Generally said, runners with flat feet have a pronation that’s different from average runners. The outer heel carries much weight. Running shoes with weak shock absorption can stress leg muscles.
Similarly, running shoes with inadequate support and cushioning for flat feet may lead to discomfort. To find the best running shoes for flat feet, it’s essential to understand what causes flat feet and how to care for them with the right type of running shoes.
What does it mean to have flat feet as a runner?
One may wonder what it means for them when it comes to running with flat feet. Upon surface contact, weight is distributed to the outer heel and then transferred to the inner edge instead of the ball during toe-off.
Flat feet can either be anatomical or a result of fallen arches. Common conditions among runners with flat feet include shin splints, bunions, plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
Does having flat feet affect your running speed?
There is no direct relation between flat feet and running speed. However, runners with flat feet can struggle with weight distribution and lower body stress.
Running shoe support can greatly impact your experience. The wrong pair of shoes can cause stressors such as plantar fasciitis. ASICS carries a wide variety of shoes for runners with flat feet to choose from.
Things to consider when choosing running shoes for flat feet
It’s important to have a pair of running shoes designed specifically for flat feet. For example, flat-footed runners may want to wear running shoes with more structured cushioning and support.
Health expert and ASICS FrontRunner member Hana Jafar noted three aspects to consider when looking for running shoes for flat feet: width, stability, and shape.
“I would recommend a wider midsole shoe that offers a bit more stability," Evan Scully, a physical therapist, said about the importance of flat-footwear.
Finding running shoes with good stability could be beneficial for flat-footed runners. There are features in running shoes that runners could potentially benefit from, such as the TRUSSTIC™ system and DYNAMIC DUOMAX™ system. Both of these implement a smoother stride and reduce any inward rolling that many flat footed runners experience.
For runners with flat feet, cushioning is essential in running shoes. ASICS has worked hard through research and development to create great materials that put the runners comfort as a main priority, such as GEL™ technology.
3. Improved stride
Runners with flat feet experience increased stress while working out due to the way they pronate. Shoes with GUIDANCE TRUSSTIC™ technology can help suppress twisting of the midfoot, which is prone to twisting, as well as improve stability.
Tips for running with flat feet
Beyond wearing running shoes designed for overpronators, flat-footed runners can also take these practices into consideration.
- Adapt your running technique. Using proper running technique can reduce foot and ankle stress, as well as help you run faster with flat feet.
- Stick to running on even surfaces. Running on uneven surfaces can become strenuous and cause weight distribution conditions among flat-footed runners.
Stretches and exercises for flat feet or fallen arches
Stretches and exercises can be especially helpful for runners with flat feet or fallen arches to avoid aches and pains. Consider the following exercises to help improve your running performance.
- Heel raises. Stand up straight with your hands resting on the back of a chair, or a flat surface like a wall or counter. Slowly raise your heels off the ground. Keep your knees straight. Lower your heels back down to the floor. This exercise can help strengthen calf muscles.
- Arch lifts. This exercise can improve supination and lift your arches. Stand with your feet and hips aligned. Keeping your toes on the floor. Roll your weight to the outer foot areas and lift your arches up high.
- Calf wall stretch. Stand facing a wall. Place your hands on the wall at about eye level and legs roughly one step apart. With both heels on the ground, bend your knees. Lean your chest toward the wall to stretch the calf muscle.
- Use a foot roller. This can massage and help relieve soreness. Place a roller underneath your foot arches. Using moderate pressure, push down on the roller and allow it to go forward and back down again.
Improve your safety and performance with the proper running shoe
Finding the best running shoe for flat feet can seem overwhelming. ASICS has created specialty running shoes to provide more support and cushioning for those who need it most. Help avoid future aches and pains from flat feet with a new pair of ASICS running shoes.