The 6 Best Cross Training Shoes for Flat Feet in 2020

Flat feet are a condition that affects 20-30% of the population either in one or both feet [1]. Flat feet do not necessarily affect athletic performance. 

However, overpronation can lead to shin splints or knee pain. Therefore, buying shoes that can account for overpronation may help reduce your risk of injury. 

In this article, we will be looking at the best cross training shoes for flat feet.

In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:

Quick Answer – The 6 Best Cross Training Shoes for Flat Feet in 2020

  1. Brooks Men’s Transcend 6 Running Shoe – Best overall
  2. ASICS Gel-Quantum Infinity Running Shoes – Best for shock absorption
  3. Saucony Men’s Guide ISO 2 Road Running Shoe – Best for stability
  4. ASICS Women’s GT-2000 8 Running Shoe – Best for responsiveness
  5. ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 25 Running Shoes – Best for flat footed runners
  6. Saucony Men’s Omni ISO Road Running Shoe – Best for long distance running

Reviews – The Best Cross Training Shoes for Flat Feet

In this section, we are going to be looking at the 6 best cross training shoes for flat feet. Remember, flat feet require more stability than regular running shoes. Each of the shoes on this list was picked for being stable, but also for being adaptable to different forms of cardio.

1. Brooks Men’s Transcend 6 Running Shoe

The Transcend 6 running shoe by Brooks is one of the most supportive running shoes out there. It has super soft cushioning, using DNA Loft technology to create that amazing cloud-like feeling with every step. The OrthoLite sock liner helps to improve the comfort when putting your shoes on. The shoes also have GuideRails which are ideal for reducing pain in your knees.

The Brooks Transcend 6 running shoes are the best cross training shoes for reducing knee pain while you run. The shoes also benefit from an internal stretch bootie which covers your foot and expands as you run. The mid-foot stability of these shoes is also very impressive.

Pros:

  • GuideRails reduce knee pain
  • Internal stretch bootie improves comfort
  • Excellent mid-foot stability

Cons:

  • Shoes weigh quite a bit
  • Not as durable as some of the shoes on this list
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2. ASICS Gel-Quantum Infinity Running Shoes

The first thing that you notice about the ASICS Gel-Quantum Infinity running shoe is the visible full-length midsole that uses GEL technology. This is truly revolutionary technology, and you can really feel the difference while you run.

The shoes are quite heavy, they may not be ideal for long distance runs, nor would they be great for sprinting. But as shoes that can be worn while you jog, hike, cycle, or go to the gym, they are excellent. Remember, the purpose of these shoes is to allow flat footed athletes to cross train safely and effectively.

The shoes are amazing at reducing the shock of impact while you run, the GEL technology at both the front foot and rear foot really helps here. This is the best cross training shoe for shock absorption

Pros:

  • Amazing shock absorption
  • Durable
  • Stable

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Can be quite narrow for certain foot types
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3. Saucony Men’s Guide ISO 2 Road Running Shoe

The ISO 2 road running shoe by Saucony is aimed at mild to moderate overpronation rather than full-blown overpronation. The idea behind this shoe is that there is high density foam cushioning along the medial post of the shoe. This helps to gently correct overpronation as you run.

As this is a stability shoe, you will probably be unsurprised to hear that the shoe has great stability, but this is a big feature. The Saucony Guide ISO 2 road running shoe is the best cross training shoe for stability. The midsole of this shoe is particularly stiff, really helping you keep a good shape while you run. 

The shoe itself is great for cross training, it is functional, looks good, and can be used on multiple surfaces. It is durable, and is made by one of the best racing shoe companies around. If you have a mild case of overpronation, then this could well be the shoe for you.

Pros:

  • Excellent stability
  • Well Cushioned
  • Comfortable during long exercise sessions
  • Disperses force well during a run

Cons:

  • Not the most breathable shoe
  • Not waterproof or water resistant at all
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4. ASICS Women’s GT-2000 8 Running Shoe

What is great about the GT-2000 8 running shoe from ASICS is how they have improved on previous models. Taking the best from their older shoes but improving on the issues that affected this series. The shoes are still stiff and stable, but thanks to the improved cushioning, they are more forgiving while still improving flat footed running performance.

