7 Best Running Shoes For Flat Feet in 2024

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic on
7 Best Running Shoes For Flat Feet in 2024
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Feeling comfortably supported becomes a priority when you have flat feet. We want to make sure that every flat-footed runner receives the right kind of support from their next pair of shoes.

Equipped with a shoe testing lab and a team of dedicated testers, we have reviewed over 80 running shoes that are recommended for flat feet.

Depending on what you value the most, we have selected our top picks in several categories. Whether you want more cushioning, or need extra space for the toes, or look for a more budget-friendly option, there is a shoe for every demand.

How we test running shoes

  • All shoes are purchased with our own funds to help us stay transparent and honest. 
  • We go at least 30-50 miles in each pair before submitting our feedback. We ensure that the flat footers among us - both with flexible and rigid flat feet - lead the wear testing to prioritise their requirements and discuss their real observations about these running shoes. 
  • We slice these running shoes up in our lab to measure every imaginable parameter. Moreover, we set our gathered data side by side with the average values to have a qualitative analysis of each element of the shoes. 

Best running shoes for flat feet overall

What makes it the best?

Make way for the undefeated champion for flat feet, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23. Its polyvalence is outstanding, with the rock-steady cushioning and guiding systems working behind the scenes to create the ultimate flat-footer dream.

Both our feet and heart were fully confident when hitting the road, with no hesitations from the shoe in sight. A massive platform shines underfoot, evenly dispersing the impact of each landing. Putting it into numbers, the GTS 23's midsole stretches 4.2 mm wider than the average at the forefoot and a noteworthy 6.8 mm at the heel. The guide rails surrounding the heel sweeten the stability game, effectively preventing our feet from excessively rolling inward.

Killing it in the support department, the Adrenaline 23 sits the feet above a thick foamy layer. There’s 34.1 mm of heel stack, which shyly tops the average of 33.4 mm. Now, that’s no ultra-cushioned trainer, but in the stability realm, it’s strikingly perfect for everyday training, even when the scorching sun is in full swing. We found sizable ventilation holes throughout the entire upper, earning the GTS a flawless 5 out of 5 for breathability. 

On the other hand, the GTS 23 might not be ideal for forefoot strikers in need of extra cushioning, as its 21.5 mm of forefoot stack falls 3.0 mm short of the average for running.

Pros

  • Excellent stability without being intrusive
  • Ideal for easy miles
  • Specifically designed for heel strikers
  • Outstanding breathability
  • Comfortable and cushioned
  • Availability in narrow and wide sizes
  • Capable of handling tempo paces
  • Not expensive at all

Cons

  • The engineered mesh upper lacks durability
  • Lacks cushion for forefoot strikers
Full review of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

Best daily running shoes for flat feet

Hoka Arahi 6
87
Great!

What makes it the best?

Our daily sessions reached new heights on the Arahi 6. Its underfoot feel is icily composed, cocooning flat feet in a gait-supportive embrace that weighs virtually nothing for a stability shoe.

A firm-ish midsole grabbed our attention from the very first step, confidently flowing against the super-plush trend of our days. In fact, the softest of its layers emerged as a noteworthy 71.5% firmer than average. The result is a fairly responsive ride, whose superb consistency doesn’t go unnoticed. And it’s utterly delightful too, with this Hoka’s 252 grams (8.89 oz) effortlessly outclassing the average of 303 grams (10.7 oz) for a stability shoe.

Epitomizing the Arahi’s appeal to flat-footers, our huge footprints can be found in the off-road trails we ventured into. Particularly at the heel, as our caliper found the midsole to be 7.4 mm wider than average at this part. With such a large midsole, no wonder it feels so torsonially secure when landing.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows with the Arahi 6. Its traction game left a lot to be desired, so we recommend easing up on speed before those 180º turns.

Pros

  • Fits true to size
  • Balanced cushioning
  • Lightweight for stability shoes
  • Good lockdown
  • Stable platform
  • Fun to run in
  • Very comfortable
  • Improved lacing

Cons

  • Grip is not reliable
  • Durability problems
Full review of Hoka Arahi 6

Best speed training shoes for flat feet

Saucony Tempus
89
Great!

