Three of the best running shoes for flat feetShare on Pinterest

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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 these shoes based on the following criteria:

  • Expert opinions. We asked orthopedists and foot and ankle specialists about their recommendations for running shoes for flat feet.
  • Shoe quality and durability. A good pair of running shoes is an investment, which is why shoe quality and durability matter. We looked for shoes that are made to last.
  • Level of support and cushioning. We picked shoes with varying degrees of support and conditioning so that you can find what works best for you.
  • Customer reviews. We looked for shoes with mostly positive customer reviews.
  • Vetting. The shoes on our list have been vetted to ensure that they align with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. You can read more about our vetting process.

Here are the 8 best running shoes for flat feet.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $130–$160, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $130
  • $$ = $130–$150
  • $$$ = over $150

We use “men’s” and “women’s” in this article to align with how products are sold on retail sites, but that doesn’t mean you need to stick to one or the other. Choose the product with the fit, style, and features that work best for you.

Best lightweight

HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 6

  • Price: $$
  • Weight: men’s: 9.3 ounces (oz.) (263.7 grams), women’s: 7.6 oz. (215.5 grams)
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 5 mm

Combining a low drop, lightweight construction, and responsive cushioning, the HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 6 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.

The Arahi 6 features HOKA’s J-Frame technology, which prevents your foot from excessively overpronating, or rolling inward as you land.

The Arahi 6 is lighter than the Arahi 5 and has more cushioning in the tongue and a longer pull tab at the heel.

What’s more, the shoe has a breathable mesh upper and is available in several colors, including a buttery Sweet Corn color with orange and blue accents or classic black and white.

The Arahi 6 has received the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance, which means it has been found to help promote foot health.

Pros

  • good midfoot stability
  • breathable
  • low 5-mm drop

Cons

  • less arch support than previous versions

Best for overpronation

Asics Gel-Kayano 28

  • Price: $$$
  • Weight: men’s: 10.9 oz. (309 grams), women’s: 9.1 oz. (258 grams)
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 10 mm

The Gel-Kayano 28 is the latest model of this popular shoe from Asics.

While this shoe suits all runners, the Asics DuoMax Support System may make it an especially good fit if you overpronate.

Using a firm sponge layer in the midsole, the DuoMax system helps your foot land in a more neutral position, protecting against overpronation.

The 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 lightweight construction, though it is heavier than some other options on this list. It’s available in several colors, including Electric Blue, Blazing Coral, and Piedmont Grey.

Pros

  • maximum cushioning and support
  • helps control overpronation

Cons

  • narrower toe box than previous versions
  • not available in wide sizes

Best stability

Saucony Guide 15

  • Price: $$
  • Weight: men’s: 9.5 oz. (269.3 grams), women’s: 8.2 oz. (232.5 grams)
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 8 mm

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 a great 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 15 features a streamlined construction that offers 360 degrees of stability without the bulk that’s common in stability shoes. The PWRRUN foam is softer than previous models, and the sole uses less rubber but still has a good grip.

The Guide 15 is available in medium and wide widths 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.

Pros

  • soft yet stable
  • snug heel fit
  • wide toe box

Cons

  • not very breathable

Best cushioned

Brooks Glycerin GTS 19

  • Price: $$
  • Weight: men’s: 10.7 oz. (303.3 grams), women’s: 9.4 oz. (266.5 grams)
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 10 mm

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 with Step Up Footcare, says the Transcend was a great option because of 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 comes in a handful of colors, including blue, gray, pink, and red.

This shoe has received the APMA Seal of Acceptance.

Pros

  • supports a natural stride
  • extra shock absorption
  • maximum cushioning and stability

Cons

  • not very breathable
  • less responsive than other shoes

Best for heel strikers

Mizuno Wave Inspire 18

  • Price: $$
  • Weight: men’s: 10.6 oz. (300.5 grams), women’s: 9.1 oz. (259 grams)
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 12 mm

The latest version of Mizuno’s popular Wave Inspire shoe series, the Inspire 18 has a thickly cushioned heel wedge, which can be helpful if you tend to strike the ground with your heel first while you run.

The shoe provides stability without being too stiff and features Mizuno’s ENERGY FOAM, which provides extra springiness that’s great for road running.

Plus, the textured rubber tread can help increase traction, even on smoother surfaces like asphalt.

The upper on the 18 is seamless and more breathable than in previous versions.

It comes in several colors, from pastels to neutrals, though there aren’t a ton of brights. The midsole is made of renewable materials.

If you have a knee injury or experience knee pain when you run, you may want to consider a shoe that has a lower heel-to-toe drop, which will lead to more of a mid- to forefoot strike (1).

Pros

  • soft, stable midsole
  • responsive design
  • good traction

Cons

  • high heel-to-toe drop that may not be comfortable for all runners

Best for orthotics

Brooks Dyad 11

  • Price: $$
  • Weight: men’s: 11.6 oz. (328.9 grams), women’s: 10.7 oz. (303.3 grams)
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 10 mm

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 easily accommodates inserts and orthotics for customized support, and it has earned the Seal of Acceptance from the APMA.

However, while the shoe is great for walking or everyday training, 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.

Pros

  • Dual Arch Pods for added stability
  • available in medium, wide, and extra-wide widths
  • works well with inserts and orthotics

Cons

  • may be too rigid for some
  • limited color options available
  • heavy and not ideal for speedwork

Best for trail running

Topo Ultraventure 2

  • Price: $$
  • Weight: men’s: 10.4 oz. (294.8 grams), women’s: 8.3 oz. (235.3 grams)
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 5 mm

If you’re a trail runner with flat feet, the Topo Ultraventure 2 offers light stability without being too rigid.

