If you have flat feet, and like to run, finding the best flat feet running shoes is of utmost importance to you. Flat feet, otherwise known as overpronation is a condition whereby a person’s arch of their foot has either collapsed, or was originally low in stature. If you are a runner, you know that running with flat feet in shoes made for average pronation can be painful and unpleasant. So what we will do here is talk about what overpronation is, and how to find the best flat feet running shoes to help reduce the pain and discomfort that occurs during a run. We will also cover some methods whereby you can strengthen the arch of your foot and slowly but surely correct the issue. Lastly, we will recommend a few different shoes that are built specifically to help runners with this foot condition.
So what is overpronation, or, flat feet? If you take a look at the inner sole of your shoes and it is more worn out than the middle or outer sole, you may be overpronating. Overpronation can be described as the excessive inward rolling of the foot upon impact with the ground. In this case, the foot continues to roll inward when the average foot would be in the process of launching forward and off the ground. Flat feet does not always cause overpronation, but they generally go hand in hand. The arch in your foot is designed to act as a natural shock absorption system. The goal here is to absorb the shock that is felt when your feet hit the ground, rather than having that shock shutter up through your ankles, shins, knees and hips. When you have flat feet, your knees tend to overcompensate to reduce the shock to the rest of your body. You can check out the article here on running injuries that describes common running injuries. The opposite of overpronation and flat feet is called Pes Cavus.
How can you tell if you have flat feet? Well, that’s pretty easy. We call it the water test. What I want you to do is go outside to your nearest spot of dry white concrete. No, we are not going to have you step in wet cement. Wet the ground and step in the water. Ok, now walk normally for about 10 feet. Take a look back at your tracks. If you can see a distinguishable dry area where your inner arch should be, then you don’t have flat feet. If however you see a full footprint from your outer foot to the inner foot, you can be sure that your feet are flat.
Let’s assume that you saw a slew of full flat feet footprints behind you. What now? Not a huge deal. Flat feet is common and plenty of people still run with flat feet. Lucky for you, running shoe manufactures such as New Balance, Nike, Brooks, Asics and Saucony recognized this market need and have filled it beautifully with running shoes built specifically for people with low arches and flat feet. You want to look for shoes with keywords like “support,” “stability,” or “motion control.” Support shoes are the most basic and what we recommend for flat feet runners. Stability shoes are aimed directly at correcting overpronation, and motion control are amped up stability shoes aimed at the most severe overpronation issues.
How about we go through a couple of the best flat feet running shoe options:
Stability Shoes For Flat Feet:
Nike Lunarglide +3
Motion Control Shoes For Severe Overpronation:
ASICS GEL-Evolution 6
- Run barefoot or with Nike Free shoes. This allows the small muscles in the foot to strengthen which should in turn help to increase the height of your arch.
- Pick up a small object repeatedly with your toes. This is a method recommended by podiatrists and is known to yield fantastic results after prolonged exercise.
So let’s review. The arches in your foot are used to absorb the shock created by running and you feet pounding into the pavement. This type of shock absorption happens to a lesser degree for people with a low or fallen arch of the foot. This can lead to ankle, shin, knee and hip injuries as the shock of repeated running steps shutters from your foot up to your hips. There are ways to reduce the impact from a fallen arch, with stability and motion control shoes. You should always consult your doctor before starting any program, however stability shoes are a good at home remedy for a runner that would like to try a quick fix before visiting a doctor. Runners should also consider running barefoot as mentioned above, (try this out on sand first) try running in Nike Free shoes. I have been running in them for years now and highly recommend them from an foot strengthening perspective.