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The 10 Best Basketball Sneakers for Players with Flat Feet

Did you know that we are all born with flat feet (without an arch) and that we build up our arch with walking and exercise?

Some people – for one reason or another – end up without an arch and having flat feet can be a nuisance when trying to find your next pair of basketball shoes. Because of this issue, these particular players are more susceptible to ankle injuries and plantar fasciitis due to extreme overpronation cause by not having a proper arch in the foot so support is a big factor in getting the right shoe that will allow them to play comfortably.

If you are one of those players then you may want to check out this list featuring The 10 Best Basketball Sneakers for Players with Flat Feet & feel free to come back here and leave your thoughts or tips for fellow flat footers below in the comments section.

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About Nightwing2303

Nightwing2303 loves kicks and performance. He is the Founder of WearTesters.com and enjoys sharing his love and passion for sneakers... one review at a time.

31 comments

  1. Though a custom Orthotic is great and what not for your arch, there’s still a problem. As you know people with flat feet generally have wide feet. And because the orthotic is custom made, it’s pretty wide as well. Because it is wide and it’s made from such a strong plastic that it can’t bend. It will almost always mess up the fit of the shoe. I really widens the shoe, leaving dead space on the medial and lateral side of the heel. It messes up the lockdown fit of a shoe and when running with it on, your heel rises a cm or two. What I do is I put the orthotic in for casual use. But when I play, I wear the shoe without it. I’ve already messed up a lot of expensive shoes to make that mistake again.

    • Great info! Not all flat footers end up with wide feet though. I have a few friends that use custom orthotics with their shoes and they actually have a normal/ slightly narrow forefoot but very low arch/ flat arch. It just really depends on your foot shape but this is some basic overall advice.

      • Definitely, I have very narrow feet and I wear my custom orthotics with my rose 3s and get a lot of arch support, but I was wondering what cushion setup is used for the orthotic ready kobe 8s because I would love to be able to have full length lunarlon and still use my orthotics.

      • I was wondering what cushion setup is used for the orthotic ready kobe 8s because I would love to be able to have full length lunarlon and still use my orthotics.

        • I was wondering the exact same thing. I’ve been debating with myself for a few weeks now on what I should do. I think I’m gonna get the lunarlon because eventually the heel of the orthotic will sink in to the lunarlon and then you won’t be sitting up as high and you would still get to have the lunarlon cushion. And I still want to know more about the orthotic-ready option like what kind of cushion they use and stuff. Because I really want the kobe 8s but I don’t know if I’m able to use them

    • I definitely agree with Mo-Mo, in some shoes they don’t work well with custom orthotics at all, and in some cases can ruin them. My case and point, the Air Jordan XX8. While the orthotic fit and worked extremely well for me in that shoe and gave me exceptional support and fit, I eventually popped the left heel zoom bag in two pairs of them I used for basketball. The only conclusive theory I have as to why that happened short of lack of quality, is most likely due to the hardness of the orthotic heel coupled with the way I perform heel strikes on my left foot as opposed to my right. Luckily, Footlocker and Nike Claims were reasonable, so I didn’t lose out on $500.

      The only shoe that I’ve found to work extremely well with custom orthotics as a wide-footer from my personal experience is the Lebron line, starting with the VIII – X thus far (including Elites/P.S.). Ironically enough, Lebron is a custom orthotic user so you can put 2 + 2 together there and see why custom orthotics may work better in his shoe line as opposed to others for people. Unfortunately his shoe line might not be the best option for a lot of people physically, or financially. I’ve also had good results with custom orthotics in the CP3.VI.

      Personally, I feel that with custom orthotics and feet, you’re always going to have different opinions and results. Not all feet and even custom orthotics are created equally. I have very high arches, and started wearing custom orthotic in pretty much every sneaker I own. Prior to using custom orthotics for basketball, running, and even training, my knees, shins, feet, and lower back would get extremely sore and achey. I’d also regularly develop blisters from the lack of arch support on and around the forefoot section of my feet. My chiropractor who specializes in sports medicine, and care suggested that custom orthotics might help with that, and even reccomended a custom orthotic specifically for court sports (tennis, basketball, volleyball, etc…). I’d say within 3-5 months of using them, I started noticing the difference. The usual pains I had prior gradually went away.

