Published on April 5th, 2015 | by Mark
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet : Flat Footed Solutions
Table of Contents
Running requires an incredible amount of movement and muscle exertion. The way the body works together to provide speed is truly fascinating. Every aspect your physiology impacts your running form and style. Your foot’s arch, in particular, plays a prominent role in your walking and running. As such, it’s imperative to find the best running shoes for flat feet.
The Woes of Flat Feet
Flat feet are caused when a person’s foot flattens completely and the arch collapses. As the arch collapses it causes many problems. RunSociety lists examples such as:
• Heel Pain
• Ankle Pain
• Increased risk of knee pain and injury
• Lower back pain
Not all flat feet are the same, however. There are two main categories of flat feet. There are those whose arch flattens only when weight is applied, and those who’s arch is constantly flat.
Determining Factors for Finding the Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
Having flat feet leads to an over-pronation, or over rolling the foot while running in order to absorb the impact. Runners who overpronate are at a higher risk of injury.
As such, stability and cushioning are the primary factors that should make or break your decision when it comes to choosing a brand.
Investing in the proper running shoes will help correct over-pronation, improve running form, while simultaneously reducing your risk for injury.
Factors to Look For
• Heel cushioning
• Forefoot Cushioning
• Stability Features
These are the most important factors when looking for running shoes for flat feet. The weight will be felt running long distances so a lightweight model is preferable while stability is responsible for minimizing impacts and keeping your feet from over-pronating.
The heel and forefoot cushioning factors are just as important as they determine how comfortable your foot will be.There are numerous options to choose from when it comes to running shoes for flat feet.
The two favorites for over-pronation are the Saucony Omni 13 and the Mizuno Wave Inspire. Both of these fall under the stability class of running shoes.
Top Choice: The Saucony Omni 13
The Saucony Omni 13 comes in both male and female models and was first launched in 2014. Runners’ World described this running shoe as a rare breed due to its generous stability and a lightweight package. The shoe only weighs around 10.4 ounces for men and 9.3 ounces for women. >>Get more information and customer reviews<<
This shoe is ideal for those with moderate to severe over-pronation as this particular model offers advanced cushioning and supportive medial post for gait correction.
• Support Frame
• No Plastic Shank
The Arch-lock feature of the Saucony Omni 13 creates a snug and supportive fit that cradles the foot correctly and keeps it from sliding around. It is designed to slow down overpronation as well as correct the gait of runners, both beginners and advanced.
The platform of the Saucony Omni 13 was designed a bit wider than the previous Saucony Omni 12 model. This provides more motion-controlling foam for your flat feet.
Heel and Forefoot Cushioning
The heel cushioning of the Saucony Omni has received a rating of 6 for both the men’s and women’s version of the shoe. This cushioning also helps decrease the impact of runners who are heel strikers. Heel strikers are those who land hit the ground with their heel first rather than the mid-foot.
The Forefoot cushioning rated an impressive 10 out of 10. It is perfect for supporting flat feet and providing comfort while running.
Stiffness and Stability
The Saucony Omni 13 rated a 7 out of 10 in men’s stiffness while women’s model scored an 8 out of 10.
The stability of this model is rated as 8 out of 10 for men’s and a 9 out of 10 for women’s.
The forefoot overlays have also incorporated seamless overlays made from breathing fabric. By removing the stitches, the model minimized hot spots and the possibility of irritation.
The midsole and outsole are also upgraded. The midsole features two types of cushioning technologies. These are known as the PowerGrid Insert and the SCR Impact Zone.
This model features an XT-900 outsole that is ideal for terrains with no glaring irregularities such as the track, road, and smooth trails. This material is durable and provides plenty of traction on even surfaces.
The Good: The pros of the Saucony Omni 13
The Saucony Omni 13 offers advanced stability for those with mild to severe over pronators. The PowerGrid cushioning system provides the expert quality medical support.
