Flat feet don’t just happen to the overweight or overworked people of the world. Many are born with the condition, and others develop it due to a variety of reasons including injury, poor fitness form, and wearing the wrong footwear. While most people aren’t affected by flat feet directly until they’re much older, it often leads to a serious condition called overpronation. And that does affect millions on an annual basis. 90% of people with flat feet develop this unnatural inward turning of the feet. Unnatural? Absolutely.
Shoes for Flat Footed Runners
Our feet are meant to have a neutral gait. Too much pressure can lead to the feet turning outward or inward. You can verify your own foot condition by simply looking at your heavily worn sneakers. Is the wear more prevalent on the inside of the heel or the outside? If it’s on the inside, you’re an overpronator. You may also have flat feet. To help reset your entire body and avoid serious complications down the road (or correct those you’re having now), you need a proper fitness base; especially if you’re a runner. We have selected the following running shoe models which are among the best footwear for people with flat feet that need some arch support.
Shoes With Minimal Arch Support
There are varying degrees of flat feet. Some runners need a lot of arch support to compensate for overpronation or severely collapsed arches. Others need minimal arch support simply to keep their arches from bottoming out as they run. All runners should find training shoes with at least minimal arch support, as even runners with normal feet can risk becoming flat-footed over time.
1. Nike LunarGlide 9 Running Shoe
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 top running shoes for flat feet you can find today.
2. New Balance 990V4 Running Shoe
New Balance provides models for just about every foot gait concern possible. And the 990V4 is the perfect addition the the serious runner’s fitness routine. The combination leather and mesh uppers are elegant, rich, classic, and more importantly, breathable. In male and female versions, multiple color options fit most fashion needs.Soft synthetic lining, padded collar and tongue create step-in comfort.
ABZORB midsole cushioning provides lasting comfort. Encap material in the outsole is 40% lighter than typical rubber, and creates a much lighter and more flexible running experience. While Ndurance is another compound used in the outsole to improve durability and provide long-lasting traction for pavement, trails and tracks alike. Blown rubber forefoot adds cushioning with every foot-strike. And unobtrusive reflective cushioning improves safety and security in low lighting situations. All of the sports technology advancements and lifestyle adaptability of the New Balance 990V4 keep it on top of the list as one of the top rated sneakers for flat feet with arch support and are available in shoe widths ranging from extra narrow to extra wide.
3. Brooks Raveena 9 Running Shoes
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.
4. Brooks PureCadence 7 Running Shoe
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.
Shoes With Moderate Arch Support
Most runners with flat feet will find themselves choosing a shoe in this category. Running shoes that offer moderate support will have a more defined arch and may offer some additional features specifically suited to those with flat feet or other similar conditions. They may cost a bit more, but they are definitely worth the price.
1. ASICS GT-1000 7 Running Shoe
ASICS turns up the heat with the GT-1000 7, 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 running shoes are available in medium, wide and extra wide shoe widths.
2. Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 Running Shoe
Mizuno appeals to many customers who want a unique running shoe they can use for work, play, and everything in between. The Wave Inspire series provides high fashion, unique color options, and true performance at every turn. The medium arch support raises foot gait and corrects pronation gently to avoid pain and discomfort, allowing you to reach those fitness goals with ease.
Mizuno’s classic internal straps secure the feet inside with Dynamotion Fit as the soft fabric lining comforts the feet and wicks away moisture. Removable foam insert can be used on its own or exchanged for your own orthotics. SmoothRide technology includes Infinity Wave in the heel, U4ic midsole, and Pebax Fan Wave. These devices work together to support each part of the foot while absorbing shock, providing extra comfort, and allowing the runner to experience a smooth glide with the perfect amount of bounce and glide assistance. Mizuno’s X10 carbon rubber materials are extra durable and supply the necessary traction and grip for serious runners who need to focus on their commitment more than worry if the shoe’s going to do its job. And the wider toe box adds to the comfort and foot health, so you can enjoy the open road.
3. Saucony Guide 10 Running Shoes
The Saucony Guide 10 is a great high quality alternative to more expensive shoes when you don’t need the ultra heavy support system. This specific model is available in men’s or women’s options and provides a smooth, light ride for any flat footed runner with mild to moderate pronation. These lightweight, flexible runners come in multiple color options for either gender. The uppers are breathable and abrasion-free in mesh, melded film, and reflective synthetic materials that are technologically advanced and comfortable for extended wear. Moisture-wicking interior lining keeps feet cool and dry.
