How do you find the right shoes for flat feet?
As a nurse, I understand the importance of proper footwear for flat feet. A good, supportive shoe can provide proper foot alignment, stability, and added comfort.
When your feet are flat, there are certain footwear features that can help support your arch.
You should look for shoes that can offer:
This combination will keep you on your feet and comfortable for longer.
What Types of Shoes to Avoid
We went over what to look for in a shoe, now let’s go over some shoes to avoid.
Think twice before wearing these shoes with flat feet:
Flat shoes without arch support can leave your foot feeling unbalanced. High heels can put too much pressure on the balls of your feet. It also throws your foot alignment off. This can cause a spike in foot pain.
If your shoes are older and worn out, they have probably lost their support and cushion. This means they aren’t really helping with shock absorption or foot alignment anymore. You should always replace old shoes.
How Do You Get Flat Feet?
Having flat feet can run in your family. Certain health conditions, like cerebral palsy or diabetes, can cause flat feet. Sometimes, injuries, like broken bones, or natural wear-and-tear from old age can loosen the tissue in your aches.
Flat feet may cause a dull ache in your foot or ankle. You may wear out your shoes faster than normal. If your flat feet feel stiff, weak, or increasingly painful, you should wear shoes that have features to support your needs. This is particularly true if you have trouble walking, or it affects your balance.
What are Podiatrists Saying About Footwear for Flat Feet?
A podiatrist is a doctor who diagnoses and treats foot conditions. I chatted with three different podiatrists to figure out what you should look for in a shoe. Read on to see what the experts had to say.
Daniel Pledger has been a board-certified podiatrist for 15 years. His mission is to provide accessible, quality podiatry care throughout the country through an online platform. Dr. Pledger chatted about the importance of arch support and cushioned shoes.
Here’s what Dr. Pledger had to say:
“Arch support is of paramount importance, as it helps to alleviate excessive strain on the arches and distribute weight more evenly across the foot. Look for shoes that offer a contoured or built-in arch support system, which helps to maintain the natural alignment of the foot.
Additionally, shoes with excellent cushioning properties are beneficial for individuals with flat feet. Cushioning helps absorb shock and reduces the impact on the feet during daily activities, such as walking or running. This is particularly crucial for those with flat feet, as their foot structure may not absorb shock as effectively as those with normal arches.”
Dr. Bruce Pinker is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine. Dr. Pinker is a professional health and wellness speaker that focuses on foot and ankle condition. Dr. Pinker addressed the importance of arch support and the risk of plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a painful heel condition.
“Added medial arch support can be beneficial for some individuals with flat feet in order to prevent overstretching for the plantar fascia ligaments and muscles/ tendons in the bottom layers of the foot. By supporting these layers of the foot, it can help prevent plantar fasciitis and the pain/soreness accompanied with it. In many cases, however, custom made orthotics may be necessary to provide adequate relief.”
Dr. Sondema Tarr is a board-certified podiatrist who began practicing in 2020. Dr. Tarr is passionate about providing patient-centric care. She talked about heel support for flat feet.
“Another feature that is good to have in a shoe for a person with a flat foot, especially if they have a history of plantar fasciitis is a heel cup. Heel cups help to give extra support to the heel.”
After talking with the experts, I researched and pulled up the best shoes that covered those qualities. What did I find? I was able to track down a shoe for every occasion. From hiking to a night on the town, your flat feet will be covered.
Best Shoes for Flat Feet with Arch Support
After talking with several podiatrists, I was able to find 14 different shoes with specific features to help with flat feet.
1. New Balance 1540v3
Get moving with the New Balance 1540v3 for flat feet. These running shoes are created with a rollbar to improve motion stability and prevent overpronation. All of the podiatrists I spoke to for this article recommended New Balance shoes for flat feet.
2. Vionic Women's Miles
The Vionic Women’s Miles is the ultimate walking shoe for flat feet. Built with superior arch support and notable cushioning, your arches will thank you later. These supportive shoes hug your arches to help with foot alignment and pronation correction. These features offer motion control and stability.
These walking shoes are particularly unique because they come with built-in orthotics to help reduce plantar fasciitis, a common foot condition caused by flat feet. It’s no wonder this pair is podiatrist-recommended.
3. Orthofeet Men's Edgewater
Imagine trusting a minor name in the game with your feet all day only to end up with painful blisters and calluses the size of quarters. Nobody wants that, especially not people with additional issues such as flat feet. This is precisely why Orthofeet steps in to promise you great products from an even larger and well recognized brand.
