Best Walking and Running Shoes for Flat Feet

Walking and Running flat feet for extended periods of time can be a challenge.

If you have a flatter foot or low arch, you will need shoes that provide good walking or running shoe for flat feet for support and shock absorbency to prevent foot conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Shin Splints, Knee Pain and other injuries.

Shoes for Flat Feet Featured Image

What are Flat Feet?

A flat foot is a condition whereby a person has the arches of his feet sitting entirely on the flat ground. The term refers to a medical condition called pes planus and fallen arches;
It appears to manifest itself among people that the curves of the inner central part of their feet have totally collapsed.

Flat-footedness in many occasions is caused by the person’s body being unable to develop the arches naturally or when the muscles of the feet are just too weak to maintain them.

Individuals with flat feet find it to be very challenging, putting on regular shoes.
When they put on such shoes, the lower arch pains a lot; and may lead to other foot & leg skeletal complications.

Running and Walking with Flat Feet

People with lower arches or flat feet from collapsed arches can find themselves running flat-footed their feet slapping down with each strike from the ankle rather than striking with the midfoot and rolling smoothly through a step.

Some people with flat feet will strike the ground heel first, and then the foot will flatten out, other will land on the midsole with no heel strike, leading to painful shin splints.

Shoes that are too stiff and have stiff flat soles often aggravate flat-footed runners because their foot simply cannot roll through as nature intended it to. Flexible shoes that bend at the ball of the foot will ensure more natural movement.

How Flat Feet Affect the Way you Run and Walk

A flat foot or fallen arch is when the arch of your foot is either completely flat or extremely low to the ground.
People who have flat feet tend to roll over to the inner side when they stand, walk or run, and their feet will point outwards as a result of this.

Overpronation which is the excessive inner rolling of the feet when you walk or run is one of the primary defects caused by having flat feet or low arches. For this reason, a motion control or stabilizing shoe is usually the best option for someone who over-pronates that can prevent the feet from rolling inward excessively.

Most people who have fallen arches or flat feet do not experience any pain or discomfort at all. However, some people may experience foot pain when their ligaments and muscles become strained, as well as their leg joints being affected which also results in pain.

Because of over pronation which is mainly caused by flat feet occurs the ankles turn inwards when you walk causing extra stress and pain in the feet ankles and knees.

Simple devices such as orthotic insoles for flat feet and motion control shoes with good cushioning and arch support can help prevent the painful and uncomfortable conditions caused by flat feet and provide you with ample support and monitoring of overpronation.

Some Causes of Flat feet or Fallen Arches

Flat feet can be a genetic condition that runs in the family, although there are also many other aspects that can lead to flat feet;

  • Weakening Arches: it may be there when no weight is placed on it when you are sitting but as soon as you stand you foot flattens, and the arch falls onto the ground completely.
  • Foot Injuries: Can cause the foot or ligaments to weaken or damage causing the arch to fall and the foot to become flat

  • Medical Conditions: Such as Arthritis can also lead to a flat foot as well as many other complications.

  • Tibialis Posterior: Which is basically a ruptured tendon in the foot can lead to a collapsed arch and flat foot.
  • Pregnancy: The hormone relaxin used to relax the joints in the body in order to accommodate childbirth can also affect the feet causing the joints and tendons to relax and the foot to become flatter than normal, this is, of course, more severe with added weight gain.
  • Excessive Weight: Which puts pressure on the feet with added weight that can cause the foot to flatten and become wider.
  • Muscle Nervous System Diseases: Such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or Spina Bifida can also cause the foot to become flat.
  • Diabetes: This condition can affect your feet as well as cause flat feet.
  • Genetics: Birth defects or abnormalities may result in deformation of the foot or a more flat arch.
  • Tendons: Can become stretched or torn particularly with excessive repetitive activities cursing the arch to collapse and the foot to become flat.
  • Broken Bones: Or dislocated bones may result in a low or fallen arch causing flat feet.
  • Nerve Conditions: Such as neuropathy may also cause flat feet or a fallen arch.
  • Aging: With age wear and tear sets in after many years of using your feet to walk, run and jump eventually taking its toll and resulting in one of the consequences which are flat feet.

