Best Shoes for Overweight Walkers
We tested 50+ pairs of footwear; the best shoes for overweight walkers are the Reebok Work N Cushion (women) and the New Balance 577 V1 (men).
To find the best shoes for an overweight walker, we spoke to 30 people with a BMI of 25+. They included overweight people, obese folks, and a few bodybuilders. We also had a physician scientist (M.Sc.) with an M.D. degree consult us. To hear what they had to say, skip to the Buyer’s Guide section.
After getting as much advice as we could, started researching. We looked for roomy, breathable shoes with good cushioning. We looked for strong arc support and zero-drop soles that are easy on the feet. We made sure the models we looked at came in wide sizes. The folks we spoke to said bending over can be a problem – so we also looked for easy-tie laces.
Both the New Balance 577 V1 and the Reebok Work N Cushion exceeded our expectations. They’re comfortable shoes that can support a lot of extra weight. They’re long-lasting, breathable and available in a range of widths. They support the arc, helping your feet to move through their natural range of motion – ideal for reducing foot stress.
We also looked at shoes in other categories. For example, the most supportive shoes we tested are the Saucony Xodus Sneaker (men) and the Saucony ProGrid Integrity ST2 (women). They improve foot posture and give you a healthy, natural gait. They also support the arch for extended periods of time.
To find the best shoes for you, keep reading to see all our choices.
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Table of Contents
Best Shoe for Heavy and Obese Walkers (Men)
The best walking shoe for heavy men is the New Balance 577 V1. It’s comfortable, durable and supportive. Everything you could want from a walking shoe.
The upper is made from soft, flexible leather. The leather is waterproof and hardwearing. It’s breathable too, allowing air to circulate around your feet and preventing them from overheating.
There’s a fully adjustable hook and loop closure system. It means you don’t need to waste time with laces and it gives you maximum control over how tight or loose you want your shoes.
Inside there’s a premium lining. It’s gentle on your feet and wicks away moisture, reducing rubbing and preventing blisters. The padded collar and tongue make are soft and pleasant to the touch. This is a comfy, well-cushioned shoe.
The cushioned insole offers a lot of support. It stops your feet from moving around in the shoes and lowers the chance of foot fatigue or injury. It provides relief if you have an existing foot problem, e.g. a plantar fascia inflammation. It can be removed if you need to wash the shoes or add in your own orthotic insole.
The PU midsole delivers high levels of shock absorption, especially in the heel area. The ABZORB cushioning in this part of the shoe protects you from impact-related injury. It also creates a very stable base for your feet and ensures your gait remains as natural as possible.
While not being worn, these shoes look like they have an elevated heel. However, as soon as you put them on, your weight naturally flattens them out.
The non-slip rubber outsole is hardwearing but flexible. It’s built for walking, offering good traction across different terrain and conditions. Best of all, it won’t restrict your feet but still offers excellent protection.
These shoes are available in both a wide and extra-wide size, making them ideal for walkers with wide feet. They’re available in all-black, which makes them a good work shoe for warehouse pickers, waiters, etc.
The straps for the hook and loop closure system are very short. To ensure you can tighten the shoes properly, we advise ordering at least one size wider than you usually wear. If possible, try them on in store or via Prime Wardrobe so you can find the right fit.
- Velcro straps for the hook and loop system tend to run short
Best Shoe for Heavy and Obese Walkers (Women)
The best women’s walking shoe is the Reebok Work N Cushion shoes from Reebok. They’re well-cushioned, comfortable and extremely breathable. They also make for a good work shoe thanks to their all-black, formal upper.
The upper is mostly leather but with large mesh sections. They’re most obvious in the cushioned tongue – which is completely mesh – as well as around the heel and ankles. This mix of materials means the shoes are tough, lightweight, flexible and breathable. They come with a hook and loop closure system, which is easier to use than laces and is fully adjustable. The tongue functions as a stretch panel, helping the shoe stretch to your foot size.
