You have tons of options when it comes to running shoes for flat feet. While there is no one right shoe for every flat-footed runner, we have tips for what key features you should be looking for in a shoe. Just as important, we give you tips on how you can build an injury-reducing spring back into your step!
Features of Running Shoes For Flat Feet
The primary function of a shoe is to protect our feet from the elements. Rocky trails, rough asphalt, cold weather, or hot pavement are all good reasons to slip into a pair of shoes.
Shoes designed for flat feet typically combine cushioning with varying amounts of arch support.
Take note: no matter how much cushioning your shoe has, it’s actually your natural pronation–that springiness of your arch–that provides shock absorption while you run. Too much support in a shoe that is too rigid can inhibit your mechanics and cause complications. The key is to find a shoe that can:
- Protect your feet from the elements.
- Provide cushioning.
- Provide enough support to keep your arch from falling completely flat.
- Allow for some shock-absorbing natural pronation.
Once you have footwear that meets these requirements, it’s time to work on your natural shocks.
Running Shoes for Flat Feet: Strengthen Your Feet
The simplest way to improve your foot mechanics is to just take off your shoes.
If you are like most of us, you spend a good portion of your day in shoes. By going barefoot you are asking your feet to do more of what they were designed to do–support you as you move!
So how do you get started?
There are a number of easy and effective exercises to practice daily that help improve your foot strength. While going barefoot sounds easy, if you have spent a lifetime in supportive shoes, you may have to work out of them gradually. As your foot strength improves, add in drills that demand more of your feet.
To begin, try out these tips:
- Become mindful of your posture, and “screw” your foot lightly into the ground. It rotates the knee outward, straightens the hip, and the arch automatically raises.
- Go barefoot and balance. Pay attention to posture, and stand on one foot as long as you can. When you can’t keep good form, it’s time to switch sides.
- Grab a jump rope and alternate hopping on both feet, and one at a time. Try to land gently and resist letting the knee collapse inward.
Once you have the basics down, aim to explore more drills for foot and ankle strength. As you demand more of your feet, improved foot mechanics will make you a stronger, less injury-prone runner and a more agile athlete.
And couldn’t we all stand (in our bare feet 🙂 ) for fewer injuries?
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