Every runner has a different foot type and requires different running shoes, those of us with flat feet need to focus more on stability and support. We shouldn’t skimp out on cushioning either, but with so many choices how do we know which running shoes are the best for flat feet?
Well, it’s complicated. However we’ve scoured the internet and compared the best running shoes as rated by other runners and compared them against their features as well as price. Check out our reviews below.
Detailed Reviews of the Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
1. Saucony Guide 13
Reasons to buy
- Features the new PWRRUN midsole
- It is very stable
- It is lightweight
- It provides ideal arch support
Reasons to avoid
- It has a narrow toe box
One of the top-rated running shoes (specifically, for women having flat feet) is this 13th upgrade by Saucony. With enhanced features, this shoe delivers good stability for overpronators. It is also incredibly flexible.
Unlike previous models from this brand, which uses the Everun midsole, the Saucony Guide 13 uses PWRRUN midsole. PWRRUN midsole does an exceptional job at giving the shoe ideal stability and a soft feel when running. The midsole extends from the back to the front of the shoe absorbing shock and giving your foot a strong toe-to-heel bounce back. It is also lighter, softer and gives you more energy return.
The TPU guidance frame of the shoe is conveniently placed inside the sole. It provides stability without causing abrasion. The shoe’s outsole is made of flexible, lighter crystal rubber. This rubber is also more durable than the carbon rubber ones. The crystal rubber is why this running shoe is more flexible than other stability running shoes.
This shoe features a medial TPU frame which is thermoplastic. It aligns your steps and prevents overpronation that comes with having flat feet. The upper part is made of abrasion-free and breathable mesh. Furthermore, the inner part is covered with a moisture-wicking material that keeps your feet dry.
With moderate arch support, the shoe facilitates pain-free run even for people with flat feet. The flex grooves of the shoe are sole length providing flexibility while promoting traction and grip to keep you safe. Saucony Guide 13 uses a traditional lacing system and has generous tongue padding.
Featuring a springy sole, additional arch support, and a perfectly fitted upper, Saucony Guide 13 is one to look for if you are eyeing the best running shoes for flat feet that will carry you through the most challenging terrains. The shoe comes in a variety of colors.
2. Under Armour Charged Assert 8
Reasons to buy
- It’s extremely lightweight
- Offers excellent protection against impacts
- Provides amazing airflow
- It comes with comfortable inner padding
Reasons to avoid
- Materials used on the upper could be better
Under Armour Charged Asset 8 is a comfortable, lightweight, and stylish pair of shoes designed for casual runners, joggers, and anyone looking for a shoe that can conform to your feet, even if you have flat feet. The outsole is highly rugged and can provide grip on various surfaces. The breathable upper mesh ensures adequate airflow and keeps out dust and splashing water.
The midsole uses molded foam which absorbs the impact when you run and enhances the comfort of your feet. The manufacturer uses charged cushioning, which automatically moves the midsole back to its position regardless of how long you run in the shoes. Another advantage of charged cushioning is that it reduces stress on the foot by returning the energy when sprinting.
There’s no need to worry about sweaty feet, thanks to the lightweight mesh on the upper of these shoes. Even if you wear these shoes for hours, the porous mesh allows water to seep inside quickly, so your feet remain dry and cool. However, a few users said that the upper is not long-lasting enough.
The toe box is another area where these Under Armour running shoes win. It doesn’t feel tight, and you don’t lose grip as the toe box is designed to fold around the foot making it a wide fit. Moreover, it’s padded to absorb impact on your toes. Besides, the durable weather overlays locks in the midfoot.
Finally, the heel cup design ensures your feet sit comfortably for enhanced stability. When you slip your foot in, the first thing you think about is how perfectly it locks the feet in place. This improves your movement because you run with a grip.
3. ASICS Gel-Kayano 26
Reasons to buy
- It has a smooth midsole
- Features a quality build
- Quite effective in controlling overpronation
- It has superior heel cushioning
Reasons to avoid
- It is pretty expensive
Are you a runner looking for running shoes for flat feet with an excellent combination of dependable support and pulpy cushioning? Well, Gel-Kayano 26 by Asics is your most trusted companion.
We can term this as one of the most comfortable running shoes for flat feet. It is an all-terrain shoe that features a quality build and a decent fit. Although it is more expensive than most of the other shoes in this review, you get value for money.
Gel-Kayano 26 comes with a 2-piece midsole. Its forefoot has Flytefoam Propel, which adds the bounce effect and makes it more durable. On the other hand, the heel has a Flytefoam Lyte below a thick layer of gel that facilitates protection with a soft feel. This shoe is ideal for a heel-first striker.