A MemoryTech foam insole ensures these shoes are comfortable for extended walking periods. It cradles your foot, delivering plenty of support and preventing your foot rubbing against the edge of the shoe.
Below the insole is a DMX Ride+ midsole layer. This proprietary material uses dual-density foam to provide maximum support and cushioning. The layer closest to your foot is soft and comfortable. The bottom layer is much sturdier. It’s responsive, moving around as your shift your weight and offering excellent shock absorption.
The rubber outsole is non-slip and oil resistant. It’s covered in an intricate tread pattern that disperses liquids and ensures reliable traction at all times. The bevelled heel makes walking slightly easier. It allows you to naturally roll from your heel to your toes, helping reduce the impact of heavy footfalls.
While testing these shoes it was clear that the soles are seriously durable. You can expect them to last the test of time.
There’s just one downside to this pair of Reeboks. They’re only available in wide and regular. If you have an extra-wide foot, e.g. due to a bunion, they may be too tight.
The top velcro strap is shorter than we’d like to see. If you have particularly wide feet, you might struggle to get it properly secure. Sizing up half a size is enough to fix this issue but try the shoes in store or via Prime Wardrobe to ensure the best fit.
- Good cushioning
- Velcro straps for the hook and loop system tend to run short
Most Comfortable Walking Shoe for Heavy Men
The most comfortable shoe for overweight men is the Asics Gel LYTE 3. This sneaker is a throwback to ASICS sports shoes from the early 1990s. It has a retro, yet timeless style and offers unparalleled comfort thanks to its range of trademarked technologies.
The most obvious feature is the split tongue design. It’s based on a vintage ASICS shoe back to the ASICS of yesteryear but remains an exciting and often overlooked feature. It’s lightweight and much more comfortable than we initially expected. It doesn’t press on your foot in the same way as a “normal” tongue. Instead, it feels like it’s hugging the top of your foot. It also allows the shoes to stretch more, which is perfect for heavy walkers.
The upper is made from a combination of mesh and suede. There are perforations in the suede, which allow air to circulate around your foot. The mesh is hardwearing and breathable too. There’s extra suede overlays to help the shoe keep its shape and increase its overall durability.
Since it’s based on a running shoe, the Gel LYTE 3 is a good choice for heavier runners. Like many running shoes, it has a wide toe box. There’s plenty of wiggle room in there. Whether running or walking, you don’t need to worry about your toes rubbing against the shoe.
The cushioned insole offers a soft yet stable base for your feet. There’s also a soft textile lining inside the shoe. It’s gentle on the feet and helps prevent blisters. Another reason to get these if you’re a heavy runner.
The rubber outsole offers consistent grip across various conditions. It’s covered is Flex Grooves, which allow your feet to bend and move naturally. This helps increase foot strength and reduces the likelihood plantar fasciitis, shin splints and knee pain. It can also help walkers with flat feet build arch strength.
There’s also GEL™ technology in the heel of the shoe. It offers improved shock absorption and ensures all-day comfort.
As with many suede shoes, these ASICS can take a little while to break in. There’s also no wide version available. While the split tongue means you get much more control over the width of the standard shoe, people with extra wide feet might struggle. One solution is to go a size bigger and get a high-volume insole for shoes that are too big.
- Reduces likelihood of plantar fasciitis, shin splints and knee pain.
- May take a while to break in
Most Comfortable Walking Shoe for Heavy Women
The most comfortable women’s walking shoe on our list is the ASICS Tiger Gel LYTE 3. Combining modern technology with a retro design, these shoes deliver comfort, support and of course, good looks.
The flat rubber outsole offers excellent traction. It’s covered in a series of Flex Grooves, which disperse water and allow your foot to move naturally. This improves strength and reduces your risk of injury.
The midsole is made of triple-density EVA foam. The softest layers are built for comfort while the harder layer effectively absorbs the impact of your footfalls. Around the heel area is ASICS’ GEL™ technology. By distributing your weight across the shoe, this silicone-like material prevents bruising and foot injuries. Especially during high impact foot strikes.
