Finding the best running shoes for flat feet can be tricky, especially if you have flat feet.
There are plenty of details to consider, and you need to get multiple factors right to find the ideal fit. It comes down to understanding cushioning, arch support and design and figuring out what works best.
We’ve completed a thorough examination of the running shoe market and determined the ideal shoes for individuals with flat feet.
After completing our in-depth research, these are the best running shoes for flat feet:
- ASICS Men’s Gel Kayano 25
- Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 18
- New Balance Women’s 680 V6
- Saucony Men’s Versafoam Cohesion 12
- Saucony Men’s Guide ISO 2
- Saucony Women’s Triumph ISO 3
- Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 20
- HOKA One One Men’s Arahi Running Shoe
- Nike Women’s Air Zoom Vomero 11
- Altra Women’s Escalante 1.5
- UMYOGO Men’s Sneakers
- STQ Women’s Running Shoes
- QANSI Men’s Sneakers
- Nike Women’s Revolution 5 Running Shoe
- Tanloop Trail Running Shoes
How to Pick the Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
When you’re looking to select your ideal running mate in terms of footwear, it pays to focus on the following pointers.
When your foot’s natural arch is present, it works as a natural absorption system that allows it to take the strain off your ankles. Those who have flat feet don’t have the luxury of this natural cushioning system and rely on the cushioning from their running shoes.
The ideal amount of cushioning helps take the pressure off your hips, knees and ankles. T, flat-footed individuals should look for adaptable cushioning that shouldn’t only accommodate the foot upon impact, but should also offer enough flexibility for springboards during toe-offs.
If you don’t manage to find the ideal cushioning on your feet, and the chosen model has a base that’s either too hard or soft, it can lead to injuries. So, make sure to nail this aspect of your shopping to maintain the health of your feet in the long run.
This is one of the most important features of a quality running shoe, and it’s certainly something you must look into closely when you’re picking up a pair, flat feet or not.
However, when you do have flat feet, you should ideally look for a model that offers additional support near the heel and midsole.
Remember, the best shoes for flat feet running have the best support system as well.
This is because people with flat feet are often susceptible to overpronation. This means that the foot arch usually collapses while running, which may either cause your knees to overcompensate to bear the additional weight or your ankle to twist inwards.
Having a well-supported midsole and heel will help keep your feet stable during a run, and this stability passes onto other sections of your body, including the knees and joints.
The tox box is a shoe’s section that covers the region between the front of the eyelets and the tip of your toes.
It’s the section that’s often capped with reinforced material to protect your toes, as they’re the most sensitive part of your feet.
While picking running shoes, though, make sure to find a pair that has a flexible toe box that’s tough enough to protect your toes but also malleable enough to flex naturally around your feet. It should be able to do this without causing any discomfort through pinching or rubbing your feet.
Stability prevents injuries while running at high speeds. The outsole is the shoe’s region that plays the biggest role in dictating its stability.
This is because the traction of your shoes comes from the outsole, and the type of material and treading used here will determine the type of conditions you’ll be able to use your running shoes effectively in.
Your outsole, however, should offer comfort even as you tackle different terrains. Ideally, you’d want to consider shoes with a tread depth of 6-8mm and can sustain your comfort levels in this range. This is a common feature among running shoes best for flat feet.
A shoe can sport all the features from your “perfect running shoe” playbook, but it won’t matter the slightest if it doesn’t fit well around your feet.
The concept of the perfect fit can be tricky because some runners like their shoes to fit snugly around their feet, while others enjoy a bit of space between their feet and their shoes.
However, if you have flat feet, you should make sure you find a healthy balance between space, support and protection.
You want your shoes to stick close to you while you’re in your stride, but not close enough to suffocate your feet or weaken your foot structure by offering overprotection.
If the fit of the shoes you’ve picked up is just shy of being perfect, you can always refer to our guide on how to stretch shoes.
Types of Running Shoes
You have three major shoe categories to consider when you’re looking at running shoes for flat feet:
Having a professional evaluate your foot condition will help you determine if you’re a supinator or a pronator runner. Once they’ve determined this, you’ll be able to pick the right running shoes for your flat feet.
