Best Running Shoes – Guide & Reviews
There is nothing better than feeling the wind rushing through your hair while your feet hits the ground as fast as it can, propelling yourself in a race against your opponent, whether it be yourself or your competitor. While we imagine the lightness of fleeting feet, the exercise itself is appreciated by people of all forms- light or heavy weighted, tall or short, whether it is a sport or a workout or just plain stress relieving.
There are several factors to consider though while choosing shoes for heavy runners. Some shoes are built for being a fashion statement while compromising on the support required for heavy mileage. On the other hand, some are meant for specific pronations, such as neutral or stability. It is recommended to assess the features of your running shoe and give consideration to a cushioned tongue and other details. The perfect fit should feel good from the toes to the heels. The toe box should be spacious and arch security, as will be explained later, is important. A shoe with a mesh exterior should feel better, as a heavy run would leave you desiring for some breathability.
Price also has to be considered. The expensive shoes do have a longer life, but a cheaper one is more suited for new runners.
First of all, the term heavy itself demands an explanation. Usually, people with a body mass index of over 27 are considered heavy runners. While running, the shock that hits your joints could be up to thrice the body weight on an average. Thus several factors including proper absorption of the impact, arch support and pronation have to be taken into account while choosing the appropriate pair of shoes.
Best Running Shoes - Top Picks
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Shoes That Could Fit Our Needs
Here is a list of some of the best recommendations that I assessed could fulfill the criteria we require:
Hoka One One Clifton 2
Hoka, the immediate successor of the Clifton which won the Editor’s Choice Award, did not really add too many changes to the previous formula except for a reduction in the weight and a few tweaks included for further comfort.
The midsole has been stuffed with a layer of CMEVA foam paired with Hoka’s traditional meta-rocker geometry that compensates with a fulcrum effect to provide a constant rocking gait. This is essentially what allows for a smooth and easy run. It compensates for the variations in pronation and allows an easy transition from heel strike to toe-off.
The outsole has a bare CMEVA foam with harder rubber areas on the surface, particularly, along with the heel and the front.
The exterior is thick and breathable that adds to its durability and the interior has a cushioned tongue for comfort.
However, the foamy outsole may be prone to a bit of wear after a couple of runs and the shoes require a bit of a break in time. Overall, this pair, apart from a few cosmetic concerns, perfectly fits the requirements we would be searching for.
ASICS Men’s Gel-Contend 3 Running Shoes
A pocket-friendly purchase, this pair of running shoes has thin EVA midsole cushioning with gel inserts that account for shock reduction.
The foam is marginally placed lower along the midsole and rises up towards the forefoot. This cushions the heel strike and adds traction along the front. The insole is grooved along the underside and is built to frame the foot. Moreover, the sole is built to bear rough usage and the exterior mesh allows the feet to breathe. A firm heel cup lends further stabilization as the shoe does not squish under pressure.
But, the firm heel cup can be a bit unyielding and these shoes are stiff and heavy in comparison. The groovy insole though is good for traction, can be a bit squeaky as well.
The pair has a broader toe box and the heel is medium. It is designed to compensate for the extra weight with enough comfort and a padded tongue.
Nike Men’s Free Flyknit Running Shoes
As typical running shoes built for heavy runners by Nike, the shape of the shoes show a slight bend to properly cradle the curve of the foot.
The slight Flyknit technology of the exterior has a very breathable quality to it that allows the foot to remain cool and dry. Along with the sockliner interior, it prevents the foot from being irritated. The flywire lace allows for a tight fit once secured.
The rigid midsole is made up of phylite rubber foam that lends durability and flexibility to the shoes. Rubber layering can also be seen in the outsole and underfoot of the shoes, which adds traction to the areas in contact. This is pretty lightweight and adds to the support that the shoes are meant to provide. Built of 40 percent rubber, placed conscientiously in the areas prone to erosion, the pair is durable enough. The runner can have the barefoot sensation but a cushioned experience as well. The outsole boasts of a hexagonal arrangement that matches the rolling motion of the foot while running.
But the exposed phylite does have some issues with durability, particularly on the balls of the foot.
Nevertheless, the pair offers a very snug fit that could allow you to discard the socks and a firm and secure grip.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 9
The Mizuno Inspire 9 is an update to the Inspire 8 with alterations on just the essentials while the basics remain unchanged.
It is an amalgam of a smooth transition, a firm balance and the perfect level of tenderness to the cushioning. The midsole foam is, to an extent, replaced with the Smooth Ride flex controllers that allow some of the flexibility to remain in the forefoot. The outsole is unchanged with blown rubber at the front and the carbon variety at the heels.
The heels are a cushioned wedge with Mizuno’s new SR- Touch formula and the wave plates are incredible. They compensate beautifully for the over-pronating runner, the plastic plates placed in the midsole and suited for the requirement of different kinds of runners. These shoes particularly aid with the runners bearing a flat foot or flexible arches. The dual fan-shaped plates are tuned for compensating for over- pronation in the gait faster than other medial posts.
