10 Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet in 2024, According to Experts

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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While a good removable insole or orthotic insert can upgrade less-than-supportive footwear, only the best walking shoes for flat feet—meaning ones with built-in arch support—will help you feel more comfortable from the get-go. A structured and well-cushioned shoe can make walks more pleasant (and errands more tolerable). In the name of making your time spent on the move actually enjoyable, we asked podiatrists what to look for in a walking shoe that’ll feel good on flat feet—and which pairs are worth trying.

Our top picks

  1. Best Overall: Hoka Arahi 7
  2. Runner-Up: Kuru Atom
  3. Best Budget: Ryka Devotion Plus 3
  4. Best for Maximum Cushioning: Hoka Gaviota 5
  5. Best for Standing All Day: Brooks Addiction Walker 2
  6. Best Sandal: Teva Verra

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How to choose the best walking shoes for flat feet

When we talk about the arch of your foot, we mean the area between the ball of your foot and your heel. If you’re not sure what type of arches you have, stand up and check the inner sides of your feet. If they’re flush against the floor, you have low arches, a.k.a. flat feet. Knowing your arch type will help you find the comfiest, most supportive shoes for you.

When shopping for shoes, the first thing you should check is the shoe’s arch height, or how much the middle of the insole curves inward and upward. This part of the shoe should match your foot’s shape, but it shouldn’t be nonexistent. Even if you have very low arches, you don’t want the inside of your shoe to be entirely flat, Paulina Piekarska, DPM, a foot and ankle specialist and surgeon at Hartford HealthCare Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute St. Vincent’s Medical Center, tells SELF.

Your foot should feel held and supported by the shoe, which will help you feel comfortable for longer. It’ll also take some stress off your knees and lower leg muscles, which tend to work harder to help you walk and maintain balance when you have flat feet, Jared Gremillion, DPM, a podiatric surgeon at Holston Medical Group in Bristol, Tennessee, tells SELF. (Plus, wearing supportive shoes can help prevent plantar fasciitis, a condition characterized by stabbing heel pain.) However, the arch of a shoe shouldn’t be noticeably higher than the arch of your foot, either (unless, of course, you have totally flat feet). If you try on a shoe and feel pressure against your midfoot, that means the shoe’s arch is likely too high for you, Dr. Piekarska explains. Cushioning can also affect a shoe’s stability for people with flat feet, so be wary of shoes that feel too soft or cause your feet to sink.

Another feature to avoid is flimsiness: If you can fold a shoe in half, it’s not adequately supportive, Dr. Gremillion says. Your shoes should be rigid, but still flexible enough to bend with your foot when you’re walking—that’ll give you a nice balance of stability and freedom of movement.

The best walking shoes for flat feet

You’ll probably need to try on a few pairs in order to determine what type of arch, flexibility, and cushioning feels best for your feet. But you can get a leg (or foot) up on your search by checking out our list of the best walking shoes for flat feet below. Our picks include expert-recommended brands like Hoka and Teva, as well as editor-tested and approved options.

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