Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (2024)

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (1)

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Finding the right walking sneakers requires lots of trial and error. That's especially true if you have flat feet. But we promise that finding the right walking shoes for low arches can save you a lot of aches and pain down the road. That's because people with flat feet tend to have issues with overpronation—aka your feet rolling inward—when walking, according to experts we spoke with. This gait can cause your inner arch to further flatten, or press firmly into a shoe. And, when your inner arch collapses, the toes tend to fan out—causing your feet to widen.

Plus, the arch of your foot helps stabilize the ankle, which stabilizes the knee, and so on, and so forth. So, when the support under the arch is gone or reduced, the rest of the body feels the uncomfortable destabilization. This continued overpronation can turn into feet, joint, and lower back pain.

Peep the best walking shoes for flat feet, below

“A supportive shoe for flat feet can reduce pain and soreness, resulting in easier standing, walking, and running,” says Bruce Pinker, DPM, foot and ankle surgeon and founder of Progressive Foot Care in New York, New York. In general, a supportive walking sneaker for flat feet should have plenty of arch support, a wide toe bed, a stiffer insole, and a stable heel.

To find the absolute best walking shoe for your flat feet, we recommend consulting with a podiatrist to you have your foot properly fitted. But if you're strapped for time, our editors have been field testing a bunch of great sneakers with fit, arch support, wide footbeds, and comfort in mind to create a shortlist of the best walking shoes for flat feet that you can shop online. We also consulted with Pinker as well as physical therapist Caryn McAllister, PT, DPT, for their tips on how to find a supportive shoe, as well as determining if you actually have flat feet to begin with. Also, both experts shared some of their go-to brands to find a truly supportive shoe for flat feet. Read on for our recommendations.

Best Overall

Asics GT-2000

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (12)

Best Overall

Asics GT-2000

Pros
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (13)Breathable upper
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (14)Firm, but comfortable arch support
Cons
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (15)Low traction

Our fitness editors say Asics' GT-2000 is the absolute best running shoe for flat feet, thanks to its added arch support. It also features three levels of cushioning that provide shock absorption, soft heel strikes, and a rolling motion–for smooth strides. All of these details also make it an ideal walking shoe for low arches.

We also love the heel is loaded with extra shock absorption, which helps reduce the pressure on your joints. Plus, we found that while the midsole is firm in the middle to support our arches, it's still comfortable enough to walk and stand in all day. We just wished the outsole was a bit grippier for those rain day jaunts.

Weight8.5 oz
Drop8 mm
CushioningHigh
Colorways2

Best Podiatrist-Developed Shoe

Vionic 23Walk Classic Sneaker

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (16)

Best Podiatrist-Developed Shoe

Vionic 23Walk Classic Sneaker

Pros
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (17)Tractioned outsole
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (18)Roomy toe box
Cons
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (19)Bulky silhouette

When you need extra support, these are the walking shoes to reach for. We love that these sneakers have a removable insole that has a stiff center for arch support, along with a sturdy heel counter to keep your feet from rolling inward. Even more, the footbed is biomechanical, meaning it features contours that align with most people's feet for added support.

Vionic is a relatively new sneaker brand that was designed by podiatrists, and a couple of our own experts swear by the label. "It has been a go-to shoe for me, and our patients love them," says podiatrist Brad Schaeffer, DPM, a board-certified foot surgeon in New York City.

Weight12 oz
Drop12.7 mm
CushioningSoft
Colorways7

Best Cushioning

Hoka Gaviota 5

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (20)

Best Cushioning

Hoka Gaviota 5

Pros
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (21)Stabilizing insole
Cons
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (22)Arch support is too intense for some reviewers

This Hoka features the brand's H-frame insole, which has firm sides and a soft center to prevent your feet from rolling inward or side to side. McAllister notes that these walking shoes deliver the stability flat feet need, but still has the brand's signature cushioning that's comfortable enough to wear for hours. Even the American Podiatric Medical Association has given this Hoka shoe its seal of approval.

"Some more flat-footed folks have complained about the 'pokey' arch on the Gaviota 5," said one of our contributors in her testing of the best motion control shoes. "I’m a flat-footed runner, and I haven’t particularly had an issue with it, but you should be aware that others with a similar foot structure have."

Read more: Best Hoka Running Shoes

Weight9.1 oz
Drop6 mm
CushioningHigh
Colorways9

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Best for Treadmills

On Cloudgo

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (23)

Best for Treadmills

On Cloudgo

Pros
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (24)Lightweight
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (25)Moderate arch support
Cons
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (26)Slightly narrow toe box
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (27)Some reviewers needed to size up half a size for a proper fit

When you want to walk miles on a treadmill, reach for these sneakers. We love that it has a soft-but-not-plush cushion, so that it's comfortable enough to walk on a tread belt, but still has enough support to keep your feet from rolling inward.

This sneaker features an ergonomic midsole that provides stiff arch support, stabilizes your foot, and guides your heel-to-toe steps for smooth walking. Though take note: our testers note that you'll probably need to size up for the best fit.

