The 14 Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet in 2018 & Beyond
The average person takes around ten thousand steps a day, more or less. That’s a lot of steps, and while it may be nothing for people who don’t suffer from foot conditions, 30% of the population have flat feet and find walking, and even just standing around for hours, painful.
Flat feet aren’t just hard to find shoes for (although that can be true). They are often the cause of foot soreness and pain that can end up affecting many areas of a person’s life. Thankfully, there are a lot of options for comfortable shoes for flat footed people, so we did the research and compiled a list of the best walking shoes for flat feet.
After looking at 14 options, we picked the Brooks Men's Addiction Walker Walking Shoe as the best walking shoe for men with flat feet, because of its gel cushioning and sturdy construction. For women, we have chosen the Orthofeet Women's Plantar Fasciitis Orthopedic Diabetic Walking Athletic Shoes as women’s best walking shoe for flat feet because of its specific design to relieve pressure and provide support, all with a low-profile, lightweight, and stylish shoe option.
Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet
Brooks Men's Addiction Walker Walking Shoes
New Balance Men's Mens 928v3 Walking Shoe Walking Shoe
Saucony Women's Grid Omni Walker-W
Leather and synthetic
Rockport Men's We are Rockin Chranson Walking Shoe
New Balance Men's MW877 Walking Shoe
Skechers Performance Women's Go Walk 4 Exceed Walking Shoe
Reebok Men's Work N Cushion Walking Shoe
Ryka Women's Devo Plus 2 Walking Shoe
Asics Men's GEL-Tech Walker Neo 4 Walking Shoe
Fabric and Synthetic
Orthofeet Pain Relief Comfortable Womens Walking Shoes
1. Brooks Men's Addiction Walker Walking Shoe
Brooks is one of the top names in the supportive shoe world, and their Men's Addiction Walker are some of the most loved of their models. They come in three leather or suede colors to match any outfit or uniform. Their outsoles are slip-resistant, and they feature many interior comfort additions like midsole cushioning and shock absorption.
These shoes come in a variety of widths, making them a great choice for those with flat arches. Some readers found that they had to play around with their insole or orthotic additions to make the shoes a perfect fit. They are marketed as having the comfort of a running shoe with the look of a casual, everyday walking shoe.
On the downside, the toe cage of these shoes is a bit shallow, so reviewers recommended sizing up a half size to account for that. This style may not appeal to all wearers—those looking for a shoe that offers both comfort and a bit of style will probably not be satisfied with this.
Overall, these look like a great shoe for those with flat feet, plantar fasciitis, or other foot conditions because of their various width sizes, great arch support, and sturdy construction.
2. New Balance Men's 928v3 Walking Shoe
This shoe is the third version of this very popular walking shoe that those with flat feet have worn for years. While the second version wasn’t as popular with the devoted wearers of the first version, the third version has corrected a lot of those issues.
These shoes come in four colors (three are leather and one white mesh), and a variety of widths, from normal to extra-extra-wide. They include ROLLBAR technology, which provides stability and motion control in the heel to reduce rear-foot movement.
There are many wearers who are huge fans of these shoes; they love the widths offered, the well-made construction, and the bits of style that New Balance threw in. Many ordered a size wider than normal, as they found that the widths tended to run small—not a problem, though, since they offer up to an xx-wide.
Other reviewers feel that these shoes and the previous version have never lived up to the now discontinued original version. Theirs have fallen apart after a few months of use, the laces cut into their ankles, or the toe cage was too shallow and uncomfortable.
Generally speaking, this pair of shoes definitely seems to be worth a try for those struggling with pain due to flat feet and needing a shoe that can handle walking and standing.
3. Saucony Women's Grid Omni Walker-W
For the ladies, Saucony has a sleek all-white, leather sneaker that comes in medium and wide widths, in a variety of sizes. The lace-up style guarantees a comfortable fit that won’t slip when walking, no matter how thick your feet are. The mesh tongue promotes breathability while the rubber sole offers great traction when walking on a variety of surfaces.
