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A good pair of shoes is the best workout buddy you can have if you’re a runner. And, if you also happen to have flat feet, making sure your shoes provide the arch support to keep your body stable and prevent injury while you rack up those miles is even more important.

A relatively common condition according to the NHS, flat footed-ness is defined by lacking an arch in one or both of your feet. Most of the time, no medical treatment is required. You just have to be sure to get a good pair of supportive running sneakers.

“When you stand on the floor, if you have no space or little space between the inside of your foot and the floor—that’s a flat foot,” explains Dr. Supna Reilly, DPM, Thorogood Boots a podiatrist at Performance Podiatry Partners. “What flat foot really relates to is the relationships of the bone in the foot, as well as the function of the tendons that surround those bones,” she says. “And that support, or lack of support of the arch, is basically what contributes to flat footed-ness.”

How does someone get flat feet?

There are many reasons why someone might have flat feet. It’s a condition that’s passed through genetics, but you can also develop flat feet due to other changes in life, says Dr. Julia Sinclair, DPM, another podiatrist at Performance Podiatry Partners, including arthritis, pregnancy, aging, and injury.

She says that when someone acquires flat feet later in life, it’s often an issue with the posterior tibial tendon—the tendon that wraps around the inside of the ankle and connects to the inside of the foot. Translation? That’s the tendon that’s responsible for arch support. If this tendon is injured significantly, it could result in a decrease in arch support.

So, what makes the best running shoe for flat feet?

Runners with flat feet are already predisposed to develop injuries like tendonitis, plantar fasciitis (the inflammation of a band of tissue in the heel), bunions, and shin splints, which makes wearing the right type of running shoe more important than ever according to Sinclair. So, you’ll want to look for shoes that aim to provide stability.

That said, shoes that support the shape and position of your foot can mean different things to different people depending on your personal preference. Some of you runners with flat feet might feel best in a highly-cushioned shoe with high arch support, or you may just prefer a shoe that’s more lightweight.

If you’re unsure, Reilly recommends getting your running gait analyzed by your own podiatrist, where they can get help point you in the right direction based upon how your body uniquely moves when you’re on the run. They can also make sure to size you’re getting the right shoe size—may sound basic, but you never know!

Overall, the most important thing is that your shoes feel good. If you’re experiencing pain or blisters in the arch, those are both clues that you might want to rethink Hey Dude  your shoes, says Sinclair. “Your biggest predictor for injury is comfort,” says Reilly. “Return shoes that are not comfortable. Don’t think they’re going to break in and suddenly feel great. You are more prone to shoes that are poorly fitting or don’t feel good on your foot.”

See below for 15 of the best running shoes in 2022 for women with flat feet, according to expert recommendations and online reviews.

1

BEST RUNNING SHOE OVERALL

GT-2000 9 Running Shoes

ASICS

  • Upper made with recycled materials

  • Not waterproof

This stability-focused shoe is ready for everything from casual weekend runs to marathon training, in all seasons. The heel includes increased shock absorption for when you land, and added arch support as you step through.

2

BEST FOR RUNNERS WHO OVERPRONATE

GT-4000 Running Shoes

ASICS

  • Stability support
  • Breathable outer material

  • Limited color availability

Designed to support runners who pronate or overpronate (aka roll their weight inward as they move), the ASICS GT-4000 are designed with cushioning that gives you an extra bounce with each step.

3

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT RUNNING SHOE

Guide Running Shoe

Saucony

Now 19% off

  • Reviewers experience relief from heel pain the first time wearing them

  • Doesn’t have much longevity

With one reviewer proclaiming these shoes are like pillows for your feet, the Saucony Guide promises to be the lightest shoe that gives you the breeziest run you’ve ever experienced. The springy and flexible PWRRUN cushioning also ensures you’ll stay agile on your feet for miles to come.

