If you work out regularly, you already know the importance of a good pair of shoes that will not just be comfortable but also support your feet and body through a strenuous, physically challenging work out. A good pair of shoes would be one that is constructed keeping your feet in mind, but this is something that a lot of people with flat feet tend to find troublesome. Despite close to a third of the world’s population dealing with this condition, there is an acute lack of awareness about the situation, which leads to many people with flat feet just using regular shoes when they exercise.
Things, however, have begun to change with many of the leading sportswear brands using their research and development teams to come up with shoes that are appropriate for people with flat feet. This means that there are a lot more options for you to choose from if you want cross-training shoes but have flat feet! The ones that will be discussed here are mentioned below:
The curved arches under our feet are the natural shock absorbers that help in dealing with the impact that the more sensitive parts like the knees and ankles would have to deal with when we do simple activities like walking or more strenuous ones like running or exercising. Having a flat foot essentially means that this arch that was acting as a cushion has collapsed, causing the entire sole of your foot to make direct contact with the floor.
It is important to distinguish between ‘true’ flat feet, where the bones are joined to cause this condition that is virtually untreatable, and “flexible” flat feet, where the arch does show up when you stand on the ‘balls’ of your feet. The latter is more accurately the problem of pronating ankles, which causes the alignment of the entire leg to go off track. Flat feet could be a condition you are born with or something that is acquired through injuries or with age.
As there isn’t a proper arch to act as a cushion against impact, people with flat feet find themselves more exposed to the possibility of injuring themselves or feeling additional muscular stress in the entire leg. In order to make up for the cushioning that they naturally lack, they need to opt for footwear that can make up for this, in the form of specialized cross-training footwear in this case.
If you are working out with your feet unsupported and without arch support, you may find that your ankles will show a tendency of turning inwards or outwards, leading to deformation or even the curvature of the spine that has long-lasting repercussions on your health. Therefore, it is recommended that you choose the right cross-training shoes for flat feet before you work out.
Regardless of the type of shoes you are looking for, there are a number of factors that need to be kept under consideration. For example, if you are buying cross-training shoes for flat feet, you may want to look at the kind of support that the shoes offer, the fit, comfort and a bunch of other factors. Some of these are discussed below to make the process so much easier for you.
The first thing you need to keep in mind is the fit of the shoes that you will be using for cross-training. While some may run larger in size, there may be others that are smaller. Carry out proper research and, if possible, try on the shoes before you zero in on them.
The main factor that can be used to distinguish a good pair of cross-training shoes for flat feet from regular shoes is the kind of support that it offers. The shoes should be able to lift your arch in a natural manner and also offer some type of lateral support that is important for cross-training.
Comfort is an important consideration for any shoes but it’s most important when it comes to shoes for working out. These are not shoes that you wear just for show but for functionality. If the shoes you wear for working out are not comfortable, there is a high chance that you will not wear them at all.
When you compare cross-training shoes to regular shoes, you will notice a greater degree of durability and stability being offered to you. This helps in ensuring better balance and support for people with flat feet. Look out for a solid heel cup, as that can make all the difference!
There are a couple of other features that you need to look out for in a cross-training shoe, especially if you have flat feet. First, it should have a thick sole for better support. The material used for the outsole should offer a good grip, especially in the case of slippery surfaces. Also, keep an eye out for how the flexible zones — or flexion points — are placed in the shoes.
Finally, it is very important to check whether or not the insoles can be removed. As and when they take on more pressure — and with time — a lot of high-quality shoes can also lose out on cushioning and support. In this case, you will have to switch them out for newer insoles to increase the lifespan of the shoes. You can even get experts to create personal orthotics for you. As human feet change constantly, you may need to update the insoles every couple of years or more.
After getting a better idea of what to look for in cross-training shoes when you have flat feet, it is time to look at some of the best options that are in front of you. All of these shoes have been manufactured by market leaders in the field of sportswear, so quality isn’t something that you need to fret about. However, different shoes may work differently for different people.
Our top choice for the best cross-training shoes for flat feet is the Nano 8.0 by Reebok and there is no dearth of reasons for this. A great fit for flat feet because of the wide toe box that gives your toes enough room to move comfortably, this cross-training shoe has a flat bottom combined with a low drop for more stability. The outsole is made of high-abrasion rubber for a better grip on slippery surfaces. Available in a few different colors, this is a great shoe for people who want quality combined with utility.
Available in a large number of colors and styles, the Nike Men’s Free 5.0 is another fantastic pair of cross-training shoes for people with flat feet. Overall, it is a synthetic shoe with a synthetic sole and a shaft that measures approximately 2.85 inches from the arch. The shoe has been designed to maximize breathability so that your feet stay cool and it is also very flexible, allowing your feet to move in a natural manner. One drawback, however, is the width of the overall shoe.
The ASICS Men’s Gel-Craze TR 4 Cross-Trainer Shoe is another great option for people with flat feet as it is equipped with a sturdy rubber sole and built using the Rearfoot Gel Cushioning System offered by the company. This allows for a great amount of shock to be absorbed as you work out. The Solyte midsole material used in the construction is very lightweight, which makes this shoe suitable for running as well, increasing its utility.
If you are looking at more affordable cross-training shoe options, the PUMA Men’s Tazon 6 FM Running Shoe should be on your list. While this shoe is a little heavier than many of the others mentioned before, the company does not compromise on the quality and support that you are offered with this model. The shoe offers good arch support, an impressive midfoot saddle, as well as an EVA heel pod and a Softfoam insole that keeps things comfortable while supporting the foot.
The final option on this list is the NOBULL Men’s Training shoes that are built using the very durable and breathable SuperFabric. The shoe has been constructed to move seamlessly between outdoor fields and grounds to indoor arenas, while the mesh base layer adds a degree of flexibility to the shoe.
Picking the right cross-training shoes when you have flat feet is made out to be more of a task than it actually is. If you know your personal requirements well enough and have a handy buying guide like this one by your side, the overall process is simplified significantly. While all the pairs discussed in the above section come with their own share of pros and cons, the Reebok Men’s Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave Sneaker offers a unique combination of support and durability, which makes it one of the most popular cross-training training shoes for people with flat feet. If your workout is getting hampered because of a lack of good cross-training shoes for your feet, it is time for you to change that and invest in a good pair!