Flat feet are so common that they’re more prevalent than you may think. For instance, most babies are born with them, but it persists in nearly two out of ten children. Several more tend to develop it during their adult years.
Unfortunately, shoe manufacturers don’t pay enough attention to flat-feet sufferers and tend to infrequently produce quality offerings in this segment.
You don’t have to worry about this, though, as we’ve compiled a list of the best shoes for flat feet in 2020 to help you attain the best fit.
After completed our in-depth research, these are the best shoes for flat feet:
- Brooks Men’s Ghost 12 Running Shoe
- Keen Men’s Targhee II Hiking Shoe
- New Balance Women’s FuelCore Nergize V1 Sneaker
- ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoes
- Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX Lightweight & Durable Leather
- Dansko Women’s Jenna Flat
- Keen Utility Men’s PTC Dress Oxford
- Amazon Essentials Women’s Knit Ballet Flat
- STQ Women’s Running Shoes Breathable Air Cushion Sneakers
- DailyShoes Unisex Casual Slip-On Loafers
Everything You Need to Know About Flat Feet
Before we get into how you can pick the best flat feet shoes, it’s important to discuss the nature of flat feet and how you can identify if you need special shoes.
What Causes Flat Feet?
Babies are often born with flat feet, but it’s a perfectly normal condition at that age. This is because they have flexible bones and joints when they’re really young, causing their feet to flatten when they stand.
As they begin to age and stand normally, however, the arch begins to lift, and the curve appears at the base. One or two out of every 10 children don’t experience this particular change, leaving them with flat feet for the rest of their lives.
Even if you do beat flat feet at a young age, there’s a chance you’ll develop this condition again as an adult.
Causes of flat feet during adult years are:
- Gaining a substantial amount of weight in a short period.
- Having a fracture, muscle damage or a sudden rupture in your tendons.
- Engaging in high-impact activities continually. This includes jumping, walking and running.
- Wearing improper footwear for extended periods.
- Other health conditions, such as a stroke, cerebral palsy, rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes.
Flat Feet Symptoms
You can tell if you have flat feet if you begin to experience sudden pain and discomfort on one of your feet. This is usually accompanied by swelling in the section near the bottom of your feet.
If you don’t have a supportive arch on your foot, it can lead to uneven distribution of pressure on other parts of your limbs. This can lead to a shift in your posture or restrictions in your movements.
Even your tendons and ligaments are under serious threat if you don’t look into the condition immediately. It can eventually lead to problems in your hip and back, and it’s also likely that you can eventually develop into a form of arthritis.
Flat Feet Treatment
As flat feet is a fairly common condition, there are plenty of simple methods to fix it.
Choose one of the below based on the extent of your condition:
Resting Your Feet
Sometimes, your feet just need plenty of rest after a long day’s work. Taking a load off is an expression that’s probably designed for the individual with flat feet.
Compression With Ice to Decrease Pain and Swelling
Using ice as a compression tool to help reduce your pain and swelling is an age-old and highly effective method of dealing with flat feet. Once the swelling on your feet reduces, your feet will fit in your shoes much better.
This is a simple and highly effective method of dealing with the pain of flat feet. This isn’t a sustainable method in the long run, though, and is only meant to offer temporary respite.
Foot Gymnastics and Regular Stretching Exercises
This is one of the most effective methods of dealing with your flat feet long-term. Contact a physiotherapist and engage in regular exercises for flat feet.
Some of the most common exercises to help deal with flat feet are:
- Heel stretches: While resting your back against a wall, plant your feet firmly to the ground and stretch toward the floor, bending at the waist. Make sure to feel a stretch on your back and Achilles tendon while keeping your spine straight. Try and hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Tennis ball rolls: Roll a tennis or golf ball under your feet while sitting on a chair. Keep your spine straight as you do this, and take a break every couple of minutes.
- Arch lifts: Stand with your feet directly under your hips. Roll your weight to the outer edges of your feet and lift the arches as high as you can. Release the muscles after a few seconds and repeat this 10–15 times.
- Calf raises: While standing, lift one of your heels as high off the ground as you can without lifting the ball of your foot. Try and maintain this position, but if you can’t hold it for more than five seconds, use a chair or wall for support. Repeat this exercise 15–20 times, and do multiple sets each day.
Insoles or Custom Orthotics to Provide Arch Support
Insoles and orthotics are excellent options to improve your comfort levels daily and prevent any further damage. You can pick out quality products based on your budget and comfort requirements and try them to ascertain the perfect fit.
Picking Shoes for Flat Feet
Purchasing New Shoes or Supporting Old Ones
If you just have a minor case of flat feet or if your condition is quite mild, you may not need to pick up a special pair of shoes. Instead, go for a pair of comfortable shoes that offer plenty of arch support and a firm heel.