Features of Good Athletic Shoe for Flat Feet

  • Motion Control and Stability features to control over-pronation.
  • Cushioning for comfort and shock absorbency.
  • High traction and durable rubber outsole.
  • Breathable and flexible upper construction with a secure closure.
  • Lightweight design.
  • Wider width availability.

Reviews: Best Running and Walking Shoes for Flat Feet


Motion Control Flat Feet Running Shoe

The New Balance 1540V2 is an Optimal Control motion control running shoe that is excellent for severe overpronation.

  • Comfortable and breathable synthetic leather uppers with mesh inserts.
  • A durable high traction rubber outsole.
  • The motion control technology aids in preventing overpronation.
  • A Rollbar support system that is an excellent feature for flat feet.


Flat Feet Corrective Running Shoe

The Asics Gel Kayano is true to its heritage and provides unsurpassed performance in a more modern design. Perfect for mild to moderate overpronators with the plush and comfortable sock liner.

  • Seamless and breathable uppers for optimal support and stability without the irritation.
  • A re-engineered heel clutching system for a secure and comfortable fit.
  • A ComforDry sock liner that provides plush cushioning as well as moisture-wicking capabilities for a cool and dry run.
  • The Gel cushioning system provides the best in shock absorption and support and along with the Impact Guidance System helps to enhance the foot’s natural gait cycle.
  • A durable and long lasting outsole offers good grip and traction.


Flat Feet & Overpronation Running Shoe

The Brooks Addiction is the most famous shoe Brooks ever came up with for flat footed and overpronators.

  • This latest variant was recently given by Runner’s World as the Greatest Update of the year.
  • This shoe uses its trademark PDRB triple-density medial post, which will be its primary motion control technology that managed to get the best athletic shoe for overpronators, so it remains to be the top motion control shoe in the marketplace.
  • This shoe now also offers irregular top overlays that keep the arch nicely supported.
  • To further prevent overpronation, Brooks additionally added a higher heel and a caterpillar heel pad which corrects better to the runner’s foot landings.


Wide Width & Flat Feet Running Shoe

A perfect running shoe (‘Beast’ for Men and ‘Ariel’ for Women) for flat feet these shoes accommodates wider feet and provides excellent running experience.

  • Comfortable and breathable mesh uppers.
  • A sock liner that wicks away moisture and keeps the feet cool, fresh and dry.
  • BIOMOGO DNA Midsole provides stability and cushioned comfort.
  • A Diagonal Rollbar delivers maximum control for the most natural motion and movement.
  • A segmented crash pad gives you smoother heel-to-toe transitioning while the Omega Flex grooves provide forefoot fluidity.
  • An abrasion resistant HPR Plus rubber outsole provides durability in all the high wear areas.


Gel Padding Running Shoe

Another excellent model from Asics that is perfect for a flat foot or lower arch is the Gel Cumulus of which the 21 is the latest in its range.

  • An Impact Guidance System to enhance the foot’s natural gait efficiency.
  • rearfoot and Forefoot Gel adding, to attenuate shock and allow multiple movement lanes.
  • The AHAR Outsole, is highly abrasion resistant.
  • Lightweight and breathable upper construction.


Running Shoe for Flat Feet

The Saucony Rude 100 offers a Dynamic fit that ensures good stability and motion control without compromising on flexibility.

  • Lightweight construction with breathable mesh and synethtic overlays.
  • Dynamic and secure fit for stability and motion control.
  • EVERUN top sole that provides continuous cushioned comfort.
  • A TRiFlex outsole from durable rubber for flexibility and protection.


Flat Feet Trail Running Shoes

The Bare Access from Merrell is the perfect outdoor trail running shoe with features that are great for a flat foot or low arch.

  • TPU and breathable mesh uppers.
  • An EVA midsole for cushioned comfort and support.
  • An Integrated EVA footbed.
  • Slight heel and 2mm Lug rubber outsole for excellent grip on slippery surfaces.