Perfect mid range arch support promotes proper carriage for a carefree and painless run. The Powergrid midsole extends the entire length of the shoe to absorb shock and give the necessary bounce back from toe to heel. The SRC Impact Zone allows for easy transition as the medial post provides optimal control and stability. Sole-length flex grooves add to the flexibility while providing necessary grip and traction for your fitness safety needs. The heel-toe differential in these shoes is a substantial 8mm drop for heel protection and extra control. Together, Saucony technology provides a cushion soft running experience that many customers compare to running on a cloud.
4. Nike Air Zoom Structure 21 Running Shoe
For the best in style and comfort, you can’t go wrong with Nike. The Air Zoom Structure 21 looks ultra cool, but that’s not why it made this list. The super-thick sole at the heel protrudes out and over the mesh in the back for great support and protection from overpronation. As the sole moves to the forefoot, it becomes slimmer, but the bowed design of the shoe keeps you from feeling as if you’re leaning forward. This provides optimal arch support from a solid heel-to-toe drop in a shoe that you can wear comfortably all day long.
Additional cushioning in the forefoot features Nike’s exclusive Air Zoom technology, which provides responsive comfort that’s perfect for putting an extra spring in your step. The Air Zoom Structure 21 delivers comfort throughout your day and speed when you’re on the track, and you’ll never notice those flat feet.
5. La Sportiva Bushido Trail Running Shoe
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!
6. ASICS GT-2000 6 Running Shoes
Last on our list of moderate arch support shoes is the ASICS GT-2000 6, a shoe designed specifically for those who overpronate. If you overpronate, it means that when you land each step, your foot rolls inwards too far and puts excess stress on your ankle, shins, knees, and other areas of your body that must absorb the excess shock.
The ASICS GT-2000 6 corrects this with a stronger arch and its unique Dynamic Duomax support system. This system provides extra platform support for a more stable stride. This is supplemented by rear foot and forefoot gel cushioning that further absorbs shock and keeps the foot properly aligned, no matter what surface you’re running on.
Shoes With Maximum Arch Support
Some of us were “gifted” with the flattest of flat feet, but that will never hold us back. If you suffer from foot or lower body pain even when you’re not running, you might have a more severe arch collapse. Luckily, running shoes with maximum support can keep you on your feet just as long as anyone else.
1. Hoka One One Arahi 2 Running Shoe
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.
2. Saucony Omni 16 Running Shoes
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. 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.
3. New Balance 1260V7 Running Shoe
New Balance continues turning heads year after year with their releases of high quality, color popping fashion that appeals to the needs of serious fitness enthusiasts as well. In men and women models, alike, these modern fitness shoes come in multiple color options to fit a variety of style demands. The mesh and synthetic upper provide a flexible, breathable, and secure fit for the avid runner. While heavier and offer less deep cushioning than comparable maximum support options, these 1260s are specifically designed to be serious stability shoes for those who require the maximum motion control. If you’re a serious overpronator, these could be your saving grace. You can find these in narrow to wide shoe widths.
Moisture wicking inner liner and removable footbed provide a tailored comfort level. Acteva Lite midsole contains a special foam that is denser than previous models and provides more compression for more bounce when needed. 8mm heel-toe drop and T-BEAM shank provides continual support from the heel through the toe region while giving extra control to the mid-foot. The low profile styling makes these feel like sneakers as opposed to work shoes. And the blown rubber sole is lightweight throughout and provides plenty of traction for any terrain.
4. ASICS Gel Kayano 25 Running Shoes
ASICS are among the best fitness brand due to the company’s commitment to sport-related excellence. And their Gel Kayano 25 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. 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.
5. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18 Running Shoe
Coming full circle to Brooks is not just a happy coincidence. It reflects the brand’s commitment to customer support and technological brilliance. OK, so “brilliance” may seem like a strong word for running shoes, but loyal customers of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18 very well may completely agree with the term. This successor to the Adrenaline GTS 17 was built with the moderate overpronator in mind who needed maximum support. Both men’s and women’s models offer a pop of color that can accentuate or blend into any fitness fashion needs.
