So you want to start walking to improve your health and are now looking for walking shoes. I got ya! Walking is my go-to exercise and it’s one of the exercises many experts recommend for overweight people. Several years ago, I trained to walk a full marathon and two half-marathons. In fact, I was 262 pounds the day I crossed the full marathon finish day. So I’d like to think that I am an expert on walking shoes for overweight women. And I am so pleased to share with you my best walking shoes for overweight women.
There is little debate about the health benefits of walking. Although my marathon days are behind me, walking is still my main form of exercise. It was how, with a healthy diet, I lost 80 pounds in 8 months. I also maintain my weight loss by walking every day. Usually, I try to get 10,000 steps a day.
Also read: My 80 Pound Weight Loss Success Story
However, start at your level and go at your own pace. But, the first step is getting the right shoes.
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Why the Right Walking Shoe is Important
Whether it’s your New Year’s Resolution or your doctor’s advice, or you’re getting tired of being overweight, there is no time like today to start walking. But before you do it’s important to choose the right shoe for you.
It doesn’t matter where you carry the extra pounds, your feet and ankles will bear the brunt of the extra weight and therefore it can be painful to walk. Once you experience pain while walking you are less likely to continue and, of course, return to the couch.
Unfortunately being an overweight walker puts you at risk for a few issues, especially plantar fasciitis, fallen arches and knee problems.
Your plantar fascia is a band that connects your heel to your toes. Plantar fasciitis develops when this band is inflamed and causes stabbing foot pain. Obesity is a major risk factor for plantar fasciitis as the extra pounds put tremendous stress on your plantar fascia. And as such, one of the important features of walking shoes of overweight women is shock absorption.
Fallen Arches and Flat Feet
Like plantar fasciitis, obesity is a risk factor for fallen arches and flat feet. A normal adult foot has an arch between your heel and toes. Overweight walkers may have or could develop fallen arches or flat feet. Consequently, you may experience foot pain and even leg and back pain when you walk. Once again, proper walking shoes for overweight women can help.
You can quickly and easily check to see if you have fallen arches or flat feet. Just wet your feet and step on any material where you can see your footprint (e.g., brown paper bag or cardboard). If your footprint looks like a real foot, with little narrowing in the middle, you probably have flat feet or fallen arches.
If you have flat feet, look for running shoes with good arch support. Some avid walkers use custom orthotics to alleviate the pain from fallen arches and flat feet.
Your knee acts as our bodies’ shock absorber and overweight walkers put more pressure on our knees and that obviously leads to joint pain. Your knee absorbs 150% or more of your weight when you walk! So obviously going for long walks will be even harder on our poor knees.
But have no fear, there are many great running shoes that offer excellent shock absorption that allows you to walk with little or no problems.
Key Features in Walking Shoes for Overweight Walkers
This is not the time to buy cheap running shoes, it’s worth it to invest a little in purchasing the best shoes for you.
When I was buying running shoes for my first marathon, the best advice I got was that fit and comfort was way more important than brand. Also, don’t assume that a popular brand has the best walking or running shoes. We are all unique, our feet are not the same, we walk differently, and therefore you need to get the right fit and best choice for you
That being said, New Balance, Skechers, ASICS and Brooks are the best brands for walking shoes for overweight women and men. They all make walking and running shoes that meet the special needs of overweight walkers.
The perfect walking shoe for overweight women should include:
Cushioning is probably the most important thing to look for in running shoes for overweight women! Good cushioning will lessen the pain on your feet and joints. Look for gel, foam, memory foam, or air form, in the sole, heel and collar. Once you try shoes with excellent cushioning you’ll never turn back!
- Arch Support
Most of us heavy walkers have fallen arches or flat feet and will need walking shoes with excellent arch support.
Some of us are not that stable on our feet or tend to pronate, but there are many shoes for overweight women that will help with stability.
Your feet can get quite sweaty, especially in the summer months, so choose walking shoes with breathable or moisture-wicking material to keep you dry and comfy.
Most of us overweight walkers have wide feet and will need a wide toe box and upper design for extra comfort. Mesh or synthetic uppers are supple, flexible and have good ventilation.
Again, because we are not always very stable on our feet, look for a rubber outsole to prevent slip and falls. Also, some brands offer an EVA midsole for extra shock absorption.
You should also look for lightweight shoes because heavy shoes are more uncomfortable than you think, especially on long walks. Heavy walking shoes will definitely make you end your walk sooner than you want.
Also, I usually buy a half-size bigger which I find better especially when I walk for a long time. A half-size better is also a good option if your feet swell when you stand or walk for long periods of time.
Essentially, with the right shoes, you will not have to worry about any pain or discomfort in your feet, legs, knee, back or anywhere else.
Best Walking Shoes for Overweight Women
Here are my personal recommendations for the perfect walking shoe for overweight women. There are a variety of shoes with different styles for every budget and need. Don’t worry that some are walking shoes and others are called running shoes. After all, walking is just a slow form of running!
Also read: Is 10,000 Steps a Day Good for Weight Loss
I especially love Skechers Women’s Go Walk 5 Prized Sneakers because they slip on, an important feature for those of us who find it hard to bend and lace-up running shoes. It also has good arch support and a mesh, breathable upper. There are no seams to cause you any discomfort while walking. Furthermore, this shoe is quite light which makes it easier to walk for as long as you want. They come in a number of colors and best of all, these walking shoes are available in 5 to 13, wide widths and half-sizes.