These are a version of neutral shoes that are best for runners with rigid and arched feet—those who have supination.
Shoes for such individuals tend to have a midsole of a soft foam material known as ethylene-vinyl acetate—EVA. This is available even in the arch and heel as this moldable synthetic material comes with varying density properties. Manufacturers use this to either increase or reduce the cushioning in the shoes.
These are perfect if you’re looking for light to moderate stability for your feet. They’re the ideal choice for those with an arch that has a propensity to collapse while running.
We refer to such runners as pronators, who need their running shoes to maintain the arch of their feet as they run.
Stability shoes have polyurethane arches and heels, with different densities to offer additional support for the pronated flat feet.
Using polyurethane will indeed increase the shoes’ weight, making them heavier than shoes that rely purely on EVA. In such cases, the manufacturers tend to make design changes to boost stability.
Additionally, there’s no choice but to use the polyurethane in these shoes as it’s crucial in supporting a pronate runner’s arch.
These are specially designed for those suffering from an extreme case of pronation. They’re ideal for boosting stability and are the preferred choice for individuals on the heavier side of the weighing scale.
Motion-control shoes often feature an extra stabilizing element on the inside edge of the heel counter—stabilizing this region greatly helps improve the runner’s control.
You’ll usually find carbon rubber or blown rubber used on the outer sole of these shoes. This is because this material is slightly heavier than the substitutes, stiffer in form and greatly adds to the product’s durability.
Shoes with blown rubber soles tend to have a much higher degree of flexibility and are lightweight to focus on cushioning over stability.
Why Flat Feet Can Be Bad for Running
When you’re flat-footed, your feet’s arches are no longer prevalent, and the lower portion of your foot sits firmly on the ground. This happens when the ligaments, tendons and other tiny bones under your feet collapse and cause compression in the region.
The problem is that the arches act like nature’s shock absorbers to reduce and distribute the impact on your feet. As you can imagine, walking without these shock absorbers is akin to riding a bike on a rugged road without shock absorbers.
This can cause various injuries in the long run and exacerbate existing conditions. Your joints, knees and feet are all open to injuries if you don’t take the necessary precautions at this stage, such as picking up one of the best running shoes for flat feet.
Physio Exercise for Flat Feet
While having high-quality running shoes with the right properties can help, they work even better with specific manipulation of the foot’s physiology.
Taking on some concentrated exercises will greatly help runners with flat feet deal with pain, improve their bone strength and the reduce risk of injuries.
Before getting to the shoe section, check to see if you’re performing these exercises:
- Stand while keeping your feet aligned under your hips.
- While grounding your toes on the floor, try to roll your weight towards the foot’s outer frame.
- Simultaneously, try and lift your aches as much as you can.
- Relax after 10 reps and return to the initial posture.
- Repeat for two to three sets.
- Sit on a chair with a towel placed in front of your feet.
- Place your feet on the towel while maintaining a 90-degree angle with your knees.
- Curl your toes to gather the towel between your toes and pull the towel towards you.
- Reverse this motion, and instead of pulling the towel towards you, use your toes to push it away from you.
- If the towel is moving easily, make it more of a challenge. Place some weights at the end of the towel to increase stability and tension.
- Repeat both motions 10 times, and do two to three sets each day.
- While sitting on a chair, cross your left foot over your right thigh.
- Have a towel handy to wrap around your left foot.
- Use the right foot to step on the other side of the towel, and pull it tight.
- Use your hands to get your left foot towards your body until you feel the tension build in the towel.
- Release the towel and repeat this 10 times.
- Do multiple sets on each foot.
- Get a firm stance while standing on your feet with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Drop into the squat, ensuring that your knees are above your toes as you squat.
- Utilize the power in your heel to launch yourself into the air as high as possible.
- Get right back into the squatting position as you land.
- Repeat these jumps 10 times.
- Do two sets every day.
REVIEWS OF THE TOP 10 BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR FLAT FEET
The Gel Kayano series is near-legendary in the flat-feet runners’ community, and model 25 of this long-running range is the pinnacle of comfort and stability.
