You can still be a great runner even if you have flat feet (Plano valgus)! Just know exactly which model of shoes to buy. We have selected running shoes for flat feet for better comfort and support in this buying guide.
It is estimated that millions of people worldwide have a valgus flat foot, where the entire plantar region touches the ground due to the absence of the plantar arch. People with flat feet tend to suffer from pronation and lack of natural cushioning. That’s why it’s common to feel pain in the knee and ankle and develop injuries such as plantar fasciitis, sesamoiditis, spurs, and bunions.
The opposite condition to flatfoot is called pes cavus, where the foot’s arch is high and affects the gait (causing supination).
As you can see, flat feet have direct contact with the floor across the entire sole.
These conditions can be congenital (natural) or acquired (ligament overload). So, consulting with a healthcare professional specializing in podiatry can help find the reason.
One of the common ways to alleviate the pain caused after long walks, periods of standing, or running is with a corrective orthopedic insole or surgery.
The most practical way is to use a suitable shoe that already has a correction for the lack of arch in the feet.
Best Flat Feet running shoes in 2022
With the unique needs of those with flat feet in mind, we’ve selected a few running shoes that meet all these demands:
- support and stability,
- shock absorption (damping),
- decent price.
So, if you have flat feet, the following brands and models will improve your daily comfort. Because in addition to helping you relieve pain and prevent more significant problems, they also allow you to practice physical activities such as running, gym, walking, etc.
TOP 3 Choices
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS / Best Choice
- Nike Zoom WinFlo / Best Value
- Asics Kayano / The People’s Favorite
Brooks Adrenaline GTS: The Best overall
Brooks Adrenaline GTS models have always appealed to flat-footed runners. This is due to its broader shape and upper fabric, allowing fingers to move freely without compromising the grip.
In addition, the Adrenaline GTS 18 offers everything necessary for folks with flat feet. It’s still responsive and lightweight, with excellent stability, adequate support, and cushioning.
In such a way, it is the perfect choice for flat valgus feet. Designed for long-distance running, they have soft and breathable fabric yet are resistant. In addition, its DNA technology provides the arch support you need to avoid pain.
The price is another attractive point of this shoe. It costs half what you’d pay for Asics’ top-of-the-line Kayano 24; it is also in our TOP 3 recommended running shoes for flat feet.
If you are looking for comfortable shoes with excellent stability, adequate cushioning, light, breathable, and odor protection, not to mention color choices, the Adrenaline GTS 21 is a great choice.
Asics Gel Kayano: Runners’ Favorite
The Asics Gel Kayano is part of the brand’s best-selling shoes. The reason is simple, practice makes perfect. In its 24th version, Kayano delivers more reliability and comfort than ever before!
The main complaint (narrow form) of the previous version (23) has been fixed, reversing the trend of the most praised models and improving it. The result is a lighter shoe with a true-to-numbering fit and an upper that fits your feet like a comfy glove.
But not everyone agrees that there has been a significant change. A few mentioned that it continues to tighten in the toes area, although less tight than the previous model.
We cannot fail to mention that they are a favorite for people with pronated feet. Especially those who tend to run long distances and marathons. This is due to its excellent gel cushioning combined with a technology called FluidRide. In addition, this one is highly responsive and helps absorb impacts like no other model before.
In this way, we have a shoe with excellent durability, support, and comfort. In addition, Kayano has a seal of recommendation from the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association). Therefore, it is worth the price, at least in the eyes of doctors who are experts in foot care.
Brooks Transcend 5
Brooks shoes are great. But the new models are even more comfortable with the new Super DNA technology. This EVA construction provides 20% more cushioning than the previous version.
Its rubberized construction offers a differentiated degree of support without losing flexibility. Called the FLEXTRA, it’s the feature that earned the Brooks Transcend 5 a well-deserved spot on our list of best flat feet running shoes.
As we’ll tell you below, wide feet shoes should be supportive and still be flexible and breathable. This makes the Brooks Transcend 5 an excellent choice for flat feet.
Durable with affordable price, comfort, support, stability, and excellent shock absorption. Its only negative point is that many still don’t know the brand and therefore don’t know if it’s worth it. Get to know the Brooks brand and see why their shoes are good, durable, and reliable.
Nike Air Zoom WinFlo
If you’re a Nike fan and want a Nike shoe for your flat feet, Nike Air Zoom WinFlo is right. With excellent stability and support, it’s a favorite shoe for flat-footed runners.
Due to its sturdier construction, it offers more room for even the widest feet. Furthermore, it has a Flymesh fabric upper, which is very flexible, comfortable, and breathable, preventing heat and odors.
With a beautiful design and several color options, its great comfort and stability during runs caught our attention the most. Using premium foam combined with firm material mixed in the medial area provides comfort and adequate stability.
