We were pleasantly surprised when we began researching the marketplace for plus-sized running shoes. While multiple widths have been around for a long time, sizes larger than 14 were a rare sight.
A lot has changed recently. While sizes 17 and 18 are still relatively uncommon, many brands have stepped up to extend their sizing till US 16. We suspect that the rapid transition from brick-and-mortar shopping to digital has been a catalyst.
In the traditional wholesale model, offline retail chains and independent stores did not stock these larger sizes because of merchandising guidelines – allocating budget to higher-selling sizes ensures a higher stock turnover. Anything above size 13 is usually considered a stock risk.
The median size is a US 9 (Nike uses a US 10 base), and that’s why the published weights are based on that size. Not only that, but the shoe costing is also based on the sample size first and then graded to the rest of the sizes.
Also, the footwear manufacturing molds and dies are made by size. Additional investment in the production tools of larger sizes has a detrimental effect on the retail price of the shoe. After all, the costs are spread across the entire model.
You get the idea. There’s a very good reason why larger sizes weren’t easy to find in the past – because they were not produced in the first place.
However, focusing on a natively-owned digital shopping experience allows the brands to stock larger sizes. The way we see it, the scarcity of large-sized running shoes makes them less of an inventory risk. After all, runners who wear that size are less picky about the styling.
Outlet malls are a good place to find plus-size shoes. Stores are usually arranged to promote a self-service model where the shoes are arranged by size.
E-retailers make it easy to filter running shoes by size, so that’s not the problem. However, the shoes are not grouped by their use cases.
That’s where this guide tries to help.
On a related note, one of our readers told us about a useful shoe e-retailer called www.oddball.com. They sell large shoe sizes 14 and up. Solereview isn’t affiliated with oddball in any form, but it’s a great resource for plus-sized shoes – and not just running.
Runners with larger feet generally tend to be taller than the average person. A larger frame also equates to more weight, so the shoe needs to be (somewhat) supportive. We’ve kept that in mind while compiling this buyer’s guide, so overly soft shoes are excluded.
It’s not surprising that New Balance offers some of the largest sizes. Also, the brand has always offered multiple widths in most of its shoes. So if walk into a New Balance store – be it online or brick-and-mortar – there’s a high probability that you’ll find a large-sized running shoe.
If you’re a runner with large feet, New Balance has your back. The brand dominates this list with the highest count of shoe models.
Nike has elevated its large-size game recently, so it’s tied in second place with Saucony. Now most of Nike’s popular models – like the Pegasus, Vomero, and React Infinity – are sold in sizes 14 and 15. We’ve featured the Pegasus on this guide, as it sells till US 16.
Adidas offers large sizes from time to time, but they seem to be one-offs and not consistent across the seasons. Reebok doesn’t seem to have large-sized trainers, nor does Puma.
The guide is divided into six categories – neutral trainers, affordable sub-$100 running shoes, highly-cushioned distance trainers, stability shoes, lightweight neutrals/racers, and trail runners. The sizes sold are mentioned next to the model name.
For the sake of brevity, the alternatives are mentioned in the ‘also see’ section.
Category 1: Everyday neutral trainers in large sizes
1) Saucony Ride 15 – sizes 13, 14, 15
The Saucony Ride has long been the go-to shoe as a versatile neutral trainer. We’re happy to report that the Ride 15 has the same do-it-all versatility that has made the series popular.
But the Ride 15 is a different kind of Saucony Ride, and the most changed version ever. The thicker midsole is packed with a higher level of ride comfort, and there’s a new insole made of expanded Polyurethane. (Pwrrun+ foam) To know more, read our comprehensive review.
The midsole and chunky come together to create a cushioned foundation for daily runs. The same foam stack makes long-distance runs perfectly doable. At the same time, the somewhat firm ride is amendable to speedier runs.
The true-to-size engineered mesh upper fits comfortably and securely; the Ride 15 comes in two widths and till a size US 15.
2) New Balance Fresh Foam 880V12 – sizes 14, 15, 16
Here’s the thing with New Balance uppers. Not only do you have shoes available till US 15, but you also get multiple widths. Four, in the 880 V12’s case.
And the Fresh Foam 880 is a great product to have widths and larger sizes in. This is New Balance’s please-all neutral trainer. Simply put, the 880 is for New Balance what the Ghost 14 is for Brooks, and the Ride 15 is for Saucony.