The final layer of cushioning and support comes from the memory foam insole. It’s well-cushioned and cradles your feet as you walk, preventing them from sliding around in the shoes. It has a soft textile lining that wicks moisture away from your feet and prevents them from overheating.
A breathable leather upper also helps keep your feet cool. There are perforations along the side which help increase airflow. Overlays around the laces and sides of the shoe increase durability and help the shoe keep its shape.
The padded tongue uses the innovative split design. It’s lightweight and allows the shoes to stretch more than a regular tongue design. It offers exceptional support and comfort while reducing the amount of pressure on the top of your foot. It’s ideal for people with wide feet and makes the shoes much easier to put on and lace-up.
These shoes are available in a wide range of colours so you’ll be able to find a pair to match any outfit.
As with most leather shoes, these ASICS can take a little while to break in. We suggest wearing them for only a few hours at a time to start with. A nice thick pair of socks will work wonders too.
Even though these shoes are a good choice for wide feet because of the split tongue, they aren’t actually available in a wide version. It’s best to try them on in store or via Prime Wardrobe if you aren’t 100% sure they’ll fit.
- Prevents bruising and foot injuries
- Available in a variety of colorways
- May take a while to break in
- Not available in a wide version
Best Shoe for Overweight Walkers with Flat Feet and Foot Instability (Men)
If you’re suffering from collapse arches and/or heel pain, these Xodus Iso sneakers from Saucony are the right shoe for you. They offer an incredible level of arch support and foot stability. They’re also excellent for reducing foot pain.
The insoles are thin but comfortable. However, it’s Saucony’s Everun midsole that provides the real support. This cushioned layer delivers unparalleled shock absorption, comfort and bounce back. In fact, it offers up to 83% more energy return than standard midsole technology. It also feels tough and durable; consumers report it lasting through months of regular walking.
The outsole is made of a combination of Saucony’s PWRTRAC and XT-900 rubber. This ensures the sole provides excellent traction while remaining abrasion-proof. There’s an aggressive tread pattern which also increases traction. All of this improves foot stability on all surfaces.
The chunky, multidirectional lugs are perfect for trails but are also well suited to tarmac. Subtle grooves along the tread ensure your feet can flex naturally while walking.
The ISOFIT Dynamic upper clings to your foot and is comfortable straight out of the box. It adapts to the contours of your foot to create a high-quality custom feel. This breathable mesh prevents your feet from overheating by allowing air to freely circulate. For added durability, there’s also a series of overlays that protect the shoes from knocks or scrapes.
The padded tongue and ankle collar are breathable and well-cushioned. They keep the top of your foot and ankle firmply in place while walking. They give you a healthy, natural gait and improve stability.
Finally, these shoes have an external frame around the heel. This tough exoskeleton delivers high-end support and stability. It grips your feet and prevents them from moving around inside the shoes. Although this isn’t a stability shoe per se, this feature means it performs like one.
These are some of the heaviest shoes on our list. While it’s not noticeable on trails, they can become quite tiresome to use for long stints on concrete.
It’s also not easy to get these shoes on. If you struggle to bend and get your feet into sneakers, we advise keeping a small shoe horn handy.
- Arch support
- Reduction of foot pain
- Not easy to put on
Best Shoe for Overweight Walkers with Flat Feet and Foot Instability (Women)
The best shoes for women suffering from heel pain, flat feet and instability? These ProGrid Integrity ST2 shoes from Saucony. They offer unrivalled support to ensure you are as comfortable and stable as possible at all times.
The perforated leather upper and mesh tongue allows air to flow around your feet, preventing them from overheating. The upper also features a forefoot stretch zone that moulds to your foot, offering flexibility and a secure hold. This model looks and feels like an athletic shoe; breathable, comfortable and firm on-foot.
Located in the heel is a solid support structure. This holds your foot comfortably in place, preventing it from moving around in the back of the shoe. It stabilizes the foot, letting it roll through from heel to toe as you walk. It reduces your chances of blisters and adds to the overall durability of the shoes.
