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Without natural arches, flat-footed athletes can experience some pain and discomfort every time the entire sole hits the ground. Given the amount of intense footwork Basketball demands, this can be a big problem if you have flat feet. However, having a good pair of sneakers can prevent any pain or injuries.
With the number of available shoes, it’s hard finding a pair that’s just right for you. To save you hours of research and shopping trips, we’ve reviewed the best models in the market to help you find the best basketball shoes for flat feet. We’ve included some valuable information that can help you improve your game, too!
- Best Basketball Shoes for Flat Feet or Fallen Arches Reviews
- What You Need to Know About Flat Feet
- How Flat Feet Can Affect Basketball Players
- What to Consider When Buying the Best Basketball Shoes for Flat Feet
- Related Questions
- Final Thoughts
Best Basketball Shoes for Flat Feet or Fallen Arches Reviews
These are the best basketball shoes for flat feet that will prevent pain and injury — letting you spend more precious time on the court. See which one will work best with your situation, and don’t let the fear of hurting your feet stop you from getting those hoops.
Nike Air Force 1 High ’07
The Air Force 1 is Nike’s most popular sneaker to date because of its soft, yet springy cushioning that provides comfort and support for athletes. Meanwhile, its lacing guarantees superior lockdown while decreasing foot pressure. The perforations at the toe box also boost ventilation, making sure there’s enough room for your toes to wiggle.
Air Force 1 came out in 1983 and since then, they have been a staple in basketball. This model from Nike is so iconic that it has become synonymous with basketball. In fact, some players wear them as active and everyday wear, and the pair will still last for years.
This was the first Nike model to feature “Air” technology, which involves pressurized air inside a tough yet flexible bag called Nike Air sole unit, found in the midsole beneath the heel, forefoot, or both areas.
Thus, the shoe has a firmer midsole on the arch and a lighter, softer foam on the outside. These components improve shock absorption while reducing the effects of fallen arches.
Another reason why this is perfect for players with a flat foot is because of the flat outsole, which reinforces comfort in your sole. Air Force 1 also has a midsole with superior cushioning, which means you won’t have to worry about running, even if you have a flat foot.
If you are worried about making advancements while playing, you can rely on the high-top cut and Velcro strap for ankle support for stability. These features keep your feet firmly positioned inside the shoes without discomfort. As a result, you can confidently make sudden and fast cuts on the court.
Even though this is an excellent support for flat feet, the downside is that the shoes are bulky and heavy. The materials are also prone to creases, especially if you use the sneakers a lot.
Overall, Nike Air Force 1 shoes have most, if not all, the best features a flat-footed basketball player would want. They’re one of the best basketball sneakers for flat foot because they combine soft cushioning, a flat sole, and ankle support.
- Non-marking rubber outsole for traction and durability
- Pivot points in the heel and forefoot for a smoother multi-directional transition
- Velcro ankle strap that keeps the ankle safe from twisting
- Foam sole with Air technology cushioning
- Padding at collar for a snug, comfortable.
- Well-cushioned sole provides a comfortable experience
- Flat outsole and minimal arch
- Ensures ankle stability that prevents injuries
- Bulk and heavy-feeling
- Creases easily
- Not enough breathing room compared to other models
Under Armour Men’s 3Zero Team
The Under Armour Men's 3Zero Team are a great option for basketball players with flat feet because of their shoe silhouette that combines protection and flexibility. The comfortable bounce lets you move quickly, even if you have a fallen arch. With that said, this model delivers a better all-around experience.
Bear in mind that this is a modified version of the 3Zero Team. One of the significant innovations is the cushioning that guarantees a better balance between responsiveness and protection. Under Armour also modified the model by having less puffy padding, which means this pair is less bulky.
Another fundamental improvement is the heel area, which provides comfort for those who wear ankle braces while playing. This part makes moving more balanced and delivers a smoother heel-to-toe transition. Likewise, the adjustable collar offers solid and well-balanced ankle support without sacrificing agility.
It’s vexing when shoes easily slip off the foot, and this is a common problem for athletes with fallen arches. Good thing that the 3Zero Team come with a meta-wing carbon fiber shank that delivers locked-in stability of the foot.
Moreover, this model has a soft cushioned, flat sole that lets you confidently run as fast as you can without hurting your ankle. Some athletes tend to have wide feet caused by the lack of arch. Fortunately, the 3Zero Team also have a wide sole that will fit flat feet perfectly.
