By Jess Beech
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
“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
Vionic Cheryl Loafer
Not only are these loafers stylish enough for work and weekends, but they come with a 30-day comfort guarantee. If you're not satisfied that their three-zone technology is supporting your feet, you can return for a full refund.
Clarks Kerris Lace Black Leather
Slightly smarter than your average sneaker, these have been crafted from luxe black leather. Choose between two widths depending on your needs.
Birkenstock Sydney Vegan Sandal
Raised arches make Birkenstocks the practical sandal choice for anyone with a flat feel. This pretty pair will add a botanical feel to any outfit.
Sole Bliss Sydney Shoe
Brimming with comfort-focused features, these chic heels have an extra spacious toe, as well as triple-layer underfoot cushioning.
Clarks Craft Run Lace White Suede
A great choice for anyone trying to make more eco-friendly purchases, the leather has been approved by the Leather Working Group, and the footbeds are made from recycled materials. Removable cushioned linings provide extra support.
Vionic Paula Block Heel Sandal
Say hello to your comfiest heels yet. Specially designed to support your arches, these pretty heels support your frame and alignment from the floor up.
Hotter Breeze Sandals
A pair of tan sandals will always have a place in any capsule wardrobe, so it pays to splash out on a quality pair. The option to shop in half sizes guarantees a spot-on fit.
Fitflop Allegro Soft Leather Ballet Flats
At first glance, these pumps look like they might not be suitable for flat feet. But thanks to high-rebound cushioning hidden in the soles, they're a joy to wear.
M&S Collection Wide Fit Suede Boat Shoes
If you're struggling to find stylish yet affordable wide-fit shoes, M&S is a great place to start. Their unique Insolia Flex® technology helps stabilize your feet and makes walking in flats a more comfortable experience.
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