For the 20-30 percent of the world population with flat feet, it is a nightmare to walk in a pair of regular shoes. Because of the low arches, most of the tendons, ligaments, and bones in your foot are in full contact with the ground and the pressure exerted on you becomes greater.
Continued reliance on these regular shoes results in constant feet, knees, ankles, legs, and back pains. However, with the advancement of technology, newer shoes are being produced specifically for people with flat feet.
The best walking shoes for flat feet just like those for plantar fasciitis provide enough support for your arches, thus creating a stable and comfortable walking environment. After testing and researching on about 100 brands of comfortable walking shoes for flat feet, I have come up with a review of 10 of the best walking shoes for flat feet.
Also included in this buying guide are the features that define these great shoes, an explanation of some of the feet problems and how to recognize and treat them as well as an answer to some of the frequently asked questions about walking shoes for flat feet.
- 1 How to Choose the Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet
- 2 Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet Reviews 2021
- 2.1 1. Best for Style – New Balance Men’s MW877 Walking Shoe
- 2.2 2. Best Overall – Brooks Men’s Addiction Walker Black 9 EEE
- 2.3 3. Best Lace-Up – Rockport Men’s M7100 Milprowlkr
- 2.4 4. Best Overall for Men – Brooks Men’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes
- 2.5 5. Best for Movement Control – New Balance Men’s MW411v2 Walking Shoe
- 2.6 6. Best for Fitness Walking – TIOSEBON Women’s Athletic Walking Shoes
- 2.7 7. Best Budget – ALEADER Women’s Stylish Quick Drying Water Shoes
- 2.8 8. Best Slip-On – Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk Shoe
- 2.9 9. Best for the Money – Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 19
- 2.10 10. Best Overall for Women – Brooks Women’s Ghost 11
- 3 Types of Feet Deformations: How to Recognize? (How to Treat)
- 4 How to Recognize and Distinguish Between the Different Deformations
- 5 How to treat the Different Deformations
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions about Shoes for Flat Feet
- 7 Conclusion
How to Choose the Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet
1. Amount of Arch Support
How do you quantify how supportive or not supportive a pair of shoes are? I thought you may ask so. Well, for starters, what differentiates a normal shoe brand from one that’s specifically designed for people with flat feet is how supportive the shoes are to your arches.
You can tell a supportive shoe brand by checking the degree of lift provided by the footbed in the middle of the shoes. The higher the lift, the better just like in the case of a Maxi climber since the footbed/midsole relieves your feet of the pressure that will be exerted by your body.
In addition to supporting your low arches, heel support is no exception. Besides, the footbed and midsole have to carry out significant shock absorption duties, thereby aligning your arches in a stress-free, painless position.
2. Motion Stability at the Heels
Having flat feet means your feet always roll inward, thus causing overpronation. It is this rolling that causes the painful sensations at your ankles and knees. To solve this problem, the best walking shoes for flat feet have roll bars throughout the length to stabilize your heel area.
Also, flat-footed individuals require shoes with an array of shock absorbing system/features. Stability at the heels is key to preventing twisting your heels into awkward positions. Various manufacturers have different terminologies to refer to these heel stability control systems.
3. Outsole Material
This feature is mainly for your walking needs and has little to do with having flat feet. A stiff outsole is a great feature since it is responsible for the gripping ability of the shoes on loose grounds.
Naturally, rubber is the best material for an outsole if your preference is anti-slip properties rather than durability. On the other hand, synthetic souls last for long but are suspect at times in keeping you stable on wet ground. Plus, the rubber is natural and eco-friendly.
Some shoes go as far as incorporating a multi-layered design into the outsole design. Such a system combines soft materials for shock absorption and stiff materials for durability. Moreover, these shoes will be having reinforcement at susceptible pressure points around the shoe.
4. Sufficient Toe Box Space
Having your toes crammed up together in a tight confinement is a discomfort I wouldn’t wish on my enemies, especially when going for a long walk. As a consequence, toe box space has to be sufficient enough for your toes to wriggle freely, but not too wide for comfort.
