You may have always had flat feet. Or, you might have had perfectly ‘normal’ arches your whole life, only to develop flat feet as you are getting older. Your arches can slowly break down and flatten as you age, and this is particularly common for women. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to all the best shoes for flat feet – so you can still look stylish even if you need comfortable footwear.

What are flat feet?

First of all, what exactly are flat feet? And how can you tell if you have them? To see if you have flat feet, stand on a hard surface in bare feet. If you have flat feet, the whole soles of your feet will be on the ground rather than raised. You don’t have flat feet if you can see an obvious arch.

What causes flat feet

You can have had flat feet since childhood if your arches didn’t develop properly. But, flat feet can also develop later in life. Arches can collapse after an injury, or just because of wear-and-tear.

Why does it matter if you have flat feet?

Having flat feet isn’t just an aesthetic issue and it isn’t just about foot pain. Since your feet aren’t supporting you in the way they should, flat feet can lead to pain in other parts of your body like your knees, hips and back.

So it’s super important to choose shoes that can give you the support you need.

The best shoes for flat feet to keep you pain free all day |

What to consider when choosing shoes for flat feet

1. Your shoe size

This sounds obvious, but you know your shoe size right? Well, maybe not. If you have developed flat feet later in life, the fact that your arches have flattened and your feet have spread could mean you actually need to go up a shoe size.

2. Do flat feet need arch support?

Yes, arch support shoes or insoles can help to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with flat feet. Opt for a gradual increase in arch support so your feet have time to time get used to it.

3. Cushioned insoles

Look for cushioned insoles. You want soles that are flexible enough to move with your feet but which aren’t floppy.

4. Heel support

As well as ensuring the soles of your shoes are supported, also think about your heels. Shoes that have heels that wrap around your feet are best. You don’t want flip flops, mules or slingbacks that don’t provide enough support to keep your feet in place.

5. A raised heel

A high heel can be tricky to wear if you have flat feet, as high heels are often designed with high arches in mind. But, you can still wear a small heel with arch support.

What type of shoes are best for flat feet

Let’s some at some of the most recommended shoes for flat feet that each have some or all of the features we’ve talked about above – arch, sole, and heel support.

shoes for flat feet

We’re a big fan of metallic shoes because they go with everything else in your closet, and they add a touch of the unexpected to your outfits. The Naturalizer ballet flats (below) have a contemporary look, and they feature a cushioned footbed to keep you comfy.

Naturalizer Carla Ballet Flats |

Naturalizer Carla Ballet Flats
(Zappos / Amazon / Nordstrom)

If you love a preppy look, then a pair of loafers are perfect for you. Vionic’s Kensley loafers come in lots of colors so pick your favorite. They have on-trend lug soles and orthotic support. Reviewers say the insole is perfect for providing arch support and light cushioning.

Vionic Kensley Slip On Loafers |

Vionic Kensley Slip On Loafers
(Zappos / Amazon / Nordstrom)

The buckles on the ballet flats (below) give them classic appeal. They have a multi-layered cushioned footbed for enhanced support.

Gentle Souls by Kenneth Cole Sailor Buckle Ballet Flats |

Gentle Souls by Kenneth Cole Sailor Buckle Ballet Flats
(Zappos / Amazon

Add a pop of color to your outfits with the red Vionic loafers (below). If red isn’t your color, there are lots of shades to choose from. Plus, importantly for flat feet, they have motion technology that is designed to hug arches and support your feet.

Vionic Willa II Loafers |

Vionic Willa II Loafers
(Zappos / Nordstrom)

The Dansko loafers (below) come in this fantastic bronze shade that will add subtle glamour to your casual outfits. They have a removable, comfort footbed and reviewers say they don’t rub, are well padded and have moderate arch support.

Dansko Larisa Loafers |

Dansko Larisa Loafers
(Zappos / Amazon / Nordstrom)

Fly London is one of our favorite brands, and we love the designer’s sneakers (below), which feature silver details at the heels and a wedge style that will add a little height without wearing uncomfortable heels.

Fly London Duli Platform Wedge Loafers |

Fly London Duli Platform Wedge Loafers
(Zappos / Amazon

sneakers for flat feet

You’ll see that the Fly London shoes (above) mix the feel of sneakers and loafers. Let’s move onto more sneakers now that will give you the support you need. We love the wavy sole detail on the Dr. Scholl’s sneakers (below). They come in a choice of colors and have a cushioned insole.

Dr. Scholl's Shoes Time Off Sneakers |

Dr. Scholl’s Shoes Time Off Sneakers
(Zappos / Amazon)

For an easy slip on style perfect for walking and casual days, try the Skechers sneakers (below), which come in lots of colors and have great reviews from wearers who say having better arch support has helped with knee, back and hip pain.

Skechers Go Walk Arch Fit Sneakers |

Skechers Go Walk Arch Fit Sneakers
(Zappos / Amazon)

The ECCO sneakers (below) have a stylish, textured outer sole, and cushioned insoles, and reviewers say they are super comfortable.

