If you enjoy hiking or walking at any level then you need to find the right shoes for your feet. It’s not just a case of picking the best-known manufacturer, or the ones that look good. In fact, even the ones that feel comfortable may not be the best for you.
It all depends on what type of foot you have.
You may not realize it but as many as 30% of the people in the world have flat feet, and for every one of these people, standard walking shoes are not the right answer.
What Are Flat feet?
Flat feet is the general term for when someone’s arch has fallen. On the inner side of your feet, you’ll note that there is a gently curving arch. It should remain arched at all times, but, if flattens when you stand on it and returns when you lift your foot up it is known as flexible flat foot.
You can also have rigid flatfoot when there is no discernable arch regardless of the position of your foot.
It’s worth noting that flexible flatfoot is normal in young children as the arch doesn’t form until between the ages of 7-10. In fact, some adults have flexible flat foot simply because their bodies are so flexible.
But, if you develop flexible flat foot later in life it is likely to be caused by joint disease, a nerve issue, or rheumatoid arthritis.
In contrast, rigid flatfoot is a result of a problem that has affected the foot. This could be a congenital defect, a fusing of the foot bones, or the result of a dislocated talus bone thanks to a high impact sports injury or an accident.
The condition can’t be treated or prevented, which is why you need the best walking shoes for flat feet.
So let’s take a look at them!
10 Best Walking Shoes For Flat Feet 2019
This is available for men and women and it actually has the APMA seal of acceptance, confirming that professionals recommend these walking shoes for people with flat feet.
It has an active motion system that ensures good arch support and a reasonable level of shock absorption.
You can even get an EVA midsole to help ensure your foot straights straight, encouraging proper foot positioning and loading.
- Designed specifically for flat feet
- Recognized by health professionals
- Incorporates active motion system for maximum comfort and support
- Made from breathable leather
- The inner lining removes moisture from your foot
- Extremely comfortable
- It takes a while to break in and get really comfortable
- Only good for dry weather, you’ll need a second pair of walking shoes if you hike all year
This is another walking shoe that is available in men’s and women’s styles. In fact, it is currently one of the most popular options in the US!
The main reason for this is that they look like conventional trainers, this may not make them the best choice for a long hike but they won’t let you down on your average hike or being worn day-to-day. The fact that they look good is more than just a pleasant bonus.
In fact, Brooks started off making comfortable shoes for women to wear to work when this first became acceptable. Now they have incorporated a number of impressive innovations to ensure these will give you great arch support and even help to prevent overpronation.
Once you factor in the good shock-absorbing system you’ll be able to see why these are such a popular choice.
- Excellent slip-resistant sole
- First-class arch support
- Midsole system that increases stability as you walk
- Durable & breathable leather
- Cushioning inside to maximize comfort and minimize shock to your bones and ligaments
- It has to be said that although they look okay, they are not the best looking walking shoe on the market
- Some customers have reported the shoe feeling heavy
- The price tag is on the high side
If you’re looking for quality at an affordable price then you’re in the right place, New Balance has created a reputation for delivering just that.
It’s also useful that you can pick these shoes up virtually anywhere.
Again, there are men’s and women’s versions of these shoes.
This is actually the third generation of this shoe and it has an innovative absorption technique in the midsole which flat-footed people; will find especially beneficial. Combining this with good shock absorption means that you’ll feel comfortable in any walking conditions.
There’s also roll-bar technology incorporated which can help to prevent your foot rolling as you walk, otherwise known as overpronation.
- Arch support is excellent
- Helpful for overpronators and flatfooted people, even better if you’re both
- Stylish, making them a very popular choice as you’re bound to find one style you like
- Good price, most New Balance products are
- Toe box may feel a little snug which could restrict movement
- It takes a long time to break-in, it won’t feel comfortable in the first couple of weeks
You may not have heard of Drew as they are not a mainstream shoe manufacturer. However, they are specialist orthopedic shoe manufacturers, which means they know exactly what they’re doing.
Even more impressive is the fact that they are not hugely expensive and actually look like something you would wear, that’s unusual for orthopedic shoes!
There’s a good level of arch support, a deep inside which allows an additional insole if necessary, and it has a moisture-wicking inner liner.
