Personal Development

The Best Shoes For Flat Feet Of 2023, Reviewed By A Podiatrist


Gregory Alvarez, DPM, FACFAS, a podiatrist at the Ankle & Foot Centers of America, points out that having flat feet can make you more susceptible to other foot problems, including bunions, back pain, and even tendon damage. “This is why finding the right shoes for your flat feet is important,” he emphasizes. Keeping this in mind, below are a few specific features to look for when shopping for the best shoes for flat feet. 

Arch support

Optimal arch support is one of the most important factors to consider when picking out shoes for flat feet. “This will help to reduce the strain on your feet, ankles, and lower back by helping you to maintain proper posture,” Alvarez says. 

“Arch supports make sure that the arch of the foot, in this case flat, is properly supported and can absorb that pain-inducing pounding many get when walking, running, or doing other activities,” adds Schaeffer. He shares that people with all types of feet should get a shoe with good arch support. “Arch supports are designed to relieve and, often, prevent pain,” he adds. 

Flexibility

Flexibility is also crucial. One study performed on school-aged children in Australia found that flexible, lightweight shoes can help with balance and may also lead to healthier, stronger feet in the long run1. “Shoes with a flexible sole are beneficial for flat feet because they allow for natural foot movement,” explains Alvarez. “Avoid stiff soles as these can cause discomfort.” 

Wide toe box

A roomier toe box makes for a better fit, to prevent the toes from being crammed together. Besides being downright uncomfortable, a cramped toe box can cause a whole list of other issues. “A roomy toe box also reduces the risk of developing bunions or corns,” Alvarez adds. 

Cushioning

Another detail you should be on the lookout for is cushioning. Alvarez recommends choosing a shoe with sufficient cushioning in the heel and forefoot region. “Cushioning helps to absorb shock when you walk, reducing stress on your feet and improving comfort levels,” he mentions. 

Good grip

Lastly, Alvarez advises that you select shoes with a good grip on the sole, to ensure your feet stay firmly planted, especially when walking or running. “This will help you to avoid slips and falls,” he says. 

Besides these criteria, you should also keep in mind what you’ll be using the shoes for. Will you be running in them every day, or will you use them only for occasional walks? Do you need casual sneakers that you can wear daily to get errands done, or are you looking for a dressier pair of shoes to wear to dinners or events? It is also helpful if you decide on your budget before you start your search, as shoe prices vary greatly.

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