Its success comes down to the use of the Impact Guidance System—IGS—a trademark of ASICS’ design. This revolutionary system enhances a runner’s natural gait and improves each stride’s efficiency, starting with the toe-off and ending with the heel strike.
The IGS system is complemented with the dynamic DuoMax support system, which focuses on maintaining your stability and support as you run. With this system, the Kayano 25 is now lighter than ever while sporting improved platform support.
A Guidance Line Midsole Technology is also available in this design to maximize gait efficiency. This element of the shoe is further enhanced while simultaneously improving the midfoot structural integrity thanks to the use of the Guidance Trusstic System Technology.
Even the sock liner features state-of-the-art technology thanks to the use of the Ortholite X-40 Sockliner. This modern design helps improve the liner’s rebound properties while also increasing the efficiency of the moisture management system.
These innovations ensure that your shoes’ breathability is greatly improved, without compromising on style or comfort.
- Rubber sole for durability.
- Impact guidance system enhances natural gait.
- Dynamic DuoMax system improves support and stability.
- Guidance Line Midsole Technology for gait efficiency.
- Guidance Trusstic System enhances midfoot structural integrity.
- Ortholite X-40 Sockliner for rebound properties and excellent moisture management.
- Treading can wear thin rather quickly.
Sitting right alongside ASICS as a crowd-favorite is the Brooks brand, known for its Adrenaline GTS line. The 18th installment of this model has quickly become a favorite among those with flat feet, helping numerous runners deal with their condition.
Much like the Kayano 25, this model is brimming with intelligent, state-of-the-art features to maximize your running experience. The epitome of this is the use of BioMoGo DNA, which allows either gender to effortlessly slip into this shoe and mold the cushioning around their feet.
A Flextra rubber outsole increases the range of the dynamic support offered by the shoe and greatly enhances its flexibility.
With the use of HPR Plus technology, Brooks has managed to increase the lifespan and durability of this model by leaps and bounds as well.
Thanks to a removable and molded foam insole, you can effortlessly replace the component with an orthopedic model whenever you think the time’s ideal for the switch.
Much like the removable insole, many of this model’s features acknowledge a flat-footed runner’s needs, and this includes the use of a progressive diagonal rollbar. This section features a tri-density midsole that promotes progressive pronation control and improves the transitions between your gait cycles.
- Synthetic-mesh exterior to increase durability.
- Removable molded foam insole offers ample underfoot cushioning.
- HPR Plus offers extra protection in the high-wear areas.
- BioMoGo DNA provides a dynamic ride.
- Flextra rubber outsole enhances flexibility.
- Progressive diagonal rollbar promotes pronation control.
- Good for runners but not suitable for workouts according to consumer reviews.
This excellent New Balance shoe has become a beloved choice for women worldwide, thanks to its styling and efficiency.
It’s a 100% synthetic shoe with a rubber sole, and both materials enhance the lifespan of the model.
Your feet are also well-protected thanks to the use of ABZORB midsoles. These are specially designed to absorb any impact by utilizing a combination of cushioning and compression resistance.
These ABZORB midsoles also have an ACTEVA cushioning system that improves the flexibility and versatility of the shoes without compromising on your comfort levels. Even the use of a molded sock liner that hugs your foot as you run helps to maximize comfort levels.
In terms of the exterior and design, New Balance has opted for the use of a lightweight injection-molded EVA foam to reduce the shoes’ weight and improve your underfoot cushioning. On top of this, an engineered mesh upper comes with no-sew construction for a sleek fit and a slick feel.
You can use these shoes pretty much all-day-long as well since the synthetic upper offers incredible breathability.
- Strong and durable synthetic material and a rubber sole.
- ABZORB midsole reduces impact while running.
- ACTEVA midsole increases flexibility and versatility.
- No-sew construction offers a sleek fit.
- Molded sock liner improves comfort levels.
- Lightweight injection-molded EVA foam offers ample cushioning underfoot.
- Engineered mesh and synthetic upper increase breathability.
- No space for an orthopedic insert.
