Home Guides Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet 2020
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FOR EVERYONE

FOR EVERYONE

FOR EVERYONE

Saucony Guide 13

Saucony Guide 13
The redesigned Saucony Guide 13 is an exceptional everyday moderate stability trainer at a moderate price.
The redesigned Saucony Guide 13 is an exceptional everyday moderate stability trainer at a moderate price.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.

HEAVIER RUNNERS

HEAVIER RUNNERS

HEAVIER RUNNERS

Asics Gel Kayano 26

Asics Gel Kayano 26
The Kayano combines true and tested stability solutions for the flat foot and adds a plush, soft cushioning.
The Kayano combines true and tested stability solutions for the flat foot and adds a plush, soft cushioning.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.

MOST VERSATILE

MOST VERSATILE

MOST VERSATILE

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20
The Adrenaline offers a supportive yet springy ride as all design components work together to cup the heal with a gentle hug and provide support.
The Adrenaline offers a supportive yet springy ride as all design components work together to cup the heal with a gentle hug and provide support.
Kristin Lassen
Fast Runner and Stability Shoe Expert

FOR ORTHOTICS

FOR ORTHOTICS

FOR ORTHOTICS

Brooks Dyad 11

Brooks Dyad 11
Brooks made the Dyad 11 specifically for flat footed runners, for custom orthotics. It is a very comfortable shoe both for running and for walking.
Brooks made the Dyad 11 specifically for flat footed runners, for custom orthotics. It is a very comfortable shoe both for running and for walking.
Ruggero Loda
Founder and Publisher, Running Shoes Guru

LIGHTWEIGHT

LIGHTWEIGHT

LIGHTWEIGHT

Hoka One One Gaviota 2

Hoka One One Gaviota 2
My personal favorite, the Gaviota 2 is extremely lightweight, amazingly soft and responsive and second to none support.
My personal favorite, the Gaviota 2 is extremely lightweight, amazingly soft and responsive and second to none support.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.

Let me start with the good news: if you have flat feet you can still be a very successful runner.

You can manage to run injury free for a long time if you put the right attention to your training, your warning signs and your footwear.

Stability Running Shoes for Flat Feet

Here’s an overview of the shoes we recommend. Continue reading for an overview of the anatomy of flat feet, what are the potential issues with running and what shoe companies have done to address these issues.

First choice

Saucony Guide 13

Weight
10.2 oz.
Drop
8 mm.
Category
Stability

Saucony Guide 13

Reasons to buy
  • PWRRUN Midsole
  • FORMFIT Upper
  • Natural Ride
“The redesigned and rebuilt Saucony Guide 13 is an exceptional everyday moderate stability trainer. The additions of PWRRUN cushioning and a new upper turned a great stability trainer into one of the best.”
Recommended for
I recommend the Saucony Guide 13 to those looking for a mid stability trainer for either a half or full marathon.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.
Read the full review of Guide 13
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Asics Gel Kayano 26

Weight
11.1 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Stability

Asics Gel Kayano 26

Reasons to buy
  • Exoskeletal Heel Counter
  • FlyteFoam Propel Cushioning
  • Smooth Heel/Midsole strike to toe off
“The ASICS Kayano 26 is a solid everyday stability trainer built for many miles at different paces. Unfortunately the high price tag and the many similarities it shares with the other ASICS stability offerings hold it back from being an outstanding shoe.”
Recommended for
I would recommend the Kayano 26 to a runner who would like a daily trainer with max stability that’s built to last.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.
Read the full review of Gel Kayano 26
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

Weight
10.6 oz.
Drop
12 mm.
Category
Stability

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

Reasons to buy
  • Sturdy shoe with superb heel support
  • Comfortable with springy toe off
  • Appealing design
“The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 offers a supportive yet springy ride as all design components work together to cup the heal with a gentle hug, which transitions smoothly into a solid toe-off.  Minor changes to the base and added medial support strips to an overall slimmed-down upper mean this Go-To-Shoe just keeps getting better!”
Recommended for
The Adrenaline continues to shine as an all-around trainer for runners needing steady support, durability, and cushion for everyday runs whether speed or distance is the focus.
The cost pays off in the long run, with a durable build and midsole that make it a solid investment whether new to...
Kristin Lassen
Fast Runner and Stability Shoe Expert
Read the full review of Adrenaline GTS 20
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Brooks Dyad 11

Weight
11.6 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Cushioning

Brooks Dyad 11

Reasons to buy
  • Amazing inherent stability
  • Great support and fit in the ankle
  • Feels lighter than its weight
“Brooks did well in making the Dyad 11 NOT look like a shoe for flat footed runners. It is a very comfortable shoe both for running and for walking/standing up.The cushioning is - surprisingly - quite hard, but since the Dyad 11 is meant to be worn with custom orthotics you can make up for that by choosing an insole with some cushioning to it.”
Recommended for
Runners with flat foot, to use with or without custom orthotics.
Ruggero Loda
Founder and Publisher, Running Shoes Guru
Read the full review of Dyad 11
or buy them here: Men / Women

Lightweight Stability Running Shoes for Flat Feet

Just because you have flat feet it doesn't mean you can't run fast, in lightweight running shoes. These shoes are lighter, more responsive but still provide good comfort and a safe support.

