According to multiple independent studies, anywhere between 20% and 25% of the US population is currently struggling with the condition known as flat feet. And while this condition isn’t exactly life-threatening by any stretch of the imagination, without the right footwear it can become incredibly painful and lead to serious and significant bodily injuries. This is especially true when people are doing a bit of running or playing sports, which is why finding the best running shoes for flat feet becomes so critically important.
Thankfully, footwear has come a long way in just the last few decades, with new options hitting the market specifically designed to help people with flat feet overcome the challenges that they face. Options like the one that we break down below have been engineered to improve the footfall of those that have flat feet significantly.
And they make sure you are able to participate in all of the activities and sports that everyone else is able to without risking serious injury, increased fatigue, or overall damage to their feet and the stabilizing muscles and joints.
There are a handful of different things you’re going to want to look for one comes time to buy the best running shoe for flat feet, including (but certainly not limited to):
The Overall Shape is Critical
Though there are going to be a number of different things that you’re going to want to look for in a new running shoe for your flat feet, the most important thing that you should be on the lookout for is the overall shape of the actual shoe itself. You’ll want to find one that perfectly matches your foot shape, or you run the risk of over pronated or under pronated every single time your foot touches ground.
The Size is also Important
Though people with “traditional” feet can usually get away with shoes that aren’t exactly perfectly sized, those with flat feet do not have the luxury. Shoes that aren’t exactly a perfect fit are going to cause a lot of trouble, as those that are a little bit bigger will allow too much play without offering support, while those that are a little bit smaller will cramp your feet every time you take a step.
Special Features Make a Difference
Finally, you’ll want to be on the lookout for new running shoes for your flat feet that has as many of the “special features” that are so common in athletic footwear today. Things like waterproof materials, comfort insoles, stabilizing features, and performance tread to improve durability are all things that you’ll want to be sure that your new shoes include.
In order to make your search for the best running shoe for flat feet a bit easier, we’ve outlined what we feel are some of the top options on the market below.
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
1. Nike Men’s Lunarglide 6 Running Shoe
Nike shoes have always been regarded as some of the very best athletic shoes money can buy, though you almost always pay a premium for the Nike brand name. These new Nikes are no exception, and certainly pack quite a bit of advanced athletic footwear technology into a top flatfoot shoe contender. Specifically engineered for those that have irregular footfalls (like people with flat feet), the Nike Men’s Lunarglide 6 Running Shoe is one of the top options out there to protect your feet – and the rest of your body – when you run.
- Manufactured out of high quality construction materials throughout for extra durability
- Nike shoes (including these) always run a little snug to make sure that your feet are supported
- Mesh upper makes sure that your feet have the opportunity to breathe more while you run
- Innovative fly wire technology throughout to promote a durable running shoe that should last months longer than traditional options
- Supported insole is perfect for those that have flat feet
What’s to like about Nike Men’s Lunarglide 6 Running Shoe
The Nike Men’s Lunarglide 6 Running Shoe is definitely one of the better options for those with flat feet, especially since it’s filled with innovative Nike technology like fly wire and they have a supported insole setup. The shoes are extremely comfortable, and make running with flat feet feel almost effortless.
What’s not to like
Anytime you’re talking about Nike shoes, you’re talking about spending at least $100 or more. You’re definitely going to be paying a premium for the Nike name, but these shoes are absolutely worth it.
It’s going to be very difficult to find any better running shoes for flat feet than these, which is why we give them a 4.8 out of 5 stars.
2. ASICS Men’s Gel Kayano Running Shoe
ASICS has almost always offered some of the best running shoes for flat feet options on the market ever since day one, and their new options only improve upon the enduring legacy that this company has established for some time.
The ASICS Men’s Gel Kayano 21 Running Shoe are lightweight yet strong, comfortable yet durable, and filled with “running shoe technology” to help make those with irregular footfalls get the most out of their athletic performance without ever putting their body at risk.
- Synthetic materials throughout help to promote a much longer lasting running shoe than competitors
- Heavy-duty rubber sole is not only going to last longer, but it’s also going to help reduce shock transfer throughout flat feet
- Multidirectional upper fits like a glove while at the same time leaving just enough room to breathe
- Impact Guidance System is a proprietary solution to help better angle those with irregular footfalls on the way down to the ground
- The entire insert is filled with “Fluid Ride” bounce back cushioning
What’s to like about ASICS Men’s Gel Kayano Running Shoe
The ASICS Men’s Gel Kayano 21 Running Shoe standout feature certainly has to be the inclusion of all the different running shoe technology specifically for people with flat feet that this company has helped to pioneer.
We are talking about the heavy-duty rubber sole on these shoes, the multidirectional upper that hugs your feet without ever feeling constricting, the Impact Guidance System that better aligns your feet with each and every step, and the inclusion of “Fluid Ride” bounce back cushioning inside the shoe.
What’s not to like
Some users have complained that these shoes run a little bit smaller than they did in the past (about half of size or so), but that hasn’t been the experience of the overwhelming majority of folks out there. Even still, it’s something worth considering.
