Your footwear is important to your health and performance when running. Without the correct shoes, you can experience injuries and overall discomfort. If you have flat feet, you’re more likely to experience pronation and aches and pains, especially during exercise, compared to those with a natural arch.
Those with flat feet will notice that their feet may roll to the inner side when standing and/or walking, causing the feet to point outward. This can result in joint pain, particular in the knees and hips. Fortunately, there’s footwear specifically designed to eradicate these symptoms, allowing you to run farther and faster. The best running shoes for flat feet can help you to feel more comfortable and supported during your challenging workouts.
Barefoot running shoes for flat feet help to strengthen your feet and legs, resulting in fewer injuries. We’ve researched the top shoes in the industry that are comfortable and will significantly help with foot health.
What are Minimalist Shoes?
Shoes have become confusing. They’re layered with cushioning, breathable materials, thick soles, and much more. However, minimalist shoes are the total opposite. As the name suggests, they feature a minimalist, simple design. This results in the foot being able to properly function inside of the shoe in the same way that it would when walking barefoot.
With that being said, minimalist shoes aren’t manufactured quickly or without care and attention. Instead, they must meet a strict set of standards. Their features include a light weight, wide-shaped toe box, minimal cushioning, flexible soles, and low heel-to-toe drop. In particular, traditional running shoes have a 10-12mm heel-to-toe drop, whereas minimalist shoes have an 8mm drop.
Minimalist Shoes for Flat Feet
Are minimalist shoes suitable or healthy for flat feet? The answer is yes. There are many ways to erratic the disadvantages of having flat feet, with one of them being to strengthen your feet so you result in less pain with movements. Ideally, barefoot running could be a fix for flat feet, but this wouldn’t be the safest or most practical option. Instead, minimalist shoes are the next best thing and offer many benefits to those with little to no arch.
1. They’re Lightweight
Minimalist shoes are lighter than traditional running shoes by ounces. This reduced weight means that your feet and legs don’t have to use as many muscles to lift your feet off the ground with every stride. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your workouts will be easier, but that you’ll put less strain on your body. Plus, by saving weight, you can focus on running faster and farther, as well improving your running technique.
2. Strengthen Your Feet
This benefit is the top, if not ‘the’, reason why runners opt for minimalist shoes. Without cushioning and support in footwear, the intrinsic muscles in your feet, ankles, and lower legs become activated. This results in better balance, as well as stronger joints and limbs.
By starting from scratch again, your feet will learn how to strengthen foot muscles and can even correct aches and pains associated with having flat feet. You may also notice that you can stand on your feet for longer periods of time and won’t feel as tired compared to wearing traditional shoes.
3. Engage The Toes
Minimalist shoes engage the toes and provide comfort—especially for those with wide feet. Having enough room to move your toes is an important way to stabilize the arch. Otherwise, your toes will feel cramped into a narrow toe box.
Furthermore, there are also minimalist shoes with individual pockets for the toes, such as the Vibram FiveFingers, that excel in toe freedom and are great for reducing restriction when you’re working out.
Best Minimalist Running Shoes for Flat Feet
We’ve handpicked the best minimalist shoes for flat feet by following a strict criteria. During our research stage, we began by selecting the best brands in the footwear sector and narrowed down the models based on expert recommendations, customer reviews, materials, design, comfort, and value.
Below are our findings for barefoot flat shoes, which will help you to feel more grounded and hopefully, improve your results.
Furthermore, the rubber sole provides plenty of protection for those worrying that minimalist shoes won’t support the feet. Xero designed these barefoot shoes for flat feet with a tire tread-inspired sole that allows you to run for miles in a variety of conditions and surfaces. Finally, the reflective straps on the side of the shoes are a great safety feature for when you run in low-light conditions.
1 Xero Shoes HFS
Furthermore, you can undergo intense workouts in these shoes as they’re breathable and feature a smooth fabric for added comfort. Not to mention that the rubber sole provides plenty of durability and support for running on hard pavements. Plus, these minimalist shoes feature a shock-absorption midsole to avoid injury and aid comfort during long, vigorous workouts.
2 Vibram V Running Shoe
Furthermore, the Vibram footwear is light and airy, with a simply adjustable upper design, so you can put on and remove your shoes in a few seconds. Overall, they provide a snug fit to protect your toes and support your feet, legs, and joints when running long distances.
3 Vibram KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe
You can comfortably wear these shoes outdoors with peace of mind, thanks to the true rubber sole that provides plenty of protection while providing you with grounded feedback. In addition, their quick lacing system provides plenty of convenience for times when you’re in a rush. Also, the shoes use vegan-friendly and animal-free materials, making them an excellent environmental choice.
4 WHITIN Minimalist Trail Running Shoe
They’re lightweight and flexible, enhancing the overall comfort and support. In particular, the flexible synthetic mesh upper provides breathability when you’re working out and the breathable mesh insoles prevents your feet from getting damp during wet conditions. Finally, these minimalist shoes are great for beginners because they feature a thin memory foam lining beneath the sole, which is a great way to transition from traditional running shoes to barefoot ones.
5 Oranginer Barefoot Shoes
These running shoes provide barefoot comfort and they’re so lightweight that you’ll barely recognize that you’re wearing them. In fact, the slightly stretchy, breathable mesh upper feels soft and comfortable against your skin, while the moisture-wicking lining offers a slipper-like comfort that lasts with every wear. Furthermore, these running shoes feature a non-elevated, zero-drop heel that allows for proper posture and helps to strengthen your feet during wear.
6 Xero Shoes Speed Force Shoe
The shoes come with an adjustable hook-and-loop closure at the instep for a secure fit, providing you with plenty of confidence for challenging runs. Also, these running shoes are designed for off-road conditions and come with excellent grip properties for use on both wet and dry terrain while maintaining high levels of durability.
7 ALEADER Minimalist Trail Running Shoes
The inside of the shoes feature a soft, detachable insole and comfort lining that provides a comfortable, barefoot feeling you’ll love. On the other hand, the outsole features a unique rubber sole with anti-slip, wear-resistant, shock-absorbing qualities to protect your feet during wear.
8 SAGUARO Minimalist Trail Running Shoe
We hope you enjoyed reading about minimalist running shoes for flat feet and now have a clearer idea about the benefits of this footwear. When selecting a pair, ensure that the shoes fit like a glove and are snug with minimal space around the toes and heel. We also suggest trying on the shoes with socks if you intend to wear socks when running.