Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist) Questions Flat feet

Can I run with flat feet?

I have flat feet, and it is something that has restricted my dancing and running for a long time. However, I would like to seek medical advice as to whether it is okay to run with flat feet or not. Are there certain shoes or inserts I can look for that will help me?

13 Answers

You can run and exercise with flat feet but I would probably recommend orthotics to prevent tendon/joint problems secondary to the flat feet.
Yes, you can run with flat feet. The shoes I recommend are Asics or Brooks
People with flat feet can have a very active lifestyle if they wear the correct supportive sneaker and use an orthotic device. See a Podiatrist for a prescriptive orthotic device. Also, don't forget to stretch the Achilles tendon.
Yes, it is okay to run with flat feet with custom-made orthotic support and pronation control shoes. Custom-made orthotic devices can provide arch support you need and stabilities to the foot, ankle, and knee. Custom-made orthotic device fits inside the shoe. Shoe modifications. Your podiatrist may advise changes to more pronation control type shoe to improve arch support and foot function.
Yes. Make an appointment for an evaluation and possibly a custom foot orthotic so you are balancing out the pressure when running. With flat feet, the pressure is not divided evenly amongst all the muscles/bones.
You can absolutely run with flat feet. If you are having pain with running, you may want to consider custom orthotics to help support your arch.

Dr. Barbara Norvell
Many people run pain free with flat feet. Shoe gear choices, orthotics, and running techniques can be employed to accomplish this. An evaluation for your feet and shoe gear would highly be recommended.
It is extremely challenging to define what is a normally functioning foot from the standpoint of anatomic appearance. Ultimately, it is one that allows an individual to perform activities without pain or dysfunction. The appearance or presentation of flatfoot does not necessarily condemn an individual to disability regarding performance of activities such as running. In fact I treat many patients for other reasons with underlying flatfoot that has never been symptomatic. This can also be said for the opposite presentation of a high arched foot. With that said, if you have found limitations of pain or dysfunction particularly with athletic activity this needs to be evaluated. My general first consideration is whether the deformity is what we call supple or rigid in nature. Supple deformities are flexible in nature with collapse of the foot that can be reduced to some degree with manipulation. The arch can often be reconstituted with support. These individuals do exceedingly well with good supportive foot wear and orthotic insole, whether this be custom or prefabricated.
Depends on the severity. Not all day feet are the same. Since you have pain with other activities, chances are you won't be able to run without pain unless you get proper treatment.
I would seek out a Podiatrist who could make you customized foot orthotics that will improve your foot function during gait. OTC orthotics may provide some comfort, but will not provide optimal gait.
Probably the best treatment, that is conservative is getting some type of custom-made orthotic. This can help reduce stress on your feet and any discomfort when you're running or dancing.
I recommend an evaluation with a foot and and ankle specialist.
For my patients with pes planus (flat feet) I recommend OTC vs custom orthotics. It is fine to run with flat feet as long as the arch is supported. If the arch is not supported in patients with flat feet it makes you prone to tendonitis which is very painful. As far as shoes I recommend brooks beast anti-pronation shoes which are great for people who over pronate due to flat feet. Please feel free to call the office if you have additional inquiries. Thanks for your question and goodluck to you!