What is the best running shoe for flat feet
Where do we even begin with how flat feet jinx our entire life - our feet feel stiff almost all the time, our joints get uncomfortable, and worse, it hurts every time we run. Luckily, we always have the best running shoes for flat feet to counter this unwelcome body flaw!
Our rundown below will put together the finest choices the market has to offer, narrowed down from a whole host of highly recommended reputable footwear brands. Better get your wallet ready because you would be speeding to online retailers after this informative read!
The Best Running Shoes For Flat Feet - 10 Top Picks
Feet are complex structures where ligaments, muscles, and joints work together to form movements. The thing is, they only coexist in harmony if they stay in their designated spots.
Having feet flatter than usual can cause these parts to stretch, leading to a condition called overpronation that changes all the inner dispositions.
And this is what makes all your running attempts a painful nightmare.
Never let that stand between you and your plan to stay fit ever again! Look through our top list below and grab yourself some useful tips for spotting the greatest flat feet running shoes.
1. Saucony Guide 13 Running Shoe - Best Overall
8 out of 10 professional runners you happen to know will immediately recommend Saucony once hearing about your flat feet challenge. Take a look at one of their signature stability running footwear - the Guide 13 series, Men’s edition - you will understand why.
The first thing to talk about is its semi-curved shape, which is definitely appealing to flat-footed runners.
Neutral shoes are often hourglass look-alikes, and this lack of space in the middle certainly spells doom to any peculiar foot form. Something with this kind of half-straightened design offers a larger sole and easily counters the issue.
The shoes’ overall design to stabilize your flat-footed gait does not stop at that.
Saucony was thoughtful enough to omit the commonly high arch found in running shoes, keeping the difference in height between the toe box and heel less than 0.3 inches.
The higher your arches are, the more pressure put on your flattened muscles and the more you are prone to pain. So this improvement is the right thing to do.
Do you crave comfort for a soothing drive? Saucony has got you covered! Their shoes’ sleek design features synthetic-mesh material and a medial TPU guidance frame, keeping your well-supported feet light (the pair only weighs 0.6 lbs).
But the real gem is the PWRRUN cushion, the company’s award-winning technology. It promises the plush softness any runner loves and a smooth transition between heel and toes regardless of the terrains.Despite having the qualities to be the standard of running shoes, Saucony Men’s Guide 13 has been said to come in sizes much smaller than usual. That is why you may want to size up while ordering yours.
2. ASICS Gel-Kayano - Best For Foot Gait Enhancement
There is a high chance that your flat foot predicament is the direct result of frail arch muscles. But the good news is that you can pump more power into them by putting on this podiatrist-recommended running footwear from ASICS.
This special Men's Gel-Kayano 26 model doubles the stability needed for both gait correction in both the forefoot and the rear, thanks to the DuoMax Support System.
Embracing a midsole enhanced with dual density technology, the shoes keep your feet fixed in place, preventing any inward roll that can collapse your arches.
When your arches stay up like this, overpronation will no longer be that serious a problem. Practice daily with these shoes on, and you will eventually see a big improvement in the way you move.
ASICS brings another pleasant surprise making their shoes as feature-rich as possible. Going hand in hand with the DuoMax Support System is the Impact Guidance System.
This feature takes your feet and shapes them into a more natural position during the mid-stance stage. When your heel hits the ground, it also helps with the shock absorption.
And, of course, let’s not forget how these shoes stop the pain from ruining your day.
The combination of striking colors accentuated by the brand’s distinct stripes holds some plush cushion just as fascinating inside. Their organic fiber texture coupled with the elastomer compound foam delivers a lighter feel and extra bounces.
These are worth praises, given the shoes themselves are only 0.68 lbs in weight with a 0.4-inch difference in the height of the forefoot and the heel. The combination can make you feel like flying on the route!But as comfortable as they might seem, the shoes are not the right pick for daily wear. The dense amount of padding feels nowhere near comfortable during a slow and steady walk.
3. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 Running Shoe - Best For Knee Care
Many runners born with flat feet are mostly concerned about what goes on underneath the ankles. They might forget to look up and realize the knees are just as vulnerable, perhaps even more.
