Best Shoes for Overweight Women (Walking/Running/Joint Pain)

If you are overweight then the chances are you want shoes for one of 3 reasons:

  1. To help with walking and standing on your feet all day 
  2. For exercising 
  3. For pain relief

Therefore, the shoes listed have been split into 3 sections, to cater to these shoe types. The models feature high-quality constructions, state-of-the-art foot technologies, and are widely praised by reviewers, so enjoy reading and I hope you can find the ones to suit your needs!

best shoes for overweight women

In a Hurry: Here's Our Top 3 Picks!



Great for


  • Versatile
  • Supportive 
  • Lightweight

Walking Shoe

  • Extremely      stable and supportive 
  • Flexible in the forefoot
  • Responsive feel


2: Gravity Defyer Pain Relief

  • Instant comfort
  • Supportive        
  • Instant comfort 

Joint Pain Prevention

Full Reviews

Walking Shoes

When walking we absorb one and a half times their body weight on impact, placing pressure on the heels as the foot rolls forwards. Walking form is important, and walking shoes for overweight women need good support, lockdown and a lower heel drop, to aid the rolling motion of the foot while moving forwards.

The shoes below are designed to cater to all day walking experience while preventing potential foot issues associated with carrying extra weight, ranging from small annoyances such as blisters or aching feet to larger issues you may be experiencing.

1: Dansko Pace Lightweight Performance Walking Shoe With Arch Support

Engineered for comfort and performance, this walking sneaker sports a classic design with hidden technology that makes them a pleasure to stand in all day.

The breathable mesh uppers are treated with a 3M Scotchgard protector for stain resistance. They will also help to lock the foot in place without compromising on comfort. Inside there is a Dri-lex sock liner that provides energy return and also has a microbe shield that helps to inhibit the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria, so you can avoid smelly feet!

They have a supportive and removable footbed, with Dansko Arch Plus technology, providing cushioned support for the arches and lateral + medial stability for the heels. There is a propel pad that sits under the ball of the foot and influences acceleration through forwarding motion, providing an energy-efficient walking experience.

They have a lightweight, cushioned EVA foam midsole, that is known for its ability to withstand stress without wearing down, aiding stability. The outsole is a durable and lightweight rubber, perfect for daily wear. 

Summary: These thicker style shoes provide a lightweight and supportive underfoot experience. They are highly comfortable, aiding the joints, and stabilizing the foot, and perfect for carrying heavier weight.

The Good Stuff:

  • Suited to combat overpronation/plantar fasciitis
  • Versatile walking shoe
  • Lightweight design

The Bad Stuff:

  • The elevated heel may not be suited to some

2: Ryka Women's Devotion Plus 2 Walking Shoe

These are highly regarded as one of the most comfortable shoes for those suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, and as a comfortable, supportive sneaker that has been said to lower joint pain. They are also spacious in the toes & support wider feet with wide sizing options available. There are also an ample amount of colorful designs to choose from. 

At only 8.3 ounces they are highly lightweight and support the hips and knees. The Four-way gradient print uppers are vibrant and are made of a lightweight and breathable mesh that is moderately flexible and helps to secure your foot in place, alongside the cushioned lycra-lined tongue and comfort collar. They provide a good grip around the ankles and the heel collar + deep heel cup for added security.

They feature Ryka’s precise-return footbed, which provides anatomical support, particularly for those who have low arches or flat feet, and reduces pressure under the heel and in the forefoot. The midsole is made from EVA foam that is moderately flexible, with plush cushioning to support the heavier weight. 

The rubber outsole has an eight-piece skeletal layout that supports heavy steps and enables easy directional changes, working in unison with the pod system to absorb the shock of heavier steps.

Summary: Designed for women who need support, cushioning, and are on their feet all day. They are great for harder floors and will support extra weight with ease.

The Good Stuff:

  • Suited to combat Plantar Fasciitis & joint pain
  • Good arch support 
  • Lightweight & breathable
  • Support wider toes and feet
  • Combats heel pain

The Bad Stuff:

  • Some durability concerns 

3: Brooks Women's Addiction Walker Walking Shoes

As a motion control shoe these could be the game-changer for those experiencing annoying aches and pains, plantar fasciitis, and stability issues such as ankle slips and overpronation. They can also be ordered in narrow, wide, and extra-wide fit.