The entire sole is shaped to deliver constant arch support. The ProGrid midsole is lighter and more responsive than standard EVA. It provides excellent cushioning and shock absorbency for your whole foot. It’s durable too, so won’t harden or become misshapen over time. The insole is lightly cushioned and offers a high degree support. It improves foot posture, which reduces foot fatigue and improves stability.
The walk-trac outsole is reinforced using XT-900 rubber in areas of high wear. This durable material is abrasion resistant but still provides good traction in most conditions. The deep grooves running across the rubber sole allow your foot to flex naturally. All of this reduces your chances of sliping while walking.
Housed in the sole is an HRC impact zone. This area distributes the force of your foot strike and helps set your foot up for a smooth transition. It makes every step just a little easier, allowing you to walk with less pain. It also stops your feet from rolling inwards and outwards. Moreover, thanks to its supportive qualities, this is also one of the best shoes for lower back pain.
Finally, these shoes are available in a range of width options from narrow to extra-wide.
The only downside with these shoes is that they run a little small. Some of us needed to go up one and a half sizes before we found the best fit. To find the best fit for you, we advise trying them on in store or via Prime Wardrobe.
- Increased stability
- Sizing tends to run small
Best Waterproof Walking Shoe for Heavy Walkers (Men)
The best waterproof shoe for heavy walkers is the New Balance 1300 V1 Walking Shoe. It’s comfortable, offers a ton of support and will keep your feet dry.
The leather upper gives these shoes a sharp look. But it’s not all about aesthetics. The full-grain leather helps keep water out and holds your foot securely within the shoe. It’s easy to wipe clean too, especially the thick overlays around the heel and toes. These areas protect the leather from everyday bumps and knocks.
There’s a waterproof membrane in the shoes. It’s breathable, allowing air and moisture to escape but not letting water in. The ankle collar and tongue are both well cushioned with a waterproof mesh lining. This enhances breathability and support without compromising waterproofness. The tongue is gusseted to keep water and debris out.
The ROLLBAR stability post stops your feet from sliding around in the shoes. It reduces the movement around your heel, keeping you stable while walking. There’s also a nylon shank that keeps your feet planted without reducing the shoe’s flexibility.
The rugged rubber outsole acts as a suspension system, absorbing impacts without passing the shockwaves to your body. The deep defined tread pattern disperses water and offers reliable grip in all conditions. It even bites into wet grass and soft mud effectively.
The thick EVA midsole provides a secure base and has excellent shock absorption properties. The insole is moulded to match the contours of your feet. It provides arch support and protects your feet against injury.
Finally, these shoes are available in regular, wide and extra-wide options. If you want to see more waterproof shoes, check out our roundup of the best shoes for rainy weather.
These shoes have a weak point where the toe overlay meets the side body of the shoe. If you are hard on shoes, this will likely be the first area to fail. Rips and tears, although not common, are not unheard of. This means they lose their waterproof properties. If it happens within the first six months, New Balance may help you out with a new pair but there’s no guarantee.
- Easy to clean
- Rips and tears may occur, but are uncommon
- May loose waterproof quality as a result of rips and tears
Best Waterproof Walking Shoes for Heavy Walkers (Women)
The best waterproof shoes for overweight women are the KEEN Terradora 2 hiking shoes. They’re built specifically for the female foot form which makes them supportive, breathable and comfortable.
The upper is made from a knit mesh. It’s lightweight, breathable and thanks to the KEEN.Dry waterproof membrane will keep your feet dry. It’s got overlays around the toes, heel and sides of the shoe. This increases durability and adds another layer of waterproofing. It also ensures the shoe remains light and airy.
The tongue and collar are both padded for comfort and support. The lining is soft and wicks moisture away from your feet. This prevents a build-up of moisture while walking. They’re also coated with KEEN’s Eco Anti-Odour treatment, which breaks down bacteria in your sweat and reduces bad odours.
The heel is home to KEEN’s ConnectFit Heel Capture System. This holds your heel snugly in place, preventing it from riding around in the back of the shoe. It protects you from blisters as well as the more serious long term inures associated with poor-fitting shoes.