But Brooks is quite mindful of this issue. Together with the experts in footwear design that have made their name, they have developed a technology called Guiderails Holistic Support.
All the scientific details related to the system can get complicated. But simply put, this part of the shoes steers your heel and shin motion in the right direction, preventing rotation and unneeded motion.
While this is obviously a treat to your wide, flat feet, the natural motion path it trains you to follow can put your knees in the right position during your run. No more pain or injury after pushing yourself too hard!
We think it is important to note that the Guiderails Holistic Support system is not the only way this Brooks product corrects your gait.
If you have been having problems with your weak arch, this can be your solution, for it features a ½-inch midsole drop. This arch’s density is about enough to remedy overpronation.
Taking into consideration the fact that the shoes’ inner cushioning can adapt to your pace and support each stride of your foot, this feature becomes another reason why runners desire them so much.
The only thing we have to complain about is how Brooks designed the shoes’ upper part. They reach spots that are too high for our liking, and the collars dig into our skin too many times to ignore.
4. Adidas Solar Glide St Running Shoe - Best For Women
Weighing at exactly 1.75 lbs and properly lined with breathable mesh on the upper part, not to mention the right amount of cushion on the inside, these iconic Adidas shoes can be your best friends on every run.
They are light enough for your tender feet not to be weighed down, and the sole offers a great sensation for you to jog or run for over 1 hour, no break!
But being a pair of shoes built for stability and anti-overpronation, its midsole is the backbone here. Once again, Adidas leaves us standing (or may we say, running) in awe!
What you will benefit from when getting this pair of shoes is the brand’s exclusive boost midsole technology.
Thanks to putting thousands of expanded thermoplastic polyurethane particles into a dense layer, the experienced shoemaker has managed to increase its product’s responsiveness by at least two times.
Since the shoes sit on a supportive bottom to stabilize your wobbly flat feet - a standard of all stability footwear - you can experience this extra power to your heart’s content. Make confident and long stride as much as you please; the shoes will keep all the pain at bay.
However, these high-engineered shoes are not what you can expect to wear comfortably right away after your purchase. They need quite some time to break in, about a couple of runs, but after that, you will feel like walking on the cloud!The tip here is to wear them around the house in advance to shorten the break in process.
5. Brooks Beast 20 - Best Comfortably Spacious Shoes
A pair of shoes with enough room for your toes and heels to wriggle as they please can be a luxury when having flat feet.
So you will be thrilled knowing that Brooks Men’s Beast 20 model has the exact design to meet that need. Secure but not too loose, it properly balances between space and motion control.
Brooks manages to achieve this by featuring an engineered-mesh upper body and the conformable embroidered saddle.
Both play the part of extending the toe box and maintaining the desirable comfort across your entire feet throughout the training. You can have more flexibility in the forefoot this way.
Another great thing is that as spacious as it seems to be, Brooks Men’s Beast 20 still boasts the qualities you expect in top-notch stability shoes.
For starters, the entire shoes are built on semi-curved lasts. Then the midsole is enhanced with Brook’s DNA Loft cushioning technology, which is upgraded EVA foam with more air inside so that it stays soft to the touch and offers more responsiveness.
Finally, the heel is pushed ½ inch higher than the forefoot for the finishing touch, ensuring all wearers begin their run with sufficient support.
And even though it is loaded with all those features, the shoes’ weight barely exceeds 0.6 lbs! You can stride your feet all day long and never worry about getting tired.Such a shame that this well-constructed pair of shoes requires a long break-in period until your feet manage to get along with it. But we think the results are worth the wait, given the gait correction and comfort you can find later on.
Read more about knee pain and top rated running shoes for knee pain
6. Mizuno Wave Inspire 15 - Best For Shock Absorption
Injury-prone runners have to closely watch their movement since their risk of getting caught in accidents remains alarmingly high.
This statement is especially true for anyone that tends to overpronate. A piece of advice: Find some footwear that features excellent shock absorption as a precaution, like this Wave Inspire 15 model from Mizuno Men.
The secret to how these shoes stabilize any flat-footed runners on their ride lies in the Wave technology, hence the name.