Reviewers had lots of great things to say about these shoes, with many claiming that they are the most comfortable and the only shoe they wear for foot pain caused by flat feet. The toe cage is roomy enough for big toe problems, but the heel has great support that reduces overpronation and heel pain. The shoes are highly compatible with thick insoles or orthotics depending on your needs.
One complaint about these shoes is that they aren’t that stylish; most of the wearers don’t seem to mind, though. Anyone who has experienced arch pain knows that a supportive shoe far outweighs a stylish one. Women who are on their feet all day for work will find these a great addition to their uniform that lets them focus on their job and not on their pain.
Looking at all these facts, these definitely seem like one of the best sneakers for flat feet. They are durable, supportive, and with wide toe cages.
4. Rockport Men's We are Rockin Chranson Walking Shoe
This stylish men’s shoe comes in black and brown leather, with matching laces and a variety of sizes from a medium width to extra-wide. They look like a bit of a cross between a light hiking boot and a comfortable walking shoe—something that could be used for sightseeing or for everyday life.
The rubber outsole gives traction where needed, the mesh lining gives breathability, and the latex footbed cushions and relieves fatigue. Reviewers had great things to say about their fit—many found that there was no need for a breaking-in period, as the shoes fit comfortably right from the first wear. They hold up well for many wearers in the office, walking, and even in rainy conditions.
On the negative side, many found that the laces would not stay tied and needed to be replaced. Some others experienced the shoe falling apart within a few months of use, although there are plenty of reviews that say they’ve lasted a long time under heavy use. One reviewer did recommend using a shoe horn to put them on, so as not to push down the heel support as much.
These shoes look very comfortable, stylish, and reasonably affordable, with a lot of reviewers claiming they are the most comfortable shoes they’ve ever worn for their foot problems. Rockport has a good reputation, and these shoes seem like a great choice if you want the comfort level of a walking shoe combined with a bit more of a business casual look.
5. New Balance Men's MW877
In the MW877, New Balance took the model of their popular 577 and replaced the leather with a stylish and sporty gray mesh. These shoes are lighter and cheaper, but with the same great support for walking.
The heel of these shoes sits a bit lower than the typical running shoe would, because during running, your foot is slightly elevated more towards your toes. For those who do serious walking, true walking shoes are a must. The rubber sole is great on wet terrain and the shoe contains the New Balance Walking Strike Path technology and midsole cushioning.
This shoe receives almost all great reviews from users who walk up to four miles a day, every day, in them. Many found that the spacious toe cage was a relief after trying a lot of shoes that left their toes cramped.
Some users complained that there didn’t seem to be as much arch support as they were expecting or needing, but this could be in part to the “walking” style of the shoe that has a bit of a lower heel. Additional insoles or orthotics could always be tried in addition to the shoe, to see if that makes them a perfect fit. Wearers also noted that like most New Balance shoes, these tend to run about a half size smaller.
Looking at the construction of these shoes and their reviews, it definitely seems like these are some of the best walking shoes for men with flat feet. The narrow heel provides great support, with a roomy toe cage and room for insoles or orthotics.
6. Skechers Performance Women's Go Walk 4 Exceed Walking Shoe
For ladies who want a little more style with their comfortable and supportive shoe, the Skechers Go Walk 4 Exceed walking shoe is a great choice. It comes in ten fun colors of mesh or knit material and a very small profile to wear in many different settings.
The shoe is lightweight, with midsole cushioning, a high rebound footbed, and bamboo-lined materials which helps keep the inside of the shoes clean and bacteria-free. This shoe is the fourth version of the Go Walk line, which has been popular with women in the workplace and at home for their comfort and support.
Many wearers have stated that this line of shoes is their favorite. They raved about the cushion and support it provides their foot, making them forget they are even wearing shoes while being on their feet all day.
However, a lot of people complained that these don’t compare to the earliest version of the Go Walk line, which was truly comfortable and held up to lots of wear. Many had problems with the support of these shoes giving out after just a few months. Others had trouble with sizing, and even the toe cages have two separate shapes.
While there are a lot of fans of the original Go Walk model, it seems like these may be worth passing over in favor of some of the higher quality and more supportive walking shoes available for women on the market today.
