What Are the Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet?
Just because you're flat-footed doesn’t mean you can’t walk like the rest of us who have normal arches. You can use the best walking shoes for flat feet to get better stability, and enhance your motion control.
Unfortunately, many dress shoes and sneakers marketed as suitable for arch support simply don’t work. Some look promising, but they don’t have the long-term effect that you’d want.
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve spent hours analyzing hundreds of reviews and testing some shoes to determine what’s worth recommending and what we shouldn’t even bother to mention. From our findings, we’re confident that the following are the shoes to buy if you have flat feet.
What Are the Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet?
1. Ryka Women’s Devotion Plus 2 Walking Shoes
Stylish and comfortable, with a breathable mesh upper that promotes consistent airflow, the Ryka Devotion Plus 2 provides the support your feet need even in the days when you have to be on the move for long hours.
Because they can support collapsed arches, these sneakers provide just the right kind of support so that you can walk comfortably every step of the way.
Ryka Women’s Devotion Plus 2 supports flat feet straight out of the box. And even if you were to require extra support, you’d never have to add an extra insole. However, it’s fine to add an insert if you wish to do so, especially if you intend to use these shoes to walk long distances.
Padded beneath the tongue and behind the collar, Ryka Devotion Plus 2 quickly reduces friction while providing the comfort you need to walk every step.
The molded EVA midsoles, with a full-length RE-ZORB active foam, add an extra layer of comfort to support your feet while enhancing breathability to keep your feet cool and dry.
Although Devotion Plus 2 feels lightweight in testing, it hardly loses its padding. That means you get maximum protection and support, no matter how bad you think your feet is.
2. Saucony Grid Omni Walker Sneaker
On the surface, Saucony Grid Omni Walker Sneaker looks like a pair of tennis shoes for your next sports challenge. However, they may not last nearly as long if you take them to the field often. At the very least, these are shoes with excellent support for women that have flat feet.
For starters, these sneakers will easily align your ankles with every step you take while relieving as much pain as possible and even reduce pigeon-toed walk.
With an asymmetrical sole unit, the Saucony Grid Omni Walker will give you the maximum comfort to move around, while gripping as many surfaces as possible to enhance foot stability thanks to the deep heel cap that fits securely.
The rear foot grid does exactly what the company says: give you the stability you need every time you are on the move. The sole unit’s Walk Trac enables natural, smooth transitions, making your movement feel more natural than it would otherwise.
The pair’s mesh tongue is breathable enough to allow airflow to keep your feet cool and dry. So when the situation demands that you walk for long, you won’t come back home with sweaty, stinking feet.
Then there are the EVA midsoles, which provide an additional layer of padding, enabling you to walk on rough paths without feeling pressed on the bottom.
You aren’t getting style from this. And there aren’t many color options either. But from what we know so far, walking shoes that suits people with flat feet are more about comfort and performance, not fashion or style.
3. Nike Lunarglide 8 Sneakers
We know Nike as a respected brand in the sports footwear market. But its sneakers array also includes walking shoes that you can use if you have flat feet.
For women, the Lunarglide 8 feels perfect for short and extended walks, making it one of the most comfortable pairs for the price point.
Lunarglide 8’s sole unit isn’t nearly as perfect, but it’s impressive enough for its job. A robust tread profile is missing, but that’s not a deal-breaker if you’ll be using them strictly for walking.
While the outsole isn’t likely to wear out fast, this model may not be useful if you need shoes to walk on hard floors.
Nike’s careful placement of soft foam in the midfoot makes Lunarglide 8 sufficient for flat-footed women with overpronation.
The entire midsole features a firm EVA, and the area underneath the inserts is pure fabric instead of foam. With no rubber under the sole, the grooves etched into the midsole contribute to better traction while enhancing responsiveness and a higher level of cushioning.
Weighing around 10 ounces, with an upper that feels light and featuring a decent amount of foam on the heel, Lunarglide 8 fits well and hung your feet in place as you walk.
Super breathable, in the real sense, the moisture management of Saucony Grid Omni Walker is above the quality grading scale. The whole upper is a complete mesh, which enhances efficient airflow to keep your flat feet cool and dry as you walk.
4. New Balance Women’s 928v3 Walking Shoes for Flat Feet
New Balance walking shoes are some of the top-rated makes yet. And with the 928v3 model available even at a reasonably lower price point, it’s apparent the company wants you to have a decent pair of sneakers to walk in even if you’re on a (tight) budget.
Available in five different colors, these aren’t the sleekest sneakers yet. But with performance being more important than a stylish look, even podiatrists recommend this walking shoe because of the comfort and support it offers.
For starters, the New Balance 928v3 feature the brand’s rollbar technology to give your feet just the right fit. With little to almost no feet movement inside the shoes, there’s a zero chance of your feet rubbing against the fabric as you walk around.