However, in cooler climates, the breezy exterior could pose a problem for freezing feet. Otherwise, this pair is light on the feet and absorbs the stress well enough.
Asic’s Men- Gel Kayano 22
This version of the Asic’s Kayano series serves primarily to compensate mild to severe over-pronation by maintaining stability and the cushioning allows smooth run along the way.The mesh in the upper and the heel that increases support together provides a seamless fit to the shoe.
The Fluidride cushioning in the midsole is flexible and firm and the cushioning gel in the front and the heels reduce impact and assist with ease of movement. The sole of the Kayano gives an easy transition and the balance control by the Dynamic DuoMax Support System aids with the pronation. The shoe further maintains the alignment of the foot during the ground strike.
The shoe is very responsive along its length due to its plump sole unit and offers durability as well.
However, the higher price maybe a bit of a setback, but, honestly, it should be worth it, considering the pure level of blissful comfort they offer while on a sprint.
What Kind of Features Would a Heavy Runner Require?
While shopping for shoes built for heavy running, as mentioned, one of the primary factors to be taken into consideration would be the effects of the body weight on your joints. It is essential that runners form an analysis of their biomechanics and form of running. While the form is detrimental to all runners, the heavier weight in our case makes it necessary that we focus on the ease of movement, both to amplify our speed and to avoid being injured. Correct form during running aids in the distribution of pressure and reduces the negative impact on the joints and tendons.
Further, arch support is essential to heavy running. With the load of the entire body on our feet, in most cases, the foot arch is not as much as is required for heavier individuals. This requires external compensation to avoid the pain in our knees, ankles, and our calf that we would otherwise have to go through. This could lead to joint troubles if not taken care of.
It is important to assess your pronation as well. Pronation entails the inward roll of the foot during walking or running. It is our body’s way of adjusting to the shock. Pronation varies from person to person with some over-pronating, as in, their legs bow inward while others under-pronate with their legs tilting outward. Flat footed people, including those with heavy weight, especially tends to over-pronate.
The feet and ankles, as they roll to absorb the pressure, should be perfectly proportional. Lacking this, there is a deficiency in the absorption of the shock and even distribution of the body weight during the sprint, thus, leading to extra stress and unnecessary agony in our knees, shin splints, and stress fractures.
Compensating for all these issues, shoes with good arch cushioning and proper impact absorption that aid to provide balance are usually recommended. Under-pronation usually ends up with the erosion of the shoes on the outside while over-pronation leads to a ragged inside. For people with heavyweight who over-pronate, shoes that provide extra support and stabilize the gait are necessary. On the other hand, heavyweights who under pronate are recommended to focus more on impact absorption.
Moreover, with all the stress on the shoes itself, durability is an important factor as well. The coining of all these requirements together, you need to secure the perfect pair that would last longer as well as take off the risk of injury and the stress on your bodies while running.
Benefits of Running
We have all faced the weariness that comes with striving for weight loss. Studies have proved that controlled dieting along with proper exercise aids significantly in the reduction of body mass. In fact, for radical loss of weight and to help maintain the figure, nothing could be better or more refreshing than a solid run.
Not just that, but it further helps to alleviate breathing problems like asthma by increasing the lung intake capacity. Running can further help to strengthen joints. However, it is for this very reason that use of proper running shoes is detrimental. It helps to avoid injuries like sprains, aches, and even fractures. It is an incredibly healthy regimen that reverses age and conditions muscles while helping to maintain our stamina.
It is better to get your feet tested for the correct proportions that you would require to purchase the shoes. Shoes are, without a doubt, an important part of our fashion regimen, but running shoes are supposed to be functional. It should be able to endure a lot of wear and tear and should be the right size. If one foot is larger, you should get the larger size. Shorter sizes can often end up in blisters, calluses or other injuries that you really do not want to deal with while attempting a run.
For flatter feet, shoes, as have been mentioned, motion-control and high stability shoes are usually recommended. Just in case you have a higher arch, cushioned arch support is important, as well as ankle support and heel cups that hold your foot firmly, allowing for flexibility and grip.
Thus, experimentation is not wise when it comes to running shoes. Know your feet and then proceed to decide the best features that would suit you.
Running can be a sport or a hobby. It could be de-stressing or an exercise. For some of us, it is the beginning of a successful day and for some, it is the winding down before bed. Whatever, its purpose maybe, it has always been advisable to develop the habit of a good, healthy sprint on a regular basis.
Shoes specifically designed for running aids in speed and efficiency of gait. However, we should keep in mind that if a pair of shoes feels uncomfortable when we first try them, they are not likely to improve over time. So we should invest in shoes that do not require much breaking in.