7. Reebok Men's Work N Cushion Walking Shoe
Reebok has long been known for their athletic shoe contributions, and with the Work N Cushion walking shoe, they combined their athletic construction with the support needed to make this a shoe that holds up to lots of standing and walking in the workplace.
These classic black and white leather shoes have a rubber slip- and oil-resistant sole, beveled heel construction, and forefoot groove flexibility for all-day comfort.
Many reviewers found these to be the perfect shoe for their workplace, especially those jobs that require lots of walking or standing during the day. Some did have trouble with the shoes holding up for a long period of time, while others didn’t feel like these offered as much arch support as other brands or Reebok models. They do allow room for insole or orthotic additions, which could help them be a better fit.
Compared to other shoes, these don’t seem to offer a lot of options that haven’t already been covered in more popular and proven shoes like some of the ones listed above. They could work for some, especially if you’re required to wear black or white shoes in your workplace.
8. Ryka Women's Devo Plus 2 Walking Shoe
The Devo Plus 2 walking shoe is a lightweight shoe that comes in two widths and eight fun color combinations. In spite of their light weight and low profile, they offer great heel support for those who do a lot of walking. If style is your concern, but you want something to support your feet and prevent foot pain, these will probably be the shoes for you.
Reviewers had lots of great things to say about them—many said they were the most comfortable sneakers they had ever worn, without being huge and bulky like others that offer the same support. Users found they had to order a half size larger than their normal shoe size.
Some claimed, though, that these shoes don’t have a great arch support, and due to the low profile of the shoe, they wouldn’t work well with additional inserts. Looking at the shoes overall, these do seem like a comfortable walking shoe for those who need extra support, but may not be a great fit for those with more severe issues from flat feet.
Also Read: The 7 Best Walking Shoes for Elderly in 2019
9. Asics Men's GEL-Tech Walker Neo 4 Walking Shoe
This shoe from Asics is a stylish, all-black walking shoe with an athletic look and all the comfort that comes from the gel cushioning. The rear and forefoot footbeds have the gel cushioning systems, while the midsole combines different Asics technology to provide great support for those struggling with flat-footedness or plantar fasciitis.
Reviewers had great things to say about these shoes, especially those who had struggled for years with foot pain but needed to do a lot of walking for exercise or work. They found that the gel cushioning really does provide cloud-like comfort and that these shoes hold up over the years and miles.
Some suggested sizing up a half size, even if you wear your normal size in Asics running shoes, as the walking style seems to require that. While not necessarily a shoe for those with narrow feet or regular arches, the Walker Neo 4s seem like a great choice for men who need support when walking due to injuries, flat feet, or other foot issues.
10. Orthofeet Proven Pain Relief Comfortable Walking Shoes
A newer name on the list, Orthofeet is specifically targeted for women dealing with flat feet and needing the support that orthotics can bring. It’s also a laced shoe with a Velcro enclosure, which is designed a bit differently than many of the other walking shoe recommendations.
This shoe carries all the necessities for a comfortable shoe for flat feet, from a premium orthotic insole included in the shoe (which lets you know that it contains the room needed for your own custom orthotic, if necessary), a wide toe box, foam padding in the interior lining, and the Ortho-Cushion system to relieve stress on joints and enhance stability.
Many customers who either worked long hours on their feet or had experienced severe foot and knee problems found that these shoes allowed them to start to do things pain-free after spending lots of money on finding the perfect shoe.
Other reviewers had trouble with the shoes holding up, and some didn’t like the outsole of the shoe, which doesn’t feature as many treads and traction as other athletic shoes.
These shoes definitely look the comfort shoe part, so they may not appeal to everyone. But overall, they seem worth a try for those who have been on the lookout for extremely comfortable walking shoes that are perfect for flat feet sufferers.
11. Vionic Men's Walker Classic Shoes
The Vionic men’s walking shoe is another classic leather style for men who need support but don’t entirely want the athletic shoe look. They come in four different styles and a variety of sizes and widths.