The Saucony brand is well-respected, and the Versafoam Cohesion 12 is one of their best offerings for runners.
Featuring a highly breathable, stylish, Versafoam cushioning technology, this model fits perfectly around your foot dimensions to maximize comfort and mobility. On top of this, a durable rubber outsole offers excellent grip and traction to support the runner at any pace.
There are also numerous supportive upper overlays to protect your feet without compromising on the flexibility of the shoe.
Saucony has spent a lot of time and effort in researching the biomechanics of top athletes, which allows them to create a world-class running shoe that’s state-of-the-art in fit, performance and feel.
- High-quality textile and synthetic materials.
- Versafoam cushioning technology maximizes comfort and fit.
- Grid technology improves traction.
- Durable rubber outsole increases longevity.
- Supportive upper overlays offer protection and support.
- The sole is thinner than similar products.
The ISO line is yet another excellent series of shoes produced by Saucony and is a direct follow-up to the ISO Everun. This particular pair is a high-performance option that offers incredible stability while you run.
It features an enhanced energy return and continuous cushioning system that’s an upgrade from the Everun to maximize comfort and mobility. This combines with the ISOFIT design system to help the cushioning achieve the ideal fit around your feet.
A Form-fit performance contoured footbed reflective element helps those who’re dealing with flat feet. This addition helps runners suffering from mild to severe pronation.
- High-quality rubber sole for maximum durability.
- Enhanced energy return and continuous cushioning system.
- Form-fit performance contoured footbed to help with mild to severe pronation.
- ISOFIT design offers an excellent fit.
- Tongue runs thin.
This is the latest model from Saucony’s ISO line, and although it hasn’t made the same impact of the ISO 2 just yet, it’s quickly picking up steam among runners.
Saucony has built on the success of the Everun landing zone and Everun top sole used in previous models and improved it substantially for this model. This allows you to attain even greater protection and traction than you did with the first ISO.
While the Everun top sole offers a continuous and reliable cushioning system during your runs, the IsoFit system ensures that your feet stick firmly in place, stride after stride.
This perfect fit is further fine-tuned with the help of an engineered stretch mesh that ensures your feet feel safe and secure within the running shoe’s confines.
- Tough and durable rubber sole.
- 100% engineered stretch mesh offers a dynamic fit.
- Everun top sole offers continuous cushioning during your run.
- IsoFit enables you to attain the ideal fit.
- Sole could offer greater flexibility, according to users.
According to Brooks, this shoe is an excellent choice for runners who’re looking for cushion, support, reliability and flexibility in their shoes, making it perfect for flat-feet suffers. They’ve, fortunately, made all the right design choices to back up this claim.
The support and cushioning come from an excellent insole that offers the right level of stability and is ideal for those dealing with overpronation. This cushioning system makes this shoe ideal for walking, running and cross-training.
Also, by using a DNA LOFT Crash Pad cushion and the BioMoGo DNA system, these shoes adapt to your every stride and offer complete comfort and stability across a wide range of conditions.
Even the fitting system is excellent, thanks to the help of an engineered mesh upper and a 3D fit print. This ensures that this shoe has been ergonomically designed without any added bells and whistles to slow or weigh you down.
Brooks has also focused on that a majority of runners tend to injure their knees while running, which is why it’s developed a special GuideRails holistic support system. This keeps a check on any excessive movement within your shoes to streamline your action and increase stability.
- DNA LOFT Crash Pad designed to cushion any footfalls.
- BioMoGo system adapts to your stride.
- Streamlined and engineered mesh upper maximizes the shoe design’s efficiency.
- GuideRails holistic support system helps improve stability.
- Custom orthotics don’t always fit well with this model.
The HOKA One One Men’s Arahi running shoe has a synthetic exterior and a rubber sole to amp up the durability of this model.
It also has a 3D puff print frame that helps keep its weight down and increase comfort. Your comfort is further improved with the help of a padded tongue that prevents chafing.
We like how the air mesh system improves the pair’s breathability and allows air to permeate to the shoe’s exterior.