Its outsole features high abrasion rubber making it quite sturdy and durable. Although it is a road shoe, it is also ideal for dry paths and trails, thanks to the deep sole treading.
However, it is worth noting that the rubber makes the shoe heavier than some of the others in this review. The shoe also absorbs water, thus not a good choice for running in wet conditions.
Gel-Kayano 26’s medial post comes in the traditional style with the polymer beneath your arch. It is designed to be harder, yet it offers guidance to the foot without being obstructive. In addition, it has soft cushioning. The foot rests on a 5 mm EVA foam sock liner that has been designed for a natural fit.
The shoe’s upper part has breathable, supple mesh, which does a decent job in managing the moisture levels. In addition, it is pretty comfortable and effectively accommodates the medium toebox. We can term this shoe stable and ideal for moderate to extreme overpronators.
4. New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi
Reasons to buy
- It’s breathable with a mesh upper
- The rubber outsole provides excellent traction
- It is reflective for visibility
- Offers smooth transitions
Reasons to avoid
- Has limited color options
The New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi is a versatile running shoe for both runners and training athletes. Users say it keeps your feet comfortable all day, thanks to its breathable uppers, excellent cushioning, and other performance-enhancing features. Despite its mildly dull appearance, you can rest assured that the Fresh Foam Arishi will hold on well and propel you during runs.
The outsole is super rubberized for traction even when running over steep roads or rocks. The rubber is also water-resistant, which makes these shoes ideal for all weather. New Balance’s traditional rubber is more durable and won’t wear any time soon. A unique feature is wider lugs that ensure mud won’t stick when running in muddy places.
The midsole is the area where the shoe shines most. The kicks have the Fresh Foam material that’s extra plush and offer the runner a cushioned ride. The foam takes the shape of the foot, so you should find it easier to splay for each stride. New Balance’s panted NB performance insert provides extra cushioning and movement control.
The pair is designed with a breathable mesh upper that reduces moisture which is known to cause blisters and irritation. Besides, the breathable material helps to regulate the temperature of the feet. Moreover, the mesh is treated with DWR to repel water and help the mesh dry fast. There is also the rubberized toe to make your feet feel safer and last for a long time.
The shoe is extremely lightweight at 8.3 ounces which is lighter than similar models from New Balance. The shoe is so light yet so supportive, thanks to the lightweight foam midsole, and the cushioning is plush.
5. Brooks Beast 20
Reasons to buy
- Features a breathable upper part
- Very comfortable
- Equipped with soft cushioning
- Features GuideRails support system
- It comes in wide and extra-wide sizes
Reasons to avoid
- It is a bit heavy
Beast 20 by Brooks is a motion control shoe that heels first strikers and men with flat feet. This shoe is an upgrade of the previous version; Brooks Beast 18. If you are looking for a quality running shoe with a wide range of sizes, you should look at Brooks Beast 20.
Equipped with Brook’s signature GuideRails technology, this shoe provides additional support by preventing excess foot movement. Thus you remain in your natural stride throughout. The GuideRails extend towards the midsole bringing in dynamic support. The support helps your foot transition without feeling the additional weight. This technology also assists your knees and hips by keeping them aligned.
Brooks Beast 20 features a thermoplastic beam on the medial part, which provides firmness and much-needed support. It also has an enormous surface area and ideal arch support, which is necessary for runners with flat feet. In addition, it is equipped with two and half deep flex grooves at the forepart.
Its upper part is made of an engineered mesh material that is breathable and an embroidered saddle that is conformable. Further, it has a deep toe box with free space and is available in wide and extra-wide men’s sizes. The heel comes with extra material for reinforcement which gives you a nice comfortable feel. The tongue is soft, wide, and laces pass through seamlessly.
The shoe is designed to work like orthotics. As such, it works on the overpronation that is common with flat feet. When it comes to its midsole, Brooks Beast 20 uses the patented BioMoGo DNA for cushioning. This cushioning is soft and has both propulsion and absorption features which come in handy when running. The outsole is durable and facilitates good control.
Being a straight last shoe, Beast 20 helps flat-footed individuals make more contact with the midsole as opposed to the upper part. Consequently, it facilitates motion control and stability. If you are looking for the best running shoes for flat feet for men that don’t compromise on durability and comfort, Brooks Beast 20 is precisely what you need.