First choice

New Balance 870v5

Weight
9.6 oz.
Drop
6 mm.
Category
Stability

New Balance 870v5

Reasons to buy
  • Durable
  • Visual Design
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
“The New Balance 870v5 is a straightforward lightweight stability trainer. The no frills approach may not be for everyone but ideal for those who yearn for simpler consistent lightweight stability trainer built to handle any speed or distance.”
Recommended for
I would recommend the New Balance 870v5 for a runner who wants a simple no nonsense lightweight stability trainer built for miles and speed.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.
Read the full review of 870v5
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v4

Weight
oz.
Drop
mm.
Category
Stability

New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v4

Reasons to buy
  • Cushion for long runs
  • Flexible yet Secure upper - very comfortable
  • Heel cup liner locks in heel
  • Bootie construct eliminates movable tongue
“The New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v4 hits a precise balance between comfort and hold, avoiding shoe string issues that show up with thin tongues by utilizing traditional width laces with a touch of stretch.  The Vongo's unique combination of low drop, high cushion, and varus wedge angled midsole make it stand out as it's own niche of mild stability offering.”
Recommended for
This shoe is tailored to fit runners seeking innovative stability and increased cushion for daily and long runs in a low drop trainer.
Kristin Lassen
Fast Runner and Stability Shoe Expert
Read the full review of Fresh Foam Vongo v4
or buy them here: Men / Women

Max Stability Running Shoes for Flat Feet

Sometimes, especially when your ankles aren't that strong - you'll need extra stability. These shoes are some of the most supportive out there.

First choice

Hoka One One Gaviota 2

Weight
10.60 oz.
Drop
5 mm.
Category
Stability

Hoka One One Gaviota 2

Reasons to buy
  • Max Cushioning that is both lightweight and responsive
  • Stable ride
  • Visual redesign makes it more appealing
“The Hoka One One Gaviota 2 is a max-cushioned stability shoe built for many miles. The cushioning is plush yet responsive with a smooth ride that is worth the substantial price tag.”
Recommended for
I would recommend this shoe to a runner who needs max cushioning for many miles.
TJ Jones
Road and trail runner, stability shoes expert.
Read the full review of Gaviota 2
or buy them here: Men / Women
Also consider

Mizuno Wave Horizon 4

Weight
10.7 oz.
Drop
10 mm.
Category
Stability

Mizuno Wave Horizon 4

Reasons to buy
  • Simplified design ~ lighter weight
  • Redesigned Upper ~ Snug & Comfortable
  • Revamped Sole unit ~ Stable Support
  • Durable shoe all around
“Mizuno Wave Horizon 4 is completely redone for a simpler, sleeker shoe that offers a secure fit with support and flexibility right where I need them.  This innovative design makes waves toward stability with strategically contoured foam layers in the midsole, without sacrificing the durability this line is known for.”
Recommended for
Wear this shoe for long runs or as an all-around trainer if you like a close-fitting upper and want the feel of an old-school stability shoe without the unnecessary bulk.
Look into this one if you want a touch of pillowy cushion - not so much you're riding high but enough to take the edge off -...
Kristin Lassen
Fast Runner and Stability Shoe Expert
Read the full review of Wave Horizon 4
or buy them here: Men / Women

Flat Foot: What is it

The arch of the foot is formed by the tarsal and metatarsal bones and strengthened by ligaments and tendons. This allows the foot to support the weight of the body in the erect posture with the least weight.

The height of the arch determines pronation and foot type.The arch height of the foot can easily be checked using the wet feet test.

People with a Low arch do not have a distinct curve along the inside of the foot. The imprint taken in a wet test may show nearly the entire foot. People with low arches are more likely to overpronate which can result in injuries. Insufficiently expressed arches are called low or fallen arches.

The term flat feet applies to the arch which is sitting on the ground completely.

What causes flat feet and what can you do about it?