Similar to the Nike Air Force 1, this model’s rubber outsole boasts of a detailed herringbone traction pattern for maximum grip and floor control. Even when you need to turn or start running, the rugged outsole wraps up the forefoot for containment.
Another impressive aspect is the reinforced mesh in the upper part of the sneakers. This material makes the shoes breathable and lightweight. Aside from an adjustable lace-up closure, there’s an open-hold mesh tongue that maximizes ventilation.
What makes this model unique is the antimicrobial OrthoLite sock liner that molds to the shape of the foot for extra underfoot comfort. When paired with the adjustable heel stability, you can keep your foot locked in place and tap into your inner Stephen Curry!
Bottom line, the third generation of Stephen Curry’s Under Armour sneakers are one of the top value if you are after excellent traction and comfort while playing at a fast pace.
- Rubber outsole for improved traction
- Dual-density cushioned midsole that aids in quick cuts and running
- Reinforced mesh upper for incredibly light, breathable support
- Adjustable heel stability system
- Great collar design for those who wear braces
- Solid ankle support
- Contoured forefoot and flat outsole
- Refined cushion for stability and protection
- Traction reduces in dusty courts.
- Some athletes may need to add insoles because of the big toe room
Adidas Men’s Dame 5
The Dame 5 from Adidas are low top basketball shoes for flat feet that let you play low and fast like Damian Lillard. You get a solid performer that combines balanced cushion, exceptional traction, superior lockdown, and guaranteed comfort.
The model’s TPU lateral support wing is perfect for athletes with flat feet. Adidas makes the outsole from thermoplastic polyurethane, which is a lightweight and long-lasting material that can resist abrasion and splitting. Hence, the shoes keep your feet stable and prevent any heel sliding or slippage.
If you like making hard cuts, the Dame 5’s wide outriggers on both sides of the sneaker ensure you have all the stability you need. These shoes won’t roll over, especially since they have a broad base. Even when you make sharp turns, the shoes stay in constant contact with the court.
The full-length bounce cushioning provides a great combination of responsiveness, flexibility, and impact protection. Since the cushioning is springy, running with flat feet won’t become a burden. All in all, there’s a lot of impact protection without losing court feel or stability.
More than that, the midsole also contains lightweight cushioning. The suede upper and lace closure make the sneakers extra comfortable. Also, there are internal pads under the textile tongue and along the midfoot.
The great thing about the midfoot support is that it only bends in the forefoot and toe. This is suitable for athletes with flat feet who want most of the stiffness midfoot and back. Don’t worry because there’s an internal shank that prevents the shoes from overfolding.
The midfoot banking barrier delivers lateral stability that lets you change directions quickly. Like the 3ZER0 from Under Armour, this pair features a herringbone outsole that offers superb traction and grip. Although, by far, Dame 5 has a better implementation because of the thick and widely spaced pattern.
Dame 5 has two material options: leather and mesh. These two options are almost the same; however, the mesh version is significantly lighter. Aside from that, it integrates a full tongue and knit collar that enables players to wear ankle braces.
In a nutshell, the materials that make up the arch support is reliable in holding up flat feet. This model from Adidas will give you peace of mind that your flat feet are securely locked down in the sneakers.
- Rubber sole to improve traction and prevent injuries
- Flexible cushioning for lightweight comfort
- Herringbone-pattern rubber outsole for traction
- Textile upper with padded internal pod system
- Lace closure ensures no side-to-side movement, heel slip, or banging of the toes
- Responsive, bouncy, and thick cushioning.
- Breathable, soft, and comfortable materials.
- Snug and secure fit.
- Rubber can be slippery on dusty courts
- Needs more cushioning in the forefront
Adidas Performance Men’s Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Basketball Shoe
The Cloudfoam Ilation Mid Basketball Shoes get their name from the Cloudfoam sock liner technology used throughout the shoe. These mid-cut shoes from Adidas combine top-rated materials and features for athletes with wide flat feet.
The cushioning material lines from the shoe’s footbed and up to the upper portion. What’s even more impressive is that it acts as a memory foam that fits your foot. Even the undercarriage has specialized encapsulating padding from the heel and extending to the toes.
Similarly, the Cloudfoam cushion provides a nice bounce and shock absorption, which are essential for the safety of those with wide flat feet. From the sock liner to the midsole, players will get a lightweight, soft, and easy step-in feeling.
