Best Shoes for Flat Feet Reviewed & Rated for Comfort
Having flat feet doesn't mean that you have to feel uncomfortable every time you put on a pair of shoes. With all of the advances that have been made in footwear, more and more brands are making sure that they make models that are designed for people with flatter feet. Bulky, ugly, and downright uncomfortable shoes are a thing of the past, and you can now find styles that are attractive, as well as comfortable.
No matter what type of shoe you are after, there is sure to be a model that will be specifically designed to support your flatter foot shape. Below we will look at 10 of the best shoes for flat feet that are currently on the market, and see where they stand out, as well as where they may fall a bit flat.
As you will see, there is quite a varied market when it comes to shoes for people with flat feet. Shoe companies are now branching out into more medical and orthotic realms to bring about shoes that will work for people that have a variety of conditions. You no longer have to sacrifice style for comfort, and there are plenty of choices available that look just as good as they feel. As long as you take the time to really read about the shoes you are buying, you should find shoes that suit your personality as well as your specific foot.
Always remember that cushioning is important, but so are other factors like shock absorption and stability. You want to make sure you find shoes that will relieve any pressure from your foot while also distributing it up and away. Sturdy soles will give you more stability and comfort, and ensure that you can spend long hours on your feet without fatigue, aches, or pain. The list below is a great place to start and is sure to get you on the right track to finding shoes that support flatter feet.
- ECCO Yucatan Sandal
- Alegria Classic Clog
- ASICS Gel Venture 6
- KEEN Whisper Sandal
- Vionic Orthaheel Tide II
- Merrell Encore Nova
- FitFlop Cha Cha Sandal
- Clarks Desert Boot
- KEEN Atlanta Cool Steel Toe
- New Balance MW577
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Shoes for Flat Feet
1. ECCO Yucatan Sandal
Hook and Loop Closures
Front Curls Up After Consistent Usage
These versatile sandals by ECCO are an excellent choice if you are looking for comfortable footwear that will serve you well on your outdoor walks and treks when the temperatures are up. They are a great choice for anyone with flat feet as they provide good support, are very pleasant to wear even during prolonged periods of standing and walking, and are adjustable both in the front and back to ensure a secure fit you can enjoy all day. To top it all off, they are available in several colors, both for women and men.Read more
These sandals have a triple hook and loop closure system which is excellent because they will allow you to tighten or loosen them just as you find it most comfortable. You will especially like the adjustable closure in the front as it can be readjusted during the day in case you experience any swelling due to heat or long periods of walking.
The midsole of these shoes features direct-injected polyurethane that provides long-lasting cushioning and support, while the footbed is covered in a lightweight EVA footbed covered in soft microfiber. The RECEPTOR technology outsole is designed so as to maximize traction, give you a boost in energy during the push-off phase, as well as a 20-degree heel that promotes a landing that will put less shock on your feet.
Cost and Value
As all ECCO shoes, these sandals will cost you more than any regular pair of footwear. However, for the price you pay, you will be receiving a quality pair of sandals that will not only last you long, but they will provide you with the plenty of arch support and encourage a natural gait cycle so that you do not put unnecessary stress on your joints and can avoid experiencing any pain in the feet, ankles, knees, and back.
2. Alegria Classic Clog
Slip On Clog Style
Superior Arch Support
Hand Sewn Construction
May Squeak Over Time
With it's classic clog, slip-on style, this shoe is is as convenient as it is comfortable. Anatomically designed for comfort, Alegria uses a patented leather design that is sturdy on the outside while remaining smooth inside. The footbed has ample cushioning for shock absorption, as well as providing superior arch support to relieve pressure. With 60 color choices to choose from, these can be paired with any outfit; either casually or for more formal occasions.Read more
To ensure their shoes offer maximum comfort and support, Alegria has designed their own footbed that is crafted using multiple materials. By having an interlocking system that is comprised of latex, memory foam, and cork they are able to offer a well-rounded support system that holds up over time and use.
Pain Free All Day
Not only will these shoes be comfortable with flat feet in general, but they are a great choice when you need to be on your feet for long periods of time. The thickness of the sole and footbed means that it will take away the pressure and leave you with pain-free feet. If you work in a job that requires long hours of standing, these shoes are an ideal choice.
