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Home » 5 Best Cross-Training Shoes for Flat Feet (2023 Update) | Pick for CrossFit, Running, and More

5 Best Cross-Training Shoes for Flat Feet (2023 Update) | Pick for CrossFit, Running, and More

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If you have flat feet, then it can be a serious pain to try to find a great pair of cross-training shoes that fit well. On top of this, a lot of popular cross-training shoes like the Nike Metcon 8 have slightly more narrow and neutral lasts so they can feel cramped for flatter-footed athletes.

Luckily, there are more cross-training shoes on the market than ever so there are a variety of shoe options for those with flat feet. The best part is that we can get even more specific with the best cross-training shoes for flat feet and dial in what styles of activities certain pairs work best for.

In this article, I’m going to discuss five different performance categories in which cross-training shoes for flat feet will work best in. This way, I can suggest shoes that fit your specific performance asks, wants, and needs best.

 

On the market for new cross-training shoes? Make sure you check out my TF2 cross-training shoe calculator to be matched with your best models!

Best Flat Feet Cross-Training Shoe for CrossFit

When looking into cross-training shoes for flat feet that work for CrossFit I’m specifically looking for two key performance aspects. First, is the fit of the model and the width of the midfoot and toe box to ensure the shoe actually works for those with flatter feet.

Second, I look into the construction features that help make the model a great CrossFit shoe. Does it have the versatility components, upper durability, and stability features needed for tackling CrossFit workouts?

My Top Pick: Reebok Nano X3

The Reebok Nano X3 is taking my top pick as the best flat-footed cross-training for CrossFit. This model is built slightly wider than other cross-training shoes on the market and its midfoot is a little less aggressive than the Nano X1 and Nano X2.

Testing the Reebok Nano X3 for Squatting

With its less aggressive midfoot and improved construction, I see the Nano X3 as a viable option for flat feet that need a strong shoe for CrossFit. To add context to this shoe’s updates, there are three key features that make this model great for CrossFit.

First, the ROPEPRO+ has been improved in this shoe so it doesn’t break down during rope climbs like the Nano X2 and Nano X1 were prone to doing. Second, the Flexweave upper gives this shoe a nice durable, and abrasion-resistant construction.

Testing the Reebok Nano X3 for Rope Climbs

Third and lastly, the new Lift and Run Chassis System has been a nice addition for adding to this shoe’s ability to perform well for short runs in WODs and for heavier lifting. It basically gives this shoe a nice edge for versatility.

Reebok Nano X3

Reebok Nano X3 Product Shot
4.7
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.7

Best For

  • Recreational Weight Training
  • Functional Fitness/CrossFit
  • Athletic-Style Training
  • Short Runs/Sprints
  • Casual HIIT

Falls Short

  • For Minimalist Lovers
  • For Long-Distance Running

Best Flat Feet Cross-Training Shoe for Lifting

If you’re looking for a great cross-training shoe specifically for lifting and you have flatter feet, then one of the biggest that I like to pay attention to is the shoe’s midfoot and toe box width.

When lifting, we’ll want ample width to splay the toes and grip the floor properly, so I’m looking for a stable shoe with ample width to accommodate a flatter foot’s needs.

My Top Pick: STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer

My second pick for flat feet cross-training shoes and CrossFit is the STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer. This model features STR/KE MVMNT’s S2 last which has an anatomical build to it and a width that rivals the Altra Escalante’s width.

Testing the Haze Trainer for Weight Training

For flatter-footed athletes, this model’s toe box will likely fit like a glove in a good way and the midfoot isn’t so aggressive so it shouldn’t feel offputting when lifting or wearing them for daily wear.

Another aspect to like about the Haze Trainer for lifting is that the midsole in this model does a great job of providing stability and a high degree of mobility for things like cleans, lunges, and split squats.

Testing the Haze Trainer for Strength Training

I often describe this shoe as a “pseudo-minimalist” model so if you enjoy that style of shoe, then you’ll like the Haze Trainer. The Haze Trainer almost feels like a barefoot shoe at times with how mobile its sole construction is, which is a good thing for lifters really trying to feel the ground below them as they lift heavy.

STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer

$150

STRIKE MVMNT Haze Trainer
4.5
Stability
4.7
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.2

Best For

  • Heavy Lifting
  • Cross-Training Workouts
  • Athletic-Focused Sessions
  • Shorter Runs (<3 miles)

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Custom Orthotics

Best Flat Feet Cross-Training Shoe for Running

If you’re in the market for a new cross-training shoe that can perform well with runs and in the gym, then you’ll want to explore hybrid shoe options as most pure cross-training shoes will fall short of running.

