The 7 Best Men’s and Women’s Walking Shoes for Flat Feet (Our 2019 Review)
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An estimated 30% of Americans have the condition called pes planus, also known as fallen arches or more commonly flat feet.
This condition occurs when the whole sole of the foot partially or fully touches the ground when the person is standing.
Although having flat feet is not considered a serious medical condition, and some people who have flat feet do not experience any symptoms, there are some people who experience recurring pain and discomfort when they are on their feet for extended periods of time. It is something that non-flat-footed individuals would never quite understand.
For people with flat feet, even the simple activity of walking can be agonizing if they use the wrong type of footwear.
In this post, we’ve reviewed the seven best walking shoes for flat feet. We’ve categorized the highest performing footwear to meet the needs of men and women who have fallen arches.
Before we introduce you to the best brands in all of the categories, let’s first talk about why it is necessary to wear shoes that have the right kind of support for flat feet.
Don't have time to read the entire review?
If you're a busy person who doesn't have time to read this entire review, we've simplified everything. Here is a table that provides you with a quick rating of the best walking shoes for flat feet.
Why Do Flat Feet Need Special Shoes?
Flat feet need more support than arched feet. The arch of your foot improves and corrects your posture and distributes your body weight on the balls and heels of your feet, which keeps the stress on the areas of your foot that are meant to support it.
If you have flat feet, your weight is still being distributed through your foot when you walk, but more pressure is being put on your hips, which can lead to increased wear and tear on your joints and ligaments. Having a specially designed support system reduces the strain that is put on the ligaments and connective tissues of your foot.
People who have flat feet need added stability support, especially behind the heels and right under the arches. The best arch supports for flat feet have a deep heel cup, are able to control pronation, and are adjustable to help meet your individual needs.
Ideally, the shoes will have a rear foot posting to help reduce over-pronation. People with flat feet often find relief with shoes that are specially designed for their stability. These shoes have extra material in the midsoles and lots of cushioning to give you a tight but easy fit.
To help control motion, these shoes should have a stiff sole beneath the arch of the foot and be flexible at the forefoot. If a shoe bends near the middle, it is not going to have the support that flat feet need.
In fact, you should look for a shoe that is difficult to twist or move because these are the shoes that will give you the most arch support. In flat feet, the ankle tends to turn inward, so the best motion control walking shoes for flat feet are able to control this tendency to help prevent back and hip pain.
Additionally, if you have flat feet, you will want shoes that offer a lot of shock absorbency. To avoid injury, your feet have to be protected from the impact of walking or running by the right amount and type of cushioning. The heel counter at the back of a good shoe for flat feet will resist pressure when you push on it, and gently correct any movement of your foot when it tries to over-pronate.
Wearing shoes specifically designed for flat feet can help prevent or correct the condition in the following ways:
- Minimizes pain in the back and the legs
- Prevents wear of the knee cartilage
- Stopping the degeneration of internal organs
- Correcting posture
- Enhancing core mobility
Now that you know why it is important to look for a specific type of shoe if you have flat feet, let's discuss the specific features that you should look for in the most comfortable shoes flat feet can wear.
What Are the Pointers for Selecting the Best Shoes for Flat Feet?
You want your walking shoe to have a great arch support system.
The arch support area acts as a shock absorber while you're walking, which protects your feet, ankles, knees, back, and hips from the impact of your step.
Without a natural arch, people with flat feet don't have the natural impact absorption that other people have. Because of this, it is important to look for a shoe that has been designed to supply the necessary arch support that flat feet need, which will reduce or eliminate pain, correct over-pronation, and reduce the risk of injury.
The insole must be removable to make room for orthotics.
While you can remove the insoles from most shoes, you have to be sure that your shoes come with removable insoles so you can put in orthotics that meet your specific needs. Another important factor in this is identifying the depth of the shoe.
Some shoes are shallower than others. The more depth a shoe has, the deeper the orthotic can fit inside. This means that your foot won't end up being raised too high.
The shoe must grip the ankle firmly but gently.
This must be done in order to correct pronation and prevent falls. This is also an important part of the shoes being able to handle sudden directional changes without impacting your ankles.
There has to be sole flexibility so that movement is not constricted.
