If you look at a foot from the inside, you’ll notice that there’s a curve in the middle. This curve is called an arch. Arches reduce the pressure on the feet from walking or running and help your body stay balanced and upright. Because the arch is of such crucial importance for our stability and mobility, people tend to think that if you have flat feet you can’t make a great runner. What’s more, the fact that flat feet take more stress, means that running is usually a painful activity.
However, flat feet are no excuse not to run. With the right flat arch trainers, you can make running more enjoyable and also decrease the risk of injuries and serious problems in the long run. But since there are no two feet alike (not even your left foot and right foot), there also isn’t any one-size-fits-all solution. Despite this, there are some key properties one should look for when choosing flat arch trainers.
While lightweight trainers with soft soles make a great option for standard runners, they don’t offer much in terms of protection when it comes to flat-footed individuals. Flat arch trainers should be able to reduce the beating your feet take from rough asphalt, rocky trials, or cold weather. With that being said, it’s important to look for a solid sole that provides great shock absorption while you run and keeps your arch properly elevated.
While running and even walking, people with flat feet usually turn their ankles inwards. As a result, there’s increased pressure on the ankles, feet, and knees which can significantly increase the risk of injury. For that reason, you should look for flat arch trainers that can stabilize your foot and prevent your ankles from moving in the wrong direction. These shoes have an additional layer of dual-density foam right below the medial side of the arch which helps promote proper motion of the foot.
Because flat-footed runners tend to wear out their running shoes far quicker than regular runners, it’s important to look for features that increase durability. Since it’s the heels and toes that are usually the first to get damaged, it’s a smart idea to look for trainers with additional support in those areas. With that being said, trainers with re-enforced toes and heels will last longer and provide more value for your money.
But regardless if a shoe ticks all the aforementioned boxes, unless it’s the proper fit, it’s practically useless. A bad fit can lead to all sorts of issues ranging from blisters to calluses and even ingrown nails. On top of your existing problem, this can make it even more difficult to run. With that being said, it’s important to always try trainers on before buying. But if you’re shopping online, make sure to properly measure your feet and compare them to the product’s measurements.