It gives users a smooth and responsive run with the HRC rear foot and forefoot cushioning. This cushioning helps those who are heel strikers transition to proper mid-foot running.
The shoe offers springy shock absorption, protecting the foot from landing impacts and blisters. It’s lightweight frame and premium cushioning provide comfort all around.
The Bad: Possible Cons
The Saucony Omni 13 is on the expensive end of running shoes. It sells for around $130 and such a price tag may be a turn off who only go running occasionally.
Individuals who enjoy trail running would not find the Saucony Omni 13 comfortable as the outsole is very close to the ground and is designed for even terrains. Nevertheless, it is a great choice for beginners with flat feet to correct over pronation before it causes injury.
Another Choice: The Mizuno Wave Inspire
The Mizuno Wave Inspire is slightly cheaper that the Saucony Omni 13 and sells from $60 to $119. This model is known for providing stability, being incredibly lightweight, and flexible. >>>Get more information and customer reviews<<<
The Good: Pros of the Mizuno Wave Inspire
Terrain and Use
Like the Saucony Omni 13, the Mizuno Wave Inspire is designed for use on tracks, road, and gravel. This model provides an outer sole made of carbon rubber material that is very effective in wet conditions.
Furthermore, the shoe also includes Blown Rubber in the forefoot. This creates better cushioning and responsiveness. It makes the shoe capable of absorbing shock not only on impact but also on take-off.
This model is also recommended for normal training sessions as stability shoes tend to be heavier than speed running shoes.
The Mizuno Wave uses durable U4IC for the midsole cushioning. This particular material is 30% stronger than Mizuno’s previous model. The midsole of the Mizuno also includes a Smooth Ride feature.
This feature is basically a series of grooves designed to be gender specific. These grooves help to decrease the foot’s acceleration and deceleration.
The midsole is designed with flat feet in mind and offers a moderate amount of stability using an Extended Wave Plate.
This is a plastic plate that works as a suspension system for absorbing impact shocks. Furthermore this plate allows the shoe to resist twisting forces, thereby protecting your ankle from possible injuries. Blisters and hot spots are minimized by Intercool, the shoe’s ventilation system.
Heel and Forefoot Cushioning
The heel cushioning of the Mizuno was rated a 5 out of 10 for men and a 7 out of 10 for the women’s version. Compared to the Saucony, the Mizuno has slightly less cushioning for men, while the Mizuno has more cushioning for the women.
Forefoot Cushioning: here the Mizuno Wave and the Saucony Omni tied with a 10 out of 10.
Stiffness and Stability
The Mizuno scored very low on the stiffness scores. It scored a 2 out of 10 on the men’s version and a 4 out of 10 on the women’s. While the added flexibility may be a desirable feature, it does increase the chance of sustaining an ankle injury.
In terms of stability, the Mizuno Wave Inspire scored a 7 out of 10 for both gender models. This is less than the Saucony Omni 13 model.
The Bad: Possible Cons
Some users have noticed that the upper construction is very breezy. While this is good on hot days, reviews have noted that feet get chilly in cold weather conditions.
There is also a high heel to toe drop. If one is not careful this can easily result in heel-striking. Heel-striking is one of the possible causes of Runner’s Knee so one need to be careful.
When it comes down to the bottom line, the Saucony Omni 13 offers more stability, cushioning, and the proper amount of stiffness. It offers just enough flexibility without compromising the ankles.
One of the only downsides of the Saucony is its price tag, while the Mizuno model has the potential to exasperate heel striking. While it comes down to personal choice, shoes that offer more stability should be preferred by individuals suffering from flat feet. The higher the stability, the less likely you are to injure yourself and over-pronate. As such, the Saucony Omni 13 shoes are the best running shoes for flat feet.
Read more about how to choose running shoes.
Do you have wide feet? Then you could check this post. [Running shoes for wide feet]
image credit: by Luke Ma, on Flickr