      Just some more information of note on orthotics. There’s also a break-in time for them when you start using them. Meaning that you have to get your foot used to using the orthotic, also to ensure that your mold was done right. I wasn’t allowed to start using them for intensive ball and workouts for about three weeks upon initially receiving them. Flexibility I haven’t found to be an issue. My orthotics are rigid, but not completely stiff where they need to be in the heel + arch, and extremely flexible in the forefoot.

      If you managed to get through my long comment thus far and are interested in forking out $200 – 300+ dollars for custom orthotics specifically for basketball, I’d recommend getting one specifically for court sports. They also have various models of custom orthotics specifically for running, casual, and training purposes as well. The court sport model should be lighter, and more flexible, as well as softer in the heel impact protection.

      • Jon thank you for sharing your experience with shoes and orthotics. I tore my plantar fascia playing in an over 40 basketball league last December and I am still several months away from being cleared to play again. I had the wrong basketball shoe for my type of arch which is medium to high. I have been searching various websites including Nightwing’s to find any information on recommended basketball shoes for high arch players. I now have a custom orthotic that I wear for every shoe. The important thing to remember is that in order for an orthotic to work properly you need to find a neutral basketball shoe. I’m looking forward to finally playing again and thank you Nightwing for providing a great site that allows multiple players the opportunity to share experiences.

    • Great stuff Mo-Mo. Really informing info.

    • hey guys, if you need to wear orthotics, dont EVER play withouth them… if there is a reason to wear them in your regular walking shoes, there is most certainly one when you run and jump…
      dont worry about ruining expensive shoes, guess those are much cheaper than your ankles and lower back…and easier to replace
      you can always take out the original insole before you put the orthotics in, for better fit

  2. gabriel trujillo

    No wonder my left ankle is theonly one that gets hurt! the arch on my left foot is very little and i seem to injure that foot/ankle a a little more than average. Really good info! thank you!

  3. Are custom Orothtics-something a dentist would say is like a cushion insole or something? Do they really help?

  4. NW I’m surprised the Jordan xx8 didn’t make the list. For me flight plate really helps my arches. I’m flat footed and overpronate plus I have wide feet. The KD V internal support didn’t really last for me because the plastic didn’t hold up as well as the carbon fiber in the Jordan’s. your thoughts sir?

    • I had initially placed the XX8 on the list but after trying on shoes back and fourth, i made the list based on what i felt was the most pronounced and prominent for arch support. KDs arch is molded from the midsole and they didnt wear down at all for me. The torsional bar was fine, nothing special but nothing horrible. With the XX8 you are sitting on a footbed and that sits on top of the carbon fiber plate, there wasnt “more” arch support when directly compared to the KD from what i felt.

      • sometimes is not gd to have too much of an arch in the shoe, as it is pushing against the natural shape of the foot. i have flat feet but not severe, and tend to be on the wider side aswell…
        so the kd5 and the hd2012 actually hurt my feet rather than help it, as it is not as forgiving, but kb8 and hd2011 feel really comfortable since it gives me a decent amount of support while also providing a more natural foot shape and movement

  5. I have really flat feet from years of service in the Marines. I’ve found that the Spenco Total Support insert is the best in terms of price, cushion, flexibility, and reducing overpronation. These work even better than my custom orthotics for basketball purposes.

  6. I have custom orthotics as well and like Jon and Mo-Mo said, it is hard to find shoes that can fit them. So far I have had lots of success with the Under armor Spine Bionic, the Melo M9, and the LeBrons. However, 2012 Hyperdunks, Soldier 6, and quite a few others are too narrow so as to prohibit me from wearing them regularly or at all. It really is trail and error, which is tough in our online shopping, Kicks Deals world. I tend to look to shoes that are mentioned as wide with a large toebox to accommodate my orthotics,which leads to weird crease lines but gets me what I need.

    However, unlike Mo-mo, I have to wear orthotics while playing. I found that without I was regularly having severe ankle sprains. Many times I wondered if Steph Curry possibly had the same condition. As soon as the orthotics were worn (which made me have to increase my shoe size from a 12 to 13, even though my feet didn’t grow)I have yet to have an ankle injury yet. So for those that find that may be an issue, go see a podiatrist and see if you need one. Thanks Nightwing, Mo-mo, and Jon for having informed and intelligent conversations like these… makes this lonely orthotic wearer feel less alone!

