Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best running shoes for flat feet are, then I recommend the Saucony Omni Iso 2 as the best pair for men and the ASICS Women’s Gel Kayano 26 as the best pair for women.
Flat feet can be tough to buy shoes for, but finding the right pair is very important. If you’re running in the wrong shoes, you can set yourself up for injury. The right pair, however, can not only keep you pain-free but give you a better overall workout experience.
Flat feet is a normal condition, but having it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have injuries or pain. However, if you’re about to start a running hobby, it’s definitely something you want to pay attention to.
These are the best running shoes for flat feet right now:
- Saucony Men’s Omni Iso 2
- Brooks Men’s Ravenna
- Asics Women’s Gel Kayano 26
- Hoka One One Men’s Gaviota
- Mizuno Women’s Wave Horizon 3
What Are Flat Feet?
Having flat feet means that the arches of your feet are low, or in some cases, non-existent arches.
You might’ve always had them, or they might also be caused by muscle or nerve damage, or even fall due to extra weight, aging or diabetes. It’s not necessarily bad to have anatomically flat feet since they’re more flexible than feet with high arches.
It’s easy to tell if you have fallen arches when you put weight on your foot. If you look closely, the inside of the middle part of your foot doesn’t completely touch the ground. For normal arches, you should be able to fit a finger or two between your foot and the floor.
You can also test this by stepping out of the shower onto the floor with your feet still wet. If the entire outline of the foot shows on the floor, you probably have flat feet. If the mark is more a half-moon shape in the middle of the foot, your arches most likely aren’t fallen.
What You Can Do for Flat Feet
You can help your flat feet by choosing the right shoes and by doing some exercises to strengthen the muscles.
You’ll often see shoes with motion control meant for flat feet and overpronators. They may help you balance and correct the problem, to have you running injury-free.
However, only relying on arch support can even make the problem worse. The muscles in your feet can get lazy when they’re relying on the shoe. That’s why it’s important to do some strengthening exercises together with your running regime.
Even if it’s not always possible to fix your flat feet entirely, you alleviate the pain and reduce the risk of other injuries.
Why You Should Get Specific Shoes for Flat Feet
If you’ve been running a lot on shoes that don’t give you enough support, you probably won’t even be asking this question. It gets painful.
You might develop discomfort on your foot muscles directly after your run—they’ll be working overtime to balance you, and you’ll be causing unnecessary tension.
People with flat feet also tend to overpronate, which means that their heel turns slightly inwards. This changes the alignment of your ankle and knee and might make you more susceptible to other kinds of damage.
Some people develop tendonitis or plantar fasciitis; others may get knee and even hip or back problems.
A shoe with too much arch support can also be uncomfortable. If you notice the arch feels unnatural when you first try on the shoe, imagine what it’ll feel like when you add mileage.
What Are the Qualities of the Best Shoes for Flat Feet?
Many people have a set of inherent problems they need to correct when they start running. Most specialized runners’ brands are aware of this, so they’ll also let you know which products are the best for flat or high arches.
Many shoes for flat arches have something called motion control. This means the shoe is reinforced to keep them balanced and help you keep your gait as neutral as possible. They’re usually be reinforced around the midfoot area and feel like they’re wrapped around your foot.
Thanks to those flat feet, you’ll be more likely to develop problems in your knees and even hips and back. This is why it’s especially important to get shoes that absorb the shock. It’ll help reduce the strain on your joints.
Arch support is important, but it’s not the most important thing. A really high arch on a shoe can get uncomfortable if your feet are anatomically very flat. You may even end up in pain because of a shoe that has too high of an arch.
You should feel your foot supported against the insole for the entire length of the shoe. However, it should not feel forced or unnatural.
While it’s important for the shoe to hug your foot in the heel and in the middle, the toe should have some wiggle room. This will aid your feet in their natural movement and reduce discomfort when you run longer distances.
The Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
Different running shoes might affect your gait, even if you invest in good ones. It’s best to have a couple of different shoes and alternate using them on different days.
Check out the shoes on this list to see if some of them are suitable for your needs. We’re all different, and not every runner will require the same kind of fit.
Saucony is a great brand for runners with wide feet or people who look for extra stability in their shoes. The Omni, especially, is for people with mild to severe overpronation. It wraps up and stabilizes your foot to help you keep your stride as neutral as possible.
