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The Monday Shakeout: My Favorite Shoes of 2023 for Flat Feet
By Bach Pham

We get questions all the time about shoes for flat feet runners. In this edition of the Monday Shakeout, instead of a Top Five which the team has done for midyear shoes, I decided to share a few entries that have worked really well for me (and only me whahahaha. sorry.)  and that I have no issues recommending to any other flat footed runner. If you have not checked out my Shakeout about the do's and don'ts to flat feet shoes, check that out first before reading on!

Running shoes lined in a row

My Favorite Neutral Trainer: Nike Pegasus 40 | Full Review

With so many just regular training shoes now touching max cushion territory, finding a regular trainer has become unusually hard in 2023. The Pegasus for all intensive purposes is a very neutral shoe, but one I wanted to highlight because flat feet runners often are thrown into the proceeding categories and often pushed aside from neutral footwear. The Pegasus is a good example of a solid, basic shoe that's no-frills and as long as your foot matches the platform and your mechanics are sound, it's a great option to test and also for a relatively affordable price also test how much stability you need. The lower to the ground profile moderately helps with stability as well. While many max cushion shoes have become far more stable by integrating wide bases and elements to help mitigate the stack, the Pegasus 40 still remains the shoe I've tested this year I could slip on and go with no issues from minute one. Additionally, I've run in several Pegasus in recent years and the 40 has a very improved fit. I've been really impressed with the Nike's adjustment to volume this year.

My Favorite Stable Neutral Trainer: Topo Phantom 3 | Full Review

Total, absolute warning on top of this recommendation is that I have not put miles into the Phantom 3. That said, I've had a chance to try it on and talk to the team about it, and it really on foot ticks the boxes of what I look for in a stable neutral trainer specifically for a runner with flat feet, and why I wanted to make the recommendation.

From a slightly firmer underfoot to wide base to the lack of an elements that I found obtrusive, the Phantom construction-wise is a wonderful stable neutral trainer that is the kind of shoe that I would immediately gravitate towards when buying a shoe. If you are feeling daunted and trying to narrow down what elements you want, I think the Phantom is a good example of going to a store and saying I don't know what I want, but I know these are elements I enjoy and I see them all here. David, Nathan, and Andrea constantly rave about this trainer and have recommended it to runners nonstop this year, and I'm going to as well (and beg Topo to send me a pair).

My Most Comfortable-Fitting Stability Trainer: Saucony Guide 16 | Full Review

There is nothing better than a shoe that ticks all the boxes. A subtle upper update from the Guide 15, the Saucony Guide 16 is one of those shoes that you slip on and know you are dialed in and comfortable from front-to-back. Normally I'm not a proponent of posts, but the hollow tech system in the Guide 16 is incredible well-integrated and given me no issues in my miles on the shoe. The base is solidly wide and foam firm, but with an ever-so-slight sponginess that is uncommon among stability shoes today. We get a lot of shoes to test year-round, but no matter how much fun I'm having in a new pair, I keep going back to how much I like the Guide 16 from a top-to-bottom standpoint. It rides well, it fits well, and it simply gets the job done which a lot of runners will appreciate.

My Your Favorite Premium Stability Trainer: Asics Kayano 30 | Full Review

I have to throw out another caveat when it comes to the Kayano in that this shoe didn't exactly work the best for me, but not at all because of my flat feet. The shoe takes a little bit more engagement than I personally give it, which is why I wouldn't necessarily put it on my list. However, most runners including our own Matt Klein have found tremendous success in the Kayano and I think it absolutely deserves to be on the list as one of the best options in 2023. With the shoe based on guidance and geometry now, it's stability is very much different from the past posted designs, offering a more universal underfoot experience. My enjoyment might not have been there, but my feet had zero issues putting miles in the model and I think a great many runners will agree.

My Favorite Lightweight Stability Trainer: Brooks Launch GTS 10 | Full Review

If you thought the Pegasus was the most basic trainer on the list, the Launch GTS 10 might have it beat. At a bare bones $110, this mild stability trainer has been one of my favorites of the year. The majority of the stability being through some mild guidance from its GuideRail system, the shoe otherwise runs like a neutral trainer. It doesn't have the widest platform in the world, but to a greater extent than the Pegasus, it uses the GuideRails and sidewalls to help keep the runner very dialed on the platform that exists. The GuideRails are also unlike the Brooks Beast and Adrenaline, featuring a much more mild mannered design that doesn't get too much in the way of things. It's a shoe I didn't want to like because it's just not a cool shoe to like, but it's honestly an absolute bargain and a great trainer all-around.

My Favorite Workout Stability Trainer: Brooks Hyperion GTS | Full Review

The lightest and most fun stability flat in the market now, the Hyperion GTS does exactly the same thing the Launch GTS does, but in a lighter, faster package. For many, this could be a good 5k-10k racing option for your local races and most definitely a solid middle distance workout trainer. I'm really hoping to see Brooks take this up a notch and deliver a long distance version of this trainer in the near future to help really complete the collection.

Honorable Mentions

This has been a great year for flat feet runners. With so many brands focusing on geometry and stability to their models, there's more options than ever before to really try out. Some flat feet runners may find that they need very little stability as long as the base is reliable. Shoes like the On Cloudsurfer, Cumulus 25, and Nimbus 25 might be options to check out if that is the case for you. I didn't speak on trail shoes, but the Sense Ride 5 features a slab of Energy Foam that's slim and nimble for short-to-middle distances. There's also a wealth of stability trainers from the Salomon DRX Bliss and Mizuno Wave Inspire 19 which have also been good trainers this year. The Bliss, for me, was a great alternative to the Kayano in it's responsive underfoot for me being a lighter runner. The Wave Inspire 19 features a really engaging new stability integration in the heel which helps really push the runner forward. It's a touch heavier than its peers which is why it is an Honorable Mention, but still a really excellent trainer that also has a highly comfortable fit.


The Best Running Scenes, Part 2
The Best Running Scenes, Part 1
A Week at Doctors of Running
Reflections on Saucony's Study
Sustainable is Only Going to Work if It's Good
A Simple Guide to Footwear and Foot Health
Best Flat Feet Shoes by a Flat Feet Runner
How Long Do Shoes Last?


*Using the link to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!

Ultraspire Fitted Race Belt: The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist. (Also recommend the Naked belt)
Saysky Running Gear: We were really taken aback by this Scandinavian company's ultra-thin, durable performance clothing
Skratch Recovery, Coffee Flavor: Mental and physical boost post run. Coffee flavor is excellent and goes great straight into a fresh brewed cup
goodr Sunglases: Run in style with goodr's super fun sunglasses.
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Water Bottle: Perfect for long runs when you need hydration in the summer
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Theragun Massager: This small version is great on the go for working tired legs
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!
Fractel Hats: Our team's wider fitting running hat of choice!


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Previous Shakeout:
The Best Running Scenes, Part 2

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