The uppers are easy to clean full-grain leather, making them strong and durable, and also more breathable than lower layered hides. They feature a sock-like construction that locks the foot in place, alongside a plush heel collar. The insole has ample arch support, and a deep heel cup with additional cushioning, ensuring great comfort and motion control, guiding the foot evenly for those who overpronate.

The midsole is filled with BioMoGo foam for adaptable comfort, responding to your unique stride, weight, and speed. There is also a progressive diagonal rollbar in the midfoot that allows for seamless transitions from midstance to propelling forwards. This works perfectly combined with the MC Pod construction that stabilizes the forefoot, aligning your steps correctly. The innovative outsole is certified for slip-resistant and supports multidirectional movement on a number of indoor and outdoor surfaces.

Summary: These sneakers are supportive and will keep your feet secured in the correct position. They add valuable support for your arches and will also help to fix pronation issues that you may be experiencing.

The Good Stuff:

  • Highly supportive & motion control, suited to combat overpronation and plantar fasciitis
  • Reduce joint impact
  • Durable design 

The Bad Stuff:

  • Heavier than average
  • Basic styling

Running Sneakers

Did you know that you can absorb up to 3 times your bodyweight in shock as you run? Also, different runners strike the ground with different parts of the foot, such as the front heel, midfoot and ball of the foot. Therefore those who run require more padding throughout the heel and forefoot than those who walk. Also, given the added stress on joints, you want a shoe that will help lock your foot firmly in place, influencing proper running form.

Below are 3 shoes for heavier runners that will have the latest foot technologies helping to prevent injury and reduce joint impact, hopefully making your running experience a pleasurable one.

4: Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 21

If you are looking at these sneakers and thinking they are nothing special, then think again, as with this 21st edition, the adrenaline remains one of the most reliable footwear on the market.

The uppers are constructed through the use of a 3D footprint, and are a double-layered engineered mesh, adding a lightweight, flexible and breathable structure.

They have a highly supportive structure. Inside there is a cushioned tongue will help lock the foot in place, and a heel counter that has additional cushioning, helping to cradle the heel and ankle for smooth landings. They also feature a GuideRails support system, that places supportive bumpers underfoot, that nudge the foot as it falls out of proper form, making sure it stays in its proper place, helping to prevent potential knee and foot issues.

The toe box is wide enough to give larger toes some room to move. The outsole is made of blown rubber, being highly durable. There are also flex grooves in the forefoot for added flexibility that influences the runner to have smoother transitions from heel to toe.

Summary: This stability running shoe has a tried and tested formula standing strongly behind it, and will ensure heel and foot stability no matter how much weight is bared onto them, for running, and everyday use.

The Good Stuff:

  • Suited to overpronation/plantar fasciitis 
  • Extremely stable and supportive 
  • Flexible in the forefoot
  • Responsive feel

The Bad Stuff:

  • Basic styling
  • Not easy to break in

5: Adidas Women's Ultraboost 21 Running Shoe

After countless reinventions, the Ultraboost 21 is stronger, sturdier, and more supportive than ever, and this is why I recommend it for those carrying additional weight. 

The upper construction is made from a lightweight sock-like PrimeKnit material surrounded by supportive overlays that are now made with a minimum of 50% recycled materials. This supports heavier weight and movement by locking the foot in place. 

The new Torsion System (LEP) adds a reinforced material in the midsole, aiding a 15% increase in forefoot bending stiffness, offering a more responsive shoe as you walk/run forwards, and also stability for overpronators. The heel stack now has a height of 31 mm (4mm over the previous version), and there are 6% more Boost capsules ready to explode in the midsole, offering great shock absorption, without the cost of added weight.

The outsole sports a new design with a firm hardened crystal rubber tread that is both grippy on most surfaces and also highly durable. 

Summary: The Ultraboost21 offers a stable and efficient lockdown without being too tight, coupled with good shock absorption, and a trend-forward design. However, If you are looking for a bounce in your steps, then look elsewhere.