The shoes use a rear foot and fore foot cushioning system that utilises ASICS’ GEL technology to spread out the shock of each step. This prevents the knee pain that can so often blight the running of flat footed people.

The responsiveness of the shoe is impressive, in fact, this is the best cross training shoe for responsiveness. Meaning that each step will absorb the energy of the ground and redistribute it to your running, giving you that extra energy. This shoe is great for moderate to severe overpronators. 

Pros:

  • Responsive
  • Well Cushioned
  • Not as stiff as previous versions
  • Stable

Cons:

  • Heavy shoe, not suitable for agility exercises
  • Very narrow fit
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5. ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 25 Running Shoes

The ASICS Gel-Kayano 25 running shoe may be one of the most well-known stability shoes around, and for good reason. It is an excellent running shoe in its own right but is also fantastic at curbing excessive pronation.

ASICS have developed the IGS (Impact Guidance System) technology which is supposed to enhance the natural running gait from heel to toe. Minimising the impact of overpronation. The Dynamic DuoMax Support System enhances stability as well as improving support, and just like the Brooks Transcend 6, this shoe has Guidance Line Midsole Technology that aims to improve your running and reduce pressure on the knees.

This shoe is the most technologically sound running shoe on this list, making it the best cross training shoe for flat footed runners. The only real downside is that the shoe is quite a bit expensive.

Pros:

  • Amazing use of technology to improve overpronation
  • Excellent stability
  • Redistribution of energy is excellent

Cons:

  • Expensive
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6. Saucony Men’s Omni ISO Road Running Shoe

The Saucony Men’s Omni ISO Road running shoe is designed for moderate to severe overpronation. This is an excellent racing shoe that will really support you and improve your running gait. Saucony has its own technology for supporting your feet. They use EVERUN topsole construction which allows for constant cushioning as you run.

They support the medial part of the midsole, which is exactly where an overpronator is going to be putting pressure, and they have an external support frame to improve structure and stability even more. The engineered mesh helps improve breathability too. 

This shoe is ideal for road running, but can also work on the running track or in the gym. This is a well cushioned and incredibly supportive running shoe that can work in any environment. This is the best cross training shoes for long distance running. 

Pros:

  • Great use of technology to combat overpronation
  • Lots of cushioning improves comfort
  • Medial support in the midsole

Cons:

  • Not as durable as some shoes on this list. 
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What Shoes to Wear for Cross Training?

Before finding the ideal shoes for cross training, it would be helpful to quickly go over what exactly cross training is. If you are primarily a runner, then your goal will be to improve your aerobic fitness. You could of course do this by running more.

But performing the same exercise over and over again may increase your risk of injury. It would make more sense to vary your training, so that you are working different muscles and putting strain on different joints.

Enter cross training.

Instead of running, you could cycle. Instead of cycling, you could swim, or play basketball, or go on a hike. It is all about changing your routine, while still staying on track. Cross training could also involve lifting weights, performing plyometric exercises (box jumps, skipping, bounding), or different cardio machines.

Cross training shoes are designed to be worn for multiple exercises, they need to be light, flexible, and cushioned. 

What Shoes to Wear for Flat Feet?

Being flat footed means that you have no arch in your feet, it leads to over-pronation. Interestingly, there are ways to treat flat footedness, exercises that work on the feet can help. However, these exercises can take a long time to make a difference, and many flat footed runners would rather wear shoes that help treat the symptoms.

The type of shoe that a flat footed runner would be best suited to are called stability shoes, they prevent over-pronation by placing more cushioning on the inside of the foot. Cushioned running shoes can also help to some degree, as can motion control shoes.

Considering these shoes are used for cross training too, we will be mostly looking at stability shoes, as we think that these are the best fit. 

Buying Guide- How to Choose The Best Cross Training Shoes for Flat Feet?