Also, a couple of intelligent design touches include using a meta-rocker to help achieve an accurate roll during your gate cycle. On top of this, a J-frame is available to enhance medial support without using bulky materials.
- Synthetic material and a rubber sole.
- 3D puff print frame makes this model lightweight and offers a great fit.
- Padded tongue increases comfort levels and prevents chafing.
- Air mesh increases breathability.
- J-frame for ample support and protection.
- Shoe’s lifespan can be lower than similar models.
The Nike Women’s Air Zoom Vomero 11 is one of the super-brand’s most popular female running shoes. It’s also one of the best running shoes for flat feet.
This model has a Flywire cable that wraps the midfoot region to increase overall support and enable a custom lockdown. This allows you to achieve the perfect fit based on how tightly you want your shoes to hug your feet. On top of this, a plush collar is available to help you enjoy a soft and comfortable fit while you’re out on your run.
Of note is Nike’s Lunarlon foam midsole, which offers a soft and plush cushioning system to let you focus on your run or workout.
Users comment on how the rubber outsole is extremely durable as well, which is aided by one of the best traction systems—ideal for use in a wide range of environments.
- Mesh exterior and rubber sole maximize longevity.
- Flywire cables wrap around the midsole for maximum support.
- Custom lockdown feature.
- Plush collar provides an ideal fit.
- Lunarlon foam midsole for incredibly soft cushioning.
- Excellent traction system.
- Some users find the Flywire cables to be constrictive.
The Altra Women’s Escalante 1.5 is an excellent choice and is one of the best running shoes for flat feet. There’s plenty of versatility here, too, since you can use this shoe for a wide range of physical activities, especially road running, cross-training and gym training.
This model’s platform has a fully cushioned zero drop system that offers immense stability while engaged in a workout. Also, a foot-shaped toe box gives the shoe a natural flow and allows your toes to rest comfortably.
An engineered knit system on the exterior, along with the rubber sole at the base, helps keep these shoes in prime condition after numerous uses. This is an ideal feature when picking the best shoes for running flat feet.
- Imported model with a strong rubber sole and durable engineered exterior knits.
- Fully cushioned zero drop platform increases user stability.
- Toe box shape for maximum comfort.
- Some users find the fabric of this model to be too stiff.
This Umyogo model is an under-rated pair of running shoes that features some top design and style choices.
In particular, the soles use high-quality rubber to maximize durability and longevity.
Also, a set of elastic blade soles also help improve the flexibility and offer excellent support while engaging in various sports, not just when running.
The knit upper material offers excellent breathability, despite being soft and protective to cushion your every step. It helps keep the shoes durable, lightweight and soft, and you can pretty much wear these shoes all day without worrying about soaking up its insides with sweat.
If you’re struggling with flat feet, this is definitely one of the best flat feet running shoes available today.
- High-quality rubber sole increases durability and wearability.
- Knit upper material heightens breathability while being soft and protective.
- Elastic blade soles maximize flexibility.
- Ideal for multiple physical activities, such as running or gymming.
- The fit can be loose around the ankle, which some runners don’t like.
These STQ women’s running shoes are a perfect pair for low mileage, neutral runners. It also features an air cushioning and rubber sole that’s lightweight, flexible and responsive to your strides.
A set of removable sock liners help improve the comfort of your overall experience and also provide the option of swapping out the stock liners with orthotics.
These shoes use a mesh and synthetic material on the upper layers to provide a snug and sock-like fit. This knit tennis fabric is also lightweight, breathable and comfortable, and thereby allows you to wear these shoes for extended periods.
You can also use this pair for a wide range of activities, such as walking, running, weight training, gardening and playing various sports.
- Air-cushioning and rubber sole is lightweight and responsive.
- Removable sock liners are swappable with orthotics.
- Exterior synthetic knit material is breathable and comfortable.
- Ideal for a wide range of physical activities.
- Best suited for low mileage, neutral runners.
- Some users found the tox box to be too roomy.
This Qansi pair sports a fashion-knitted upper mesh that’s ultra-lightweight and highly breathable. This design helps maximize the upper surface while also keeping your feet cool and dry during high-intensity activities.
