Running shoes for flat feet (2024)

Running shoes for flat feet (1)

22. 9. 2023 5 min. reading

Flat feet bother a significant part of the running population. Are you one of those runners? Find out when flatfoot is serious, which running shoes to wear, and why a foot examination is important.

You may be surprised to know that flat feet are normal to a certain point, albeit too demonized,and do not affect a runner's life negatively. In fact, most people''s feet deviate slightly inward when they walk. This is a natural reaction of the footin order to find balance and maintain stability. The problem occurswhen the foot is severely flat − then you feelpain inmuscles and joints of the feet. In such a situation, the soft structures are already adapted to the inappropriate condition of the foot and its badly learned stereotypes. The foot primarily treads on the inner side of the foot, which falls considerably, and has to bear a large part of the body weight. This causes the previously mentioned pain and pressure on the joints, especially the knees and hips, and also affects correct posture.

If you have flat feet - and we mean strong flat feet - it''s important to choose running shoes that give you the right support, stability, and comfort. Basically, you can go for two types of running shoes, namely:

1) Running shoes with pronation support

The first type of running shoe you can grab is the one with pronation support. Pronation and flatfoot are closely intertwined.In both cases, the ankle and the whole foot dropinwards. Running shoes with pronation support are firm, provide support to the foot in the mid-foot arch area, and have an optimal cushioning layer in the midsole. Keep in mind that pronation shoes won''t solve the flat feet problem for you, they only relieve the discomfort of running by giving the arch the support it needs.

Popular pronation support shoes among runners are:

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2) Minimalist running shoes

Minimalist footwear is increasingly popular nowadays. But what does this term actually stand for? Well, it stands for a shoe that, thanks to its construction, allows you to step naturally, use the full potential of the foot and has a positive effect on flat feet, pronation, and supination.

But beware, this type of footwear requires an adaptation period. If you immediately startedwearingminimalist shoes on every run, it would be a shock to your body. The kind of shock that could lead to calf, knee, or achilles pain. Why is there such a risk? Because they engage muscle and nerve groups that are "asleep" in regular shoes since they have no stimulus to work, they aren't in use. In short, in minimalist shoes, it''s just you and your feet havingto do the hard work. It''s a good idea to alternate minimalist shoes with the ones you''re used to and to use them for shorter runs on softer surfaces, for example, the woods. Although you''ll face a challenge at first, legend has it that once you get used to minimalist shoes, you won''t want to run in any other shoes again.

Minimalist running shoes can be divided into two categories:

Low or zero drop shoes

Drop in running shoes means the difference in the amount of cushioning between the heel and toe. The lower the number, the more natural the running stride your shoe will allow. And natural is exactly what you need. Bestsellers are these models:

Barefoot shoes or barefoot running

Barefoot running or barefoot shoes that simulate running in bare feet require training and patience. You can''t rely on any cushioning, protection or support. If you don''t feel like running barefoot, that''s okay. Instead, we recommend you include barefoot walking wherever the environment allows − on the lawn in your garden, in a meadow, or in a woodland clearing. For running and walking, the Merrell Vapor Glove barefoot running shoe is suitable for soft and uneven surfaces.

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Gait analysis

If you suspect a running abnormality and don''t know which running shoes to choose, it is advisable to get a gait diagnosis. You will find out about possible ankle misalignment, weight distribution during the stride, the load ratio of both sides of the body, and other interesting things.It is usually provided in specialised sports centres or by physiotherapists.

Keep in mind that each person has different feet and what suits one flat-footed runner may not suit another. In case of discomfort and pain, consult a podiatrist or physiotherapist to focus on the most important thingwhich is to actively address your problem: special exercises, stretches, activations, etc.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert and enthusiast, I have personal experiences or expertise like a human expert would. However, I can provide you with information on the concepts mentioned in this article. Let's dive into the concepts mentioned in the article:

Flat Feet and its Impact on Runners

Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, are a common condition where the arches of the feet are flattened and the entire sole of the foot makes contact with the ground. The article mentions that flat feet are normal to a certain extent and do not negatively affect a runner's life. However, when the foot is severely flat, it can lead to pain in the muscles and joints of the feet. In such cases, the foot primarily treads on the inner side, causing pain and pressure on the knees, hips, and affecting posture.

Running Shoes for Flat Feet

The article suggests that runners with flat feet should choose running shoes that provide the right support, stability, and comfort. It mentions two types of running shoes to consider:

  1. Running Shoes with Pronation Support: Pronation refers to the inward rolling of the foot during the gait cycle. Running shoes with pronation support are designed to provide support to the mid-foot arch area and have optimal cushioning in the midsole. While these shoes won't solve the flat feet problem, they can relieve discomfort by giving the arch the support it needs. Examples of pronation support shoes mentioned in the article include Asics Gel-Kayano 29, Puma ForeverRun Nitro, Nike Pegasus Trail, and others.

  2. Minimalist Running Shoes: Minimalist footwear is a popular choice for some runners. These shoes allow for natural foot movement and can have a positive effect on flat feet, pronation, and supination. However, the article cautions that transitioning to minimalist shoes requires an adaptation period. It's recommended to alternate between minimalist shoes and regular shoes, and start with shorter runs on softer surfaces. Examples of minimalist shoes mentioned in the article include Altra Torin, Asics Fuji Speed, and Merrell Vapor Glove.

Gait Analysis and Professional Consultation

If you're unsure about your running abnormality or which running shoes to choose, the article suggests getting a gait analysis. Gait analysis is a process where a professional examines your running form and identifies any abnormalities or imbalances. This analysis can help determine the appropriate running shoes and provide insights into ankle alignment, weight distribution, and load ratio. Specialized sports centers or physiotherapists typically provide gait analysis services.

If you experience discomfort or pain related to flat feet or running, it's recommended to consult a podiatrist or physiotherapist. These professionals can provide specialized guidance, exercises, stretches, and activations to address your specific needs and help alleviate any issues caused by flat feet.

Remember that everyone's feet are different, so what works for one flat-footed runner may not work for another. It's important to listen to your body, seek professional guidance when needed, and actively address any problems you may be experiencing.

Please note that the information provided above is based on this article and should not substitute professional medical advice.

Running shoes for flat feet (2024)

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