Best Shoes for Flat Feet

Your feet does not have an arch, so now what? Once you’ve come to terms with your feet being a little less rounded than most people’s, we’ve done a lot of research to put you into the most comfortable shoes for any given situation.

Here you will find ways to improve your comfort, from being at work to going to the beach, when some of those rounded-shoes just won’t cut it. Read on to find the best shoes for flat feet in each category to find out how you can finally be, quite literally, comfortable in your own shoes.

How Wearing a Proper Footwear can Help Alleviate Your Flat Feet Problems

If you’ve never bought a pair of shoes or orthotic devices for your flat feet before, it can be a little overwhelming.The real problem behind this is that flat feet need a bit more support than their arched counterparts. How flat is my flat feet? What arch size do I need? And a lot more questions.

The arch of the foot actually helps posture and puts the weight of your movement on the balls and heels of your foot. This weight distribution puts the stress on the parts of your foot that are meant to support it.

With flat feet, although the weight that comes with your every step is still distributed throughout the whole foot, the stress on your hip joint is different and can lead to different symptoms after repeated “unusual” wear and tear.

So what’s the #1 characteristic of the best shoes for flat feet?

The best shoes for flat feet will have good arch support, as well as orthotic device inserts

Aching feet and over pronation are a few of the common problems that fellow flat footers face (say that 10 times fast!).

As mentioned previously, the weight distribution across the entire foot is what would cause the aching foot and can often be relieved by wearing shoes that have the proper arch support and are fitted properly. If you can imagine for a second that flat feet have the entire foot touching the ground, whereas the arched counterparts actually only have a section of their foot on the ground.

It is for this reason arched shoes are a bit narrower, and if you’ve been walking in them, your feet may feel cramped or ache after long periods of use. You may need to wear shoes that are wider than normal to alleviate some of these aches.

Over pronation is a common problem while walking or running, where the foot tends to roll inwards upon every step and can put a lot of unnecessary stress on your knees and back. If you’ve faced problems with your knees or hips hurting after running, it may be because you over pronate your gait (the way you walk/run). In cases like this, choosing the best shoes for overpronation correction can drastically help. You may also benefit from using an orthotic that is specially fitted and made to your feet by a podiatrist.

What to Look for When Selecting the Best Shoes for Your Flat Feet

When you first set out on your journey to select the perfect pair of shoes for your flat feet, there are three tests you can do while purchasing to make sure you’re getting the correct support you need.

  • If the shoe bends where the toes are, it’s supportive enough, but if it bends toward the middle, it is not going to have the support you need. Your middles need support, not this bendy sole. Try another pair.
  • How well are you able to twist and torque it? Pick a shoe that is difficult to move. These are the shoes that will give you the most support for your arches.
  • Is the heel stiff? Proper heel support – often found in the best shoes for flat feet – just puts the whole package together. You won’t want to roll an ankle right after you get your arch support would you?

It all comes down to the basic premise – a stiffer shoe will be more supportive for your feet and will help prevent over pronation.

A study conducted by Hong Kong Polytech University found that motion-controlled shoes can help with overpronation by providing more stable base for your legs and feet.

You may be saying, ‘why would I want a stiff shoe? Isn’t it going to be really uncomfortable?’ Shoes today are made with a lot of padding and comfortable material so that your feet won’t actually feel like they are a prisoner in a plastic box. It is a common misconception that extra support means lack of comfort and for a flat footer, it will actually make you even more comfortable once you get the arch support your feet crave.

Most Comfortable Shoes for People With Flat Feet

There is no single best shoe that relieves everybody’s aching flat feet. You will have to shop around, and that’s easier if you know what to look for.

Know- How

First and foremost, podiatrists recommend that people with flat feet should find an experienced shoe salesperson who will measure their feet and recommend several different styles. This works much better than pulling random shoes off a department store rack yourself. Do be wary of any sales talk about a single model or brand. It’s just not that easy when you have flat feet. Try on several different shoes from different brands.

Support

People with flat feet need more support in their shoes than others. Gently bend and twist the shoe, just like we suggested above. It should be bendy in the toes, but not in the middle, where your arch is.

Stiff Outer Sole

Stiff outer soles are a must in good shoes for flat feet. They reinforce the built-in shoe support and resist your foot’s tendency to roll inward. Strong outer soles in everyday footwear are also rugged enough to withstand many hours of daily wear and tear.

Stability

Many people with flat feet find relief with stability shoes. These have extra material in the midsole to buttress your arch as well as to prevent over-pronation. There is also plenty of cushioning to provide a snug but easy fit. Finally, the heel counter at the back of the shoe will resist pressure when you push on it, just like it will gently resist movement of your foot when it tries to slip back into pronation.

With those guidelines in mind, let’s look at three most comfortable shoes for flat feet.