What makes it the best?

Here comes the Saucony Tempus and its game-changer aura. High-paced stability comes in colors, sealing the ultimate recipe for speed sessions with its bouncy and breezy in-shoe experience.

Under the hood, the Tempus capsulizes a finely tuned engine and an insatiable gearbox, putting our chronometer in check. Such bounce has no match in the stability realm, with the Tempus’ midsole emerging as 23.0% softer than average from our durometer. It’s downy yet remarkably stable, with its width exceeding the average by 4.3 mm at the heel and 4.4 mm at the forefoot.

What else, it’s summer-ready too! Smoke pumped into the shoe ushed out through the upper with unparalleled ease, earning the Tempus an immaculate 5 out of 5 for breathability. The airflow was immense, coming through the tongue, the sides, the toebox. Not even our sweatiest toes stood in the way of achieving faster splits with each repetition.

Its class comes with a price, and at £170, it doesn’t go easy on the wallet. When the average flat-feet-oriented shoe comes at £150, runners seeking a budget-friendly option might want to look elsewhere.

Pros

  • Stable but not aggressive
  • Responsive ride
  • Smooth transitions
  • Outsole is super solid
  • Bites on wet roads
  • Snug and secure fit
  • Breathable on warm days
  • Roomy toe box
  • Not heavy

Cons

  • Causes heel rubs
  • Expensive
Full review of Saucony Tempus

Best cushioned running shoes for flat feet

What makes it the best?

Gel Kayano 30 ensures a smooth, comfortable, and steady ride. It boasts a mega-stack made of FF Blast+ and a 4D Guidance System. It redefines the traditional rigid stability shoe and our lab and actual run results show it offers the best cushioning for flat feet.

On our first slip-on, the FF Blast+ foam instantly feels like home. Our durometer confirms it’s 31.4% softer than average. Adding comfort further is the tall stack rising to 39.7/27.7 mm in the heel and forefoot. It provides more than enough foam to mute ground feel.

While max-cushioned shoes are usually wobbly, GK30 exceeds the standard with its 4D Guidance System. It makes use of a softer foam that adjusts to the shape of our foot to support the arch. The extensive landing platform enhances stability further — providing extra 11.2/15.3 mm space in the forefoot and heel.

This shoe won’t give any hotspots and blisters because of its super breezy upper that scored the highest rating on our breathability test.

All the extra padding added extra weight. While the average is only 9.5 oz (268g), Gel Kayano 30 weighs 10.7 oz (303g).

Pros

  • Exceptionally cushioned
  • Impressively stable with 4D Guidance System
  • Lighter than it seems
  • Top-notch breathability
  • Effective maximalist design
  • Superior durability and comfort
  • Ideal for high-mileage runners
  • Ultra-plush FF Blast+ foam
  • Amazing build quality

Cons

  • Actual drop exceeds stated measurement
  • Midsole might require a break-in period
Full review of ASICS Gel Kayano 30

Best lightweight running shoes for flat feet

What makes it the best?

While stability shoes tend to hover around 10.6 oz (300g), the Saucony Guide 16 is a lean, mean running machine that weighs in at only 9.7 oz (275g). What’s more, the reactive midsole delivers a bouncy ride that makes the shoe feel even lighter underfoot than the scale suggests. This fun and supportive shoe can keep up with any pace or distance and easily tops the ranks as the best lightweight running shoe for flat feet. 

Surprisingly, Saucony didn’t even have to skimp on midsole foam to achieve this feathery frame; with a stack that’s on par with the average road shoe measuring 24.8 mm and 32,6 mm at the forefoot and heel respectively. What’s more, that foam is 15.6% softer than average with a durometer reading of 20 HA. This means that we enjoyed a balanced level of cushioning with an energetic rebound during our test runs. 

