When it comes to a healthy running practice, selecting the best running shoe for a particular foot type is as important as setting out on the run itself. This is because your choice of running shoe does not only play an important role in injury prevention, but also in achieving your fitness goal. Selecting the best running shoe for flat feet can be a daunting prospect as it goes beyond selecting your best color, design, price or the shoe that fits. It is therefore important to have the comprehensive knowledge of shoes and flat feet in selecting the right running shoe for your foot type.
Are you a running enthusiast, but needs the best running shoes for flat feet to maximize your success? If yes, this article is for you. Now sit back and continue exploring as we direct and assist you in making the right choice.
Flat feet – What does it mean?
A flat foot also referred to as fallen arches or Pes planus is a postural abnormality where the foot lacks the normal arch when standing. This is when the entire sole of the foot touches or come near a full contact with the ground when standing. This abnormality causes pain when an intensive and extensive physical exercise is performed.
Pes planus is rarely a serious condition, it is common and normal in infants but often improve with age. In some people, this abnormal condition last through adulthood; and about 20 – 30 percent of the population are estimated to have this condition. Flat feet are hereditary and sometimes caused by improper training form, injuries, aging, wrong choice of footwear, obesity. Some of the injuries and conditions associated with flat feet include plantar fasciitis, shin splints, heel pains, lower back pain, Achilles tendonitis, and over pronation. However, these conditions can be improved or managed by wearing the right running shoe.
Benefits of Wearing the Right Running Shoe
Running with the right shoe especially those that are specially made for flat feet comes with a lot of benefits. It enhances running efficiency, improves traction, protects your foot, and provides extra support (motion control) for fixing over pronation. Wearing the right running shoe prevent foot soreness and blisters which are often the characteristics of using an improper shoe for your running activities. It also corrects the problem of supination also known as under pronation (rolling your foot out while running) and helps to prevent running injuries.
How to Select the Best Running Shoe for Flat Feet – Things to Consider
Most people see running as a simple natural exercise, just hit the track and do what feels natural. But running is a complex natural physical exercise that stresses the bones, muscles, joints, and ligaments of the body. Avoiding the risk of injuries and improving running performance all boils down to selecting the right running shoe to manage the complex movements created while running.
That you have flat feet does not mean you cannot be a good athlete or a successful runner; you will only have to get yourself the right running shoe for your foot type. And we all know that finding the right choice among many at your local shoe store is easier said than done. That is why we have put together some tips and things you need to consider to assist you in selecting the best running shoe for flat feet, and these are discussed below.
Rigidity and durability: This is one of the features to look out for when selecting the best running shoe for flat feet. Since flat feet can cause lack of stability, it is important to select a rigid and durable running shoe that will not turn or twist with every step you make. Look for running shoes that will not bend or twist at the middle except at the toe. A shoe that bends or twist at the middle will affect the midfoot area, causing pain and discomfort with each step.
Arch support: Ideally, the best shoes for people with fallen arches are mostly those that come with a good arch support. The absent of this feature in your shoe means that you will continue straining your tendons and ligaments which may eventually result in pain since your fallen arches are still making full contact with your footbed. Just like the foundation of a building, shoe arches are designed to carry the body weight, spreading it evenly across your feet. They lift the feet at the area needed thereby reducing the pressure placed on the arch by the upper body weight. The arch support prevents your body weight from weighing down on your arches, thereby preventing collapse or further collapse of your foot arches.
Motion control: This is a common feature to look out for when selecting the right shoes for flat feet. Shoes with this feature are designed with extra cushioning in the arch that locks your feet into the right position when you move. These types of shoe are firm and straight (not bent at the tip). They help to prevent your feet from rolling inward; making sure your feet strike the ground in the right position while running (they simply help to control overpronation).
Weight: At times, the weight of a running shoe is considered. Most post love running in a light shoe because running on a heavy shoe reduces the speed and the running efficiency of its user. However, the features of a running shoe have a direct impact on its weight. Shoes with motion control tend to be heavier than those with no motion control or those with stability control. It is, however, needful to consider this if you wish to prevent injuries and enhance your running quality.
Size: This is an important aspect to consider for you to get the running shoe that fits. Since the foot expands while running, it is important to get the right size that caters for this. You do not want to select a running shoe that will become tight and hurt your feet while running, neither should you go for the type that will be too loose on your feet. Running shoes that are too tight can cause injury (such as bunions); a size that is too loose can injure your leg also, so go for a shoe that stays somewhere in-between.
Your foot type: This is perhaps the most decisive factor in selecting the best running shoe for flat feet. This is because the design of running shoes revolves around a concept of pronation. Pronation is the way your ankle rolls naturally, from the outside to the inside as your feet hit the ground.
Neutral runners or those with the normal foot arch lands on the ground with a straight heel when standing or running, and they can easily choose from a wide variety of shoes. But overpronators or people with arch problem tends to strike the ground with their heels rolling in the direction of their smallest toe (causing their ankle to roll inward) and may require the right running shoe for additional support.
Breathability: The shoe breathability is another good feature to consider if you’re looking to get yourself the right running shoe. Your feet need to remain cool and sweat free when you are running, and this can only be ensured by selecting a shoe that allows proper air circulation to your feet. Lack of proper aeration can result in hot and sweaty feet which can bring discomfort to your fallen arches. Shoes with mesh or holes on the outside allow air circulation to your feet, and this is the type you should be looking for.