The Good Stuff:

  • Suited to overpronation/plantar fasciitis
  • Good lockdown from the upper
  • Supportive/stable design
  • Grippy and durable outsole

The Bad Stuff:

  • Heavy for some
  • Lacks the springy bounce of some other running styles
  • Loose heel fit bothers some runners

6: Brooks Women's Glycerin 19 Neutral Running Shoe 

Made for beginners and heavy runners, this Diabetic shoe has great stability and is very soft, and will cushion heavy steps with ease.

The mesh uppers will stretch to your foot shape and provide good air ventilation. Inside there is a gusseted tongue across the midfoot, and an Ortholite sock liner providing a slipper-like, lock-down fit. The footbed is comfortable and consists of responsive padding for smooth and bouncy transitions. There is also a firm heel counter and wide platform in the forefoot making for a stable training experience for heavier runners.

The midsole features DNA LOFT cushioning, made up of a combination of air, rubber, and EVA foam that makes for one of the most padded running shoes available. They offer a decent level of bounce for a shoe with so much cushion Finally, underneath there is a durable outsole with ample rubber, for an excellent grip, supporting heavier steps with ease.

Summary: This is a neutral shoe placing comfort above everything else, If you enjoy a highly cushioned underfoot experience and a smooth ride, then these will be perfectly suited for you.

The Good Stuff:

  • Suited to neutral pronators/joint pains
  • Instant comfort/slipper-like fit
  • Good midfoot lock
  • Grippy outsole

The Bad Stuff:

Joint Pain Prevention

If you are suffering from joint pains/arthritis, and require shoes with ample cushioning and designed to lower impact on the joints, then the 3 shoes below are designed with pain prevention in mind. They are widely received by those suffering joint issues as some of the most supportive and comfortable footwear on the market.

7: Gravity Defyer Mighty Walk Proven Pain Relief - Shoes for Knee Pain

These shoes support ankle mobility, providing a highly supportive mid and underfoot experience. There are also different style variations and width fits available.

The uppers are constructed of a breathable mesh that is both flexible and lightweight, and inside there is a soft interior lining. They come with removable comfort fit insoles designed to mold to the curves of your foot, adding support, stability, and a layer of shock absorption. Also, additional comfort fit orthotics are also included, supporting different arch heights, aiding body alignment for ideal biomechanics.

They feature VersoShock pain relief tech in the heel - a spring system that upon footstrike cushions the heels. This is complemented by the rocker forefoot design, which returns upwards energy for your next steps, protecting your joints from harmful impact, and has been shown to relieve knee pain. They also have a roomy toe box supporting larger feet, for free movement and for better blood circulation, while aiding people with bunions or foot sores. Finally, the outsole has a thick patterned tread that will keep you on your feet whatever the weather.

Summary: These are widely regarded as pain-relieving shoes, from knee to lower back pain. With a rigid heel cup + midsole to reduce impact and stabilize your foot, they are built with all-day support in mind, and the reviews prove that they work.

The Good Stuff:

  • VersoShock tech protects joints and helps with plantar fasciitis
  • Supportive midfoot and heel cup
  • Wide/X-Wide fit available
  • Instant comfort 
  • Additional orthotics included

The Bad Stuff:

  • Some durability concerns 

8: New Balance Women's Fresh Foam More V1

These sneakers are regularly sold in orthotics stores, and with good reason, as they are engineered to deliver an ultra-cushioned, supportive experience. There are a variety of color options to choose from.

The uppers are made from a stretchy mesh, allowing your feet to breathe, and feature reflective material on the sides. They provide a form-fitting wrap construction, a gusseted tongue, and a narrow midfoot that helps lock the foot in place. They also have a lower-heeled design alongside an internal heel cup, which is both stiff and supportive for multidirectional movement. If you suffer from overpronation then these shoes will lock your ankles in place and help straighten them out.

The chunky, stacked midsole is made from fresh foam, and despite the bulky outward appearance they are surprisingly lightweight, coming in at 292 grams, and are responsive, providing a bounce-back feeling. They have a large toe box providing additional space for larger feet. On the outside, there is a honeycomb-like patterned tread that suits indoor and dry surfaces.

Summary: These are regularly recommended for foot health and this is for good reason, and are well-fitted, comfortable out of the box. They are sometimes regarded as the answer for those with joint issues and for those standing on hard surfaces/on their feet all day.

