Shoes for a heavyweight....

Can anyone offer some advice on shoes.

I have been running for quite a few years and have completed a few half marathons in my time and hope to complete FLM 2003 (already have a place as I pulled out last year due to injury)

I am a 6'2" male that usually weighs just over 14st. I run between 7min mile pace over one mile and about 9min mile pace for a half marathon.
I have had a variety of shoes over the years which usually fall into the stability or motion control bracket.
I have had Asics Kayano's for the last few years but must admit I do find they have very little cushioning.
I have recently suffered from ITBS (outside knee pain) and initially thought "must get full on motion control shoes - Brooks Beast or similar" but then I thought that maybe it wasn't that I was overpronating that was causing the knee pain but possibly the impact of a heavy runner using a fairly hard and uncushioned shoe?

I now don't know which way to turn.
To make matters worse I went to a Sweatshop and ran across one of their footscan things and they stated that my imprint was that of a normal biomechanically efficient runner, I then saw a physio about an unrelated matter and he immediately commented that my arches are quite low and that I must overpronate and recommended motion control shoes.


  • annajoannajo ✭✭✭
    Usually it is the case that people with low arches do overpronate. Sometimes, however we find that a person might have developed quite an efficient running style despite their foot gait indicating that they should overpronate.

    For example, I was working in one of the Sweatshops the other day, and was serving a customer who sounds very similar (it wasn't you was it?!). From just looking at his feet, he looked as if he needed a lot of support. When, however, he ran over the footscan, and when I watched him run, he looked as if he needed very little support at all - almost a neutral runner.
    When deciding what shoes to recommend to him, I thought that he had relatively good running form. However I also took into account that his running form might well deteriorate slightly, when he got tired, because of the way that his foot leaned inwards and because of the height of his arches. So I thought that a stability shoe would be most appropriate, but not a full motion control shoe as this would have restricted his foot too much (too much support, and they have a very 'straight shape', he would have needed a more curved shoe to allow him to take advantage of the efficient style he had developed).

    For yourself, I would suggest that you have a look at your old shoes, and see if they are inclined to lean inwards at all. If they do have a prominent lean inwards, then you need more support than that shoe gives you.

    Also, regarding the cushioning, the cushioning in the Kayanos might be a bit too soft for you (believe it or not!). Heavier and taller runners would need a firmer, more responsive cushioning. This is because softer cushioning would compress too quickly at the point of impact and not cushion you completely. A firmer cushioning will not compress so quickly, so will give cushioning for the full impact on each step. Also it will last longer.

    Without looking at your feet, it is pretty difficult to give good advice. In general, though, I think the conclusion that I am coming to is that you could stick with the kind of stability shoe that you have been using, but avoid too supportive shoes and motion control shoes. If you have a neutral/mildly pronating running style, then having a bit of extra support won't be terrible as long as the shoe doesn't give too much support. If the Kayano's haven't given you the cushioning you need, then maybe brands with a more firm and responsive cushioning such as Saucony, Adidas, New Balance, or Mizuno would be worth a try. I don't know much about Brooks but I think they have a reputation for being a good "big-guy" shoe as well.

  • annajoannajo ✭✭✭
    I've written an essay there, haven't I! Sorry if I've waffled on a bit too much...!

  • Annajo,

    Thanks very much for your advice and knowledge, very much appreciated.

  • it seems i have afew things in common with homer at least the timeing and weight bit. I have been running for about 3 years and am still looking for that all important shoe,my arches are high and need supporting in a longer distance race, experiments i have done seem to show a generous fitting toe box to allow for expantion a good heel cup and room for a possible arch support.
    Sacauny grid jazz were not bad (good grip in the wet ) at the moment i am running in Brooks radius 257 (good enough to get me round london this year) i am sure i have seen a training shoe on a page on a web site made just for arch sufferers, may be someone out there knows . Best of luck for london next year
  • Homer
    I'm six foot odd, 14-15stone and LOVe my mizuno wave creations. They are brill.
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