There Are Two Kinds of Flat Feet
Many runners have flat feet, while others have “collapsed arches,” which are flat owing to a muscle weakness. Although the two types may appear to be the same, Dr. Kimberly Davis of RunLab in Austin, Texas, a physical therapy and training company that assesses running biomechanics, notes that how you buy shoes for them differs significantly.
According to Dr. Davis, you may add arch support until the foot gets stronger and can support its own arch when it comes to buying a shoe for a flat-footed runner with collapsed arches owing to muscular weakness. With an anatomically flat foot, however, arch support merely sends stress up the knee, where it can lead to knee problems. Therefore, it’s essential to determine what sort of flat foot you have before committing to a shoe—and taking into account not just your feet but also your entire body, including knees and movement.
Also see: Best Running Shoes For Flat Feet
Added Arch Support Is Not Always the Answer
Flat-Footed Runners Can Benefit From a Full-Contact Midsole
According to Mike Rea, head physical therapist at the Run Spine Institute in Los Angeles and creator of “The Runner’s Guide to Kinesiology,” arch support may be harmful because the arch is naturally dynamic, and adding extra structure there can prohibit your foot from moving. According to Dicharry, flat-footed runners should pay more attention to finding a shoe with a straight “last,” which is the mold that determines the shape of the shoe. A straight-lasted shoe has a flatter midfoot base and less of a cut-in, a profile that has been dropped in favor of hourglass shoes. He claims that most current shoes do not give enough of a solid foundation for flat-footed runners. “The issue is that all of these hourglass shoe forms look fantastic, but when someone with a flat foot places weight on one, part of their foot is resting on the textile upper. The top doesn’t function as a midsole for foot support. When your feet are positioned level, they perform much better.
Flat Feet Are Just One Aspect Among Many
The reality is that the majority of running shoes will work for nearly everyone; however, if the shoes you’re using aren’t pleasant right away or if you’re feeling any discomfort while running, you should change them. Visit a clinic like RunLab or even a running store that provides gait analysis, such as Moov Now, get your stride analyzed! Once you know more about your feet and movement patterns, have them send all of that information to a running store so they may help you choose the best pair of shoes. Don’t be scared to give a shoe a try out for size before buying it.
How We Selected These Shoes for Flat Feet
I went through the database of Runner’s World shoe test data, spoke with test editors on the Runner’s World test team, and spent a lot of time studying available online shoe evaluations to determine these guidelines. I spoke with representatives from five of the top shoe companies to learn more about the best shoes for runners with flat feet. On the basis of comfort, performance, durability, and value, each shoe was chosen. Because the discussion of running shoe fit and selection is so subjective (it’s never a bad idea to go to a running shoe store and try before you buy), some of the material I discovered was contradictory or counterintuitive, which is why I’ve provided so many alternatives. There is a shoe here that will work for someone with flat feet.