The heel counter is an oft-overlooked feature that can have a major effect on how supportive a shoe is, with the Ride 16’s highly structured heel receiving the most rigid score of 5 out of 5. As such, the shoe mitigates the effects of overpronation on our stride by controlling how much our foot is able to move laterally. This is excellent for those with flat feet as they tend to have an overpronating gait. 

One drawback is how narrow the midsole is at the heel. Measuring only 85.8 mm, it’s 4.3 mm shy of our current lab average. This means that heel strikers don’t have a robust enough platform to ensure stable landings.

Pros

  • Softer, more comfortable upper
  • Breathable
  • Excellent lockdown
  • Good guidance without being too intrusive
  • Protective and fairly responsive
  • Good grip
  • Natural-feeling ride
  • Roomy toe box
  • Lightweight
  • Best for daily miles and as a walking shoe

Cons

  • Uncomfortable for going sockless
  • Firm cushioning
  • Does not like to go fast
  • Durability is so-so
Full review of Saucony Guide 16

Best running shoes for long distance for flat feet

Hoka Gaviota 5
83
Good!

What makes it the best?

Gaviota 5 delivers steady support and luxurious comfort for our LSDs. It offers stability features and relieving arch support. In our lab, we discovered it has a clever combination of two foams, a breathable upper, and an extremely wide base — making it the best long-distance shoe for flat feet.

We could run all day with its ultra-soft 12.9 HA midsole (vs. 24.1 HA average) and higher-than-average stack. The cushion absorbs much of the impact and protects our legs from fatigue. While softer foams tend to be wobbly, Hoka integrates a firmer 22.0 HA secondary foam in high-impact areas to keep us steady.

Further promoting stable landings is the extra, extra wide midsole. Our caliper measures 125.1/106.6 mm in the forefoot and heel, giving 11.9/16.5 mm additional space to accommodate wide feet. With its H-Frame, Gaviota 5 shines in the lateral stability test and keeps us centered.

Providing additional comfort is the well-ventilated upper — composed of a thin engineered mesh with lots of ventilation holes. It scored the highest 5/5 in our breathability test in the lab, confirming our own breezy experience. This helps avoid hotspots and blisters.

As expected from a cushioned stability shoe, it sits heavier at 10.6 oz (299g) vs. the average running shoe (9.5 oz / 268g).

Pros

  • Remarkably stable
  • Breathable and comfortable upper
  • Lightweight for its size
  • Plushier than ever
  • Good stability option for forefoot strikers
  • Ideal for wide feet
  • Excellent for long runs

Cons

  • Low drop might pose issues for heel strikers
  • Performs poorly in colder conditions
  • Not for narrow feet
Full review of Hoka Gaviota 5

Best budget running shoes for flat feet

What makes it the best?

With its £110 price tag, the ASICS GT 1000 12 delivers the best price for performance in the category of stability shoes which usually toe the line closer to £140 on average. As such, picking the GT 1000 12 as the best budget running shoe for flat feet was a no-brainer. 

Pressing our durometer against the midsole yields a reading of 12.8 HA. This is incredibly plush as far as midsoles go and makes the GT 1000 12 a whole 46% softer than our current lab average. While this may seem counterintuitive when it comes to stability, the inclusion of ASICS’ iconic GEL embedded in the shoe’s heel provides us with some balance by offsetting the squishiness of the midsole at the heel. 

While stability shoes are often quite rigid and uncomfortable, the GT 1000 12 manages to strike an excellent balance between pliability and support. This is exemplified in our torsional rigidity test where the shoe receives a score of 3 out of 5. This semi-rigid nature means that the shoe is able to twist and contort with our foot to a certain extent while still providing a sturdy and level base underfoot. 

Despite singing its praises earlier for its lovely cushioning, the midsole does fall short in the responsiveness department. As such, pushing the pace for tempo sessions or pushing the gas tank by going the distance feels like much more of a slog when compared to using some of ASICS’ more premium models.

