How to run with flat feet

A statistic shows that up to 25% of the US population owns flat feet. This condition is most often seen in newborns and disappears by 2-3 years of age. For cases that extend into adulthood, flat feet can cause serious illness. In addition, certain injuries can also cause this condition, triggering difficulties when people are walking, running and standing for long periods. Flat feet mean that arches of the feet completely disappear, leading to the entire surface of the feet coming into contact with the floor.

flat feet


  • Hereditary
  • The arch of the foot is weak because the person did not exercise regularly at his developmental age
  • History of foot or ankle injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Imbalanced body structure: one leg is short, and the other leg is long
  • Weak leg ligaments
  • History of muscular and nervous system diseases such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, etc.
  • Being overweight makes the weight put on the sole of the foot, plus being inactive regularly.


As a rule, we should understand that, when we have pain or injury in a certain joint, most of the main cause is not from that joint. The core problem may lie in the joints next to it. For example, when jogging, you feel knee pain, the main reason here may not lie in the knee joint but in the ankle.

Similarly, flat feet are one of the causes of knee and hip pains when people are running. In a running or walking cycle, with the common foot, when our heel touches the ground, gravity is transmitted from the heel, through the outside edge of the foot and to the forefoot of the big toe. (counterclockwise from the heel to forefoot). As for flat feet, gravity is transmitted in the opposite direction, creating too much torsion on the ankles and knees, and repetitive movement over long periods of time will cause undesirable effects like tendonitis. It is common for people to feel pain in the inner side of the knee or hip joint.

Below are some harms brought by flat feet:

  • Moving slowly, makes it difficult to practice sports and easily fall.
  • Deformed big toes.
  • High risk of knee pain and ankylosing joints.
  • Causing spinal deformities.
  • The feet face out, causing bad gaits.

running with flat feet

Some tips to improve the condition

Change the lifestyle

To limit the pain for people with flat feet, lifestyle adjustments are needed. Usually, a doctor or specialist will prescribe a separate diet for those who have flat feet so that they lose weight, limiting the pressure on the feet. People with flat feet also should not travel for too long.

Use a tennis ball or Lacrosse ball and stretch the following parts:

  • Soles
  • Lateral gastric parts
  • Bicep femoris
  • Tensor fascia latae
  • Peroneal

Practice exercises for Gluteus medius muscle group that can be combined with miniband to create resistance

  • Side-lying hip abduction
  • Monster walks
  • Lateral walks
  • Glute bridge

Remember to limit the use of running or high climbing exercises on the treadmill, as this forces the foot to bend, stimulate and cause the foot to turn out more, putting pressure on the knee joint.

It is important to note that taking medicine or taking a break from training after such an injury will only be a temporary solution to the situation. When you run or work out again, you will still hurt. Therefore, it is necessary to know how to run or work out correctly with flat feet. You must constantly listen and understand your body during practice. If you do not understand your body, the injury will come soon.

If you are a Personal Trainer, you can have your client run on the machine, but at a low speed and remind your customer to focus on controlling foot posture when their feet contact with the ground. You intend to take part in running events, register for moderate distances and run on a flat road at a sufficient speed to control the landing of the foot.

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