If you have flat feet, that means that the arches of your feet will have collapsed, meaning that the entire sole of the foot will come into contact with the ground. In turn, this can then result in a scenario where the foot is more inclined to over pronation. That means that the ankle can twist inwards and this can then lead to an accident as well as placing strain on the knee. The arch of the foot is your natural shock absorption system – like the suspension on your car – and with it gone, you can encounter all kinds of difficulties.
Runners with flat feet need to take extra care in choosing their footwear because they require additional support as compared with others. Specifically, you’ll need extra support for your feet and that means you’ll want to shy away from the ‘minimalist shoes’ that are normally all the rage.
Minimalist shoes are those with very little sole and the most extreme example of this are the Vibram Five Fingers. The idea behind these shoes is to mimic the experience of barefoot running and while they may be good for everyone else (though some recent lawsuits call that into question) they are not a good idea for runners who lack their in-built cushioning system.
Here then are the shoes you’re better off looking into if you have flat feet…
The Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet – Men’s
New Balance have always made good shoes for people with all manner of issues including flat feet, bad knees and more. The New Balance 1080V2 is one of their more recent products and utilizes a flexible rubber outsole that offers plenty of protection alongside dual density foam. Unlike some supportive shoes though, the New Balance 1080V2 is still very light allowing you to stay fleet footed.
Price: $139.95 – $144.95More Information/Purchase
This shoe looks rather unmistakable in orange, black and… lighter orange. While the color choices may be a little suspect though, the shoe certainly ticks all the boxes when it comes to protection and support. Specifically, this shoe features an ‘energy foam’ that cushions the forefoot and heel. It wraps snugly around the foot and again feels nicely light and breathable. At the same time though, it’s also very wide along the sole which is great for people with narrow feet and will also help you to prevent overpronation. If you are constantly tipping your foot to the side and twisting your ankle, then this is a good choice.
Price: $69.99 – $76.00More Information/Purchase
The Nike LunarGlide is a very lightweight trainer that provides a smooth transition and roles the foot through the correct form. It also offers extra room in the toe box which is great for those runners that find themselves with ingrown toenails and athlete’s foot. Nike are great at creating stability shoes and are constantly working to improve their shock absorption technologies. The Nike LunarGlide 6 is not different and provides a very smooth run, while preventing overpronation and absorbing shock. Another innovation from Nike is the ‘pressure mapped outsole’ which means that Nike have looked into where the pressure is placed on the sole of the shoe and have provided just enough flexibility and give in all the right places. It’s like a massage for your foot as you run!
Like all the shoes on this list, the shock absorption and stability is there but at the same time, the shoe manages to remain light and won’t slow you down.
Price: $79.59 – $185.00More Information/Purchase
The Sucony Omni 12 is a great shoe that offers lots of support in the heel and which helps to encourage a balanced stride. It has a light, tight and comfortable fit and it’s perfectly designed for road runners who are constantly running on hard floors. Again, this is a very good choice for people who are constantly suffering from knee pain and twisted ankles, whether that’s due to a flat foot or any other issue.
Price: $79.95 – $99.95More Information/Purchase
Don’t you just love the futuristic sounding names of shoes? The Asics Gt-2000 2 sounds like some sort of high tech racecar form the year 2099 and you’ll feel like one when you wear this shoe! This doesn’t offer quite as much cushioning or support as some of the other shoes on our list but instead is aimed at the runner with mild over pronation or anyone looking for just a little extra padding but who doesn’t want to completely compromise their running form. This shoe can be seen as a bridge between the supportive shoe and the neutral shoe and that will make it a great choice for a lot of people. The sole unit has three distinct sections and incorporates the signature Gel technology that Asics is known for.
Another nice thing about this shoe? It’s a lot cheaper than some of the others on this list! The only downside is that perhaps as a result, it isn’t quite as durable as some of the others so you may want to look into a replacement, but its still one of the best sneakers for flat feet.
Price: $64.98 – $120.00More Information/Purchase
The Best Women’s Running Shoes for Flat Feet
The women’s Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15 is a high tech supportive shoe with a lot of stability features. This is designed to guide you through the perfect strike while still being flexible and avoiding the excessive heel cushioning that can otherwise lead to incorrect running form. You’ll still be able to stay light on the balls of your feet but at the same time, it will prevent you from twisting your ankle or tipping your knee. That said, the shoe is a little heavier than some of the others on this list.
Price: $102.90 – $133.90More Information/Purchase
If you suffer with flat feet then you may not have the option of running in ‘barefoot shoes’ or completely minimalist shoes. Unfortunately, this only compounds the problem as it means that you’re not training the muscles in your feet or legs to compensate.
One solution the is the Nike Free Run+ 3 which is rather a stroke of genius. This shoe is a very light shoe with a glove-like fit and with a super flexible sole. It achieves this with a grid formation that allows each area of the sole to move independently. You need to really ease yourself into this one as otherwise you can risk causing injury – but if you use it for gentle runs it can be a good medicine for your flat feet. One downside though is that it can pick up stones between the squares!
Price: $99.00More Information/Purchase
The Books Dyad 8 is a shoe that’s designed to provide you with all the support you could need on long runs across hard, dry terrain. If you find yourself thinking against going out for a run because you
remember how much your legs ached last time, then the Brooks Dyad 8 is a good choice. It’s a relatively neutral shoe with lots of flexibility but at the same time, it still provides a ton of support to help avoid overpronation and other issues.
The Zoot Tt 7 is another good choice for women, even if some of the color schemes are a little… awful (try lime green with lighter lime green). It’s a light and flexible looking shoe that’s well suited to triathlon training and more. It’s strong, supportive and lightweight but also has a lot of features that are great for performance. It limits water retention for instance (hence the suitability for triathlon training) and at the same time uses an asymmetrical fit that matches the shape of the foot – great for helping with those flat feet. It also has a few cool features that offer great performance – for instance, this shoe uses a rebound technology that helps you to run in a more energy-efficient manner. This also adds to the cushioning. The ‘fast tie’ laces are a nice touch too. If you’re looking for shoes that are suitable for flat feet but that still offer a performance upgrade, then the Zoot Tt 7.0 is well worth a look.
Price: $108.82 – $131.98More Information/Purchase
The New Balance 1260 v4 is another great shoe that provides excellent stability and a very smooth ride. It’s not the most feminine looking shoe – New Balance aren’t exactly known for their looks – but it has it where it counts and aims to keep you feeling connected to your stride and feeling energized. Features that help this include N2 cushioning technology, ABZORB crash pad, an Asymmetrical heel counter and more. New Balance are old hats when it comes to cushioning and supportive shoes and are always a safe bet if you have knee problems.
Price: $139.95 – $144.95More Information/Purchase
So there you have it, those are the best five running shoes for men and women suffering from flat feet! Please note that you can find men’s versions of most of the women’s shoes and vice versa. Take a look at them all and see which one best suits your particular training style and gait. You’ll find that when you find the right shoe, it can really set you free!