The 3 Best Running Shoes For Flat Feet
As long as you're using a pair of the best running shoes for flat feet, you can participate in high-impact exercise with minimal arches. They'll help support your feet with each stride, minimizing any potential pain.
To learn which features are most important in shoes for flat feet, I tapped Dr. Thomas Novella, an NYC-based podiatrist. If you have flat feet, he recommends looking for three key things to ensure your new running shoes adequately provide that much-needed support.
3 Key Features In Running Shoes For Flat Feet
- Adequate cushioning and shock absorption. A sneaker with cushioning and shock absorption counteracts any arch pain, leg soreness, and potential shin splints during high-impact exercise.
- A firm heel/heel counter. Dr. Novella tells me this is "a key element of the shoe," noting that it provides "side-to-side protection and stabilization of the heel as well as its shock-absorbing fat pad."
- A stable shank. The shank is the part of the sole between the ball of the foot and the heel, and to prevent arch strain, you want that area to be super stable, according to Dr. Novella.
As for when to shop, Dr. Novella suggests trying on shoes at the end of the day or after a workout (aka when your feet are slightly larger). He also suggests swapping out your shoes every six to 10 months for the most comfortable results.
With his recommendations in mind, I've compiled a list of the best running shoes. Shop all my picks, below.
1. The Overall Best Running Shoes For Flat Feet, All Things Considered
Saucony Women's Omni 14
Dr. Novella calls these Saucony Omni 14 running shoes a favorite. "They're great for feet with a wider ball and narrower heel," he says. Plus, they're "among the lightest-weight motion control shoes available." With stable footbeds and barely-there rubber soles, they offer plenty of cushion and shock absorption where it's needed for pronation control and a supportive fit overall. They're available in three color options with a mid-range price point.
What fans say: "I absolutely love this shoe. My feet are extremely flat and this is the only running shoe I buy. I had previously bought the Omni 12 and 13 and am very pleased with the 14 so far!"
- Available sizes: 5 - 8 (Medium, Narrow, Wide)
2. Supportive Running Shoes That Provide Superior Structure
Brooks Women's Ariel
Brooks' Ariel stability running shoes are great for total-foot support. They have a spacious, cushioned toe box for adequate shock absorption; a supportive midsole; and a firm heel with an all-encompassing heel counter for a truly secure fit. Even better, there's a layer of breathable mesh on top for added comfort. With a variety of sizes — including extra-wide options! — and a few different colors available, you can't go wrong. Dr. Novella notes that they do take some time to break it but "will do the job if you require absolute structure."
What fans say: "I have flat feet and am an over-pronator. These shoes are the best Ive ever worn. They are wide enough in the toe box that my feet don't hurt. I wear them for work and exercising."
- Available sizes: 5 - 13 (Medium, Wide, X-Wide)
3. Also Great: Another Supportive Option That Comes In A Variety Of Sizes & Widths
New Balance Women's 1540V2
These New Balance running shoes also provide maximum support but stand out for their firm heel structure, high heel drop, and stable shank — all of which make them a great choice for anyone prone to arch pain. Along with a foam collar and breathable mesh panels throughout, they feature the brand's "Rollbar" technology, which reduces rear foot movement. Like Brooks option above, they come in a variety of sizes including what Dr. Novella calls an "advantage:" different widths.
What fans say: "These shoes tend to run small and narrow. However, once you find the right size, these shoes are the best I've ever worn. They give good support for flat feet or fallen arches, and the built in orthotics are more comfortable than my prescription orthotics."
- Available sizes: 5 - 13 (Medium, Narrow, Wide, X-Wide, XX-Wide)
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.