Flat-footed runner? These are 9 of the best running shoes (2024)

Finding the right pair of running shoes is important, no matter your foot type. But if you’re a flat-footed runner, choosing the wrong pair could contribute to various problems, including excess wear and tear on one side, pain in the ankle, calf, knee, hip or lower back, shin splints or plantar fasciitis.

What are the best running shoes for flat feet?

As you’ll find below, the best running shoe for flat feet will be personal to you. It’s a good idea to get a foot analysis to see exactly what your foot requires. That being said, the following running shoes are all good options – keep scrolling to read more.

What are flat feet?

First things first, the definition of a flat foot is debatable, says Matthew Hart, owner of MH Sports Podiatry. Common presentations include low arches and valgus (everted heel position). 'However, we see these presentations in individuals without pain or [symptoms], so a flat foot does not necessarily cause pain and can function perfectly well,' he says.

Indeed, according to podiatrist Dina Gohil, brand ambassador for CCS Foot Care, flat feet are 'quite common and generally most people are unaware of them and continue as normal with no issues'.

In some cases, flat feet might run in the family, meaning you’re genetically predisposed to them and are born with flat feet. In other cases, flat feet can be a result of injury or muscle weakness, known as ‘collapsed arches’.

‘If your flat feet are causing you pain or you are concerned about them, always seek expert advice from a GP or podiatrist, who can advise on the best course of treatment,’ says Gohil.

When there is pain or issues arise, a podiatrist needs to determine whether the flat foot is a flexible flat foot, a rigid flat foot, or has developed over time and become an adult acquired flat foot deformity, adds Hart.

'It is important when this happens to see a podiatrist as there are many contributing factors and associated risk factors for flat feet.'

Why is it important to choose the right running shoes if you have flat feet?

The feet are highly complex structures, with 26 bones, 10 major extrinsic tendons and their muscles, and over 30 joints, says Hart. 'These structures work together with the nervous system, fat pads and skin to provide a mobile, sensitive and adaptive foundation during weight bearing activities to provide balance, stability and movement.'

When it comes to running, it’s important to choose a shoe that can withstand impact on the sole of the foot as well as support the ankle, says Gohil.

Despite what some advice may tell you, there's no one type of shoe for flat feet. ‘Ideally, you should have your feet assessed to check what your foot requires, as everyone is different,' says Gohil.

Wearing a shoe that is too big or too small can cause damage to your feet and put more strain on your soft tissue, tendons, ligaments, and other structures in your body, resulting in back pain and bad posture.’ It could also cause things like blisters, calluses, corns, and joint pain.

What are the most important features of a running shoe for flat feet?

Again, there’s no set formula for choosing a shoe for flat feet. However, there can be a few helpful features to look out for, say both Gohil and Hart.

The first is adequate midfoot support for your arches. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to come from a classic stability shoe with a medial post or similar technology. In fact, Gohil says it totally depends on your running needs and foot type, advising a neutral trainer first and foremost, with insoles being used as a supplement to your body’s needs.

However, Gohil adds that shoes with features like stability or motion control can help keep the feet in check and provide the support and stability that flat feet crave.

'Depending on the runner's weight and the degree of mobility within their foot, I tend to use more structured shoes, especially if the person has an adult acquired flat foot deformity,' adds Hart. 'These shoes have less medial midsole compression under weight bearing [i.e. they provide more medial support], and the aim with them is to reduce strain through the soft tissue structures of the midfoot.'

Cushioning is favourable for shock absorption and flexibility to enable you to run on different terrains.

'I generally want to make sure that there is no irritation caused by the shoe through the midfoot, so the contouring tends to be flatter and the heel to toe drop can be reduced (8mm-0mm) with some runners,' says Hart. 'With all these features we must also take into account a runner's weight, running experience and injury history as this may also influence shoe choice.'

9 of the best running shoes for flat feet

We’ve rounded up some of the top options for flat feet based off podiatrist recommendations, from a choice of neutral shoes with a touch of motion control to stability shoes designed to counter overpronation.

1

Saucony Ride 16

Flat-footed runner? These are 9 of the best running shoes (10)

1

Saucony Ride 16

The Ride is Saucony’s flagship ‘do everything’, neutral shoe; a versatile daily workhorse with a firm enough ride that, if you want to, you can turn your hand to some speed too. The latest model contains a good amount of Prwrun foam in the midsole to keep you comfortable, but the ride is still one that's on the firm, side, rather than feeling plush.

A new sock liner adds an extra degree of comfort too, and the upper has been tweaked ever so slightly for a more 'lock-in' fit. There are also two Gilly straps: one extending down to the midsole and the other wrapping all the way to near the rear. This provides a slight touch of stability to an otherwise neutral shoe, which is ideal for flat-footed runners.

Shop - men's

Shop - women

Key specs

TypeNeutral
Drop8mm
Weight249g (M), 221g (W)

2

New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v13

Flat-footed runner? These are 9 of the best running shoes (11)

2

New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v13

The 860s are a popular mild stability shoe (landing somewhere between neutral and super stable trainer), proving popular with overpronators due to the extra support from the dual-density medial post. A traditional heel counter also increases stability and reduces heel movement.

The latest iteration of the 860 sees New Balance’s Fresh Foam X cushioning used in the midsole too, designed to enhance comfort over all distances while also retaining some responsiveness. There's also a generous amount of outsole rubber, so these should be able to see you through long distances.

Shop - men's

Shop - women's

Key specs

TypeMild stability
Weight309g (M), 243g (W)
Drop10mm

3

Asics Gel-Kayano 30

Flat-footed runner? These are 9 of the best running shoes (12)

3

Asics Gel-Kayano 30

While the Kayano has previously been a classic shoe for overpronating flat-footed runners, the 30th iteration has been completely revamped to be more adaptive and appeal to a wider audience.

