Best Shoes for Flat Feet – Guide & Reviews

Having flat feet is a postural deformity that plaques an estimated 20-30% of the general population. This condition is also known as ‘pes planus’ or fallen arches. In a person suffering from flat feet the arches of the foot are either completely absent or fallen. This condition can either be congenital or acquired. In layman’s terms, the sole of the feet completely and fully touches the ground when the person is standing. The arch of the foot sometimes never develop for some people either on one foot, which is the unilateral flat foot, or both the feet, bilaterally.

Although this might not seem much painful, and in fact, many people having flat feet do not complain of any acute pain like in other chronic conditions, it still affects the daily life as the arch of the foot and the biomechanical process of the lower leg are correlated in their functioning. The arch makes it possible to have a springy connection between the fore and hind part of the foot. By this association, the weight incurred during walking can be dispersed before it affects the long bone which is present in the leg and thigh.

Best Shoes for Flat Feet - Top Picks

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Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet Reviews

Women’s WW928 Health Walking Lace-Up Sneaker from New Balance

Editor's Rating:

New Balance continues to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to specialty shoes, their focus is on research and innovation and it shows in their motto, they don’t design products to fit an image but rather ones that fit.

The WW928 Health Walking Sneakers are extremely comfortable and good for long walks and other activities that require you to be on your feet for a long stretch of time. They offer a thick wedge heel which provides a comparatively more stable support as compared to everyday shoes.

The leather upper provides comfort and is touted as being ‘breathable’ and definitely adds to the overall look and feel of the shoe. N-Ergy midsole makes for superior cushioning and AbZorb Sps Foam makes for excellent shock absorbing and has been perfected over the years and is becoming better with each new model. The rubber sole provides better traction while walking and makes it an enjoyable experience.

It also boasts of a ROLLBAR support system that keeps your heels in place. In addition to the insoles that come with the shoes, there is room enough, in case, you want so that inserts can be added, in addition to the insoles, if need be. Additionally, there is an inner lining that is odor resisting and helps in the stinking foot syndrome as well. Overall these are among the best walking shoes for flat feet that you can get currently. Though it may seem like an expensive buy, think of it as an investment towards your health and well-being, and think of the probable medical bills and woes these shoes will help you avoid by training and treating your flat feet. This is definitely a must buy if you can dish out the money.

Saucony Women’s Grid Omni Walker Walking Shoe

Editor's Rating:

Saucony are definitely trendsetters and market leaders when it comes to running equipment and has many awards winning shoes to their credit such as the Kinvara, Triumph ISO, and Hurricane ISO. 

They are also the foremost innovators of running related technology such as ISOFIT, FORM2U, PWRTRAC, and proGrid. Their Omni Walker walking shoes are available both in leather and textile. The sole is of rubber and provides superior traction, and is designed asymmetrically to facilitate biomechanical fit.

​There is a visible rearfoot system that provides cushion support and stability. The outsole is their patented Walk Trac design that boasts of 3 times greater coefficient of friction as compared to normal carbon rubber. It also has their unique HRC Cushioning construction which is made up of the HRC Strobel Board which leads to greater cushioning and comfort while walking. The midsole uses molded Eva foam which is a lighter and higher abrasion alternative to rubber, this along with the mid-foot support bridge absorbs shock betters and makes way for a very comfortable walk, even in tougher terrain.

The XT-900 outsole offers higher traction and SRC (super Rebound compound) track zone in the heel absorbs shocks and minimizes the torque. It minimizes the heel strike stress and gives stability. This is a great buy not only because it is comparatively cheaper than other models in this segment, but also, because even at a low price, it is offering many features that are not available even in more expensive shoes. The insole design really helps people with fallen arches and positions them so that they are comfortable and corrective. The most apparent feature that you will notice immediately on wearing is its overall cushioning. Yes, it is everywhere and it is super comfortable. Try these for value for money as well as comfort.​

Brooks Women’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes

Editor's Rating:

Even though these are regular walking shoes, Brooks claims them to have the feel and fit of running shoes. They are definitely eye-catching, moderately priced and yet deliver good quality. 

They are great for support while walking for people who have fallen arches and greatly helps in keeping pronation in check. The good part is that these shoes are also available in half sizes and we all know what a blessing that is, more so when you take your additional inserts into account.

Look for a size that is perfect for you and never worry about the shoe being too tight or too loose, ever again. They come with MoGo midsole cushioning which is an award winning midsole technology that is capable of absorbing greater shocks and make for a more comfortable walk. On the medial side of the shoe is their signature, PDRB (Progressive Diagonal Roll Bar) triple density post that leads to greater control and stability while walking. There is also full grain leather upper for a soft feel and they are incredibly light and feel great. The midsole is made of S-257 cushy sole, for greater cushioning. The outsole is slip resistant and provides you with better friction.