The good news is that Adidas makes this pair of sneakers from 100% leather and fabric materials. These materials are perfect for those who do not want to buy shoes frequently. The thick rubberized platform, which acts as a shock absorber, also adds to the overall durability of the shoes.
For an innovative touch, the Cloudfoam Ilation comes with the three-stripe logo at the sides to ensure ventilation, and subsequently, optimum court performance. The leather material also improves breathability.
If you need help with foot imbalance, the slight rise in the sole will support your feet while playing. Note that the toe area is a bit stiffer, although this minimizes the flexing stress or pain in your arch area.
Since it has a mid-rise design, your ankles will get additional support and protection. When paired with the rubber sole and plushy sock liner, the shoes decrease the impact from constant movements on the court. The soles are also grippy enough to handle hard actions and prevent slipping.
Like the Adidas Dame 5, the Cloudfoam Ilation includes mesh materials that increase airflow. The upper tongue, collar, and rear quarter are mesh, making the shoes extra cozy and breathable.
- Cloudfoam technology reduces impacts and provides a custom fit for your flat feet and other vital areas
- Ventilation promotes a free flow of air within the shoes
- Air mesh tongue, rear, and collar for breathability
- Grippy rubber outsole that is ideal for court surfaces
- Leather fabric for increased durability
- Lightweight, soft, and comfortable materials
- Stiffer toe area for added protection
- Cloudfoam sock liner and memory foam deliver the right amount of bounciness
- May not cover and support the entire ankle if you have large feet
- Soles tend to get loose after a certain use
- High-top basketball sneaker featuring 3-Stripes logo at sides and perforations for ventilation
- Air mesh tongue, collar and rear quarter
- CLOUDFOAM sockliner and midsole for lightweight cushioning
Under Armour Men’s Team Drive 4 Basketball Shoe
Weighing in at only 0.82 pounds, the Under Armour Men’s Team Drive 4 Basketball Shoes are the lightest model in this list. Armed with reliable arch support, the great fit and lightweight design make this pair of shoes a perfect choice for flat-footers.
In relation, the shoe’s fit makes running and jumping easier. Since Under Armour makes the cushion mostly of EVA foam, the insole and midsole make wearing the sneakers a comfortable experience. Even though the Micro-G foam layering makes the model bulky, this component is perfect for flat feet that need extra cushioning.
Aside from having a full-length bootie construction, the molded ankle collar and external heel counter create additional support. The breathable and lightweight textile upper not only make the shoes look good, but it also adds ventilation. The materials also can endure high physical pressures of playing basketball.
For athletes with flat feet, stability is a key to improving performance, which is why the Drive 4 includes a 3D shank around the sidewall for torsional rigidity and additional lateral stability. When you feel that your flat feet are locked-in, you’ll become more confident in making turns and running fast.
More than that, you don’t have to worry about slipping when you put on this shoe. The rubber sole provides extra grip, enabling you to focus on your game instead.
Like the Nike Air Force 1 and Under Armour 3ZER0, the outsole has a full rubber herringbone traction pattern that provides maximum floor control. The difference is that the Drive 4’s outsole is thicker to withstand harsh outdoor courts. Also, its pattern spaces out more evenly, making sure the shoes won’t accumulate dust.
What makes this model rather unique is the Achilles tendon support, which leads to a more snug and comfortable fit. It also serves as a brilliant lockdown, so you won’t have to be anxious about whether your shoes will fall off.
On the downside, the fabric loop that holds the laces in place tend to wear out quickly. More so, the drawback of its well-insulated construction is that the Drive 4 tends to get moist after long sessions of playing.
- Molded ankle collar for extra support and comfortable fit
- External heel counter that keeps the back of the foot firmly in place
- Compression-molded EVA midsole carrier for lateral containment
- Die-cut EVA sock liner for underfoot cushioning
- 3D shank for additional stability
- Achilles heel support is great for flat feet
- Tightly woven mesh makes the shoes lightweight and breathable
- Firm cushioning that gives a more “court feel”
- Tends to soak up sweat
- Laces are prone to wearing out
- Breathable, lightweight textile upper
- Full length bootie construction with molded ankle collar for greater structure, extended support & a...
- External heel counter provides additional support & keeps the back of the foot locked in place
What You Need to Know About Flat Feet
Looking into an adult foot from the inside, there’s typically an upward curve. Several tendons in your heel and foot bones work together to form that arch. When muscles do not pull together properly, there is little or no arch.
