Are Heavy Shoes Bad for You? – You Should Know

It depends on what you are doing. In some cases, heavy shoes may be essential. Many jobs require shoes designed for safety, and the added features may make them heavier. 

Aside from that, heavier shoes may help people struggling with balance while walking. But for exercise, training, or workout purposes, they are generally deemed unnecessary. 

In fact, recent studies suggest that heavier shoes are, in fact, terrible for your body.

You may still not be convinced. And still, ask are heavy shoes bad for you or actually good, depending on what type of task you’re doing. Let’s dig into the issue to get an accurate picture.

How Heavy Shoes Can Benefit YouHow Heavy Shoes Can Harm You
To avoid stepping on sharp debris in the workplaceCan strain ankles and cause RSI
To protect the feet against falling heavy objectsMaybe counterproductive while working out
To protect the feet while walking on hard, uneven surfacesMay cause back problems

Reasons Why People Think Heavy Shoes are Good for Workout

are heavy shoes bad for you

A common myth about heavy shoes is that running in them causes more significant calorie loss. However, there is little evidence supporting this claim. No scientific study so far has proven this hypothesis. 

A study was done at the University of Colorado to test this claim. Participants were made to run on treadmills and marathons with varying shoe weights, and the energy consumption was recorded. 

The volunteers weren’t told that their shoes were being made heavier at each run. The team concluded that runners wearing heavier shoes have little to no change in energy, cost, and speed.

In fact, the team concluded that each 100 g increment of weight resulted in around 1% more energy dissipation. And as well as that, while running a marathon, speed was only compromised by 0.7% with a heavy shoe. 

Our feet aren’t sensitive enough in noticing minor discrepancies in footwear weight. The feet weigh around a kilo each. Adding 100 g of shoe weight would cause only a tiny percentage of calorie consumption and speed loss.

Furthermore, there are other ways to get rid of the stubborn calories stuck in your body. Wearing heavy shoes isn’t the only way, aside from being invalid. 

You can walk a further distance using regular shoes, and you would burn more calories quickly.

Reasons Why Heavy Shoes May Be Bad for You

Reasons Why Heavy Shoes May Be Bad for You

However, not only are heavier shoes ineffective, it turns out they can prove to be counterproductive!

Let’s suppose that your workout routine is time-restricted, with only 30 minutes each day. If you wear heavy shoes, you may cover a lesser distance than you would in regular sneaker shoes

That would, in practice, offset the calories you may have burnt lifting heavier shoes. And even worse, covering a shorter distance could also mean you burn fewer calories with heavier shoes on.

Also, wearing unnecessarily heavy shoes can cause injuries to your leg. Your ankles are not designed to bear too much weight. If you regularly wear bulky shoes and walk around, it can cause repetitive strain injury (RSI). 

Aside from risks to your joints, walking with heavy shoes is not easy. While walking, your feet need to be flexible. However, with bulky shoes, foot movement may be restricted. 

This can, in turn, make walking more difficult and as a result, you may not work out properly. 

Furthermore, heavy shoes are not designed for a long term, day to day use. Regular, prolonged use of heavy footwear can cause back problems. 

These shoes are only designed for heavy training and professional athletes. Those, who would not necessarily wear them for hours on end.

Cases Where Bulky Shoes Are A Necessity

Cases Where Bulky Shoes Are A Necessity

In certain workplaces, say construction sites, safety shoes are usually much heavier. They are designed in this way to protect the foot from any injury. Safety shoes are heavy because they may contain steel caps and other heavy features needed for added safety. 

This especially becomes important to protect against sharp or heavy objects while walking around. These could be nails, machinery, or scattered sharp debris on the floor. 

As well as that, these shoes protect against metallic surfaces or generally any hard, uneven surface people may walk on.

However, manufacturers are working on making these shoes much lighter. They are trying to achieve this by making the shoes out of lighter, fiber-based materials.

But that would significantly increase the cost of these safety boots. 

Furthermore, heavy shoes may be recommended for those who are just starting. They may serve another useful purpose if you are starting to train or work out or just run. 

Heavy shoes weigh more than normal lightweight shoes because of their extra inside padding or cushioning. That helps absorb any impact, so it doesn’t strain your untrained muscles. 

Hence, in this case, you may benefit from wearing heavy shoes while running or walking. But you must remember that it may not result in an increased loss in calories.


  • Is wearing heavy shoes bad for you?

A bit of strain on your ankles may be a good way to train yourself before wearing lightweight shoes. However, do keep in mind that excessive use of heavy shoes can be bad for your ankle joints. 

If you wear heavy shoes too frequently, it may cause repetitive strain injury (RSI).

  • Are heavy or light shoes better?

Heavy shoes are only good if you are looking for extra cushioning. When initially starting to work out, the extra cushioning may help avoid straining your muscles. 

But in the long run, lightweight shoes would make it easier and more productive to work out.

In fact, prolonged use of heavy shoes can strain joints and back. It can also inhibit your movement as the feet become somewhat restricted due to the lack of flexibility.

  • Do heavy shoes make you stronger?

Heavy shoes can help make you stronger. It is in the sense that those who wear lightweight shoes tend to give up earlier. This is because of the absence of comfort from the cushion. 

Furthermore, lightweight shoes can more easily cause injury to untrained joints and muscles. Heavily cushioned shoes, on the other hand, makes running easier and more enjoyable, so new runners tend to stick around. 

  • Do heavy shoes make you tired?

Logically speaking, it should. If you wear heavy shoes, your feet would have to do more work to lift themselves up and walk (or run). And as such, you expend more energy over a shorter time period. This can, as a result, cause fatigue or tiredness more quickly.


If you want to start working out or prepare for a marathon, you would want to get the best training. Some may recommend you to wear heavy shoes to increase strength and lose more calories. 

But recent studies have shown that wearing heavy shoes may be more detrimental, aside from being ineffective. Professional trainers are also increasingly recommending against wearing heavy shoes. 

In this article about are heavy shoes bad for you or not, we have gone over some myths regarding heavy shoes. As well as that, we have also explained why heavy shoes may be more harmful to you.

But that doesn’t mean you should completely ditch them. We have also demonstrated some examples where heavy shoes may in fact be more beneficial. We hope that this article has helped you in understanding the pros and cons of wearing heavy shoes. 

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