By Rehan Iqbal
Nearly one-third of adults suffer from painful flat feet. This condition can interfere with your walking gait and may cause you to be hesitant about exercising or even walking enough to take care of daily tasks and chores. Luckily, properly made footwear that delivers support, cushioning, good traction and wiggle room for your toes can make a big difference in the amount of discomfort you experience with flat feet. In this article, I share my top nine picks in shoes that provide enough width, support, and stability for flat feet.
Top Footwear Brands for Flat Feet
Best Walking Sneakers for Flat Feet
Let’s start with some Skechers for women and men.
Skechers is a long-standing, award-winning global company that offers shoes, clothing and accessories for active men, women and children. There are many choices in their line of shoes, and most are made with Skechers Memory Foam insoles.
1. Skechers Women's Go Walk Arch Fit
Go Walk Arch Fit is an excellent choice in slip-on shoes for long walks. These light weight, machine washable, supportive shoes feature synthetic athletic mesh knit uppers, slip-resistant rubber soles, ULTRA GO cushioning and Skechers’ patented arch fit insole system.
This podiatrist certified arch support insole provides excellent weight dispersal and shock absorption. Comfort Pillar Technology provides even more support for flat feet.
Reviewers with flat feet and those with very high arches express satisfaction with the firm, consistent support offered by these shoes. Some reviewers say that the shoes run a half size large.
2. Skechers Men's Go Walk Arch Fit
Men's Gowalk Arch Fit is very similar to the women’s shoe with the added advantage of being available in an extra wide fit, as well as standard sizing. These cool, comfortable, lightweight slip-on shoes are appropriate for all sorts of sports and activities. They are attractive enough to wear for travel and casual occasions and are comfortable enough to wear as house slippers.
Reviewers are pleased with the effective arch support and the extra-wide toe box which is helpful in dealing with problems such as bunions and hammer toes. On-and-off ease is greatly appreciated by older reviewers. Some reviewers note that the shoes tend to be a bit squeaky when walking on hard, slick surfaces and say that they are not really supportive enough for walking on uneven surfaces.
Here are a couple of excellent choices from Saucony, which is another well-established company that has been creating top-quality footwear since 1898.
3. Saucony Omni Walker 3
Omni Walker 3 is a nice looking, well-made shoe featuring full-grain leather uppers and durable, non-slip rubber outsoles. The PWRRUN midsole provides excellent cushioning, along with a light, springy feel.
Many reviewers say that they have been wearing these walking shoes happily for many years and find them light, comfortable, supportive and durable. Some reviewers recommend replacing the standard shoelaces with a heavier duty version, and some recommend bypassing the lace loop on the tongue of the shoe for easier on-and-off.
4. Saucony Guide 16
Guide 16 is a top quality running shoe which also features PWRRUN foam midsole s, along with a non-slip synthetic rubber sole. These shoes are designed for both support and flexibility when running. The supportive insoles contour to your foot and cradle it with comfort and support. The sock-liner provides "pillowy comfort". These shoes are also designed for sustainability and contain some recycled materials and no animal-sourced materials.
Reviewers are pleased with the comfort these running shoes provide, especially in terms of the roomy toe box. Some reviewers say the shoes run a bit big, but others say that the size is just right, so trying these shoes on in a brick-and-mortar shoe store might be recommended.
Orthofeet is another good source of supportive shoes for flat feet. Their shoes are designed with superior cushioning and are made to benefit a wide variety of foot conditions, such as:
…all of which may accompany, be caused by or result from flat-footedness.
5. Orthofeet Edgewater
Reviewers love the fit and are appreciative of the extra insole kit that allows wearers to adjust the fit. Some reviewers say that the shoes are best worn as walking shoes on smooth or paved surfaces but not as trail shoes.
6. Orthofeet Coral
Coral is a women’s sneaker designed with tie-less laces for easy off-and-on. Like Edgewater, these shoes re designed with an extra-soft, seam-free lining to provide protection and comfort for even the most sensitive feet. An extra-wide toe-box and stretchy knitted upper give you plenty of wiggle room. The insoles have added cushioning in the heels and anatomic arch support.
Reviewers say that the shoes are very light and comfortable and they appreciate the extra insoles that allow perfect comfort adjustments. Wearers with bunions recommend the extra-wide options.
My final 3 recommendations come from Vionic, New Balance and Brooks
7. Vionic Walker
This good-looking walking shoe features a 100% water-resistant, full-grain leather upper and a non-slip rubber sole. The molded EVA midsole provides just the right elevation to facilitate a smooth heel-to-toe transition. These comfortable shoes provide built-in Orthaheel motion control with a deep heel cup and contoured arch support to realign your stride. The shoes’ liner consists of a foam base layer to reduce friction, a layer of polyester mesh to enhance breathability and wick away moisture and an anti-bacterial top cloth to reduce odor.
These durable, high stability walking shoes are ideal for very active folk and are also greatly appreciated by elderly reviewers who say that Vionic Walkers provide comfort, safety, security and confidence and are attractive enough to wear in any setting. Reviewers who have complex foot issues such as bunions, Plantar fasciitis and the like say that Vionic Walkers provide complete relief.
8. New Balance Fresh Foam X 860 V13
Women's Fresh Foam X is the new model of the very popular Fresh Foam 860v12. These shoes are designed to provide stability for serious runners. Like its predecessor, Fresh Foam X provides exceptionally supportive medial post and superior cushioning. The shoes feature a light, comfortable synthetic upper, springy, non-slip rubber soles and removable/replaceable textile insoles.
Although these shoes are designed for daily and long distance running, many reviewers are very pleased with them as daily walking shoes, hiking shoes and travel shoes. They say they deliver complete walking comfort right out of the box.
9. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 is another excellent running shoe that features superb cushioning, trusted "Guide Rails" support for good knee alignment and PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe certification. These podiatrist recommended shoes also hold the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance. Described as providing a "smooth ride", Adrenaline GTS 22 offers soft, balanced, DNA LOFT cushioning and a "Segmented Crash Pad" for easy heel-to-toe flow.
Although these shoes are especially designed for serious runners, many reviewers describe them as their "go-to shoes" and say that they are not only comfortable and high quality, they are also long lasting and stand up well to years of daily use. Runners state that they have clocked more than 600 miles of hard running in these shoes before seeing or feeling any signs of wear.
6 Steps To Choosing Walking Shoes for Flat Feet
So, there you have my top nine choices in walking shoes for flat feet. All of these shoes have the qualities of solid structure, roomy toe box, protective cushioning and excellent traction in common. These are the qualities you should always look for when shopping for the best walking shoes for flat feet. Keep these six steps in mind as you shop.
Remember That You Know Your Flat Feet Best
When you take care to choose from high quality brands, such as the ones I’ve described here, you should have little or no trouble finding just the right walking shoes to keep your flat feet safe, comfortable and secure. Refer to this list and the tips presented here to find the perfect fit, and remember that you can always make good use of inexpensive over the counter orthotics if you feel that the fit still needs just a little tweaking.