"These shoes provide the perfect amount of cushion for your poor knees so you're completely pain-free after you get off and go about your day," WH Associate Fashion and Commerce Editor Lily Woehlner wrote in her testing of the best on running shoes.

Read more: Best Treadmill Walking Shoes

Weight9 oz
Drop11 mm
CushioningMedium
Colorways6

Best Low-Profile Shoe

Lululemon Strongfeel Training Shoe

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (28)

Best Low-Profile Shoe

Lululemon Strongfeel Training Shoe

Pros
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (29)Stiff sole
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (30)Stable heel counter
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (31)Cushioned insole
Cons
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (32)Upper not very breathable

Many supportive shoes tend to have soft and chunky silhouettes that feature a platform height (see: Hokas). However, we love that these Lululemon walking shoes boast a sleek low profile that provides additional stability to flat feet. With streamlined soles that are closer to the ground, people with flat feet are able to find balance much quicker than walking in a plush sneaker.

The main caveat to walking in low profile shoes is that they are better suited for indoor walks on a treadmill. If you were to walk in these sneakers on rocky ground, you’re more likely to feel the edges of every pebble, stone, and stick on the ground.

Weight10.2 oz
Drop6 mm
CushioningSoft
Colorways6

Best for Wide Toes

Ryka Intention Walking Shoe

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (33)

Best for Wide Toes

Ryka Intention Walking Shoe

Pros
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (34)Ample arch support
Cons
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (35)Heel counter too narrow for some

Many people with flat feet also need a wider toe box, according to McAllister. That's why we love this Ryka sneak, which has is narrow in the heel and roomier in the front to let you toes splay comfortably flat. In our experience, the insole bolsters the arch and stabilities the heel without causing pain after hours of walking. Though take note: if you have a wide heel, you might feel that the back of this sneaker hugs it a bit too tightly.

Weight7.21 oz
Drop14.5 mm
CushioningHigh
Colorways3

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Best Responsive Footbed

New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v13

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (36)

Best Responsive Footbed

New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v13

Pros
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (37)Medial post prevents overpronation
Cons
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (38)Only one color choice
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (39)Flexible outsole

"This running shoe is suitable for flat feet since it has a supportive medial post that can be beneficial for those with low arches," Pinker says. Plus, we love that its midsole has a responsive foam that conforms to your feet. That means your dogs will be locked in, but still comfortable for long walks. It's also available in a wide size, making it ideal for people whose toes tend to splay when walking.

Weight8.6 oz
Drop10 mm
CushioningHigh
Colorways1

Most Convenient Sneakers

Brooks Running Addiction Walker V-Strap 2

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (40)

Most Convenient Sneakers

Brooks Running Addiction Walker V-Strap 2

Pros
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (41)Maximum arch support
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (42)Easy to slip on
Cons
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (43)Stiff upper
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (44)Few color options

If you want a walking shoe that's both supporting and convenient, try this on for size. We like that it features two secure hook-and-loop strips that are easy to slip on and off for days when you just want to get out the door. According to Pinker, this Brooks sneak has a diagonal roll bar in the middle of the insole that helps provide arch support, while also keeping your shoot from rolling inward. Also, the responsive cushioning prevents your feet from feeling fatigued on long walks. However, in our testing, we found that the upper is stiffer than most shoes on this list, which might not be great if your feet tend to sweat a lot.

Read more: Best Brooks Running Shoes

Weight12.9 oz
Drop12 mm
CushioningMedium
Colorways2

Klaw 528

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (45)

Pros
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (46)Roomy toe box
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (47)APMA approved
Cons
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (48)Stiff upper

This lightweight sneaker offers serious arch support. We love that these walking shoes have a deep heel cup that keeps the foot in place while walking, and a wide toe box to give toes plenty of space to breathe. Furthermore, it has an APMA-approved amount of arch support. We also like the sturdy-yet-cozy rocker at the heel, which helps propel you forward during those brisk walks. Take note: the upper is stiffer than most shoes on this list, and, the outsole is pretty flashy.

Weight11 oz
Drop7 mm
CushioningHigh
Colorways6

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Best Stability

Nike Metcon 9 Workout Shoes

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (49)

Best Stability

Nike Metcon 9 Workout Shoes

Now 34% Off

Pros
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (50)Breathable upper
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (51)Roomy toe box
Cons
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (52)Gusseted tongue might be too narrow for wide feet

Nike's Metcon series is a favorite among our fitness team as a workout shoe, thanks to its unique stabilizing plate that keeps your feet rolling during heavy lifts. This flatter, supportive cushioning also makes it ideal for people whose feet tend to roll inward. We also like the dual-density foaming, which offers enough support for long periods of standing or walking, without adding much bulk. The low profile will help keep your feet even more balanced. Our only complaint: the gusseted tongue, which might be too narrow for extra-wide feet.

