Review: This is a shoe designed for the trail but that performs equally well on the road, with good traction, multiple protective components and ample cushioning.
It is classed as a stability shoe and is designed for medium arches, but the arch support isn’t too pronounced so it’ll still be very comfortable for flat feet. And, its medial post provides reliable protection against overpronation.
If your priority is comfort and versatility, then these are good trail running shoes for flat feet.
Gusseted tongue and toe guard for protection.
Supportive medial post.
Feels a little stiff and firm.
A comfortable, protective shoe providing reasonable support and a versatile ride on a range of surfaces.
Review: For those wanting a shoe that will put up with whatever you throw at it on the trails, protecting your feet from the elements and debris while not falling apart, this is it.
This Salomon is a rugged, hardy trail shoe, with the added benefit of arch support for the flat foot. It’s a reliable and comfortable shoe with great shock absorption for heel strikers, though it may feel a little heavy.
Waterproof Gore-Tex upper.
Good protection from debris.
Excellent stability and arch support.
A little heavy.
The ideal trail running shoe for an overpronator who wants to hit some serious trails.
Review: This is a highly cushioned trail shoe with aggressive tread and excellent stability. However, it is a low drop shoe, so even though it provides great arch support, it does encourage forefoot striking which might take a bit of getting used to.
If you’re ok with that, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most highly cushioned and comfortable trail shoes on the market.
5mm lugs for aggressive tread.
Wide toe box.
Breathable upper mesh.
4mm drop promotes forefoot striking.
A great option for those who want a comfortable, well cushioned shoe that will support them on the trail.
Review: Strictly speaking these are road running shoes, however, their mesh upper and rubber sole make them ideal as a lightweight trail shoe, and they’re perfect if you want one pair of shoes for all of your runs, road or trail. Also, they’re so popular and highly rated, it wouldn’t seem right to not have them on this list.
They are classified as motion control shoes, so, being designed for overpronators, they have an extra layer of support on top of the standard stability shoe.
Consequently, they are good trail running shoes for flat feet with a good amount of cushioning as a bonus.
Available in a wide size.
Less durable than a specific trail running shoe.
If you’re not spending all of your time on rough trails and want a shoe that will provide you with a well-supported, comfortable ride, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS is ideal.
Review: This shoe is designed for a range of trails but does particularly well on technical terrain. It is a neutral shoe so it’s not designed with excessive overpronators in mind.
But, in saying that, if you’re working towards building up your foot strength and running with less support, then transitioning to a neutral shoe is a necessary stepping stone. And, this shoe, with its 6mm drop, encourages you to land on your midfoot so it could be the perfect transition.
Otherwise, adding custom insoles will provide the extra arch support you need while this shoe will do everything else.
Multi layered mesh upper is breathable.
M-Select GRIP rubber outsole with lugs for great traction.
A neutral shoe so custom insole required for excessive pronators.
This is a sleek and lightweight trail shoe well suited to technical trails.
Interested in more of the best women’s trail running shoes? Check out our article right here.
Review: This is the highly popular Saucony Guide ISO but with some trail-specific features added in to provide extra traction and durability.
It has a PWRTRAC outsole with 6mm lugs for off-road traction, an engineered mesh upper that works together with ISOFIT technology to provide a snug, secure fit, and a PWRFOAM midsole that provides responsive cushioning.
Well-cushioned but responsive.
Comfortable padded tongue.
May feel a little firm.
Saucony make excellent trail shoes and this one is no exception. It comes highly rated for supportiveness and traction.
Review: Designed for mountain running and adaptability on rocky surfaces, this Adidas shoe is a great option for someone wanting the stability and durability of a trail running shoe with a stable midsole and heel design.
But, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is another low drop shoe (6mm) that will encourage midfoot striking.
Stable and supportive.
Lightweight, breathable textile upper.
Low to the ground feel.
Waterproof Gore-Tex upper.
May require a break-in period.
Sizes run small/narrow.
A reliable, supportive and responsive trail shoe likely to be a great option for the flat footed trail runner who wants something durable.
Review: A shoe designed for the muddy extreme of trail running, providing traction, stability, protection and a lightweight, flexible ride. It is a neutral shoe so not recommended for extreme pronators.