Within the midsole are dynamic fluid units, HydroFlow technology that helps in absorbing shocks and provides better comfort. They provide unparalleled support to your fallen arches and use the technology of MC Pod Configuration to position the outsole and the insole in such a way so as to give you superior motion control. They are the most durable ones in the lot and can withstand lots of wear and tear and rough handling. Great value for money and should definitely be tried. They give great support to your fallen arches and are incredibly comfortable, so it’s a win-win case.

More about Flat Feet

There are two types of flat feet, ‘rigid’ flatfoot and ‘supple’’ flatfoot. In Rigid Flatfoot, the medial longitudinal arch or MLA is completely absent or nonfunctional, whether you are sitting or standing. In Supple Flatfoot, the MLA is present and functional while a person is either sitting down or standing up on their toes, but disappears when the person assumes a foot-flat stance. The supple flat foot can be cured using arches and supports.

A person who suffers from flat feet does not have, what is supposed to be a normal gait, or posture while walking. The movement of the foot while running or walking is known as ‘pronation’ and it is composed of three distinct motions of the foot, all occurring simultaneously during the pronation phase. In case of flat feet, a person tends to generally overpronate in his or her running form.

Professionals such as physical trainers and podiatrists are of the opinion that when a person with flat feet uses standard running shoes, it makes them prone to shin splits, back problems and tendonitis in the knee. Moreover, people with flat feet find it difficult to stand or walk uninterrupted for a long duration of time because of discomfort or pain that is a result of flat feet.

Treatment and Support for Flat Feet

Once you have flat feet, may it be from birth, hereditary or developed later as an adult due to excessive foot stress, it cannot be cured naturally without any intervention. It can be treated though, usually without any surgical intervention. Following are some of the non-surgical methods that are highly effective in treating flat feet. All of them involve providing additional support to the arches of the foot that corrects as well as supports the sole of the flat foot.

  • Wearing special supportive shoes that are specialized for flat feet- they are comfortable and have insoles that provide support to the arch and also stabilize the heel. There are a variety of shoes that are suitable both for work and sporting activity and with passing days there are newer models and variety available to choose from. Additionally, insoles can be included to provide additional support and arch to your feet.
  • Orthotics is another option. They are devices that can be worn on a daily basis. They provide support to the arches of the foot and divide the pressure along the whole area of the foot. They are customizable and can be altered from person to person to give the best possible result.
  • There are also available wraps or silicone inserts which can be used in ordinary shoes to add arch support. They also help in relieving the pain and helping you work without much discomfort throughout the day.

What Kind of Shoes to Look out for

The best shoes for flat feet will have good arch support as well as orthotic device inserts. When you are shopping for shoes for flat feet, there are a few things that you should keep in mind-

  • When you wear the shoe, try curling up your foot. If it bends near the midsection, then it is not the right shoes because your midsection needs support and that ought to be stiff. If only the toes curl, then it is good enough.
  • Trying to twist it around overall, in fact, is the more difficult it is to curl your foot around the better it would be because you need stiff support for your foot.
  • Finally, check out the heel. Is it comfortable for you to walk in? Does it add additional support to your foot or not?

Things to Keep in Mind while buying Shoes for Flat Feet

Here are a few more tips and tricks that should give you a better head start in your search for you ideal shoe.

  • You might not want to go for a stiffer shoe because it might seem uncomfortable, but in fact, it will be more supportive for your feet. And in this day and age, there are really no uncomfortable shoes when it comes to material and padding, you just need to find one that fits well.
  • Also be sure to measure your shoe size while standing because that will give you the best idea of the kind of support that your sole is getting. Buy your shoe according to the size of your larger feet (Yes! They are NOT exactly equal) and wear socks so that you choose the perfect size.
  • Wear a new shoe for a test run at home for a short duration before using it all day. This gives your foot time to adjust and respond to the new shoe and you would get a warning if the shoe is not right for your feet.
  • Also, instead of repeating one pair day after day, it is advisable to alternate between two pairs as it will give your feet a break.
  • One last bit of advice, researchers suggest that your feet swells up during the day, so it is better to go shoe shopping later in the day to get a better idea of what you need throughout the day. Hope this article helps you in making your flat feet into Happy Feet.

In a Nutshell

It is a bummer when you have to consider buying special shoes even for daily activities like walking and there is a slight constraint when it comes to ‘prettier’ options available to people with flat feet, but look at it this way, you can cure your shortcoming without having to go the surgical route, and as compared to the pain and the discomfort, not to mention the high probability of grave complications in future, it is better to be safe than sorry. Hopefully, you are a bit wiser regarding the condition and the cures, having read this article

  • Updated December 5, 2016
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