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How do I Choose the Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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It is important to choose the best running shoes for flat feet to lower the risk of injury or pain in the feet and legs. Flat feet generally appear as if they do not have any arch at all; this can be tested by wetting the bottom of the foot and stepping on a piece of paper. If you have flat feet, you will be able to see the entire footprint on the paper. Running shoes for flat feet attempt to create an arch where there is none and prevent the feet from rolling inward.

If the proper running shoes for flat feet are not worn, feet tend to roll excessively inward. This is known as overpronation, and can cause the ankles to roll to the inside as well as to make the feet appear even flatter. This is a common problem, but it can cause pain in the feet and ankles, and can affect the running stride. To correct this problem, it is a good idea to purchase motion control shoes.

These look like standard running shoes, but the insoles are higher and firmer on the insides of the shoes. This effectively prevents the feet from rolling inward, and gives extra support to the arch area of the foot. Motion control shoes are generally considered to be the best running shoes for flat feet; they are comparably priced to other running shoes, come in men's and women's versions, and are available in many different designs and colors.

If feet only slightly overpronate, it may not be necessary to buy motion control shoes. Instead, supportive insoles may be purchased separately; these insoles will look exactly like the ones in motion control shoes, with high arches on the inside, and thinner insoles on the outside. Be sure to try the shoes on in the store, and to do some jogging around the store or on a treadmill before purchasing. When wearing running shoes for flat feet, the feet should feel as if they are striking the ground straight ahead, not rolling to one side or the other.

It may be necessary to try a few different pairs of shoes before finding ones that fit. In general, aside from the insoles, running shoes should be light and easy to lift, with support at the heel and enough room in the toebox that the toes can move, but do not strike the front of the shoe when running. Mesh uppers can help the feet to stay cooler when running as well.

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Discussion Comments

By Heavanet — On Aug 24, 2014

@spotiche5- Yes, orthotic shoe inserts are available to create running shoes for flat feet in those that otherwise may not have much support. However, finding the best orthotics for your particular problem can be tricky, and if you get the wrong kind, you can cause more problems than you fix.

For the best results, talk to your doctor about a referral to a specialist who can help you find the best shoe inserts to benefit your flat feet. Chances are, you will be able to have some orthotics made just for you that you can use in your running shoes and other shoes that you own as well.

By Spotiche5 — On Aug 24, 2014

I have flat feet, and have a lot of foot and leg pain if I don't wear shoes to correct this problem. However, I have several pairs of running shoes that I love and are otherwise comfortable to wear. Can I find orthotic shoe inserts to help my flat feet when wearing shoes that do not have the proper insoles?

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