You’ll never truly know what it’s like to have flat feet unless you have them. The foot condition affects more than 20% of the world’s population, yet it’s rarely heard about commercially. In addition, having flat feet is something that can also develop later on in life. You can get adult-acquired flat foot, and if you’ve never dealt with it before, you probably just don’t know how. The pain and discomfort from having flat feet can surely drive a person to take drastic measures such as surgery to correct them, but you should never think that far ahead without considering your footwear options first. Having the right shoes for your flat feet will make a world of a difference, and we’ve come up with a buyer’s guide and a list of shoes to get you started.
What is it about flat feet?
When you have flat feet, you’ll notice that the arch in between your soles and heels are missing. There are mild cases of flat feet where you can still see a little bit of an arch, and there are the extreme cases when there’s absolutely no curvature at all. This can happen as a birth deformity or as mentioned above, it can also develop in adulthood. It can happen to one foot only or affect both feet. The importance of having arches on your feet falls far beyond aesthetics. Feet arches have a biomechanical function that plays a role in walking, standing, and weight bearing among others. While some flat feet do not cause issues or are considered medically asymptomatic, there are flat feet that can cause a person much pain and distress. Fortunately, simply wearing proper footwear designed to help with flat feet can alleviate the discomfort. While such shoes may not be overly advertised as good for flat feet, they do work in alleviating some of the pain associated with the condition.
Good arch support
What kind of shoes should you be looking for? The most important aspect of a shoe that you need to take into consideration when buying is arch support. All shoes provide some type of arch support, albeit in varying degrees. Even some high heels for women are made to support the arches a little bit, but there are tons of shoes bought and sold on a daily basis that offer no support whatsoever. If a shoe doesn’t have good arch support, your flat feet will naturally rest completely flat against the foot bed. Various tendons and ligaments in your feet and legs will then have to compromise for the postural deformity, adding unwanted pressure to other parts of the legs and body. If you have a collapsed arch, make sure you only wear shoes that give you ample arch support. You’ll find options out there as long as you look and know what to look for. As soon as you wear better shoes for your flat feet, you’ll notice how much of a difference it can actually make for your life and for your feet and legs.
What to look for
When you’re trying on shoes, it’s important to take a few things into consideration. You’ll want shoes that fit you just right, not too loose and not too tight. If a shoe fits too tight, you’ll risk developing bunions on your feet. If they’re too loose, you can risk injury. A solid fitting shoe will hug your feet just right, and your heels should just be touching the inside walls of your shoes. You’ll also want the heels to have firm support. This is very important as the heels bear a lot of the weight of your body and also the first impact from walking or running.
You’ll also need to find shoes that are durable and almost rigid. Most people tend to look for shoes that give a little when bent. This usually means that the shoes are comfortable for the feet. However if you have flat feet, you should be looking for the complete opposite. A flat foot doesn’t give you the proper stability you would otherwise get with arches. Having shoes that bend and twist as you walk on it will only cause you pain. You’ll want to have shoes that are rigid throughout, maybe except for the toes, to give you the stability you need when standing or walking.
Best shoe options
As far as daily wear is concerned, it might be best for you to avoid certain types of shoes if you have flat feet. High fashion shoes are typically a no-go, as that type focus more on how shoes look rather than how they can support your body. Running shoes are probably some of your best options. Tons of research goes into the development of running shoes. After all, they’re designed to accommodate for some of the hardest impacts you’ll put on your feet and legs in running. You’ll also find that there are running shoes designed for motion control and even added stability. Looking for these features when you shop for shoes will guide you in the right direction. Once you’ve found the right pair, you might still feel as if you’re not getting the right support. At this point, you’ll want to start looking into orthotic inserts. In some cases, a custom-made insert may be the solution to your flat feet problem. A specialist can design these specifically to fit each individual. This way, you’ll know you’re getting exactly what it is that you need, exactly the amount of arch support your feet lack, and also the amount of stability in the long run.
How often to change shoes
Even the best shoes begin to deteriorate with each use. You’ll want to make sure that your shoes are still supporting your feet, especially if you have flat feet. Typically, shoes are designed to last you 300 miles. This number may be higher or lower depending on the type of shoes and how you use them. The best way to determine if you need new shoes is to just pay attention to your shoes and your body. If they are starting to cause your feet, legs, and body even the slightest of pain, then it must be time to get some new ones.