Although it may look complex but finding a pair of shoes with the right toe box is quite easy. Keep away from shoes that narrow towards the top. Instead, those with rounded toe boxes often have the luxury of toe wriggle room.
5. Breathability is Key
A shoe brand that suppresses airflow within the shoes ultimately causes sweat accumulation. Alternatively, the longer you continue walking, the more the shoe temperature rises. A need then arises to cool down the internal shoe temperature without which it becomes unbearable.
Do not find yourself in this kind of situation. Consider shoes with meshed or vented uppers. The passage of air through these vents or any breathable material used maintains the hygienic levels of the shoes, preventing bacterial infections and smelly shoes.
6. Cushioned, Moisture Wicking Inner Sole and Footbed
The inner sole and footbed in your walking shoes of interest determine to a great extent their ability to suppress sore feet. Since having flat feet means most of your foot surface will always be in contact with the shoe footbed, most of the pressure should then be dampened by it.
Give precedence to memory foam, latex, or any other cozy material of choice. Better still, blow molding of the footbed introduces air pockets for better cushioning. Separately, the shoe lining should wick away most of the sweat in conjunction with better airflow.
Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet Reviews 2021
|New Balance Men's MW877 Walking Shoe||Suede/mesh||4.6|
|Brooks Men's Addiction Walker Black 9 EEE||Leather||4.6|
|Rockport Men's M7100 Milprowlkr||Leather||4.4|
|Brooks Men's Addiction Walker Walking Shoes||Leather||4.6|
|New Balance Men's MW411v2 Walking Shoe||Leather||4.5|
|TIOSEBON Women's Athletic Walking Shoes||Textile||4.7|
|ALEADER Women's Stylish Quick Drying Water Shoes||Textile||4.7|
|Skechers Performance Women's Go Walk Shoe||Textile||4.8|
|Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 19||Rubber sole||4.8|
|Brooks Women's Ghost 11||Rubber sole||4.7|
1. Best for Style – New Balance Men’s MW877 Walking Shoe
Designed for men, the New Balance MW877 with a suede finish is one of my favorite walking shoes for flat feet. If you have been keen on the New Balance line of footwear, then you must have interacted with the MW577. The 877 is a continuation of this particular model.
Apart from the great attention to detail that this shoe model has been given, it inherits most of the features found in the previous model. Some of these features include a cool athletic look and the iconic New Balance sole.
A meshed shoe upper enhances airflow in and out of the shoes for excellent breathability. You would be surprised at how even walking makes your feet sweaty for comfort. For someone with flat feet, an ABZORB midsole fits your needs for shock absorption from your low arches.
Another great feature is the well-padded footbed and in-shoe lining. These features combine to deliver the comfort your overpronating flat feet desire. Moreover, a rubber outsole adds to the shock absorbing properties. Despite being exceptionally comfortable, these shoes have reduced arch support in comparison with the previous versions. The synthetic construction discomforts some wearers.
- Walking strike technology stabilizes feet into a natural gait cycle
- Excellent air and moisture management inside the shoe
- Sturdy and resilient
- Comfortable, plush shoe lining
- Durable, traction efficient rubber outsole
- Looks stylish in a suede finish
- Great shoe flexibility
- Sufficient arch support
- Relatively costly
- Toe box a little narrow
- Some of the products are flimsy
2. Best Overall – Brooks Men’s Addiction Walker Black 9 EEE
The Brooks Addiction Walker Black 9 EEE rightfully earns a spot in my list of the best walking shoes for flat feet. With a range of features aimed at ensuring durability, comfort, and exceptional support for low arches, this shoe model is ideal for those looking for a pain-free walk.
The Black 9 EE comes loaded with support for low arches, hence correcting overpronation that’s often caused by low arches. A classic casual look adds a touch of a contemporary lifestyle wherever you are. Consequently, they make for a great every day and work pair of shoes.