Cost and Value
Given that these are made of leather, the price is a bit higher than some of the other shoes that made this list. What you're getting for the cost though is a shoe that is long lasting and comfortable, that has high versatility for different occasions. With so many color choices to choose from, you can make these shoes feel personalized and that adds a lot of value.
3. ASICS Gel Venture 6
Rearfoot GEL Cushioning
Removable Sock Liner
Accommodates Medical Orthotics
Reverse Traction Lugs
Heavy For Running
Orthotic running shoes have always tended to be bulkier and clunkier than your regular shoe. The reason for this has always come down to having to add in extra cushioning, specific footbeds, and added support. With these runners by ASICS, you get a sleek looking shoe that is also made to handle flat feet and other various conditions. With more cushioning added to the rear foot, these shoes will be comfortable whether you're running errands or running trails. The added traction on the bottom offers stability in both wet and dry conditions and across all terrains.Read more
ASICS GEL cushioning system is a very unique and well thought out technology. Since these shoes are made for running, the GEL cushioning will help absorb the impact every time your heel strikes down. For people with foot pain, or flat feet, this means that the weight of your body is distributed with every step, and it keeps you from feeling any aches or pains after wear. The additional cushioning will help stabilize you and keep your foot protected from impact forces.
Removable Sock Liner
As much as shoe companies try their best to create comfortable and supportive shoe liners, not every foot is going to get what they need from the standard liner. What makes these shoes great is that the liner is fully removable so that you can take it out and replace it with custom liners that you may require. The shoe is built to accommodate medical orthotics, so you can get the precise support you need.
Cost and Value
ASICS is a well known and reputable brand, so one might expect their shoes to be fairly expensive. On the contrary, ASICS running shoes tend to be fairly inexpensive and given how well built they are they certainly are worth their price. As one of the cheaper options on this list, you can't go wrong with a pair of GEL Venture 6's.
4. KEEN Whisper Sandal
Bungee Lacing System
Durable Rubber Sole
Hydrophobic Mesh Lining
KEEN is a well-recognized brand, and for good reason. Their shoes have always been crafted with comfort and support in mind, and these Whisper sandals are no exception to that. Bringing together some of KEEN's best shoe technologies, this sandal is a dream for anyone that suffers from flat feet or other generally uncomfortable conditions. The bungee styled laces allow you to find the fit that is comfortable for you, while the footbed design cradles and supports the entire foot. As a water sandal these are incredibly versatile and will serve you well on any adventure.Read more
Through the use of probiotic technology, these shoes rely on an advanced mechanism to provide effective odor control that is long lasting. Selected healthy microbes which are naturally occurring are then bound to the footbed of these shoes. Once these microbes come in contact with things like sweat, they activate and break down the particles ensuring that no moisture or smell builds up.
Metatomical Footbed Design
The footbed is crafted with an internal mechanism that helps give you the feeling of a more personalized fit. The footbed will cradle your individual foot, providing support and cushioning where you need it most. With their excellent arch support, there is no way this sandal won't feel amazing on.
Cost and Value
Given that this shoe is also a water shoe, it can be worn and used in a variety of situations. Shoes this durable, that you can go hiking and travel in, tend to run very expensive so the price on these would be considered fairly low. You are getting exceptional value with a pair of KEEN's sandals, so the cost is negligible by comparison.
5. Vionic Orthaheel Tide II
Leather And Nylon Webbing
Thick Rubber Sole
Deep Heel Cup
Toe Post Can Be Uncomfortable
Flip-flops are notorious for being bad for your feet, but these sandals by Vionic have changed the game when it comes to sleek, simple footwear. Choose any of their 20 color options, and enjoy an attractive looking thong sandal that will keep your foot comfortable and supported. With an orthotic footbed, deep heel cup, and a durable rubber sole, these are bound to feel great all summer long.Read more
Designed by a podiatrist, this footbed is made so that it captures the shape of your foot and provides support and comfort where you personally need it. The heel has a deep cup which gives added support and helps realign your feet as you walk. Having your feet in their most natural position means you won’t have any aches or pains even after a long day of walking.
For those who suffer from foot conditions, including flat feet, these shoes were made with you in mind. People with a variety of conditions have turned to Vionic to help find shoes that will ease some of the burdens that come with sore and painful feet. This is a brand that focuses on making shoes that can remove discomfort and make you feel good regardless of the problems you may have.
