About one person out of four adults has flat feet. And while in most cases they will not cause any significant problems, sometimes flat feet can come with several complications. Many people with flat feet will struggle with common foot problems like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, shin split, and sore or painful feet and knees. Hence, simple and regular activities like walking can be a tedious task for them.
While there are various solutions that you can use to deal with the flat feet problem, changing your footwear is always part of the remedy regardless of what treatment you prefer. Your flat feet will need footwear that is designed specifically to offer support to the fallen arches and help to restore them to their normal position. And if you walk a lot, getting the best walking shoes for flat feet is even more important.
There are many types of shoes out there for people with flat feet but to get the best ones for you it will be important to understand what this foot problem is all about, and also what to look for in the perfect pair of shoes for flat feet. You can also read best sandals for plantar fasciitis.
- 1 All You Need To Know About Flat Feet
- 2 Causes Of Flat Feet
- 3 Flat Feet Treatment and Remedies
- 4 Top 5 Best Women’s Walking Shoes For Flat Feet Review
- 5 Top 5 Best Men’s Walking Shoes For Flat Feet Review
- 6 What to Do Before Buying the Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet
- 7 Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet Buying Guide
- 8 Flat Feet Walking Shoes vs Flat Feet Running Shoes
- 9 Conclusion
All You Need To Know About Flat Feet
Before you go out to buy walking shoes for flat feet you should first understand what the foot problem is all about. It is vital to know what it is, how to diagnose it, the causes, and most importantly the possible remedies available.
What Are Flat Feet?
When looking at a healthy foot (adult foot) you will notice an upside curve on the inside section. This curve is called the arch of the foot. The absence of this curve results in fallen arches which is what is referred to as flat feet. Everyone is born with flat feet but as you start walking, the arch also starts to develop. The lower leg muscles and tendons will work together to form this arch as you start to walk but the arch might fall at some point due to various factors and result in flat feet.
How Do You Know That You Have Flat Feet?
The easiest way to tell whether you have flat feet is by examining the bottom of the foot physically. If you do not see an arch, you have flat feet. But, this is not always very reliable because the arch might still be there but not very prominent.
The best way to diagnose flat feet is by forming a wet footprint on the floor or a surface where it is well visible. When looking at the footprint you should see the balls of the feet, toes, heel, and a thin strip that connects the heel to the ball of the foot. If the strip is almost as wide as the front section of the foot, then you have flat feet.
Another easy way to tell whether you have flat feet is by looking at the condition of your shoes. Start by setting them on a flat surface and then view them from behind the heel section. If you have flat feet your shoes will be more worn on the inside section near the heel and the top of the shoes might collapse inwards.
Other signs of flat feet:
- Feet seem to get tired easily
- Swelling in the inside section of the bottom of the feet
- Lower leg and back pain
- Discomfort around the arch section
- Sore and achy bottom of the feet
Causes Of Flat Feet
While some people are born with flat feet or their arches do not develop at all as they grow, many others develop flat feet as an adult due to various reasons. These reasons or causes include the following.
1. Foot Injuries
In some cases, flat feet will develop as a result of complications from illnesses or injuries to the foot. Injuries like stretched/torn tendons dislocated or broken bones and chronic health conditions like some forms of arthritis or nerve damage can also lead to flat feet.
2. Family genetic
Family genetics are also a common cause of flat feet, and the worst thing about this is that it is uncontrollable. If one of your parents or both, and even your grandparents have flat feet, you are also more likely to develop them from birth or at some point in life.
3. Wearing Flat Shoes
Wearing flat shoes is a common cause of flat feet, and this is more so for the younger generation. A flat shoe is any that does not have an arch on the outsole, midsole, or insole. Although they are trendy shoes, they do not provide any arch support, and so wearing them for long can cause your arches to fall.
As your age advances and you get into your sunset years the posterior tibial tendon also weakens. The weakening of this important tendon can cause flat feet at some point. Physical accidents, sports injuries, and bad walking style can also damage this tendon and cause flat feet.
Flat Feet Treatment and Remedies
Flat feet might go unnoticed for many years but when they start causing problems, you will know just how annoying and uncomfortable they can be. From unending foot pain to trouble working properly, there is a myriad of issues that you have to deal with when you have flat feet. Luckily, there are also many treatments and remedy options.
Custom orthotics are the main treatment for flat feet and also what most podiatrists, chiropodists, and other experts will recommend. And while you can always get some off the shelf orthotics, it is always a better idea to go for custom ones as they are more helpful. Custom orthotics will be designed to suit the severity of your flat feet, age, weight, and also to suit your lifestyle.
