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The Best Walking Shoes For Flat Feet

Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet

[Image Source - Esther Max on Flickr]

Long walks are undoubtedly one of the most effective low-impact exercises one can do. Still, it can be notably challenging for people with flat feet. Especially if they don't have a comfortable walking shoe for striding about. Additionally, flat-footed people tend to have low or no arches, which causes pain and fatigue from the bottom of their feet, sometimes all the way up to their lower backs. With that in mind, we have rounded up the best walking shoes for flat feet to help you avoid injuries and complications with your ankles, legs, knees, and even your back.

When looking at the best flat feet walking shoes, there are a couple of things we need to keep in mind:

  • Arch support- Properly supported arches help distribute your weight evenly, meaning your feet get less impacted when hitting the ground.
  • Heel support- To account for inward rolling a good walking shoe should have a cushioned reinforced heel to prevent injury. Especially for people with over-pronation.
  • Flexible toe box- The right amount of flexibility in the toe box allows for easy bending, and enhancing comfort while walking.
  • Cushioned inner sole- Preferably made from memory foam or rubber, cushioned inner soles provide more comfort, support, and stability for flat feet.
  • Breathable design- It offers proper ventilation to prevent bacterial growth and sweating, hence your feet remain cool for extended periods and won't stink at the end of the day.

     

    1) Everyday Classic Sneakers. Rating: 4.7/5

    Women

    Men

    Image source: Vessi.com

    Our top pick for the best flat feet walking shoes is hands down the Everyday Classic Sneakers for plenty of incredible reasons. To start off, these shoes are 100% waterproof thanks to Vessi's proprietary Dyma-tex® knit.

    Comfort is undoubtedly the highest priority for the brand. The moulded insoles contour your foot's shape all day while providing ample support. It truly feels like your feet are standing on clouds. Not to mention the antibacterial insole that keeps things fresh all day long.

    Plus, the Dyma-tex® knit is remarkably breathable to keep your feet cozy throughout the year: cool during summer and warm in the winter. In addition, the sole is ultra-lightweight and bouncy, featuring a herringbone grip to keep you firmly grounded even in wet conditions.

    Image source: Vessi.com                          Men's everyday sneakers

    Pros:

    • 100% waterproof

    • Lightweight

    • Breathable

    • Removable insoles for orthotics

    Cons:

    • Limited shipping destinations

    2) Weekend Sneakers. Rating: 4.8/5

    Women

    Men

    Image source: Vessi.com

    The Weekend Sneakers offer as much comfort as possible, even for people with overpronation or supination. You will have a full range of motion control with the rubber tread pattern, which provides awesome traction. In addition, the design ensures you can go into any weather with confidence since they're 100% waterproof.

    Image source: Vessi.com                              Women's weekend sneakers

    They are also completely machine washable which makes them easy to clean. While they can't be machine dried, you can air dry them in a well-ventilated space for a few hours. They come with anti-microbial removable insoles, perfect for orthotics and for managing potential odours.

    Pros:

    • Breathable and lightweight

    • Removable insoles for orthotics

    • 100% waterproof

    • Rubber tread for extra grip

    Cons:

    • Sizes run small

    3) Weekend Chelsea Boots. Rating: 4.9/5

    Women

    Men

    Image source: Vessi.com

    With extra high side panels for added waterproof coverage, these 100% waterproof shoes are a great option for year-round use. They have an unlimited range of motion which means these shoes are perfect for flat feet. Additionally, the Weekend Chelsea Boots are made with a four-way stretchy knit upper that adapts to your foot shape the more you wear them. These shoes provide ankle support because the material snugly fits over your ankle.

    Image source: Vessi.com                           Women's weekend Chelsea's

    They also come with vegan leather pull-on tabs which means you can have them on your feet in a few seconds. Cleaning these shoes is also super easy. All you have to do is use a wet sponge with a little soapy water. You can then air dry them, and wear them again.

    Image source: Vessi.com                          Men's weekend Chelsea's

    Pros:

    • Lightweight

    • 100% waterproof

    • Breathable

    • Extra high panels for more coverage

    • Pull tabs for easy on and off

    Cons:

    • No half sizes

    • Not machine washable

    4) Everyday Move Slip-Ons. Rating: 4.9/5

    Women

    Men

    Image source: Vessi.com

    If you can't be bothered by the hassle of laces, then the Everyday Move Slip-On shoes are for you. They are perfect for various foot pain and conditions. Apart from that, they provide comfortable arch support and are perfect for light travel or everyday wear.

    Image source: Vessi.com                              Women's everyday slip-ons

    They are also 100% waterproof, so you can wear them in any weather and in any ocassion. The waterproof knit upper will protect your feet in wet weather, snow, mud, and even sand. Additionally, they keep your feet cool in hot weather by wicking away any moisture and adding breathability.