Cost and Value
Flip-flop styled shoes are generally very inexpensive, but you really do get what you pay for. Most flip-flops offer zero support and can actually harm your feet over time. These sandals will definitely cost you more than a pair of foam flip flops, but the price is still very reasonable. If you have a foot condition and still want to enjoy the fun, simple style then these shoes are worth the money.
6. Merrell Encore Nova
This shoe is a full slip-on, with a slightly raised back to keep your foot nice and secure inside. With a full leather upper area and a thick rubber sole, these are great looking shoes for both casual and formal occasions. Without having to sacrifice comfort for style, these shoes feel just as great as they look. The anatomical footbed gives you proper support and padding, and the AirCushion heel makes for a great shoe. To make these shoes durable and long lasting, the interior is lined with a breathable mesh that will wick away moisture and keep your feet from becoming sweaty. To further reduce sweat and smell, these are lined with an antimicrobial solution to make sure they stay fresh all day.Read more
Breathable Mesh Lining
The Nova is designed with a breathable mesh lining featuring antimicrobial technology. Designed with comfort and health in mind, the liner will ensure your feet are always dry and aired, helping prevent foot injury or skin infection.
Found only in Merrell shoes, this air cushioned heel is a huge benefit to people who have any type of foot condition. What the AirCushion does is absorb shock while also adding stability, so the pressure is removed from your heel and distributed throughout. This will help with leg and foot fatigue, as well as any aches or pains that generally are felt after long-term wear.
Cost and Value
As a full, leather shoe the price is going to reflect that as it is more likely to last longer and age better than other materials. With that said, this shoe is no more expensive than anything else on our list and so it is an affordable option for most budgets. The durability and versatility of the shoe are where the value comes from, as these look great with numerous outfits and occasions.
7. FitFlop Cha Cha Sandal
Superior Shock Absorption
Diffuses Pressure to Alleviate Pain
FitFlop is a brand that is known for making comfortable footwear, and these sandals are no exception. Created with the help of two biomechanists, this line of shoe is specifically designed to support all foot shapes while giving excellent cushioning and shock absorption. With a shape that runs on the more wide spectrum of widths, these will be comfortable no matter how big or small your feet may be.Read more
This one of a kind patented technology is a triple density midsole that is specially crafted from multi-density EVA. What makes it so great is that it gives your underfoot an extremely thick platform which easily absorbs any shock. For those with flat feet, this midsole diffuses foot pressure so you won't end up with any foot pain or aches after wearing.
One of the major downsides to having any kind of foot condition is that shoes that are made for medical purposes tend to be on the more bland looking side. Style doesn't always have to be sacrificed for comfort, and these sandals feature a fun embellishment comprised of strands of beads that look fun and flashy. Enjoy making your feet look just as good as these shoes will make them feel.
Cost and Value
When it comes to comfort it's hard to really put a price on it. With that said, these sandals will get a lot of use out of them as they will be one of the most comfortable pairs you've ever owned. Keeping that in mind, it is easy to see that these sandals will be worth every penny spent on them.
8. Clarks Desert Boot
Durable Crepe Sole
Stabilizing Heel Counter
Cushioned Leather Insole
To really understand that comfortable shoes can also look amazing, you need to take a look at the Desert Boot from Clarks. These are a gorgeous, low cut boot that will surely make your feet stand out in a crowd. The suede leather exterior is carefully crafted to be both soft and supportive, making them easy to get on and off. The crepe outsole has been the same design for over 60 years and hasn't needed to be changed as it is long lasting and effective. Made from completely natural materials, this shoe is a great option for most foot types.Read more
Made of a crinkly type of rubber, these soles are both heavy duty and very durable making them great for any type of walking. They will hold up well over most terrains, and this is the same type of sole that troops wore during WWII. It delivers a very comfortable and cushioned step that reduces shock impact and protects your foot.
The heels of these shoes are reinforced with a stabilizing suede, to make sure they do not break and wear down over time. This also keeps the shoe more comfortable when on and should help reduce any rubbing or irritation. The heel counter will increase the support your foot receives, making these a good choice for someone who needs that added bit of support to get through the day.
