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

LIVESTRONG.com may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
The best boots for flat feet offer arch and heel support, only have a low heel (or no heel at all) and are a wide width.
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Having flat feet might not seem like a major deal, pain- and injury-wise. After all, the condition is fairly common, affecting 8 percent of adults in the United States, per a 2012 assessment by the Institute for Preventive Foot Health.

Advertisement

Video of the Day

Flat feet can occur due to several foot problems, and cause a person's arch to flatten and their feet to turn outward, per the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). "When an adult develops a flattening of the arch, it [can weaken] the posterior tibial tendon that holds up the arch," says podiatrist Tea Nguyen, DPM. This can sometimes present pain and limit an adult's ability to perform daily activities, she says.

There are two ways to mediate pain associated with flat feet (or prevent it), Dr. Nguyen says: First, consult with a podiatrist. Next, choose appropriate footwear — that means opting for the best sandals and shoes for flat feet, and the best boots, too.

Advertisement

When it comes to boots, it's key to find ones with a sightly wider boot sole as well as strong arch and heel support, Dr. Nguyen says.

The Best Boots for Flat Feet

How We Chose

In addition to interviewing Dr. Nguyen on her top choices for the best boots for flat feet, we incorporated other criteria when compiling recommendations, including:

Advertisement

  • Activity or climate in which the boots will be worn (i.e., hiking or in winter weather)
  • Style
  • Cost
  • Durability

A Quick Language Note

We make deliberate choices about the language we use when it comes to sex and gender, but most brands market their products to men or women. Shoes are no exception. The main difference between most men's and women's shoes lies in the shoe width and size.

When selecting a boot, prioritize the width and size of your feet, and how those measurements correspond with the footwear.

1. Best Overall Boots (Women): Anodyne No. 91 Casual Boot

Pros

  • Available in three widths
  • Suitable for a number of health conditions

Cons

  • Only available in traditional women’s sizes
  • Only available in 2 colors

Dr. Nguyen is a big fan of this clean, simple boot from Anodyne. She notes that it's often best for folks with flat feet to aim for wider widths — and the No. 91 Casual Boot offers an extra-wide variation. The boot also offers a strong, supportive arch and is ideal for a variety of health conditions, including diabetes, neuropathy, bunions, hammertoes, claw toes, plantar fasciitis and flat feet.

Advertisement

Sizes: ‌5.5-12 (women’s)

Buy it:Anodyne ($149); Zappos.com ($149)

2. Best Overall Boots (Men): Anodyne No. 56 Trail Boot

Pros

  • Available in three widths
  • Suitable for a number of health conditions

Cons

  • Only available in traditional men’s sizes

Similar to the No. 91 Casual Boot for women, this boot from Anodyne contains ultra-supportive gel-foam inserts that support the arch and ensure a comfortable, pain-free stride. In addition to flat feet, those with diabetes, neuropathy, bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, arthritis and more can benefit from wearing them.

Advertisement

This shoe is available in black or brown.

Sizes: ‌7.5-14 (men’s)

Buy it:Anodyne ($149); Zappos.com ($149)

3. Best Work Boots: Dr. Comfort Boss

Pros

  • Protective toe box provides extra protection
  • Available in three widths
  • Soft leather upper material

Cons

  • Only available in traditional men’s sizes

A protective work boot needs to have abrasion- and injury-resistant materials and features, while still being ultra-comfortable — and the Boss boot from Dr. Comfort, one of Dr. Nguyen's top recommendations, delivers on both fronts. And with an extra-wide width and arch support, it's ideal for folks with flat feet, but also great for folks with a host of other orthopedic conditions.

Advertisement

Sizes: ‌6-15 (men’s)

Buy it:Dr. Comfort ($140); Amazon.com ($120-$169)

4. Best Winter Boots: Orthofeet Florence Boots

Pros

  • Arch support is adjustable
  • Available in three widths
  • Soft leather and inner lining provide warmth and comfort

Cons

  • Only available in traditional women’s sizes
  • Boot doesn’t extend beyond midway up the calf, so might not be suitable for extreme weather conditions

Another boot on this list that can be useful for a wide range of health conditions, including arthritis, bunions and diabetes, the Orthofeet Florence Boots are designed to relieve foot and heel pain. The boot's special "Arch Booster" helps to realign the feet and improve body posture.