4. Dansko Professional Clogs
Dansko Professional clogs are known for their supportive, rocker base that helps with impact absorption and motion control. Their firm arch support helps provide structure and arch height for fallen arches. The cushioned instep collar provides added comfort with each and every step.
Best Flats for Flat Feet
5. Vionic Minna Flats
These Vionic Minna flats come in dozens of colors and with a small, optional heel. They even have wide sizes for wide-footed people who need a comfortable shoe. And the best part? These stylish shoes have an orthotic shoe insert with arch and heel support. This can help with unwanted heel pain from plantar fasciitis as well as other foot conditions, like flat feet.
Best Wide Toe Box for Flat Feet
6. HOKA Gaviotia 5
The Hoka One One Gaviotia 4 comes in 5 stylish colors to match any outfit and offers a wide toe box for added comfort. The frame wraps around the heel to reduce overpronation and maintain foot alignment. The cherry on top? These athletic shoes are podiatrist-approved.
Best Nursing Shoes for Flat Feet
8. Orthofeet Tayla Women's Orthopedic Nursing Shoes
Orthofeet Tayla Orthopedic Nursing Shoes for Pain-Free Shifts
You don’t want to be caught in a 12-hour shift without the right shoes for your flat feet. The Orthofeet Women’s Nursing Shoes are designed with nurses in mind. Easy-to-clean, non-slip, and fluid-repellant, these shoes can handle even the craziest of shifts. Plus they have an orthotic insole with an arch booster created with flat feet in mind. The wide toe box and padded interior offer additional comfort for those long shifts. Grab these before your next 12-hour shift!
Best Travel Shoes for Flat Feet
9. Skechers GoWalk Arch Fit
If you’re looking for podiatrist-approved shoes to keep you comfortable while you travel, look no further! The Skechers GoWalk Arch Fit shoes are created with comfort in mind. They have additional cushioning and arch support to help with flat feet and fallen arches.
Get the support your arches need.
Best Work Shoes for Flat Feet
10. Alegria Kara
The Alegria Kara shoes are built for all-day movement. These work shoes come with a memory foam footbed with extra cushioning for supreme comfort. The insert it comes with has added arch support for flat feet. It’s removable so you can replace it with your own orthotics.
Best Slip-on Work Shoes for Flat Feet
11. Merrell Men's Encore Gust
The Merell Men’s Encore Gust has has an air cushion below the heel to help with impact absorption and manage heel pain. The molded footframe helps with motion stability and foot alignment. Plus there’s no bothersome laces on this slip-on design.
Say goodbye to laces with these slip-ons.
Best Non-Slip Work Shoes for Flat Feet
12. Kuru Kinetic
The Kuru Kinetic shoes have the added advantage of being anti-slip. These sensible work shoes have a broad footprint for motion stability. Your flat feet will love these supportive shoes for their added arch support. The rounded heel cups will help keep any heel pain away while you’re on the clock.
Best Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet
13. Merrell Moab 3
Get outside with these Morrell Moad 3 hiking shoes. These shoes come in half and wide sizes, so you can get the perfect fit. The patented air cushion in the heel helps with heel pain by managing shock absorption while you’re on the move. This makes every step smoother.
Take a look at these hiking shoes before your next big trek.
Best Sandals for Flat Feet
14. Birkenstock Arizona
I have a confession: I own a pair of Birkenstocks and the arch support is next-level. They’re my favorite summer shoes for that reason. When I know I have a long day ahead of me, I turn to my Birkenstocks. I’ve had them for over 3 years, and I plan on getting a new pair when they wear out. Plus 2 of the 3 podiatrists I interviewed recommended this exact shoe.
15. Naot Footwear Women’s Kayla
Who says you can't have stylish shoes with flat feet? These Kayla wedges are perfect for that special occasion. The cork footbed molds to the contour of your foot, while still offering the arch support you need.
People with flat feet have low arches. Without the proper footwear, your foot condition could progress into plantar fasciitis. If you have flat feet, you should look for supportive shoes that can provide stability and arch support. These features will help with motion control and stability and prevent overpronation.
We reviewed and recommended the top shoes for flat-feet to make this a no-brainer. Any shoe on this list is podiatrist-approved. These shoes are created with foot conditions in mind, so you can rest assured you’re making the right choice.