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Your feet take the brunt of your weight all day long. Therefore, an issue with them can be detrimental to your overall health and mobility. Flat feet, specifically, can lead to a host of problems, including discomfort along the inside arch of the foot, ankle pain, knee pain, lower back pain and generalized foot fatigue.
“Flat feet are when the entire foot is touching the ground,” explains pedorthist Michael Fishkin of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. “Flat feet are apparent when you get out of a pool and have no space under the foot where the arch should be, creating a pancake-style imprint on the ground.”
To help determine whether or not you may have flat feet, check your footprint the next time you step out of the shower. Is there a gap in your wet footprint where the arch doesn’t touch the ground? Or is your footprint one complete oval? The latter indicates flat feet, with the entire bottom of the foot making contact with the floor.
It’s imperative that people suffering from flat feet get themselves into the best shoes to support their feet and up their comfort levels as much as possible.
What to look for in the best shoes for flat feet
“Wider-lasted shoes are the best option, which means they shouldn’t have an hourglass shape on the bottom,” Fishkin says. “Instead, they should have a straight-across design underfoot.”
A wider-lasted shoe will feature a regular heel area, but more space around the forefoot and ball of the foot than a typical shoe. Wider shoes help cradle the foot and avoid painful pinching, chafing and rubbing for people with flat feet.
Additionally, Fishkin suggest styles with enhanced stability and motion control features for patients with flat feet. These foot types tend to overpronate (meaning their feet roll inward as they walk), so choosing a stability shoe designed to curb overprontation can help kill two birds with one stone.
Asics Gel Kayano 27 Shoes
Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet
One of the best walking shoes for men and a great option for women, the Asics Gel Kayano 27 sneakers come in tons of colors as well as regular, wide and extra-wide widths. The fan-favorite sneaker has earned hundreds of four and five star reviews on Nordstrom’s website.
Brooks Men’s Beast 20 Shoes
Best Shoes for Wide, Flat Feet
The Brooks Beast 20 is podiatrist-recommended for wide, flat feet. Designed for ultimate comfort and cushioning, these sneakers have support, too, thanks to their “Guide Rails,” which create foot-to-knee stability. There’s lots of room in the toe box, but the sneaker also comes in three widths to accommodate most feet. Fishkin specifically recommends the Brooks Beast 20 for people suffering from flat feet and who can’t tolerate much arch support.
New Balance 1540v3 Shoes
Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet
Fishkin calls the New Balance 1540v3 some of the top running shoes for flat feet. They’re designed for severe overpronation, providing both maximum stability and cushioning. This podiatrist-approved pick comes in five widths — narrow, medium, wide, x-wide, and xx-wide — to accommodate flat feet.
Nike Metcon 7 Training Shoes
Best Crossfit Shoes for Flat Feet
Experts say you can run, jump, lift and climb in Nike’s Metcon 7 training shoes, which are perfect for Crossfit. Notice that these don’t have an hourglass shape; instead they run straight from the toe to the heel, making them a good fit for flat feet. React foam makes these cushioned and comfortable. They’re also built to encourage proper lifting form, with Nike dubbing them the “gold standard” in lifting shoes.
Saucony Ride ISO 2 Shoes
Best Shoes for Flat Feet & Standing All Day In
Our lives can be super demanding, particularly in jobs that keeps us on our feet for hours. These Saucony Ride ISO 2 sneakers are some of the best shoes for standing all day. Continuous cushioning molds to your feet and helps distribute weight evenly, while a structured build promotes proper foot alignment. Highly recommended by podiatrists, these shoes are a safe bet for flat feet.
Clarks Malwood Plain Oxford Shoes
Best Dress Shoes for Flat Feet
The Clarks Malwood plain oxford rivals any of the most comfortable dress shoes for men with its sleek and versatile leather lace-up design. It comes with a super plush insole, so you don’t have to sacrifice comfort at formal events (many reviewers attest to this).
Vionic Zinah Platform Slip-On Sneakers
Best Orthopedic Shoes for Flat Feet
Orthopedic shoes for women weren’t always stylish, but today they are. The Vionic Zinah platform sneaker comes in a smattering of neutral and bright colors to complement any outfit. The mix of leather, nubuck and exotic trim adds interesting texture to an otherwise simple slip-on women’s sneaker. These also boast three zone comfort that supports healthy alignment, relieving extra pressure from flat feet, overpronation and plantar fasciitis.
Altra Escalante Shoes
Best Workout Shoes for Flat Feet
Fans of Altra’s Escalante sneakers call them some of the top workout shoes on the market. While these highly-rated sneakers are considered neutral running shoes, they’re flat feet-friendly thanks to their roomy toe box that allows toes to splay naturally for the utmost comfort. The knit upper is lightweight and breathable.
