Does running cause you pain? You feel your feet heavy or you can’t quite determine what’s wrong but something feels off?
One of the reasons might be, that you are constantly running with flat feet. If so, it’s imperative that you pay close attention to the type of shoes you wear (and to this article). While you may not believe that special running shoes can really make a difference in the way you run, you just may change your mind when you find out what the right pair can do for you.
If you already know everything about flat feet, scroll to the bottom to se the list of best running shoes for you. If you want to learn about what’s behind the pain flat feet causes when you run with improper shoes, read on:
Flat Feet and Over-pronation
Your foot arch is where your tarsal and metatarsal bones meet. When this area of a foot is collapsed and there is little to no arch in the foot, they are diagnosed with what is commonly referred to as “flat feet”. Although you may not think that it matters much whether or not you have an arch in your foot, those who decide to take up running will quickly find out that it does.
When you run (or walk), you are applying force to the ground (pushing downward), while the ground is applying an opposite force to your feet (pushing them upwards). Yay physics, Yay Newton, right?
As you consistently apply these principals of force during a run, your body has mechanisms in place to help you absorb the shock of the force. One of this mechanisms is called pronation, and it involves your foot rolling inwards and pushing your foot arch downwards in order to promote better shock absorption. As a runner, this helps you avoid serious injuries.
While good pronation can help keep you safe while running, over-pronation can cause problems. As it unfortunately turns out, people with flat feet are often afflicted with over-pronation, which means that their feet roll too far inward or your foot arch does not collapse properly during a run.
Why You Need Special Running Shoes
As stated above, a good foot arch helps a lot with shock absorption as you are running. As your body’s weight pushes down on your feet when you run and the ground applies the opposite force, you need something to protect the rest of your body’s joints (in the hips, knees, and ankles) from the sudden and heavy impact. Since the arch in your foot is positioned to absorb the shock of up to three times your bodyweight, it’s easy to see how flat feet (or lack of an arch) and over-pronation can lead to injury, pain, and musculoskeletal problems for runners.
Fortunately, having the right running shoe can save you from the pain. With a quality athletic shoe, you can gain the proper support and stability you need to stay comfortable and keep your body safe from harm while you run.
Features You Should Be Looking For
Since over-pronation is what causes problems for runners with flat feet, your first priority in selecting a running shoe should be finding a pair that incorporates technology specifically aimed at eliminating or reducing your tendency toward over-pronation. In order to accomplish this, running shoe companies will often offer the following features for runners with flat feet.
Because your foot lacks an arch, you need added support in order to help with shock absorption.
Running shoes that aim to stabilize your foot so that it does not roll so far inward can help you avoid getting hurt. This is usually accomplished with a thick layer of foam at the arch of the shoe to make up for your missing arch.
These types of shoes take the idea of stability a little further. You will usually find a “bump” (made of hard, dense foam) where your foot arch is supposed to be. While this may seem uncomfortable at first, it can definitely help you avoid the pain of over-pronation. If you’d like more comfort, choose a shoe with gel insoles in the heel or ball areas.
As you search for special running shoes to aid in your comfort during your workout or race, you’ll also want to make sure that the only place where you can bend the shoe is the toe-box. If the arch or the heel of the shoe is bendable, you won’t be able to get the support you need to run injury-free. Because your flat feet will typically be wider, it’s a good idea to choose a shoe with a generous toe-box so that you can ensure the most comfortable fit.
The Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
If you’re looking for the best running shoe for flat feet to purchase to help you overcome issues you may be facing running with flat feet, the following brands and shoes have been recommended to help compensate for a natural tendency toward over-pronation.
Five Great Choices for Stability Running ShoesAsics GT 2000 2 (Men’s) or this one for Women’s,
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14,
Brooks Ravenna 5,
Mizuno Wave Inspire 10.
Five Quality Choices for Motion Control Running Shoes
Mizuno Wave Renegade,
Asics Gel Foundation,Brooks Beast (Men’s) / Ariel (Women’s),
Brooks Addiction 10,
Saucony ProGrid Omni.
You may have been born with flat feet, but that doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying your favorite fitness activity. Although a good pair of running shoes for flat feet will cost you a bit more than standard running shoes, it’s wise to simply look at it as an investment in your health and well-being. Remember, if you are not sure which is the best, but the expensive one.
Having a quality pair of running shoes will not only protect you from the risk of possible injury, but it will allow you to run in comfort and style whenever the mood strikes.