WHAT ARE THE BEST SHOES FOR FLAT FEET?
If you have flat feet, you’re not alone. As many as 14% of adults in the U.S. have the condition, and it’s slightly more common among women than men.¹ Not sure how to tell if you have flat feet? Also known as “fallen arches,” the condition is characterized by arches touching the floor when you stand up straight.
Flat footedness can be hereditary, and although some babies are born with the condition, many people develop the flat arch later in life. Fallen arches can be an effect of aging, pregnancy, obesity, or diseases like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. In some cases, those with flat feet experience no symptoms, but for many, fallen arches are a cause of foot pain and discomfort.
As you may know, designated flat feet shoes can offer relief from pressure, inflammation, and pain. The right supportive shoe can also help prevent future discomfort and alignment issues. So, what are the best shoes for flat feet? The team at Vionic is here to answer this question and offer guidance on shopping for arch support shoes that can help fix flat feet pain.
What to Look For in Shoes for Flat Feet
Ultimately, the best shoes for flat feet will provide relief from foot pain or discomfort while helping you avoid future ailments. When browsing footwear, opt for styles with contoured support, adequate cushioning, and heel stability. Whether you’re looking for tennis shoes, flats, summer shoes, boots, or formal footwear, these features are crucial.
Shoes with built-in contouring along the bottom of the foot can be beneficial for people with fallen arches. By delivering extra support in the arch area, contoured footwear can minimize pressure in your plantar fascia (the ligaments connecting your heel to the front of your foot). In turn, you can prevent plantar fasciitis from developing or relieve heel pain if you already have the condition.
Those with a low arch also tend to be prone to shin splints. Contoured arches can reduce the occurrence of shin splints and prevent overuse injuries. This is especially vital for athletes or anyone who likes to walk for exercise.
Orthotic support can help with overpronation, too, by relieving pressure on your arches. It can alleviate stress on your Achilles tendon and prevent rolled ankles as well. Additionally, supportive shoes offer balance and promote good posture and alignment.
Another vital component of shoes for flat feet is cushioning. When your foot hits the ground as you walk, cushioned footbeds will absorb shock, prevent rubbing, and reduce stress in your ankles, legs, and hips. Overall, the insoles should be flexible and soft, but not too flimsy, as the goal is to reduce impact and promote shock absorption.
The third feature you’ll want to look for is heel stability. Ideally, the stability in your shoe should be designed with deep heel cups that firmly support the backs and bottoms of your feet. A firm, accommodating heel can help reduce and prevent overpronation, which happens when your foot rolls inward as you walk.
Proper Size and Width
While wearing the right shoe size and width is important for everyone, it’s particularly critical for people with fallen arches. Measure your feet to make sure the length aligns with the size you buy. Shoes that are too small can cause substantial foot problems like pain and discomfort, and shoes that are too large can lead to alignment issues and worsened overpronation.
Wide widths are ideal for many individuals with a flat foot, as the toe boxes offer plenty of room for your toes to spread out. Whether you opt for a wide or medium width, you might want to avoid styles with pointed or narrow toe boxes. The shape can be constricting for people with flat feet and can lead to cramping, strains, muscle soreness, blisters, ingrown toenails, and other uncomfortable foot problems.
What Shoes Are Good for Flat Feet?
The best shoes for flat feet are supportive sneakers, orthotic boots, contoured dress shoes or flats, house shoes, and arch support sandals. But don’t worry—orthotics and stylish shoes aren’t mutually exclusive. You can find fashionable options that check all the boxes. Find a breakdown of each type of arch support shoes below.
If you exercise regularly, work on your feet, live an active lifestyle, or just like the look of a tennis shoe, you’ll definitely want to have at least one pair of supportive sneakers in your closet. Opt for lightweight styles with contoured support and sturdy rubber outsoles, like the trainers from Vionic.²
Each of our podiatrist-designed active sneakers is engineered with Advanced Motion System technology. This means you’ll get supportive orthotic insole footbeds, cushioning, shock-absorbing soles, and breathable uppers with every pair.
A good pair of orthotic boots might be just the thing to get you through the fall and winter. Vionic carries fashionable booties for women and men in a variety of styles. We’re talking ankle booties, heeled boots, chukkas, sneaker booties, combat-style boots, western-inspired boots, and slip-on designs with twin-gore panels.
Like all footwear from Vionic, our boots have built-in Vio-Motion Support technology. This means orthotic arches, contouring, and heel stability are embedded into the soles without affecting the silhouette. When you slip into a pair of our orthotic boots, you’ll really feel a difference.
Contoured Dress Shoes or Flats
If having flat feet makes you feel like all formal footwear is off the table, you probably just haven’t found the right pair yet. Vionic carries a broad range of contoured dress shoes for men with innovative Orthaheel Technology. Our loafers, derby shoes, and driving moccasins offer orthotic support, deep heel cups, and stability to help with alignment, reduce overpronation, and alleviate pain and discomfort in the feet and heels.³
We also have women’s flats in medium and wide widths to accommodate those with flat feet. Many of our styles have a Seal of Acceptance from the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association), meaning they offer sufficient support and benefit foot health. When you browse our inventory, you’ll find ballet flats with feminine details, like bows, perforated designs, animal print, and quilted uppers, as well as neutral styles that’ll go with any outfit.
If you work from home (and even if you don’t), a good pair of house shoes can make a world of difference for fallen arches. It’s important to have support most hours of the day, even in your humble abode. At Vionic, we design our slippers with the same approach we use for the rest of our footwear. You can count on durable rubber outsoles, orthotic footbeds, deep heel cups, and unbeatable comfort.
What shoes should flat-footed people wear in the summer? Arch-support sandals are the way to go. Generally, flip-flops and sandals really lack in the support department, but that’s not the case with Vionic’s styles.
We carry thongs, slides, toe-post sandals, strappy sandals, and wedges in tons of fashion-forward designs. In a peer-reviewed study, our contoured sandals were shown to be just as effective at relieving heel pain as our top-selling orthotic inserts. Not only that, but they’re better at alleviating discomfort than standard flip-flip sandals.
Orthotic Shoes and Inserts for Flat Feet from Vionic
Vionic is your resource for the best shoes for flat feet. We have a broad range of classic, traditional, trendy, sporty, and just plain cool styles. When you shop our collections, we know you’ll find something you love.
In addition to supportive footwear with built-in cushion insole orthotics, Vionic proudly carries custom orthotic inserts for men and women. So, if you have shoes you love that hurt your feet, a pair of our insoles might be all you need to keep them in your rotation.
Try a pair of orthotic inserts or shoes with built-in arch support today!