Best shoes for flat feet: Supportive pairs that don’t compromise on style

Everything you need to know about finding the best shoes for flat feet...

collage of the best shoes for flat feet
(Image credit: Future/Hotter/Sole Bliss/FitFlop, Clarks)

Finding the best shoes for flat feet needn’t be a case of compromising on style for the sake of comfort. Plenty of big-name brands are taking the needs of flat feet into account, with trend-led styles spanning across flats, trainers, and even heels. 

First things first, let's define what we mean when we say flat feet. “If you have flat feet, this means the arch is very low, to the point where it is making ground contact, and the foot tends to roll inwards towards the midline of your body,” says Christine Yau, a podiatrist at Harley Medical Foot and Nail Clinic. 

You should be able to tell if you have flat feet just by looking at them. But, if you’re unsure, these are the key signs to look out for according to Trevor Prior, podiatric surgeon and member of the Vionic Innovation Lab:

  • Pain or discomfort in the foot, leg, or back
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Stiffness in the foot
  • Corn or callus formation
  • Bunions 

“Having flat feet is a relatively common condition, affecting around one in three adults and causing symptoms in 10% of people,” adds Trevor. Some people are born with flat feet, and others can develop this during pregnancy or as they age. 

If your flat feet are not causing you pain, there’s nothing to worry about. However, having flat feet can make it uncomfortable to wear certain styles of shoes and cause them to wear out quicker on the inside edge. 

What are the best shoes for flat feet?

The best shoes for flat feet offer “good arch support which stops your feet from pronating (rolling inwards) as you walk,” advises Lisa Kay, designer and founder of the footwear brand of Sole Bliss. They will also need to be wide-fitting, to accommodate the shape of the foot. 

Outside of everyday wear, sporty types should take the time to consider the best women’s walking boots and best running shoes for their foot shape. This will reduce the risk of any niggling aches or injury. 

“Remember, no shoe is inherently bad,” says Tony Gavin, leading podiatrist and founder of Osgo Healthcare. “Shoes that make us feel good about our appearance are important, but limiting wear is also important.” On that advice, keep shoes that are completely flat, like ballet pumps, and skyscraper heels, for days that require minimal walking. 

Best shoes for flat feet - as chosen by a fashion expert

Birkenstock

(Image credit: Birkenstock)

Birkenstock

Reasons to buy
+Supportive arches+Adjustable straps

Raised arches make Birkenstocks the practical sandal choice for anyone with a flat feet. Their signature footbed is at the sole of all Birkenstock designs, carefully crafted to ensure your feet feet as comfortable as possible, for as long as possible. Opt for their standard fit, designed for normal to wide feet. 

BIRKENSTOCK SHOES–FASHION EDITOR'S PICKS




Clarks

(Image credit: Clarks )

Clarks

Reasons to buy
+Commitment to comfort+Built to last 

Clarks have studied how feet move when you're walking, running and resting in order to design shoes you'll love to wear. Options for wide widths will keep flat feet comfortable, with added extras like half sizes, raised arches and cushioned soles going the extra mile. 

CLARKS SHOES–FASHION EDITOR'S PICKS




FitFlop

(Image credit: FitFlop)

FitFlop

Reasons to buy
+Seriously comfortable+High quality

FitFlop have engineered their shoes to help with alignment, which makes them a good choice if you pronate. Cushioning helps to take the pressure off of your joints too, keeping aches and pains to a minimum. 

FITFLOP SHOES–FASHION EDITOR'S PICKS




Hotter

(Image credit: Hotter)

Hotter

Reasons to buy
+Good choice of widths+Thoughtful designs

Hotter understand that not all feet are the same, which is why they offer a choice of four different widths, as well as half sizes. There's good news on the comfort front too, with their Cushion+ technology using a featherlight, supersoft insole for optimum bounce and cushioning. 

HOTTER SHOES–FASHION EDITOR'S PICKS




M&S

(Image credit: M&S)

M&S Collection

Reasons to buy
+Affordable pricing+Styles for work and play

Well-fitting, wide shoes can be hard to come by on the high-street, but not if you know where to look. M&S Collection's dedicated wide fit range has comfort at it's core, with extra space and plenty of support. Their unique Insolia Flex® technology helps stabilize your feet and makes walking in flats a more comfortable experience. 

M&S COLLECTION SHOES–FASHION EDITOR'S PICKS




Sole Bliss

(Image credit: Sole Bliss )

Sole Bliss

Reasons to buy
+Built with comfort in mind+Eye-catching designs

Sole Bliss shoes are built with comfort in mind. Each pair features a deep and wide toe box, 3 layers of memory foam, a bunion bed stretch panel and superior arch support. Impressive, eh? Even pointed styles have extra space at the front, so you'll never have to squeeze your foot into a shoe that's too narrow again. 

SOLE BLISS SHOES–FASHION EDITOR'S PICKS




Vionic

(Image credit: Vionic)

Vionic

Reasons to buy
+Powered by a podiatrist+Quality fabrics 

Founded by podiatrist Phillip Vasyli in 1979, Vionic was born out of an aim to make treatment options for foot-related ailments more affordable. Their Vio-Motion™ footbed technology delivers Three-Zone comfort to the heel, arch and toes. Select wide width for extra room. 

VIONIC SHOES–FASHION EDITOR'S PICKS




Jess Beech

Jess Beech is an experienced fashion and beauty editor, with more than eight years experience in the publishing industry. She has written for woman&home, GoodtoKnow, Now, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own and Chat, and is currently Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC. 


She caught the magazine bug during a stint as Fashion Editor of her university newspaper alongside her English degree, and hasn’t looked back since. As for the fashion bug, that came as part and parcel of growing up in the 90s, but the less said about that the better!


Jess’ average day in the office is spent researching the latest fashion trends, chatting to industry tastemakers and scouring the internet to bring you this season’s must-buy pieces - as well as advice on how to wear them. Weekends are equally fashion-focused, and Jess has been known to visit no less than five Zara stores in a single day in search of the perfect occasion dress. 


The only thing that comes close to a buzz of finally tracking down that much-coveted dress is the joy of discovering a new beauty wonder product or hero ingredient. A beauty obsessive, Jess has tried everything from cryotherapy to chemical peels (minus the Samantha in Sex and The City-worthy redness) and interviewed experts including Jo Malone and Trinny Woodall.