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Running shoes are an important component of exercise equipment. People should consider several factors before committing to a purchase, especially if they have flat feet. People with flat feet need running shoes with proper support to help distribute their weight and support the arches of their feet.
A person with flat feet should look for certain characteristics when choosing a running shoe.
Running shoes for flat feet typically have a few important features:
Shoes with added or firm support may help compensate for the lack of arch in the foot or prevent injury while exercising. However, some people consider the support uncomfortable and find that it causes issues rather than solving them.
Motion control shoes may be more suitable for people who have feet that are very flat or heavily pronate while running. These shoes provide a more sturdy frame for the foot to reduce its overall movement.
A shoe’s last indicates the shape of the mold of the shoe itself. Shoes with a straight last will have less of a curve on the sole. In this way, they allow more room for the flat foot to move naturally, which may sometimes be key to avoiding pain and injury.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based.
Brooks makes several running shoes for people with flat feet. One of the more popular is the Dyad 11. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many people with flatter arches find the shoe to be a good all-around exercise shoe.
The Dyad 11 is a stability shoe that also provides a good amount of solid cushioning. It may suit people with slightly flat or medium arches.
Brooks has designed the shoe for walking and running on hard, flat surfaces, such as roads.
The company states that the cushioning system in the Dyad 11 will adapt to the person’s stride, weight, and speed, which may make it ideal for a wide variety of runners.
The Dyad 11 is a bit roomier than the average shoe. As a result, it may be more comfortable for people with wider or rounder feet. It may also provide space for orthotic devices if the person needs to use them.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $129.95.
HOKA ONE ONE makes running shoes that are suitable for all types of runners. For people with flat feet, the Arahi 4 is a stability shoe that also provides a firm cushion for each step.
The shoe itself is not heavy and does not weigh the foot down, making it suitable for running. The company states that its J-Frame stability technology is what provides the light-yet-firm support. This feature makes for a more responsive running shoe that also provides some necessary structure.
The Arahi 4 also has a slightly wider foot base than other shoes. Many people with flat feet may enjoy the shoe because of this, as it allows more room for the foot to move as it should while still providing structure.
Some people may find the base too wide, though. Additionally, people who do not have a preference for very stable shoes may find the shoe a bit stiff.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $199.99.
Some people with flat feet may find that shoes that manufacturers have designed specifically for stability are uncomfortable, especially while running. Mizuna has aimed for the Wave Inspire 16 to strike a balance between support and comfort.
The shoe plate features shock absorption in both the heel and the midsole, which helps reduce the impact of each step.
The company states that the U4icX midsole that it uses in several variations of the Wave shoes, including the Wave Inspire, provides a softer feeling and smoother transition between the initial foot impact and the liftoff of each step.
The shoes may help reduce stress on the feet while also providing structure and support.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $134.95.
The Asics Gel Kayano 26 is a stability shoe that includes some firm foam in the midsole to prevent pronation.
This product may be best for people who overpronate and want the extra structure in their shoes to correct this movement.
Not everyone with flat feet will enjoy this feeling, however. Some may find that it makes their feet hurt. However, the shoe provides plenty of cushioning alongside the support to make it comfortable as well.
The company states that its GEL technology provides high density shock absorption, which should lead to a comfortable run, even over long distances. The TRUSSTIC SYSTEM technology also makes the shoe light while still giving it structure and stability.
This option may be more stiff or structured than others, so it may be most suitable for people who enjoy stability.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $160.00.
The Saucony Triumph 7 is a highly cushioned shoe. For people with flat feet, this makes for a softer landing with each step, resulting in a more comfortable run.
This neutral, more cushioned shoe may not be right for people who severely overpronate. However, the average runner with flat feet may find that the additional cushioning translates to extra comfort while running.
The shoes are also available in wide sizes, so they might be a good option for people with larger feet.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $150.00.
The New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v4 may be best for people who need a more cushioned support system with lighter stability.
The company states that the shoe provides medial stability. It may not be ideal for people who heavily overpronate, but it may make a good shoe for the average runner with flat feet.
Cushioning is a major factor here. People who need a lot of cushioning in their feet may enjoy these shoes. Others who do not enjoy the feel or fit of heavily cushioned shoes may prefer other options.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $139.95.
Anyone who is unsure of their personal needs should see a specialist. In many cases, this may simply mean working with a local footwear store that specializes in running. Well-informed staff members may be able to identify specifics about a person’s gait and foot type and help them identify the proper shoe to wear.
In other cases, it may be better for an individual to see a podiatrist to discuss their needs. Doing this may be most helpful if the person struggles with pain or swelling in their feet and ligaments or has any other conditions of the foot.
A specialist can help the person correctly identify their foot and gait type, which will help them choose the right shoe.
Without the proper support from running shoes, people with flat feet may feel especially tired or sore after a run, especially in their feet and legs.
The ideal shoe will vary depending on several factors. While one pair of shoes may seem ideal on paper, variations in a person’s foot may make a different pair of shoes more suited to their needs.
People looking to find the right pair of running shoes for flat feet may need to try a few different makes and models.