A cushioned insole and breathable lining helps provide outstanding support for your feet and maximizes your efficiency while you run. Also, the flexible outsole helps increase the foot-range movement, which in turn reduces the loss of energy during your workout.
This model’s design is that of a classic low-top sneaker with a three-eyelet lace-up closure for easy on and off.
- Fashion-knitted upper mesh is lightweight and breathable.
- Cushioned insole and breathable lining offer incredible support.
- Mid-foot is well-supported as you move.
- Flexible outsole maximizes movement range and improves efficiency.
- The durability of this model could be better.
This is yet another popular offering by Nike that has a synthetic sole and revolutionary comfort system to heighten your overall experience.
Nike has designed them with a lightweight material and a soft foam midsole to optimize your running routines. With the help of the soft foam midsole, you’ll be able to take on a wide range of environments without worrying about damaging your feet.
They’re also built using a knit textile that’s meant to wrap around your foot and offer incredible breathability, despite the cozy fit. On top of this, it has a reinforced heel and a no-sew overlay design to improve durability.
A textured outer wall is also added to the design to help reduce the shoes’ weight and hide unnecessary creases, creating a smooth and stylish finish.
Finally, the rubber outsole enhances traction and allows you to safely tread across rough surfaces.
- Designed using a lightweight knit textile to increase mobility.
- Fits well without compromising on breathability.
- Lightweight cushioning ensures a stable ride.
- Excellent traction provided by the rubber outsole.
- Some users found the tox box to be too narrow.
Trail shoes are incredibly popular as an alternative to a traditional running shoe, so it would be remiss of us not to include a pair for flat-footed runners.
This model by Tanloop has quickly become a favorite among runners and has some excellent features to back up its popularity.
For instance, it sports an anti-skid rubber sole with both a convex and concave design to prevent you from sliding across slippery surfaces.
The upper of this model uses a breathable and stretchy elastic cloth to keep the weight low and increase breathability. It also has a highly breathable soft insole that has a quick-dry feature and offers excellent cross-ventilation.
Trail running shoes are popular for their slip-on style and contour-hugging design, and this model captures this while supporting the shoes with elastic laces for easy tightening and loosening. Thus, it’s incredibly easy to wear and remove these shoes at a moment’s notice.
Further, this pair’s toe box has a wide mold to accommodate various foot dimensions.
- Anti-skid system offered by the rubber sole.
- Made using an elastic and highly breathable cloth material.
- Easy to wear and remove thanks to the slip-on design.
- Elastic laces help tighten or loosen the shoes effortlessly.
- Wide toe box to accommodate various feet sizes.
- Not ideal for long-term physical activity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet?
The best running shoes for flat feet offer great stability in the midsole and heel, have a tough, yet comfortable, outsole and a flexible toe box with ample cushioning under the feet.
Are Running Shoes Good for Flat Feet?
Yes, running shoes are good for flat feet because of their cushioning and support design. These help prevent any injuries from developing on your feet in the future while offering the ideal level of assistance to let you enjoy running or walking daily.
Do Flat Feet Runners Need Arch Support?
Yes, flat feet runners need arch support because they don’t have the natural arch that most people have. Using an arch support system helps prevent long term pain and injuries.
Is Trail Running Shoes for Flat Feet
Yes, trail running shoes are for people with flat feet. Trail running shoes are a type of footwear that offer more traction and stability to take on rugged or nature trails. If you want to brave such settings with your flat feet, consider trail running shoes with good support for pronation, plenty of cushioning and a high level of traction.
Shaping up for a Good Run
Having flat feet doesn’t mean you can’t be a runner, but it does mean that you need to take special precautions before heading out.
The first and most important step here is to secure a great pair of running shoes to help you on your quest to heightened fitness and stamina levels.
Any one of the fifteen options presented above would work best for runners with flat feet, but we’d always recommend that you try on these shoes before finalizing your selection. What looks good on paper doesn’t translate precisely in real life, which is especially true for running shoes.
Nothing beats the old test run in this scenario, so pick a pair and hit the streets before you settle on any product.