1. Sketchers Shape Ups

Sketchers Shake Ups

Skechers Shape Ups S2 Lite (Women’s)

These shoes have a rubber sole with a Kinetic Wedge super soft foam midsole which is designed to absorb both shock and provide a slight exercising effect. These will give you top notch support and stability, making them one of the best shoes for plantar fasciitis on our list.

2. Merrell Jungle Moc Leather Slip-on Shoes

Merrell Men's Jungle Moc Leather Slip-On Shoe

Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Leather Slip-On Shoe

These leather slip-ons offer a removable insole and are unmatched in ease of use (no laces, yay!) while providing great support.

3. Clarks Desert Boot

Clarks Originals Men's Desert Boot

Clarks Originals Men’s Desert Boot

These are great looking boots that come in all sorts of styles. Being flat footed doesn’t mean that you need to be without good-looking, short cropped boots. Depending on the style you get, these will be great for any situation.

Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet

I hear all the time that it’s so difficult to run with flat feet and that no shoes fit properly, which is a convenient way of getting out of running. If you’re looking to make a change in your life, you need to find a couple of top running shoes for flat feet that really allow you to be fully supported and will get you in shape without hurting your feet or back.

When choosing the best running shoes for your flat feet, it is important to be aware of your gait. If you can have a professional watch you while you run at a store or have a podiatrist fit you for an orthotic, these will offer the most custom support for your needs. The characteristics of good running shoes for flat feet are cushioning shoes, stability shoes, motion control shoes, barefoot shoes or minimalist shoes.

Cushioning shoes are for mild pronators, supinators or neutral runners and they are the most versatile style of shoe. Different brands and models have different amounts of cushioning, but these would be good for the average runner.

Stability shoes offer more support than their cushioning counterparts and this is for neutral runners with a mild to moderate over pronation. This will prevent slight roll inward and keep the feet supported with every step.

Motion control shoes are for runners with moderate to severe over pronation and will help to correct this roll inwards.

Barefoot shoes and minimalist shoes will offer little to no support and would not be ideal for running for someone with flat feet.

1. Mizuno Wave Inspire 11

Mizuno Wave Inspire 9 - Male

Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 – Male

One of the best running sneakers for flat feet you can currently purchase on the market. These shoes are great for the moderate over pronator and create a “rocking-chair-like transition from heel to toe” during the run.

2. New Balance M1080v3

New Balance Men's M1080v3 Neutral Running Shoe

New Balance Men’s M1080v3 Neutral Running Shoe

These are neutral shoes that accepts a custom fitted orthotic very well, as well as having a lot of cushioning.

3. Asics Gel-Lyte33 2

ASICS Men's GEL-Lyte33 2 Running Shoe Titanium:Chili:Black

ASICS Men’s GEL-Lyte33 2 Running Shoe Titanium:Chili:Black

These feature a rear foot GEL cushioning system with a minimal outer sole material while providing the arch support that keeps your stride normalized throughout the run.

Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet


Once upon a time, people with flat feet couldn’t even get into the military. Today, that’s no longer automatically the case. Flat feet certainly won’t prevent you from walking for exercise either, as long as you have a good pair of shoes for flat feet.

You already know that your flat feet need support to keep the arch from collapsing. Here’s how to tell if you also need superior pronation correction:

Check your current shoes. If there is extra wear on the inside of the soles and heels, then you pronate as you walk. Perhaps you already know that too, since over pronation puts extra stress on your ankles, knees, and hips.

A supportive good walking shoe stabilizes your flat foot and provides good reinforcement in the midsole arch area. Over pronators will also be helped by shoes with a stiff heel and overall flatter shoe design.

Here are the three best walking shoes for people with flat feet.

1. ASICS GEL-Foundation Walking Shoe

ASICS Men's GEL-Foundation Walking Shoe White Silver

ASICS Men’s GEL-Foundation Walking Shoe White Silver

These good walking sneakers for flat feet have a personal heel fit system with a fore foot GEL cushioning system, making it great for the support of your arches.

2. Reebok Work N Cushion Walking Shoe

Reebok Men's Work N Cushion Walking Shoe White

Reebok Men’s Work N Cushion Walking Shoe White

The beveled heel helps to generate forward moment and this shoe delivers flexible support, whether at work or at the gym.

3. New Balance MW577 Walking Shoe

New Balance Men's MW577 Walking Shoe White

New Balance Men’s MW577 Walking Shoe White

This shoe has Velcro and no laces, making it ideal for someone who hates fussing around with tying shoes. It offers great support and is a no-nonsense, best wallking sneakers for people with flat feet.

Best Sandals and Flip Flops for Flat Feet

Sandals and flip-flops feel comfortable in hot weather or around the house, and people with flat feet can wear them too. Look for sturdy footwear with a biomechanical design that also corrects pronation. A toe post and contoured footbed will stabilize your foot and keep your gait normal.