For the construction, the shoe model employs supple, yet full-grain leather with a velvety nubuck upper. Such blending of materials results in comfort plus durability, features every wearer wishes for in a shoe.
An innovative MoGo insole compound provides a cushy feeling during return cycles of your foot. Likewise, an extended progressive diagonal rollbar lines the medial arch, aiding in the control of pronation.
For its impressive range of features, don’t expect to get this pair of shoes on the cheap end. You have to fork out some good money to buy them. But once you do, they should be worth every penny.
- Enhanced cushioning using an advanced HydroFlow technology
- Full-length cushy midsole
- Dual-density medial arch support
- Progressive pronation control
- Made from durable full-grain leather
- Convenient removable sock liner
- Great for contemporary and casual wear
- Balanced foot placement in the shoe
- Durable synthetic sole
- Synthetic sole generates less traction
- Tends to be narrow
3. Best Lace-Up – Rockport Men’s M7100 Milprowlkr
A range of foot stability control characteristics makes the Rockport Men’s M7100 Milprowlkr one of the best walking shoes for flat feet in my opinion. The outsoles are biomedically designed to support your feet in their natural positions as you walk about in your free time.
Inside the shoes are textile fabrics for provide a soft, lustrous in-shoe feel. Feeling good in your pair of shoes goes a long way in generating that long-lasting comfort. Your feet fit perfectly first-time into the shoes without having to break into them.
Shoes are extended over a wide variety, enabling you to find the right fit. Shoe size ranges from extra-wide, wide, and narrow sizes. A weight of 12 ounces enables you to breeze through your daily routines without them having to weigh you down.
Although the shoe model is originally meant to be a sports shoe with its classic textured appearance, it still doubles up as an outstanding walking shoe model for flat feet. Plus, a padded tongue, upper along with the collar maximizes on comfort.
In as much as the description says the shoes are available in different sizes, you might still find a narrow size than you expect. Also, the softness is a little way off.
- Classic textured leather appearance
- Foot-cradling cushioned insole
- Perfect fitting lace-up closure
- Padded collar, upper, and tongue
- Adaptable EVA footbed
- Durable construction
- Superior arch support
- Easy to get into
- Tends to be narrow
- Can be stiff at times
- Left and right foot shoes occasionally mismatch in terms of sizes
4. Best Overall for Men – Brooks Men’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes
It is impossible to beat the impressive features of the Brooks Men’s Addiction when it comes to controlling over-pronation caused by flat feet in men. In addition to walking, these shoes are also tailor-made for men who stand a lot either due to work requirements or lifestyles.
Specifically, the patented extended progressive diagonal rollbar (PDRB) is what makes it such a great asset to those with low arches. The pronation control starts from the rear foot through to the medial arch. As such, your foot stays in its natural position at all times.
Another feature that works alongside the PDRB is the MC Pod shoe configuration. This feature is engineered to maximize shoe flexibility while at the same time reducing instances of inward foot roll. Shoe outsole is constructed from silica compound for optimum traction and skid-resistance.
A pain-free walk is enabled by a HydroFlow reinforcement technology infused in the midsole to improve shock absorption properties of the midsole. Dynamic fluid units act as extra cushioning levels at the heel area for those with flat feet.
Features-wise, it is hard to beat this pair of shoes if I am being very fair to them. The problem is how bulky it is made, the impeded breathability, lousy laces, and short tongue.
- Comfortable and supportive for flat feet.
- Versatile for a wide range of shoe needs.
- Made from premium leather.
- Stylish casual design.
- Eases feet, leg, and back pain.
- A 12mm heel to toe drop ensures comfort for heel strikers.
- Environment-friendly midsole.
- Excellent skid resistance in either dry or wet conditions.
- Too bulky for some people.
- Poor breathability.
5. Best for Movement Control – New Balance Men’s MW411v2 Walking Shoe
Here is another great sneaker from the New Balance family of walking shoes for flat feet. If you have been feeling pain and experiencing arching arches after walking for some period of time, then you obviously need to change shoes as your current ones don’t make the cut anymore.