  7. Hey Nightwing! I have flat feet and I would really appreciate a quick 101 on some stuff. With last years Top 10, I decided to go with your top two the Fly Wade 2′s and the Q-Flights. I absolutely LOVED the Q-Flights, however I quickly found the Fly Wade 2′s, your top pick, unwearable. First off minor complaint is squeakiness. I don’t know exactly but the tongue or something (sorry not great with terminology) rubs against the side/lacing area (not exactly sure) and just walking around squeaks a TON!

    On to the main point. So the Fly Wade 2 has very visible arch built in and with my flat feet, I honestly can only play in them for about 30 minutes before my foot starts hurting pretty bad. I tolerated them for about a month (play every day for about 2 hours give or take for high school ball team). Consequently, they look brand new as they sit in my garage. What I thought was that the arch built into the shoe would give me good support and be GOOD for flat feet. What I found was exactly the opposite. Could you please explain what flat feet people need and why this happened to me? Thanks! (btw, now balling in the Hyperdunk 2012′s and will be picking up the 2013′s asap!)

    Thanks again

    • Itd be best if you look this up on your own as there is a lot of info on the subject. The short of it is that when you have flat feet your overpronate which means your foot and ankle roll inwards upon movement. This is bad for your ankle and knees and can cause stress on your heel/ arch and that can and likely will cause plantar fasciitis. The Wade 2 is a VERY tight fit, something that was stressed in their review. It would probably be much too tight for a flat footer and thus it would be unbearable to wear. Even with my narrow foot, I experienced discomfort for a while until broken in. This is wear the detailed information provided in a review comes in handy. If you do not understand the info then you might not want to pick up a shoe based on a personal choice list such as my end of the years list… these lists I make at the end of the year are my personal choices and I usually give my reasons for that as well. My choices do not consider wide footers, flat footer etc. just myself and what I feel is best overall. The Q Flight doesnt have a very high arch but the materials are soft and will conform around the foot perfectly. So, you either dont have flat feet and maybe you are just a wide footer or you are a flat footer and havent had proper arch support and need to break yourself in for the adjustment. Its best to see a doctor that can properly diagnose your issue (if you havent already) and see what they might recommend to remedy the problem. Not sure if all this helps but maybe it does a little.

    • not sure if i can help. the wade 2′s arch will lower down in time. its high at first but the lunarlon will sink in a few days/weeks depending on your use, in the midfoot.

      i also felt the had same complaint with the arch.

  8. Yeah, I gotta agree with CNE up above, KD Vs shouldn’t be on that list at all in my opinion. Once broken in, zero arch support. The only thing keeping your arch/instep from flattening out is the hyperfuse on the first play through, but once fully broken in, the hyperfuse molds to your foot, so yeah, totally flat. Also, that molded heel sculp/whatever you wanna call it is a minimalistic approach. You need a solid hard heel cup/clip that’s strong and rigid.
    As far as dude up above, yeah, Fly Wade 2s won’t give you much either, but you should have known this from trying it on. Living in the Caribbean and wearing sz14, I don’t have the luxury of trying on any of my shoes before purchase, I read multiple sneaker reviews and make my decisions solely based off of those. Some are hit and miss, but I can’t complain. Half the fun is in testing them out and finding out what truly works for yourself. In the end you’ll have a trained eye for what to look for as far as performance shoes go.
    Penny Vs and Kobe 8s do provide good arch support as far as casual use goes I’ll say. I can’t say anything about balling in either of them seeing as I don’t plan on doing such with either of my pairs though. I do have a feeling the arch in the Kobe 8s will flatten out as the did in the Fly Wade 2s though. After all its Lunarlon right?
    All in all though I’m finding it harder to find shoes that are good for custom orthotics. If you look at the direction Nike in particular has been going most of their top line performance models are going towards providing a snug, custom fit, in which the shoes more so feel like an extension of your body, unlike the 90s-early 2000. Hate it or Love it.
    Last pair of recent models I’ve been able to fit my “custom” orthotics into were the AJ 2010s. Emphasis on custom btw because those are normally thicker than your doctor Scholls pending which materials you choose yours to be made with

  9. I have become so used to wearing custom orthotics and i don’t think that i could play without them. What are the best basketball shoes to wear with orthotics?