Do remember that you aren’t going to get the same overall support with these that you would in a closed shoe? So don’t go hiking in them or wear them for hours on end.

Reviewers on Amazon thought these three models were great for their flat feet.

1. Olukai Ohana

Olukai Ohana

Olukai Ohana

Great arch support and many different colors and styles makes this a winner when you are looking for the best flip flops for flat feet.

2. Vionic Wave Orthatic Sandal

Vionic with Orthaheel Technology Unisex Wave Orthatic Sandal

Vionic with Orthaheel Technology Unisex Wave Orthatic Sandal

Designed by a podiatrist with a deep heel cup, this keeps your arches supported and helps to relieve common causes of flat feet.

3. Spenco Polysorb Total support Yumi Sandals

Spenco Yumi Womens Orthotic Flip Flops Java

Spenco Yumi Womens Orthotic Flip Flops Java

These rubber sandals also have the deep heel cupping with orthotic-grade arch support, making them an excellent candidate for the best sandals for flat feet. They are also available in a number of different styles and colors.

Best Work Shoes for Flat Feet

Is foot pain killing you at work? Here’s some good news: there is a range of supportive, comfy work shoes available that really help people with flat feet.

When shopping for work shoes, go in the afternoon or after a long walk because that’s when your foot size is at its largest. It’s also very important to get the advice of a knowledgeable salesperson. Yes that’s going to cost more and take extra time, but is relief from your painful flat feet during work hours worth it? Sure it is.

Now that you’re ready to buy the best work shoes for flat feet, the two key words to remember are “comfort” and “support.” There should be plenty of cushioning as well as a thick, shock-absorbing sole. You can test shoe stiffness by doing the bending and twisting moves that we describe above. You also want a sturdy arch support for flat feet that matches the normal curve of your foot.

1. Dansko Professional Oiled Leather Clog

Dansko Women's Professional Oiled Leather Clog Black

Dansko Women’s Professional Oiled Leather Clog Black

These shoes again come without laces which makes you able to sprinkle some water in that hair after you wake up 20 minutes later than you were supposed to and slip into some shoes appropriate for your job. This convenience is one of the many benefits of these sturdy and supportive shoes. Many nurses who stand on their feet all day swear by them to be the best nursing shoes for flat feet.

2. Keen Atlanta Cool Steel Toe

Keen Utility Men's Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe Black

Keen Utility Men’s Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe Black

If you need a shoe that is going with you to a construction site or anywhere that you need a solid pair of grips, this is the shoe for you. An elastic lace keeps it quick to get tight, as well as a slip-resistant rubber outer sole. These will keep your feet supported and cool in warm weather.

3. Skechers for Work

Women's Work Tone-Ups Clog Slip Resistant Black

Women’s Work Tone-Ups Clog Slip Resistant Black

If you are standing on your feet all day, these shoes will keep you comfortable and support your flat feet so you aren’t rubbing them down for hours after work. Comfortable insoles with a sturdy bottom give you everything you could want out of a durable shoe. They can even double as a good pair of dress shoes for your flat feet.

Best Basketball Shoes for Flat Feet

Basketball puts your feet through a lot of abuse. Running, landing impacts, and making a lot of quick direction changes are tough on anybody. For people with flat feet, they sometimes cause a unique agony that can even limit playing potential.

For best basketball shoes for flat feet, you want these characteristics:

  • Shoes that absorbs shocks and keeps your foot neutral as much as possible.
  • Look for solid arch support, but not too much.
  • Has a shock-absorbing insole and plenty of built-in cushioning.

Based on these three items on our checklist and checking reviews from different websites and forums, we’ve round up the top three most recommended basketball shoes for people with flat feet.

1. New Balance BB891

New Balance BB891 Performance Basketball Shoe Black

New Balance BB891 Performance Basketball Shoe Black

These shoes come in black and white with air pockets surrounding the sole to help you absorb the shock you will put on your feet from grabbing rebounds and coming down from dunking so much. There is a herringbone treat that keeps you supported during your quick pivots and side to side movements.

2. Nike Hyperdunk

Men's Nike Lunar Hyperdunk 2014 Basketball Shoes Wolf Grey:Black

Men’s Nike Lunar Hyperdunk 2014 Basketball Shoes Wolf Grey:Black

These come in many different colors and offer your flat feet a way to show off in style. There is a fair amount of rubber sole that keeps your arch elevated, as well as the ability to be a good shock absorber.

3. Adidas Performance Cross ‘Em 3 Basketball

adidas Performance Men's Cross 'Em 3 Basketball Shoe White:Collegiate Royal:Black

adidas Performance Men’s Cross ‘Em 3 Basketball Shoe White:Collegiate Royal:Black

These shoes come in a number of retro colors while keeping a stabilizing torsion system that keeps the mid-foot secure. These have non-marking rubber outer soles to keep your gyms and kitchen floors looking scuff-free.