Below the soft cushions and one level above the bottom sits a wave-like structure built from Pebax Material, a form of synthetic polymer characterized by its superb elasticity.
It nestles where stability is needed the most, taking a part of the energy created on the landing spots, then channel it into the wavy patterns. Here, it is weakened before being sent back to your body.
When the shock is so evenly distributed and mitigated like this, injuries are not likely to occur.
Mizuno Men’s Wave Inspire 15 is also known for being extremely lightweight despite the complex design. Believe it or not, the shoes only fall around 0.6 lbs.
You can thank U4icX and U4ic, Mizuno’s second most appreciated technologies just after its Wave, for that.
They line the interiors and heels of your shoes with high-functioning, stress-free cushions that are about as heavy as air. Maximizing your performance even when living with flat feet has never been simpler!
But you have to be careful and avoid following your shopping habits if you are used to putting on Mizuno’s prior models, particularly the Wave 14. Many users have complained that this Wave 15 series runs much smaller than most of its predecessors.
7. ASICS Gel-Venture 7 Running Shoe - Best Value For Money
ASICS Women's Gel-Venture 7 could easily be one of the most affordable running shoes on today’s market. But do not mistake it for a budget product, for the producer did not sacrifice any important features to cut corners.
These shoes have a total weight of 0.55 lbs, even lighter than other pricier models we find in high-end stores. We consider this to be a big plus. The lighter the extra loads on your feet are, the more freely you can control your movement.
Now, you might be thinking, aren’t stability shoes supposed to be heavier to lock your flat feet in place? Not exactly. When it comes to motion control for overpronation, the structure is what matters.
Again, the shoes ace this very aspect, for it features a 0.4-inch midsole drop and internal heel counters used in gait correction. You will be able to run in the most natural position without suffering from extra pressure on your heels and knees.
Ready for another surprise? ASICS have taken care to load these shoes with tons of comfort factors for the best running experience.
When your feet touch the insole, you will instantly be greeted with the plushy feeling brought by the ORTHOLITE™ sockliner. Yes! That is the insole technology that has been all the rage for its great performance in all weathers.
And when your run starts, the GEL® cushioning system will keep the shock to a minimum, creating a smooth transition between the toes and heels.
But being a product dedicated to female runners, the shoes can get a bit too tight if you order them in your usual size, especially the toe area. You might want to size up if you intend to try them out.
8. HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 4 - Best Straight-Last Shoes
Suppose your podiatrist has concluded that your overpronation is not something to be taken lightly or that you are genetically flat-footed. In that case, classic-style stability shoes are not likely to help.
Instead, set your goal on something more solid in construction, like HOKA ONE ONE Men's Arahi 4.
Both shoes sit on a 100% straightened last, the ultimate platform to stymie any collapse in your arch, and a 5-mm heel-to-toe drop. There is a lack of height here, considering most running shoes’ drop varies between 8 mm to 12 mm.
But since this is a pair of motion control footwear that we are talking about, the internal construction (material, cushion, and whatnot) is rigid enough for the right amount of power that pushes your heel up.
With the little gap between the shoes and the ground, when the energy bounces back, you will have the most effective takeoff.
And do not worry about the tough structure adding unnecessary weights on your feet. These shoes feature EVA compounds in the sole and engineered mesh in the entire body, so they barely go past 0.6 lbs.
Hoka One One has also used another unique technology - J-Frame(TM) - on the bottom of these shoes. As a result, during your ride, your arch will never roll inward many times over, but you never have to experience the overcorrection situation.
Yes, overcorrection does exist, especially among genetically flat-footed runners who use common stability shoes. Their gait is structured that way, so any attempt to reshape it only leads to more pressure being applied on other parts of their legs and, of course, more discomfort.
However, despite the fact that the whole pair is supposed to be extremely durable, at least considering its price, these shoes begin wearing too fast. The signs already show themselves when we reach the 200th mile.
9. Mizuno Horizon 4 Running Shoe - Best For Comfort
Launched before the arrival of Mizuno Men’s Horizon 15, this 4th edition shares various features in common with its same-brand option we have mentioned earlier, including the U4icX and U4ic technology.