2. Resting It Off
Sometimes a little rest is all your feet need for some relief from the symptoms that come with flat feet. Hence you should stay off your feet and rest them off as much as possible. Resting and staying off the feet will not only ease the pain but also helps to speed up the healing process.
3. Supportive Footwear
Your choice of footwear is probably the main reason why you have flat feet, and so you should always start by changing them to something more supportive. Even if you like wearing flat shoes it is important to make sure that you have an insole that provides adequate arch support. Whatever shoes you pick should also provide stability, ankle control, and adequate cushioning.
Exercise and stretches help to strengthen the foot and ankle muscles and so they can also be very helpful when dealing with flat feet. Everything from calf and ankle stretches to step and towel stretches will help to strengthen the muscles and ligament in the bottom of the foot to restore the arches to their normal position and prevent them from falling.
5. Shed Some Weight
It should be obvious that the more you weigh the higher the likelihood of developing flat feet. Shedding some weight will take some pressure off your feet and combining this with other remedies can help to restore your aches.
Top 5 Best Women’s Walking Shoes For Flat Feet Review
01. Saucony Grid Omni Walker Walking Shoes for Women’s
These women’s shoes feature highly durable and breathable leather and synthetic upper section and a rubber sole that offers excellent traction in all environments. This sole also comes in the unique Walk Track design for a smooth transition. These shoes are available in all women’s sizes and any lady with flat feet will love their level of comfort.
There is also a comfortable and breathable mesh tongue and padded collar that combine to give these shoes a highly comfortable upper section. And it comes in a biomechanical fit with an asymmetrical sole that will always deliver maximum comfort. If you also add in the superior-cushioning, heel-centered stability, and highly responsive EVA midsole you will have the perfect walking shoe for ladies with flat feet.
02. TIOSEBON Women’s Athletic Walking Shoes
The appearance of your shoes matters a lot and the fact that this pair makes it possible to choose from more than a dozen colors makes it an excellent choice. But, besides the appearance, these are also quite comfortable shoes with highly breathable textile upper section and an elastic MD outsole that is slip-resistant and offers great traction in various environments
These shoes are ideal for various occasions besides walking as they are attractive and comfortable enough for your casual weekend wear. Their overall design makes them highly breathable and lightweight shoes that you can wear for many hours. And the slip-on design ensures easy on and off.
03. Brooks Women’s Addiction Walking Shoes
As their name suggests these shoes can be quite addictive as they are as comfortable as any walking shoes can get, and will be very gentle on your flat feet. The shoes feature a full-grain upper section with some detailed stitching and so you can be confident they will last for many years. And for the outsole, you get slip-resistant and environment-friendly silica that offer excellent traction on all surfaces and works for both wet and dry conditions.
These shoes have a flat platform design and will also come with a comfortable textile lining and cushioned tongue and insert for that extra comfort you desire.
The midsoles are full-length with an innovative MoGo design to provide a soft but stable feel. And these shoes also offer maximum motion control and flexibility which are vital for ladies with severe cases of flat feet.
04. RYKA Devo Plus 2 Women’s Walking Shoe
The all-mesh upper section on the Devo Plus 2 makes them some of the breathable walking shoes for women. And so you can always be confident of your feet remaining cool and comfortable no matter how long you walk. These are also quite attractive shoes that feature some lovely color combinations. And with some flowing and feminine overlays that also add some extra support.
With these walking shoes, you also get the re-zorb active foam, a tongue that is lined with lycra, and a comfortable collar with lots of cushioning. And so these shoes will always deliver superior comfort and excellent support for every step that you make.
05. ASICS GEL-Tech Neo 4 Women’s Walking Shoe
The Gel-Tech Neo 4 excels in giving women a super comfortable interior section and unmatched breath-ability for their walking shoes. It uses a mesh upper section with a medial window to ensures that this. And if you combine this with its rubber sole that provides excellent traction on all surfaces and in both wet and dry conditions you will have the perfect walking shoe for your flat feet.
This fantastic shoe also comes with a sock liner that makes the interior section more comfortable and also provides some anti-microbial protection. And the rubber sole is not just an ordinary out-sole as it uses True sole features that have been tried and proven to be effective in supporting and stabilizing every step that you make. Also, other things like the gel cushioning, gender-specific midsole, and overall lightweight construction help to enhance the comfort.