4

BEST RUNNING SHOE FOR STABILITY

Arahi 5 Textile Synthetic Black White Trainers

HOKA ONE ONE

  • Received the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance

  • Some reviewers reported bottom became unglued after a few months

The Arahi from Hokas Shoes delivers incredible cushioning without being too heavy or bulky. The supportive shoe is designed with a structured mesh heel, meaning you have maximum stability, breathability, and low-profile footbeds that keep your feet closer to the ground for a more efficient push-off.

5

BEST RUNNING SHOE FOR ANKLE SUPPORT

React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 Running Shoe

NIKE

  • Springy and responsive

  • Mesh upper slightly see-through, which isn’t a look for everyone

Nike’s React foam is designed to help reduce injuries but also be durable and lightweight to keep your momentum going. The Flyknit series also comes with a wider front to keep you stable and prevent ankle rolling.

6

MOST CUSHIONED RUNNING SHOE

Gel-Kayano 28 Running Shoes

ASICS

  • Gel in heel and toe help absorb shock

  • Reviewers say the toe box runs narrower than previous versions

A long-time favorite for both runners who overpronate and neutral runners, the Gel-Kayano increased heel support and cushioning to the midsole in this latest version of the sneaker, meaning your step is springier and smoother than before.

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7

BEST RUNNING SHOE FOR BIG TOES

Dyad 11

Brooks

  • Received the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance

  • May feel bulky for some

In addition to supporting your heel and making you feel like your flat feet can push through that last mile, a good running shoe also gives your toes enough room to spread out and stretch if you have long toes (it’s a thing!). The Brooks Dyad has a wide toe box designed to do just that as well, as arch stability and cushioning that adapts to your stride.

8

MOST SPRINGY RUNNING SHOE

Echelon 8

Saucony

  • Extra durable

  • Some may find the design clunky

Though not specifically designed just for runners with flat feet, the Saucony Echelon’s stability, cushioning, and wide fit make it a great shoe for those with little to no arch. The cushioning is springy and the heel is well supported, so you can feel secure in your stride.

9

BEST RUNNING SHOE FOR KNEE SUPPORT

Brooks Ariel ’20

Brooks

  • Reactive midsole cushioning

  • Limited color selection

Running has a tendency to leave its impact on more than just your flat feet. The Brooks Ariel cushions your heel and arch, but also includes supportive guides that help protect your knees from feeling those miles more than the rest of your body.

10

BEST RUNNING SHOE WITH SOFT CUSHIONING

Fresh Foam 860 v 11 Running Shoe

New Balance

  • Medial post support creates a slightly firmer midsole

  • Reviewers note size discrepancy between color options

A fave brand of podiatrists, New Balance’s Fresh Foam’s focus on support for flat feet. The 860v11 is lighter and softer than previous models, giving you added comfort no matter the length of your run.

11

BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR ROAD RUNNING

Gaviota 3 Textile Synthetic Trainers

HOKA ONE ONE

  • Rubber outsole for extra durability

  • Designed more for road running

The latest Gaviota from Hoka boasts an extra two millimeters of foam than previous models. That might not sound like a lot, but when you need some extra motivation for that last mile, it might just be exactly what you’re looking for. The shoe’s design also is meant to keep your feet stable, guiding you through a smooth workout every time.

Brooks

  • Cushioning reacts to your stride

  • Less suited for trail runs or runners focused on speed

The Brooks Adrenaline isn’t necessarily designed for runners with flat feet, but it’s an all-around supportive shoe that works great for most. The stability features in the sole also help to protect your knees and hips from injury and keep your stride smooth.

13

BEST BREATHABLE RUNNING SHOE

Fuel Cell Prism v2 Running Shoe

New Balance

  • Synthetic, breathable upper

  • Some reviewers felt v2 is less responsive than the v1

Sometimes you just need a little push to keep going, and New Balance’s Fuel Cell midsole promises to give you a little oomph with each step. But, it doesn’t sacrifice stability for momentum with a medial post that provides extra support.

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