Can I be a runner if I’m flat-footed?

Can I be a runner if I’m flat-footed? While you might have been told (wrongly) that you can’t be a runner with flat feet, there’s no reason not to expect to run without pain from flat feet. Running shoes for people with flat feet exist, and they’re actually in high demand. Orthopedists put the number of people with flat feet at roughly thirty percent of the world’s population. Many people are born flatfooted, but many others become flatfooted over the course of time. Being flatfooted can be a painful, but it doesn’t have to slow you down or stop your running career in its tracks. There’s a number of good running shoes for those with flat feet, even for those with over-pronation or supination.

The purpose of this post is to point our flatfooted friends to the best running shoes for people with flat feet, including the best men’s running shoes and the best women’s running shoes on the market. Before you invest in a good pair of flat feet running shoes, make sure to ask your doctor if it’s a good idea to hit the road (or the trails). A podiatrist can also help you devise solutions for your particular situation. Without further delay, here’s our list of the best running shoes for flat feet men and women—in no particular order.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 21

Any and every list of running shoe recommendations for flat footed runners includes the Wave Inspire series from Mizuno. It’s a popular, lightweight shoe that comes in an awesome range of colors. Yet, despite the fact that they won’t weigh you down, these shoes offer a surprising amount of support.

Customer reviews describe them as springy, offering good support, and just down right comfy. These shoes have a following among experienced runners and many people seem to buy them year after year. Bonus: these shoes are exceedingly breathable.

By the way—that number 21? That means this is the 21st version of this shoe to hit the market. These shoes are reliable and have something of a cult following. The negative reviews of this shoe don’t mention support or comfort factors, only that some people don’t like the colors chosen for the new series. Both men’s shoes and women’s shoes come in six colors—so we’ll let you decide if there isn’t a color to make up for their flatfoot running support. Price? $120.00. You can find this on Amazon

Nike Air Zoom Structure 21

Another running shoe surviving to a 21st edition is the Nike Air Zoom Structure series. It’s another shoe that’s a go-to for flatfooted runners, and has been for many years. These shoes employ tight, elastic cables along-side traditional laces to give a consistent and snug fit.

Flatfooted runners recommend this shoe because of its use of both soft and firm materials to give the sole additional support without adding additional weight or bulkiness. Buyers praise this shoe for its unmatched traction, as well as support.

Nike’s a big name—and for good reason. They offer top-notch quality, and they make shoes for feet of all shapes and sizes. This series doesn’t just offer support for flat footed runners in “average” and “wide”, but four choices in total: narrow, average, wide, and extra wide. They come in six varieties and a new pair costs $120 on Amazon website. Here’s a link for men and women.

Brooks Beast 18

This is a serious running shoe for flat footed runners. They might be the best running shoes for flatfooted men. But sadly, they’re not available for women.

The beast is a serious shoe. It’s not light weight, but it leads the pack in the support and stability. It looks and feels like a high-tech shoe—and in this case, looks aren’t deceiving. It offers twenty-five percent more cushioning than the average shoe, and uses a signature methodology to keep your body in a natural motion.

If you suffer from severe over-pronation, these are the shoes for you. It’s thick, reinforced sole minimizes impact. That’s great news for flatfooted runners. You’ll find these shoes among the heaviest running shoes on the market—but the weight is put to good use.

Due to this shoe’s superior support, it’s recommended for marathon runners with flat feet—and marathon runners in general. Don’t let this intimidate you if you’re a less experienced runner, it just means they’re generously supportive. The only downside for the Brooks Beast 18? The shoe only comes in two different colors. Aesthetics aside, it’s a great shoe for men with flat feet. They run at $160 a pair. Want to give these a try? Check them out here

Brooks Ariel 18

The Brook’s Beast for ladies—basically. It comes in one color, so you better like it. But it’s the best choice for women runners with over-pronation. It uses Brooks’ classic motion control technology to promote a healthy stride for women runners. A number of reviews read that the shoes are the most comfortable flatfooted customers have ever ran in, and that they offer a sufficient amount of room for orthopedics.

Women with moderate to severe over-pronation will appreciate the support designed with low-arches and flatfeet in mind. Like the beast, it’s not a cheap shoe by any means—a pair runs for $160 on the company’s website.

However, customer reviews indicate the shoes are especially durable, making them a great value over time. Some reviews mention that the shoe should be bought a half-size larger than what you might normally wear.

Asics Gel Kayano 25

Another timeless series that offers supportive shoes to both men and women flat foot runners. These aren’t good running shoes for those with flat feet—they’re great. What makes this shoe unique? Shock absorbing gel that minimizes impact on your feet and joints as you run.

Like the Brooks shoes, Kayanos make use of motion control technology to correct your stride and minimize the role flat feet play on the open road. The excellent stability factor in these shoes comes from the heel acting as a counter weight to keep your stride healthy and optimal. Another great feature of these shoes that justify the higher price tag (we’ll get to that), is that they’re designed to minimize friction between the shoe and your heel. If this isn’t a problem for you just yet, it might be as you begin to take on longer races.

These shoes are ideal for over pronators, and were actually designed with them in mind. You can find them in a variety of colors and widths for $160 on Asics website.

Asics Gel Nimbus

If you’re looking for excellent running shoes for flatfeet with supination (or underpronation) look no further. This shoe isn’t lacking in selling points: they’re supportive, lightweight, have dampness reducing features, and breath really well.

The greatest strength of these shoes, however, is the cushioning. Sure, they’re lightweight, fashionable, and breathable, but the support really takes them the extra mile. They’re designed especially for flat foot runners with supination and you’re not likely to find a more supportive shoe. Like the other Asics Kayanos, they’re great for both men and women who suffer from supination.

And did we mention style? If you want to look your best on your journey to feeling your best, consider this: these shoes come in more than 100 styles and colors. The hardest thing about these shoes is which one to choose. Like the other high-end shoes, they run for $160 on the Asics website.

New Balance 1080

Another best choice for running shoes for flat feet men and women with supination the New Balance 1080. Right now, you can find the 1080v8 on the new balance website, but these shoes transcend editions. These shoes are not only great for flat feet runners with supination, but offer superior bounce-back springiness and are a great fit for heavier runners.

This is thanks in part to New Balance’s patented N-ergy technology. Basically, these shoes include extra-cushiony gel in the mid-foot to spread impact evenly, rather than focusing it in one area. Like the other shoes for runners with supination, these shoes do a very nice job of regulating your stride.

If you’re not sold on these shoes just yet—did I mention they offer unsurpassed flexibility? Some shoes come out of the box stiff and wear that way for the first few dozen miles. Not these shoes. The bottom of the shoe utilizes a hexagon pattern with deep groves to optimize this shoe’s flexibility. This makes running long distances as painless as it can be because it reduces impact and let’s your foot move in a natural, but supported, motion. You can find men and women’s varieties for just under $150 on New Balance’s website.

To conclude, you asked advice about the best shoes for flatfooted runners—and answered. Whether you’re a flatfoot runner with supination or you’re looking for a solution to pain caused by over-pronation, we hope this list provides you with what you need to go the extra mile. If we missed one of your favorite shoes or you have advice for other runners with flat feet, let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading!



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