The 8 Best Walking Shoes to Buy for Flat Feet in 2018

Support and Stability for Fallen Arches

What are the best shoes to wear for walking if you have flat feet or fallen arches? As many as a third of adults have flat feet, but it may or may not cause further symptoms. You may only notice that you have flat feet when you begin to have discomfort after standing or prolonged walking. With adult acquired flatfoot deformity, you may have some deformity of the foot and ankle as well.

Pain can occur because the arch serves as a natural shock absorber and guides your foot through a walking step. Many people with flat feet also overpronate. When this occurs, the foot rolls too far inward with each step, placing stresses on the joints and ligaments. However, not every person with flat feet is an overpronator. The shoe solutions will be different for those who do and do not overpronate.

Experts from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons say it is important to support your natural arch when you have flat feet. This can mean choosing footwear that includes arch support or using inserts or orthotics that provide the correct amount of support. Note that if an arch support is too high, you will end up with foot pain and even bruising.

Choosing Shoes for Flat Feet

When choosing walking shoes for flat feet, look for these characteristics:

  • Stability shoes if you have a neutral stride or mild overpronation.
  • Motion control shoes if you have a high degree of overpronation.
  • Comfort shoes for daily wear that are constructed to support your arches and do not bend in the middle of the sole. Shoes should bend at the toe to allow natural foot movement rather than having a completely rigid sole.
  • Shoes with removable insoles and enough volume so you can use over-the-counter or prescription orthotics.

If your foot discomfort is keeping you from exercise, ​seeing a podiatrist is a good first step. A podiatrist will be able to recommend insoles or orthotics. For choosing fitness shoes, go to the best running shoe store in your area and get properly assessed and fitted for the type of shoes you need. They will be able to determine whether a stability shoe, motion control shoe, or neutral shoe is best for you.

Everyone will have a different "best" shoe. These are good choices to start your search for the best shoes for your flat feet.

Stability Fitness Walking Shoe: ASICS GT-2000

If you have mild to moderate overpronation, the ASICS GT-2000 is a good choice in the stability category. It has arch support for flat feet and a sole designed for stability and shock-absorption. You have enough cushioning for walking longer distances and proper flex in the sole for a natural stride.

The GT-2000 is available for both men and women and comes in four color combinations for each. While different widths are available, you can only get narrow or wide in one color combination, while the regular width is available for all colors.

The GT-2000 also comes in a trail running version that you can take off-road. It has rugged soles to grip softer surfaces and protect your feet from rocks and roots. If you love the regular GT-2000, then you might add the trail version to your walking wardrobe.

Motion Control Fitness Walking Shoes: Brooks Beast and Ariel

If you have a high degree of overpronation, you will likely do better with motion control shoes. The Brooks Beast for men and the Ariel for women are classics for major motion control. They come in an extended range of sizes and widths to accommodate the smallest and biggest feet. The drawback is that they are heavy shoes.

Neutral Fitness Walking Shoe: Brooks Ghost

If you have a neutral stride and don't overpronate, the Brooks Ghost is an excellent choice for the flat-footed fitness walker. It has medium to high arch support built in and a removable insole if you need to add your own custom insole or orthotics.

As with most other Brooks models, these shoes come in narrow, regular, and wide. The Ghost is available in styles for both men and women and in several different color combinations, from flashy to muted. Further, if you are going to be walking in the rain, the Ghost GTX models are waterproof and will help keep your feet dry.

All-Day Standing and Walking: Brooks Addiction Walker

If you need to be standing or walking all day, whether on the job or at home, this shoe combines support with stability and correction for mild overpronation. It's available for both men and women in job-friendly colors. These include bone, white, and black for women and white, black, and tan for men.

The Addiction Walker comes in a range of widths. If you need velcro straps rather than laces, they have those models as well. The uppers are made with full-grain leather and velvet nubuck for classic styling. The insole is removable so you can add your own arch support insole or orthotic. They are well-cushioned, which can help relieve the fatigue when you have to be on your feet all day. Unlike some rigid "walking shoes," the Brooks Addiction Walker flexes in the forefoot so you can enjoy a natural walking motion.

Lightweight Stability Walking Shoe: New Balance Vazee Prism v2

 It won’t do your flat feet any favors if you’re wearing heavy shoes. The Prism is a lightweight shoe with a minimalist design that still incorporates stability and some motion control. The New Balance REVlite sole makes the difference in trimming the shoe’s weight. If you overpronate but you aren’t ready to wear beefier shoes, the Prism may be for you.

People with flat feet say they have plenty of room for arch support insoles or orthotics in this shoe. The Prism also provides enough cushioning for wearing all day on hard surfaces or walking long miles for exercise, touring, or training. New Balance shoes come in both regular and wide, and the Prism has a wider toe box than many shoes. They come in versions for men and women.

Women’s Dress Casual Walking Shoe: Aetrex Corinne

Aetrex shoes and sandals are very stable and supportive. Women with fallen arches love them. These leather shoes are great for the office, strolling around town, or taking along when you travel. They are available in leather or suede. They come with a Lynco orthotic insole that is designed for support, balance, and alignment. If you have your own custom insole or preferred arch support you can use it instead. Women report that they walk and stand all day in these shoes and find them very comfortable. You may also wish to check their Mary Jane designs and sandal designs.

Men’s Dress Casual Walking Shoe: ECCO Fusion Moc Oxford

ECCO is a trusted name for men’s shoes that provide excellent stability. When you are on your feet all day these shoes look great and feel even better. Men report wearing them all day in demanding jobs such as food service as well as wearing them while walking 10 miles a day while traveling. With flat feet, it is important to have a stable heel and you’ll also appreciate the padded heel counter that helps keep your foot aligned, locking it into the shoe and reducing overpronation. The sole is flexible in the forefoot as you need for walking. You can replace the insole with ones of your choice to get the perfect amount of arch support. The leather uppers are easy to clean and come in three colors.

Best Comfort Sandal: OluKai Ohana

If you have flat feet you will usually avoid flip flops because they are notorious for being flimsy and unsupportive. The OluKai Ohana receives rave reviews for its structure and built-in arch support. People with fallen arches find it provides the support that they need. The midsole is anatomically shaped. If you are like many people and live in flip flops most of the year, these will serve your feet much better. Keep in mind that flip-flops are not ideal for walking uphill or downhill. A sandal with a heel strap will keep your feet positioned better. But if you’ll be strolling on level surfaces, these are a good choice. The Ohana is available for men and women in a wide variety of colors.

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