All in all, this is a worthwhile choice if you’re serious about walking with flat foot.
- Designed by orthopedics ensuring all the main supports are covered
- Best arch support you can get in a shoe
- Durable, breathable, and well-constructed
- Good for those on their feet all-day
- Anti-slip sole
- Leather outer
- Not the most stylish option on this list, despite being better than your average orthopedic offering
- Will be harder to locate as they are not mainstream
- Not the cheapest option, although not as expensive as you may think
Saucony is a European company that has been producing high-quality tennis and walking shoes for years. More recently they have included walking shoes for flat feet in their remit, with surprisingly good results.
An array of additional features have been added to the standard Omni walker. These include mid-foot support, arch support, and a cushioning system that covers the entire shoe.
In fact, this is one of the best options on the market f you have flat feet and overpronation. You’ll find it available for men and women.
- Support options are excellent, giving heel, midsole, and arch support
- The cushioned sole offers reasonable shock absorption
- Leather construction for durability and breathability
- Attractive price for a top-end walking shoe
- Should be good for overpronators
- Described as medium cushioning, it may not offer enough for some people
- The shoe looks good but it is a little on the bloated side
- Another shoe that takes time to wear in and reach proper comfort levels
It’s impossible to have a list of the best shoes for activity without having at least one offering from Nike on the list. Nike is generally regarded as one of the best shoe and sports equipment manufacturers in the world.
In fact, they do a whole range of walking shoes but the LunarGlide is specifically aimed at those with flat feet.
In keeping with most of the Nike shoe range, the LunarGlide has the flywire system, in effect a system of cradles and straps that secure your foot effectively into position. This ensures it gives good arch and heel support.
In addition, you’re buying Nike, which means they’re going to look good!
- Excellent foot support for all parts of your foot
- Top of the range cushioning inside to ensure comfort even when worn for long periods of time
- Look fantastic
- Durable and well-made, in keeping with the Nike reputation
- Can be worn straight away
- It’s worth ordering a size larger than normal, Nike’s tend to be on the smaller side
- Fabric only, they may not last as longs the leather alternatives
ASICS offers as big a range as Nike, making it inevitable that they would want to offer a high-quality walking shoe. In fact, their offering to people with flat feet is a credible alternative to some of the other options on this list.
If you’re concerned with style as much as comfort then the ASICS gel-Quickwalk is definitely worth considering. It looks like a conventional trainer but it gives you all the support you’ll need to walk comfortably for as long as you need or want to.
It incorporates a number of interesting features, such as the gel cushioning system, that are designed to maintain comfort as you increase your walking distance.
- High abrasion rubber outsole, giving good grip and resistance to abrasion. In short, your shoe is going to last a long time
- Fully synthetic and almost seamless
- Low top from arch, giving good arch support
- Gel cushioning system that absorbs impact force and protects your foot, while holding them in place
- The toe box is a little narrow which could restrict movement
- Size of the shoe is a little small, you may need to order the next size up
Skechers is a well-established brand with a reputation for extremely comfortable and durable shoes.
This particular pair is for women but there is also a men’s equivalent that is worth considering.
The shoes themselves are 100% synthetic and incorporate the Goga Max high rebound technology. In effect this cushions your step and extracts the energy, using it to push your foot back off the ground. Each step will actually take less effort than normal.
The construction is almost seamless to encourage comfortable wear. You’ll also benefit from midsole cushioning and excellent arch support.
- 100% synthetic
- Rubber sole for extra grip
- Surprisingly light
- Almost seamless construction to maximize comfort
- Arch support
- Bamboo lining to eliminate odor and prevent bacterial growth
- 5GEN midsole cushioning, revolutionary in its field
- You’ll need to order a half or whole size larger than normal, like the Nike’s these Skechers tend to be on the small size
- Limited support, several customers have reported the support inside the shoe disappears too quickly
This is another offering from a specialist orthopedic shoe provider. But, this one looks almost as good as the mainstream sneakers. It has enough features to make it a desirable option for walkers with flat feet or even those with plantar fasciitis.
The outer sole is air-cushioned and the inner has orthotic support to provide maximum comfort and support, it has arch support built-in.