Cost and Value
These boots are the most expensive shoe on our list, but this is for a good reason. While we have looked at shoes that can be both casual and formal, these boots take appearance to a whole new level. These are gorgeous and well crafted, giving you a boot that you can be proud to wear and feel great in - both physically and mentally.
9. KEEN Atlanta Cool Steel Toe
Regular And Wide Options
Contoured Heel Lock
Breathable Mesh Liner
Shoelace Clamp Comes Loose
Toe Box Is Narrow
While it would be great if we could all live in orthotic clogs and sandals all day, unfortunately, work calls and we need to lace up some proper footwear that meets our job requirements. While work boots generally are clunky and heavy, these Atlanta Cool Steel Toe boots from Keen are actually a great choice for the more flat-footed individual.Read more
Contoured Heel Lock
Locking your heel in to place ensures that your foot and ankles don't roll while you walk, and this can save you from a variety of health issues in later years. Pair these with a good pair of orthotic insoles and you won't even notice the usual foot fatigue that most people feel after a long day at work.
For any type of pronators, stability is key, and that's why there are so many stability shoes on the market. These boots have a torsional stability shank built in which will help ensure your foot has proper alignment every time you step down. This stable platform is perfect for its additional support and added stiffness.
Cost and Value
While these are expensive when compared to other items on our list, it's important to remember that a pair of flip-flops and a pair of steel toe boots are vastly different in terms of what they are and how much they cost. For steel toe boots these are a great deal, and they provide plenty of features compared to other models that have the same cost.
10. New Balance MW577
Solid Rubber Outsole
Another well known and reputable brand, New Balance has been crafting shoes for a very long time. With a focus on athletic footwear, these MW577's are a testament to New Balance's ability to make comfortable and practical shoes that can be worn by everyday people as well as athletes. With a simple, monochrome design these shoes are far from flashy, making them easy to pair with any outfit. These walking shoes feature are well cushioned and extremely durable, perfect for everyday wear, especially for those who have flat feet or other conditions.Read more
Unique to New Balance shoes, this foam based polymer cushion sits in the heel for exceptional shock absorption. When you put impact down on the Abzorb cushion, that weight and shock are then evenly distributed, then transferred from the shoe up to the leg. This relieves foot pressure and makes it easier for you to be on your feet for long periods of time. Reducing the impact on your body benefits not only your feet but your legs and back as well.
Since we are looking at shoes that have a medical purpose and are designed for certain conditions, it's important to note that shoes like the MW577's may be eligible for Medicare reimbursements. That means that you could get the price of these shoes covered if you meet the medical requirements. For those with foot conditions, this can be extremely beneficial, making these shoes worth checking out.
Cost and Value
These are really an average priced pair of shoes, and they sit right around the low mark when compared with other shoes on this list. There is nothing flashy or fancy about them, but from a medical and orthotic perspective, they are a worthy pair of shoes. With all of the bells and whistles removed, you get a simple and sleek shoe that will be comfortable and durable; making being on your feet a painless experience.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
To understand why arch support is so vital, it is necessary to first understand what exactly is meant by “flat feet”. The bottom of everyone’s foot is more or less flat, but it’s the arch that can be either flat, neutral, or high. When you look at the side of your foot, does your arch go up, or does your profile look completely flat as well? If you don’t see the side of your foot raised at all, you most likely have flat feet.
Flat feet on its own isn’t necessarily a problem, but when it comes to selecting shoes or participating in activities like running, the type of arch you have is going to factor in. Those with flat feet tend to have issues with pronation, meaning their foot doesn’t typically land naturally when they walk or run, and instead their foot and ankle will roll either inwards or outwards. This can cause problems with your Achilles, as well as general foot pain and aches.
Arch support is one of the most important things to look for if you have flat feet because you do not want to end up with more serious health issues down the road. A lack of arch support will mean that your foot isn’t properly balanced, and every step you take puts the full weight and pressure on to the entirety of the foot.
When you add in proper support, your weight and pressure become more evenly distributed between the forefoot and the heel, reducing the likelihood of hip or back injury and pain. Looking for shoes that have more pronounced arch support, or even orthotic inserts are the number one thing that needs to be done before purchasing a pair of shoes for flat feet.