Lightweight and breathable throughout, the upper mesh material molds the feet and provides weightless support and continual circulation. Internal moisture-wicking sock liner and removable foam cushioned insole with built-in arch support provide comfort without the aid of personal orthotics. However, yours can be added for your tailored-fitted needs. But the under carriage is where these shoes really shine. DNA Midsole is a new and innovative cushioning system that adapts to the speeds and size/weight ratios of all runners to provide the smoothest ride possible. Brooks Segmented Crash Pad contains individual shock absorbers to add to the cushioning abilities of the shoe while aiding in the forward projection for a powerful stride and the diagonal rollerbar gives added control to make these some of the top rated motion control running shoes for flat feet.
6. New Balance Vongo V2 Running Shoes
An ultra-thick sole. Arch support you can feel. Guaranteed comfort and stability for miles and miles. Just a glance at the New Balance Vongo v2 reveals that these are serious workout shoes.
Customers love these shoes for multiple reasons. First, they’re available at a great price. Second, they can be worn day in and day out. They’re not just running shoes; they’re the ideal tennis shoes for work or play. So how did New Balance design a maximum support running shoe that can be worn comfortably all the time? Basically, they figured out how to lower the offset without sacrificing support. This means you are able to stand and walk comfortably throughout your day and have a pain-free run.
If you’re looking for an all-purpose running shoe with maximum arch support, the Vongo v2 is a winner.
All About Shoes and Flat Feet
We only get one pair of feet in our lives, so it can be hard to know whether they are helping or hurting our bodies when we run. We have nothing to compare them to!
But here’s the point: If you suffer from foot, ankle, knee, leg, and/or back pain after or during your run, something is wrong. Ignoring these issues might seem like the easiest course of action. A day or two of discomfort isn’t that big of a deal, right?
Wrong. You might see yourself as “dealing” with the pain, but the consequences for your body can be much more serious. Here are a few of the unfortunate conditions running with flat feet can lead to:
Other Effective Remedies for Flat Feet
Did you know that over 24 percent of all adults suffer from flat feet? Only a small part of that are affected by hereditary flat foot and are born with it; the larger percentage actually develop it during the course of their lives without even realizing it. This segment aims to teach you how to avoid flat feet in the first place and remedies for those who think it might be too late. Don’t worry; there’s always hope for reversing even the worst cases in the doc’s office. But First;
What are Flat Feet?
All of these things can lead not only to taking you off the running track but to taking you off your feet in general. Do you want to be the one in the group that everyone has to wait on while you rest your feet every 20 minutes?
If not, you need our running shoe buyer’s guide for flat feet. Don’t worry; it won’t take long! Once we’re done, you’ll know all the essentials about flat feet and proper footwear, and you’ll be able to pick one of the best pairs of shoes from our list with confidence.
Why is Having Flat Feet a Bad Thing?
What’s the big deal about having flat feet? Why can’t all of our flat-footed brothers and sisters live free from persecution by our “arch” nemeses?
For the answer, we’ll have to consult a little science. The height of the arch in your foot determines pronation, or the way your foot, ankle, and leg move inward as you take each step. If you pronate normally, your arch is compressed as it hits the ground, and it absorbs the shock of each footfall. This results in your foot moving inwards about 15% as it comes into contact with the ground (the result of your arch flattening).
Those with flat feet are prone to overpronation. This means that the foot lands on the heel and rolls inwards more than 15%. This can result in serious running injuries as well as sore feet and ankles.
And what about all of that shock that isn’t absorbed by an effective arch? It has to go somewhere. If you are flat-footed, the shock created by the impact of each footfall is absorbed by other parts of your lower body and can lead to disastrous results. It goes straight to your heel, ankle, shins, and especially your knees—these are all the places flat-footed runners commonly feel pain.
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.
Compression Foot Sleeves
Just like arch support insoles, compression foot sleeves allow you to relieve the painful symptoms of flat feet by creating pressure around your underside and heel. With a decent pair of compression foot sleeves, you get extra support and relief along your under sole and fascia ligaments. Not only are these sleeves efficient and inexpensive, but they can also be worn incognito under your socks.
Don’t Wear Heels
Ladies, if you wear heels more often than on special occasions, consider reconsidering. Heels put a lot of stress on your body and change the way you align yourself. This altered state wrecks havoc on your arches, heels, and lower body. Not to mention the risk to your ankles. I know you look amazing in them, but wearing heels to work every day will destroy your feet.
