Choosing the right gear can make or break your performance. Apart from that, you may also get injured with the wrong type of shoes.
Being a runner, you may sometimes crave breaking the pattern by wearing flat shoes while running.
But before going forward with such a bold move, you should consider whether flats will be ideal for running.
Don’t bother with that! By pointing out the facts, this article will clear all your confusion about running in flats.
So, stay put!
Can I Use Flat Shoes For Running?
Yes, you can use flat shoes for running as long as they fit you well. Running in flat shoes often feels like barefoot and can improve your stride as well. Yet, if you are already used to highly cushioned running shoes, consider taking some time before switching to flats.
However, while running, a good pair of running shoes like Adidas Cloudfoam can alter how you thump the ground.
Because instead of your feet, the extra cushioning and elevated outsole of running shoes absorb the ground’s shock and impact.
You can indeed run in flat shoes, but before opting for that, you should consider some aspects, such as:
- Condition of your feet.
- Length of your run.
- The type of running trail you will be hitting.
Foot conditions like flat feet and plantar fasciitis needs shoes with enough support.
Hence, your condition can get worse with flat shoes, with flat heels as they come with minimal or no cushioning.
And, with minimal support, flat soles can not protect your feet from stress when you run extensively for hours on rough trails.
But with the front foot stride, flat shoes are great for running marathons.
Although running in flats is good for your feet, a sudden switch can cause blisters, pain, or even stress fractures due to their lack of cushioning.
So, before transitioning to flats for running, be sure that they suit the current condition of your foot.
And, when you decide to switch, make your feet used to the flats by running in them for a couple of months.
Pros and Cons of Running in Flat Shoes
That said, while giving you the feeling of barefoot running, flat shoes can also benefit your foot health. But to make the right decision, knowing the pros and cons of using flat shoes for running can ease the process.
So, let’s find out what the pros and cons of running in flat shoes are:
- »Can improve your stride with the front foot striking.
- »Gives a natural barefoot running experience with flat heels.
- »Puts less pressure on your joints and ankles.
- »Balance your feet while running, and helps to prevent unwanted injuries.
- »Easier to run on them due to their lightweight soles.
- »Front foot stride aids in improving the running speed.
- »Wearing flat shoes with existing foot problems can worsen them.
- »Can’t give enough protection to your feet from external elements.
- »Don’t provide adequate cushioning and support.
- »Bad for flat feet.
- »Can’t add height to your legs.
- »Long-time running on flat shoes can cause foot problems like heel pain, strained ankles, or tendonitis.
Well, as you can notice, there are a fair amount of pros and cons to wearing flat shoes for running. But whether you choose to do so or not entirely depends on your preference.
So, make your decision wisely while considering these facts.
How to Transition from Running Shoes to Flat Shoes?
If you are a beginner at running, going with flats may not be as much hassling as for extensive runners.
That’s because if you are an extensive runner, your feet get used to the extra support and cushioning of specially designed running shoes.
Hence, your feet may get fatigued and stressed out easily when you instantly switch to flat shoes from running ones.
However, for an easy transition from running shoes to flat shoes, follow the below directions:
- Choose flat shoes that are of the right size and fit your legs perfectly.
- Before running in flats, walk on the shoes for a couple of weeks to familiarize yourself with them.
- You can take short walks around the park or jog on trails daily.
- And when you get quite comfortable with the flats, increase your mileage gradually. But if you notice any blisters or foot problems, don’t walk on them for long.
- After your feet get cozy in the flats, begin with running short mileage, like 1–2 kilometers.
- Don’t rush the running process; instead, slowly increase the running distance.
Following these directions for a couple of months or so, you will be ready to hit the road with your flat shoes.
5 Best Flat Shoes for Running
When you finally decide to switch to running on flat shoes, you may wonder which ones will be good enough to start with.
Well, don’t worry much. Many flat shoes are out there, from which you can select your perfect pair for running.
So, let’s find out the best 5 flat shoes you can also use for running.
1. Softstar Primal RunAmoc
If you are looking for a flat pair of trail running shoes, Softstar Primal RunAmoc is the ideal choice for you. Though these comfy shoes come with a minimal sole, yet feel very soft on the feet while running.
Furthermore, they offer a durable leather upper that is surprisingly breathable as well. And the wide toe box with supportive leather upper secures ample space for toe movement.
Plus, the Vibram sole provides enough traction and grip while protecting your feet, even in mud or rough terrain.
2. Xero Shoes HFS
Xero Shoes HFS will be a perfect pair for you if you want flat shoes for running on roads made of concrete or asphalt. These shoes come with comfy soles with a thin layer of padding that is roughly 7 mm in thickness.
Hence, while giving you a natural running feel, these shoes can also absorb the ground impact.
So, go with these comfy pairs if you want to experience barefoot running on hard surfaces.
3. Merrell Vapor Glove 5
Merrell Vapor Glove 5 offers a minimal heel with a firm heel cup and is best for new or seasonal runners. Their zero-drop heel gives you a barefoot running experience while protecting your feet from external hazards.
So, if you wanna feel all the nuisance of the trails, these firm and comfy shoes can be your best companion.
4. Vivobarefoot Addis 6547
Vivobarefoot Addis 6547 is great for short-distance running around the town. Due to the Ethiopian cattle leather and rubber soles, these shoes are durable yet very comfortable.
Also, with the minimally thick soles, you can easily hit the road without any hassle.
But remember that these good-looking yet functional shoes may not be ideal for long-distance running in hot weather. If you do so, your feet might get sweaty and feel uncomfortable due to the non-breathable upper.
With the breathable cotton upper and OrthoLite® insoles, Toms can be great for walking and running. Toms are pretty comfortable shoes due to their soft upper and rubber outsoles.
These shoes come with a flat sole with minimal thickness. Hence, while giving a natural running feel, Toms are also good for your feet.
But due to the lack of cushioning and non-durable materials, you should avoid extensive running on hard tracks with Toms.
However, whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting with flat shoes, this list of flats may assist you in the choosing process.
Are Flat Shoes Beneficial or Harmful For Your Health?
Shoes with flat soles usually benefit your health by mimicking barefoot walking and can improve your striding gait. But flats may not be the best choice for long runs or extensive walks, as they lack heel and arch support. And they may even put you at risk of injury.
Are Flat Shoes Good For Walking?
Flat shoes are definitely good for walking as they secure the barefoot posture while walking on them. But as most flats don’t offer soles with proper support and cushioning, prolonged use may cause foot problems like fatigue, arch and heel pain, or even strained ankles.
While opting for minimalistic footwear like flats for running, you may wonder about their output as running gear.
But I hope all the facts I’ve compiled in this article will help you to make an informed decision.
Also, do leave a comment here for more queries on flat shoes!