What Are the Best Shoes for Flat Feet?

Globally, around two in ten adults are living with pes planus, or flat feet. Generally, collapsed arches—as the condition is often called—have little to no effect on individual health and may even go entirely unnoticed.

For many, however, flat feet are a primary source of pain in the ankles, legs, and lower back—and they can even result in muscle spasms or trouble walking. Luckily for those dealing with such issues, solutions do exist. 

In this guide, we’re exploring the intricacies of flat feet to expose their root causes, the challenges this foot shape can present, and how to deal with them. Finally, we’ll answer the age-old question—“What are the best shoes for flat feet?”—once and for all. 


What Are the Root Causes of Flat Feet?

Pes planus is universal in our younger years, but, by the time most people become teenagers, they’ll have developed noticeable arches in the middle of their feet. Adults with flat feet either skipped this stage in development or, later in life, had their arches collapse. Some of the main reasons why feet can flatten out in adulthood include: 

  • Genetics – Genetics plays a major role in determining whether or not you’ll have collapsed arches as an adult. If one or both of your parents have flat feet, there’s a solid chance you may develop them as well.
  • Health – A variety of conditions—including arthritis and tendonitis—can exasperate the strain on your feet and cause your arches to flatten out over time.
  • Increase in body weight – Carrying additional body weight—whether during pregnancy or due to obesity—can result in collapsed arches.
  • Acute injuries – Injuries or aging of the tendons can also increase your chances of developing flat feet. 

Even if you have these or other risk factors for pes planus, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop the condition. Additionally, even if you do, there’s a solid chance that it won’t result in any further health complications.


The Varying Severities of Pes Planus

Some doctors estimate that only one in ten individuals with pes planus are symptomatic, meaning you could have it right now without even realizing it. Unfortunately, even if your pes planus presents asymptomatically now, the potential for eventual foot pain and strain tends to rise as we get older. This may have you wondering, “Well then, how do I know if I have flat feet?”

When flat feet do become an issue, some of the most common symptoms you’ll be forced to deal with include: 

  • Bodily pains – Generally, these aches will be relegated to the lower half of your body. They’re particularly prominent in the soles of your feet but can manifest in your ankles, lower legs, back, and other parts of your feet as well.
  • Trouble walking – Pes planus can cause acute discomfort that makes it difficult to walk normally. Oftentimes, flat-footed individuals will have to alter their gait or engage in less physical activity in order to accommodate their foot condition.
  • Swelling, inflammation, and deformities – When feet are flat on the bottom, they can balloon up in other spots. Routine swelling and inflammation are common symptoms of pes planus. Some instances may be so severe that the natural foot shape as a whole becomes deformed and misaligned, in which case corrective surgery may be necessary.

Pes planus can occur on your left, right, or both sides. There are also varying arch depths that can be considered fallen or collapsed, and your feet don’t necessarily need to be completely flat for you to have the condition. 

Luckily, surgery is rarely necessary to mitigate pes planus’s effects. Oftentimes, simply wearing the right shoe is enough to alleviate any foot pain stemming from flat feet.


What Shoes Are Good For Flat Feet?

While you may not be able to completely fix flat feet, there are ways you can alleviate any discomfort associated with this foot condition. Choosing walking shoes with arch support for flat feet comes down to finding footwear that relieves discomfort without making your condition worse. You can identify flat-foot-friendly footwear by searching for the following qualities.


Contoured Support 

Soft, contoured padding on the bottoms of shoes is essential for anyone seeking relief and wondering how to help flat feet long-term. A contoured sole helps to alleviate pressure on your plantar fascia (the ligaments connecting your heel to the front of your foot), while providing extra support. In turn, this can reduce the chances of developing plantar fasciitis or relieve its ongoing pain. 


Similarly, contoured soles help reduce the chances of shin splints and injuries stemming from overuse. Likewise, supportive contours ease the strain on your Achilles tendon and can prevent overpronation—the continual strain that irregular walking patterns put on your arches, causing them to flatten out even further as you age.


Proper Cushioning

With every step, energy is transferred downward into our soles, ankles, legs, and hips, causing potential damage over extended periods. Proper shoe cushioning absorbs this shock and passes less of it onto the rest of our body. Ideally, insoles should be flexible and soft—but not too flimsy—as thicker cushioning means less strain and extra support with each footfall. 