The Good Stuff:

  • Supportive, aiding those suffering from overpronation & joint pain
  • Comfort out of the box
  • Lightweight & durable

The Bad Stuff:

  • Large stacked midsole too clunky for some
  • Outsole not best suited to wetter conditions

9: Skechers Women's Max Cushioning Premier

If you are someone who suffers from lower back pain, etc, and needs ample underfoot cushioning when walking for long periods, then these could be perfect for you.

The uppers are made with engineered machine-washable mesh that is breathable, lightweight, giving a sock-like fit. There are also synthetic overlays throughout for added structural support. Inside there is a textile lining that keeps air moving throughout, and a padded collar and tongue that hugs the foot in place. There is also a pull tab for easy on/off.

As the name suggests, these shoes are designed to give a generous amount of cushioning. The air-cooled and breathable Gogo Mat insole provides ample cushion and a nice rebound effect.
The UltraGO midsole is what draws the eyes to this shoe. It is large and provides a nice cushion for heavier steps and all-day wear, without being overly cushy, and has a natural rocker tech design, making for easy heel-to-toe transitions.

Underneath there is a synthetic outsole with rubber placed in key pressure areas of the foot, reducing foot stress and aiding stability and flex. 

Summary: Lightweight, supportive, and have excellent cushioning. Reviews often state how they have helped ease joint pain and feel like 'walking on air'.

The Good Stuff:

  • Suited to combat joint pains
  • Lightweight
  • Supportive
  • Highly cushioned, effective for joint pain relief

The Bad Stuff:

Buyers Guide

When we carry extra weight, pressure is placed onto the feet, potentially influencing problems such as heel and toe pain, overpronation, plantar fasciitis, supination, and countless joint issues. In a nutshell, every step you take makes the body works harder to support additional weight, so it requires supportive shoes to counteract this.

Therefore when considering shoes to buy, it is important to understand the traits to look out for that will help you to stay pain-free.

Below are some things you might want to consider when finding the perfect shoes for you!


Lightweight Design

Upper materials such a lightweight and woven mesh allow airflow throughout the shoe. They also help to lock the foot in place without compromising on comfort, which equals less stress and therefore less sweating.

Walking shoes are often more lightweight than running shoes, as due to less strike impact there is less trauma being placed onto the feet, requiring less padding throughout the midsole, and especially the heel.


Different linings serve different purposes. For instance, an Ortholite sock liner provides a plush interior liner surrounding your foot, adding stability + flexibility inside your shoes. 

Other techs include Dri-lex sock lining that pulls moisture away from the feet keeping them dry and healthy, and it also has a microbe shield and also has anti-bacterial qualities, ensuring foot odor stays at bay!


Excess weight is going to make your feet work harder, and they are prone to rubbing and sweating inside the shoes, and therefore they are more prone to blisters and fungal infections occurring. Their smell is another factor to consider, and without the correct internal materials, you will find a constant battle to keep unpleasant odors at bay.

To help prevent this, you need to be able to let your feet breathe. So, look out for moisture-wicking materials such as Polyester and Nylon, designed to pull moisture away from the body.


Flexibility is found throughout both walking and running shoes, to aid performance. The majority of designs will have some flex in the midfoot/arch, and some have ample flex in the forefoot, catering to those who strike the ground at either the midfoot or the ball of the foot. 

With stability or motion control shoes there will be less flex, as the goal here is to prevent foot rotation during a step, and therefore they are constructed with firmer materials. 



Upper Materials such as mesh/PrimeKnit provide a sock-like construction help to hug the foot like a glove. Also, Supportive overlays are sometimes used, running over the uppers to support heavier weight and movement by locking the foot in place. 


For those of you carrying excess weight, you most likely lack the ideal amount of arch on the foot, and if you lack the correct arch support then your body will have to compensate in other areas. As a result potential issues might arise, including low and collapsed arches, or the Achilles tendon giving way to support the arches, resulting in pains traveling through your ankles, shins, knees, lower back, and so on.

Neutral Arches

A well-balanced foot with arches neither too high nor low may be fine without arch support for walking activities (excluding exercise). If you choose a shoe with an over amount of arch support when you don't need it, it will cause discomfort. Therefore a neutral shoe is best for you.

High arches 

High arches will need a moderate to heavily cushioned shoe with a decent amount of arch support to distribute foot strike impact evenly.