The 880 is a neutral running shoe with a multi-role character. It’s well-rounded to be a daily trainer and a comfortable high-mileage cruiser.
Of course, as with all the changes happening within New Balance’s line, the 880V12 is packed with updates.
The Fresh Foam midsole continues to be dual-density, but it’s reconfigured for smoother transitions. The outsole geometry also supports the new midsole; the softer blown rubber forefoot ensures padded landings and roll-offs.
The knit mesh upper is soft, smooth, and has a fit that is suitable for most regular-shaped feet.
3) Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 – sizes 14, 15, 16
Not only does Nike’s popular neutral trainer sell in two widths, but it also retails till a size 16. The sizes 17 and 18 occasionally show up on sites like Oddball.
Despite its marked transition to a softer shoe last year, the Pegasus 38 (which shares the same sole as the 37) has plenty of ride comfort to tap into. For what it’s worth, the Pegasus 38 is an improvement over the 37.
While it shares the identical midsole, the upper is more comfortable due to the redesigned tongue with a scooped flap and foam padding. It’s not perfect though; cinching the first lacing row tends to gather the upper mesh.
The React foam and Zoom Air midsole add ride softness for daily and long-distance runs. On top, the sleeved upper is smooth-fitting and secure through the midfoot and forefoot.
Also see: The Nike Air Zoom Structure 24 – a more supportive neutral shoe that sells till a size 16. Also consider the Vomero 16 – a premium Pegasus of sorts with a ZoomX foam core. It’s very similar to the Vomero 15, so our review is relevant.
Among other options are the React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 till size 18, and the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run (till a US 15) – an ultra-cushioned running shoe that’s best used for casual wear and easy-paced runs.
Category 2: Highly cushioned trainers in large sizes
1) Saucony Endorphin Speed V2 – sizes 14, 15
The Endorphin Speed combines the best of two worlds – a highly cushioned ride that’s also infused with firmness. That’s thanks to the soft and responsive PEBA foam midsole with a Nylon plate that adds snap to the ride.
The fit is superb too – a soft and breezy upper offers fit security as well as interior comfort. We rated the first version of the Endorphin Speed highly, and that holds for the V2 – both share an identical chassis with only minor changes to the upper.
It’s also worth considering the Pro version for the Carbon plate, but there’s nothing that the Pro will do that the Speed cannot.
A word of caution. This is a running shoe with a soft ride, so its stability is only good for straight-line running on paved surfaces.
2) New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V12 – sizes 14, 15, 16
The New Balance 1080V12 is the shoe to buy if a deep cushioning character is a sensory priority.
The comfortable Fresh Foam stack is lively and fun for the long haul. It’s soft enough to deliver distance-friendly cushioning without feeling mushy; the rocker-shaped midsole makes sure of that.
The upper is extremely comfortable with a spacious and accommodating toe-box; the 1080’s toe-box comfort is excellent. The soft and stretchy mesh secures the foot without the slightest hint of discomfort.
And it’s not just about the larger sizes; if you’re a Clydesdale with broad feet, just know that the 1080 V12 is available in four widths and till a size US 16.
3) Hoka Clifton 8 – sizes 14, 15, 16
Hoka is the originator of the max-cushioning shoe concept, and the Clifton is its truest ambassador.
Unlike the plusher Bondi 7, the Clifton 8 doesn’t overdo it with the cushioning, but maintains a well-tuned balance between ride comfort and speed-friendly manners. The cushioning has sufficient range to perform daily runs as well.
The thick midsole delivers high-mileage comfort. Simultaneously, features like the rocker midsole and wide base create a supportive yet nimble platform.
While the upper is somewhat narrow, the updated Clifton now sells widths. The shoe is available till a size 16.
Category 3: Stability running shoes in large sizes
1) Saucony Guide 15 – sizes 14, 15, 16
The Saucony Guide stopped being a traditional stability running shoe a long time ago. It traded the medial post (firmer midsole wedge) for a plastic stabilizer, and the newest Guide 15 builds on that form factor.
Having said that, the 2022 model is unlike any Saucony Guide we’ve tested before. The midsole is taller, wider, and softer. We recently put the Guide 15 through the paces in our review.