To make these walking shoes bouncy and cushy, New Balance adds a unique EVA midsole to the sole unit. Boosting comfort as you walk, the midsole can stand up to sharp objects and protecting your feet from hard surfaces and obstacles.
In our eyes, the rubber outsole has a uniform tread profile that offers better traction and stability on different grounds. And while the profile isn’t nearly as thick as we’ve seen in competing footwear, at least they can stand up to regular use on a long-term basis.
5. Brooks Men Addiction Walker
We’ve always thought of Brooks Addiction Walker as the least stylish and less fashionable footwear for big guys. But for men with fallen arches, and possibly overpronation, the only thing that truly matters is the support these shoes offer.
While this brand has paid less attention to style and color schemes as it may seem, the Addiction Walker shoes are among the most comfortable sneakers because of their promising versatility, comfort, and durability.
To begin with, Brooks Addiction Walkers are non-slip shoes that feature a full-grain leather upper for durability. And the padding, from the collar extending to the tongue and toe box, provides a comfortable area for your foot to rest as you walk.
Brooks’ choice of the outsole for this model is a premium innovation yet.
Instead of the usual synthetic or rubber outsole, this one sports an HPR Green outsole constructed from silica compound. Blended with an MC Pod construction for the forefoot, the sole unit gives you the right foot balance while proving better traction and slip resistance.
Add the MoGo midsole that gives your feet a stable feel to this, and what you get are motion control shoes that promise increased energy return.
The Hydro Flow technology, together with the footwear’s fabric lining improves breathability to keep your feet dry throughout the day. Furthermore, they’re perfect shock absorbers, good at managing impact, especially when you walk faster on bumpy terrains than you usually would.
6. ECCO Men’s Fusion Moc Oxford
Sneakers aren’t the only footwear to consider if you have flat feet. Even casual dress shoes can provide the support you need to walk comfortably.
So if you must go to work in dress shoes, and you aren’t as lucky to have normal feet, you should consider ECCO Men’s Fusion Moc Oxford.
The moccasin stitching of these shoes feels pretty solid, so you can expect them to last for over a year before it gives out. With a straightforward lace-up design and high-quality laces included, it only takes less than a minute to get that snug fit.
ECCO even designed the insoles to be as robust and flexible as they can be. Built based on the Comfort Fiber System, the insole will form to the shape of your feet and provide the comfort you need to walk all day.
The arch support these insoles offer is generous, but it may not be enough for those who seriously need more. So ECCO has made the insole system as versatile as possible, so you can add your personalized insole if you need more support.
The outsole features the same rubber that the brand uses to make many of its shoes. The rubber doesn’t just offer the traction you need to walk even on slippery surfaces; it also helps in absorbing shock in the event of an impact.
They’ve even added a padded leather lining to these shoes, giving you additional comfort that may be useful for standing all day. And to keep your feet cool and dry as you walk, ECCO added a circulation system to the shoes, whose work is to absorb as much moisture as possible.
7. New Balance Men’s Suede 928v3
From the look of things, there doesn’t seem to be a big difference between Suede 928v3 and the original model. But the tweaks are noticeable nonetheless.
In a way, these are improved walking shoes that can benefit men with flat feet. They’d even be good sneakers for plantar fasciitis, but they don’t offer adequate support to guarantee that kind of comfort.
The sole unit features a rubber outsole that provides better traction on different grounds. And it feels sturdy and thick enough to protect your feet from hard environments and sharp objects.
Thanks to the soft interior, with padding that’s good enough to handle frequent walks, this shoe gives you the comfort you need to walk for as long as you have to.
New Balance adds its proprietary rollbar technology to these sneakers to give you the right fit straight out of the box. With zero foot movement, due to a better grip, your feet will never rub against the fabric no matter how far you walk.
This model features a breathable mesh on the tongue, and there are ventilation holes on the forefoot that enhance airflow. Combined, you get a higher level of breathability, resulting in the model’s ability to keep your feet cool and dry. So you don’t have to worry about sweaty, stinky feet or blisters after your walk.
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Most Comfortable Walking Shoes for Flat Feet
Having flat feet sucks for real.
Whether you were born with it or you developed it over time, this condition can make it difficult for you to hit the ground running.
In fact, with the arch missing, it’s difficult to correct your posture and distribute your body weight to the balls and heels of your feet.
More often than not, flat feet puts more pressure on your hips and could damage your joints and ligaments. The result is a lot of pain that may be difficult to handle, especially if you have to walk for long hours.
The good news?
You can easily correct flat feet by wearing the right walking shoe. But it’s not as simple as picking any shoes from the shelf. It comes down to choosing footwear that can provide the stability and feet support that you truly deserve.
Remember, the goal for choosing shoes for flat feet is to have a support system that can reduce muscle strains, correct your posture, and help you walk naturally like the rest of us who have normal feet.