In order to alleviate all that pain, the New Balance MW411V2 would be a great option to consider. Obviously, as a shoe model meant to be worn by people with flat feet, it has an outsole made from rubber to impart movement control, especially on wet grounds.
Rubber is not always the most durable, but it compensates for this inefficiency with its excellent traction generation. With a breathable upper shoe mesh, it stays literally odor free, so long as you regularly keep it dry and clean.
A cozy fabric in-shoe lining keeps your feet feeling cozy and in great shape. It’s an added advantage in relieving and lessening feet pains. Besides tackling every terrain possible, a white finish gives the shoes a touch of class.
Whereas the high cost might be warranted, it locks out a host of customers with flat feet as it seems exorbitantly priced. Also, you have to size the shoes up by a half size since they run small with time.
- Outstanding shock absorption.
- Ideal for virtually any terrain.
- A cozy in-shoe feel.
- Cushy midsole.
- Narrow, fitting heel width.
- High instep for greater motion control.
- Appropriate walking path strike.
- Guarantees free airflow in and out of the shoe.
- Keeps out moisture.
- Not the most affordable around.
- Runs small after a while.
- Suspect durability.
6. Best for Fitness Walking – TIOSEBON Women’s Athletic Walking Shoes
Fitness walking for people with flat feet requires a whole new level of walking shoe design. For such a use, durability has to be top notch, breathability is key and at the same time, the shoe model has to offer sufficient support to your arches.
Although this shoe model may not meet all these criteria, it does put a good show for itself. First, its medium density outsole is slip resistant, balances between flexibility, and rigidity. As a result, you can better manage your fitness walking, no matter the path the fitness routine leads you to.
A classic pigskin insole adds to the cushioning and comforting features many users love about this shoe model. This latex insole insert dampens most of the shocks generated by the impact between the shoes and the ground during landing. Consequently, these forces aren’t conducted to the arches.
Thanks to a ComforDry sock line, inside the shoes stay dry, cool, and healthy regardless of how strenuous your walking is. With a highly breathable fabric upper, your foot breathes and cools efficiently. The fabric is both quick drying and offers fastness resistance to get you up and going in no time.
These shoes look great, except for a horrible smell when you open the package for the first time. Plus, the ankles and toes area feel a little light on support.
- Super comfortable.
- Made from environment-friendly, biodegradable materials.
- Dries fast after washing.
- Wash fastness.
- Delicate breathability.
- Soft shoe mouth does not grind on feet.
- Easy slip-on, thanks to the elastic top line.
- Arch supportive latex insert.
- Feels too light.
- Light support at the heels and toes.
- Horrible smell when first opened.
7. Best Budget – ALEADER Women’s Stylish Quick Drying Water Shoes
Although the ALEADER Women’s shoe is intended to be used as a water shoe, its low cost means people have devised innovative ways of using them on land. And true to its reputation in water, the shoe model works like a charm supportive walking shoe, more so on moist places.
This pair of shoes is available in about sixteen different colors for your liking. The vast variations may be confusing, but it is always a good thing to have options, right? Featuring a stylish woven upper, there is virtually free flow of air in and out of the shoes.
As water shoes, expect them to dry faster than your average shoes. They are on the cheap too, so that’s a bonus if you are on a budget. That too comes at a price. The support at the arches is a bit thin. So, they don’t do so well on terrains with stones.
Traction is great, considering their area of expertise. Despite the not so detailed cushioning levels, these still work well for people with flat feet who take a stroll along the beach or water amusement parks from time to time. Other than that, you are limited in terms of shoe versatility.
- Takes in lots of water.
- Dries super-fast.
- Great for walking around soft terrains.
- Runs true to size most of the time.
- Perfect for hiking on smooth terrains.
- Shock absorbent on concrete floors.
- Not for stony terrains.
- Too light.
- Grommets on the eyelets do rust from constant contact with water.
