11 Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet in 2024, According to Sports Medicine Doctors

11 Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet in 2024, According to Sports Medicine Doctors

Best Walking Shoe for Flat Feet Overall

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

Adrenaline GTS 23

Best Walking Shoe for Flat Feet Overall

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

Pros
  • Great for overpronators
  • Offers motion control through the arch and heel
  • Well balanced
Cons
  • May feel too firm to some

“I like to recommend the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 for flat feet,” explains Sanchez. “These shoes offer excellent support to really prevent any inward rolling of the feet, great cushioning for all-day shock absorption, and are at a great price point.”

With the Adrenaline, Brooks was on a mission to help solve an issue that many runners have: overpronation (the inward rolling Sanchez mentioned), which is caused by inadequate arch support. This shoe is the crème de le crème when it comes to stability (also known as motion control) shoes, featuring technology through the midsole that adds support and aids in preventing excess movement. Paired with Brooks’ DNA Loft v2 cushioning for optimal comfort, this is a go-to shoe for anyone lacking arch support or struggling with pain associated with flat feet.

If you prefer a super cushioned shoe, this might not be your ideal walker. It’s true that some sacrifices have been made in terms of cushioning in this shoe, but those considerations have allowed for a design that really delivers what some runners need: stability.

Read more: Best Stability Shoes

Colors 16
Sizes 7 – 15; Narrow, Standard, Wide, Extra-wide
Weight 10.1oz / 286.3g
Heel drop 12mm
Support level Medium

Most Cushioned Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

Hoka Gaviota 5

Gaviota 5

Most Cushioned Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

Hoka Gaviota 5

Pros
  • Available in regular and wide sizes
  • Rocker bottom sole
  • Durable
  • Great cushioning
Cons
  • May feel clunky to some

Stability and support is the name of the game when it comes to the best walking shoes for flat feet, but that doesn’t always mean cushioning needs to be sacrificed. We love the classic Hoka maximalist silhouette for its plush comfort, offering an extra dose of shock absorption and cradling landings. The Gaviota features Hoka’s H-Frame technology, a dual layer midsole that’s firmer on both sides of the shoe to help support your arch and heel. Compared to traditional stability shoes that feature added support on one side only, the Gaviota offers more universal support for those who struggle with excessive inward or outward rolling of the foot.

“When testing this shoe, I immediately observed a more accommodating toe box, a smoother roll through the foot, and an overall lighter feel than previous iterations,” contributor Eric Sung, C.S.C.S., a New York City–based trainer and a member of MH’s Strength in Diversity Initiative, previously wrote. The Hoka Gaviota consistently ranks at the top of every list among Sung’s clients who require additional arch support.

Read more: Best Hoka Walking Shoes

Colors 6
Sizes 7 – 15; Standard and Wide
Weight 10.9oz / 309g
Heel drop 6mm
Support level High

Most Comfortable Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

Hoka Arahi 7

Arahi 7

Most Comfortable Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

Hoka Arahi 7

Pros
  • Available in regular and wide sizes
  • Balanced cushioning
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Incredibly supportive
Cons
  • May feel too inflexible and firm to some

The Arahi is another shoe with great arch and heel support and balanced cushioning, however, we found it feels slightly less plush than the Gaviota. This shoe features a firm midsole that runs from the inside of the shoe and hooks around the heel to support your forefoot, dubbed by the brand as ‘J-Frame Technology’. This helps prevent excessive movement of the heel and arch to guide the foot through a natural gait pattern.

The shoe is relatively light for a motion control shoe (under 10 ounces), making it a nice choice for lengthy walks and long days on your feet. These are on the firmer side of Hoka’s offerings, with slightly less cushioning than the Gaviota, and give off a stable, “planted” feeling.

Because this shoe runs narrow, I recommend the wide sizes for those who typically opt for standard sizes. For those who regularly wear wide shoes, considering trying the Arahi in extra-wide.

Colors 6
Sizes 7 – 14; Standard and Wide
Weight 9.90oz / 280.7g
Heel drop 5mm
Support level High

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Most Versatile Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

MBT Men’s Sora Lace Up

Men's Sora Lace Up

Most Versatile Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

MBT Men’s Sora Lace Up

Pros
  • Versatile aesthetic
  • Breathable
  • High-quality, supportive insole
Cons
  • Limited colors available
  • Very limited sizes available

The Sora Lace Up is a fusion of style and orthopedic engineering tailored to deliver comfort and support for individuals with flat feet. According to Schaeffer, insoles are the key to stabilization, and most sneaker brand’s flimsy insoles don’t cut it. Each pair of MBT sneakers, however, features an orthopedic foam insole that’s as good at it gets outside of custom orthotics. This insole provides an extra layer of cushioning to reduce impact on knee and hip joints and provide additional support through the arch and heel. This design makes the Sora an ideal choice for those seeking shoes that prioritize foot health without compromising on style.

