T Nation

Flat Feet


Who's got 'em? I've had flat feet my whole life. (and so has my dad, hereditary?) Been overweight my whole life too, maybe that has something to do with it.

Anyway I just started running again to get in better cardio shape for ultimate frisbee, and realize my $90 Asics that I thought were good hurt my feet.

Curious how everybody else deals? What shoes do you wear for lifting? Running? What shoes do you wear that go good with shorts? Work shoes, kind of not much option there, whatever goes good with slacks for me.


I've had flat and flexible feet for as long as I remember. Whenever I ran I'd always get shin splints and I tried the expensive shoe route where I'd get fitted for the best shoe for my foot type and all that jazz for a sneaker that was $130 and then have to buy a new shoe every 300 miles since I was on the heavier side too. If it wasn't for the military I would have given running long ago as my body just isn't built for it.

Anyway a few years ago I started going the opposite way with the Nike Free shoes and now I've worked myself into the Vibram Five Fingers. I think it has made a big difference in the fact that now I do have somewhat of an arch where before I didn't I'm really conscious of how I walk when I'm barefoot of wearing my Vibram's.

This was a good article- the article is at the link below:

Some things to keep in mind:
-If you are currently overweight dropping some pounds will help
-Do the exercises in the article above as well as other feet exercises

For walking about/running shoes I typically go with one of the Nike Free shoes, I'd recommend trying before buying as they tend to run a little smaller than your regular sneaker size. I personally don't like the Nike Free Everyday shoe but that's because I like the 5.0's more.

For lifting unless I have Oly session I'm wearing my Vibram Five Fingers, for Oly sessions I wear my Oly shoes.

Work shoes...not much you can do here other than find something comfortable.

Boots, I have hard insoles in all my military boots.


Thanks man, got some Nike Free 5.0's on the way. Neither Academy nor Sports Authority had any in stock to try on so I'm just trying 12.5's from Zappos. Hope they work out good! Kind of wary since the description says for the neutral or underpronator and someone with flat feet is an overpronator. Anyway, I'll give them a shot.

I need a running shoe, a weights shoe, and an "every day" shoe for shorts and whatnot. Hopefully these work out for all 3! They're flat soled apparently so hopefully I can do leg work with them.


My feet are as flat as the floor. Standing at work on concrete kills them. No orthodics though I should.
I find all store brand stuff is just crap anyways, so I get cheap shoes.

I'd like to buy a pair of the vibram 5 fingers and try them.

What helps big time is taking a break at work and rolling my feet on a tennis ball = heaven


One more vote for the VFF's. I love mine and they have made a difference in how my feet look and feel. My toes have spread out and no longer curl under nearly as bad as they used to. My knee pain has subsided quite a bit too.

Sprints in VFF's cause unspeakable soreness in my calves, which is a good thing.

Demo Dick


With wide, flat feet I have found that when I do my cardio or running on treadmill I use new balance motion control shoes. For lifting I have been using the 5 fingers. Those Vibrams give me excellent stability for squating and deadlifting. And on days when I do Oly squats instead of my regular PL'er squats, I use the Oly shoes. helps me get into the hole with a close stance.


I have flat feet and my feet would hurt like hell after any type of physical activity.

I eventually went to the foot doctor and got some custom made insoles for my shoes. It didn't help.

Not until I got my Nike Frees and wore them all day did my feet get better. In fact, since I've started wearing them, my feet haven't hurt since.


I used too, I even got prescribed orthotics as a kid.

I started lifting weights and consciously walked with a raised arch for months and now they look normal. No neck or back pain anymore either.

This might be because my feet were still growing.


get good insoles (i.e prescription)


Like someone else said, losing weight helps. I used to be 255 (I'm 178 now) and there's a big difference. Not only on my knees but in my arch support as well (need less). I use Dr. Scholl's inserts for my work shoes.

For sneakers, I'd recommend going here: http://www.roadrunnersports.com/ and check out their motion control selection. Those type of shoes have provided much more support than just wearing regular shoes.


Run barefoot. Trust me on this. Land on the ball of your foot, not heel...and take short quick steps. Strive for 90 rpm (left foot touches floor 90 times in a minute).