8. Best Slip-On – Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk Shoe
If there is one pair of shoes you ought to try then that must be the Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk. This pair is lightweight, comfortable, and sturdy. Over the years, Skechers has been one of the top brands when it comes to high-quality footwear. This pair is no exception from that tradition.
It features a high-end insole technology that serves the purpose of giving your foot the comfort it desires. The tapering midsole and Gaga Max insole tech incorporate a 5th Generation midsole to alleviate all the pain you may feel as your foot strikes the ground.
By having the midsole taper, more support is concentrated at the arch region, enabling you to walk for extended periods without any discomfort. The shoe lining utilizes the antibacterial properties of bamboo to eliminate foul odor. A user’s feet thus don’t get infected.
Perhaps one of the greatest features you can expect from this pair is the ability to expand, based on your foot size. It’s a design principle that eliminates constricted blood flow when worn. At times, the sizes are too small to comfortably slip on. But these cases are rare.
- Gives a cloudy feeling when worn.
- Easy to slip onto.
- Smooth fabric lining.
- Can be worn barefoot.
- Durable synthetic fabric upper.
- Attenuates the feet to generate a natural stride.
- Anti-microbial sock liner.
- Stays odour-free.
- Great flexibility.
- Versatile design.
- Toe box spaced just right.
- Can be too small in sizes.
- Foot hole small for those with wide feet.
- Has a rough feel at times.
9. Best for the Money – Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 19
The Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 19 has been a go-to walking shoe model for some time now among people willing to pay the high cost. First-time buyers may be turned away by the high price, but it does come packed with lots of cool features for those with flat feet.
For some time now, partly due to how supportive the shoes are at the arches, those who prefer walking to running are turning to them. Part of the reason is the rubber outsole that has admirable shock absorbency properties.
In addition to the rubber, the shoe model is designed such that it is streamlined for articulate shoe responsiveness during your every movement. The pair features a high-energy impact cushioning that’s specifically made to ease discomfort ensuing from your feet problem.
A supportive, yet breathable upper circulates air within the shoes hence keeping them dry and cool. The upper conforms to specific foot shapes and sizes, therefore, optimizing on the support. A saddle and lace-up closure system customize fit while remaining adjustable when need be.
- Gender neutral.
- Customizable fit with lace-up closure.
- Supportive at the archers.
- Available in numerous color options.
- Outstanding flexibility.
- Slip-resistant v-grooves.
- Adequate midfoot cradle.
- Easy to remove tri-density midsole.
- Doesn’t handle well strenuous walking.
- The toe box is small.
- Reduced quality in comparison with previous models.
10. Best Overall for Women – Brooks Women’s Ghost 11
The Brooks Women’s Ghost 11 is an all-rounder sneaker. Actually, it is one of the best walking shoes for flat feet. It is hard to get a combination of breathability, flexibility and cushioning in one model of shoes. Fortunately, the Ghost 11 has all the three.
Omega Flex Grooves warrants motion fluidity as it supports your feet. Walking shoes for flat feet work by having the feet move about in their neutral position as they should under normal circumstances.
Part of the reason why I feel this pair is the best for women with flat feet is how the shoe remains supportive. A soft blown rubber for the outsole is a good place to start. It remains fluid during heel to toes transitions, eliminating some of the pressure felt around the arch.
Traditional lace-up closure together with a plush tongue customizes the fit on every pair. Segmented Crashpad along the full length of the shoes accommodate a variant of landing positions, smoothing the transitions in a single motion.
- Plush tongue.
- Stretchy construction.
- High-energizing cushioning on road surfaces.
- Low to medium arch support.
- Soft fabric lining.
- Adequate outsole grip when landing.
- Flex grooves provide for a natural foot movement.
- Looks cool for weddings.
- Eases plantar fasciitis problems.
- Does not hold up to intense workouts.
- Outer fabric shreds with ease.
- Sizing could be way off on rare occasions.