Ranking right up there with the very best Nike options, if you’re looking for the best running shoe for flat feet, it’s hard to find something better than the ASICS Men’s Gel Kayano 21 Running Shoe. We can comfortably recommend it with a 4.7 out of 5 stars.
3. ASICS Men’s GT-1000 3 Running Shoe
Another top offering from the folks at ASICS, these GT 1000 3 running shoes are certainly going to turn a lot of heads whether you’re at the gym or at the track, but they’re also going to make sure that your feet are completely and totally protected every single time you take a step.
Manufactured out of high quality synthetic construction materials throughout and very smartly designed, these shoes are breathable, offer just the right amount of support without feeling too clunky, and help to correct your footfall without ever getting in the way.
- Takes advantage of high-end constructed materials and practices throughout
- Includes proprietary Impact Guidance System for smarter footfalls
- Uses advanced midsole material to improve bounce back without risking your foot health
- Includes dual density materials towards the middle of the shoe to improve support and stability
- One of the few shoes to use the proprietary Guidance Trusstic System to improve your overall gait efficiency across the board
What’s to like about ASICS Men’s GT-1000 3 Running Shoe
There aren’t too terribly many pairs of running shoes out there that have been as over engineered as these ones are, but you’re going to appreciate every single drop of foresight that has been poured into the shoes the moment that you lace them up.
Everything about these shoes helps to support your natural gait and to improve the efficiency of each step, helping you stay safe while running without ever putting your flat feet at risk.
What’s not to like
Because of all the advanced features that have been added to these running shoes, they are a little bit heavier than some of the other options on the market today. Many still consider these to be some of the best running shoes for flat feet options, but it’s something that you’ll want to keep in the back of your mind.
As good as all the other ASICS footwear options we’ve reviewed (past and present), it’s tough to argue against the track record for success that this company has creating shoes for people with irregular footfalls and inefficient gaits. We comfortably give them a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
4. Tesla Men’s Trail Running
Though not exactly the most well-known footwear company on the planet (except for those “in the know”), the Tesla Men’s Trail Running Minimalist Barefoot Shoe Athletic BareTrek 30 shoes are relative newcomers to the market and are looking to capitalize on the barefoot running craze that has swept the country recently.
Providing just the right amount of support for those with flat feet without ever really getting in the way (an engineering marvel that everyone is going to appreciate), these shoes are incredibly comfortable, super lightweight, and very durable.
- Intuitive zero drop barefoot design gives barefoot experience while supporting your foot and keeping the pressure off
- Arched foot bed area boosts your comfort
- Breathable fabric helps to with Moisture away from your feet to keep them dry even when you are working up a lather
- Super snug but still comfortable material helps to stimulate your feet to avoid cramping and poor circulation
What’s to like about Tesla Men’s Trail Running
If you have been searching for the best running shoe for flat feet that also doubles as a “barefoot” running shoe, it just isn’t going to get a lot better than the Tesla Men’s Trail Running Minimalist Barefoot Shoe Athletic BareTrek 30 the options.
Very much focused on overall performance and helping you read correct issues that traditional shoes have caused throughout your life, these barefoot running shoes offer just the right amount of protection and support while remaining quite minimalist at the same time.
What’s not to like
There are certainly some voices in the health and fitness world that have decried the barefoot running craze as little more than a fad – and one that can be quite dangerous, at that – so you’ll want to make sure that this is a step in the right direction.
Only you will know whether or not this is something that you are serious about pursuing, and whether or not you’re willing to take the risks.
Not quite as polished as the other options that we’ve already reviewed, the barefoot running shoes we’ve broken down above are definitely worthy of a full 4 stars out of 5.
5. ASICS Women’s GEL-Lyte33 Running Shoe
There used to be some debate as to whether or not men and women really needed to have their own separate lines of running shoes designed for them, but now that the research is in – and has been for some time – most agree that there are significant differences between men and women while they run that warrant the creation of separate shoe styles.
The ASICS Women’s GEL-Lyte33 2 Running Shoe platform has obviously been designed for women, and it gives them the opportunity to really make sure that they are supporting their feet as best they possibly can while at the same time using shoes that help them to get the most out of their athletic performance.
- Manufactured out of high tech “technical” materials and synthetics to support amazing durability and longevity
- Filled with responsive SP EVA foam midsole material for increased comfort
- Takes advantage of the proprietary Guidance Lives Vertical Flex system to improve overall footfalls and gait
- FAST Drop racing inspired geometry helps to them as buyer a more efficient running pattern
What’s to like about ASICS Women’s GEL-Lyte33 Running Shoe
You just aren’t going to find many running shoes for flat feet that are lighter and better put together than these ones. Everything about these shoes has been designed to improve your running motion while at the same time supporting your feet every time they touch the ground to make sure that you don’t do any unnecessary damage. This is accomplished through a variety of different proprietary technologies (many of which we mentioned above) that this company puts into play.