When the majority of us go shoe shopping, we have a pretty good idea in our head of what size our feet are. Some brands may move us a size up or a size down, and then there are always half sizes to consider, but you more or less know where to start when you’re trying on pairs of shoes.
The problem with flat feet isn’t so much that your shoe size is different, but the type of shoe you choose may impact your shoe size more than you realize. As we talked about in the previous section, the type of shoe you are after is going to be one with more built-in arch support, and this can change the way a shoe fits and feels.
Length wise you may not notice anything different, but shoes with arch support, or orthotics, will often be significantly more narrow than more standard designed shoes. The reason is that there is extra foam or padding located on the instep, which inevitably reduces the amount of space inside the shoe.
Sizing up can help with the narrow fit a bit, but then you’re left with a shoe that may be a bit too long, causing your foot to slide around unnecessarily. The best option is to look for brands and models that are available in wider sizes, giving you more variety and space to work with. Not all brands have wide sizing, and some models will be already very narrow even on their own. Understanding the type of width you need is as important as knowing your general size, so trying shoes on in different widths can make your shopping process a lot easier in the end.
While everyone is always talking about soft shoes as if they are the most comfortable, stiff shoes kind of get left out and are typically assumed to be the more uncomfortable option. Contrary to popular belief, stiff shoes can actually be the more comfortable choice, especially for those who have flat feet.
When talking about stiffness it is usually broken down into three main components of the shoe: the upper, the midsole, and the heel.
A stiff upper is generally made of materials such as leather, and they keep your feet more securely in place than other materials available. The benefit to a stiff upper is that your foot moves around a lot less, and for those who have pronation problems this is key. By ensuring your foot doesn’t have the flexibility to move from side to side, you have a better chance of forcing your foot to land in the proper position and thus your weight is more evenly distributed.
If the shoe you are looking at is easy to bend and twist, it’s not going to be the right shoe for you. The more a shoe bends and twists, the more your foot bends and twists, and even with a personalized orthotic you will still not be getting the proper overall support.
The upper isn’t the only thing that needs more stiffness, and like we mentioned the midsole is also a very important component. Often referred to as a stability shoe, these feature additional padding and support in the midsole that aids in giving you that extra bit of arch support. These shoes tend to be slightly more uncomfortable for those who aren’t used to them, so you lack a lot of the give that other midsoles provide. Instead of a light bounce, you will have a more firm step; great for your overall health but not the softest option.
Heel stiffness is one more thing that you should always take into consideration, as firmer heel counters will do wonders for your gait as they will ensure your foot does not roll at all. Heel locking mechanisms can be found in some brands of orthotic shoes, and these do exactly what the name suggests – locks your heel in to place. With this type of technology, it is virtually impossible for your foot to roll, giving you a happier back, knees, and hips.
There are a few other factors that come into play when considering a shoe’s ability to provide one with what they need in terms of comfort. It was important to pay attention to things such as the number of overlays and the flexibility of the overall shoe. The fewer overlays in the design of a shoe, the more likely it is that that the shoe provides one with a higher level of comfort while actually in use. On top of this, there are also several other features of these shoes which must be taken into account when considering the shoe’s ability to provide one with any level of comfort while in use.
Breathability: Circulation of air is something that must actually be taken into account when considering the design of the shoe itself. No one likes to walk around in a pair of shoes that effectively stifle the foot and result in the shoes feeling like moving saunas; it’s incredibly uncomfortable. On top of this, the design of shoes should typically be able to provide one with a level of moisture wicking during use. This is another aspect that increases in importance as the shoe is being used.
Responsiveness: Another aspect that is incredibly important when looking at the design of the shoe is the level of responsiveness that the sole unit of the shoe in particular provides. For instance, the design of the shoe must be able to provide one with what they need in regards to responsiveness and comfort during use. Responsiveness typically stems from the materials’ ability to redirect the wearers own energy during use. This redirection of energy typically results from the type of cushioning found in the sole unit of the shoe; the placement of the rubber also tends to play a major part in this quality.
From running to working out at the gym, a pair of shoes that fit well and are comfortable are number one, but the way they will wear and the amount of time they will last can make or break whether a pair of shoes is worth buying or not.
