smooth contact between your feet and the ground. The elastic fabric expands easily to accommodate feet and even adds to the overall comfort of the pair.
Skechers Equalizer’s slip-on profile makes them easy to wear and take off. It also holds the foot in position during use.
The upper mesh and breathable synthetic allow air to circulate around your feet, leaving no room for sweat to build up. Since your foot stays ventilated throughout the walking periods, thanks to the open weave mesh, you can go about your daily business without worrying about foot odor.
5. New Balance 990v4
New Balance 990v4 is a leather/fabric blend that features an extra large width to support wearers with wide feet.
This version has additional room in the heal area and forefoot that ease pressure on toes and give the back of the foot space respectively. Since the toe room is a bit larger, you are less susceptible to foot illnesses like plantar fasciitis.
If you are a keen observer, who thoroughly inspects shoes before buying, you will notice that the brand hasn’t modified the midfoot area of this version. This shouldn’t be a problem because it conforms to the foot, giving it a tight center fit for an exceptional walking experience.
Although the flat outsole may not be the biggest selling point of New Balance 990v4, it makes traversing flat ground easier compared to many brands.
The ABZORB and ACTEVA technologies, together with the blown rubber cushioning, offer a good grip and traction and absorb shock from unfriendly trails.
Weight is a key factor that New Balance doesn’t take for granted, which is why they made sure that the 990v4 is as lightweight as possible. In fact, this version combines a number of high-tech materials without putting any burden on a wearer’s feet.
6. New Balance MW411v2 Walking Shoes
Maybe the New Balance MW411v2 doesn’t come close to what you would refer to as fashion footwear. But, they are among the most cushioned options that fit many users quite well.
Weighing just 12 oz, this is one of the most lightweight pairs in the brand’s collection. Designed with durability in mind, this pair should last for at least a year before you itch for an upgrade.
The company uses their ABZORB technology on the heel and forefoot to ensure maximum shock absorption on rough trails.
The IMEVA midesole, together with the high cushioned insole, also helps to minimize impact pressure from ground to the foot.
The perforated upper and breathable mesh lining allow air to circulate in and out to keep the feet cool, dry, and free from odor.
Although you are unlikely to use the two extra eyelets on the collar, they are ideal just in case you need more snug.
This pair features a durable and lightweight rubber outsole, which provides a good grip and traction on different surfaces. The insoles are removable and easy to replace.
7. Skechers Performance Go Walk 4
It’s not that Skechers has never been interested in adding cutting-edge fashion to its shoe line.
The brand’s main goal has always been to design shoes that fit and serve their purpose. The company still pays attention to style, but not as heavily as Adidas and New Balance do.
Performance Go Walk 4, a pair that features superior comfort and support over looks and style, is an ideal choice for an obese man and a plus size woman.
The flat outsole provides comfort and flexibility by evenly spreading out energy and weight from each step you take. The even distribution not only makes walking easy but also helps to protect your feet from injuries.
The small trenches on the rear and forefoot and the scale-like pattern provide good traction so you can easily walk on different paths.
Breathability would have been an issue if not for the soft material on the upper. Because this lightweight material boost the circulation of air in and out of the shoes, you can go just about anywhere without worrying about foot sweat, odor and blisters.
8. New Balance Women WW847v2 Walking Shoe
Known for its innovation and cutting-edge technology, New Balance takes the future of walking shoes design and puts it right into our current life.
For women that love to try a variety of pairs from the same company, the WW847v2 is a good option to add to a shoe rack.
For the price, you get yourself a stable, flexible, well-cushioned tennis pair that you can walk in throughout the day.
Built on the company’s straight SL-2 last technology, this version is suitable for normal as well as high arches. Just like the WW840 version, the inserts are easy to remove and replace.
Designed with people that have overpronation in mind, this model features a medial and TPU post, a strike path outsole, and a graphite rollbar that easily corrects a wearer’s gait.
If you remember what we said in the beginning, footwear with rubber outsoles are ideal for heavier walkers because they provide traction and flexibility. Rubber outsoles are also durable, so expect the New Balance 847v2 to last for long.
Featuring a dry fabric, the seamless liner helps with air circulation throughout use, easily wicking out moisture and protecting the foot from blisters.
One more important thing to note is that the New Balance 847v2 comes in narrow, normal, wide, and extra-wide sizes. So, there is an option for every woman out there.
9. New Balance Women’s WW840 Walking Shoes
You already know by now that the New Balance is a beast when it comes to designing walking shoes for plus size women. And the WW840 is just one of the unique examples.