    Image source: Vessi.com                               Men's everyday slip-ons

    Pros:

    • Pull tabs for easy on and off

    • Breathable

    • Lightweight

    • 100% Waterproof

    Cons:

    • No half sizes

    How to Recognize Feet Types

    In each step you take, your foot naturally yields inward to absorb shock, support the foot's arch, and prevent any possible pressure injuries. When feet roll inward or outward too much (pronation), their shock absorption ability becomes less effective or even diminishes completely. From this, we can distinguish three types of pronation:

    a) Neutral Pronation

    This refers to the normal, healthy position of the arch and joints, typical in a normal-sized foot. When walking or running, the feet land on the outside of the heel, then pronate (rolls inward) a bit to absorb shock and support the body weight. Injuries are far less likely with this kind of foot pronation due to the proper shock absorption when the feet hit the ground. Accordingly, there's no particular need to get special walking shoes.

    b) Overpronation

    This is connected to people whose feet land on the outside of the heel but then roll too much inwards (actual pronating), consequently transferring their body weight to the feet's inner edge. When walking or running, the big and second toes do most of the heavy lifting, meaning pronated feet have a higher likelihood of bunions and heel spurs. Overpronation is associated with people who have flat feet and low arches.

    What to look for when choosing walking shoes?

    • Proper support
    • Decent arch support
    • Structured cushioning

     

    c) Underpronation (Supination)

    Supination is the flip side to overpronation, meaning when the feet make contact with the ground, the outer side of the heel has little or no pronation upon impact. This leads to a large shock transmission through the lower leg, making the feet more prone to ankle sprains and shin splints. Underpronation is mostly associated with high arches but has also been reported in people with a combination of flat feet and supination.

    What to look for when choosing walking shoes?

    • Plenty of cushioning to prevent strong impacts
    • Lightweight to minimize pressure
    • Gel-based or single-density midsole for proper stability

     

    * Plantar Fasciitis

    Most people with foot differences experience a problem known as plantar fasciitis. This condition is characterized by an irritated and swollen plantar fascia (a thick connective tissue that joins the heel to the front of the foot), causing excruciating pain at the heel.

    What to look for when choosing walking shoes?

    • Extremely soft & cushioned midsole and insole, but avoid excessively flexible soles.
    • Capacity to change the footbed with another orthotic
    • Proper heel and arch support
    • Perfect fit (size, width & in-shoe feel)

     

    What to Look for in the Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet

    1. Sturdy Sole

    A sturdy sole is the foundation of a great walking shoe for flat feet. Therefore, the sole should be firm and unyielding, especially in the heel and midsole areas. This means you can comfortably use the shoe for multiple occasions and in diverse environments as well.

    2. Wide Toe Box

    Ideally, the toe box (front part of the shoe) must have sufficient room for a natural in-shoe feel. As such, the right toe box ensures that your toes don't bend when walking. That said, it shouldn't be overly roomy as this can bring about its own kind of discomfort.

    3. Supportive Heel

    A supportive heel ensures that your ankle doesn't bend or twist when walking. Furthermore, the inward rolling mainly associated with over-pronation can increase the chances of sprains, heel spurs, tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis. Proper heel support keeps your feet stable, thus preventing injury. Buy a walking shoe that comes with a cushioned, reinforced heel.

    4. Quality Materials

    For starters, whichever material you go for must be breathable. Proper airflow is particularly essential to the best walking shoes for flat feet. As for the specific materials, full-grain leather (featuring waterproof GORE-TEX material or breathable perforations) is an excellent option. Not only does it ensure your feet are well supported and ventilated, but the quality of the material means that you can use the shoe for a pretty long time.

    As for the sole, rubber is certainly the ideal option to go for, for its proper support and durability.

    5. Arch Support

    Different kinds of arches require different kinds of arch support. Your specific foot structure is what determines what good arch support is for you. People with flat feet tend to experience significantly more impact when their feet hit the ground, largely due to low, flat, or collapsed arches. As mentioned earlier, well-supported arches help to distribute your weight evenly so that you can go on long walks without experiencing any pain or aches.

    6. Multi-Surface Outer Sole

    Naturally, flat-footed people have quite sensitive feet, and they have to take extra care and stability to avoid getting sore. Therefore, we recommend going for a walking shoe with stiff outer soles, which help keep your feet comfortable, with little to no pain even after wearing it for long periods.

    It's also important to consider an anti-slippery outer sole to ensure your feet don't move in the shoe inadvertently. Even better, go for a multi-surface option with extra ease and stability. This helps to distribute pressure evenly and massively relieve pain.

    7. Dual Material Uppers

    Any walking shoe with genuinely durable uppers will more than likely stand the test of time. The best option is going for a shoe with uppers made of leather, suede, or synthetic mesh. These materials not only come with longevity but also extended flexibility, and they look sleek too. One thing to keep in mind is the shoe should have a breathable mesh upper for proper ventilation.

    8. Moisture Absorbing Lining & Footbed

    On top of good ventilation, it would be best if you also got a shoe that has moisture-absorbing capabilities. Typically, these come with absorbent linings and footbeds to keep the inside of the shoe cool. Low inner temperatures result in less perspiration and, subsequently, minimal stench. More so, such temperatures prevent different kinds of bacteria from growing inside.

    As we see it, bamboo is clearly the best choice for such a lining and footbed.

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