BEST SHOES FOR MEN WITH FLAT FEET
This shoe utilizes a pump technology that will provide your feet tons of comfort. In addition, Reebok added some more cushion with a sock liner that gives you some extra arch support. In addition, the midsole is designed to give you the arch support you’ll need if you have flat feet. This ZPump is designed to allow you to walk or run in any terrain with its rubber soles. Overall, the shoe looks good and can be used other than for running. The breathable mesh material will also give your feet that refreshed feeling at the end of the day.
Saucony has done a great job designing this shoe with support in mind. They’ve made the shoe frame to be the perfect framing for flat feet. With its heel-locking technology and a power grid midsole, the Hurricane 15 is everything you’ll need for a daily shoe to wear. Since it’s also lightweight, you’ll be eliminating any other pressure that you might incur from wearing shoes that are just too heavy and bulky. Wearing these shoes will help you have a pain-free day from walking or standing on your flat feet. It’s a great option for men, but it might also work for women too.
This brand has been around for ages and for good reason also. They’re known to make some of the most comfortable shoes in the industry even against some of the bigger brand names. These lightweight shoes will give you all the support you’ll ever need. The rubber sole is designed to give you increased traction for more stability. Even with flat feet, you can use these shoes for high-impact running without having to worry about pain later on. The dual density foam in the shoes makes sure of this, as it provides your feet with support and comfort.
This fully synthetic Mizuno has taken advantage of man-made materials to achieve something great in the realm of support. The Wave Creation has an extra platform inch for added support. It also has flex grooves to take care of your forefoot and a completely neutral midsole to protect your mid feet section. It also uses a Smooth Ride fluid motion technology, which makes sure that your flat feet are getting ample amounts of support. The Infinity Wave design allows some flexibility in the shoes without having to compromise stability. All in all, these shoes will give your flat feet everything it may need, including a choice among 17 different colors.
When it comes to flat feet, the need for stability is paramount. Asics took care of this and made a shoe that will work for most flat feet. The Gel Lyte33 is made of synthetic and mesh materials. The SpEVA midsole combined with the rubber sole and a gel in the rear foot provides cushion and shock absorption that is typically pronounced when you have flat feet. This ultimately translates to no foot or leg pain. The shoe also works to correct and stabilize your gait with its guidance line flex groove. Asics’ F.A.S.T technology completes the shoe, with its foot-hugging and padding capabilities.
This next Asics takes simplicity to the next level. Considered as one of the best running shoes for flat feet, the SuperJ33 will fit your feet perfectly. The build quality of the shoes is what you would expect from the manufacturer. While these shoes may be designed with running in mind, they’ll also be perfect for just walking or regular daily wear. The Asics SuperJ33 utilizes gel technology to give your midfoot the arch support it needs to prevent pain and pressure. It’s definitely a great option for those who are looking for something reliable and durable.
Brooks is known to manufacture some of the best running shoes in the industry. Because of this, you’ll know that any walking shoes they manufacture will also be up to par. Just like other Brooks shoes, the Addiction walking shoes is made to provide support. The outsole is made with a slip-resistant material guaranteed for traction. It’ll also provide your flat feet with low arch support, enough to stabilize your stance, correct your posture and gait, and keep your feet and legs pain free. Brooks achieves all of these while providing a good-looking exterior design that can be worn on a daily basis.
Perhaps no comfortable shoes list will be complete without Nike. The big name company, makes some of the best shoes in the market. It’s no doubt that some of their shoes are wearable and work for flat feet. The Lunarglide 6 is durable and completely supportive. It works to correct the over pronation that is typical with flat feet. Nike has come up with a reliable shoe that’s also very stylish. You’ll never have to feel like you’re wearing shoes that are doctored up or made for comfort only. These Nike’s has all the bells and whistles and the arch support too.
These shoes are perfect for those who don’t care so much about aesthetics, but rather want to focus on the benefits. Vionics designed these shoes specifically to aid flat feet. The Orthaheel technology does just that, as it provides a contoured arch support, a deep heel cup, motion control capability, and stride realignment. Podiatrists and other foot specialists influenced the design of these shoes, so you know you’re getting the most appropriate footwear. These shoes will provide you with all the support you’ll ever need and the comfort that comes along with that.
For flat feet footwear that doesn’t involve having your feet covered constantly, Vionic has come up with sandals that will also give you the support you need. These Ryder sandals will allow your feet to breathe and are made to still give you support. Most sandals in the market have basic flat designs. The Ryder sandals have a contoured foot bed that helps to get you into proper posture and a neutral feet position. It’s made with triple-density EVA for even more comfort. This is a great option to have for those days when you just want to walk around with your toes free and pain free as well.