Another feature we love in this stability-focused shoe is its rocker outsole, which offers a medium-strong curve that encourages a natural gait cycle. Its mesh upper is light, breathable, and maintains the overall stylish aesthetic, perfect for both casual outings and active pursuits. Endorsed by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), the Sora is a great choice

Colors 2
Sizes 10 -12; Standard
Weight 10.7oz / 303.3g
Heel drop 4mm
Support level Medium

Smoothest Ride Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

Brooks Glycerin GTS 21

Glycerin GTS 21

Smoothest Ride Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

Brooks Glycerin GTS 21

Pros
  • Bouncy and plush ride
  • Accomodating fit
  • Flexible and light
Cons
  • May feel clunky to some

If you struggle with narrow-fitting shoes, the Brooks Glycerin comes to the rescue with a roomy, accommodating upper and wide options. Its generously padded upper makes slipping into this shoe a delight, offering a ton of comfort and support for your walking sessions.

At the heart of the Glycerin lies nitrogen-packed foam of cushioning, which strikes a nice balance between feeling bouncy and stable. This midsole design delivers a plush, enjoyable ride while providing the necessary control to maintain arch and heel position. Complemented by a durable outsole, this shoe is ready to tackle your daily walks with ease.

Read more: Most Cushioned Running Shoes

Colors 5
Sizes 7 – 15; Standard and Wide
Weight 10.5oz / 297.7g
Heel drop 10mm
Support level Medium

Best Motion Control Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

Brooks Beast GTS 23

Beast GTS 23

Best Motion Control Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

Brooks Beast GTS 23

Pros
  • Wide, stable base
  • Balanced cushioning
  • Secure and breathable fit

The Beast combines a few elements from Brooks’ other stability and walking models to fill a niche in the running community: a highly supportive shoe that doesn’t compromise on cushioning. This shoe features a similar level of mid-range cushioning as the Adrenaline, but with even more stability. The result is an airy, floaty ride that feels just as plush as it does stable.

The upper feels comfortable and contours to the foot seamlessly, even as the miles rack up and your feet need more room to swell and breathe. Overall, this is a good option to add to your rotation if you are looking for a more cushioned walking shoe, but still require significant motion control. Although it is on the heavier side (the Adrenaline shaves off a few grams with less cushioning), the added weight is more purposeful for this type of shoe and not a dealbreaker.

Read more: Best Walking Shoes

Colors 4
Sizes 8 – 16; Standard, Wide, and Extra-wide
Weight 11.9oz / 337.4g
Heel drop 12mm
Support level High

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Best Walking Shoe for Flat Feet for Shock Absorption

Saucony Omni Walker 3

Omni Walker 3

Best Walking Shoe for Flat Feet for Shock Absorption

Saucony Omni Walker 3

Now 25% Off

Pros
  • Supremely cushioned
  • Wide, stable base
  • Highly supportive through the arch and heel
Cons
  • Limited colors available
  • Heavy

Saucony’s GRID technology, introduced in the late 1990s, is a cushioning system that utilizes a network of thermoplastic filaments arranged in a grid pattern within the midsole of the shoe to enhance stability and support. This system helps to absorbs shock upon impact and redistribute energy throughout the shoe, reducing pressure on the foot and lower extremities. The result is a smoother, more comfortable ride that can improve comfort when walking.

According to Mark Mendeszoon, a board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Precision Orthopaedic Specialties in Chardon, Ohio, the Omni Walker is a “tremendous walking shoe that provides support, soft leather uppers, and a comfortable and supportive foot bed with supportive arch.”

Read more: Best Shoes for Standing All Day

Colors 2
Sizes 7- 14; Standard and Wide
Weight 12.9oz / 366g
Heel drop 8mm
Support level High

Best Slip-Resistant Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

Hoka Bondi SR

Bondi SR

Best Slip-Resistant Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

Hoka Bondi SR

Pros
  • Supportive Ortholite liner
  • Great for slick conditions
  • Ultra cushioned
Cons
  • Upper is not breathable (not ideal for warm weather)
  • Only available in one color

Hoka is known for its maximal cushioning, which can benefit individuals with flat feet who require extra support and shock absorption. Plus, it just feels dang good. The Bondi model is one of the brand’s most popular running shoes, but it works particularly well for walking too.

In fact, I prefer one of the more responsive Hoka shoes for for running, but reach for the Bondi as a walking shoe for getting around the city (I’m a New Yorker, so you can expect to hit a lot of steps). I’ve found that the Bondi SR is the most plush and gentle ride of all the Hoka shoes I’ve tested, and most importantly, it features an ultra sticky outsole that performs well in slick conditions.