Advertisement

Sizes: ‌5-12 (women’s)

Buy it:Orthofeet.com ($120); Amazon.com ($150-$160)

5. Best Hiking Boots: Merrell Moab 2

Pros

  • Available in both traditional men’s and women’s sizes
  • Contains removable contoured footbed and extra heel and arch cushioning
  • Waterproof membrane seals out moisture

Cons

  • Not available in extra-wide width (only medium and wide)

Merrell is a classic outdoor-oriented footwear retailer — but its boots are also flat feet-friendly, containing strong arch and heel support. The boot is also particularly durable, able to withstand heavy storms (it's 100 percent waterproof), while being lightweight.

Advertisement

Sizes: ‌7-15 (men’s) and 5-12 (women’s)

Buy it:Merrell ($86.99); Amazon.com ($74.95) (men’s) and Merrell ($87); Amazon.com (From $70)

6. Best Tall Boots: Naot Eden Divine

Pros

  • Stylish and luxurious
  • Cork latex insole aids in comfort
  • Short heel adds lift without straining the foot

Cons

  • Only available in women’s sizes
  • Pricier option

Although a boot without a heel will offer the best support for flat feet, keeping the heel to a minimum (like in this 2.5" heel boot from Naot) is acceptable for a short period (in other words, for dinner out — not an entire workday), Dr. Nguyen says.

This shoe contains a cork and latex footbed wrapped in suede to mold to the foot shape of the wearer.

Sizes: ‌4-13 (women’s)

Buy it:Naot.com ($240)

7. Best Rain Boots: Encore 4 Tall Zip Polar Waterproof Wide Width

Pros

  • Waterproof material shields moisture
  • Faux fur and fleece lining keeps feet warm

Cons

  • Only available in traditional women’s sizes
  • Only available in a wide width (not extra-wide)

Another Merrell boot that contains molded, lightweight (but durable) foam arch support that can help alleviate pressure of flat feet, the Encore 4 Tall Zip Polar Waterproof Wide Width is an ideal boot for all-day wear in the rain or snow. It also contains a seam-sealed upper that lets moisture escape while shielding rain from getting inside, so feet can breathe and stay dry.

Sizes: ‌5-11 (women’s)

Buy it:Merrell ($160); Zappos.com ($159.95)

5 Things to Look for When Buying Boots for Flat Feet

1. You Can Wear a Heel — But Don’t Get Too High

Although not wearing a heeled boot is optimal for reducing any pain associated with flat feet, according to Dr. Nguyen, shorter heels (around 2.5 inches or under) is ideal.

2. Skip Synthetic Materials

While arch support and width are Dr. Nguyen's two top priorities when recommending boots for flat feet, she says that any type of non-breathable materials or plastics should be avoided.

"Skip anything that has synthetic material, like Crocs," she says.

3. Look for a Durable Structure

As Dr. Nguyen explains, if the boot's foot can fold easily, it's probably not the type of shoe you want to be wearing with flat feet. If a boot has enough arch and heel support, it should be entirely sturdy from the ankle through the sole.

4. Aim for Arch and Heel Support

"By supporting the arch, the posterior tibial tendon is supported," Dr. Nguyen says. "Without proper arch support, the tendon can overstretch and tear, leading to pain and possible surgery." She says that having a boot incorporated with proper arch support is key, but prescription custom orthotics are often your best bet for treating the condition.

5. Keep the Width Wide

Since the feet will typically turn outward when a person has flat feet, they'll naturally need a shoe that takes up more width and won't feel constrictive. Aim for boots that contain wide or extra-wide widths, Dr. Nguyen says.

Of course, not all widths on boots will have similar dimensions, so your best bet is to try on a variety of pairs before settling on the perfect one.

Advertisement

references

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...