ECCO GRUUV Sneakers |

(Zappos / Amazon / Nordstrom)

For a more serious athletic shoe, the New Balance sneakers (below are a great choice. They have a supportive, cushioned sole so are ideal for running and walking.

For more workout outfits inspiration, take a look at these fitness clothes for women, and our article on yoga outfits.

New Balance Fresh Foam Running Shoe |

New Balance Fresh Foam Running Shoe

HOKA’s running shoes are another good choice for working out if you have flat feet. They come in lots of interesting color choices, they are lightweight, and have a foam midsole and inner sole.

HOKA Clifton 9 Running Shoes |

HOKA Clifton 9 Running Shoes
(Zappos / Amazon / Nordstrom)


Booties are perfect for all kinds of occasions, depending on the style you choose. But, you need to make sure you choose booties that choose comfort as well as style.

The SoftWalk booties (below) are perfect for casual days. They come in either black or brown, depending on your favorite neutral shade, and they have a massaging footbed.

SoftWalk Rocklin 2.0 Booties |

SoftWalk Rocklin 2.0 Booties
(Zappos / Amazon / Nordstrom)

If you want a ‘smarter’ bootie choice that will be ideal for work or dinner dates, then the heeled Anne Klein boots (below) are perfect. They come in a choice of neutrals and have a cushioned footbed that is designed to absorb impact.

Anne Klein Kaci Boots |

Anne Klein Kaci Boots
(Zappos / Amazon)

Another option from Fly London for you now. We love the way the wavy stretch elastic adds interest to the design while making them easy to pull on. Reviewers say they are good for wider feet.

Fly London Yade Wedge Booties |

Fly London Yade Wedge Boots
(Zappos / Amazon

Trotters is another good comfort brand to look out for. The black booties (below) are timeless so you can wear them season after season, and they have a cushioned insole with arch support.

Trotters Major Bootie |

Trotters Major Bootie
(Zappos / Amazon / Nordstrom)

If you have a boho style, the Naot boots (below) will go well with your outfits. They are designed with arch support and a shock absorbing footbed.

Naot Ethic Booties |

Naot Ethic Booties
(Zappos / Amazon / Nordstrom)

sandals for flat feet

For dressy days or warmer weather, a pair of comfort sandals are essential. The Naturalizer sandals (below) feature a low, block heel with comfort and contour technology.

Naturalizer June Strappy Block Heel Sandal |

Naturalizer June Strappy Block Heel Sandal
(Zappos / Amazon / Nordstrom)

The Fly London sandals (below) feature a chunky style that will add interest to your outfits. Wear with your dresses or wide-leg pants. They’re leather lined to allow your feet to breathe, and they have toe to heel comfort insoles.

Fly London Bilu Platform Wedge Sandals |

Fly London Bilu Platform Wedge Sandals
(Zappos / Amazon

Fisherman sandals are particularly on trend for the upcoming season, and they’re a great choice if you aren’t keen on showing off your toes. The Dr. Scholl’s sandals (below) feature a low heel, comfort and arch support. Interestingly, they are partially made with eco-friendly algae BLOOM foam.

Dr. Scholl's Rate Up Day Fisherman Sandals |

Dr. Scholl’s Rate Up Day Fisherman Sandals
(Zappos / Amazon / Nordstrom)

A shoe that combines the look of boots and sandals is ideal for transitional weather. Vionic’s sandals (below) feature extra cushioned and would go with your dresses, skirts, pants or jeans.

Vionic Sonoma Valencia Ankle Booties |

Vionic Sonoma Valencia Sandals
(Zappos / Amazon / Nordstrom)

For a sportier, practical sandal if you’re doing some serious walking while on vacation, the Dr. Scholl’s strappy sandals (below) are a good option. They’re made from recycled bottles and have cushioning and arch support.

Dr. Scholl's Shoes Adelle 2 Sandals |

Dr. Scholl’s Shoes Adelle 2 Sandals
(Zappos / Amazon)

Orthotic inserts for flat feet

As well as your shoe choices, you can try to alter the fit of your existing shoes and make them more comfortable by adding orthotic inserts.

Dr. Scholl's Tri-Comfort Insoles |

Dr. Scholl’s Tri-Comfort Insoles

WalkHero Comfort and Support Feet Insoles |

WalkHero Comfort and Support Feet Insoles

Healrecux Support Sleeves with Gel Pads |

Healrecux Support Sleeves with Gel Pads

shop the best shoes for flat feet:

What to avoid if you have flat feet

We’ve talked about what you should choose if you have flat feet. But do you know what you should avoid? You should avoid shoes that offer little or no arch support, such as shoes with thin or very flat soles and very high heels. Instead look out for shoes that provide you with the support you need to stay comfy all day.

Continue reading:

  1. Best Shoes With Arch Support – Comfortable Walking Shoes To Walk In All Day!
  2. The Best Sneakers For Plantar Fasciitis That Are Comfortable AND On-Trend
  3. The Best Shoes To Wear When You Have Bunions

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The best shoes for flat feet to keep you pain free all day |

Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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