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- Best lightweight: HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 5
- Best for overpronation: Asics GEl-Kayano 28
- Best stability: Saucony Guide 14
- Best cushioned: Brooks Glycerin GTS 19
- Best for orthodics: Brooks Dyad 11
Finding the right pair of running shoes can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if you have flat feet.
With so many features, styles, and price points available, it’s worth checking out a variety of shoes before you settle on the pair you want to buy.
Many experts, such as podiatrists and physical therapists, hesitate to recommend a specific shoe since each person needs to be evaluated to figure out what’s best for their particular feet.
However, these experts do say that some brands have a better selection for flat feet.
We chose the best shoes for flat feet based on the following criteria:
- expert opinions
- shoe quality and durability
- level of support and cushioning
- user reviews
Here are the 5 best running shoes for flat feet.
Combining a low drop, lightweight construction, and responsive cushioning, the HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 5 is different kind of stability shoe.
Yet, despite its more minimal design, the shoe offers plenty of midfoot stability and cushioning, providing the extra shock absorption that flat-footed runners need.
For those dealing with overpronation, the Arahi 5 also features HOKA’s J-Frame technology, which prevents your foot from rolling excessively inward.
What’s more, the shoe has a breathable mesh upper and is available in several colors, including Cantaloupe with Silver and Dazzling Blue with Black.
Best for overpronation
The Gel-Kayano 28 is the latest model of this popular shoe from Asics.
While this shoe suits all runners, Asics’ DuoMax Support System may make it an especially good fit if you overpronate — meaning your foot rolls inward as you land.
Using a firm sponge layer in the midsole, the DuoMax system helps your foot land in a more neutral position, protecting against overpronation.
This latest model of the shoe is also designed with FF Blast cushioning in the midsole for an even smoother and more supportive ride.
The Gel-Kayano 28 features a lightweight construction and is available in several colors, including Electric Blue, Blazing Coral, and Piedmont Grey.
Stability shoes are great for people who have flat feet or need extra support for fluid gait mechanics, because they support proper form and offer extra cushion for shock absorption.
The Saucony Guide strikes the perfect balance between comfort and stability. It’s no surprise that Rob Schwab, DPT, of Oxford Physical Therapy regularly recommends it to his patients with flat feet.
Specifically, the Guide 14 features a streamlined construction that offers 360 degrees of stability without the bulk that’s common in stability shoes.
The Guide 14 is also available in wide sizes and comes in a variety of colors, ranging from neutrals to brights.
One thing to keep in mind is that the upper isn’t particularly breathable, so the shoe isn’t ideal for hot training days.
Designed to replace the Brooks Transcend, the Glycerin GTS 19 has many of the same features that runners loved about its predecessor, including top-tier stability technology and plenty of padding.
Dr. Nelya Lobkova, an American Board of Podiatric Medicine certified surgical podiatrist, says the Transcend was a great option due to its midfoot stability and extra cushion.
Runners with flat feet benefit from extra shock absorption.
The Glycerin GTS 19 is also designed with Brooks’ GuideRails technology to help your foot stay in a natural stride and reduce your risk of injury.
The Glycerin GTS 19 is available in medium and wide widths to fit a variety of foot sizes. It also comes in a handful of colors, including blue, gray, pink, and red.
Best for orthotics
The Brooks Dyad 11 is another top pick for flat-footed runners looking for a spacious shoe that provides a comfortable, stable ride without interfering with their natural stride.
Specifically, the Dyad has a wide platform and Dual Arch Pods, which together provide extra stability that makes the shoe ideal for running long distances on pavement.
What’s more, the shoe is available in medium, wide, and extra-wide widths. It also easily accommodates inserts and orthotics for customized support.
However, while the shoe is great for walking or everyday training, at 11.6 ounces (329 grams), it’s too heavy for speedwork.
Additionally, some reviewers complain that the laces are too short, so you may want to add a longer pair of laces to your order.
Here’s a quick look at how our top picks compare:
|HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 5||Asics Gel-Kayano 28||Saucony Guide 14||Brooks Glycerin GTS 19||Brooks Dyad 11|
|Weight||Men’s: 9.7 oz (275 grams)|
Women’s: 7.8 oz (221.1 grams)
|Men’s: 10.9 oz (308 grams)|
Women’s: 9.1 oz (258 grams)
|Men’s: 10.5 oz (297.7 grams)|
Women’s: 9.4 oz (266 grams)
|Men’s: 10.2 oz (289.2 grams)|
Women’s: 9.4 oz (266.5 grams)
|Men’s: 11.6 oz (329 grams)|
Women’s: 10.7 oz (303.3 grams)
|Heel-toe drop||5 mm||13 mm||8 mm||10 mm||10 mm|
Note that the prices listed above are based on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, or MSRP. The actual price may vary by retailer.
Additionally, the listed weights are provided by the manufacturer and may vary by shoe size.
Gone are the days when you had only one or two choices for running shoes. Now, when you walk into a store or shop online, it’s not uncommon to be matched with several brands and styles to fit your particular needs.
We talked with a few experts to get their suggestions on how to choose a running shoe for flat feet.
Categories of running shoes
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, there are three categories of running shoes:
- Cushioned shoes. These are good for people who tend to supinate, or place more weight on the outside of each foot while running, or those who have high arches or rigid feet.
- Stability shoes. These help people who tend to overpronate, or place more weight on the inside of each foot, or who have arches that might collapse.
- Motion control shoes. These provide the most stability for people who are severe overpronators or have flat feet.
Also known as the “drop,” the heel-toe drop is the measured difference in height from the heel to the toe of a running shoe.
The drop of a shoe greatly affects how your foot lands, with a high drop (more than 7 mm) encouraging a heel strike (
High drop shoes also provide extra arch support and stability, both of which are important for runners with flat feet (
That said, some low drop shoes can still be a good choice if they’re designed to provide the support and stability your foot needs.
Comfort — the ultimate goal
Regardless of the category of shoe, the ultimate goal is comfort.
Dr. Steven Neufeld, a foot and ankle surgeon at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics, says comfort is really the most important factor when looking for a running shoe.
Neufeld adds that when shopping for a running shoe for flat feet, you need to take into consideration your particular feet.
“If you have flat feet that are stiff and rigid, look for a shoe that is softer and will provide adequate cushioning when the foot strikes the ground. But if you have flat feet that are flexible, then a shoe that has arch support and is not super rigid is likely going to be the best option,” he explains.
Neufeld also says to consider a shoe that’s designed to prevent overpronating, as it typically goes hand in hand with flat feet (
And since overpronation tends to cause the foot to widen, he recommends avoiding shoes with a narrow toe box and a floppy heel.
Orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts designed to help manage specific conditions, such as:
You can buy custom orthotics made specifically for your issue, or off-the-shelf inserts, which are more generic but often less expensive.
Whether a flat-footed runner should use orthotics or inserts is a highly debated topic.
“The scientific data does not provide evidence for orthotics in patients without significant symptoms,” says Dr. Adam Bitterman, an orthopedic surgeon at Huntington Hospital who specializes in the foot and ankle.
However, he points out that orthotics have a role in scenarios involving pain and discomfort with normal walking and moving around.
With regard to his overall treatment protocol, Bitterman likes to start with over-the-counter inserts, which are more affordable, and then progress to custom orthotics if treatment shows success.
When it comes to shopping for a running shoe for flat feet, your best bet is to talk with a specialist — such as a podiatrist, physical therapist, or running shoe specialist — and try on several styles.
We’re confident that by using this guide as a starting point, you’ll find the shoe that feels best on your feet.