An overview of the special needs of runners with flat feet and a selection of the top 8 running shoes to address flat feet running. Let me start with the good news: if you have flat feet you can still be a very successful runner. You can manage to run injury free for a long time if you put the right attention to your training, your warning signs and your footwear. Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
It’s really not that much different than being any other kind of runner – you need to do things gradually, listen to your body and put your feet in the right kind of shoe. Why you should listen to me: my feet are as flat as they can be and always have.
The bone of my right ankle rests on top of my peroneal tendon and it flares up in flames (pain) if I am not wearing the right shoes (for me) or if I am overdoing my training – which is the most common cause of injuries for most people, flat feet or not.
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet – What is it
The arch of the foot is formed by the tarsal and metatarsal bones and strengthened by ligaments and tendons. It allows the foot to support the weight of the body in the erect posture with the least weight.
The height of the arch determines pronation and foot type.The arch height of the foot can easily be checked using the wet feet test.
People with a Low arch do not have a distinct curve along the inside of the foot. The imprint taken in a wet test may show nearly the entire foot. People with low arches are more likely to overpronate which can result in injuries. Insufficiently expressed arches are called low or fallen arches. The term flat feet applies to the arch which is sitting on the ground completely.
Runners with flat feet need to put extra care in choosing the best running shoe. Your foot arch is your natural shock absorption system. Nature designed it so that when you put your body weight over your feet the shock is absorbed by this mechanism in order to alleviate the impact (and subsequent injuries) that would otherwise hit your feet, ankles, knees and hips.
A flat foot is the most visible sign of overpronation, meaning that your arch collapses during the impact on the ground. As a consequence, your ankle twists inward and your knees overcompensates. Flat feet are a particular concern for runners, as during the running gait the arch is supposed to support on average 3 times their body weight.
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet – What are flat feet exactly?
In layman’s terms, it’s feet without arches. That’s compared to so-called “normal” feet with arches or low arches. It’s important to understand flat feet themselves don’t negatively impact your run. The problem is flat feet cause you to overpronate. And overpronation is what wreaks havoc on your body. It causes pain in the knees, ankles, hips, and low leg muscles.
Buying a shoe designed for overpronation is essential for flat footed runners. These shoes compensate for overpronation which creates a natural stride. A natural stride puts a stop to overuse injuries and pain in your running. With the right shoe, overpronation is neutralized and running becomes an enjoyable experience, not a painful one.
What To Look for In Best Running Shoes If You Have Flat Feet
Most running shoes fit into three categories: overpronation, neutral, and supination. As discussed, overpronation occurs when your feet roll inward too much. This inward roll will cause the rest of your body to overcompensate. That’s why it’s vital to use a running shoe that’s stable and comfortable.
With a running shoe designed for overpronation with extra support, it will effectively absorb the shock created by hitting the ground. This helps minimize the effects on the body from running with flat feet. When I look for a new running for my flat feet, stability and comfort are always number one.
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet – Nike LunarGlide 9
Nike hit the mark again with their LunarGlide 9. Available in men’s or women’s styles, these unique runners are quite the fashion statement in multiple color options. But you’ll look more than just stylish as your body transforms with the help of these high-tech fitness marvels. At 9.6 ounces, these are lightweight and flexible enough for the overpronator or flat-footed runner who needs mild support and cushioning.
The foam upper has a breathable mesh overlay that wraps around to meet the specially designed heel support. Padded collar, tongue and absorbent inner bootie keep the feet cook and comfortable as minutes turn into miles. The foam insole provides gently padding, but it can be removed to allow your own orthotics. Dynamic Fit Technology works inside and outside to create a glove-like fit.
Heel-based Dynamic Support platform provides stability without the addition of a medial post, while improving transition. Pressure mapping and flex grooves promote a more natural range of motion and easier movement. And at 8 ounces, these are among the best running shoes with arch support for flat feet.
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet – Brooks Raveena 9
I wanted to keep this list as varied as possible, but I just had to include another pair of Brooks running shoes. They’re just that good. The Ravenna 9s are more serious trainers. They are very comfortable but should probably be used just for running. They are extremely lightweight, ultra-breathable, and super springy to give you that extra edge.
At 9 ounces per shoe, these are some of the lightest affordable running shoes on the market. The outer midsole features BioGoMo DNA cushioning that provides bounce and responsiveness. Inside the shoe, a reflective saddle cradles the midfoot to prevent movement and provide arch support.
This shoe may only provide minimal arch support, but several customers who overpronate have reported that the Ravenna 9 solved their problems. If you’re a serious runner looking for excellent support and cutting-edge tech, this is the shoe for you.
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet – Brooks PureCadence 7
Every runner knows the power of the Brooks name. There are reasons why it’s among the top brands fitness enthusiasts trust and remain loyal to year after year. The Brooks PureCadence 7 works as a minimalistic minimum support shoe with a modern flare. Stroebel construction gives these road and track shoes a natural appearance while the inside components do their job.
The lightweight shoes come in male and female versions with contemporary color choices for the stylish runner. Super breathable mesh uppers have minimal synthetic design overlays. Lightly padded collar and sueded tongue give slight padding upon foot entry, while the soft fabric lining keeps even bare feet cool and comfortable. Brook’s Elastic Nav Band hugs from inside the shoe to keep feet secure.
The foam insole offers some padding but can be easily removed to permit custom cushioning. Toe Flex design looks like a typical fitness shoe on the outside but lets the runner experience true minimalistic fitness with the split toe concept that forces the big toe to stabilize the foot base by pushing off first. Biomogo DNA is present throughout and works with all shoe components to promote an efficient stride.