Top 5 Best Men’s Walking Shoes For Flat Feet Review
01. Brooks Men’s Beast Walking Shoes
If you are the kind of guy that loves walking a lot but over pronation or severe cases of flat feet are making it hard for you to go for your routine walks, this is the perfect pair of shoes for you. They provide a high level of motion control and cushioning to keep your feet comfortable regardless of how long you are walking. Also, these shoes come with a breathable mesh upper section that combines with the moisture-wicking inner lining to keep your feet cool and dry at all times.
These lace-up closure shoes have a plush tongue and collar to enhance their comfort, a removable sock liner, super DNA mid sole, and a durable and environment-friendly silica out sole that will offer excellent traction on both dry and wet surfaces. The out-sole is also skid-resistant and tough enough to absorb the shock that comes from walking. These walking shoes for men with flat feet are available in four color options.
02. New Balance 411 V2 Lace-up Men’s Walking Shoe
Breathability is always at the heart of any walking shoes and it is vital if you want the footwear to remain cool and comfortable. The New Balance MW411v2 ensures maximum breathability with a perforated leather upper section. And the outsole is also genuine rubber that will offer excellent traction on both wet and dry surfaces and is also slip-resistant.
These shoes come in four lovely color options that include all black and white/blue options. But what many men seem to love about these New Balance shoes is that the sizes fit true to your feet and they are wide enough for men with wider feet. Also, they have a stylish overall appearance and are super lightweight to make them comfortable enough for everyday wear.
03. Skechers Afterburn Memory-Foam Lace-up Men’s Walking Shoe
The perforated detail of these Skechers walking shoes helps to make them breathable and cool. These shoes combine leather and synthetic to create a highly durable top section and they come in a trendy overall appearance to make them a great choice not only for walking but also for your regular casual wear.
The interior of the shoes is also very comfortable thanks to the cushioned mesh tongue that also enhances breathability, supportive overlays, and a padded collar. And for the outsole, you get high traction rubber that is just flexible enough while the insole is comfortable and supportive memory foam.
04. Rockport Chranson Men’s Walking Shoe
Sometimes you just need a pair of shoe that is just comfortable enough for wearing to work regularly. And if you also have to walk a lot and you have some flat feet, this pair from Rock-port will be a great choice. They feature sleek suede and synthetic upper section and a non-slip synthetic sole that offers great grip on a variety of surfaces. And the out-sole is bio-mechanically designed to ensure that it offers stability without affecting the freedom of movement.
There is also a mesh lining on the interior section of the shoe to enhance breath-ability and they use ADIPRENE technology that provides a shock-absorbing heel cushion. And it uses a latex foot bed to help cushion the foot and reduce fatigue after long walks. These shoes come in black and a dark brown/black color options.
05. New Balance 577 V1 Lace-up Men’s Walking Shoe
You can always trust New Balance to have a good pair of walking shoes for you and their MW577 will be an excellent choice for those that prefer to work at a moderate pace and do it regularly. They are genuine leather shoes with some detailed stitching and with rubber out soles for excellent grip on any surface.
These low-top shaft shoes come with a comfortable bed that is designed specifically for walking and an ABZORB mid sole cushioning to make them comfortable and supportive enough. Both the collar and tongue are well-padded for maximum comfort and you can get them in all standard men footwear sizes
What to Do Before Buying the Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet
Before you go out to buy a pair of walking shoes for your flat feet there are a few things that you need to do to make sure that you make the right decision. Also, they help to make it easier to choose the right pair of footwear. Here are the three important things to do before buying the shoes.
Talk To a Chiropodist
If you notice that you have flat feet or are suspecting it, one of the best decisions that you can make is to talks to an expert. Talking to a chiropodist is even more important when shopping for walking shoes. The foot doctor will be very helpful in determining your exact foot structure, and will also offer good recommendations for the best walking shoe type for your foot type.
Understand Your Tastes and Preferences
Even if you have flat feet, you still need your footwear to look good. And so before you go out to buy your walking shoes you should be sure of important factors like the colors and shoe styles that you prefer. Also, having a favorite brand in mind will make the shopping process much easier for you.
Determine Your Budget
How much are you willing to spend on your walking shoes? It is important to determine how much you are willing to spend on your walking shoes or come up with a budget as they are available in a wide price range. You can get walking shoes for flat feet even for under $20 while some from leading brands will retail for upwards of $100.
Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet Buying Guide
Once you talk to a chiropodist and get recommendations for the shoes to buy based on your particular foot structure, understand your tastes, and determine how much you are willing to spend you can now go out to buy your footwear. But, even with all this information in mind, the many brands and types of walking shoes for flat feet in the market can still make things a little confusing for you.
However, getting the best pair should not be hard as you only need to consider the following things. Also, keeping these things in mind helps you determine what to expect.