There are plenty of options that fit the bill here, but it’s always recommended that you try on these shoes before making a choice. Although sizes tend to largely remain the same, how they fit your feet will be wildly different.
If you already have a pair of quality shoes and don’t want to invest in a brand new set, you can always pick up a pair of arch support insoles.
A quality set here will only cost you a fraction of a new pair of shoes, but you can use them multiple times across various shoes. In any case, always consult with a doctor before you decide on the appropriate course of action.
Orthopedic Shoes Are Great but Stiff
Individuals with an extreme case of flat feet are often asked to pick up high-end orthopedic shoes that have steel shanks and hard-heel counters. These contain features, such as:
- Heel-locking mechanisms.
- Stiff heel counters.
- Built-in orthotic insoles.
- Padded collars.
There is, however, a downside to these shoes for those who aren’t used to orthopedic models—the soles’ firmness can be challenging to get used to, and most people find them very difficult to wear regularly.
Even the style and design employed in these shoes are lackluster, which puts people off using them as long-term options.
Stability Running Shoes Are a Win
When a person is flat-footed, they often turn their ankles inward during their natural walking and running strides. This leads to a large amount of weight disproportionately distributed across the knees, feet and ankles, causing injuries over time.
Thankfully, running shoes are available that feature a stability control design to help control unnecessary pronation and provide ample cushioning for the feet. They also include lightweight and breathable materials, which are sympathetic to those with hammertoes and bunions.
This makes running shoes one of the best choices for those dealing with mild or moderately flat feet. You can also use arch support on these shoes to further help the condition based on a doctor’s recommendation.
Motion-Control Running Shoes Can Be Handy
If you’re dealing with extreme pronation, you can always use shoes that come with motion control features to improve the support and stability around your feet. They usually feature a dual-density foam placed under the medial side of your foot’s arch, which helps keep your ankle straight when you’re in motion.
This system works well for individuals with a severe condition of flat feet, but the design dimensions can be quite restrictive and difficult to adjust to. This is why it’s important to test out motion-control running shoes before you make the purchase.
Shoes Trump Sandals
You’ll find numerous versions of sandals that come with arch support, which doctors highly recommend.
However, the truth of the matter remains that sandals can’t provide the arch support necessary to help those with flat feet. This is because the basic elements needed to keep your feet comfortable and supported are missing in sandals. For instance, there’s no support for your heels or any laces to hold the design together with conviction.
If you prefer wearing sandals to shoes, make sure to limit the time you spend walking around in them as they’re not the best shoes flat feet.
Reviews of the Top 10 Best Shoes for Flat Feet
The Brooks Men’s Ghost 12 is one of the most popular shoes for flat feet best shoes and is certainly one of our favorite choices, making it our top pick for this category.
It’s one of the best options for a pair of sneakers that you can remain active in throughout the day. This is primarily due to the lightweight design, which helps you stay light on your feet without compromising on necessary support and cushioning.
In fact, a neutral support structure is available for high-energizing cushioning, making it ideal for high-intensity activities such as running or cross-training.
A BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft cushioning mechanism helps you attain the right levels of softness under your feet without compromising the durability and responsiveness of the material.
The stability is further accentuated by a segmented crash pad that helps absorb any stray shocks from improper foot placement. This design helps protect your entire foot and maintain a smooth stride across the day.
Even the fit of this model is perfect thanks to the use of an engineered mesh and a 3D-fit print technique. This allows you to attain the perfect levels of comfort, time and time again.
- Wide range of colors.
- Lightweight design.
- Neutral support for energized cushioning.
- BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft used for ideal comfort.
- Segmented crash pads help absorb shocks.
- Customers have complained about the lack of durability compared to the Ghost 11 pair.
If you’re looking for a quality pair of hiking boots for flat feet, this Keen pair is worth looking into.
It’s a 100% waterproof model made out of nubuck leather and has a rubber sole. This makes it a highly durable product that’s built to last—ideal for a hiking pair of boots.
The waterproofing consists of a breathable membrane around the exterior of the shoe, allowing vapor to exit the shoe without allowing any fluid to flow back in. You can hence you this product when hiking through the monsoon season or in marshy terrains.
Thanks to the Keen all-terrain rubber sole, you can tackle the challenges provided by most environments as the high-traction grip provides the necessary support and stability. You can easily take on muddy terrain to rocky surfaces thanks to this outstanding model.
As you hike through difficult terrains, you’ll notice that your feet are well-supported and comfortable. This is due to the external stability shank reducing the boots’ weight while improving mobility and torsion control on uneven surfaces.
