How To Run With Flat Feet

Running is less painful when you know how to run with flat feet. When you have flat feet, also known as Pes planus, your inner arch sits lower than it should. If you have shied away from your favorite cardio routine because you experience painful arches whenever you hit the track or treadmill, consider some minor changes that can make your running experience more enjoyable. The proper running equipment can help to raise your arch and relieve the distress that flat feet have placed on your legs and lower back.  

In order to run with flat feet, you will need:

  • Running shoes with a good arch and broad base
  • Sport insoles
  • Ping-pong ball
  • Soft surface

1. Choose running shoes with a good arch. Running shoes with good arch support actually have an added layer of foam injected into the midsole. This added layer of foam, easily identified by its color, appears as a grey strip of foam on the midsole.

2. Check the stability of the running shoes that you have chosen. Along with a good arch, a running shoe should also provide stability. Look at the soles of the running shoes and check that they have a broad base. Wider running shoes will help to absorb some of the shock when you run with flat feet.

3. Insert orthotic devices into your new running shoes. A pair of sport insoles will help to control the motion of your foot when you run with flat feet, putting less stress on your arches.

4. Exercise your midsole. Place a ping-pong ball on the floor in front of you. Pick up the ping-pong ball with your toes. Perform the exercise on both feet, in sets of ten, several times per week.

5. Go for a barefoot run, now and then. A bare foot run on a soft surface will help to strengthen the muscles in your feet–relieving stress when you run with flat feet.

Tips: Talk to other runners that have flat feet. They may be able to offer advice on specific brands of running shoes or orthotics that can help you feel better when you run with flat feet.

Warnings: If your foot pain persists, despite the purchase of new running shoes, orthotics and exercise, seek the advice of a podiatrist.



University of Maryland Medical Center: Pes Planus-Overview

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