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

Image

Birkenstock Gizeh Big Buckle

RRP: £95

One of the most recognisable Birkenstock styles, these are flip-flops that won't leave your feet feeling sore at the end of a long day. 


Image

Birkenstock Sahara Birko-Flor

RRP: $160/£105

One for active types, these have been especially designed for anyone that's on their feet all day. A must-buy for a staycation or adventure break. 


Image

Birkenstock Gary Suede Leather

RRP: $140/£95

Thought Birkenstock just did sandals? Think again. These lace-ups are made from a supersoft, unlined suede, which means you can go sock-free. 


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

Image

Clarks Karsea Strap Tan Suede

RRP: $90/£69

A tan sandal will never date, especially when made from premium suede. Buy now, wear season after season. 


Image

Clarks Kaylin Cara 2 Taupe Snake 

RRP: $110/£69

Thanks to additional cushioning, these reduce strain on the ball of your foot, meaning you can wear heels for longer. 



Image

Clarks Un Rio Tie Blush Leather

RRP: $130/£79

The only way to walk into the weekend (or any day of the week for that matter) the lightweight sole feels like you're walking on clouds.


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

Image

FitFlop Gracie Buckle Leather Slides

RRP: $100/80

If the buttery soft leather wasn't enough to add these to basket, how about the cushioned soles and contoured, supportive footbed?


Image

FitFlop Allegro Soft Leather Ballet Pump

RRP: $100/£80

Proof that you can wear flats if you have flat feet, these feature secret cushioning in the soles. 


Image

FitFlop Rally Leather Trainers

RRP: $100/£80

Refresh your trainer collection with high-shine metallics. The sleek shape means these will look just as good with dresses as they do jeans. 


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

Image

Hotter Honiton Shoes

RRP: $129/£75

The lightweight sole flexes and bends with your foot, for full flexibility of movement. It's got extra grip too, handy for slippery terrain. 


Image

Hotter Air Sandals

RRP: $115/£65

Showcasing their attention to detail, the straps on these sandals are padded. Blisters, what blisters?


Image

Hotter Fearne II Shoes

RRP: $110/£79

Additional cushioning at the sole will put a spring in your step, helping you to walk for longer before aching muscles kick in. 


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

Image

M&S Collection Wide Fit Leather Ballet Pumps

RRP: $60/£35

Crafted from buttery soft leather, these pumps have been finished with an adorable scallop trim. 


Image

M&S Collection Wide Fit Block Heel Court Shoes

RRP: $32.50/£19.50

It's the contrasting heel that caught our eye here, giving this otherwise classic style an on-trend touch. 


Image

M&S Collection Wide Fit Suede Boat Shoes

RRP: $85/£49.50

Treat leopard print as a neutral and pair these cute boat shoes with contrasting patterns and bold brights.


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

Image

Sole Bliss Tess Sky Blue Suede

RRP: $289/179

The perfect shoe for the office. The seam-free leather lining means there's no niggling against your joints, and helps reduce the risk of blisters. 


Image

Sole Bliss Hero Snake Print Leather

RRP: $289/£179

In a hurry? No problem. A handy zip on the top means there's no need to tie or untie your laces. The platform sole adds extra height. 


Image

Sole Bliss Una Tangerine Suede

RRP: $285/£175

Wedges are a great choice for long days, putting less pressure on your joints than a high heel. The adjustable ankle strap ensures a spot-on fit. 


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

Image

Vionic Robyn Flat

RRP: $119.95/£90

A versatile shoe, this pretty pump could be worn for work or play. Choose from four wearable shades. 


Image

Vionic Alta Toe Post Sandal

RRP: $89.95/£60

Who said you can't find comfortable sandals if you have flat feet? Carefully crafted arches help support your natural alignment from the ground up. 


Image

Vionic Rechelle Trainer

RRP: $129.95/£100

A pair of white trainers will more than earn their keep in your wardrobe. We love the chunky sole and suede detailing on this pair.