This shoe has a thick layer of cushioning that will give you support with a nice, springy feel. The rubber sole has a great grip. It has a mesh material upper layer that makes the shoe breathable, but it’s not reinforced at the toes.
The Saucony Omni is a mid-priced model that weighs 11.1 ounces. However, they are a little bulky on the sides of the heel, so if you’re more into the sock-like feeling, this shoe might not be your thing.
This shoe is quite wide, so it may not be the best option if you have narrow feet. Available sizes are 7 to 15.
- Specially designed for overpronation.
- Great stability.
- Quality brand.
- Not the best option for narrow feet.
Brooks is another favorite that specializes in top-notch running shoes. The Ravenna is a model that works for neutral runners but has some added support for pronators, as well.
It’s very bouncy and responsive—great for fans of shoes with additional lift. This will especially help you administer your strength on longer distances.
The upper layer is fabric mesh, which helps the shoe be more breathable and lightweight. At 9.4 ounces, it’s the lightest shoe in this review, and probably among the lightest in the flat feet category.
Also, the Ravenna is designed to give long-distance runners an extra push. You’ll notice this in the springy feeling of the shoe when you try it on. The alignment is aided by a GuideRail system that helps keep your foot balanced and stable.
This shoe is medium width, so it may be slightly too narrow for those with wider feet. It’s also not entirely consistent with the previous models of the same shoe. The arch is a bit higher, and you might end up feeling this as discomfort if you have anatomically very flat feet.
You’ll find sizing runs from a 7 to a 15.
- Great stabilization.
- Amazing bounce.
- The mesh layer is not as durable as other materials.
- Better for people with moderately flat feet.
Gel Kayano is a very popular shoe among runners with overpronation. It’s into its 26th generation because of the success it has had in the running community. It looks sleek and is available in numerous colors for both men and women.
This model is not overly cushioned, but there’s a contoured midsole to help control the pronation. The arch is also not too high, allowing for smooth guidance to your foot.
Overall, it offers a natural enhancement to your gait without feeling too clunky. However, the sole may feel a little stiff to runners who are used to more cushioning.
This shoe’s toe box has a lot of room, so you’ll be fine even on longer runs or if your toes get a little swollen. The upper layer is jacquard mesh, which is breathable and makes the shoe lightweight.
The size range for this pair is 5–13.
- Lightweight at 11.1 ounces.
- Great-looking shoe.
- Fantastic stabilization to avoid overpronation.
- Not too cushioned.
- Runs a little short compared to previous models.
- The sole is a little stiff.
HOKA ONE specializes in cushioned, lightweight shoes that are perfect for runners seeking extra stability. And these truly are among the shoes with the most support out on the market today.
Hoka’s motion control will keep your foot guided through your stride. You can feel the support on both sides of your heel to keep it from moving.
Like many models for flat feet, the sole on this one is pretty thick. It’s still soft and light, giving you the feeling that you’re walking on clouds.
One downside to this model is that it’s very pricey. Still, the Gaviota remains popular because of the cushioning and light weight combination.
Sizing runs from a 7 to a 12.
- Very cushioned.
- Heel locks in and doesn’t move.
- Stable and secure.
- High price point.
- The sole is very thick.
Mizuno’s Wave Horizon is perfect for runners that log a lot of mileage—it wraps your foot in and holds it in place. On top of this, the sole is still stiff enough to guide you through the stride without loss of stability.
Mizuno’s Wave technology cushions your foot, and there’s a lot of room in the forefoot area. This allows your foot to move around and doesn’t get too tight when your toes swell on longer runs.
Overall, this is a great shoe to help you avoid possible pronation issues from having flat feet.
Current sizes available are 6 to 11.
- Amazing stability.
- Soft and comfortable cushioning.
- Lightweight at 9.8 ounces.
- Great quality.
- The sizing is slightly bigger than in the previous models.
After going through dozens of the best shoes for flat feet, the best running shoe for men with flat feet is the Saucony Men’s Omni Iso 2—a stability shoe that gives amazing support to overpronators.
The shoe balances and wraps around your midfoot area to guide it without feeling too forced. Also, its thick cushioning at the heel will give your steps an extra bounce.
For women, I found the best shoe to be the ASICS Women’s Gel Kayano 26. It’s a massively popular model that controls your overpronation smoothly, without forcing you with an excessively high arch. It also has a lightweight sole that adds bounce to your step.