But, for those of you working on building up your foot strength and transitioning to less support, this is a great shoe.
Alternatively, a custom insole can be inserted to make up for the arch support that’s missing.
Protective components such as the gusseted tongue.
A neutral shoe so may require a custom insole.
Size runs small.
Not suitable for road running.
For those of you planning a muddy adventure, this is the shoe to keep you on your feet.
Trail running shoes are similar to road running shoes but are typically more durable and provide more support and traction to cope with the variable terrain of off-road running.
They are made of a harder wearing material with a more protective upper design to keep annoying little stones and debris out of your shoes.
They may also be waterproof and have toe protection in case you stub your toe into a rock.
But, their most defining characteristic is their deep tread and superior grip, often with lugs to help keep you from sliding in even the muddiest conditions.
What are the Best Trail Running Shoes for Flat Feet?
Unless you’ve already decided to take the barefoot approach and have gone through the necessary transition period to strengthen your feet and ankles, you will need trail running shoes with a good amount of arch support and a stiffer medial midsole.
Choosing a shoe specifically designed for flat feet will reduce the chances of experiencing pain as a result of overpronation and consequently reduce the chances of injury.
The right shoe will make sure that your joints stay in alignment while running, preventing the stress on tendons and muscles that would otherwise lead to pain and injury.
Things to Look For:
This is usually in the form of a medial post, or firmer section of foam in the midsole that sits under the arch and prevents that section of the sole from compressing as much.
This prevents overpronation and keeps your joints in alignment.
If you have flat feet, you don’t have the natural mechanism of your arch in place to absorb the impact when you land.
This means you want really good shock absorption and cushioning to help protect your knees.
People with flat feet also usually have wider feet as the foot is more spread out horizontally than someone with medium or high arches.
This means choosing a wider fit is important to keep your feet comfortable and allow for a healthy amount of toe splay.
This is more trail-specific than flat-feet specific. But, it’s really important.
Traction is probably the single most defining factor that sets aside trail shoes from their road running companions.
Look for soles with rubber in them and aggressive tread. If you know you’ll be running through soft, muddy conditions, you’ll benefit from some lugs too.
But, if you’re looking for a pair of shoes that will handle the trail and the road, look for aggressive tread but stay away from lugs as they’ll make road running really uncomfortable.
Weight and Stiffness
Last but not least, trail shoes are usually heavier and a little stiffer than road shoes. This is a result of them being more rugged and sturdy. But, not everyone loves the extra weight or lack of flexibility.
Some trail shoes are lighter than others so you can choose a lightweight option if you’re in this camp.
In summary, the best trail runners for flat feet are going to be the pair that provides the right amount of support for your degree of pronation, together with ample cushioning and adequate traction.
At the end of the day, comfort is key, so make sure the fit is perfect before you commit
If you know you have flat feet, but you’re not sure whether you want a trail-specific shoe, we have an article dedicated to the best running shoes for flat feet that will give you a range of other options.
But, there are some other things you can consider to remedy the problems resulting from your low arches:
Do specific arch strengthening exercises – there are some great videos on Youtube specifically for this. Check them out!
Walk around the house barefoot, consciously preventing your ankles from collapsing inwards using the muscles in your feet.
Avoid wearing shoes that further restrict your feet or put them in an unnatural position such as tight-fitting shoes or high heels.
What Other Gear do You Need for Trail Running?
It’s not all about the shoes anymore. Trail running is being pushed further than ever before with the advent of new technology, making it possible to run in the dark, off-trail, and over the gnarliest of terrain without ending up with half of the trail in your shoes.
Trail watches are one example of this technology, and they’ve taken the trail running world by storm. The best trail running watches now come equipped with their own GPS and topo maps so you can leave your phone at home and use them for navigation as well as tracking all of your performance stats.
Headlamps are another example, with some of the best headlamps having enough hours of battery life on high beam to see you through multiple evening or early morning runs.
Meanwhile, less technological but no less helpful, trail running gaiters are keeping trail runners everywhere more comfortable by preventing trail debris from entering their shoes. The best trail running gaiters are so lightweight and snug fitting that you’ll forget you’re wearing them!
And that’s all, folks. Thanks for reading!
Remember, the best trail running shoes for flat feet are the shoes that fit you and are comfortable!
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