The Top 5 Running Shoes for Flat Feet (2021)

Updated: January 22, 2021
Choosing the right running shoes for flat feet is important to prevent pain and injuries. People with flat feet don’t have arches, which are natural shock absorbers. Without those shock absorbers, we’re prone to joint and muscle pain. As well, people with flat feet tend to overpronate, meaning that as they set each foot down, they start with the outer edge of their heel and roll their foot excessively inward toward the arch. Overpronation causes stress to the feet, legs, and pelvis, resulting in pain and even injury.

Choosing the right running shoe depends on WHY those feet are flat. Sometimes people are born without arches, due to genetics. And sometimes people might develop “collapsed arches” because of weak muscles in their feet or an injury. Added arch support can be a boon for people with collapsed arches. But for people born without natural arches, arch support often ends up causing stress and pain, particularly to the knees.

Once you know whether added arch support is a good choice, there are a few other things to consider. First, look at the outsole. Many running shoes have an hourglass shape that tapers near the arches. A straighter outsole will accommodate a flatter foot, ensuring full contact with the midsole for more support. Also, because people with flat feet usually put more force on both their heels and their toes to compensate for not having an arch, extra support in those areas will help prevent discomfort and pain.

Finally, if overpronation is an issue, look for shoes with a medial post of dual density foam–this is a harder compound of foam that’s injected into the midsole under the arch. It’s often stands out visually, as a darker (usually grey) section of the midsole, and so can be easily identified when choosing new shoes.

1. Asics Gel – Kayano 26

Asics Gel-Kayano 26
  • The cushioned midsoles provide excellent shock absorption.
  • Additional gel in the heel and toe areas help mitigate the force people with flat feet naturally place on those areas
  • The stretchy mesh upper helps the shoe fit more snugly, increasing the stability needed by overpronators
Asics Gel-Kayano 26

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4.8

2. New Balance 860v10

New Balance 860v10
  • The medial posts make these shoes an excellent choice for overpronators.
  • The midsole cushioning is one of the design features of this shoe and provides a high degree of shock absorption and increases comfort.
  • The moderately curvy outsole ensures that the foot will be in full contact with the shoe’s midsole, providing support to the entire foot.
New Balance 860v10

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4.8

3. Brooks Beast 18

Brooks Beast 18
  • The wide outsole has a straighter last that minimally curves at the arch to ensure that flat feet come in full contact with the midsole for excellent support.
  • The midsole has 25% more cushioning than Brooks’ standard midsole for a high degree of shock absorption.
  • Brooks’ own Progressive Diagonal Rollbar in the midsole is a tri-density medial post, providing more stability than the dual-density medial posts in other shoes designed for flat feet.
Brooks Beast 18

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Review Average

4.7

4. Mizuno Wave Inspire 15

Mizuno Wave Inspire
  • The light but thickly cushioned midsole offers optimal shock absorption.
  • The removable insoles can be easily replaced with premium insoles or orthotics for a personalized fit.
  • The wave plate and midsole compounds make this shoe an excellent choice for runners with mild to moderate overpronation.
Mizuno Wave Inspire

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4.6

5. Nike Air Zoom Structure 22

Nike Air Zoom Structure 22
  • These shoes provide excellent arch support for those with low to medium collapsed arches.
  • The triple density midsoles provide top-notch shock absorption.
  • The secure fit of the uppers offers additional stability for added support.
Nike Air Zoom Structure 22

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Review Average

4.4
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