Also known as fallen arches, flat feet are a postural deformity in which the arches of the foot flatten or collapse. Because of this, the whole sole comes into total or near-total contact with the ground.
Importance of Feet Arches
The arches are sources of balance and stability. They are a springy-like connection between the hindfoot and forefoot so that the body’s weight and pressure from movements can dissipate.
Likewise, the arches prevent pressure and pain from reaching your legs or the lower part of the body.
Causes of Flat Feet
Flat arches develop typically in infancy and early childhood period. In fact, babies are born with flat feet because of the fatty pads in the soles of their feet. These pads start to disappear around 36 months, and the natural arch begins to develop.
However, about one or two out of 10 children do not develop the arch. Here are the most common causes of fallen arches:
- Genetic issues or an abnormality from birth
- Torn and stretched tendons
- Age and muscle weakening
- Weak arches
- Dislocated and broken bones
- Adult Acquired Flatfoot (PTTD) caused by diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity
- Inflammation or damage in the posterior tibial tendon (PTT)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Symptoms of Fallen Arches
There are are some indicators that let people be aware if there’s a need to treat flat feet:
- Achy or painful feet
- Feet tire easily
- Swollen inside bottoms of the feet
- Decreased foot movement
- Difficulty in standing on your toes
- Pain in the foot after walking or running
- Back and leg pain
Treatment Options for Flat Feet and Fallen Arches
If the symptoms are causing you too much pain, it’s wise to consult a doctor. Treatment depends on the cause of pain and severity, although there are various ways:
- Stretching exercises
- Shoe modifications or fitted insoles
- Heel cord stretching
- Custom orthotic devices, such as casts and ankle braces
- Applying ice to reduce swelling and relieve pain
- Taking pain relief or injected medications to reduce inflammation
- Rest and weight loss
- Physical therapy
How Flat Feet Can Affect Basketball Players
Fallen arches will prevent the sole from making complete contact with the floor. Having said that, athletes with flat feet will find it difficult to move their feet up and down or side to side at the ankle.
Such rigid foot movements can cause pain, and eventually, limited foot motion. Basketball players need balance and footwork, but without stability from the foot, these key playing traits can prove challenging.
A basketball player with a flat foot does not get sufficient arch support. The pressure from foot movements can travel directly up to the legs, increasing the risk of injury. This is why athletes need to combine well-fitted shoes and treatment.
Athletes With Flat Feet Need Special Shoes
Regular shoes with normal arches won’t fit people with fallen arches quite well. Without proper shoe support, shoes can slip easily from an athlete’s feet. Players will also find it daunting to balance the weight of their body on their feet.
The proper shoes for flat-footed people encourage stable yet flexible movement, all while preventing ligament damage and muscle strain. Basketball players who continue to wear improper shoes may suffer from stiffness of the muscles. Therefore, they need shoes that can protect and support every turn, landing, and jumps they make.
Players With Fallen Arches Can Still Play
Flat footedness used to be considered a disability, a hindrance even for one to become a good basketball player. There have been discussions and studies about how players can perform at a high level when a foot pain issue can impact their motor skills and performance.
Feet arches act as the body’s natural shock absorbers. When running or walking, arches distribute about 150% of the body’s weight into other parts of the body.
Yet, the constant pounding of the feet on the floor didn’t stop the likes of Andre Iguodala, Tony Parker, and Dwyane Wade to help their respective teams become NBA champions. There are even Hall of Famers, including Tim Duncan, Patrick Ewing, and Kobe Bryant, who played the entirety of their careers with flat feet.
What most basketball players have in common is that they used shoes specifically designed to help them solve their fallen arches problem. This is why it is crucial to understand the features that will provide support and comfort to flat-footed basketball players.
What to Consider When Buying the Best Basketball Shoes for Flat Feet
|Ankle support||Better stability|
|Shock absorption||Fewer injuries|
|Heel support||More comfort|
|Good sole||Doesn’t bother the fallen arch of your feet|
|Good design and materials||Less discomfort and improved mobility|
There are a number of factors that make a pair the best basketball shoes for players with fallen arches. The bottom line is that all features must contribute to providing comfort and durability for basketball players who are always running up and down the court.
Athletes with flat feet must have basketball shoes that provide full ankle support so that their feet remain stable inside the shoe. Since players are continually running and changing the directions of their feet, their shoes must prevent any unwanted movements, and consequently, injuries.
