If you have flat feet, it's likely your feet roll inward when you run, a condition called overpronation. A little overpronation is actually a good thing since it allows your foot to adapt more easily to changes in your running surface, but too much overpronation can cause injury, including shin splints and tendinitis, explains podiatrist James Christina in "The Washington Post." Choosing the right shoes can help reduce that risk.
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A Shoe with Adequate Cushioning
If you have flat feet and overpronate, your foot is getting the full force of impact with every step of your run, so a shoe with maximum cushioning is essential. You'll find the extra arch cushioning you need to protect your feet in motion control shoes. Before you try on a shoe, you can check its cushioning by twisting the shoe -- twist the heel of the shoe toward your body and the toe away from you. If it's super bendy, the shoe probably doesn't have enough cushioning to support your foot.
A Shoe that Feels Right
It's a misconception that you have to break in running shoes before they're comfortable. The right shoe will feel comfortable as soon as you lace it up, says Stephen Pribut, a Washington, D.C. podiatrist interviewed in "The Washington Post." If your toes have too much room or not enough, if your foot slips around when you walk or if your foot just feels weird in the shoe, it's not the right fit. Even among motion control shoes, there's a wide variety of fit and support options, so you may need to try on several pairs before you find one that feels right.
Other Features to Look For
Once you've found a motion control shoe that fits your foot properly, consider these features that can make your running shoes more comfortable for flat feet. Abrasion-resistant shoe liners can help reduce your risk of blisters on the inside of your foot where your skin generates the most friction. If your feet tend to get sweaty when you run, look for a shoe with mesh uppers or anti-bacterial liners.
Some Brands to Try
Shoe companies make new versions of shoes all the time, so it's worth trying on pairs from several different brands. But if you're not sure where to start, "Fitness" magazine recommends motion control shoes made by Mizuno, Brooks, Asics, Saucony and New Balance as good options for people with flat feet and pronation.