The dual-density EVA footbed is contoured for comfort and support. It cradles your feet, offering maximum protection around your toes and arches. It’s also removable. You can replace it with your own custom orthotics if necessary, or just take it out to wash the shoes.
The midsole is made from low-density EVA. It delivers incredible cushioning, absorbs impacts and disperses energy across your entire foot. It doesn’t matter if you’re standing still or walking, the midsole offers all-day comfort.
These shoes feature the KEEN.ALL-TERRAIN rubber outsole. It’s covered in an aggressive multidirectional lug pattern for maximum traction across all surfaces. Especially in the wet. It also features Anatomical Flex Grooves which ensure your feet flex naturally as you walk.
If you want to see more waterproof shoes, check out our roundup of the best shoes for rainy weather.
These shoes are quite stiff out of the box. While they do soften up over time, they can take quite some getting used to. Especially if you’re not used to stiff walking shoes.
They also run quite tight. Most of us found that wearing half a size up solved this issue but we advise trying them on in store or via Prime Wardrobe before ordering.
- May take a while to break in
- Sizing tends to run tight
Most Breathable Shoe for Heavy Walkers (Men)
The best warm-weather shoe for overweight men is the Skechers Go Max Slip-On. This lightweight shoe is supportive but breathable. Perfect for hot summer days.
The mesh knit upper allows air to flow around your feet, preventing overheating. It’s super lightweight and flexible too, making it very easy to forget you’ve got these shoes on. They will mould themselves to you and put very little pressure on the top of your feet. They also have reinforced panels around the toe and heel. These add stability and durability to the shoes.
The Goga Max insole delivers high rebound cushioning. It changes and morphs with each step to constantly deliver the highest comfort and shock absorption levels.
The rest of the sole is built from Skechers’ 5GEN proprietary technology. It’s ultra-lightweight but still absorbs foot strikes to create a safe, comfortable base for your feet. You only have to put your weight through these shoes to feel the “SQUISH” technology at work. It allows your feet to sink a little way into the sole, which in turn cradles and supports you like no other shoe.
As slip-on shoes, these Skechers are quick and easy to get on your feet. They include a pull tab on the heel, which makes the process even easier.
They’re available in narrow, regular and extra-wide sizes.
Although the soles on these shoes surprised us with their durability, lasting much longer than we expected, they’re not non-slip. They still provide good traction, especially on dry concrete but you wouldn’t want to use them on a slippery wet floor.
- Not suitable for wet and slippery terrain
Most Breathable Shoe for Heavy Walkers (Women)
The best warm-weather option for overweight women is the Skechers Go Walk Joy slip-on shoes. They’re super lightweight, breathable and adapt to fit your feet perfectly.
They have a flexible outsole. It allows your feet to move through their natural range of motion while still offering arch support. It’s durable too, much more robust than we initially expected.
Moving up from the outsole, we have the 5GEN midsole. This highly responsive memory foam is created by Skechers to offer the most comfortable, lightweight cushion possible. And they’re succeeding. It’s supportive, absorbs impacts and distributes your weight exceptionally well.
The Goga Max removable insole is another example of Skechers’ technology. This high rebound cushioning responds to the stresses you put on it. This ensures it delivers constant comfort and support where you need it.
The mesh upper keeps your feet cool while you walk. It allows air to flow in and out with ease. It also changes shape and morphs to give you the perfect fit. As your feet expand when you walk, the mesh expands with them. It ensures you’re always fully secure and comfortable in these shoes – something we didn’t expect from a slip-on.
Inside, the shoes have a featherweight sock liner. This is moisture-wicking and adapts to the shape of your foot. It means your feet and kept cool and dry all day if necessary.
These Skechers are available in narrow, regular and wide versions.
The soles in these shoes can take some getting used to. Initially, they feel very soft, like you’re sinking into the shoes. Until you are used to it, this can be a little unnerving. Especially when rushing around.
- The soles feel very soft and may take some getting used to