These are not the only reasons why these running shoes have our votes for being plush and snug. It seems that Mizuno has decided to maximize the comfort for this pair only, claiming it brings a cloud-walking experience.
The stabilization platform is encased in the lightweight mesh; even when combined with the sole, no more than 0.7 lbs will be loaded on your feet.
When the fabric cradles your feet, the AeroHug technology will jump into action, embracing your ankles entirely and leaving no gap for a secure and snug fit.
Then, as you increase your speed, the XPOP PU foam, a polyurethane compound infused with Foam Wave technology for a floating and ultra-soft feeling, will press against the sore muscles of your flat feet.
Since they are already held in place at this point, thanks to the stabilization function, you can achieve a smooth and pleasing ride effortlessly.
However, as great as all the padding and pillowy rides may appear to be, these shoes need some break-in period to deliver the support you need.
10. New Balance Fresh Foam 860v11 - Best For A Snug Fit
As if the overpronation has not bothered you enough, you keep getting the wrong size even after filling in your precise measurements! If you want to take a break from the tiresome exchanging game, try out New Balance Men's Fresh Foam!
The brand has been widely known for its accurate sizing charts. Order once, and you get the exact pair of shoes that snugly cradle your feet. Chances for mismatches are still there since feet shape varies from one to another, but the risk is relatively low.
Another thing we love about these shoes is that the stability comes at the right level.
As the 10-mm midsole drop pushes your heels up for a well-supported ride without causing any inconvenience, the built-in medial post will limit the pronation, keeping your feet where they should be.
Like any pair of quality running shoes, you can achieve a fondly light running experience. Thanks to the mesh material and the Fresh Foam Midsole technology, the shoes always create an airy, trouble-free ride all day long.
Just look at the weight of these shoes and see for yourself; they are only 0.7 lbs!
Nevertheless, despite the padding that can ensure you have a secure and supportive fit, we think the cushion amount needs some improvements.
Related post: Top 10 Best Workout Shoes For Flat Feet
A Detailed Buying Guide For The Best Running Shoes For Flat Feet
Picking running shoes for flat feet can be like pulling teeth. For that reason, we have consulted the opinion of some flat foot caring experts to put together these helpful tips. Let them aid the shopping, and nothing will go wrong!
Types Of Shoes
This specific footwear takes one step ahead of regular running footwear and builds some minimalist cushion right on the inside.
It is this very part of the shoes that offers the needed support for contact and foot transition, all the while limiting the roll of your feet to offset any overpronation pain.
Stability shoes are ideal for boosting the stability of your feet. But since they are made with overall gait correcting in mind, the support they bring for overpronation can only be described as sufficient.
In case your flat feet symptoms are more on the severe side, consider the second type.
Motion-control running shoes
Now, these are some beasts we are talking about! Putting your foot inside a pair of shoes like this is no different from putting them in a lock (one with a snug fit, we may add).
The issue of your constantly rolling flat feet will barely have a chance to resurface and ruin your good time since these shoes’ interiors are firm enough to keep all your muscles in place.
But all the stability and control they present can put lots of weight on your feet. You might need to spend a couple of days getting used to moving with them on.
Dealing with flat feet and overpronation can throw you in a world of pain, so you will need all the comfort you can get in your shoes as a safety measure.
Focus on the cushion that your feet will press down. Anyone else may be able to freely push themselves off of the ground and speed off on all terrain with an adequate layer only, but flat-footed runners need a denser cushion.
Do not just link this to extra rigidity. Opt for something supportive and soft at the same time, otherwise, your running trip will not be as nice and smooth as you expect it to be.
Plus, having moderately firm material under the midsole maximizes the comfort factor, which is important for overpronation-prone runners.
Types Of Feet
The presence of flat feet in your life can come from two reasons. Either genetically or your feet muscles lack the strength to stop the arches from collapsing.
If the culprit is the second case, all you need is high-drop footwear that puts some arches in your shoes. They act as a temporary supporter until your feet gain enough power to create the motion themselves and fix your condition.
But do not attempt to try the same method with genetic flat feet. You will only drive yourself into more predicament.
Forcing extra arches on your feet equals forcing greater pressure on your knees as you run. Since your overpronation is not likely to go away, the excessively accumulated pressure will eventually cause knee disorder in the end.
