The Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet: 3 Critical Tests

best running shoes for flat feet stability and motion control

To find the best running shoes for flat feet, you will need to appreciate that comfort experiences differ from person to person. Your podiatrist probably mentioned that you will need some supportive running shoes if you want to pursue an active fitness routine. Even though that is general knowledge when it comes to fallen arches, I have still heard people say that they love running with minimalist shoes or even barefoot. I am not sure if they meant on the beach or some other soft surface, but my point is that: what might work for one person, might be out of the question for someone else. You need to be very aware of your personal gait and pain trigger points. Once you are familiar with your own painful areas, you can find the best running shoe much more easily. If you have flatter feet, you probably over pronate, but perform the Wet Test and Running Shoe test to be sure.

And just to remove any doubt: I would not recommend anyone with flat feet to run barefoot, on the beach or elsewhere. Your arches need support and the sand on the beach might hide any impact pain but, without correcting your over pronation, you are putting yourself and your joints at risk to developing: Shin splints, lower back pain, hip pain and knee problems.

flat feet running shoes

When your foot rolls inward slightly with each step, the arch of your foot fulfills a shock absorption function which effectively helps your body cope with each impact. People with flat feet have most, if not all, of their foot surface coming into contact with the ground, creating an intensified shock to the body, without correct distribution. As a consequence, the ankle will try to absorb the stress by twisting inward, as part of the over pronation running or walking pattern. This could lead to various injuries, including shin splints and tendonitis.

Being flat footed, you most likely have an overpronation running pattern, meaning that the shoe support needs to be focused on the arch area of the sole.

There are 3 quick tests to determine if your current running shoes are designed for flat feet:

Test 1:
Any shoe which is flexible and bends easily in the middle section, is probably not providing sufficient arch support. Try to bend your running shoe at the toes and at the middle section; if the front part of the shoes is more flexible and bends a much more easily than the middle part of the shoes it is suitable for overpronators.

Test 2:
The second test targets the stability of the running shoes. Here, again, you will be looking for less flexibility and more support. Try twisting your shoe around its own axis, The more “twistable” they are, the less support, they provide… twizzlers come to mind!

Test 3:
Lastly, you need to look out for heel support. To deter heel bone rotation, aim for solid heel support in the form of a firm, snug fitting heel cup.

Overall, although allowing for movement, the best running shoes for flat feet will be as snug as possible and steer away from flexibility, and rather focusing more on mid sole and heel support. A snug fit cannot be emphasized enough as this is critical to limit the ankle-foot bone rotation.

The 2 categories of shoes specifically developed for runners with flat soles are Stability & Motion Control shoes.

The best running shoes for flat feet

1. Stability Control Shoes
These shoe designs offer the benefit of limited motion within the shoe, which provides a high level of stability to the runner as well as an added layer of foam cushion along the instep, helping the runner avoid inward pronation.

You can find some good examples in this chart.

The ultimate running shoe for moderate over pronation is ASICS GT.

2. Motion Control Shoes
This type of shoe design takes the stability concept to the next level with another layer of foam added in to the arch area of the sole. This is a great option to improve your running style even though the shoes do come with a small increase in weight.

You can find some good examples in this chart.

The best running shoes for severe over pronation is Brooks Ariel, hands down.

Here are some great tips for selecting the best running shoes for flat feet: fallen arches:

* Picture provided by KSWISSphotos – Thank you!

Author: MayaD

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