Weight12.4 oz
Drop4 mm
CushioningSoft
Colorways13

Best for Hiking

Ryka Trailblazer Trail Shoe

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (53)

Best for Hiking

Ryka Trailblazer Trail Shoe

Pros
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (54)Design of the shoe guides your foot forward
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (55)Water-resistant upper
Cons
  • Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (56)Flexible outsole

Looking to put the spring back in your step? Then try these Ryka walking shoes. We love that these sneakers are designed to safely guide your foot to walk from heel-to-toe without any chances of overpronation. Also, the contoured footbed provides sturdy arch support–and a cushioned cupped heel–to support, shape, and stabilize flat feet. The biggest standout is its grippy outsole and water-resistant upper, which will help keep you feet dry and firmly planted during your casual hikes.

The only downside to these walking shoes is that you might find the forefoot of the outsole to be a bit too flexible. That means you'll feel stiff support from the heel to the balls of the feet, but not under the toes.

Weight10.7 oz
Drop8 mm
CushioningHigh
Colorways3

What to Look for

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (57)

Arch support: When choosing a walking shoe for flat feet, look for an option with ample medial arch support. The medial arch, also referred to as the “inner” arch, goes from underneath the base of the big toe to the heel, along the underside of the foot. “Shoes for flat feet should have a stiff sole underneath the arch of the foot,” says McAllister.

Design: Pinker notes that the design of a supportive walking shoe for flat feet should have a durable upper and an EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) footbed to keep your feet comfortable, but locked in from rolling inward. Also McAllister says that shoes for flat feet should flex only at the forefoot, where it's less likely to cause overpronation.

Stability: “For flat feet, one should look for a walking shoe with a stable heel counter," Pinker says. The heel counter is at the back of a shoe, which cups your foot from the sides and back to keep your heel in place.

Fit: “Proper footwear typically feels right immediately when placed on your foot,” says McAllister. That means it's not too tight, but still enough to let your toes splay.

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How to tell if you have flat feet

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (58)

Both Pinker and McAllister have their own methods for determining whether or not you have flat feet at home. Pinker’s way involves giving yourself “The Wet Test,” while McAllister’s method asks you to take a good look at yourself in the mirror.

Wet Test: “Submerge your feet in water and then walk across a large piece of paper,” says Pinker. Then, take a look at the footprint you’ve just made. If the shape is more of an oval, the foot surgeon says that you probably have a flat foot. However, if your footprint looks more like a skinny question mark, then you’ve got more of a high arch. “Anything found in between those two outlines indicates a normal foot type,” he says.

Mirror Test: Stand in front of a mirror with bare feet. “Lift up your toes. Then drop your toes," says McAllister. "Does your foot flatten and spread out? If so, you might have flat feet."

What shoes should I avoid if I have flat feet?

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (59)

You shouldn’t wear a walking sneaker with little to no arch support if you have flat feet. “Some may experience pain in the medial arch if they have flat feet and the footwear is not supportive,” says Pinker. Additionally, the sole of a supportive shoe for flat feet shouldn't be too flexible, according to McAllister. You’ll want a stiffer sole under the foot to keep your feet from rolling.

Do flat feet need more arch support?

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (60)

Yes, flat feet need arch support. “But how much depends on each individual,” says McAllister. According to Pinker, flat feet need that added support because the joints of the foot can move out of alignment, which can be incredibly uncomfortable and even painful.

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Are Hokas Good for Flat Feet?

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (61)

Both experts agree that Hokas are generally good for flat feet. McAllister, who’s owns a pair of Hokas herself, notes that several of her patients find the King of Cushion to be comfortable and supportive. “[Hokas] are well made and I've recommended several to patients who are super pleased with them," she says.

How to break in walking shoes for flat feet

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (62)

While your new walking shoes should fit well out of the box, your feet might need time to get used to the added medial arch support. McAllister recommends testing out your new shoes in increments before taking a longer walk. "Try your new shoes for 20 minutes, then 60 minutes, then two hours just to be sure they are good for your feet for longer treks,” she says.

How we selected

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (63)

As WH editors and writers, we practically live in walking shoes. For this story, we polled our staffers with flat feet on their favorite sneakers, as well as a panel of three podiatrists on their expert recommendations. We looked for sneakers that had ample arch support, a wide toe box, and were comfortable to walk in for at least an hour. We also combed through hundreds of five-star customer reviews to find the absolute walking sneakers for flat feet.

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Meet the experts

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (64)

  • Caryn McAllister, PT, DPT, is a podiatrist, physiotherapist, and CEO of High Quality Home Therapy in Stamford, CT.
  • Brad Schaeffer, DPM, is a board-certified foot surgeon and podiatrist in New York City.
  • Bruce Pinker, DPM, is a board-certified foot surgeon and podiatrist in New York City.

Shop more of our favorite shoes

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (65)

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Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (66)

Angelica Wilson

Freelance writer

Angelica is a freelance writer covering all-things e-commerce for Women's Health. Her work has been featured in Well+Good and Popsugar.

Podiatrists Agree: These Walking Sneakers Are *Great* For Flat Feet (2024)

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