Best Walking Shoes for Overweight Walkers
If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best shoes for overweight walkers are, then I recommend the Skechers Slip-On Sneaker as the best pair for men and the Saucony VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12 as the best pair for women.
The heavier you are, the more pressure there is on your joints. Your feet are pushed harshly into the ground, which is bad for your ankles and soles. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the pain of this—appropriate footwear.
The best walking shoes for overweight walkers are out there, and I’m going to help you find them.
Here are the best walking shoes for overweight walkers in 2020:
- Skechers Men’s Slip-On Sneaker
- ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 6
- Saucony Women’s VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12
- New Balance Women’s WW411v2 Walking Shoe
- MAITRIP Men’s Running Sneakers
Risks Factors in Being Overweight
Let’s start with the most commonly known fact. If you are overweight, then you are at risk for many conditions. These conditions include; Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Heart Disease, Cancer Types, Arthritis, and risk of Stroke.
Obesity is exceeding in the western world. People, regardless of creed, colour, ethnicity, demographics or income, don’t seem to have the time and in some cases inclination to maintain their levels of physical activity or healthy eating. And given the stresses and strains, especially this year with covid and quarantine going on it’s understandable.
This, however, means that more and more people are putting on weight and are at risk of developing further complications with their health.
How Does Extra Weight Affect Your Feet
So the first thing to say is that any additional weight that you do add does impact your feet and other lower body limbs. And unfortunately, it affects them negatively and may result in pain and aches.
That extra weight increases pressure and strain on your feet, which in turn makes standing and walking much more uncomfortable.
Being overweight also wears out and stretches your joints, tendons and any connective tissues that are in your feet and lower extremities.
Here are a few weight-related symptoms that affect your feet;
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Heel Pain
- Oedema and swelling
- Stress fractures
- Arthritic Symptoms
- Diabetic Symptoms
- Ankle Pain
Obesity can also cause several musculoskeletal issues that can affect your feet. And any symptoms that do persist without medical attention can become much worse.
What to Look for in Your Shoes
There are vital elements that go into every shoe, but it’s even more important in a walking shoe.
As an overweight person, you might be walking to lose weight, so surely you’ll be pounding the sidewalks and walkways. If so, you shouldn’t just walk in any old shoes—you could hurt your joints and your feet.
Here’s what to look for:
- Flexible yet stable sole.
This may be the most important part of your shoes.
You put pressure on the ground when you stand, and you put more pressure on a hard surface over a soft one. So, head to toe, more pressure is put on every joint on the way down to the hard ground. Cushioned shoes help solve that by providing a soft buffer between you and the ground.
Memory foam or unspecified plush padding are things to look for in the shoe. A springy sole is another element to consider: think rubber or foam—with foam being less preferable, as it might deteriorate more easily.
I’ve already mentioned a springy sole, but it also needs to be solid and flexible, which aren’t contradictory necessities!
Your foot tends to roll when you walk, heel to toe, so you need a sole that can handle that. Rubber is a great material for this, as it can take a decent amount of bending before it snaps.
With that in mind, you may not want the sole to be malleable as well as flexible. That could be a sign of a flimsy sole.
The sole needs to support your weight to keep you off the ground. The closer you are to the hard surface, the more pressure is on your joints.
A shoe that’s stable on your foot is vital. The way to go about this is to make sure it fits. Some shoes run bigger or smaller than stated, so always order accordingly.
If your feet shift around in shoes that are too big, it may be easier to trip, and your feet will rub against your socks and the inside of the shoes, causing blisters.
It’s bad enough for lighter people if they hit the ground or roll their ankle. Adding more weight to that may make the injury worse.
Having reliable traction is another important element when walking. A lack of proper traction equals a recipe for disaster in reduced stability. If the shoe is smooth and flat on the bottom, you may as well just trip on purpose.
Rubber is a material often used for great traction, so keep an eye out. A tread pattern on the sole of the shoe will also aid you.
Breathability is important in any shoe. People tend to sweat when working out, and the smell that comes afterward isn’t pleasant.
Your shoes will probably start to smell no matter what, but that’s what washing them is for. The sensations may not be desirable mid-walk, though.
Sweat can make your feet slick. This could cause movement within the shoe, even if it fits perfectly. That leads to an unpleasant feeling, toes crashing against the tip of the shoe, possibly causing blisters from increased friction.
Look for mesh, moisture-wicking material or a shoe that states it’s breathable. This should help keep your feet dry while you’re out strutting along the streets.
Walking Shoes vs. Running Shoes
The average runner puts up to three times their body weight with every strike down to the ground. For this reason, running shoes are often more padded than walking shoes.
Unfortunately, the world doesn’t seem to have caught on to the fact that overweight people may have different needs. Due to the increased pressure on the feet, the padding needed in shoes might be closer to what runners need.
Your feet aren’t under three times the pressure but are certainly under more pressure than a walker with a smaller frame.
For this reason, some of the shoes I’ve reviewed are actually running shoes, not walking shoes.