Not only that, but there’re also two things that the Guide 14 did not have – a larger plastic stabilizer and bouncy insole that’s made of the Pwrrun+ E-TPU.
As a result, the Guide 15 is a very comfortable supportive neutral that works for long-distance runs as well as various pace ranges. One way to view the Guide is to imagine it as the stability version of the Endorphin Shift 2, but with a higher 8 mm heel-to-toe offset.
The soft, true-to-size upper is extremely breathable, and is available in two widths and till a size US 16.
2) Asics Gel-Kayano 28 – sizes 14, 15, 16
When it comes to stability shoe options within Asics, it’s usually a toss-up between the Kayano and GT-2000. The latter is the low-spec version of the Kayano, with a thinner midsole, 2 mm lower heel-to-toe offset, and fewer bells and whistles overall.
On the other hand, the Kayano 28 has a more robust build. It’s heavier and has a thicker midsole with a 2 mm higher heel drop. The Kayano 28 is also more supportive and closer to the ideal of a traditional stability shoe. The firmer medial post is larger, and so is the plastic heel counter that cups the foot.
The upper is plush and secure, and also sells in a 2E (wide) and 4E (Extra Wide).
Category 4: Lightweight trainers and racers in large sizes
1) Saucony Kinvara 13 – sizes 14, 15
A quest for a comfy daily trainer with a 4 mm heel-to-toe offset usually ends with the Saucony Kinvara. Do want to know why is it one of the most popular running shoes with a 4 mm heel drop? That’s because the Kinvara does most things very well.
The minimal overlays just provide the minimum level of support without getting in the way of upper comfort.
The Kinvara 13’s upholstery drapes softly over the foot and delivers a secure fit. The K-13 trades the full sleeve (of the Kinvara 12) for a partial gusset, so it breathes better than the 12.
The Kinvara 13 is very similar to the 12, as both the versions are based on an identical midsole architecture. It’s comfortable enough to be a daily mileage hauler with sufficient pep for faster runs. Our detailed review covers all the 2022 updates.
The Kinvara is sized till a US 15.
2) New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo – sizes 14, 15, 16
The Fresh Foam Tempo was formerly called the Zante – a low-profile yet cushioned speed training shoe that turned out to be the sleeper hit of 2014. So is it still relevant in 2021?
We say that it is – the slim Fresh Foam midsole delivers ride comfort in a speed-friendly package. It isn’t called the ‘Tempo’ for nothing. The snug yet soft upper keeps the foot locked in during speed runs. The minimal midsole is amenable to speed runs.
The sizing runs half short, but hey – the Tempo is available till a size 16 and in two widths. Our full review is here.
Also see: New Balance Beacon V3 (sizes 14, 15).
3) Saucony Type A9 – sizes 14, 15
Usually, it’s hard to find racing flats in larger sizes. Correction – it’s difficult to find traditional racing flats these days, with all the Carbon-plated shoes occupying that segment.
Here’s where the $100 Saucony Type A9 adds value. It’s a well-priced racer that gets the fundamentals right – like a grippy Pwrtrac outsole and low-profile midsole that excels during blazing quick 5K and 10K runs.
At the same time, the 4 mm heel drop stack prevents the feet from getting beat down during those fast miles. The 6.0 oz/170-gram weight makes the shoe vanish over the foot.
The lightweight upper is breezy and comfortable. Like most racers, the fit runs narrow to keep the foot held down during races and speed runs. The Type A9 sells till a US size 15.
Category 5: Trail running shoes in large sizes
1) New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V6 – 14, 15, 16, 17, 18,* 19,* 20*
We so wish New Balance still sold the Leadville. It was NB’s do-it-all trail shoe, much like a faster version of the Saucony Peregrine or one of the adidas Agravic models.
But since the Leadville is no longer an option, the Hierro V6 is our recommended large-sized trail running shoe from New Balance. Despite the difference in the form factor, there are commonalities.
The cushioned Fresh Foam midsole is excellent for long-distance trail runs. The foam stack adds ride comfort as well as protection from the bumpy terrain.
While it’s not quite the shoe for technical grades, the shoe possesses enough versatility for most mildly technical trails. The aggressive lugs of the Vibram rubber outsole serve as a rock shield while delivering the necessary levels of traction.