It has a highly cushioned platform for a soft, responsive landing and a foam collar to help prevent ankle irritation. The Vibram outsole and lugs provide added durability and traction.

The midsole features two levels of cushioning — a softer layer right beneath your foot and a firmer layer that helps protect your feet. The external heel counter keeps your foot securely in place, even as you run on uneven terrain.

The shoe provides enough stability to help prevent overpronation, and the wide toe box keeps your feet from feeling cramped and uncomfortable during long runs.

This shoe can be worn with gaiters, which can help keep rocks and sticks from hitting your ankles.

Reviewers appreciate the roomy toe box and extra cushioning.

The Ultraventure 2 has been accepted by the AMPA, earning its Seal of Acceptance.

Pros

  • wide toe box with snug heel fit
  • Vibram outsole and lugs for good traction
  • corded laces that stay tied

Cons

  • breathable porous upper that may allow mud to get inside the shoe

Best budget

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

  • Price: $
  • Weight: men’s: 10 oz. (283.5 grams), women’s: 8.2 oz. (232.5 grams)
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 10 mm

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus is known for providing comfortable cushioning at a good price. Like models that have come before, the Pegasus 38 is made using a responsive foam that provides a slight spring.

This model has a wider fit and a more snugly fitting heel than previous versions, and it can handle both short and long runs thanks to its ample cushioning.

The added padding in the tongue means you can tighten the laces without having too much pressure on top of your foot.

The men’s version of this shoe comes in both regular and extra-wide sizes, which can be helpful because some traditional running shoes may be too narrow for people with flatter feet.

Like most other Nike shoes, the Pegasus 38 comes in great colorways, including all black and special A.I.R. Jordan Moss colors and patterns.

Pros

  • comfortable
  • good value
  • solid, sturdy grip

Cons

  • shoe weight and heel-to-toe drop not noted on Nike website
  • extra cushioning in the tongue that isn’t as breathable

Here’s a quick look at how our top picks compare:

PriceWeightHeel-to-toe dropCushioningSupport
HOKA Arahi 6$$Men’s: 9.3 oz. (263.7 g)

Women’s: 7.6 oz. (215.5 g)
5 mmhighstable
Asics Gel-Kayano 28$$$Men’s: 10.9 oz. (309 g)

Women’s: 9.1 oz. (258 g)
10 mmmaxneutral/stable
Saucony Guide 15$$Men’s: 9.5 oz. (269.3 g)

Women’s: 8.2 oz. (232.5 g)
8 mmmoderatestable
Brooks Glycerin GTS 19$$Men’s: 10.7 oz. (303.3 g)

Women’s: 9.4 oz. (266.5 g)
10 mmmaxstable
Mizuno Wave Inspire 18$$Men’s: 10.6 oz. (300.5 g)

Women’s: 9.1 oz. (259 g)
12 mmmoderatestable
Brooks Dyad 11$$Men’s: 11.6 oz. (328.9 g)

Women’s: 10.7 oz. (303.3 g)
10 mmmoderateneutral
Topo Ultraventure 2$$Men’s: 10.4 oz. (294.8 g)

Women’s: 8.3 oz. (235.3 g)
5 mmhighstable
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38$Men’s: 10 oz. (283.5 g)

Women’s: 8.2 oz. (232.5 g)
10 mm moderateneutral

Note that the prices listed above are based on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (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 severely overpronate or have flat feet.

Heel-to-toe drop

Also known as “drop,” the heel-to-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 (1).

High drop shoes also provide extra arch support and stability, both of which are important for runners with flat feet (1).

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,” he says.

“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.”

Neufeld also says to consider a shoe that’s designed to prevent overpronating, as it typically goes hand in hand with flat feet (2).

Because overpronation tends to cause the foot to widen, he recommends avoiding shoes with a narrow toe box and a floppy heel.

A narrow toe box can also compress the toes, which can lead to numbness or tingling in the feet or, in more serious cases, conditions such as Morton’s neuroma.

Best practices when shopping for running shoes

Here are a few recommendations for finding your perfect pair:

  • Get fitted at a specialty running store that has knowledgeable staff.
  • Try out the shoes at the store before buying them.
  • Don’t try on shoes at the end of the day when your feet are swollen.
  • Ask about a return or guarantee policy just in case the shoe doesn’t work out.

Orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts designed to help manage specific conditions, such as:

You can buy custom orthotics, which are 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.

Are there any types of running shoes you should avoid because of your flat feet?

Yale Medicine foot and ankle specialist Dr. Sean Peden explains that minimalist shoes may not be a good option because they “provide no support” for your arches.

He adds that shoes with a flexible or soft heel support may not be suitable, either.

Can you run frequently with flat feet?

“For those with flat feet, I advise running with activity rotations,” says Lobkova. “For instance, one day running, next day rest or stretching, followed by another running day.”

She also suggests a series of arch-strengthening exercises for people with flat feet, including towel gathers, ball pickups, and heel raises.

How often should you replace your running shoes?

You should replace your shoes when the treads wear out, according to Peden.

“There should be no set mileage,” he says. “Different runners put different stresses on different shoes. It should not be a set mileage thing.

“Inspect the sole of your shoe regularly, and when the treads are beginning to wear through to a smooth surface, you need new shoes.”

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.