Walking Shoes vs. Running Shoes
If you plan to WALK as an exercise:
Get WALKING SHOES for Flat Feet and NOT Running Shoes for Flat Feet !
Here’s Why:
Walking Strike Path GaitWhen You WALK you strike first with your heel and then go through the gait cycle through your mid-foot and the front ball of foot and then propel walking forward.
Running Strike Path GaitWhen You RUN (properly) you strike first with your mid-foot or ball-of-foot and then go through the gait cycle flat on your foot and then propel running forward.

All Major Athletic Shoe Brands are aware of the foot-strike difference.
They manufacture their shoes accordingly:

Walking Shoes: Cushioned Heel & Flexible Mid-Foot.
Running Shoes: Cushioned Mid-Foot & Elevated Flexible Heel.

To Conclude:
If you plan to Walk – Get Walking Shoes and NOT Running Shoes!
Because Getting Running Shoes for a Walking Activity may damage your Heels, Feet, Knees, and Hips.


Flat Feet Motion Control Trainers

A comfortable and well-fitting running shoe with a comfortable Ortholite footbed and Gel cushioning.

  • Lightweight synthetic leather and breathable mesh for the uppers.
  • A padded tongue and collar for a more snug and comfortable fit.
  • The rubber outsole features excellent grip capabilities and long-lasting durability.
  • A removable insole for comfort and support.
  • Shock absorbent and comfortable Ortholite Footbed and Gel Cushioning


Motion Control Flat Feet Walking Shoe

The New Balance 928 is a classy and neutral colored walking shoe with all the right characteristics to support a flatter foot.

  • Comfortable leather uppers in a range of neutral colors.
  • A comfort tongue and foam collar for a more supportive fit.
  • The compression molded EVA insole ensures excellent cushioning and shock absorption.
  • A 13mm heel to toe drop which is ideal for a walking shoe for flat feet.
  • The long-lasting rubber outsole ensures a good grip on different surfaces.


Walking Shoes for Low Arches

Though this looks like any other ordinary shoe, it has been designed by podiatrists for use by those who suffer from symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis.

  • The removable orthotic footbed and Tri-Plantar Motion Control Technique ensures exceptional comfort and support.
  • It uses a very high-quality arch support system.
  • It is extremely popular for those who suffer from pain due to flat feet, heel pain, calluses, the ball of foot pain and bunions.
  • It has a classy look with mesh upper sole and a midsole shock absorber.
  • Human-made sole – specifically designed to keep you always on the move.
  • It comes with a built-in ortho heel footbed that is very useful for controlling foot gait.


Walking Shoes for Flat Arches

Foot Conditions Associated with Flat Feet

Plantar Fasciitis

When you feel pain or tenderness at the bottom of your foot or the heel, then you may have Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the soft band of tissue called the Plantar Fascia which runs from your heel bone to the ball of your feet becomes inflamed and stiff because of excessive strain on this tissue and small tearing in the tissue.
The tearing occurs because of excessive stress and impact from overworking that are of your foot as well as wearing unsupportive footwear.
Doing regular stretching exercises and wearing walking shoes with a supportive and cushioned contoured footbed will prevent Plantar Fasciitis or reduce the painful symptoms should you already suffer from this condition.

Ingrown Toenails

When you wear shoes that are too short or tight there is pressure on your toes causing the toenails to grow sideways into the soft tissue rather than forward. Ingrown toenails can be quite painful and become worse as you walk because of the extra pressure on the toes. Make sure that your walking shoes have ample toe wiggle room and a comfortable and flexible fit, also make sure that you choose shoes in the correct size.


Bunions develop when the bones in the joint of the outer side of your big or little toe become misaligned and start to swell. People who have flat feet, low arches or arthritis, are more prone to Bunions. Wearing a shoe with a wider and softer toe box will reduce pressure on the toes preventing Bunions or eliminating the pain caused by Bunions.

Achilles Tendinitis

The Achilles’ tendon connects your heel to your calf muscle when this tendon becomes irritated from excessive walking you can experience pain in the back of your heel and lower calf. The repeated flexing of the foot when you walk up and down steep hills or on uneven terrain can cause Achilles Tendinitis. Keeping to even and steady ground when you will reduce your risks of developing this condition.