You want the shoe to firmly hold your foot, but you also need to be able to move around freely. The flexibility should lie primarily in the middle of the shoe.
What Other Features Should Be Considered When Choosing Shoes for Flat Feet?
The material should be of high quality and as waterproof as possible so that the shoe can be worn in all kinds of weather. You want high-quality shoes so they are durable and don't fall apart after just a few weeks of using them. This is also important to ensure that the material is strong enough to support your foot.
Having waterproof shoes is ideal so when you are wearing them in wet weather, as it won't ruin your shoes or get your feet wet. Getting your shoes wet can often become an expensive problem because you will likely have to replace the shoes. Therefore, it’s a better option to have shoes that repel water.
Breathability is essential to ensure that the feet have air circulation for added comfort while walking. Due to the fact that your body heat and moisture is usually higher inside of your shoes, it creates a differential pressure that forces the heat and humidity outward.
If the shoe's material is breathable, the hot and humid air that is being pushed out can be released from the shoes, creating a ventilation that keeps your feet comfortable and dry.
Another big factor in the comfort of your shoes is the size of the toe box. The toe box has to be wide enough to give your toes sufficient space so that they don’t feel squeezed or pinched. Shoes with a narrow or tapered toe box force your toes to be wedged and cause them to repetitively jam into the front of your shoe, which can lead to strain on your tendons and muscles.
As for the back of the shoes, it is important for there to be a supportive heel to keep your ankle from twisting and bending, as it tends to do in people with flat feet. You want your shoes to be able to firmly cup your heel to keep your ankle properly aligned.
The aesthetic appeal of the shoe is essential, too. You want to have a shoe that you feel confident in, and not something that looks orthotic. Some designs are too clunky or awkward. Choose a versatile design that goes well with most of your “looks” so you are comfortable wearing it on a regular basis.
With these features in mind, let's look at the best products on the market today.
The 7 Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet (Our Review for Both Men and Women)
Best for Women
These shoes come in white/silver and black, so you can pick which style suits you best. You will have a smooth walking transition while wearing these shoes because they have a Walk Trac patented design, and the asymmetrical sole gives you a more biomechanical fit.
This is the most comfortable shoe, due to its plush cushioning system. This is a solid update to a long-running series of Saucony stability shoes. The supportive mid-foot section reduces the user's tendency to over-pronate, and the cushioning system gives reliable responsiveness.
These shoes have a dynamically engineered mesh upper and tri-flex outsole that gives the user a lot of flexibility.
They come in a variety of colors, which makes them a fashionable athletic option. The removable sock liner gives the user excellent cushioning and absorbs shock.
Best for Men
These are the best shoes for stability both for walking and running on a variety of surfaces. They are also very lightweight. The soles of these shoes use an Everun top sole that gives the user a springy energy return.
These Saucony shoes are stable and have a perfect level of cushioning that is ideal for longer distance runs. The shoe offers a lot of stability as well as a lot of ground contact. The deep grooves dispense a good amount of flexibility in the forefoot of the shoe. The cushioning is distributed evenly between the heel and toe of the shoes, with an 8mm offset. This results in your body remaining in a more balanced and comfortable position with every step you take.
The upper part of this shoe has built-in zones of support and structure. They also have a dynamically engineered mesh upper and tri-flex outsole with improved forefoot flexibility.
These shoes are high in quality, and are 100% leather. The solid color and the thick heel are a sign of quality and comfort. These shoes were designed using the Rollbar posting system to increase motion control, while the heel and forefoot use ABZORB SBS cushioning.
They come with a removable insole that forms to the shape of your foot, and a moisture-absorbing circulation system to keep your feet cool.
The versatile polyurethane sole helps to absorb shock, and a padded leather lining offers great comfort, making these one of the best shoes for flat feet standing all day.
These are great shoes to wear from day to night, and will allow you to live in exceptional comfort.
These shoes offers a fabric lining and a removable sock liner, as well as HydroFlow® technology for exceptional midsole cushioning and shock absorption. The full-length MoGo midsole compound gives you a soft but stable cushiony feel that offers increased energy return.
Comes with a durable HPR Green™ outsole that is made of an environmentally friendly silica compound, and also gives you high-quality wet-dry traction for skid-resistance. These shoes offer the fit and feel of a running shoe, but have the style of a casual everyday walker.