Hoka Men’s Speedgoat 4 Sneakers
Best Trail Running Shoes for Flat Feet
Great trail running shoes require traction, stability and comfort. The Hoka Men’s Speedgoat 4 offers all of this and a wide forefoot for flat feet. The upper mesh keeps air circulating during a run, while overlays create extra midfoot support and security on tough terrain. The outsole is extra grippy for wet or dry conditions.
Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoes
Best Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet
When looking for the most comfortable hiking boots, one of the most important factors is comfort. Hour upon hour of trekking can offer beautiful views but also experiences or blisters, injury and pain, depending on your footwear. The Merrell Moab 2 waterproof hiking shoes come in sizes for wide, flat feet, so your toes will be protected without being pinched or crowded. They offer all the technical specs one could want in a hiking shoe, like excellent traction and supreme sturdiness.
Dr. Comfort Classic Men’s Dress Shoes
Best Work Shoes for Flat Feet
High-shine, hand-burnished leather makes Dr. Comfort’s Classic Men’s Dress Shoe look anything but orthopedic. The wide toe box is extra protective, while the footbed can be removed to accommodate custom orthotics. These shoes are also built for durability, so they should hold up in the office for years to come.
Babolat Women’s Jet Mach 3 All Court Tennis Shoes
Best Tennis Shoes for Flat Feet
If you’re searching for women’s tennis shoes that can support flat feet, look no further than The Babolat’s Jet Mach 3. The style features a special heel rocker and ultra-responsive sole to enable quick movements, plus shock-absorbing cushioning from heel to toe so you can focus on your game and not on any foot pain. The style also comes in men’s sizes and is a stellar option for any guy with flat feet, too.
Klogs Women’s Naples Shoes
Best Shoes for Nurses with Flat Feet
Medical professionals know that 12-hour shifts with hardly a chance to sit are part of the job description. It’s essential for nurses to care for their feet so they can care for others. These Klogs Naples Shoes are some of the top nursing shoes for women, plus they’re excellent for flat feet. The roomy fit and toe box allow flat feet the room they need to be comfortable. These can easily be wiped down after a day at the hospital.
Under Armour Project Rock 4 Training Shoes
Best Athletic Shoes for Flat Feet
Under Armour’s Project Rock 4 training shoes feature high energy-returning foam in the midsole that makes them some of the best cross training shoes for women and a solid choice for men. The lightweight sock-like upper offers give where you need it. A midfoot strap creates extra support for any kind of workout.
Keen Utility Men’s Work Boots
Best Safety Shoes for Flat Feet
Keen’s Utility Men’s Work Boot comes in a regular or wide fit. The roomy toe box gives your digits adequate space while the toe cap protects in construction sites and other tough environments. The boot is waterproof, so you can show up for any project rain or shine.
Altra Rivera Sneakers
Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet and Overpronation
Known as some of the best walking shoes and best workout shoes for anyone, these Altra Rivera sneakers are roomy and properly cradle flat feet with the brand’s patented FootShape design. They also feature excellent arch support to help curb overpronation.
TRUE Linkswear Men’s True OG Feel Golf Shoes
Best Golf Shoes for Flat Feet
True Linkswear’s True OG Feel golf shoes for men promise to get you as close to the course as possible so you can be one with the ball. They have a breathable, sock-like knit upper and a flexible outsole for that “on-course” feel. A zero drop construction is perfect for low arches. This particular pair is excellent for flat feet because of its spacious toe box that can accommodate up to a triple-extra-wide foot.
Kuru Footwear Stride Sneakers
Best Running Shoes for Narrow, Flat Feet
The cool thing about Kuru Footwear is that it designs shoes by ailment. The Kuru Footwear Stride women’s slip-on sneaker is designed to support narrow, flat feet with its patented outsole that absorbs shock impact and slimmer toe box. Meanwhile, strategically-placed stretch zones are also meant to provide a wearable fit for bunions and hammertoes. These are highly-rated and have a large following.
Nike Air Max Impact 2 Shoes
Best Basketball Shoes for Flat Feet
Nike’s Air Max Impact 2 are excellent basketball shoes for both men and women with flat feet. The molded heel piece creates stability and support as you move around the court. The wide, boxy fit allows flat feet the room they need, and a lot of cushioning equals extra comfort.
Sole Bliss Isabelle Cherry Suede Shoes
Best High Heels for Flat Feet
The Sole Bliss Isabelle Heel is crafted in an extra-wide fit for women with flat feet. The low heel offers lift without totally throwing you off your balance. Complete with triple-layer cushioning, a spacious toe box and a bunion-friendly stretch panel, these promise to be the most comfortable high heels you’ve ever worn.