They feature a rubber outsole and a removable EVA footbed with built-in elevation for smooth walking. Many users claimed that these shoes weren’t only very comfortable, but they actually can start to let your feet and arches heal after many years of cheap shoes and lack of support.
The sizing seems to be a bit hard for some wearers to get but generally plan on going a half size or full size up from your usual shoe size. Some had trouble with the shoes holding up, but this was not true across the board.
Vionic is known for shoes that fit people with foot issues, so they are definitely worth a try! Not the most stylish choice, these would be a great fit for someone who needed a comfortable work or walking shoe and wasn’t too concerned about looks.
Also Read: The 10 Best Shoes for Teachers in 2018
12. Orthofeet Women's Plantar Fasciitis Walking Athletic Shoes
Another offering from Orthofeet, these walking shoes come in three fun and stylish looks, with knit material that is lightweight and comfortable to wear. They also include the premium orthotic insole to provide arch support and a cushioned heel pad. These shoes employ air pockets in the heel to relieve pressure and add some spring to your step.
Users found that the shoes fit true to size and were extremely comfortable, especially for those who have had toe issues, plantar fasciitis pain, or problems with flat feet. They loved the color choices too; these had a stylish appearance without sacrificing comfort and support.
This seems like one of the best walking shoes for flat feet in women because of its orthotic insert (and room for your own), its color choices and style, and the specific engineering to those struggling with foot pain caused by heel or arch issues.
13. Propet Women's Travelwalker II Shoe
Available in all the colors of the rainbow, the Propet Women’s Travelwalker II shoe is not just stylish, but also offers incredible foot support for those that need it. These shoes come in a variety of widths from medium to extra-wide.
The elastic lace-up is convenient for those who don’t want to be bothering with laces throughout the day, but still want the comfortable fit that laces offer. The lightweight mesh is breathable and is supported by a treaded rubber sole for various terrains. Reviewers shared that there was room for their insole inserts, as the shoe itself doesn’t have incredible arch support.
However, many users found the shoes not so durable, with the soles coming off within the first few months of wear. Their lightweight that makes them great for travel doesn’t outweigh the inconvenience of having to carry glue around to keep your shoes from falling apart.
These shoes are cute and look great for travel, but their durability leaves something to be desired. There are better options for those looking for a shoe that can give their flat feet the support they need with a little bit of style thrown in.
14. Reebok Men's Ultra V DMX Max Walking Shoe
Another offering from Reebox, the Ultra V DMX for men comes in three different colors with a variety of widths and sizes. They are made of synthetic materials with leather uppers, rubber soles, speedwick liner, and beveled heel construction.
Reviewers had lots of good things to say about these shoes, and the relief they found from foot conditions like plantar fasciitis and heel spurs while wearing them. They also liked the stability offered by the shoes and the wider sole.
However, some users felt this made the shoe clumsy or hard to walk in. It seems like these would be fine for those who are on their feet all day but maybe aren’t the best choice for those wanting to do some serious walking.
Reeboks really seem to work for some people, so they may be worth a try for you, but it seems like some of the Asics or New Balance models might be a better choice for the serious walker who needs arch support that can move along with them.
What is Flat Feet Called?
The medical term for flat feet is pes planus or fallen arches.
What Causes Flat Feet?
Everyone is born with flat feet, as the foot’s arch hasn’t developed yet. However, as some children grow, their feet never develop arches.
In some cases, arches can collapse because of years of pressure and wear on the tendon that runs along the inside of your ankle and provides support to your arch. Obesity, injury, and arthritis can also contribute to a collapsing arch and the pain that comes along with it. These factors can also cause additional pain to those with already flat feet.
What to Look for When Choosing Walking Shoes for Flat Feet
Many walking shoes feature a soft arch support, but this may not be enough for those with flat feet who are susceptible to overpronation and the pain that can go with it. The shoe’s arch support must be firm but cushioned; alternatively, you can add insoles or orthotic devices that can provide the support you need.