Additionally, a cushioned collar around the ankles helps reduce irritation during long hikes and keeps the entire foot comfortable. This combines well with the mesh lining to keep your feet cool during warmer weather.
To help you find the best fit, the internal support mechanism has a design to maximize your arch support and cradle around the original shape of your feet.
Note that as this shoe tends to run half a size smaller, it’s recommended that you opt for a larger size than normal.
- Breathable waterproof membrane lets vapor out and doesn’t let water in.
- All-terrain traction grip provided by rubber sole.
- External stability shanks keep the shoes lightweight and stable.
- Internal support mechanism provides great arch support.
- Cushioned collar around ankle maximizes comfort.
- Waterproofing isn’t known to be effective against snow.
This is an activewear selection for women that allows you to stay on your feet for extended periods without stressing your flat feet. It has a slip-on silhouette design that offers a clean and stylish finish to the entire look, allowing you to wear these shoes in casual and semi-casual outfits.
It also features the New Balance signature REVlite cushioning system that helps provide ample support to the midsoles and prevents discomfort while engaging in physical activities.
The overall weight of this model is also extremely low, and the ultra-lightweight does not weigh you down as you engage in your daily activities.
A responsive cushioning system allows the shoes to absorb any changes in weight and pressure across the soles, preventing undue shocks from affecting your feet.
- Easy on, easy off sneakers.
- The Athleisure look makes it versatile to use on a variety of outfits.
- Ultra-lightweight design.
- Responsive cushioning absorbs shocks.
- Customers have had an issue with the thickness of the sole.
These are a quality pair of synthetic shoes with a rubber sole that feature plenty of important elements, making it one of those shoes best for flat feet.
One of the primary features is the ASICS’ Impact Guidance System Technology, and this is available to enhance your natural gait. It’s effective from the moment your heel strikes the ground to when your toe lifts off.
The manufacturers have also gone with a FlyteFoam Midsole Technology that reduces the shoe’s weight, offering additional support to your feet’s structure.
You’ll also find that the midsole uses a fluid ride system, which offers an excellent combination of bounce-back cushioning and maximizes durability. This makes it one of the best pairs when you intend to be active for extended lengths.
- Synthetic shoes with a great lifespan.
- Tough rubber soles.
- Impact guidance system technology improves the foot’s natural gait.
- Flytefoam midsole technology keeps the weight low.
- Fluid ride system offers great bounce-back in cushioning.
- There have been some complaints about shoe color fading quickly.
The Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 is another great hiking shoe, especially if you’re looking for a model with higher ankle support. In particular, it’s made using Nubuck leather and textile and features a high-traction contra-grip sole that helps maximize your stability while hiking.
This excellent material usage is further enhanced through the long-lasting split suede leather and nylon mesh uppers on the exterior for durability and breathability.
You’ll also find removable ortholite footbeds inside the shoe, which help absorb shocks when in motion. Note that you can also change the footbeds to maintain the shoes’ integrity.
Salomon has created a Sensifit system for this pair that includes a design using years of research based on trail runners. It’s designed to wrap around the midcourt area to maximize comfort for extended use.
- Made using Nubuck leather for increased durability.
- Sole has a high-traction conta-grip.
- Nylon mesh uppers maximize breathability.
- Antimicrobial treatment deters odors.
- Sensifit system perfectly wraps around the midcourt area.
- Lack of a tongue guard.
This Dansko Jenna Flat is a decent option for flat-footed women on the go all day—they’re also comfortable and stylish!
They’re made using 100% leather and have a synthetic sole and a heel that measures roughly 1.5 inches. While the leather exterior is tough and durable, the interior has a soft, textile lining to increase your comfort levels. These design and dimensional features allow for round-the-clock use without discomfort.
Also, an injected Eva outsole is offered by Dansko to help absorb any shocks while you walk. Even the integrated insole, along with the tuckboard and shank, is available to improve the overall stability and support from these shoes.
- Made using 100% leather that increases shoe durability.
- Injected Eva outsole helps absorb shocks.
- Integrated insole with tuckboard and shank improves stability.
- Soft textile linings allow for all-day comfort.
- Ankle-strap design reduces the shoe’s flexibility.
This men’s Keen pair is a utility buy as you can wear it to the office or industrial sites. It’s made out of 100% leather and has a synthetic sole to improve durability and stability.
Keen has narrowed in on the safety element and provided a patented toe protection design, making it perfect as a pair of office-ready safety shoes. This helps wrap the outsoles over the toes to greatly improve the feet’s protection. Note that this is in line with the CSA Z195-09 Grade 1 standards for protection.