Low arches 

Low arches and flat feet will also need to compensate for this with a stabilizing amount of arch support in your shoes.

Ankle Support

A padded tongue, heel collar/counter, and deep heel cup will help to lock the foot into place, influencing a smooth ride, and help issues such as overpronation from worsening.



You need to make sure the shoe fits correctly. Walking with excess weight in shoes that are too large is asking for trouble, and makes ankle roles, etc all the more painful if they happen. Many popular styles of sneakers have different width options. They also have ample reviews, so make sure you read them to gain an understanding of which sizing suits your needs. 


A springy outsole can add a bounce to your steps aiding energy efficiency, and some other outsoles such as Skechers designs have rubber placed in key pressure areas of the foot, reducing foot stress and aiding stability + flex throughout. 

Supportive traction is also essential to keep you on your feet. Most running and walking style sneakers should suffice for both indoor and outdoor use, for instance, Ryka's skeletal layouts support heavy steps + easy directional changes on a number of indoor and outdoor surfaces. 

Impact Protection


A cushioned midsole will help put more space between you and the ground and work wonders to absorb impact from heavy weight.

Some examples of this, for instance, are EVA foam and UltraGO midsoles that are known to withstand stress without wearing down, being both moderately flexible, sturdy, and cushioned, for added stability bearing heavyweight.

Also, BioMoGo foam midsoles provide adaptable comfort, adjusting to support your stride for a personalized underfoot experience.


The ideal footbed for you is dependent on your anatomy, your walking gait, and how you pronate.

For instance, Dansko Arch Plus technology provides both arch support and lateral + medial stability in the heel area and is suited to those who overpronate. Also, Ryka’s precise-return footbed is designed for those who have low arches or flat feet and helps alleviate pressure under the heel and in the forefoot.

Having the correct support for the unique shape of your feet is very important. So, consider orthotic insoles if you aren't happy with the ones that are provided.

Foot Issues + Ideal Shoe Types 

Issues such as plantar fasciitis, under/overpronation, and countless other annoyances can occur when excess weight is constantly loaded onto the muscles, ligaments, and joints, and the correct shoe is needed to support your walking gait and pronation type.


Pronation is the motion of rolling from your heel to toe as your foot strikes the floor. 

Pronation issues can be caused by heavy strain being placed on different areas of the feet and wearing shoes that don't provide proper support. If left untreated then this can lead to other issues such as stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and joint issues.

Neutral Pronation

Upon outside heel strike, neutral pronators will roll inwards naturally by around 15 percent, proportionally distributing impact throughout the foot, and the shoe soles will show an even distribution of wear. 

Neutral and cushioned-type shoes will suffice for neutral pronators. Also, if you choose a shoe with an over amount of arch support or stabilizing technology when you don't need it then a foot problem can occur.


Overpronation is often associated with low arches and is where the heel makes contact on the outside heel and rolls through onto the ball of the foot, tilting inwards as your foot rolls forwards. If your shoe sole tilts inwards showing excess wear on this area then you most likely overpronate.

To combat overpronation lookout for motion control shoes to help guide the foot, and stability type shoes with firm midsoles, arch support, deep heel cups, and low heel drops.

Under pronation/supination

Under pronation/supination is often associated with high arches, this is where the heel makes contact to the floor on the outside of the heel and tilts outwards as your foot rolls forwards. If your shoe sole tilts outwards and shows excess wear on this area then you most likely under pronate.

To combat under pronation, look out for shoes with high/max levels of cushion, helping to absorb foot strike impact.

Plantar Fasciitis

If suffering from Plantar Fasciitis you will experience strain and pain on the bottom foot, around the heel, and arch area.

To help support feet suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, look out for motion control and stability type shoes influencing smooth heel-to-toe transitions, a thick cushioned heel for impact absorption, a lower heel drop, and secured heel support to minimize pronation.

Additional Tips

  • Take the time to understand your foot type and requirements
  • Avoid shopping based on the looks of a shoe, as foot health should be the number one concern. 
  • Wear them around the house to see if they are suitable first

Below is a video with a quick and easy test you can perform that will help you to understand how your foot pronates, and subsequently what footwear to purchase. 

Thank you for reading.

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