If your shoe doesn’t have great arch support, or you need more than it offers, an insole is a great addition to help your shoe go from good to great. An insole should have some flexibility and cushion to it, as it is acting in tandem with the tendons in your arch to keep your foot supported for maximum comfort. However, insoles that are too firm can also cause foot pain because they over-support a flat foot.
The toe box of the best walking shoes for flat feet should be wide enough to let the toes have room to breathe and bend comfortably. Smaller toe boxes can cause discomfort and bunions. On the other hand, the toe box shouldn’t also be so wide that the foot has room to shift in the shoe.
A heel counter is a necessity for those with flat feet—it’s a cup-like structure at the back of the heel that supports your heel and keeps your foot from being twisted or bent when walking.
There is a variety of materials available on shoes for flat feet, and the main consideration in these is their breathability. The best shoes for flat feet will provide all the support listed above, with plenty of breathable materials to keep moisture (and bacteria) at bay.
What is a Good Shoe for Flat Feet?
Walking or structured running shoes are some of the best shoes with arch support for flat feet. Their natural construction—built-in support, adjustable tightness with laces, and supportive heel counter—all make them a great choice.
A lot of sandals market themselves as a great choice for those with flat feet, but that’s not always the case. While many of these sandals do include stiff arch support, they lack some of the other supportive features like laces and heel counters that make walking or running shoes superior.
Q: What are the symptoms of flat feet?
A: The most obvious symptom of flat feet is that the arches of the foot collapse when standing. Inside the foot, this can cause pain in your arch, heel, or back from the tendons being overworked, overpronation when walking, and general soreness in the muscles of the foot that are overcompensating for the arch when the foot is in use.
Q: Why do I have flat feet?
A: Many people never develop arches during their childhood, when arch development typically happens. Others can experience collapsed arches during various stages of life due to the normal wear and tear on your foot, weight gain that puts extreme pressure on your feet, injuries, or arthritis.
Q: How can I reduce my flat feet?
A: Wearing supportive shoes, even around the house, is a great place to start. Stretching, massaging, icing, exercising, and even undergoing physical therapy can also be used to improve the foot’s strength.
Q: Is it bad to wear flat shoes?
A: Some people with normal arches or flat feet who don’t experience pain can get away with wearing any type of shoe, but those who are experiencing pain due to flat-footedness will need to wear shoes that offer arch support, or that can be added onto by insoles or orthotics.
Q: How can I cure my flat feet?
A: Flat feet cannot be cured, and surgery is never a solution for giving someone an arch. The best way to handle flat feet, especially if they are causing pain, is through supportive footwear, stretching, proper exercise, and physical therapy.
Q: What can I do to alleviate pain from flat feet?
A: Similar to question number 3, wearing supportive shoes, even at home, is one of the best ways to support your arch and relieve pressure and overwork that some of the other foot muscles are experiencing. Massaging and stretching are also helpful, and making sure that you’re not carrying a lot of extra body weight as it can place extra pressure on your already overworked arches and feet.
Q: Should I be worried about my toddler’s flat feet?
A: Babies and toddlers are born with flat feet, and the arch starts to develop in childhood for many people. Podiatrists actually recommend that children spend as much time as possible barefoot, but if shoes are necessary, consider to buy especially designed comfortable toddler shoes —as close to barefoot as possible.
Many children have flexible flat-footedness, where their arch is visible when sitting or on their tip-toes, but collapses when standing. This is normal, but if your child ever complains about foot pain, it never hurts to get them checked out by a doctor.
Q: Can I add to my current shoes to help my flat feet?
A: Depending on the structure of the shoe, there are various insoles and custom orthotics that can be added to shoes to provide the necessary support. Boots, running shoes, and walking shoes are some of the easiest types of shoes to add on to make them compatible with flat feet.
Arch pain is no fun, and unfortunately, for those with flat feet, there can seem to be no end in sight. However, there are lots of supportive and comfortable walking shoes for wide feet available on the market, and many of these shoes have been designed specifically for those struggling with the need for a cushioned but firm arch support that is still comfortable.
Don’t let flat feet get in the way of your active lifestyle. This guide can help narrow down the search process to find you the best shoes for your feet and get you back on your feet!