What running trainers are best for flat feet? [Guide]
We've compiled a list of 8 trainers perfectly suited to those of us with feet flatter than most.
Every human being is different and that saying certainly applies to feet. Even if they’re big and broad, small and thin, or somewhere in between, no two pairs of feet are the same. If buying a pair of socks this doesn’t really cross the mind as they’re mainly down to size. However, if it’s a pair of trainers – more specifically running trainers – someone is looking to purchase the shape of the recipient’s hooves will massively play a part in which product is bought.
One problem marathon addicts are finding is which trainers to buy if they have flat feet. On the main there’s two types of flat feet, anatomically and collapsed arches. Runners who overpronate are more likely to suffer from shin splints, back problems and tendonitis in the knee. With the right running trainer, though, specially designed to support those who over-pronate, there’s no reason why PBs cannot be achieved without any additional suffering.
But which running trainers are best for those with flat feet? As we’re approaching the thick of marathon season, here’s some we recommend that are available to both men and women…
1. Brooks Raveena 10
We start with Brooks, who are a real world leader when it comes to the production of all things running. Started 104 years ago in Philadelphia, the company have released an uncountable amount of top-class products in their time, including their Raveena range shoes.
Now on number 10, these provide sufficient arch support. Lightweight to maximise speed, the supportive midsole isn’t too rigid which makes it unobtrusive and secure whether running on the flat or uphill. Said to give a ‘pep in the step’, the Raveena 10’s materials are durable whatever the weather. There are downsides though, with a selection of consumers saying that the GuideRails on the sides of the shoe were too stiff. Many have also shared that the shoe also runs half a size smaller than usual.
2. Asics Gel Kayano 25
A running shoe list wouldn’t be a running shoe list without Asics. The Japanese sportswear giant have designed a number of products to suit those with flat feet. We think the pick of a very good bunch is the GEL-Kayano 25. Made for long distance running, the latest footwear in Asics’s Kayano range benefit from FlyteFoam cushioning, a redesigned jacquard mesh, spacious toe box and Ortholite X-40 sockliner for ultimate comfort. Focused on endurance, its medial support system and metaclutch have ensured an improvement in levels of heel-holding and FlyteFoam Lyte technology to enhance performance. Overpronators can enjoy problem-free runs thanks to a fibre-reinforced midsole which will help the shoes recover their shape after impact.
Whether in the gym or on the roads, the GEL-Kayano 25 is both versatile and durable, while a wider width option is available for those with broader feet. Some have said that the shoe hasn’t supported the ankle as well as it suggests. Something to keep in mind for those who’ve had previous when it comes to ankle issues.
3. Mizuno Wave Inspire 15
The Wave Inspire 15 is the latest running shoe offering from Mizuno. With an AIRmesh upper and Mizuno intercool on the midsole which ensures constant airflow to keep runners cooler and drier for longer. The engineered mesh and premium insock offers great comfort while Mizuno's integrated DynamotionFit technology adapts to fit the foot like a glove. The flexible supportive midsole is fitted with wave and U4iCX technology which absorbs the shock of heel striking. Once the shock is absorbed the energy is transferred to the forefoot to push the runner off.
The Inspire 15’s outsole which ensures maximum grip and traction is made with X10, allowing for longer wear in high impact areas so wearers can push time after time. Although the quality of this product has been praised some don’t think it’s quite as comfortable on the forefoot as other shoes. A few mention that the shoe also runs half a size smaller than usual.
4. Hoka One One Gaviota 2
French company Hoka One One may not be as big as the previously mentioned manufacturers but they’ve certainly been making strides since starting in 2009. Focussing primarily on running shoes, their shining light for runners with flat feet is the Gaviota 2. Unsurprisingly the sequel to the Gaviota 1, this premium stability shoe features superior cushioning along with the HOKA ONE ONE J-Frame design which delivers support and protection while guiding the foot without the use of rigid and unforgiving materials.
Furthermore a new upper, made from engineered mesh, offers superior breathability to its predecessor while embracing all that made it breakthrough. Also available in a wider width option, the Gaviota 2’s lightweight engineered mesh optimises comfort and breathability. Its Molded OrthoLite sockliner offers a precise fit, which some have said is too tight for them, while there are a limited selection of colourways compared with competitors.
5. New Balance 860v9
Next up we’ve picked out a product from New Balance. The fact they were formerly known as New Balance Arch Support Company shows they know what they’re talking about when it comes to different shoe fits. Their 860v9 is a high-quality stability running show which brings comfort and responsiveness together. ACTEVA and ABZORB units make up a versatile midsole, while, importantly, a T-BEAM stability shaft corrects overpronation. A redesigned breathable mesh upper fits securely around the foot whether running short or long distances.
As mentioned in the intro, all feet are different and New Balance has catered for that with this product as it’s available in narrow, standard, wide and x-wide versions. Buyers have said that there’s not much protection for the toes which is something to keep in mind for those who’ve had problems with their feet fingers in the past. The tongue has also reported to have caused irritation.
6. Nike Air Zoom Structure 22
From one American sportswear giant to maybe the biggest now with Nike who are also striding along nicely when it comes to producing running shoes. Lightweight support with a sleek look, the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22’s is fast and secure. Featuring Flywire cables to secure the top of the foot and engineered mesh for targeted ventilation and support, this shoe keeps feet as fresh as possible even after the longest and sweatiest of runs. With dynamic support which provides a smooth, stable transition plus narrow, regular and wide options available (men’s trainer only) the shoe will help get runners cross the finish line in the best time possible.
As well as the designs, which could easily pass for casual trainers, the 22’s partial sleeve wraps, Zoom Air unit and duralon blown rubber in the forefoot make for a comfortable ride. There has been some issues reported when it comes to the secureness of the heel so picking the right width option is very important.
7. Saucony Freedom ISO 2
A specialist in athletic shoes since 1898, Saucony is the next expert brand we explored. Another company with a range of options for runners with flat feet, we’ve decided to select the Freedom ISO 2. This shoe includes EVERUN cushioning midsole for enhanced energy return and continuous cushioning throughout the run. Making its Saucony debut is the ISOKNIT upper which has a sock-feel like that adapts to the shape and motion of the runner’s foot. A streamlined support frame takes the runner to the highest speed they can manage while offering support and durability via a TRI-FLEX crystal rubber outsole.
One thing to note is that this shoe is advertised as primarily a neutral show for those who don’t pronate, but reviewers have ranked it as one of the best for runners with flat feet. Maybe one to take a chance on.
8. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19
We’re going to finish our list with the brand that started it. Brooks really excel when it comes to making running shoes for those with flat feet so we’ve decided to also highlight their Adrenaline GTS 19. One of the best-selling on the market in the stability category, runners know they’re in for a treat the moment they slip their feet in these shoes. Its redesigned seamless upper, classic toe box shape and side guide rails strike the perfect balance of cushioning, support, and responsiveness.
Like a pinball machine or a bowling alley, the guide rails realign the feet to correct overpronation. The soft sole is still flexible enough while strategically placed groves provide a smooth heel-to-toe transition. Another great looking shoe, like the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22, the Adrenaline 19 seems it have it all. The only issue buyers have reported is that some felt it came up half-a-size smaller than their usual choice.
We hope that we’ve gone someway to helping solve the issue of which running shoe is best for flat feet. Whether it’s the Mizuno Inspire 15’s, Brooks Adrenaline 19’s, New Balance 860v9’s or any other pair we’ve picked, they’re ready to smash those PB’s over the coming months.