What’s not to like
The only real knock against the ASICS Women’s GEL-Lyte33 2 Running Shoe is that they can feel a little bit tight and a bit oversized, especially compared to some of the sleeker running shoes available on the market today. Not a deal breaker by any stretch of the imagination, but a consideration nonetheless.
Like most other pairs of ASICS running shoes, these are truly top-notch options. They get 4.7 out of 5 without question.
6. Reebok Men’s ZQuick 2.0
For a while there (maybe a five-year stretch starting in 2007 or so), Reebok wasn’t exactly firing on all cylinders when it came to the design and implementation of their running shoes and other footwear options designed for training.
However, they’ve definitely course corrected better than most good have ever expected or anticipated, and have absolutely knocked it out of the park with the new Reebok Men’s ZQuick 2.0 running shoes designed for those with flat feet.
- Multi piece upper promotes strength and stability while keeping your feet dry and cool
- No seams are going to rub up against your feet while running, a limiting shaving and other injuries almost entirely
- Super lightweight EVA foam midsole and high abrasion rubber outsole promote flexibility and comfort at the same time
- Integrated lacing system guarantees perfect fit when the appropriate size has been selected
- Comfort insert helps to save those with flat feet from unnecessary and undue damage upon contact with the ground
What’s to like about Reebok Men’s ZQuick 2.0
Very smartly designed and incredibly attractive these new running shoes from Reebok can go toe to toe with any of the top options from any other company out there and definitely have the potential to come out on top.
Whether it’s the inclusion of the EVA foam midsole or the high abrasion rubber outsole, the uniquely designed multi piece upper, or the overall performance of this shoe as you run, there’s a lot to love about the shoes compared to Reebok’s of years past.
What’s not to like
There aren’t too many things that you’re going to dislike about these shoes, outside of the fact that they usually run about half a size smaller than what you may be used to. Reebok has a generous return policy though, so even if you order the wrong size and take them out for a run you’ll be able to return them and swap them out for the appropriate size.
We are really impressed with the Reebok shoes across the board, and feel completely comfortable recommending them as one of the best running shoes for flat feet options you’ll come across. They get 4.8 out of 5 stars easily.
Choosing the Best Shoes for Flat Feet
While there are a lot of different options to pick and choose from, it’s going to be almost impossible for you to go wrong selecting any of the ones that we recommend above. The Nike Lunarglide 6 Men’s Running Sneaker are top-notch (to be expected), the ASICS Men’s Gel Kayano 21 Running Shoes are designed with performance in mind, and the Reebok Men’s ZQuick 2.0 Running Shoe are a pleasant surprise. The only ones that you might not want to forward with are the ones that promote barefoot running, but if that’s something that you’re interested in, they are probably going to be the best running shoe for flat feet option you’ll come across in that style.
How to Pick the Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
Recent statistics have shown that more than 25% of the Americans have flat feet, a condition that is also known as “fallen arches” or “pes planus”. This is one of the most frequently encountered deformities in both men and women all across the globe. Although it is a common condition, it does limit one’s activities and may cause pain and discomfort.
Flat feet are easy to recognize, as their arch is missing when standing. If you noticed that one or both your feet are flat or almost flat, then you should be looking for solutions that will help you feel more comfortable and avoid heel pain, excessive tension, ankle pain, hammertoes pain and even knee, hip or back pain.
Buying the right shoes for your daily activities and especially for sports is the first thing that you should do in this situation. Flat feet can prevent you from running correctly and efficiently and therefore, from developing a good physical shape. Wearing the correct footwear can even help you on the long run, by helping you rebuild your arches.
How are shoes for flat feet different?
When one or both of your feet are flat, you need footwear that offer you the stability, support and control you need. Running can be quite challenging for people with flat feet, as they seem to be unable to maintain a proper balance the whole time. More than that, their feet hurt more than usual.
Running shoes for flat feet have ergonomic shapes and come with specifications such as “added support”. They can be recognized by the density of the outsole and the arch’s extension. On the inside of the shoe, a well-marked area can be observed on its outer side, right where the normal arch should be positioned.
Some running shoes that are designed for flat feet come with extra arch support and are also suitable for overweight runners.
How to pick the best model for running
Choosing the best running footwear for your needs can be difficult when you walk into a store with an overwhelming number of models. Shop assistants can usually be of help, but it is better to decide for yourself which shoes suit your running needs by trying on multiple models.
Look for shoes with great arch support and foam or rubber outsole. It is important to run in shoes that don’t have a flat sole if you have flat feet. Some running shoes have a gap between the heel and the front side of the shoe, in order to offer more flexibility and motion control.
The best running shoes for flat feet are lightweight, extremely comfortable and able to offer great ankle, heel and sole support. Brands like Nike have developed special designs that target a wide public that experiences discomfort caused by flat feet.
From a financial point of view, it is worth investing more in high-quality running shoes that will make you feel comfortable while running, as they usually help people develop normal habits.