Shoes for Big Dudes! (And Dudettes!) Part 1
Hello fellow Kintec-ians! Or is it Kintec-erites! This is my first blog post to you so I hope you enjoy it, and it gets you thinking before you purchase your next pair of shoes. I, like many people who visit one of our 9 locations everyday, have to deal with an added issue when purchasing my shoes. And what is that issue you may be asking yourself? I have to deal with the weight I carry around everyday!
See, unlike all my fellow co-workers whose passion is running (or various other endurance events), I am a 310lb Shot Putter. My full activity from beginning position to release is about 2 seconds, which is a far cry from the various amounts of time and energy expended by my co-workers in their aerobically based activities. I am aerobically challenged if you will, and as such when I am purchasing a shoe, it is a different experience. That shoe designed for the 150-170lb runner feels very, very differently to my foot than theirs.
So why am I blathering on about this? Great question! This leads me to the meat and potatoes part of this blog! (See Pete I threw in a food pun just so you can rib me about it! Did it again!)
So let’s take a look at some Walking and Running style shoes through the eyes of a big person like myself while trying on the shoes. If this goes well, I will take a look at a variety of hiking style shoes, both the Trail Runners and the Casual Hikers.
So let us begin with the standard Walking Style Shoes.
First up is the New Balance 927. At first glance this shoe does appear to be bulky, but on the foot it doesn’t feel that big. It does come in a Velcro version as well for all the flexibility challenged members of our big club! The heel has some really nice cushioning, and I didn’t feel like I was going to be pushing through and hitting the floor. I did find the forefoot a bit tight across at the base of the laces but otherwise the cushioning was comfortable. The nice part of this shoe was the structure both medially (inside support) and laterally (outside support). As a “supinator” or “an under-pronator” I have a tendency to crush my shoes laterally. The 927 held up admirably to my weight. Overall this shoe handled my weight really well and had a nice soft feeling to it.
Heel – 9/10 Forefoot – 7/10 Support – 10/10 Overall – 9/10
Next up is the Etonic Minado. This is a beast of a shoe when you stumble across it in its natural environment! Once on the foot it still felt a bit bulky and the height of the heel didn’t help that feeling. The heel cushioning was definitely firmer than the 927, but it did have some give to it. The forefoot had a nice feel to it, was softer than the 927 and had a great shape. The Minado fared well medially (industry note – it should its a medially posted shoe!) while in the shoe but I did experience a decent amount of collapse laterally almost immediately once on my foot. Overall the Minado is a good shoe. With a little more softness and if Etonic dealt with the lateral stability aspect it would definitely give the 927 a run for its money.
Heel – 8.5/10 Forefoot – 8.6/10 Support – 6.5/10 Overall – 7.5/10
Lastly in the Walking category is the Saucony Echelon LE. A relatively new kid on the block, this shoe doesn’t look as blocky as the 927 or the Minado, but does have a heavier duty outsole than the other two. On the foot it feels fairly light in comparison, but the stiffness of the heel gives it a weird slapping feel when walking in it. The cushioning is nice but not as soft as the 927. The forefoot on the Echelon is pretty wide, but nicely cushioned. Oddly on this shoe I did find the shape of the shoe to affect how my gait felt. I found myself to be hitting rather hard on the heel and actually collapsing medially on the shoe. Laterally I had no problem. Overall this shoe for the heftier human didn’t take me through my striking path as nice as I was hoping. With some minor tweaks to the heel on this shoe it will become a formidable contender.
Heel – 8/10 Forefoot – 9/10 Support – 7.5/10 Overall – 7/10
So with that we will conclude part 1! Look for part 2 shortly where we discuss the finer aspects of the Running shoe.
If you do have any further questions about the specifications or structure of your footwear, please stop by and any of the Kintec Fitting Experts will be glad to help you out!
And just as a last note, any shoe reps or industry people out there, in no way, shape or form am I meaning to bash any of your shoes, as I mentioned this is purely subjective, and what I felt being a heavier person!