Living Large in an Average Sized World

So as a warning this is mainly me venting. I am not a small man, nor am I a giant, I am 6′-6″, currently am 270 lbs and am active and training daily on running and biking. I am doing this to be healthy and fit, to set a good example for my son. I know I can shed a few pounds and hope to, but I also know that I will never be “average” size.

Now I have recently started to get into trail running more, mostly after running the 5 peaks trail race at Rattlesnake point. This has led me to start looking at new gear, first was shoes. I end up with a pair of Altra Superiors, which are great shoes, but anyone who has bought Altras knows you are to go up by a half a size. Which is great till you make it past 13 then you have to go up by a full size. Normally not a huge issue but in a very wide toe box it can make the shoe feel sloppy, plus it leaves more chance for sliding during descents and accents in the shoe. Again these are still great shoes but if you are going to make the shoe require a half size increase you should offer that increment from your smallest all the way to your largest size.

The next item I was after was a new hydration pack. The one I liked was by Ultimate Direction and is part of the signature series ( AK race vest). I saw this compact but versatile vest and was excited to get it, also it was on sale at So I researched, as you should always do, all the reviews I came across seemed to be good. So i checked out sizing and they come in S-M and M-L and the largest size chest it would accommodate is a 40″ chest. Currently that is 8″ to small and so I decided to email the company and ask if they do have any products that would accommodate a larger frame. After reading a friendly email the final verdict is NO. Closest is a vest that goes to 43″ chest. I looked around and anything that seems to be vest like, generally more secure, is made for the “average” sized runner.

So in the end I would be fine if to get these things in my proper size, if I had to order from the supplier or pay a slight premium, but an option should be available. There are people who are bigger and will never be as thin or have feet smaller feet as those who these products are geared towards. However I do participate in the same events as them and am hoping to increase my distances and who knows if all goes well start into ultras. So why can’t I have the same products as everyone else just cause I do not fit the mold they have in their heads.