Materials and Construction
The material of the shoes matters a lot as it will determine everything from the level of comfort to the durability. And like with all other types of shoes there are plenty of options to choose from when buying walking shoes for flat feet. Weatherproof materials like leather are always the best option but a breathable mesh and synthetic will also work well as they keep the shoes cool and are also quite comfortable.
But, even if your shoes have the best materials, you still need to make sure that the construction is equally good. Watch out for the stitching on the upper sections and makes sure that it is durable enough and also other things like how the outsole is joined to the upper section of the foot.
If you have flat feet, you are more likely to turn your ankles inward when walking or running. This can increase the risk of injury significantly as it puts a lot of strain on your knees, ankles, or even the entire foot. Luckily, there are walking shoes for flat feet with stability control to help deal with the pronation and also provide some cushioning. And so if you have mild or moderate flats feet it is always a good idea to buy shoes with some form of stability control.
Control of the Motion of the Feet
If you have severe flat feet, stability control might still not be enough. What you need is a pair of shoes that offers motion control for your flat feet. Shoes with motion control are designed to provide additional support and more control than what you would get when wearing stability control shoes. Also, these shoes are crafted to ensure that they keep your ankle straight when walking, and they will have dual-density foam just below the medial side of the arch for this. But also make sure that you try out the shoes before buying because sometimes the motion control can be too much and hard to adjust to, and hence making the footwear feel restrictive.
The flexibility of the shoe is a vital factor to consider when it comes to choosing the best walking shoes for flat feet. The stiffness or firmness of the sole determines where you can walk with your shoes. A firm sole with an inflexible heel and a relatively stiff midsole will ensure that you can use the shoe for walking in various environments.
However, the front section of the shoe (around the toe box) should still be flexible enough to allow the toes to bend when walking. Watch out for terms like ‘stiff’ or “hard’ EVA midsole to determine just how flexible the walking shoe will feel. Also, it is also important to note that the flexibility will have some effect on whether the shoe will breathe or not.
You also need to take the soles into account when shopping for the best walking shoes for flat feet. And here there are several things to think about from the type, design, and material of the insoles, midsole, and outsole. For the insole, high-density EVA foam is always the best option as it will give your flat feet some cushioning and protection from the hard ground.
The midsole also provides cushioning but it is also responsible for shock absorption and EVA or Phylon are the most common options. EVA is lightweight and comfortable but Phylon is denser and will offer more protection in the long run.
When it comes to the outsole, rubber is always the best material option as it provides better traction and is also highly durable. But, you also need to make a decision on whether to go for a sole with a lifted heel or not. While the lifted soles can help to enhance the comfort and help to restore your arches they also have a few shortcomings while those with no lift help to ensure a more natural foot alignment.
Arch support is a vital factor when it comes to buying walking shoes for flat feet as your fallen arches are the main reason why you need special shoes in the first place. And when it comes to the arch support the particular structure of your foot is what determines the right one for you.
It is because of this reason that you should always consult an expert before you start shopping for walking shoes. But, the bottom line is that any footwear that you buy for walking should provide adequate arch support.
Flat Feet Walking Shoes vs Flat Feet Running Shoes
It is hard for many people to tell the difference between walking and running shoes for flat feet. But the main difference between the two is that they are designed for different purposes. Hence, there are several aspects that will be different. However, their most distinctive aspect is the cushioning.
In the typical heel to toe motion that comes with walking, the heels will typically contact the ground first and so it will absorb most of the shock. Hence walking shoes for flat feet tend to have thicker cushioning around the heel which is also beveled in most instances to improve stability. Walking shoes will also be more flexible towards the ball of your foot as this helps with the push-off when taking strides.
When running, you will land flat footed and not on your heel and so running shoes for flat feet tend to have uniform cushioning across the entire sole. Also, the cushioning is much stiffer. And since running comes with a higher impact, the shoes will have thicker soles than the walking types for shock absorption.
Overall, running shoes for flat feet will also be lighter and with greater arch support than those intended for walking.
Flat feet make walking harder and more uncomfortable and this is more so on hard surfaces. But, your foot structure, whether it is natural or not, should not stop you from taking those important walks that your body needs. With the best walking shoes for flat feet, you can walk for as long as you want without having to worry about sore and painful feet afterward.
And the good news is that there are many types of walking shoes for men and women with flat feet. With our in-depth guide above and reviews for recommendations, it should now be easy to get the perfect pair of shoes for walking. But, also remember to take precautions to prevent flat feet, and also try other remedies such as shedding weight and doing stretched to restore your arches to their natural position.