Are you suffering from fallen arches like one in four people in the US? That’s certainly no reason to quit the sport you love. As a runner, your flat feet needn’t even slow you down. Thanks to constant efforts in material development, sports medicine and footwear engineering, manufacturers are now offering some of the best running shoes for flat feet ever on the market.
In order to choose the shoes that will make your runs pain-free and effective, it is good to know what you should be looking for and why, to help identify the best running shoes for flat feet.
Running with fallen arches
Related: The best casual shoes for flat feet
Standing, walking or running, your feet support your full body weight and act as shock absorbers for your every step, skip and jump, which would otherwise hurt your joints and bones over time. Fallen arches cannot provide this protection with the same efficiency. Often, your body tries to compensate by twisting your ankles towards the inside and absorbing the impact with the knees. You need good arch support and cushioning to soften the impact of walking and running and prevent long-term injuries.
Flat-footed runners also tend to overpronate. Pronation is a normal part of a person’s gait. Your foot rolls slightly inward with every step. At the same time the arch of the foot is lowered and absorbs the impact of your step. If you overpronate, it means that your foot rolls inwards too much. The arch of the foot collapses and becomes unable to absorb the shock of your step.
Overpronation is a common issue for people who have fallen arches, but not all flat-footed runners have this issue. Before choosing running shoes for flat feet, you should check with your orthopedist to find out what your gait looks like. At the very least, you should take a peek at the soles of your running shoes. If the inside of the sole shows much more wear than the outside, it is very likely that you are an overpronating runner.
How to select the best running shoes for flat feet
Fortunately, runners with fallen arches have a wide range of athletic footwear to choose from. Most makers of athletic shoes use the latest construction and material technologies to make shoes that offer people with flat feet a pain-free, joyful running experience.
Of course, adequate overall support is a key element in a good running shoe. Select footwear that offers extra cushioning, supportive insoles or special arch support pads. If you must wear your own fitted orthotics in your running shoes, the insoles need to be removable.
Overpronating runners with fallen arches should also look for shoes offering stability. This means that your shoe has a support structure integrated into the midsole that will keep you from overpronating. Usually, this type of pronation control consists of a denser, harder foam element on the inside of the arch that prevents your foot from rolling inward too much.
If you do have an extreme overpronation problem or are already dealing with painful wear and tear on your knees and hips, your running shoes should offer motion control, which is stronger stability technology with added control features.
For runners, it is important to select the best running shoes for flat feet with just the right kind of support. More cushioning and gait control features are not always better. For instance, if you merely tend to overpronate slightly, a strong motion control shoe can feel uncomfortable or even cause pain and misalignment. Find out as much as you can about your personal physical running style and select your athletic footwear accordingly.
The best running shoes for flat feet overview
Fortunately, female and male flat-footed runners are spoiled for choice today when it comes to selecting a great pair of running shoes. The following reviews of running shoes for men and women with fallen arches can serve as your guide to the best running shoes for flat feet. All of these shoes are available for convenient online shopping and can provide just the right support for your feet – on your rounds through the neighborhood, the next charity run or the marathon of a lifetime in your dream location.
Asics Women’s GT 2000 3
Even women with painful fallen arch issues can find relief with the Asics GT 2000 3. Excellent arch and heel support as well as multi-feature stability technology earned these athletic shoes the seal of the American Podiatric Medical Association. The shoes correct mild to moderate overpronation.
Sizes 5 through 13, narrow through extra wide. Weight 8.4 oz.
Mizuno Women’s Wave Inspire 11
The Wave Inspire 11 for Women by popular athletic footwear brand Mizuno is a good choice for moderate overpronators, thanks to the stability midsole. Good arch and heel support add the necessary comfort for women with fallen arches.
Sizes 6 through 12, narrow, medium and wide. Weight:8.6 0z.
New Balance Women’s W1500 Stability
New Balance is one of the most popular brands of athletic footwear for women. The carefully engineered fit and support technology of the Women’s W15000 is suitable for heavier runners or women who need strong fallen arch support and pronation control.
Sizes 5 through 12, medium and wide. Weight 6.17 oz.
Asics Women GEL-Venture 5
Not all runners with flat feet overpronate – and the Asics GEL-Venture 5 has just the right support for fallen arches with a neutral stride. The performance gel cushioning makes this shoe suitable even for long training runs and races.
Sizes 5 through 12, medium and wide. Weight 8.7 oz.
Saucony Women’s Stabil CS3
The Saucony Stabil CS3 will keep your overpronation in check and give your fallen arches the support they need, even on long runs. The shoe feels airy and flexible, as the supportive grid system is much less stiff than some other motion control features.
Sizes 5 through 12, medium and wide. Weight 10.2 oz.
New Balance Men’s 990v3
The New Balance 990v3 for men is a great all-round running shoe with a good balance of flexibility and stability. The shoe corrects mild to medium overpronation and is suitable for longer runs.
Sizes 7 through 16, narrow through extra wide. Weight 13.4 oz.
Asics Men’s Gel-Noosa Tri 10
For neutral runners and runners with moderate overpronators, the Gel-Noosa Tri 10 by Asics offers flexibility and plenty of support for fallen arches. Different terrains and conditions are no problem for this versatile running shoe.
Sizes 7 through 15, medium. Weight 9.9 oz.
Saucony Men’s Guide 7
Maximum cushioning and medium-strength pronation correction – the Guide 7 for Men by Saucony create great running conditions for flat-footed athletes. HydraMAX moisture control keeps you cool and comfortable, even on long runs.
Sizes 7 through 16, medium through extra wide. Weight 10 oz.
Nike Men’s Free 5.0+
Running barefoot is often recommended for runners with fallen arches. If you can’t get to the right terrain or need a little more support, the Nike Free 5.0+ running shoes with their lightweight cushioning might be the right choice for you.
Sizes 7 through 15, medium. Weight 7.0 oz.