In such cases, a low-drop option (with no difference in height between the toes and the arch) can do a better job aiding your gait and movement.
Note: It is impossible to tell which type of feet you have by the look only. Book an appointment with a podiatrist, and they will analyze your gait, feet shape, other body traits to help you find the right shoes.
We do not know if you have noticed this or not, but running shoe lasts (the foot form of your shoes) differ from one to another. Most options for regular feet are curvaceous, while those designed for foot ailments are completely straightened.
There is a reason why they look that way. The alignment of the toe cap and heel counter enlarge the midsole, providing your muscles with more space to shift as they please. Flat-footed runners can achieve a more solid support surface when moving in these shoes.
In other words, the straighter, the better! You can even settle down with semi-curved lasts if your overpronation is not that severe.
Other Notices When Running With Flat Feet
You might still be in the very stage of overpronation and probably never feel any severe discomfort at this point. But do not let your guard down! The ailment can come and get you at any moment, so jot down these tips to keep yourself safe and sound all the time.
Never Run In Worn Shoes
When shoes are not in their best shape, the supportive and bouncy experience they grant will never stay the same.
Therefore, as a flat-footed runner, you should never forget to find alternatives in time, especially when noticing their midsoles fail to provide comfort (this means about 300-500 miles of usage).
Your weak muscles are guarded against the danger of inward roll by this very part, so when it cannot work as effectively as usual, the pain will soon come your way.
Keep Track Of Your Progress
Keep track of how your pain changes with your progress, to be exact. Stability and motion control shoes offer firm support to mitigate your overpronation condition, so there should not be any pain lingering in your sole during the run.
If you still feel the pain getting worse and worse with each passing run, cancel your practice schedule and seek help from a physical therapist. That can spell big problems for you later on if not treated in time.
Stay Away From Uneven Surfaces
You do not rub salt on a fresh injury, right? Then why do you throw in more pressure on your overstretched ligaments and muscles?
Each time your flat feet land on obstacles scattering across a bumpy route, your knees and other joints will get roughed up badly. Obviously, this is not how you should run!
Running with Flat Feet - FAQs
Why Is Running So Hard With Flat Feet?
Whenever you place your feet down, the inner muscles tend to “pronate,” tilting inwards to a certain degree.
The occurrence is completely natural, exactly what the walking compartment of the human body is made to do. But if the tilting gets out of hand, the innocuous pattern will change into a serious case of overpronation, which we have discussed in the earlier part.
And this is when things get ugly. The unnecessary concavity in the foot’s layout will eventually overstretch all your ligaments. By that time, your joints and muscles will be fixed in awkward positions. This can be the start of so many intense spikes of pain as you move.
See why running with flat feet feels like Hell on Earth, and why a quality pair of running shoes for flat feet is simply a must-have?
What Brands Make The Best Shoes For Flat Feet?
The answer depends on your preference. The best we can say is that if you truly want to grab running shoes that never disappoint, limit your choice to reputable brands only.
Just go back to the reviews above, and you will see. The mentioned brands all have an unmatched unique selling point.
For instance, Mizuno prides on the Wavy patterns and high-functioning foam technology. But ASICS are into a different approach, which is gait correction through well-cushioned shoes.
Can You Strengthen Your Hard Feet For Running?
Although it is almost impossible to eliminate issues related to flat feet, you can try applying a few methods to alleviate the situation, thus making it simpler for you on your daily run.
Some simple exercises for you to try right at home from today include stretching (the calves, the arches, or the heels), rolling a ball under your feet, or even a seemingly baby game like curling your toes into a fluffy towel.
My top Picks
We know that it always drives you crazy when all you want is the right pair of shoes for your flat feet, but what welcomes you are aisles after aisles of footwear options stretching into eternity.
That is why you should consult our best running shoes for flat feet rather than trying to cope with that dark side of shopping. You will be leaving the store with a huge smile in less than 15 minutes.
In case you are open to some suggestions, we believe you should consider the option from Saucony for an overall satisfying experience. Or, if you live with a severe case of flat feet, HOKA ONE ONE Men's Arahi 4 Running Shoe will be your lifesaver!