Pros

  • Incredible value for the price
  • Cushioned and soft midsole
  • Offers great stability
  • GEL technology in the heel
  • Perfectly comfortable for cross-training or walking
  • Built to endure long-distance runs
  • Offers exceptional breathability
  • Durable outsole with a long lifespan

Cons

  • Flytefoam could offer better energy return
  • Upper lacks durability
Full review of ASICS GT 1000 12

What are flat feet

Flat feet, also called fallen arches, is characterised by no arch, which means the entire sole of the feet touches the ground. Based on studies, this foot condition affects 20% to 30% of the general population. For adults, it is more common in women who are over 40 years old and people who are obese

If you are a flat-footed runner, this buying guide will help you pick the right pair of running shoes for your condition.

Difference between normal and flat feet.png

3 mistakes to avoid when looking for running shoes for flat feet

Are there shoes designed for flat feet? Well, not exactly! There are running shoes designed for overpronation, and most flat-footed runners overpronate. Thus, individuals with flat feet find comfort in using stability or motion control shoes.

If you want to buy the most comfortable running shoe for your flat feet, avoid these mistakes:

1. Not knowing how much support you need

When it comes to flat feet, extra arch support is not always the answer. Having flexible or rigid flat feet will significantly affect your choices.

two-types-of-flat-feet.png

Flexible flat feet

Rigid flat feet

The arch is visible when there is no weight (ex. while sitting, on toes, or lying down); it disappears when weight is put on the legs

Arch is not visible; remains flat in all positions

Usually painless

Causes pain during everyday activities

Usually affects both feet

Usually affects one or both feet

Which running shoes to choose

  • For flexible flat feet, it is recommended to use stability running shoes because having too rigid and substantial arch support can put stress on the feet and knees.
  • For rigid flat feet, it is better to wear motion control running shoes as they help to alleviate pain and discomfort. However, these shoes are becoming a thing of the past with more technologies being developed for overpronation overall. 

neutral-stability-motion-control.jpg

neutral shoe (left) vs. stability shoe (centre) vs. motion control shoe (right)

2. Forgetting that heel and toe support are also important

Flat-footed runners usually apply more force in the heel and toe areas; thus, they need to wear running shoes with added durability and support in those areas. Running shoes for flat feet are usually bulkier and thicker than normal running shoes because of these added features.

3. Not recognising the importance of shoe last

When dealing with flat feet, arch support is not the only solution. You need to pay attention to the shoe's last or mould. It dictates the shoe’s level of stability.

Straight last will help flat-footed runners feel more sure-footed and avoid pain.

types-of-shoe-lasts.png

Hoka shoes are known for straight, extra-wide platforms

hoka-one-one-arahi-5-outsole.jpg

See all Hoka shoes for flat feet

Other important things to remember if you have flat feet

Replace your running shoes before they wear out

Do not wait for your running shoes to be completely worn out before you replace them. Some experts suggest that running shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles, depending on your running style, weight, and the quality of the shoes itself.

asics-gel-kayano-28-outsole-forefoot.jpg

ASICS Gel Kayano shoes employ the brand’s most durable AHAR rubber. It lasts well beyond 500 miles.

If you have flat feet, pay attention to your shoe’s midsole. It provides shock absorption as well as the stability and motion control you need for your foot condition. Over time, the midsole will wear down and won’t provide the same level of comfort and support. If you have already run a lot of miles and you notice pain during or after you run, then it’s time to buy a new pair.

Stretch and strengthen your feet

If you have flat feet, keep your arches strong and properly stretched. Make sure to stretch regularly every day for a few minutes and after your running activity. 

stretching-exercise-for-flat-feet.png

For instructions and more flat feet exercises, read this article

Do not ignore the pain

Running through pain will worsen the condition and increases the risk of serious injury. If you experience pain while running, get professional help. It is important to rest too.

If you are interested to learn more about flat feet and associated foot conditions, as well as tips on how to choose the right running shoes, here are a few articles to explore:

Author
Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic
Whether it's a vertical kilometre or an ultra, climbing in the Alps or exploring local mountains, Jovana uses every opportunity to trade walls and concrete for forests and trails. She logs at least 10h/week on trails, with no off-season, and 4x more on research on running and running shoes. With a background in physics and engineering management, she prefers her running spiced with data.