Best Athletic Shoes for Flat Feet

When you’re training, the foot arch usually handles the impact of movement as well as your weight. In people with flat feet, the legs take these forces instead, leading to joint discomfort and pronation.

The best athletic shoes for flat feet correct this by offering plenty of support – lateral support to keep your ankle and heel aligned, as well as reinforcement of the arches.

This type of footwear should hold your foot securely inside the shoe, but also have a flexible upper to handle sideway movements easily. When you’re shopping for athletic shoes, also look for models that have a strong shank and plenty of cushioning to absorb shocks.

Here are three models of athletic shoes recommended by Amazon reviewers who have flat feet.

1. ASICS GEL-Craze TR 2

ASICS Men's GEL-Craze TR Cross-Training Shoe Dark Blue:Neon Orange:Navy

ASICS Men’s GEL-Craze TR 2 Cross-Training Shoe Dark Blue:Neon Orange:Navy

These shoes feature a rear foot GEL cushioning system that keep your form and foot supported and protected with any number of sports that you do. There is a SpEVA midsole that gives your mid-foot a little bit of spring but keeps it arched to prevent the flat foot problems you may be accustomed to.

2. New Balance MX623

New Balance Men's MX623 Cross-Training Shoe White

New Balance Men’s MX623 Cross-Training Shoe White

These are classic cross training shoes for flat feet with a good deal of cushioning and a supportive midsole. The rubber sole makes it ideal for any number of training activities you throw at it but will keep your feet from hurting afterwards. Many flat-footed gym-goers love wearing the New Balance MX623 as their best gym shoes for flat feet.

3. PUMA Tazon 5

PUMA Men's Tazon 5 Cross-Training Shoe Black:Puma Silver

PUMA Men’s Tazon 5 Cross-Training Shoe Black:Puma Silver

These come with a TPU shank that offers increased stability (something that a flat footer must know by now is important). Arguably one of the best workout shoes for flat feet, they come in a variety of different colors, are made in the USA so the quality is top notch, and your feet will thank you for keeping them so well-supported for a range of workouts.

Wrapping It Up

I hope this article was informative and I encourage you to check out some of the above links if you are in the market for the best shoes for flat feet that will help your feet hurt less.

Some of the key concepts we mentioned about flat feet are that they can cause problems in your ankles, knees, back and hips and there are some things that can help improve symptoms you may be having. Some links to a few of the resources that I found specifically interesting are listed below and I encourage you to check them out if you are looking for some more in-depth discussions. Please subscribe for more articles similar to this and I hope you guys get some foot relief!

10 Comments

  1. Megan
    January 31, 2016 at 7:13 PM · Reply

    This article seems pretty biased towards men. I’m a woman with aching flat feet, knees and back so I also need info on what shoes are best. Especially an all around, work/walk/standing shoe. Otherwise there is a lot of good info, like the 3 things for testing a shoe.

  2. GD
    February 23, 2016 at 7:41 PM · Reply

    You should try Altra Provision 2 or some of the other styles. Amazing shoe for my feet that helped me get over Plantar facitis

  3. Lauren
    March 7, 2016 at 3:29 PM · Reply

    yeah. The article is awesome but my lady feet are flat. I don’t have man feet.

  4. Name (reqDick Rasmussenuired)
    April 19, 2016 at 7:00 PM · Reply

    Does not show any shoe with side ankle/arch support. Why isn’t there a sturdy 6″ hi-top ? Narrow ankle and extra wide front I. E. 12 or 12 1/2 x 3 or 4 E I have N. B walking shoes, 12 x 2E and are comfortable until I am on them for several hours. They don’t give me the side support I need

  5. Kay
    May 3, 2016 at 2:40 PM · Reply

    yep, me too, lady here looking for shoes for aching flat feet.

  6. Charles gray
    May 11, 2016 at 9:10 AM · Reply

    This was very helpful,Thanks

  7. Ajay
    June 27, 2016 at 1:08 AM · Reply

    Can you suggest good tennis shoes for player with flat feet. My 18 year old son is a tennis player and he has a flat feet also.

  8. KEL
    July 19, 2016 at 4:48 AM · Reply

    I thought this article with the video on how to chose a proper fitting shoe was helpful as well as examples of what to shop for. What about examples of dress shoes for professional dress?

  9. Peter
    July 25, 2016 at 6:53 AM · Reply

    Thank you!

  10. Kwame
    August 25, 2016 at 2:56 AM · Reply

    Fantastic article! I have a bball game today and I will feel a lot more confident moving when I buy shoes today using these recommendations.

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