If you’re also wanting to explore other hybrid-focused training shoes, I’d suggest also checking out my best training shoes for lifting and running. Just make sure you note that as specificity increases so can a hybrid shoe’s performance.

My Top Pick: STR/KE MVMNT Vimana Hybrid Runner

My top pick for flatter-footed individuals that want a great hybrid training shoe is the STR/KE MVMNT Vimana Hybrid Runner. This shoe also features STR/KE MVMNT’s S2 last and provides adequate forefoot and midfoot width.

strike mvmnt vimana hybrid runner

Outside of being a slightly model in general this is also one of the few shoes that I think truly excels as a hybrid training shoe. This model has a slight bias in its construction for trail running and road running, but it also works well in the gym.

The Meta Platform outsole provides a nice stable base to run on and the Cush50 EVA/EPE midsole provides a nice blend of stability and versatility. I’ve deadlifted over 455 lbs in this shoe without any stability issues, for example.

STRKE MVMNT Vimana Hybrid Runner for Lifting

This shoe can be a bit more pricey, but I think it’s worth it for the athlete and lifter that wants a true hybrid training shoe for lifting and outdoor running.

STR/KE MVMNT Vimana Hybrid Runner

$160

strke mvmnt vimana hybrid runner
4.7
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.7

Best For

  • Trail Runs (Easy to Semi-Technical Terrain)
  • Short to Mid-Range Road Runs
  • Recreational Training
  • Outdoor Workouts

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Highly Technical Trail Runs

Best Flat Feet Cross-Training Shoe for HIIT

When tackling HIIT workouts nothing can be more frustrating than dealing with a pair of shoes that are way too tight for your foot’s anatomy. This can make the whole experience uncomfortable and can leave your feet with blisters.

My Top Pick: Reebok Nano X3

The Reebok Nano X3 has a slightly wider last which tends to work well for some flatter-footed athletes. In HIIT workouts, the Reebok Nano X3 is a good pick due to its overall versatility and this is for three key reasons.

Testing the Reebok Nano X3 for Running

First, the Reebok Floatride Energy Foam midsole in this shoe provides them a nice level of responsiveness for classes, plyometrics, and circuit, while also giving this shoe a nice level of stability to promote balance and support for lifting.

Second, the full rubber outsole has a nice level of tread for multi-directional workouts and sessions on different surfaces. For example, this shoe shouldn’t have slip issues on surfaces like turf, rubber gym floors, and wooden floors.

Testing the Reebok Nano X3 for Multi Directional Workouts

Third and lastly, on top of the Lift and Run Chassis System giving this shoe a nice level of versatility, the additional boot security that comes along with this model is great for anyone wanting a training shoe with a bit more ankle support. This can be a subtle and nice perk.

Reebok Nano X3

Reebok Nano X3 Product Shot
4.7
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.7

Best For

  • Recreational Weight Training
  • Functional Fitness/CrossFit
  • Athletic-Style Training
  • Short Runs/Sprints
  • Casual HIIT

Falls Short

  • For Minimalist Lovers
  • For Long-Distance Running

Best Flat Feet Cross-Training Shoe for Wide Feet

If you’re trying to find that one cross-training shoe that delivers an adequate width to its that is also flat-foot-friendly, then you’ve likely been hard-pressed finding a pair of shoes that fits your specific needs.

To be honest, the cross-training shoe market is pretty underserved when it comes to models that work for exceptionally wide feet, which is something I hope changes over the next few years.

My Top Pick: Altra Solstice XT 2

The Altra Solstice XT 2 is taking my top pick as the best flat-foot cross-training shoe that can work for wide feet. This cross-training shoe has one of the widest toe boxes on the market compared to its peers.

altra solstice xt 2 for crossfit and lifting (1)

On top of its wider toe box, this shoe also doesn’t have a super aggressive midfoot which is great for anyone that wants a midfoot that isn’t super rigid to where it digs into the arch of the foot.

The Altra Solstice XT 2 has a medium-density midsole that works for versatile training settings but can also support heavier sessions as well. When squatting over 335 lbs in this shoe, stability wasn’t a major concern and I liked their width for toe splay.

altra solstice xt 2 for walking running and standing

This shoe also has a zero-drop construction so if you like flatter shoes for working out, then I think you’ll resonate with the Altra Solstice XT 2’s construction. My only issue with the Solstice XT 2 is that the outsole could be more durable for outdoor sessions.

Altra Solstice XT 2

$130

Altra Solstice XT 2
4.1
Stability
4.1
Versatility
4.5
Durability
3.8

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • HIIT Workouts
  • Classes
  • Wide Weet
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Lifting
  • For CrossFit

Is Working Out With Flat Feet Bad?