  10. how do you tell if you got flat feet?

  11. Forgot to note that the Kobe 8 with the stock lunarlon system midsole works considerably well for me with high arches out of the box. I tried the orthotic setup from Nike ID some time ago, and it was just too damn uncomfortable compared to the lunarlon. Within 2-3 pick-up sessions, the lunarlon system midsole molded to my foot pretty much perfectly anyhow.

    Not to completely de-rail, but I’m still really bummed w/ the AJ XX8 heel zoom bag popping on me in two shoes. Playing in anything else after playing in those just doesn’t feel the same (i.e. with the AJ XX8, it feels like you’re in the shoe, rather than on top of it in something like a Lebron). Guess my fat ass needs to get on the treadmill more often and lose some weight!

  12. Hi nightwing2303 and everybody else, I was wondering are there any new shoes you guys think is the best shoe for flat footed ppl like me? and I was also wondering how does the KD 6 stack up to the shoes in the top 10 list? does it make it? is it a shoe for flat footed ppl like me? thanks!

  13. i sort of have a weird question but both of my feet have no arch but my left i seem to injure every bloody day and because im still inly a teen i am a very active person who loves playing sport. what is the best thing for my ankle and what can i do to stop myslef from injureing it so much

    • Luke, you may need to get a custom orthotic, but from my experience, the best shoe for flat foots are New Balances by far. i never hurt my foot once with a New Balance shoe!

    • Luke, you may need to get a custom orthotic, but from my experience, the best shoe for flat foots are New Balances by far. I never hurt my foot once with a New Balance shoe, but every time I try a nike for a day, I either twist my ankle or get a serious injury.

      • Hi Id like to ask a question and give some info on my plantar fasciitis shoe/foot issues.

        Ive play basketball and kickboxing im heavy weight and have a torn acl completely and meniscusus (a couple of times) in my left knee (which happened 10 years ago).

        I only developed plantar faciitis about may last year but it escalated quicly to where it got to a point by about july if i tried to walk fast I would get a sharp stabbing pain in my heel which would cause me to hop straight off my left foot and got the general rest then get up ache.

        I was wearing melo b’mo black outdoor shoes at work 12 hour shifts walking all day.

        I started Ice, streaching, rolling etc as soon as july when the pain became unbearable. I got to it early which worked slightly but problem was still bad. I added orthaheel inserts into my shoe and things started to improve a little but was still pretty bad. It wasnt till I put orthaheel sport (stiffer plastic encased insoles) in my shoes where I noticed a big improvement then I started to look at the shoes and say ok maybe the problem started there.

        The shoes have a stability plate in them but its so weak when I tried i could bend the shoes in half. It appears the amount of walking I do at work and the shoes lack of midfoot stability my bodyweight (along with my existing flat feet and knee injury nstability) caused the problem and the sport just aggrevated it.

        I have since within last 2 months bought new work shoes with a stiff midfoot, good cushioning and use the orthaheel sport insoles and have all but nearly got rid of the problem. I still ice and streach but its only needed maybe 2 days per week at this stage. No walking pain anymore occasianal ache if im on my feet for 9 hours shift at work but its more of an arch ache not heel pain.

        So far the shoes that work the best for me are targeted heel/forefoot cushioning with stiff midplate (aj xx2, hyperdunk 2011, aj 2012, cp3.v) shoes with full length air or no midplate havnt worked caused some pain (aj xx3, melo b’mo, old pair nike air flight encapsulated air sole) all using orthaheel sport inserts.

        The M8 were so so i could feel a bump inside the shoe through the insole on top of air max bag at the heel it would iritate my heel and flare pain, the thick zoom bag in forefoot would allow my foot to sink in the bag feeling like it streached my plantar facia causing a small gereral pain at times when i planted my forefoot anything but flat centred square on.

        My question is i really like the look of the melo m9 but im concerned because of the small tpu support plate it has like my b’mo had if their not stiff enough they will bend under bodyweight?

        Anyone know if the shoe will flex alot/bend at the midfoot?

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