Lumbar Strain

Lumbar strain is pain or aching in your mid or lower back caused when the ligaments around your spine become overworked. Keeping your back muscles strong by performing regular back exercises and avoiding heavy lifting objects with your back or bend over at your waist can prevent Lumbar strain.


Pain in the ball of your foot or between your toes is usually because of a neuroma. A neuroma is the thickening of the nerve near the base of the toes that can cause tingling, numbness or pain in that surrounding area. Wearing shoes that fit well and provide appropriate support will greatly reduce your chances of developing Neuroma.

Shin Splints

Your skin bears up to six times your weight when you walk or exercise. Therefore repetitive pounding on these muscles and the surrounding tissues can create inflammation leading to stiffness and soreness in the shin area. Always give Shin Splints time to heal by cutting on exercising for a short period and strengthen the muscles in your front lower leg to prevent shin splints.

Obesity and Flat Feet

One of the main reasons that the arch of your foot collapses causing flat feet is excessive weight. The excessive weight causes strain on the arches resulting in the tendons and muscles becoming strained and stretched out eventually causing the arch to collapse and the foot to flatten. Because of the excess weight in an overweight person, the feet are not only flat but will also tend to be wider and longer which means that you will need a larger sized shoe that also has a wider width.

Shock absorption is insufficient with a flat foot, and strain on the legs, ankles, knees, and hips are increased. Therefore footwear or orthotic insoles that provide adequate arch support and shock absorption are so important. Losing excess weight will be a great advantage as this will reduce the strain on your already strained flat feet and may also lessen the severity of the condition. Obesity is just as much as a risk to your feet, and lower limbs as it is to the rest of your body and you may eventually find it difficult or impossible to walk.

Essential Requirements and Equipment for Flat Feet.

Good arch support to ensure a more normal foot curve is key. Your arches absorb shock and hold your entire body’s weight when your feet touch the surface. When your arch is flattened extra pressure is exerted on your feet that can lead to tendon damage. Therefore good arch support in a shoe is always required.
A shoe with a raised insole provides added support to the middle-foot which is very beneficial to flat feet. Various medical orthotic devices can be used to raise the middle-foot and to provide artificial cushioning and curvature to a flat foot.

Index Table: Top Rated Walking and Running Shoes for Flat Feet

No.ShoeMen ♂Women ♀FeaturesBrandScore
1New Balance® - Motion Control Flat Feet Running Shoe
  • ABZORB midfoot cushioning
  • Walking Strike Path outsole
New Balance96
2Asics® - Flat Feet Corrective Running Shoe
Gel Kayano 25
Gel Kayano 25
  • Gel Cushioning
  • Stability
  • FluidRide Technology
3Brooks® - Flat Feet & Overpronation Running Shoe
Addiction 13
Addiction 13
  • Triple Density Medial Post
  • Heel Pad
4Brooks® - Wide Width & Flat Feet Running Shoe
Beast 16
Ariel 16
  • Breathable
  • DNA Midsole
  • Rollbar
5Asics® - Gel Padding Running Shoe
Gel Cumulus 21
gel Cumulus 21
  • GEL
  • AHAR Outsole
  • Impact Guidance System
6Saucony® - Running Shoe for Flat Feet
Ride 10
Ride 10
  • Flexible
  • EVERUN Toppp Sole
  • Lightweight
7Merrell® - Flat Feet Trail Running Shoes
Bare Access 4
Bare Access Arc 4
  • EVA Midsole
  • LUG Outsole
8Asics® - Flat Feet Motion Control Trainers
Neo 4
Neo 4
  • Gel Cushioning
  • OrthoLite footbed
9New Balance® - Motion Control Flat Feet Walking Shoe
  • Stabilizing ROLLBAR technology
  • Walking Strike Path outsole
New Balance95
10Vionic® - Walking Shoes for Low Arches
  • Orthotic Footbed
  • Orthaheel Technology
  • Arch Support
11Saucony® - Walking Shoes for Flat Arches
Echelon LE2
Echelon LE2
  • PowerGrid Stable Midsole
  • Impact Zone Shock Absorption

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