  • Genetics
  • Weak arches
  • Injuries
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Dysfunction, rupturing, or damage to the posterior tibial tendon
  • Nervous system or muscular diseases

Collapsed arches causes flat feet and happens because of muscle weakness. This can be helped, but your feet might need arch support until they get stronger.

If you have flat feet due to muscle weakness, there are some simple stretches and exercises you can do at home to help strengthen the muscles in your feet.

  • Tennis Ball Rolls
    Put a tennis ball under one foot, sit straight up, and roll the ball under the arch of your foot for two to three minutes. Repeat on the opposite foot.

  • Heel Raises
    Stand and lift your heels as high as you can using a chair or wall for balance. Hold the position for five seconds then lower heels back down to the floor.
    Do two to three sets of 15-20 raises.

  • Tower Curls
    Sit with a towel under one foot and scrunch the towel up with your toes. Make sure to keep the mall of your foot on the floor.
    Do two to three sets of 15-20 towel curls.

  • Toe Yoga
    Lift your big toe up while pressing the others down and hold for five seconds. Then life your four toes up while holding your big toe down and hold for five seconds. Repeat on other foot.

Those with anatomically flat feet have more stress on knees which lead to knee problems. The reason for this is flat feet can cause misalignment of the lower body causing the shin and thigh bones to twist inwards.

While there is no cure for being born with flat feet, stretching and exercising regularly can help prevent injuries.

Put in extra care in choosing the best running shoe

Your foot arch is your natural shock absorption system. Nature designed it so that when you put your body weight over your feet the shock is absorbed by this mechanism in order to alleviate the impact (and subsequent injuries) that would otherwise hit your feet, ankles, knees and hips.

A flat foot is the most visible sign of overpronation, meaning that your arch collapses during the impact on the ground. As a consequence, your ankle twists inward and your knees overcompensates.

Flat feet are a particular concern for runners, as during the running gait the arch is supposed to support on average 3 times their body weight.

Some common injuries from overpronation include:

  • Low back pain
  • Shin Splints
  • Bunions
  • Knee pain
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Hip pain

Look for shoes that have a straight “last”, which determines the shape of the shoe. A straight last are designed to be motion control shoes and will provide you with stability.

Shoes Technologies Aimed at Runners with Flat Feet

Over the last 20 years or so, all the major running footwear producers developed specific technologies aimed at helping runners with flat feet run in comfort and safety.

The key words you have to remember are: stability, support and motion control.

Support is what a flat foot runner needs. When looking at shoe reviews or technical specifications, any indication of “added support” means you are headed in the right direction. Stability is an industry standard term that categorizes running shoes aimed at helping overpronation: every brand has their own collection of Stability Running Shoes. Motion Control are Stability Shoes for the most severe overpronators: they include the solutions of stability shoes and focus in enhancing them.

running shoes flat feet

Stability post in the New Balance 860 (in dark grey).

The main technology found in Stability shoes is a medial post of dual density foam. Footwear producers inject a harder compound of foam right below the medial side of the arch and sometimes extended all the way to the heel. It is easily recognizable as a darker (almost always gray) piece of foam on the inside of the midsole (view picture).

Do I necessarily need a stability/motion control shoe?

In the past 5 years, the conventional model of “neutral > stability > motion control” has been put into question by a series of scientific tests and currents such as barefoot running and minimalism.

No, you don’t necessarily need a stability or motion control shoe if you have flat feet. Some flat footed runners thrive in neutral shoes, but my experience is that this is the minority. I would advise runners to start in a stability shoe and only later experiment with a neutral shoe. Remember, flat feet is only one of your unique characteristics. What works for you might not work for someone else and vice-versa.

Tips for running with flat feet

Purchasing the right shoes is the best way to go.

Next to wearing the right shoes, you need to remember to replace them before they wear out and the midsole breaks down. Once the midsole wears out, you will not receive the same about of stability and you could end up overpronating. In turn, this can cause injuries and pain. A good idea is to replace your running shoes every 300 to 500 miles.

If you still experience pain after wearing the right shoes, consider custom orthotics. See a local podiatrist who will assess your feet and set you up with custom inserts if needed. Custom orthotics are specifically designed to the specifications of your feet and provide you with stability.

Running on pavement regularly can make your feet hurt. If that is the case for you, consider switching up terrain. Try running on something softer like grass or well-groomed trains. Tracks are also a good idea because the surface is forgiving and you can usually find one locally.

Stretching is important as it keeps you flexible and strong. Make sure to warm up and cool down before you run to help keep injuries away. Furthermore, stretching and exercising on a regular basis can help decrease pain due to flat feet.

Are you still in pain? Do your feet hurt for days after your runs? If this is the case, see your doctor. In addition, rest days are important as they help your body heal.

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