The Five Best Walking Shoes for Overweight Walkers
Now you know what you need, how do you find it? Instead of spending hours researching on your own, why not heed my advice? I’ve compiled a list of the best shoes for both men and women.
Since aches and pains can come more easily when you’re overweight, a slip-on shoe might be nice. It helps avoid bending to tie laces. This one from Sketchers is optimized for walking and comfort.
There’s memory foam inside the shoe, so your shoe should remember how to make you comfortable, again and again. This soft padding can cradle your feet as you pound along on the thick, forgiving soles.
The midsoles of these shoes absorb shock. This is excellent for heavier persons’ increased force when walking. You shouldn’t have any unpleasant vibrations or twinges as you go.
Meanwhile, the soles themselves are made of a forgiving synthetic material with a tread pattern that’s great for traction. The soles shouldn’t be as hard as the ground, nor should you be able to slip on that ground. Plus, they look flexible, especially up near the toe, where your feet tend to bend when walking.
The shoes do all this while remaining breathable, with a mesh-like upper to let the air at your hard-working feet.
They come in sizes 6.5–14, with wide and extra-wide options available.
- Casual look for the non-athletic.
- Plenty of size variety.
- Luxurious memory foam padded interior.
- Shock-absorbing midsole.
- May be noisy while walking.
If you prefer a more obvious sneaker-like style, these shoes by ASICS may be perfect for you since they’re a running shoe.
This sneaker has a breathable mesh-like upper and a thick, yet flexible, rubber sole. The sole is durable to survive even your strongest marches, while it still has that forgiving give for comfort.
Inside, it’s as forgiving as the outside, with a gel cushioning system. This keeps your feet on a soft surface while absorbing shock from your walk. Perfect for fast walking or if you want to transition into a jog.
The sock liner is completely removable for using a medical orthotic with the shoes. This should work well if you have issues you need to keep in check.
These shoes are available in sizes 7–15, with extra-wide variations available on some.
- Removable sock liner.
- Flexible rubber sole.
- Fantastic cushioned support.
- The laces come undone easily for some.
Here’s a sporty shoe for women. It’s made for running, so it has extra padding. Also, the VERSAFOAM cushioning is fit to cradle your feet as your shoes are put under pressure.
The inner cushioning extends all the way out over the back of the shoe. I’ve had so many shoes with no cushioning back there, cutting into my heels, which you shouldn’t experience with these.
The soles are also ready to help cushion any blows as you walk. They’re rubber, thick, durable, yet flexible and soft. They should keep you high off the ground, well-protected against the harsh, hard concrete of roads and sidewalks.
One thing to note about the shoes is that the heel is higher than the toes. This is common in running shoes. However, it may be a benefit for you if you’re overweight. As you place your heel down, your foot will want to roll to the toes to take the step. The higher heel means your foot will roll more forcefully and with less effort, propelling you forward almost like an aid.
These shoes come in sizes 5–12 with some wide variations.
- Breathable mesh uppers.
- Thick, durable soles.
- Raised heels for motivating strides.
- Well-cushioned interiors.
- The inner cushioning is thin compared to some other shoes in the market.
A sporty shoe with more subtlety than the last, all the marks have been hit again.
The shoes are made of leather heel to toe on the outside, excluding the sole. Yet, they’re still breathable. There are small holes dotted tastefully on the upper to let air at your heated feet.
Being made of leather, you know the shoes should be durable. The soles should be equally as such, as they’re made of rubber, which is a flexible and forgiving solid material for safe walking.
The inside of the shoe is padded for your comfort. There’s nothing special about the padding like some of the shoes I’ve reviewed, but the customer comments are positive in this regard.
These shoes come in sizes 5–12, with narrow and wide options.
- Extremely durable.
- Subtle yet stylish.
- Sporty yet casual.
- Users mention that there isn’t much arch support.
Here’s a shoe with the extra padding overweight people might need. Despite the extra cushioning, the shoes are lightweight, so they won’t drag you down while walking.
Even though they’re marketed as running shoes, these are comfortable everyday shoes with a removable insole, making them ideal for walking. This lets you replace it with a medical or personal favorite insole if you wish—all the more comfortable customization for the support you need when the walk gets heated.
For those hotter days, the shoes are well-ventilated via their mesh uppers. The flexible rubber soles are thicker in the heel, encouraging you to continue as the mesh keeps you cool.
These shoes are available in sizes 7–14.
- Extra padding.
- Dual-vent mesh.
- Removable insole.
- Some customers report a lack of traction.
Going the Distance
I have to dub the Skechers Men’s Slip-On Sneaker shoes as the best, to me.
I hate tying shoelaces, so the slip-on function is simply fantastic. The shock absorption is a bonus as I often stomp when I walk. And they’re so breathable, so they might feel like you’re wearing no shoes at all.
For the ladies, the Saucony VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12 are the best for women— so much cushioning to pad the blows. The angled sole gives you a slight extra boost while walking, and they’re incredibly comfortable.
I’ll finish by adding that whilst it’s important to have the right footwear and to get mobile and to start walking, you shouldn’t neglect your diet. So, please make sure that you’re combining your walking with a healthy diet to help lose any additional pounds