BEST FLAT FEET SHOES FOR WOMEN
Women have generally more options with footwear designs, but it doesn’t necessarily translate to comfort. With this FitFlop Mary Jane Flats, women can wear stylish shoes without having to worry about pain at the end of the day. Most flat shoes are considered detrimental for flat feet, but these ones are designed with flat feet in mind. The midsoles are made to take in the impact of daily wear, perfect for those with flat feet. It also has a little bit of a heel to give you a slight boost and a simple and classic design.
Adidas is famous for manufacturing shoes that provide essential comfort. After all, many professional athletes opt to use Adidas for performance. The Galaxy Elite are designed for women with active lifestyles. The Supercloud cushioning technology in the shoe makes this perfect for those with flat feet. You can run, go to the gym, or even hit the Zumba class with these shoes on and not have to worry about pain. It is made with the most durable materials for longevity and support. It also gives you flexibility without compromising stability.
These shoes are made specifically for flat feet. If you suffer from the discomfort and pain caused by having low or no arches, these shoes will give you the support you need. The Vionic Company works with podiatrists to design some of the best flat feet shoes in the industry. They utilize an Orthaheel technology that keeps your shoe snug around your feet. This provides stability like no other. The ample padding will also keep your feet from experiencing pain. These walking shoes will give you the daily support you need without breaking the bank for it.
Vionic has also come up with another option for walking shoes. This one has a more casual design and is perfect for everyday use. The contoured arch support gives your mid feet the lift it needs, which in turn fixes your posture and your gait. It even has shock-absorbing EVA midsoles for added support. The rubber outsole will give you motion control and just the traction you might need. Since the American Podiatric Medical Association approved these shoes, you know you’re getting something that can truly help your flat feet. It even has removable orthotic inserts if you wish to replace them with one that’s custom-made for your individualized needs.
Running Shoes If you’re a runner and have to contend and worry about your flat feet, you can worry no longer. These Asics running shoes offer plenty of comfort and support. The removable insoles will work great for your arch problem, but they can also be replaced with ones that will fit and contour your flat feet individually. These shoes even have wide feet options if needed. You’ll never have to worry so much about the pain associated with flat feet and running if you give these shoes a chance. You can finally take care of your flat feet without having to give up something that you love to do.
The running shoe brand has come up with shoes designed to give women with flat feet enough support with daily wear or even high-impact running. If you have low or no arches at all, the Ghost 8 running shoes will help you with your posture. It also has a segmented crash pad technology that absorbs the impact you might incur as you walk or run. This relieves any strain or pressure that might develop around your hind foot and midfoot. The removable insoles can be swapped for something more customized, but that’s completely up to you. These shoes can stand on their own, and give you all the comfort you’ll ever want in any shoe.
Nike is known to manufacture quality-made and durable shoes. That’s exactly what you want in shoes if you have flat feet. Nike’s long-running asymmetrical lacing system has helped reduce pressure from feet for decades now. In addition to this, they also utilize technology that provides ample cushioning and support for low or fallen arches. The best part about these shoes, though, is not just the support it needs but the capability it has to improve the strength of feet. Nike applies a diagonal cut technique in their shoes that encourages your gait and discourages over pronation that’s typical with flat feet. These shoes offer more than what’s necessary and will therefore give you more than you need.
For those who wish to have something else other than sneakers and running shoes as options, Birkenstock has amazing shoes to choose from. The Boston slip-ons are easy to put on and are some of the best casual shoes in the market. These Birkenstocks are comfortable and made with premium suede materials for a high-quality product. The adjustable buckle allows you to adjust your shoes so they fit just right. What works for flat feet with these clogs is the contoured cork foot bed. It gives you support by eliminating the added pressure to your feet. You can literally wear these shoes all day and not have to deal with pain you usually would.
Another Birkenstock option leaves your toes free and open. These stylish sandals will keep your feet comfortable while giving it the appropriate arch support. The foot bed is made with anatomically correct cork designs. The midsoles are made with EVA to absorb the shock from daily and regular wear. The shoes are lined with a Birko-Floor upper that gives a feeling of softness and the buckles are also adjustable to make sure they fit you properly. These are great casual shoes for days when you just feel like leaving your toes out in the open.
Clarks has been making shoes made with the finest materials for decades. The Haley Stork loafers offer everything Clark shoes have to offer and even more. When it comes to flat feet, these loafers provide excellent midfoot support with the removable Ortholite molded insole. You’ll never find a need with custom insoles with these in your shoes. These loafers are lightweight and equally stylish. They’re perfect to wear on a day out walking. You can be rest assured that your flat feet are being taken care of when you have these shoes on. They’re absolutely everything you’d expect from a Clarks.