Want the ultimate comfortable running or walking shoe? Check out Skechers Women’s Max Cushioning Elite. Thanks to Skechers’ Goga mat insole, its comfort is matched with support, breathability and lightweight. Eleven colors are available in wide widths as well as full and half-sizes, from size 5 to 11.
One of my favorites, the Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 21, is one of the most comfortable, supportive and stable running shoes for overweight women. Brooks offers something that they call guide rails on their running shoes. Imagine bumpers in a bowling alley, the guide rails balance your foot as you walk and are perfect for those who need a bit more stability. A certified diabetic shoe that comes in a variety of stylish colors. You can choose half-sizes, wide and even extra wide widths.
The Brooks Women’s Addiction Walker V-Strap 2 is an excellent choice for diabetics as it is a certified PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe. You can walk all day in these shoes! Excellent arch support and super comfortable are the two features that stand out for me. The velcro straps make it easy to put on and the soles are slip-resistant. If you want a black or white leather walking shoe, this is the one for you! They come in sizes 5 to 12 and offer half-sizes and wide widths.
New Balance Women’s 877 V2 Walking Shoe
New Balance has all the key features heavy walkers need – cushioning, stability and flexibility. It is deep and wide in the toe box for extra comfort. This walking shoe has removable insoles so you can use your custom orthotic. A few colors are available as well as sizes 5 to 13 in narrow, wide and extra-wide widths.
As soon as you take your first step in New Balance Women’s 1540 V3, you’ll feel like you can walk for hours! You’ll get great support, comfort and stability. One outstanding feature of this shoe is its rollbar technology that helps with moderate to severe overpronation. Just three colors are available, but these New Balance running shoes come in sizes from 5 to 14. The 1540 V3 is one of the few walking and running shoes I have seen that is available in narrow, wide, extra-wide and extra-extra-wide widths. Add this shoe to your list if you need an XX wide width!
New Balance Women’s WW840 Health Walking Shoe
Another leather option in black and white, the New Balance Women’s WW840 Health Walking Shoe, has extra cushioning and will make you feel like you are walking on cloud nine. A great walking shoe for obese women! New Balance not only offers wide widths, but you can get extra wide in sizes 5 to 13. Half-sizes are also available up to size 10.5.
Good looking, comfortable shoes with gel cushioning, the Asics Women’s Gel-Nimbus 23 running shoe is one of the best choices for heavy walkers. You can see the gel on the heel and the cushioning on the upper is also quite visible. I feel like a queen walking in these running shoes! Nimbus is available in full and half-sizes from sizes 5 to 13, wide and extra-wide widths.
The gel cushioning provided by ASICS Women’s Gel-Kayano 28 provides great shock absorption and comfort. It’s also lightweight and flexible yet stable. The midsole is gender-specific and designed to respond to women’s biomechanical needs. The seamless upper means that your walks will be free of any irritations. There are a few color choices, I especially love the coral/mist option. You can buy this running shoe in full and half-sizes from 5 to 13, as well as, narrow and wide widths.
One of my friends recommended these walking shoes and I’m so glad she did! What a great shoe for overweight walkers. Vionic Women’s Walker Class Supportive Walking Sneakers shoes come with a specially designed, removable orthotic providing arch support and assist with your stability. Vionic also features an EVA midsole for maximum shock absorption. You can choose a leather or suede upper (I really like the suede) in full, half-sizes and wide widths in sizes 5 to 13.
The Saucony Women’s Versafoam Cohesion 12 was built for road runners, but it has many of the ideal features for heavy walkers. The versafoam cushioning will feel like heaven on those long walks. The thick rubber soles will also help cushion your walks. Once you try on these shoes, you’ll immediately notice that the heel is higher than the toe, but not surprisingly this will help you move more easily to your toe and easier to walk. Saucony offers several colors and sizes from 5 to 11 in regular and wide widths.
Where to Buy Your Walking Shoes
Now that you have several walking shoes to choose from, the next question is where to get yours. I recommend going to a speciality store where they have trained staff to help you select the best fit for you. You‘ll be able to walk around the store and see how you feel. You should note, however, that most of their customers are runners.
But now that you have my personal recommendations, you can also easily purchase online at Amazon or other online retailers. Once your shoes are delivered try them out at home, if it’s not comfortable return them and get another.
My Top 10 Walking Shoes for Overweight Women
There you have it! My top picks for walking shoes for overweight women! You can’t go wrong selecting any of these shoes; all of the important factors for an overweight woman, like me, are considered. There really is something for everyone; many styles for every budget. Plus size women of all fitness levels will find the perfect walking shoe!
Also read: Best First Steps to Weight Loss
If you plan to walk indoors as well as outdoors if it’s within your budget, consider buying one pair of shoes for each location. Personally, I hate using muddy, dirty outdoors shoes on a treadmill or indoor track.
Finally, don’t use the excuse of having foot issues or knee problems to not walk. Likewise, don’t use the excuse of not having the right shoe to start walking. Pick a walking shoe, and like Nike says, just do it!