And as this occurs, the DNA midsole cushioning system reacts to the individual runner to create a custom running experience. The unique rounded heel and 4mm differential reduce strain and pressure on the ankle while realigning the entire body.
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet – ASICS GT-1000 6
ASICS turns up the heat with the GT-1000 6, a functional daily shoe for flat feet that won’t empty your pockets. Male and female versions come in multiple color options to stay on top of the fashion scene. Designed especially for overpronators who need a combination of stability and comfort, these ASICS runners are true mid-weights 12 ounces per shoe. Breathable mesh uppers have stylish synthetic overlays that aid personal fit.
Padded collar, tongue, and moisture absorbing sock liner add to the overall comfort. Lightly padded foam insole is removable to allow your own orthotics, or it can be perfect on its own for moderate underfoot comfort and arch support. ASICS built-in Impact Guidance System helps ensure an easy strike from heel to toe while correcting the foot gait to its proper positioning during every part of the cycle.
The Guidance Trusstic System works with the IGS to improve midfoot strength and create an effortless glide. Heel and forefoot GEL pads absorb shock while creating a plush landing. And the SpEVA midsole and rubber traction sole provide extra durability that resists wear and tear, allowing you to work out to your heart’s content. These shoes are available in medium, wide and extra wide shoe widths.
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet – La Sportiva Bushido Trail
A shoe for trail runners and outdoor sports people, La Sportiva’s Bushido is one of the top choices for support and grip. Whether you run in deep wilderness or on the local trail, these shoes are equipped for all types of terrain. One of the most innovative aspects of the Bushido shoe is that its upper wraps around the midsole at the bottom of the shoe (usually the upper and the sole are separate).
This provides extra support, as the upper keeps the arch suspended even as the sole flexes. Other features include rounded external lugs that reinforce the sole and midsole for extra grip and compressed EVA foam inserts for excellent shock control. The Bushido is a shoe that should be used exclusively for running, and casually if you need to flaunt them!
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet – Hoka One One Arahi 2
The Hoka One One Arahi 2 sneakers have been completely revamped to maximize stability. If you worry about overpronation or suffer from ankle pain due to flat feet, you need extra-supportive running shoes like these. After in-depth gait analysis, Hoka One One developed their Dynamic Stability approach to design. The wide toe box Arahi was built around the natural gait of the runner, unlike other shoes which simply restrict movement. What you get in the end are excellent support and maximum mobility.
The Arahi 2 works with your body and leaves you free to run naturally. Hoka One One’s trademarked J-Frame midsole is made of firm yet responsive EVA foam that suspends the arch without adding extra weight to the shoe. It also comes with some attractive additional features, like 360-degree breathability from an improved overlay and reflectors on the heel to protect you during night runs.
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet – Saucony Omni 16
Saucony provides maximum support in a lighter weight runner designed to out perform conventional stability shoes. Men’s and women’s models come in color options that can easily compliment your modern style. Mesh uppers have minimal stitching to avoid irritation, and synthetic overlays offer a fashionable design while providing upper foot support. Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
Moisture wicking sock liner and padded tongue and collar offer inside comfort and a secure fit. And the ARCH-LOCK technology provides the support needed for gait correction and serious fitness.Saucony POWERGRID technology absorbs shock while providing comfort from the heel to the toe.
Made specifically for pronation control, the Saucony’s Support Frame secures the heel to support all movement changes as the foot gait cycles. XT-900 carbon rubber compound extends durability and aids traction for inside or outside, road or track, needs. Bear in mind that these are neither water proof nor water resistant. But if fair weather support is necessary, these sneakers can be a good choice for runners with flat feet that need a little bit more arch support.
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet – ASICS Gel Kayano 24
ASICS are among the best fitness brand due to the company’s commitment to sport-related excellence. And their Gel Kayano 24 model is at the top of the ASICS running shoe lineup. In male and female options, these unique fashionable running shoes pop in five unique color combinations. But the form is where these runners show their most serious talents. Mesh and synthetic uppers provide a tailored, lightweight, and flexible fit.
Fully breathable and lined with a moisture-wicking microbial sockliner, your feet will be cool, dry, and odor-free for hours each and every day. Made specifically for serious pronators, Asics technology supports and cushions from the ground, up. New heel construction includes a Heel Clutching System with a cushioned heel counter that increases the support needed for overpronators. Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
DuraSponge forefoot material is extra durable while providing superior comfort. GEL cushioning systems absorb shock while providing a smooth glide. And the Impact Guidance System enhances the foot gait throughout all stages of movement. Asics goes the extra mile by including Gender-Specific Cushioning in their top running shoes. You can choose the shoe width sizes from medium, wide and extra wide.
What are Some Solutions To Flat Feet?
Being flat-footed is not a debilitating condition unless you actively ignore it. There are plenty of things that those with flat feet can do to make their lives better, and there are things that those with low or fallen arches can do to prevent flat-footedness altogether. Let’s take a look at a few.
Arch Support Insoles - Whether your flat feet were caused by tight tendons, bone deformity or obesity, nothing provides total relief to your foot, back or leg symptoms than a great pair of arch support insoles and shoes. You can choose to go for either insoles or the entire shoe, but whatever your choice, go for something with substantial arch support, a flexible sole and that allows for plenty of wiggle room. By physically supporting your arches, you help reduce tension in your Achilles’ tendons and posterior tibia.
Types of Running Shoes for Flat Feet
Stability Shoes: Stability shoes offer some extra support, good arch structure and comfortable foams that contour to the shape of your foot. These shoes are designed for those with low arches or moderately collapsed arches.
Motion Control Shoes: The true flat-footed runner’s friend, motion control shoes restrict the movement of the foot to prevent it from coming down on the ground improperly. These shoes feature denser foams, a tighter fit, and advanced designs that regulate body alignment.