Exercises for Flat Feet
Foot exercises are perhaps the most convenient preventative and remedial solution for flat feet you will ever come across. Whenever you can grab the chance, try to spend as much time barefoot as possible. Try walking your dog or jogging around the park barefooted. Also, include a significant amount of toe running and tip toeing. This will encourage your feet to start developing the damaged areas on its own. It might be a tad painful at first, but your feet will thank you for it. Other simple exercises that will undoubtedly improve your feet include;
This involves fanning out your toes as widely as possible to create a space between each toe. Holding this pose for about 20 seconds and repeating for a few sets should see your arches improve substantially. You should also make a habit of pointing to things with your toes.
As bizarre as this may sound, walking sideways is a very effective way to train your feet and get rid of the annoying flat foot. By simply walking sideways instead of straight ahead, you involve areas of your feet that would otherwise be ignored.
Walking in the Sand
That’s right; there is no other terrain more unpredictable and ever changing than sand. Your last step will never be the same as the next one. By immediately catapulting your bare feet into the chaotic and ever-shifting environment that is sand, you force your feet to adapt to absorbing shock and gaining strength.
Sometimes, the remedy for flat feet could be as simple as hitting the gym and shedding off those pesky pounds that are weighing your arches down. While this does not apply to everyone, those who are obese and overweight will benefit in more ways than one. The bigger and heavier you are, the more pressure you exert on your feet and subsequently, the arches. Soon enough, the ligaments and tendons on the underside of your feet collapse leading to flat feet and all the painful symptoms associated with it. Try shedding some weight and your feet should be back to their bounce selves in no time.
Doctors and Physiologists can’t stress enough on the importance of going slowly at first. It will not be easy undoing years of damage further worsened by wearing absolutely inappropriate shoes. Leaping quickly and blindly into exercises like barefoot sprints and toe run marathons with extremely flat feet could cause more damage than good. Maybe start off with arch support insoles, compression sleeves, and some small strength exercises before diving into the heavy stuff.
But how do you choose the right running shoes for flat feet? Funny you should ask…
What to Look for in a Running Shoe for Flat Feet
When choosing a running shoe for flat feet, there are a few things you’ll need to know. First, you need to know how the industry refers to these types of shoes. They refer to them by two names: stability shoes and motion control shoes.
Second, you’ll want to know the features available that remedy flat feet and prevent injury or pain.
Let’s take a look at both.
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.
Note: Motion control shoes are not completely different from stability shoes. In reality, they contain many of the same features, only taking them to a higher degree.
Support: This is the most important factor when it comes to purchasing running shoes for flat feet. If your feet don’t have the proper arch structure, you need something to prop them up. Remember to examine the sole of the shoe—from the heel to the toe—to know how your arch is going to be supported.
Offset: Offset is also known as the heel-to-toe drop, and it refers to the difference in height between the heel and the toes. In shoes for flat feet, the offset is usually somewhere between 4-12 mm. Offset has a big impact on balance and body alignment, and for runners, the right offset can help you go faster and harder.
Shock absorption: Almost all of the problems caused by flat feet arise from improper shock absorption. Therefore, your shoes should be absorbing some of the shock for you. Gel and high-quality foams like EVA are good shock absorbers. Many companies have their own, patented shock-absorbing materials that are worth looking into.
Arch: The arch of the shoe should accommodate your foot, to say the least. If you have slightly fallen arches and you buy a shoe with arch support that isn’t pronounced enough, you may be doing yourself more harm than good. In the end, you need to choose a shoe based on your arches. Even the best-rated shoe for flat feet may not necessarily be the right one for you.
Flexibility: Flexibility is important to a runner, and this is where running shoes for flat feet really outperform other solutions like support insoles. Many of the shoes on this list were designed to provide support without sacrificing flexibility. If this is important to you, look for shoes with thinner soles and slightly lower offsets.
Comfort: Who wants to run in an uncomfortable shoe? Nobody! But what exactly makes a shoe comfortable? Cushioning is important, but it’s not the only factor. Also look for breathability in the upper and moisture control inside the shoe.
Weight: Clunky shoes are uncomfortable to run in. They affect your balance and they cause your foot to come down harder on the ground (terrible for flat-footed runners!). Look for lightweight shoes to feel free, light, and unrestricted. Most running shoes for flat feet weigh between 10-12 oz.
Running Shoes for Flat-Footed Fitness
I hope this comprehensive list of running shoes for flat feet and buyer’s guide has given you the confidence and knowledge you need to run as hard and as fast as ever before. But really, I hope it’s proven just one thing: regardless of the feet you were born with or the ones you find yourself strolling on today, you never have to give up your love of fitness and running. It was true for me, and it can be true for you too. Pain and discomfort are temporary. But running? That’s forever.