Although you may put your shoes through the ringer, a quality pair should last a decent amount of time, depending on the exertion your place on them. If they are being worn out and destroyed sooner than that, it is important to look at what they are being used as. If you are extremely active, then a flimsy pair of slip-on shoes are not going to hold up. Determining what needs a pair of shoes must provide and pairing them accordingly is essential. You are going to want to splurge a bit more on shoes that are getting almost daily use than you are on a pair of say, rain boots that are seasonal. Running shoes are considered a shoe that gets daily wear, and they should be thoughtfully purchased.
Any white or light colored shoe is going to get scuffed up and dirty very fast, so buying those as an everyday shoe doesn’t make much sense. Darker shoes that have a thicker rubber sole are perfect for running around outside; stains will show up much less, and they will grip the ground well. When deciding on a pair of shoes, take a look at if they are machine washable or not, this can make a huge difference in the durability and long lasting appearance of the shoe. Not only are the shells important, but so are tough soles. Consider the entire shoe.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Those with flat feet tend to have issues with pronation, meaning their foot doesn’t typically land naturally when they walk or run, and instead their foot and ankle will roll either inwards or outwards. Many times, this can cause pain in the heel, foot, arch, or toes depending on how serious pronation is, especially without proper support.
Most individuals with flat feet experienced some form of improper development during childhood, where the arch did not form properly. Some experts consider this a genetic trait, but it shouldn't limit your activities. Proper footwear can help support the foot's structure, and some experts even believe that individuals can benefit from specific exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles in the foot.
Other Factors to Consider
A good breathable material is a must for your feet, as you'll usually be wearing shoes for up to 10 hours a day, or more. Shoes should feel comfortable and airy throughout the day, not hot and sweaty. If the material is breathable, moisture will be wicked away and feet will be left dry and comfortable.
Sweat can have negative effects on both your shoes, as well as your feet. When a foot is kept hot and sweaty inside a tight shoe all day, it creates the perfect home for bacteria to grow. This will quickly lead to foot odor and irritated itchy feet. To prevent that from happening, the easiest thing to do is to ensure socks are being worn at all times - which creates a hygienic barrier. and if possible, removable and wash the insoles frequently.
You also don't want to worry about slipping and falling. A thick rubber sole is ideal; however, grooves or rubber non-skid soles will help you gain great traction on all surfaces. Whether they are walking around the house on slippery kitchen tiles or trotting down a concrete sidewalk, knowing your shoes can support your natural movement will give you peace of mind.
When looking for weatherproof shoes, the most common material used is synthetic. Synthetic shoes will be at least water-resistant and can get damp without being damaged, which is great for light time spent outdoors in rain. Canvas and leather are great options to spray with a weatherproofing spray, but on their own, they may get wet in the rain. Canvas can almost always be tossed in the washing machine, and leather takes nothing more than a damp cloth to wipe away dirt and spills.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are numerous causes to flat feet, and the answer to this is going to be pretty different for almost every person. When we are born, we are born with no arch and as we grow and develop we generally develop either a normal or a high arch. Some people, however, never develop an arch to their foot, and thus they simply have flat feet which are neither uncommon nor something to be concerned about. While this explanation is true for some people, other people may develop an arch as they grow which then falls over time. Many factors can influence whether or not a person’s arch falls, and some common causes are obesity, pregnancy, overuse, and general aging. Anything that puts strain on those muscles can actually cause them to weaken, thus leading to your arch falling.
Most people can tell if they have flat feet by simply looking at the side of their foot. Between the heel and the front of your foot, you will either see the foot raised in the middle or flat across. Another way to be sure of what type of arch you have is to make a footprint either on paper or wet sand. Depending on how much of your foot is visible will determine what type of arch you have.
Absolutely not, and medically it is considered a fairly normal variation in foot types. The problem with flat feet, however, is that over time they can end up causing other health issues if you don’t properly support your feet. Wearing the wrong type of shoe is a big factor in this, which is why knowing what to wear is so important. If you don’t select proper footwear you can end up with knee, hip, and back pain all caused from your foot rolling improperly when you walk. Lack of support is uncomfortable in general, and you will more than likely notice your feet are very sore after having to walk or stand for longer periods of time. Taking care of your feet is necessary for your whole body to be healthy, so always take the time to consider if your shoes are working for your foot type.