Designed with close attention to details, and featuring the brand’s cutting-edge technologies, the WW840 are indeed the go-to walking shoes that every plus size woman should consider.
For women, color is important. That’s why New Balance markets this version in a variety of combinations.
While I am more than willing to admit that the color options are somewhat limited, the existing options still guarantee a killer look. You can go for black, white with pink trimming, or a mix of white and gray.
New Balance WW840 has a narrow heel that provides stability and good ankle support and the wider forefoot easily accommodates a wider foot. The leather upper is a breathable section, with perforations and vents, which allows air to circulate in and out of the shoe to keep your foot cool, dry, and odor free.
The company’s popular ABZORB material makes the midsole. Known for its flexibility and cushioning, the technology provides maximum comfort during movement.
The inserts of these shoes are removable and very easy to replace. Moreover, these tennis shoes are easy to break in within a very short time.
10. Asics Men’s Gel-Tech Walker Neo 4
The Asics we know today started back in 1977. Over the years, the company has grown to become a popular brand in the footwear market.
Designed with style and durability in mind, this shoe takes a top spot in shoe options that you can walk in every single day.
The lightweight medial window, which is free from hard fabric, easily accommodates and remains easy on bunion feet during every walk.
To enhance natural movement of the foot on different trails, the Biomorphic Fit material aligns the heel and toes against the sole to create a shape that gives you a tight fit.
Gel-tech Neo 4 features a breathable mesh fabric that enhances the flow of air in and out of the shoes. This enhances breathability. The padded collar and tongue, which feel soft on the upper part of your foot, makes the Neo 4 even more comfortable.
The AHAR technology provides sufficient traction on different surfaces. Since the technology is less susceptible to abrasion and tear, it also contributes to the durability of this shoe.
A lightweight rubber material makes the outsole of the Gel-tech Neo 4, so you can move around in these without feeling the weight.
These shoes do have a number of limitations. Since they run a bit narrow, they aren’t an ideal option for people that have wide feet. Moreover, the padding of the insole could use some help, because, they don’t offer sufficient support to all types of arches.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are some of the most commonly asked questions about this topic.
What’s the difference between walking and running shoes?
Running is completely different from walking, and so are the shoes. In real sense, running is a highly intense, high-impact exercise that puts up to three times your body’s weight on your feet.
Since the movement is uneven, the exercise exerts a higher amount of pressure against the heels from the time you start running to the moment you stop. This explains why running shoes absorb more impact pressure from the ground.
Walking, on the other hand, isn’t as intense as running. There is generally a uniform distribution of body’s weight from heels to toes. So you only need to hold your feet in perfect position to walk with ease.
Since the two exercises are completely different from each other, it is best to choose specific shoes so that you can get the most out of the pair that you bring home with you.
What do shoes for overweight walkers look like?
A pair of shoe that’s good enough for someone who has a lot of weight has a few characteristics that completely differentiate them from standard walking shoes.
The pair has to be wide enough to provide sufficient foot room for large feet and the cushioning must be up to the standard to provide comfort and stability when walking.
Make sure the shoes are lightweight and their outsole made of rubber. Rubber soles are good for shock absorption and they help to minimize stress on joints when walking.
Must I wear socks with these shoes?
Some heavy walkers like to wear socks, others prefer not to.
The most important thing to remember is that the shoes you buy must be as comfortable and flexible as possible.
Socks only add a little comfort to your feet. At the end of the day, though, whether or not you wear socks with the shoes depends on what makes you comfortable.
How long will these shoes last?
First, it is important to invest in shoes with durable outsoles and a good cushioning system.
Since shoes with durable outsole can easily hold up against wear and tear, they are highly likely to last at least a year.
However, the durability of the sole isn’t the only factor that determines how long a pair of shoes will last. You also need to make sure that the mesh and stitching are abrasion and tear resistant.
Of course, it is easy to know when to replace a pair of shoes. Even if the pair has thick insoles, they’ll definitely wear out over time. Therefore, it’s best if you replace them after every six month.
Also, check the tread, the upper, and the inner lining for signs of wear and tear. If you see any, it might be a strong suggestion that you need to replace the shoes.
Can an overweight person walk for long hours?
A heavy person can walk for a long distance the same way an individual with an average body can. According to this article, walking for fitness is a step in the right direction.
The health benefits of walking for at least an hour a day includes improved physical fitness, stronger bones and muscles, and protection from high blood pressure as well as type 2 diabetes.