How great does it feel to get away from the urban grind and hit the forested trails of the wilderness or local park?
Running in the natural environment has been proven to have more health benefits than running inside in a gym environment.
Trail running, in particular, has the added physiological benefits of challenging a wider range of muscles throughout your body than road or treadmill running.
But what if your feet need a little extra help?
This article will explain what to look for, and review 13 of the best trail running shoes for flat feet.
What’s so Great about Trail Running Shoes?
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 ward off debris.
They may also be waterproof and have toe protection. But, their most defining characteristic is their deep tread and superior grip.
So 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 midsole.
Choosing a shoe specifically designed for flat feet will reduce the chances of experiencing pain as a result of over-pronation 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.
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.
Here are the some of the best trail running shoes for flat feet 2019:
TOP 6 Best Women’s Trail Running Shoes for Flat Feet 2019
Review: Strictly speaking these are road running shoes, however, their mesh upper and rubber sole make them ideal as a lightweight trail shoe.
They are classified as motion control shoes, so, being designed for over-pronators, 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.
- Removable insole.
- Available in a wide size.
- Well cushioned.
- Highly supportive.
- 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.
These are also some of the best trail running shoes for wide flat feet.
Adidas Terrex Skychaser GTX
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.
- Great traction.
- Stable and supportive.
- Lightweight, breathable textile upper.
- Low to the ground feel.
- 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 a little more durable than the Adrenaline and doesn’t necessarily need motion control.
Review: You can’t really go wrong with Asics for a great balance of stability and comfort.
To get this balance in a trail shoe without being excessively stiff and heavy is even more impressive.
The Kahana is adequately cushioned and supportive while being durable, light and comfortable to wear.
- Protective mesh upper.
- Laces that stay tied up!
- Reliable Asics stability and arch support.
- Possibly on the narrow side.
A comfortable Asics stability shoe with ample cushioning but rugged enough to survive the trails, the Gel Kahanas are likely to be among the best trail running shoes for flat feet.
Merrell All Out Crush Tough Mudder
Review: This shoe is designed for the ultimate trail running and obstacle adventure, specifically with a lot of mud involved!
It is a neutral shoe so it’s not designed with excessive over-pronators 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.
If not, adding custom insoles will provide the extra arch support you need while this shoe will do everything else.
- Drainage ports along the sides let excess water out after being submerged.
- Extreme traction for extreme mud.
- Capable of providing adequate support throughout long distance obstacle runs.
- Lightweight despite being supportive.
- Breathable despite having a waterproof upper.
- A break-in period is necessary.
- 5mm lugs could cause the sensation of instability on harder surfaces.
- A neutral shoe so custom insole required for excessive pronators.
If you have any adventure runs such as Tough Mudder in mind, then this is the ideal shoe.
Not recommended for road running, but will support you through whatever obstacles you choose to overcome on the trail.
Salomon XA Pro 3d GTX Trail
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 Salomon is a rugged, hardy trail shoe, with the added benefit of motion control and arch support for the flat foot. A reliable and comfortable shoe.
- Waterproof Gore-Tex upper.
- Good protection from debris.
- Motion control stability and arch support.
- Extremely durable.
- Versatile tread.
- Could be on the narrow side.
An ideal trail running shoe for an over-pronator who wants to hit some serious trails and is happy to have a separate road running shoe for non-trail running.
Review: Designed for both road and trail, this is a versatile shoe with ample cushioning, arch support and traction.
- Ideal for wider feet.
- Wide toe box.
- Breathable upper mesh.
- Well cushioned.
- Suitable for road and trail.
- Less durable than a specific trail shoe.
A great option for those with wider feet who want a comfortable shoe that will support them on the road or trail.
TOP 7 Best Men’s Trail Running Shoes for Flat Feet 2019
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.
- Extreme traction.
- Extremely durable.
- Protective components such as the gusseted tongue.
- Water repellent.
- A neutral shoe so may require 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.
Review: This is a shoe designed for trail but performs equally well on the road, with good traction, multiple protective components and ample cushioning.
It is classed as a stability shoe but may or may not provide adequate arch support depending on how extreme your pronation is.
If your priority is comfort and versatility, then these are good trail running shoes for flat feet.
- Gusseted tongue and toe guard for protection.
- Quick drying.
- Not as supportive as Asics supportive shoes.
- Not as durable as it could be.
A comfortable, protective shoe providing reasonable support and a versatile ride on a range of surfaces.
Review: Designed with road running in mind but built for the severe over pronator, the Beast 18 provides serious support and cushioning.
Flexible enough to not feel stiff and restrictive while still being supportive, the Beast is also one of the best trail running shoes for wide flat feet and is popular with heavier runners.
- Moisture wicking, breathable mesh upper.
- 12mm drop.
- Full-length segmented crash pad.
- Suite-wide feet.
- Motion control.
A great option for flat footed runners with wide feet who want a comfortable, supportive ride that they can take both on and off trail.
Review: If you have a narrow foot and need superior arch support, then this is the trail running shoe for you.
A reliable Asics runner with ample cushioning, support, traction and durability. Stiffer than the road shoe but that’s to be expected from a trail shoe.
- Well supported.
- Does not require breaking in.
- Good traction.
If arch support combined with the classic features of a trail running shoe are your priorities then this is the shoe for you.
Review: Though not specifically manufactured as a trail shoe, the Kayano is such a good shoe in all other respects that it deserves its place on this list.
Suitably durable and with enough grip to survive the trails, the Kayano ticks all the boxes for flat feet with its balance of arch support and cushioning.
The Kayano’s Impact Guidance System enhances the foot’s natural gait while support through the midsole and heel prevents excessive pronation.
The superior arch support will take the pressure off the ball of the large toe and consequently, these are some of the best trail running shoes for bunions.
- Removable insert.
- Improved heel fitting technology.
- Superior arch support.
- Not specifically a trail shoe.
If comfort and arch support are your priority and you want the added bonus of a shoe that will perform admirably on the trail and the road, then this is the shoe for you.
The North Face Ultra 109 GTX Trail
Review: A comfortable and rugged trail running shoe with built in arch support and protective components.
The only downside appears to be the reports of the less durable upper than you would expect from a trail running shoe.
- Enhanced breathability.
- Good traction.
- Waterproof Gore-tex upper.
- Good stability and arch support.
- Material is not as durable as it could be for a trail running shoe.
A comfortable, supportive and protective trail running shoe.
BONUS: A different option to add to the mix
Merrell Vapor Glove 2 Trail
Review: A minimalist shoe, included in the list purely as an option to consider if you’re interested in going in that direction.
- Wide to cater for the spread of a flat foot.
- Good grip.
- A fabulous barefoot feel.
- Not as durable as they could be.
- Not to be worn without prior transition period of less supportive shoes.
Now that you’ve been introduced to some of the best trail running shoes for flat feet, 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.
And that’s all, folks. Thanks for reading!
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