The comfort-oriented upper provides protection through the tightly woven mesh and fused layers. The gusseted midfoot delivers a secure fit while keeping the debris outside.
But here’s the headlining act of the Hierro V6 – when fully stocked, it retails till a US size 20. At the time of writing, the largest size we see is 17.
2) Nike Pegasus Trail 3 – sizes 14, 15
We’re happy to see the Pegasus Trail return to a (more) normal form factor. The V2 had a strange upper design that felt like overkill. There was too much happening above the midsole, like the raised sock-like collar and bulky straps.
The Pegasus Trail 3’s upper looks and behaves like a proper trail shoe.
The gusseted and padded tongue makes getting into the shoe easy, and time-tested features like the speed-lacing loops make the cinching quick yet effective. The Pegasus Trail 3 is available till a size 15.
The same midsole and outsole from the V2 are carried forward to the V3. The full-length React foam core provides cushioning over the trail, whereas the aggressive rubber outsole delivers dependable bite and protection.
3) Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 8 – sizes 14, 15
Available till a US size 15, the Terra Kiger 8 resides in a higher performance tier than the Pegasus Trail 3. Like the latter, the Kiger 8 has a React foam midsole for ride comfort and protection, but that’s where the similarities end.
The Kiger 8’s midsole is fitted with a forefoot Zoom Air and heel rock plate. This setup protects the foot from hard rearfoot landings while adding forefoot cushioning. The two-piece outsole is purposefully designed with a more aggressive heel section and a wider forefoot spread.
Nike uses a fused toe-box on the snug-fitting upper to protect the foot on the trail – both from surface protection and fit security standpoint.
The soft upper uses speed-lacing and an inner sleeve for a comfortable and secure fit. The Kiger 8 has the same sole as the 7, but features a much more breathable mesh upper.
Also see: Nike Zoom Wildhorse 7.
Category 6: Affordable running shoes in large sizes
1) Saucony Cohesion 14 – sizes 14, 15
The Cohesion 14 doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a budget $65 running shoe. The design and material are very basic; the upper makes liberal use of synthetic overlays over a regular mesh; there’s no engineered mesh or fancy fusing here. This is how running shoes used to be made in ancient times.
Regardless of how they’re put together, these elements do what they’re supposed to. The upper fit holds the foot securely, and the foam quilting inside the tongue and heel provide basic levels of interior comfort. The Cohesion also sells in a wide and retails till a size 15.
There’s not a lot of softness available within the firm EVA midsole. The die-cut and flat insole doesn’t add a lot of step-in softness either. Having said that, the midsole and outsole provide a stable foundation while delivering a basic level of comfort.
2) Nike Air Zoom Winflo 8 – sizes 14, 15
In another two years, the Nike Winflo series would have completed a decade. Sure, there’s a Swoosh logo on the outside, but that’s not the reason why the Winflo has done so well all these years.
This $90 neutral running trainer is packed with value. Two Zoom Air bags reside inside the EVA foam midsole to make the ride responsive and versatile.
The ride comfort from the dual Air bags also works for long-distance runs. The tightly-sprung design of Zoom Air also helps the Winflo pick up speed whenever necessary.
Underneath, a full-length rubber outsole provides reliable grip and durability.
Though the lightweight and narrow-fitting upper appears basic, it has all the necessary ingredients of a performance running shoe. The midfoot lacing system is secured with Flywire-type loops that make the lacing effective; the heel and tongue are padded for interior comfort.
3) Nike Flex Experience Run 11 – sizes 14, 15
We loved Nike Free shoes like the 4.0 Flyknit, and it’s a pity Nike no longer produces such models. You know, simple running shoes with a collapsible upper and ultra-flexible midsoles that have a do-it-all character.
The Nike Flex Experience Run 11 comes pretty close to that ideal. The soft mesh and synthetic upper wrap the foot gently without any hot spots. The true-to-size upper provides a secure lockdown and doesn’t occupy a lot of room in the gym bag – it’s nearly collapsible.
Having said that, the flexible midsole is where the shoe comes into its own. The all-foam midsole is very easy to bend, thus allowing the foot to move freely during different activities – be it gym workouts, casual wear, or daily runs.
The EVA foam midsole and insole offer enough cushioning for most run types. This Nike shoe sells till a size US 15.