On the medial side of the shoe, a compartment of foam has been added which helps to guide the foot into position after every landing. The base of the shoe is wider – through the heel, midfoot and forefoot – to stabilise the foot through the gait cycle and the heel is rounder to better control impact. Runners can also expect a more responsive ride thanks to an adjusted toe spring in the forefoot.

We thought the cushioning feels much plusher compared to previous iterations, thanks to the higher stack, and is nowhere near as firm as the 29. It's certainly snappier, too, delivering a much more energetic ride, which becomes even more noticeable as you pick up the pace.

Shop - men's

Shop - women's

Key specs

TypeStability
Weight303g (M), 263g (W)
Drop10mm

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

4

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

Flat-footed runner? These are 9 of the best running shoes (13)

4

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

The Adrenaline has long been a popular everyday training shoe for overpronators, and for support and cushioning over long, slow miles, they’re a safe bet.

Now on its 23rd iteration, the latest version features Brooks’ new DNA Loft v2 cushioning for a much lighter ride. The support comes from the brand’s GuideRails technology: two firm pieces of foam on either side of the heel which reduce the rolling of the foot inward.

The consensus from RW testers is that it remains ‘the same excellent shoe that it’s always been’, while it also impressed testers who were running in the Adrenaline for the very first time. One female tester commented that it felt ‘cushioned and supportive but surprisingly light’.

Shop - men's

Shop - women's

Key specs

TypeStability
Weight286g (M), 258g (W)
Drop12mm

5

Hoka Arahi 6

Flat-footed runner? These are 9 of the best running shoes (14)

5

Hoka Arahi 6

The Arahi is best suited to steady-paced training runs, offering stability via its J-Frame midsole support. They provide a luxuriously comfortable ride that feels slightly firmer than some other shoes in the range, but stability and foot comfort is key, meaning you can put in workhorse miles and they will keep your feet snug and safe.

This being said, for a mild stability shoe, they’re pretty light and capable of picking up the pace for tempo runs should you desire.

Shop - men's

Shop - women's

Key specs

TypeMild stability
Weight269g (M), 216g (W)
Drop5mm

6

BEST FOR SPEED

Saucony Tempus

Flat-footed runner? These are 9 of the best running shoes (15)

6

BEST FOR SPEED

Saucony Tempus

The Tempus is an impressive training and racing shoe if you’re looking for something with impressive bounce but plenty of motion control. At its core, it’s a stability shoe, with the support delivered via a contoured frame starting above the midsole, together with a deep fit to hug the feet. This allows you to sit deeper into the footbed.

Our testers found the Pwrrun pb cushioning 'light and bouncy' and said the shoe performed well during easy half marathon runs, hard parkruns and threshold intervals. They were also impressed with the grip on wet surfaces and the lightness of the shoe.

Shop - men's

Shop - women's

Key specs

TypeStructured cushioning
Weight252g (M)
Drop8mm

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below

7

On Cloudflyer 4

Flat-footed runner? These are 9 of the best running shoes (16)

7

On Cloudflyer 4

The Cloudflyer is a mild stability shoe, designed for runners who want a bit more support but without the extra bulk and weight. It has a midfoot stability tube that supports the medial side of the foot for comfort and stability, but without you actually feeling the support. There’s also a bespoke Speedboard for a responsive take-off, a 3D moulded heel and a wider sole.

Shop - men's

Shop - women's

Key specs

TypeStability
Weight300g (M), 257g (W)
Drop11mm

8

Asics GT-2000 11

Flat-footed runner? These are 9 of the best running shoes (17)

8

Asics GT-2000 11

While the Gel-Kayano is Asics’ flagship stability shoe, the GT 2000 11 is another great option for runners seeking an everyday running shoe with mild support. A combination of Literuss technology on the medial (inner) side of the shoe and 3D print details on the upper deliver support and stability. Gel™ in the heel and forefoot provides lightweight cushioning and shock absorption, while Flytefoam Propel adds a touch of peppiness.

There’s also a plush padded ankle and a soft sockliner, and the upper is now a breathable mesh. ‘Comfy’, ‘stable’, ‘supportive’, ‘firm’ and ‘durable’ were words used in feedback by our testers, who found the shoe ‘surprisingly responsive and lightweight’. A solid, supportive choice for daily mileage.

Shop - women's

Shop - men's

Key specs

TypeStability
Weight275g (M), 235g (W)
Drop8mm

9

Altra Torin 7

Flat-footed runner? These are 9 of the best running shoes (18)

9

Altra Torin 7

Now 19% Off

The Torin is Altra’s classic daily trainer, which sees an additional 2mm of Altra EGO MAX foam in the latest iteration, bringing the stack height to 30mm in the heel and 30 mm in the forefoot (yes, this is a zero drop shoe).

The result is a well-cushioned, yet energetic ride that’s surprisingly supple given the generous wedge of foam. There’s ample width in the toe box too, and the unique tongue design that many disliked from the previous iteration has been replaced with a more simple, thicker design. There’s also an updated molded heel collar that wraps snugly around the ankle for a ‘locked in’ fit.

Shop - men's

Shop - women's

Key specs

Weight278g (M), 230g (W)
Drop0mm
Flat-footed runner? These are 9 of the best running shoes (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Margart Wisoky

Last Updated:

Views: 6221

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (58 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Margart Wisoky

Birthday: 1993-05-13

Address: 2113 Abernathy Knoll, New Tamerafurt, CT 66893-2169

Phone: +25815234346805

Job: Central Developer

Hobby: Machining, Pottery, Rafting, Cosplaying, Jogging, Taekwondo, Scouting

Introduction: My name is Margart Wisoky, I am a gorgeous, shiny, successful, beautiful, adventurous, excited, pleasant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.