Many times aspiring runners have given up their dreams of becoming famous athletes because of the fact that they have low arches. Flat feet can cause mild to serious pain in the entire heels, the bunions, knees, ankles, legs and the lower back. Also, if you have flat feet you are also most likely an over pronator, which is also risky and uncomfortable, especially if you are a runner.

But the good news is that with the proper low arch running shoes, or even by using insoles or orthotics for flat feet, the pain will disappear and so will the danger of injury because of the overpronation.

Even more so, training and doing the appropriate exercises can actually help you develop arches!

List of famous flat footed athletes

Such is the case with the famous American mile runner Alan Webb, as depicted in the “Born to run” book. Webb still holds the fastest American 1 mile run record as well as the fastest high school mile run record in the country. He began doing exercises and training intensively in his teens. Then, he had a 12 shoe size and completely flat feet. With years of training, not only his results improved, but his arches developed and his shoe size shrunk to 10.

There are many other famous runners and other athletes who have revealed that they have flat feet. Obviously, this fact has not stopped them from breaking world records, winning Olympic medals and other top achievements.

Former world record holder in the marathon, Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie has mentioned that he is flat-footed. This didn’t stop him from winning the 10,000 meters Olympic gold medals in two consecutive Olympic games in 1996 and in 2000 though.

The famous Moroccan track and field runner Said Aouita holds two world records – in the 5,000 meter and the 1,500 meter disciplines. He has often talked about his flat feet and the problems he faces because of them. Even though he acknowledges the risk of developing tendinitis, Aouita is not willing to give up training and competing. He wears special shoes which keep the feet comfortable, supported, and safe from pain and possible injuries. Aouita is among the 30 fastest runners in the 800 meter discipline even though this is not his typical running event.

Steven “Steve” Plasencia is a winner in the 1992 California International Marathon and has taken part in the 10,000 meter discipline at the 1992 Olympic games, despite the fact that he has admitted having completely flat feet.

Famous sprinter Shawn Crawford managed to snatch 1 gold and 2 silver medals in the 200m sprint events of the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games. He has a number of gold and silver medals from world indoor and outdoor championships too, and is a 4time US champion in 200m. This is quite an achievement for a person who has revealed that he has flat feet!

Athletes competing in other sports too have admitted to having flat feet, which as is evident by their achievements has not affected their athletic performance.

Former NBA player Shane Battier spent many successful years on the basketball court, despite having collapsed arches.

The next time you are thinking about quitting running or training because of your low arched feet, remember these athletes and what they manage to achieve with perseverance and training despite their collapsed arches!