The 7 Best Shoes for Flat Feet, According to a Podiatrist

LIVESTRONG.com may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
The best shoes for flat feet are durable and provide comfortable arch support.
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Even if you have flat feet, chances are you haven't given much thought to the type of shoe you should be wearing. That's because the condition — which occurs when the foot does not have a natural arch, allowing the entire foot to touch the ground — is fairly common and typically painless.

Advertisement

Video of the Day

But even if your flat feet aren't causing you pain, wearing the wrong shoes could lead to other issues. "Many problems can occur or be made worse, such as bunions, hammertoes, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis or back, hip and knee pain," podiatrist Jackie Sutera, DPM, tells LIVESTRONG.com.

With that in mind, we've rounded up seven of the best shoes for people with flat feet, along with what to know before you buy a pair.

Advertisement

The Best Shoes for Flat Feet

How We Chose

We tapped Dr. Sutera to share her professional product recommendations and break down what to look for in shoes for flat feet. We selected the following products based on her input and the following criteria:

  • Comfort
  • Fit
  • Durability
  • Style
  • Cost

Advertisement

Why Are Certain Shoes Marketed to Men or Women?

We've included both men's and women's shoes on this list, as shoemakers typically market their products based on gender. Here's what to know about the difference: "Men's shoes tend to be cut wider and are usually over a size bigger than women's shoes," Dr. Sutera says, adding that the best option depends on a person's anatomy, fit, personal comfort, style and individual preference.

"It is more common for women to wear men's shoes, especially after surgery, to accommodate for swelling, and also in people with severe arthritis, where they need to wear wider or higher toe box shoes to accommodate for stiff, rigid joints," Dr. Sutera says.

1. Best for Walking: New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v12

These comfortable, supportive shoes come with extra cushioning and are available in a variety of widths.

These lightweight New Balance sneakers offer a ton of support without being heavy, making them ideal walking shoes for people with flat feet.

Advertisement

Dr. Sutera recommends them for their extra cushioning as well as the fact that they're built with a medial post, a device inside the insole that offers more support for pronated feet.

They also come in widths ranging from standard to extra wide, which wins them extra points in the comfort category.

Buy it:NewBalance.com for women's sizes 5 to 13, and NewBalance.com for men's sizes 7 to 16; ‌Price:‌ From $109.99

2. Best for Running: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

Go for a run in style — this running shoe is available in many colors.

A beloved running shoe in general, Brooks Adrenaline is a great option for runners with flat feet, too, thanks to what Dr. Sutera says is great stability and cushioning.

Advertisement

They are built to offer added support without sacrificing comfort. Not to mention the many colors, widths and sizes they are available in. This is one simply solid, everyday running shoe.

Buy it:BrooksRunning.com for women's sizes 5 to 13 and BrooksRunning.com for men's sizes 7 to 15; ‌Price:‌ $140

3. Best Everyday Sneaker: Vionic Miles Active Sneaker or Men's Classic Walker

These everyday walking sneakers offer plenty of support for people with flat feet, and also feature breathable mesh to keep your tootsies cool.

Vionic bills itself as "the most supportive shoes... ever," and these everyday sneakers are no exception.

Advertisement

The women's Miles sneakers, which are made with breathable mesh for cool-foot comfort, are also expertly designed and approved, using a "podiatrist-designed orthotic with a flexible, cushioned outsole" to round out a perfectly supportive option for flat feet.

For men, try the comparable Vionic Men's Classic Walker.

Buy it:VionicShoes.com for women's sizes 5 to 12 and VionicShoes.com for men's sizes 7 to 14; ‌Price:‌ $109.95

4. Best for Overpronation: Brooks Ariel or Brooks Beast

This sneaker is ideal if your feet roll inward when you step.

Overpronation occurs when the foot rolls inward with each step. Dr. Sutera calls Brooks Ariel sneakers a favorite for people with this issue thanks to the amount of stability, motion control and cushioning.

Advertisement

The Ariel also wins points for its supportive fit using its GuideRails technology — they are built to lessen the impact when a foot hits the pavement and prevent excess movement.

For men, try the comparable Brooks Beast.

Buy it:BrooksRunning.com for women's sizes 6 to 13 and BrooksRunning.com for men's sizes 8 to 16; ‌Price:‌ $160

5. Best on a Budget: Dr. Scholl's Blitz Walking Sneaker

This shoe offers plenty of padding and support at a budget-friendly price.

Dr. Scholl's is synonymous with foot comfort, and their sneaker selection is no exception. Priced right at under $50, they are perfect for everyday use. Reviewers love them for their support and comfort during long periods of standing, walking or running.

Advertisement

They also come equipped with an ultra-padded insole for added comfort.

Buy it:Amazon for women's sizes 6 to 11; ‌Price:‌ From $34.16

6. Best Hiking Shoe: Merrell Moab 2

Merrells are a great choice for any hiker, and this particular shoe is ideal for hikers with flat feet.

Merrells? For hiking? Groundbreaking.

There's a reason these shoes are on everyone's best-of lists, though: They're the real deal. The Moab 2 features everything you'd want out of a hiking shoe (they're waterproof, ultra-durable and breathable, to name a few) but they're also a great choice for hikers with flat feet.

"They are breathable, light and shock-absorbing, and the molded nylon adds to the stability of the shoe," Dr. Sutera says.

Buy it:Merrell.com for women's sizes 5 to 12 and Merrell.com for men's sizes 7 to 15; ‌Price:‌ From $94.49

7. Best Sport Sandal: Vionic Toe Post Sandals

These flip-flops offer far more support and cushioning than the flat rubber or plastic ones you'd wear to the beach.

Dr. Sutera recommends the Vionic sandal, which are "made to wear for longer periods of walking and standing," she says. "They offer support, a deep heel cup and cushioning."

These sandals are also approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) for comfort, durability and support. The unisex design is also affordable, clocking in under $70.

Buy it:VionicShoes.com for unisex sizes 5 to 13; ‌Price:‌ $69.95

What to Look for in Shoes for Flat Feet

Before you buy a new pair of kicks, here are three things to keep in mind:

1. Arch Support

Dr. Sutera calls arch support a "must-have" for people with flat feet.

"The raised padding or elevation located on the top of insoles in shoes or orthotics helps elevate and neutralize the inside of the mid-foot," she says.

2. Durability

Because people with flat feet tend to wear down shoes faster than those with a more neutral or higher arch, it's a good idea to look for a long-lasting shoe. This is important not only because you need a better quality shoe to alleviate any issues associated with flat feet, but also to prevent you from having to spend a lot of money replacing shoes more often.

3. Metatarsal Pads

While not as crucial as support and durability, Dr. Sutera calls metatarsal pads (which put an elevation behind the ball of the foot) a "nice-to-have" feature in shoes for people with flat feet.

"This cushions, redistributes and takes pressure off of the metatarsal joints of the forefoot," she says.

Tip

In general, people with flat feet tend to wear down their shoes more regularly. So regardless of the type of shoe you buy, Dr. Sutera says it's important to monitor them for signs of wear and replace shoes more regularly than someone with a more prominent arch.

Related Reading

Advertisement

Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...