The Under Armour 3ZER0 has the best ankle support because of its adjustable collars. Another option is the Velcro strap from Nike Air Force 1.
As mentioned earlier, arches act as shock absorbers. Since people with flat feet lack this natural absorber, they can rely on the built-in shock absorbers of their basketball shoes.
These extra shock absorbers also provide padding that improves balance and comfort in every step.
The Nike Air Force 1 has one of the best shock absorbers because of its Air technology. The Cloudfoam Ilation’s cushion throughout the shoe is also a reliable one.
Shoes with additional support or rebound in the heels help keep the shoe fitted and positioned correctly. Likewise, heels provide comfort when landing, jumping, or rebounding because the sneakers can lift the forefoot. Overall, the shoes must firmly cup the heel with a supported back to prevent rolling ankles.
All models in this list brag innovation that makes heel support beneficial to basketball players with flat feet. It all boils down to what will suit your situation best.
For a more balanced feel, the Air Force 1 uses Air technology while 3ZER0 optimizes adjustable heel stability. On the other hand, Dame 5 contains a TPU support wing. The Drive 4 gets additional support from an external heel counter while the Cloudfoam Ilation uses specialized padding.
Basketball shoes must have flat, soft, and durable soles that can absorb the impact when running or jumping. In this way, you’ll save yourself from the unbearable pain that fallen arches can cause.
There are two soles: midsoles and outsole, and these determine the shape of the arch in the shoe. Subsequently, they are responsible for providing comfort.
- Midsole: The midsole comes in direct contact with an athlete’s feet. Some players need a thicker, more cushioned midsole while others opt for a softer midsole. The important thing is that the midsole won’t dig into your foot’s sole and cause more pain.
- Outsole: The outsole also provides comfort, but the cushion varies from person to person. It’s best to have flat outsoles to provide support and reinforce the soles of your feet.
One of the most common problems that flat feet players face is that their shoes tend to slip while running. This is why most basketball shoes have rubber soles because these provide better traction and reduce the risk of slipping on surfaces.
This kind of sole is a vital thing to consider when choosing basketball shoes when you have flat feet. The shoes that come with rubber soles have stronger midsole; they don’t slip at all and provide the necessary support to the player.
Every model in this list come with rubberized soles. As you’ve read earlier, this feature drives better traction. As a result, you can save yourself from the vexing situation of slipping.
The shank plate is the rectangular strip found between the heel and the ball of your shoes. The placement differs from model to model, although they all have one purpose — to prevent the sneakers from overfolding.
It serves as a supportive structure that reduces the load on your foot when running on the court. Shoes with special shank deliver additional support that helps basketball players create a pivot point, as well as increase torsion and lateral mobility.
Of all the shoes reviewed above, the Drive and 3ZER0 from Under Armour have the best shank plates.
Design and Materials
The best basketball shoes for flat feet feature a special focus on the soles. Sneakers made from tougher materials, especially on the sole, can withstand the effects of constantly running or jumping.
The models we’ve reviewed concentrated on incorporating lightweight yet durable materials to make your time on the court comfortable and safe.
Here are some frequently asked questions about basketball shoes for flat feet.
What Shoe Brands Are Best for Flat Feet?
Although there are many brands that are considered good for flat feet, ASICS and New Balance are claimed to be the best. This is due to their design with extra cushioning and support that work great for flat feet. On top of that, they are lightweight, which is also great for pronated feet.
Are There NBA Players With Flat Feet?
Yes, there are NBA players with flat feet. In fact, the most famous players are Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Dwayne Wade. All of these players have reached great heights and performances while having flat feet, therefore, having this issue should not set you back.
What Basketball Shoes Do Podiatrists Recommend?
Podiatrists cannot recommend a specific pair of shoes for all people with flat feet. This is because all feet and experiences are different. Therefore, if you want to know the perfect shoe for you, you would need to talk directly to a podiatrist and explain your situation.
How can you put your best foot forward when the problem comes from your feet? Although basketball is an intense and physically demanding sport, people with flat feet can still enjoy the game.
The proper basketball shoes can help bring out your basketball prowess while being comfortable and safe. The right pair should still depend on your preferences, yet they must have breathable, soft, and durable materials.
We understand how having a fallen arch can sometimes make it challenging to find the appropriate basketball shoes. Use the details and tips from this guide to make an informed decision — your feet will definitely thank you.