There are many questions that you should ask and answer before purchasing your cross training shoe. Here are the most important:

What form of Cross Training Will I Be Performing?

This is probably the most important question when it comes to choosing a cross training shoe. As you may have noticed, most of the shoes on this list are designed for road racing. That is because running is one of the most common forms of cross training. It is also the only form of cross training that is adversely affected by flat feet.

Cycling or swimming are not going to be affected by flat feet, and swimming does not require shoes in the first place! Weightlifting and resistance training are rarely affected by flat feet and can be performed using regular gym shoes. 

If your cross training involves playing certain sports, then chances are you will either require running shoes such as the ones mentioned above, or sport-specific shoes.

If you are planning on running, then the distance you plan to run (and ultimately, how serious you are going to take the running) is also particularly important. 60-100m sprints are popular forms of cross training for many sports but require sprinting spikes if you are performing them on the track. Alternatively, if you are running 5km or 10km runs, then looking for good middle distance running shoes (most of the ones mentioned above) is a good idea. 

How serious is my overpronation?

Flat footedness can have many different levels, there is mild overpronation, moderate overpronation, and severe overpronation. If you only have mild overpronation, then you can often get away with wearing regular running shoes. Everyone pronates a bit when they run, even if they have perfect technique.

Remember, even people with moderate to severe overpronation should be able to run well and to a good standard. But they will need to find shoes that offer more stability and support. 

You can find out how much you overpronate by getting a running analysis. This can be done by a running coach, or you can get it done at many sporting goods outlets. 

A simple test you can do in summer is to walk barefoot in water and then walk along a dry surface. Check your footprint out. A “normal” footprint will look a bit like a question mark, with a decent arch. The flatter footed you are, the more “block like” your footprint will appear.

Do I value comfort or performance more?

There are two ways to go when purchasing a cross training shoe when you have flat feet. You can either prioritise comfort or you can prioritise performance. The more cushioning you have, the more pleasant the experience. But highly cushioned shoes tend to be bulkier and they weigh more. This can affect your performance. 

This does not mean that you should be looking for shoes that only improve your performance, you want shoes that can correct your overpronation as well as staying quite lightweight. The shoes on this list tend to target the latter. 

For example, the Saucony Men’s Guide ISO 2 Road Running Shoe is on this list because it is an excellent shoe for long distance running. Whereas the Brooks Men’s Transcend 6 Running Shoe is more about reducing knee pain and providing comfort. You may find that you will get a faster time wearing the Saucony shoe, but you may stay injury free for longer while wearing the Brooks shoe. You need to decide which is the best option for you.

How adaptable to different sports is the shoe?

Cross training is often a combination of several different forms of exercise. If you are an amateur swimmer, then you may use running, cycling, and some gym work as forms of cross training. Are you going to buy different shoes for each discipline? Possibly, but this is going to cost a lot of money and take up a lot of closet space!

Perhaps the more sensible option would be to wear a shoe that can be used for all three? Shoes like the Gel-Kayano 25 are often seen on the track as well as on the gym floor. That is because they are adaptable. Saucony shoes are less likely to be seen in the gym as they are traditionally seen as running-specific shoes.

Final Thoughts

We have taken a look at six of the best cross training shoes for people with flat feet. But which is our personal favourite? The Gel-Kayano 25 by Asics is incredibly popular with flat footed runners, it is definitely the best in terms of combatting overpronation and improving overall stability. 

However, it represents a serious investment, and may not be the right choice for someone who is only running as a form of cross training. 

We would have to say that the Brooks Men’s Transcend 6 Running Shoe is the best choice for cross training. It may not be the best for amazing running scores, but as you are using it for cross training that should not matter. It will prevent your knees from hurting, should help correct your technique, and is at a very reasonable price. 

The truth is, any of the shoes on this list will help you to cross train with flat feet, you just need to decide which one is the right shoe for your specific needs. 

References

[1] https://physiciansfootcare.com/foot-and-ankle-conditions/foot-conditions/

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