Further safety elements include a special grip that’s oil and slip-resistant, meeting the ASTM F1677-96 MARK II and ASTM F2913 SATRA non-slip testing standards.
Apart from this pair’s safety elements, Keen has focused on ensuring it’s designed for flat feet. To do this, it’s included a blend of recycled PU, cork and memory foam to take shape around the contours of your feet and adjust to your movements.
- Best shoe for office and industrial wear.
- Made using 100% leather and a synthetic sole.
- Includes Keen’s patented toe protection.
- Special grip for oil and slip-resistant outsoles.
- Cushion blend to adjust around your contours.
- Tread wears down fairly quickly.
This is a popular pair of Amazon daily shoes that you can purchase in a wide range of color options. It’s also a 100% synthetic model with a rubber sole for heightened grip.
The exterior design of this model is that of a classic and versatile ballet flat. It’s also easy to slip into and has a superior fit system to increase your comfort levels.
The soft, faux leather upper comes with an elasticized topline to contort around the size of your feet, while the faux suede microfiber lining helps improve comfort and breathability.
This is one of the best shoe for flat feet options that you can wear day in and day out, and it features a reasonable price tag as well—perfect if you fancy more than one pair of differing colors.
- Easy to wear and fits well.
- Designed after the classic ballet flat.
- Casual silhouette with a round toe shape and a flattering profile.
- Soft, faux leather upper has an elasticized topline to improve fitting.
- Microfiber lining increases comfort and breathability.
- Customers have indicated that these shoes scuff easily.
This is a quality pair of women’s running shoes designed by STQ and comes in multiple colors, such as purple, rose and white.
This is a lightweight and flexible model with air-cushioning and a rubber sole to help you stay light on your feet during your runs. This combines well with the removable sock liner to improve your comfort levels, and you can always swap out the liner for an orthotics sole.
We like the inclusion of a mesh and synthetic upper, which helps you with a snug and comfy fit. The knit tennis fabric used in this section greatly improves the comfort and breathability.
You can use this shoe for a wide range of physical activities, such as cycling, jogging, playing sports and engaging in adventure sports, all without putting your flat feet through any type of discomfort.
- Air-cushioning and rubber sole helps keep the model lightweight and responsive.
- Best for low-mileage, neutral runners who don’t over-pronate.
- Includes a removable sock liner.
- Mesh and synthetic upper offers a great fit.
- Knit tennis fabric used for heightened breathability.
- The heel box can be a bit big, according to some customers.
This DailyShoes pair is a high-quality unisex option designed for casual everyday use. You can purchase this model in a wide range of color options, such as clay argil, mauve and python.
These shoes comprise a synthetic material for increased durability and come with a rubber sole for an increased grip.
The design also features a breathable perforation that’s best when you need to use close-toed shoes during summer seasons. It helps improve the ventilation and maintains your comfort levels across the day.
Note that there aren’t any buckles or straps with this design, so slipping into this pair is a breeze.
- Breathable perforation is best for summer months.
- Easy to wear.
- Best for daily usage.
- Wide range of color options.
- Mediocre support.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Barefoot Shoes Good for Flat Feet?
Yes, barefoot shoes can be good for flat feet, but it’s usually recommended for individuals with a minor condition and not for those with severe flat feet.
How to Lace Running Shoes for Flat Feet
You can lace running shoe for flat feet the following way:
- Start from the first eyelets at the bottom before making your way to the top.
- Cross the laces over each other and then move up to the next layer.
- At the third set of eyelets, don’t cross the laces.
- Continue to cross over when you’re at the fourth set.
- Do this till you’re at the last set.
- Leave the last eyelets unlaced.
Are Vionic Shoes Good for Your Flat Feet?
Yes, Vionic shoes are good for flat feet. But, as they’re a type of sandals, it isn’t recommended that you use them for extended periods.
Are Birkenstocks Good for Flat Feet?
No, Birkenstocks aren’t good for flat feet. These are a type of sandal used for everyday wear, walking or going to a beach. Unfortunately, the arched support design is often too rigid for individuals with flat feet.
What Shoes Are Best for Flat Feet?
Shoes that offer good arch and heel support, have a wide fit, keep your feet firmly in place and have flexible, removable insoles or orthopedic inserts are best for flat feet.
Flat and Furious
Dealing with flat feet can be challenging, and a vast number of people globally are currently dealing with this condition, so don’t feel like you’re alone.
Picking the right footwear could be the difference between improving your condition or exasperating it over time. To help you, we’ve done the hard work and picked out the best models to turn your feet from flat to fit over time.
We’d appreciate any feedback regarding these models, and also let us know if you’ve tried shoes that have worked wonders for you.