Types of Feet Deformations: How to Recognize? (How to Treat)
Naturally, the foot rolls inwards with every step you make so that the generated shock is evenly distributed throughout the foot. As a result, you shouldn’t feel any pain as you walk. Now, there are instances where either the outward or inward motions exceed the other, a couple of feet deformations arise.
• Neutral Pronation
This is actually not a deformation since it refers to the natural position of an individual’s foot. It is by far the healthiest, and the one used to gauge the severity of the other two conditions. When in a neutral position, shock absorption of the arches is at optimum.
This deformation is common in people with low arches and flat feet. Overpronation refers to an inward roll of the foot, such that your body weight rests on the inner foot edges. By shifting the body weight towards the inner edges, your risks of injury increase considerably.
Mostly referred to as supination, is the converse of overpronation. Whereas in the previous case the rolling is inward, here it is outward. Underpronation, therefore, refers to a situation where your feet hit the ground rolling. Resultantly, less shock absorption occurs at the arches, causing sore ankles.
How to Recognize and Distinguish Between the Different Deformations
There are quite a number of ways to recognize someone/yourself if you are a neutral, over, or an under-pronator. Of late, there are several websites that analyze videos of you running on a treadmill and then gives you the results.
There are other tips that you can follow to analyze the video yourself. This video might be of great help.
Pro Tip: Sometimes, people with flat feet experience both sets of symptoms like those who overpronate or under pronate.
There is also an unorthodox method of looking at how the outsole of your shoes wears out. If the wearing occurs towards the inner edges, then you have low arches, thus an overpronator. Conversely, wearing out of the outer edges could signal an under-pronator.
How to treat the Different Deformations
Unless your foot condition is causing you pain and stressing you up, there isn’t any reason to seek for treatment. In the event of pains, doctors may suggest a plethora of management options and treatment procedures:
• Physical therapy to stretch and expand the arch tendons in readiness for intensive exercises. These physical therapy sessions are aimed at mitigating the symptoms.
• Stretching the Achilles tendons helps to lengthen the arches in people with flat feet.
• Wearing shoes with increased arch heights reduces painful sensations.
• Orthotic inserts are prescribed to offer additional arch support.
• Arthrodesis surgery to fuse foot and ankle bones.
• Excision surgery to remove spurs and bones causing the flat feet.
• Tendon transfer in athletes to the arch, essentially balancing the inward and outward rolling.
Frequently Asked Questions about Shoes for Flat Feet
Q: How does walking impact on flat feet?
A: As you walk with flat feet, an extension of the ankle joints rotates the upper parts of the legs inwards, resulting in pain on the knees, lower limbs, and hips. If the conditions persist, then you are more likely to develop tendonitis, back problems, and shin splints.
Q: Can flat feet be treated?
A: Through surgery, the condition can be rectified but at high medical costs, especially for athletes. However, a cheaper option would be to manage the symptoms through the use of orthotic braces.
Q: Can Running and Walking shoes be used interchangeably for flat feet?
A: Yes and No. These types of shoes are designed to bear different loads and adhere to separate conditions. Running shoes are sturdier than those meant for walking. As such, it is in rear cases that you find a sturdy walking shoe model to run or cross train in. However, running shoes can be used for walking.
So, there is my buying guide and reviews of 10 of the best walking shoes for flat feet. I believe I have made the right pass to you so that you can make an informed buying choice. I would advise that you consider the features I have listed when opting between several shoe options for walking.
Prioritize your needs, then evaluate the available alternatives to ensure the best buy to fit in your shoe descriptions. It’s tough to settle on a single shoe brand among the ten regarding which is the best. However, for our lovely ladies, my top pick for the best walking shoes for flat feet is the Brooks Women’s Ghost 11. It is supportive, affordable, and stays comfortable throughout the day.
And for our hardworking male friends, the Brooks Men’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes would be an excellent choice from a reputable producer. The shoe model is supportive for flat feet, well-cushioned insole, comfortable luxurious lining, and optimizes motion controls.