So the question is this:
How exactly do you choose the best walking shoes if you're a flat-footed walker?
Here’s a guide to point you in the right direction:
1. Arch Support
We’ve tested many walking shoes longer than we can even remember. And we can confidently tell you that not all of them have good arch support.
That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to the support a pair of shoes offer before spending your money on it.
For flat feet, go for shoes with extra padding in the midsole and enough cushioning for a high level of comfort when walking. The padding doesn’t have to feel super springy, but at least it should be firm and flexible to form to the shape of your feet and offer the comfort you need.
We don’t encourage entirely flat padding. Remember, you’re trying to correct your flat feet as much as possible. So make sure the padding also has a bit of a bump that imitates normal arches. This bump will go a long way to ensure your feet achieve a natural pattern that enables more consistent and painless walks.
If possible, pick sneakers or dress shoes that have deep heel cups because they play an important role in managing pronation.
2. Removable Insole
We don’t always like the original insoles that come with the walking shoes that we buy. Unfortunately, some insoles are either not removable or difficult to take out of the shoes.
So when choosing the best walking shoes for flat feet, you should consider a pair that allows you to remove the standard insoles and replace them with orthotics.
A study by Pain Science suggests that orthotic insoles are only suitable for high arched footwear, but there’s more to it. In fact, from what we know so far, these shoe inserts even go as far as correcting flat feet.
Orthotic inserts provide a false yet desirable raised arch to someone with flat feet. So they’re good to use if you want to trek for short or long hours without worrying about foot pain.
3. Foot’s Width
Another problem linked to flat feet is the width of the feet themselves. Some people have narrow feet. Some have wide flat feet.
As such, finding shoes that will fit straight out of the box and still offer you the kind of support that you deserve is the challenge here.
Depending on your feet’s width, we suggest that you spend time trying out different low arches walking shoes to find an appropriate width that will comfortably accommodate your feet.
Here’s the good thing:
Many shoe brands, from New Balance to Brooks, now design footwear of different widths. That means that if you’re someone with flat feet, it now takes less time to find a perfect pair that will fit you.
Just be careful to make sure that the shoes you choose fit you well. In other words, they shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. Instead, they should nicely form to your feet and feel comfortable enough for long and short distance walks.
Here’s the deal:
You want your walking shoes for flat feet to last for the longest time possible. A pair that can last for eight months and beyond is undeniably durable. However, we can all agree that as far as footwear is concerned, durability is relative.
In determining how long a pair of sneakers will last, you need to examine the quality of the build and think of the frequency of use.
Think of it like this:
If you’re using the same pair of sneakers to walk for an extended period daily, they’ll only last so long. It’s a different case if you only use the pair occasionally.
And even if the shoes you buy can handle long hours of walking and frequent use on flat feet just fine, they simply won’t last forever. Eventually, the insole and inner padding will wear out. You’ll need to replace the insoles first. Then if you notice that the shoes start to wear out, consider an upgrade.
At the end of the day, you want to go for shoes with robust outsole, high-quality insoles, and better padding. This way, you can use them for a long time before they give in.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I wear slip-on shoes if I have collapsed arches?
Yes, you can wear slip-on walking shoes if you have flat feet. Remember, though, that there aren’t any big differences between laceless sneakers and laced up ones.
So you still want to make sure that even the slip-on you choose offers the support you need to walk around comfortably.
2. How big should the toe box of these shoes be?
The toe box should be just about enough size to accommodate your feet. The key thing here is to make sure you get a natural wearing feel so you can walk like someone with normal arches.
So when choosing your sneakers or dress shoes, check to make sure the toe box isn’t too big or too small for your feet. After all, you don’t want your feet curling or your whole body struggling to push forward.
3. Are orthotic insoles helpful for flat feet?
Yes, orthopedic insoles can help a great deal in giving you the support you need to walk properly.
In a way, such insoles make your feet feel like they have an arch. That goes a long way to offer you the support you need to walk comfortably, no matter how bad your flat feet are.
4. Must these shoes be waterproof?
No, they don’t necessarily have to be waterproof, although it’s okay if they’re.
Besides, unless you live in an arctic environment where you must wear ice slip resistant shoes, we don’t think it’s mandatory to spend extra on waterproofed footwear.
Still, water-resistant footwear is great for getting by. So if you decide that it’s the best thing for you, go with it. Only make sure they can provide the support you need to handle fallen arches and correct overpronation.
5. How flexible should my walking sneakers be?
Flexible enough to allow easy, natural movement.
You see, it’s not just about supporting your arches so you can walk without hurting the sole of your feet. And it’s not also just about holding your feet firmly in place.
You also want to be able to move freely without straining or worrying about feet irritation. So make sure you test out the shoes before actually buying.
6. Should I care about aesthetic appeal, too?
You should care about style and fashion. But you need to pay more attention to comfort and support first.
In other words, performance first. Save fashion for later.