You’ll also be pleased to feel the heel pad that is specifically designed to support and provide comfort for the rear of your foot, effectively eliminating pain in your foot and lower back!
- The cushioned insole is a work of art offering support and pain relief
- Air cushioning outer sole helps you to bounce as you walk, reducing impact and boosting stability. It also spreads the pressure every time you put your foot down
- Surprisingly stylish
- Synthetic upper and leather lower
- Fits well, you can order your regular size
- Price is a little on the high side
- Takes time to wear in
This walking shoe does look more like a working shoe but that doesn’t change the fact it’s very effective at what it does. Reebok has been producing shoes for many years and this is a good example of the quality they produce. It’s durable and fashionable.
It also benefits from DMX ride air technology and a foam insole, along with a slip-resistant outer sole. The front part of the sole allows maximum movement, while the rear part ensures maximum support.
In short, it’s one of the best walking shoes for flat feet currently available.
- Slip Resistant outer sole
- Leather body, foam insole
- Multi-layer sole
- DMX ride air technology for comfort
- Maximum foot support, even on the arches
- Flexible upper part of the shoe to improve gait and durability
- Good airflow
- Low cut design is stylish but does reduce heel support slightly
- Memory foam insoles have been said to lose effectiveness quickly
How To Choose The Best Walking Shoes For Flat Feet
The most important thing when selecting the best walking shoes for flat feet is to know what the different types are and how they can benefit you.
- Slip-On Shoes
A slip-on shoe has no laces which means they will be seamless and are likely to provide a better fit. They should also use breathable fabric which will help to ensure your feet remain comfortable. But, perhaps most important of all is the wider toe box, given you room for your feet to bend properly.
- Memory Foam Shoes
This style of walking shoe is generally very comfortable and the memory foam is likely to conform to your foot. This makes it a unique and precise fit that will give you the best support possible, they’re especially good if you suffer from fallen arches.
- Multi-surface Outer Sole
Shoes that have been made for flat-footed people will usually have an outer sole made from several different materials. This reinforces the shoe and provides support in the critical areas. It should be very effective at providing support and pain relief.
- Gel Cushioning
These work in a similar way to memory foam but you’ll find they conform to your feet faster and are generally longer-lasting. They also offer excellent arch support and help to prevent pain from pressure build-up on your feet.
Of course, understanding the type will help you to choose the best walking shoes for flat feet because they are designed with flat feet in mind. But, you also need to be certain that you’re buying a shoe that will do the job properly.
The best way of verifying this is to look at social media sites and online forums. You’ll be able to find honest opinions from people that have these shoes. Of course, not all the opinions will be positive but most should be. You can also learn a lot from the way a company responds to negative feedback.
Key features of the Best Walking Shoes For Flat Feet
Alongside the above it’s a good idea to be aware of what features a shoe designed for flat feet should have:
- Stable Heel
If your walking shoe has a shock-absorbing system you’re off to a good start. It should also have a supportive heel to prevent you from twisting your ankle.
- Multi-Surface Outer Sole
As already mentioned a multi-surface outer sole is a good sign that the shoe has been constructed with flat-footed people in mind. Of course, the outer sole should also be slip-resistant and comfortable, trying on is essential.
- Flexible Toe Box
The outer sole should be firm but you need to have flexibility in the toe area as this will help to ensure your toes bend properly when walking, or even running.
If your shoe isn’t breathable then you’re likely to have sweat build-up which will make you uncomfortable. This can also lead to bacterial infections and bad odors which will quickly make walking more painful and ruin your shoes!
We’ve already talked about the importance of understanding the different types of cushioning and how they can support your foot. It’s important to choose the cushioning that suits you and your budget.
It will make the shoe more comfortable and your foot better supported.
Any of the shoes on this list can provide you with the support and comfort you need to walk around all day, even with flat feet. However, before you buy any of the best walking shoes for flat feet, it’s essential that you have your feet properly measured.
This will help to ensure that you order the right size shoe for your needs. Of course, a reputable online store will let you exchange unused walking shoes for a different size. But, it’s nicer to get it right first time around.
Take a little time to consider the important factors when choosing your shoes and then select your favorite shoe from the best walking shoes for flat feet list.
You won’t be disappointed!