The quality of the material: The quality of the shoe material has a direct impact on its durability. It is an important aspect to consider since you do not want to buy a shoe that will get damaged with only a few days of usage. Go for shoes made with quality materials like ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) and polyurethane foam which offers a great cushioning and stability.
Heel stability (stability control): It is important to select the running shoe that controls the rolling of your heels while running or walking. This is because they provide support to the heels, prevents the ankle from rolling inward, keep the body align and prevent joint pain. When it comes to choosing the best shoe for heel stability, look for those that are firm and stiff at the heel region and relatively close to your ankle. Always remember that it is important to have your feet and gait checked by professionals to determine the best shoe that will provide you the right amount of support and motion control your feet needs.
The Best Nike Running Shoes for Flat Feet
In the review below, we have put together the best Nike running shoes for flat feet to help narrow down your search. However, we will not only bring you the best Nike running shoes for flat feet but the best of other products too.
The best running shoes for flat feet women
The Nike Women’s Air Zoom Pegasus 33 Print Running Shoe is probably the best Nike running shoe for flat feet women available on the market. It is designed to handle longer mileages for your daily training needs. Pegasus 33 is made of a durable synthetic material that offers a good breathability; it also comes with a rubber sole for excellent traction and a cushioned midsole which offers a good arch support.
- It is ventilated (ensures good breathability)
- Durable and weather resistant
- Good heel stability
- Excellent arch support
- The toe bed is smaller and can make the shoe run narrow
The Saucony Omni 15 is an excellent stability shoe which offers a brilliant foot support that you can bank on. The upper is made with a synthetic light weight material that is flexible and durable, and also comes with breathable mesh and flexi-film that ensures the circulation of air to your feet as you run. It features an 8mm offset for excellent cushioning and an outstanding arch support that stops you from over-pronating. The rubber outsole provides a brilliant traction and protection to your feet; this shoe promises to be a great companion for success.
- Perfect cushioning
- It has nice heel stability
- Outstanding arch support
- The insole can be removed. This can accommodate orthotics.
- It is durable and light in weight
- A few complaints about its tight toe box
Adrenaline GTS 16 is a wonderful innovation from Brooks. It has an outstanding cushioning technology that adapts to the weight of its users. This feature allows it to fine-tune your gait, pace, and the running surface, based on your leg’s special needs. Brooks did well in improving the GTS 16 groove depth and design to give it its superior shock absorbing properties, a better traction, and durability. The Adrenaline also features a technology that aids natural movement and arch support for people with fallen arches or those with moderate to severe overpronation.
- A wide range of colors to choose from
- It has a stylish exterior and offers a good comfort
- Nice breathability and excellent arch support
- High performance and durability
- People with wide feet or bunions may find the toe bed narrow and tight
The Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet Men
The Nike Men’s Lunarglide 8 Running Shoes is probably the best Nike running shoe for flat feet men available on the market. If you want a running shoe that offers a great amount of stability and support, this is for you. It features great technology that will improve your performance, protect your feet, and provide you a great amount of cushioning and comfort.
- Excellent arch support and stability
- Excellent cushioning for impact absorption and comfort
- Good breathability
- A few user complaint about the sole
This is another great choice for men with fallen arches. It features a fluid ride system that offers a lot of cushioning for support and stability. The impact guidance system enhances natural gait making it one of the most supportive running shoe available on the market.
- Dual density midsole offers extra cushioning for comfort
- Excellent heel support aids natural gait and heel strike
- Made of flexible but durable material which offers a good breathability
- Available in differs colors and sizes
- The toe may run narrow
- A bit pricey
Men with fallen arches will be satisfied with the high level of support and comfort this shoe offers without making the shoe heavier. The Mizuno Men’s Wave Inspire 11 Running Shoe features a great heel and arch support that aids natural running gait. It is made of a durable material that gives it its lightweight and breathable properties.
- Brilliant shock and impact absorption
- Vegan construction
- Suitable for running a long mileage
- A few durability issues
The Best Shoes for Kids with Flat Feet
If your child is an aspiring athlete or wants to improve their sporting performances, the following shoes will help even with their flat feet condition.
This is a kid stability shoe with ahar technology and rubber outsole for excellent grip and traction. It comes with an excellent support and cushioning that aids a normal walking and running gait. It made from a durable material that features a breathable mesh for proper feet aeration while running.
- Great cushioning and stability control that prevents overpronation
- Excellent price
- Good ventilation with a brilliant arch support
- A few user complained of its durability issues
The New Balance KV888V1 Infant Running Shoe is made from leather and synthetic material that offers a great deal of durability and flexibility. It is made perfect for kids with good breathability and cushioning that provides support to their feet as it develops while running.
- Made from durable leather and synthetic materials
- Excellent cushioning for support and stability
- Available in various color and sizes (4 – 8-year kids)
- Great price
- A bit heavy
Note: The best running shoe for you might be the worst for another. So have your feet properly examined before selecting any running shoe. If your doctor already prescribed or recommend a running shoe, it would be reasonable to adhere strictly to it.
In a nutshell, these are the best-running shoe for flat feet out of the numerous shoes you will find on the market. These shoes are being selected because of the excellent cushioning, breathability, arch support and stability control they offer. However, these are just our picks. If you feel your favorite shoe for flat feet is left out in this article, feel free to use our comment box.