I have flat feet. Non-existent arches. I'm sure the nice lady at the nail salon who paints my toenails "coral rose" must feel like she's been given the odd assignment of decorating two foot-shaped Wheat Thins crackers.
Running on flat feet isn't impossible, but sometimes you get random aches and pains and when you type your symptoms into Google, invariably the phrase "common among runners with flat feet" will pop up.
The good thing about flat feet is that you can stick a little silicone or plastic under the arch (orthodics) and kind of train your feet to sit the proper way in their shoes, instead of just sitting their flaccidly while the rest of your body absorbs the shock of asphalt. Kind of the way a corset forces you to have correct posture. But who wants to wear a corset?? That's exactly how I've felt about orthodics.
About six months ago, I got expensive, custom-made orthodics at Foot Solutions, and because they weren't properly fitted, the blood and goo that resulted (blisters on every toe and on my heels) was so terrible that I decided I'd rather deal with the consequences of running on flat feet than ever have to run wearing those evil orthodics again. The owner of Foot Solutions actually called me and re-made the orthodics from scratch for me, going out of his way to make sure they'd fit in my running shoes, but I was so spooked by my first experience running with them that I only would wear them in my walking shoes.
I was in training--I didn't want to have to take a week off from running just to heal from blisters, which is what had happened the first time I wore them.
Well, my official training is over, and just recently I noticed a return of my plantar fascitis. So I decided to give the newfangled orthodics another shot.
The added weight underneath my feet did take a little getting used to...but no blisters! And not only that, no knee pain after an 8 mile and a 10 mile run! I actually seem to have better form, and my pace wasn't slower. So I'd have to say that my Foot Solutions orthodics really were worth the money. Now I can't imagine running without them.