Things to Consider When Buying Running Shoes for Flat Feet
When it comes to running shoes, there is no one size fits all. However, there are certain things to consider to ensure that you get the right running shoes for your flat feet that will counter overpronation. Some of the overpronation effects include pain at the lower back, hips and knees, bunions, Achilles tendonitis and shin splints.
Stability aids people who pronate by putting their weight inside the shoe when running. Overpronation is very common with people who have flat feet. Therefore, stability is a vital feature in any running shoe you decide to buy.
Where possible, go for shoes with extra stability instead of the bare minimum stability. Extra stability not only helps with overpronation but also in preventing the arch from collapsing. Most brands use either dual-density foam or medial post for stability.
With flat feet, the arches do not arch. Instead, the entire foot touches the ground when standing.
The foot arch plays the vital role of distributing the body’s weight across the legs and feet. Due to a lack of arching in the feet, flat foot people often experience pain moving from the legs to their back. That’s why every flat foot runner needs shoes that offer support.
Shoes with sturdy support compensate for the absence of the arch in the foot and also prevents injuries. When shopping, look for shoes labelled extra support.
The term “last” in a shoe indicates the shape into which the shoe is molded. Straight last shoes are less curved at their sole. They leave more room for a flat foot to move naturally. This is vital in avoiding pain and injuries.
If your flat feet excessively pronate when running, then motion control is a must-have feature for the ideal shoes for your needs. Motion-control shoes have a solid frame to minimize the foot’s overall movement.
This is a significant aspect of any running shoe. The last thing you need is to go for a run and the shoe locks in all the sweat. Poor breathability in shoes not only makes the shoe uncomfortable but also increases the risk of bacteria-related infections in your feet.
Good breathability in shoes keeps your feet well ventilated. Breathability and durability are not mutually exclusive. The shoe you opt to buy should not compromise on either.
In addition to this, a shoe with moisture-wicking or sweat-resistant features is a plus. Fortunately, all the shoes in this guide are breathable.
Finding a good running shoe for flat feet might not be the most straightforward task. You want to ensure that the shoe you settle for serves you for long and gives you value for the money.
There are particular aspects that make a shoe durable. The best running shoe for flat feet will give your proper shock absorption and shield from impact. Flat feet require additional support; thus, a good shoe should have superior cushioning.
Additional support doesn’t mean bulky. Modern technology has provided room for maintaining the shoe’s weight at minimal levels while still ensuring it offers good support.
A shoe’s outsole also determines its durability as it is the most prone to wear and tear. A durable outsole for flat feet should be made of flexible material.
Running can be a vigorous activity. It is even more challenging if you have flat feet. The best choice of shoes for you is a pair that allows flexibility to enable your foot to move as naturally as possible. Some shoes require time for you to break in; this should not be confused with rigidity.
Another important factor to look out for in running shoes is how much impact and shock they can absorb. The amount of impact a shoe takes is determined by its level of cushioning.
Flat feet can be painful, especially when you are running, which is why you need to ensure the shoe you go for offers maximum impact absorption. However, it is important to mention that there is a tradeoff between impact absorption or cushioning and arch support.
However, make sure the pair you go for has a special insole, impact-absorbing crash pad, or gel cushioning to offer you a soft running surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
The easiest method of knowing this is by measuring your foot. Put on a pair of socks, trace your foot on a paper and measure the width of the widest part. Compare this with sizing charts provided by various shoe companies.
Orthotics are shoe inserts or shoes used to manage conditions such as heel and arch pain and general discomfort in the foot. The decision of using orthotics or not should be made by consulting an orthopaedic surgeon. Should you decide to use them, then remember to insert them in the shoes when fitting during shopping.
A good running shoe for flat feet should be able to hinder too much pronation. A stable midsole is crucial in addition to a medial post. The shoe should also provide superior support without compromising on arch cushioning.
In addition, a wide toe box is necessary to prevent push-off between the big toe and second toe. Above, we have provided you with the best running shoes that incorporate these features for you to choose from.
Running is undoubtedly a great form of exercise, and running shoes are a crucial component. The exercise strengthens your legs, relaxes your mind, makes your heart healthier, and builds your stamina.
Having a flat foot should not hinder you from reaping these benefits. Your solution is getting shoes that are specially designed to counter the effects of flat feet. As we have seen, there are great running shoes for flat feet for women, and men too.
With this review and buyers guide, we trust that you will find the best running shoes for flat feet the next time you go shopping. Keep in mind that proper fit and comfort should never be compromised.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is through constantly challenging yourself.