In addition to having flat feet, I also have pretty narrow ones too! This isn’t terribly common, since flat feet naturally create wider feet overall. However, it does happen and makes shopping for running shoes incredibly difficult.
Instead of crushing my feet into shoes that just don’t fit, I went on the hunt for some narrow-width running shoes. While it’s slim pickings for the most part, I found a few options that should keep those of us with skinny feet running with proper form!
Best Narrow & Flat Feet Running Shoes Comparison and Reviews
I’ve reviewed the Women’s Ride 6 on the site already, and the newer model is just as good. Even better is that this shoe comes in narrow width sizes! It comes with a removable insole in case you need more heel padding or arch support. I also like that there are lacing holes that go pretty high up on the heel for added comfort and adjustability.
- Removable insole
- iBR+ sole is lightweight
- Narrow sizes available
- Neutral shoe; may need insole
- Can be expensive
Brooks is a great brand for running shoes, and they come in all kinds of width options from narrow to super-wide. The Adrenaline Gts 17 is also specifically made for flat feet, with ample arch support and cushioning where you need it! They are also built to last, with many runners saying they don’t need to replace their shoes as often, thanks to high-quality soles and materials!
- Made for flat feet/low arches
- Narrow sizes available
- Run small; order ½ size up
- May still need insole with severe over pronation
Another shoe made specifically for over pronation, the Kayano 24s are a great shoe for narrow feet too. They come in AA narrow width, and they provide plenty of arch support for us flat feet runners without the use of extra insoles or padding. I have worn Asics shoes on and off for years, and I really like the comfort and snug fit. No need to lace up tightly or spend more money on extra socks!
- Made for flat feet/low arches
- Fluid Fit stretch upper
- Heel clutching insole
- Run small; size ½ size up
- Soles wear down quickly with long distance running
The Wave Paradox model of Mizuno running shoes is perfect for flat feet runners who also have narrow feet. They have tons of arch support and heel support for over pronation. I also like these shoes because, unlike many Mizuno models, these come in narrow widths. The graphics on the shoes are also pretty and a bit of a departure from regular running shoes!
- Lightweight soles
- Laces high on foot for support
- Made for distance runners
- Small toe box
- Can be snug around mid-foot
- May need new insoles for narrow heel
When I went in search of a trail running shoe that comes in narrow width, I only found two options – an Asics pair that wasn’t really a trail runner, and these. Icebug makes barefoot-style running shoes that are meant to withstand obstacle-course runs.
If you’re looking to do trail running in dry and wet conditions, or you’re training for a Tough Mudder race, these are a great option. They come in narrow widths, and stay snug on the foot for better grip and stability through rough terrain.
- RB9X rubber lugs increase traction
- Low arch profile
- Not all sizes available online
- Not for everyday trail running
Running with Narrow Feet: Bad Tricks & Good Tips
While there is nothing medically wrong with people who have narrow feet, it can be incredibly inconvenient. Finding shoes that fit narrow feet is problematic for a few reasons:
- First of all, there aren’t many options of running shoes for narrow feet to begin with. With the rise in obesity in the United States and abroad, wider feet are becoming the norm. Because of this, shoe companies have devoted more time to creating wide width shoes over narrow ones. I’ve seen more triple-wide shoes than narrow sizes in recent years!
- Also, narrow-width shoes aren’t as popular because, well, we’ve learned to adjust instead of demanding shoes that fit.
- Running shoes for women are sometimes just downsized versions of men’s shoes. This means they’re not really made for a woman’s foot, which is narrower in different places than narrow male feet.
Runners with narrow feet have been DIY-ing their own solutions for years, but most of them are ineffective – even dangerous. Here are a few things runners have tried, why they don’t work, and better solutions:
For one thing, sizing down means you’ll be wearing shorter lengths, which is bad for your toes! Many narrow foot runners have problems with hammertoes and mallet toes because they’ve been crushing their feet into shoes that don’t fit.
Instead of sizing down, look for shoes that are made for narrow feet and buy the right length size. They might cost a little more, but it’s worth knowing your feet are healthy!
Lacing your shoes differently can help, but if you lace them too tight, you will have problems with numbness and poor circulation.
Instead of compensating by tightly lacing your shoes, find shoes that fit. There are also tutorials online that show narrow-footed runners how to lace their shoes properly. You can also look for shoes with lacing holes higher up on the foot for extra stability.
Padding with the wrong materials can cause excess rubbing, sweating, and pain when the padding shifts around. Most often, runners with narrow feet also have narrow heels that shift around in their shoes – and that’s where we find the most common stuffing problems.
Instead of padding your shoes, try to find an insole that’s made for narrow feet. There are many out there that can provide better stability for your heels, which prevents slipping around in your shoe.
Having flat feet is one thing – but having narrow feet in addition to that is downright annoying. It’s hard enough to find shoes that fit narrow feet, but finding running shoes is even more difficult. I went online in search of the best shoes for narrow feet, and thankfully I found some options that will work for just about anyone! You may need to wear thicker socks, or add an insole, but having a shoe that fits is worth it – trust me!
I have worked as a personal trainer since 2000. I have worked with clients of different ages and levels of fitness, including elderly and high-risk populations. The part of my job that I find most rewarding is seeing my clients not only improve their fitness, but also gain self confidence as their bodies change. I believe that all health and fitness is rooted in proper foundation of core strength and muscular flexibility.
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