Heel Stability

A deep, relatively thick, and cupped heel is essential to keep the backs and bottoms of your feet in line. Heel stability is crucial for preventing overpronation, so don’t forget to check out the backside when shopping around for new footwear!


Proper Width and Size

Getting the right-sized shoes is important for anybody’s comfort, but it’s even more essential for people with fallen arches. Go too small, and you’ll experience squeezing and chafing. Pick a pair too large, and you’ll face alignment issues and increase your chances for overpronation.

Be sure to carefully measure your feet before investing in any pair of shoes. Remember, measuring the width is important as well! If you have naturally wide feet, choose a shoe model with a broad body and expansive toe cap. And, as much as you may like the style, avoid pointed or narrow-toed shoes, as they can lead to cramping, chafing, soreness, blisters, and even ingrown toenails. 


What Are The Best Shoes For Someone With Flat Feet? 

Now that you know what kinds of shoes can help with flat feet, you’ll surely want to experience the improvements for yourself.

If you’re in the market for supportive, comfortable, and stylish shoes that can alleviate your pes planus symptoms, here are our top four suggestions.


The Walk Max Lace Up Sneaker

The Walk Max Lace Up Sneaker is the ultimate walking shoe for individuals dealing with flat feet. With an ultralight, nitrogen-infused midsole and perforated heel, they’re so lightweight and airy that you’ll barely notice them strapped to your feet.

What you will notice, however, is the superior level of comfort our Vio Flex insole and Super Critical Foam provides. These walking shoes have carefully contoured support that does wonders to support the arches.


The Winny Sneaker

The Winny Sneaker is the fashion-forward choice for flat-footed individuals. Their sleek, skate-shoe-inspired design perfectly matches a wide variety of outfits—but it’s what’s underneath their surface that matters the most.

The Winny boasts Vio-Motion technology like our other walking shoes, which enhances stability, cushioning, flexibility, and arch support. Combine that with a durable leather upper and robust rubber outsole and you’ve got a stylish, supportive pair of shoes that can last you for years to come.


The Kearny Platform Lace Up Sneaker

The Kearny Platform Lace Up Sneaker is for the flat-footed individual who wants superlative support in a fashionable package. Designed for everyday use, the silhouette of this stability shoe features a lightweight, flexible, and shock-absorbing midsole that reduces the strain on your soles, ankles, and legs as you go about your day. 

Contoured arch support and deep, cupped heels keep your feet in the prime position to walk, wander, or work the hours away without developing pain or inflammation. 


The Orinda Flat

When it comes to flat shoes for women, the Orinda Square Toe Ballet Flat is an essential piece of footwear for dancers and professionals alike. 

Generally, flat feet and flat shoes don’t mix. But with the Orinda’s supportive, removable orthotic insole, they wear and feel more like a performance shoe while still retaining the same class and elegance as a ballet slipper.

The Orinda is available in three widths: narrow, medium, and wide. So, no matter your foot size or personal preference, you can find a model that supports your needs.


Support Your Feet in Voinic Footwear

If persistent pain or problems walking have you wondering “What are the best shoes for someone with flat feet?” we’re glad to have a solution for you.

In our eyes, far too many people walk around with flimsy footwear that exasperates their health conditions and leaves them aching and inflamed. Vionic is committed to providing the world with better shoes that address the concerns of flat feet and other podiatric issues. 

That’s why every piece of footwear we produce—from sandals to performance sneakers and even insoles for women’s shoes—comes complete with Vio-Motion technology to caress your arches, heels, and feet as a whole. Browse our collection at Vionic to find supremely supportive shoes to match anyone’s needs—flat feet or otherwise.




Cleveland Clinic. Flat Feet. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/

National Library of Medicine. Pes Planus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

National Library of Medicine. Prevalence of flatfoot in school between 3 and 10 years. Study of two different populations geographically and socially. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Columbia Broadcasting System. Flat Feet Are More Common Than You Might Think. https://www.cbsnews.com/

National Library of Medicine. Prevalence of Flexible Flat Foot in Adults: A Cross-sectional Study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Cleveland Clinic. Overpronation. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/

2 Responses to “ What Are the Best Shoes for Flat Feet? ”

  1. Thanks for the information. I have fallen arches and wear orthotic inserts. A friend recommended Vionics and I plan to visit Halperin’s in Rockville Center to get sneakers and sandals.

  2. Olivia Christina Wyatt

    I don’t have flat feet, I have high arches. My foot doctor recommended shoes with arch support for my feet. So I got 2 pairs. Very nice!

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