No, it is never bad to work out. If you have flat feet, then it can actually be beneficial for your specific foot anatomy to train and train hard at that. Everyone’s foot anatomy is slightly different so the benefit will vary from athlete to athlete.

If you have flat feet and notice that your feet ache or feel tired after workout sessions, then it can be a good idea to focus on and improve your foot’s musculature which can then carry over to your foot’s intrinsic muscles that help provide it with its structure.

If you look around online, then it doesn’t take long until you see something like “flat feet are bad”. That’s a common misconception and flat feet are not inherently bad as foot flatness varies greatly between individuals and what that means can also vary.

Testing the UA Flow Dynamic for strength work

For example, there are plenty of elite athletes and lifters that have by definition “flat feet” but perform just fine without issues. There’s a lot of individuality that comes into play here and adopting the mindset of “this is bad” can be limiting and create issues where there are none, in my coaching opinion.

My biggest piece of advice is to listen to your body when it comes to working out with flatter feet and ease into your style of training accordingly. Then add accessories as needed based on the feedback your body gives you from training.

This way you can better scale your workouts so you’re not feeling beat up after them and you can assess if you should spend some extra time training the feet directly.

Why Are CrossFit Shoes Flat?

Not all CrossFit shoes are flat and very few models actually provide a 0mm heel-to-toe drop or fully flat construction. Most models feature heel-to-toe drops that range from 2mm to 9mm. This range is used to provide the shoe with a “best of all worlds” type of feel.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Functional Fitness

A shoe’s heel-to-toe drop can influence how a shoe fits, feels and performs. If we raise our heel higher above our toe, then we’ll see mechanical changes at the ankle and foot when working out.

The 2mm-9mm heel-to-toe drop range that most CrossFit shoes utilize is to provide the shoes with a lower-to-the-ground feel, but also provides some heel for training purposes when doing things like squats, cleans, wall balls, and thrusters.

Do Flat Feet Lifters Need Arch Support?

Not necessarily. This question depends on the level of midfoot and arch support you need to train and work out without discomfort. If you have flatter feet that are more rigid in nature, then you may not need a ton of arch support when lifting.

Basically, if your feet have adequate musculature and your arch is flatter but strong, then you may not require auxiliary midfoot support.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for Daily Wear

For lifters that find their feet collapsing or as though they’re not as stable and balanced when training and note that it’s taking away from their performance, then exploring additional arch support could be a really good call.

This could be provided through a shoe’s last and construction or additional orthotics designed to provide additional arch support. Note, if you reach for additional arch support in shoes, it’s also a good idea to train your foot outside of that shoe to build up the deeper muscles of the foot.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Why are CrossFit shoes flat?

A:
CrossFit shoes are typically built with lower heel-to-toe drops that range between 2mm to 9mm. This drop is typically best for providing a stable base for lifting while giving you a little heel for things like cleans, wall balls, and thrusters.

Q:
Do flat feet need stability shoes?

A:
It depends on the anatomy of your foot and what is most comfortable for your training needs. For example, if you have a flatter foot that needs more support, then finding a more stable pair of cross-training shoes can be useful. Conversely, if you have a flatter foot that is a bit more rigid, then you can use models that have a bit more mobility and flexibility.

Q:
Are NOBULLs good for flat feet?

A:
To an extent. NOBULL Trainers tend to have a slightly wider last compared to other cross-training shoes on the market which is good for flat feet. However, if you have flat feet and need arch support, then the NOBULL Trainer will likely fall short of your needs.

Q:
What type of shoes are good for flat feet?

A:
Good shoes for flat feet will need to provide constructions that align with your foot's anatomy. For example, if you need a stable model for training that provides support, then you'll want to find a shoe that has a good heel counter, midfoot support, and stable midsole.

Takeaway Thoughts

If you have flat feet, then it can be a tedious process trying to find a pair of cross-training shoes that fit your performance needs best. There are plenty of cross-training shoes on the market that can work for flat feet and each model will feel differently based on your individual needs.

The cross-training shoes for flat feet featured in this article should all work for flat feet and they each provide their own unique fit and feel in regard to stability and versatility per the demands of your training.

If you have any questions on this round-up and the shoes featured in it, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

nv-author-image

Jake Boly

I've been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I've trained hundreds of clients, written thousands of articles, reviewed over 100+ pairs of training shoes, and have produced a large list of training videos. I live and breathe fitness and training gear, and I think it's important that reviewers walk the walk with the gear they're testing. As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

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