Cushioning is provided by the Air Zoom system, in which tiny threads in the AIR sole increase the shoe’s responsiveness during strides. This makes every step smooth, responsive, and stable.
It’s one of the most affordable shoes for runners with flat feet or pronation. Its firm frame, comfort, and price make it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a Nike shoe for flat feet. And needless to say, Nike is synonymous with high quality and durability.
Asics GT 2000 v9
The Asics GT2000 has already been part of several lists on our website. And it’s no wonder, even though it’s not a bestseller, it’s one of the best shoes on the market for support and stability, with several color options and full of technologies that increase your comfort.
Runners looking for stability and support find these benefits in the GT2000 at a competitive price. In addition, it is well padded inside, preventing abrasions and discomfort even after several hours of use.
Asics Gel technology, located at strategic points, increases comfort, stability, and support, a few things that are necessary for those with flat feet.
Furthermore, its upper is made of breathable mesh fabric allowing your feet to stay cool without moisture. Finally, to prevent the emergence of fungi and odor, Asics uses a special insole with bacterial control.
Its main strengths are high support and stability, breathability, and flexibility. Although it is advertised on a few websites as neutral feet, it is for pronated ones with low arches or flat feet. Its negative point is durability; since it is made of mesh fabric, it tends to wear out if you are not careful.
Read also: Best running shoes for wide feet
How to choose shoes for flat feet?
During running, the foot’s arch is responsible for supporting 3 times the runner’s body weight. So, people with flat feet are directly stressed on their joints and tendons.
Naturally, a normal foot arch will cushion the impact with the terrain. However, the entire foot will impact the surface for a flat arch. Consequently, your ankles will rotate inward, and your knees will have to compensate by absorbing the impact.
Due to the lack of a natural arch, you will want to look for a shoe supporting the shape of your feet. In such a way, when you put them on, you will feel that there is support in the area where you would normally have an arch in your feet.
The shoes we’ve mentioned in this guide are best for flat feet. They result from 20 years of research, where they found the perfect balance between stability, support, and movement control.
If you decide to buy another model than the ones we have reviewed, the main factors that make a shoe suitable for those with flat feet are:
1. Motion Control (Stability and Support)
It is the main technology you should look for as a flat feet guy or girl; it adds stability and extra support to the shoes’ construction stability and additional support. This helps against overpronation by controlling movement (mimicking the dynamics of a regular foot).
Therefore, you must buy shoes suitable for pronated strides, which artificially create an arch in your foot.
2. Flexibility and traction
Flexibility is essential because of the comfort it provides. While most stability and support shoes are stiffer, they must be flexible. Thus, they allow the feet to have support and stability but still move naturally.
Traction is essential to prevent accidents and injuries such as sprain caused by slipping. Look for shoes that have grooves in the sole and quality rubber.
As stated several times throughout this article, flat feet cannot absorb impacts naturally. Therefore, you should look for a shoe with a higher midsole, adequate absorption, and protection against impact.
With today’s technology advancements, you can have a shoe with high impact absorption, support, and movement control without being heavy or bulky. More and more lightweight and flexible materials are created by shoe manufacturers.
No point in a shoe will wear out due to your specific needs. However, as in the case of pronation, a part of the shoe (usually the inner part) wears out more quickly than its counterpart.
The shoes we mentioned earlier tend to have reinforced rubber in the areas with issues. Thus, your boots will wear evenly on all sides. On the other hand, a shoe that is worn irregularly can make your condition worst.
So look for shoes with quality rubber, preferably special compounds that improve both ground grip and durability. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing that the sole is worn out and starting to come off after only a few weeks of use.
Read also: Best Running Shoes For Shin Splints
Final thoughts and tips
Flatfoot dynamics are different from normal feet; they need more comfort, cushioning, stability and support. Thus, you shouldn’t wear shoes that weren’t created with these unique needs in mind.
You can normally run with flat feet, which goes for other activities. The important thing is to have the appropriate footwear for such activity. As the condition goes hand in hand with pronation, a flatfoot shoe also corrects this type of step.
If you already use arched orthopedic insoles to correct the problem, you won’t need them when purchasing a suitable shoe like the ones mentioned in our guide.
Having flat feet is no longer a barrier that separates you from doing what you want. Thanks to the advancement of research, all this is possible with a suitable shoe, whether it’s for street running, treadmill, training at the gym, or walking.
The elements mentioned above are essential and must be considered if you choose not to buy the shoes we recommended in the current guide. But, first, review the pros and cons of the sneakers you want to buy, and choose based on your taste and how much you’re willing to spend.
Don’t skimp if you spend all day under your feet or play impact sports. Well, cheap can be expensive, and buying any shoe without the support and cushioning you need, can cause long-term health problems.
We hope that this buying guide with the best running shoes for flat feet has helped you. Thank you for reading. Happy running.