Shoemaking has become increasingly sophisticated thanks to podiatry becoming a recognized branch of medicine. Over the years, shoemakers have realized that not all people have arched feet and started manufacturing shoes for men with flat feet. Almost 30 percent have flat feet. It is not necessarily a genetic defect.
It has more to do with injuries and consequent wrong usage of feet which results in wrong development of muscles. Age is another factor too. People with flat feet have issues with balancing as well springiness that others with arched or normal feet take for granted.
Therefore, they are more likely to suffer from injuries. In the past, activities such as gym, weight training, and other cross-training exercises would be strictly avoided. But now there are shoes specifically designed for their feet, enabling them to partake in cross training like any other person, and even excel in them.
Features To Look For In The Best Cross Training Shoes For Men With Flat Feet
Some of the desirable features are common across all cross training shoes such as durability, style, flexibility, light material, ease of cleaning, breathability, traction, support, cushioning, etc. But specific features to look for in cross training shoes designed for men with flat feet are:
At the foot’s arch, coupled with more support around tendons as men with flat feet are more inclined to sustain injuries in these parts;
Extra support on sides to prevent rolling due to overpronation.
Overpronation results in ankles leaning inwards and rest of the foot moving outwards. Muscles too develop accordingly. This condition brings ankles of two feet closer, and the possibility of falling increases especially as ankles could rub one another and roll inwards. Therefore, extra support is needed on the inner sides of the shoes to prevent rolling.
Extra support at the heel for the selected activity
Sports like weight lifting requires a person to squat and lift apart from move a tad. There has to be enough traction for that, and support at the arch that is formed by flat feet.
This feature ensures that you can remove the insoles for better comfort since customizing shoes for feet is not yet possible. This also means, that if you need more insole, you could add more of it.
This comes inside the shoe, usually through foams, and insoles.
Though the foot does not have a perceptible arch, it can be made to contour slightly with such external support. Such material should have enough flexibility.
Design focusing on stability
Extra support on the inner side of the shoe does save the feet from rolling over and rubbing against the ankle of the other foot.
To achieve balance it is important to ensure that the outer end of the foot finds sufficient support. And it does not make the shoe feel like balancing on blades of ice skating shoes fixed on the inner side.
Even so, care needs to be taken to ensure that these shoes do not weigh too much. This would slow down the movement and cause strain on the ankle and other foot and leg muscles. The design should ensure that the center of gravity should pass through ankle almost in a straight line, with sufficient flexibility. Likewise, the shoe should fit snugly.
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Best Cross Training Shoes For Men With Flat Feet
Here is a list of six best cross training shoes for men with flat feet in the market
Cross-training includes a large variety of exercises such as jumping, jogging, weight lifting, squats, etc.
This shoe can cost anywhere between $49 to $170 depending upon the variant selected and where it is bought. Its synthetic sole is fairly hard, so cushioned insoles may be needed to avoid sprain, especially at the outer edge of feet.
The heel is designed to prevent it from digging into the heel. Such design ensures that these shoes can also be used on rough terrains such as mountains. It scores highest for lateral movement, because of which it prevents rolling over, and is suitable for weight lifting.
This movement is possible because of rubber wrap, which reaches the shoe’s medial side, for offering the desired level of support. Also, the shoe comes with molded “midfoot saddle”. This makes the shoe fit easily and yet keeps it light.
Unlike Nike’s Free trainer “5.0 V6”, this shoe is better suited for track and field events thanks to the gel-like “shock absorbent”. These shoes also offer enough traction for other cross-training activities as well. The best part is, these shoes are available in a price band of $50 to $168 or so, depending upon the cross training variant selected.
Its features include rubber sole apart from the removable insole. The rubber heel sole padding hides the plastic heel sole beneath it giving the shoe its firmness. The synthetic upper material which is like leather tends to get stiff. Many also feel there is squeak.
In general, they are a tad narrower and bulky, though not uncomfortable for most. Some of the models do not come with arch support and may be designed for specific sports like a baseball.
The fact that some model comes with lateral support, allowing for more wear and tear there, indicates that these are for men with flat feet. Its limitation is the ankle support, which could do with some more padding.
Adidas Performance Powerlift.3
As the name suggests these shoes are designed for weight lifters. This product line has been around for really long. It has been a testimony of Adidas’s innovation, and design, across the years. The added features make the product just right for squatting, pressing and deadlifting.
Accordingly, this pair of shoe comes with a single velcro strap for fastening unlike the Speed 3.0, which comes with shoelaces. Enough padding is given laterally for offering stability and surefootedness so essential for weight lifting.
Arch support is the highlight of this product. Unlike Nike’s product, the upper part is made from synthetic material. As of date, these shoes are available for approximately $41 to $190.
Adidas’ products are a tad narrower. But Puma’s Tazon 6 offers a wide range of shoes for different widths though these too run narrow towards toes. These shoes are designed for gym activities apart from running, making them quite versatile.
The lace-up “closure” ensures better fitting shoes, adding to stability. There are perforations on its upper part which is made from synthetic material resembling leather. It features EVA cushioning at the. Its rubber sole is a tad thin. Flexibility is also restricted because of which these do not rank as high as Nike’s or Adidas’ products.
The foam and insole are insufficient as arch support. These shoes are also not very well ventilated. Subject to such features and drawbacks, these have a fair price tag.
The distinct characteristic of Reebok’s Crossfit “Nano 7” is its heel clip which is wraparound. The bottom part of these shoes is also more flexible offering better mobility as well as traction. The product line has evolved including in its new technologies over the years like the CMEVA “midsole”.
This is responsive cushioning at the arch as is needed for flat feet. The outsole is made from highly durable abrasion resistant rubber which also offers required grip. The upper part is stretchable, and yet breathable, offering greater flexibility for varied movements of cross training.
The midfoot tends to be a tad tight even though the length is not an issue. Overall, despite the rubber and synthetic materials, the shoes are a tad stiff. Notwithstanding minor issues, these shoes perhaps qualify as the best cross training shoes for men with flat feet. It is therefore not surprising that they carry a price tag of almost $90.
Conclusion On Best Cross Training Shoes For Men With Flat Feet
Flat feet are no longer an excuse to avoid athletic and sports world. Men like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, former captain of the Indian cricket team, Haile Gebreselassie, Olympic gold medal winner, and Alan Webb, the man with unbroken track and field record, have shown that even if the feet land on inner heels, it is not the end of their active world.
All that is needed is good quality cross-training shoes that are designed for them, and sports shoe makers are vying to make best cross training shoes for men with flat feet.
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