Read more: Hoka Clifton vs. Bondi Comparison

Colors 1
Sizes 7 – 15; Standard and Wide
Weight 10.8oz / 306.2g
Heel drop 4mm
Support level Neutral

Best Wide Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

Brooks Addiction Walker 2

Addiction Walker 2

Best Wide Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

Brooks Addiction Walker 2

Pros
  • Plush cushioning
  • Wide, stable base
  • Breathable
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Limited colors available

“The Addiction is the workhorse of all walking shoes,” says Dr. Mendeszoon. It has a soft leather upper which protects the feet from possible spills and allows breathability despite its hefty construction. “Its midsole is designed to give tremendous support as a stability/motion control shoe,” he adds. “For those with flatter feet and collapsing arches, this is a go-to shoe.”

Overall, this shoe is designed specifically for walking and provides a ton of support and cushioning that’s ideal for flat feet. It also reasonably priced and comes in various widths to accommodate different foot shapes, so it’s an accessible choice for most guys.

Colors 2
Sizes 7 – 15; Narrow, Standard, Wide, Extra-wide
Weight 15oz / 425.2g
Heel drop 12mm
Support level High

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Best Leather Walking Shoes for Flat Feet

New Balance 928v3

928v3

Best Leather Walking Shoes for Flat Feet

New Balance 928v3

Pros
  • Broad range of width options
  • Durable leather upper
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • Lacks ventilation
  • Very heavy

Known for their stability and cushioning, New Balance shoes are a frequent recommendation for individuals with flat feet, according to the podiatrists and physical therapists we interviewed. The 928v3 model provides excellent arch support and motion control, and its leather upper comes in a range of sleek neutral colors.

These shoes cater to flat feet and overpronation by utilizing New Balance’s Rollbar technology, which consists of a medial and lateral TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) post located in the midsole. This Rollbar helps to control excessive inward rolling of the foot (pronation) during the gait cycle, providing stability and support for flat-footed individuals.

The 928v3 also features a reinforced midfoot shank, acting as a rigid structure in the midfoot area to further contribute to stability and control excessive movement.

Read more: Best New Balance Shoes

Colors 3
Sizes 7- 16; Narrow, Standard, Wide, Extra-wide, Extra extra-wide
Weight 18oz / 510.3g
Heel drop 13mm
Support level High

Best Entry-Level Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

Asics GEL-Pulse 15

GEL-Pulse 15

Best Entry-Level Walking Shoe for Flat Feet

Asics GEL-Pulse 15

Now 20% Off

Pros
  • Adequate motion control
  • Durable
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • Limited sizes/widths available
  • Limited colors available

Asics is known for its Gel cushioning technology, silicone-based Gel units in the midsole and heel that absorb impact and enhance comfort. Asics has been one of the most popular walking shoes brands around for decades, and this new model is one of the best entry level running shoes in its catalog.

The GEl-Pulse is specifically designed to provide support and cushioning for individuals who require extra stability through the arch and heel. One of the primary stability features is the Guidance Line technology, which is a vertical flex groove that runs from the heel to the forefoot. This groove helps guide the foot through the gait cycle, promoting a smoother and more efficient stride while also providing stability.

The shoe also features a foam midsole that offers lightweight cushioning and durability. The midsole feels balanced and stable underfoot, providing a secure and supportive ride during walks.

Colors 2
Sizes 7 -13; Standard
Weight 9oz / 256g
Heel drop 8mm
Support level Medium

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How to Choose the Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet (for You)

When shopping for walking shoes for flat feet, it’s best to look for shoes that offer arch support, motion control, and a wide toe box, according to Sanchez. But what does that really mean? We break these key factors down (and more) below:

Support

“Arch support is a must in ALL footwear–no matter what type of foot you have, this is probably the most critical item that can help prevent a myriad of issues,” explains Schaeffer.

If the shoe itself doesn’t offer enough, Schaeffer recommends adding an insert. Dr. Scholls, for example, makes great over-the-counter options for sports. If you want a step above, go to a board-certified podiatrist for custom-made orthotics.

Stability

Stability comes next, according to Schaeffer. “The goal is to keep your lower body in alignment as much as possible.

“Consider your foot type and [walking] gait. There are plenty of [walking] shoes that offer stability features or additional support for over- or underpronation.”

Cushioning and Responsiveness

Decide if you prefer maximum cushioning for impact absorption and comfort or a more responsive feel. Some shoes offer a balance between the two, so choose based on your preferences and walking style.

“Cushioning absorbs shock and helps to avoid tissue irritation and damage,” explains Schaeffer.

Weight

If you’re in the market for a walking shoe to take you long distances frequently, be sure the models you’re considering are lightweight. Unless we’re talking about a stability shoe, that means under 11 ounces.

Drop and Stack Height

The drop refers to the height difference between the heel and forefoot. Consider your preference for a lower or higher drop (higher drop will pitch you forward more with each step), as well as the stack height for cushioning and impact absorption.

Comfort and Fit

We asked Schaeffer how walking shoes should fit, here’s his take:

“All [walking] shoes should feel snug around your foot, have good arch support, the heel shouldn’t slip around, and there should be adequate room in the toebox. Wear the same socks you wear when you walk when trying them on and remember that our feet expand while walking. Also, we all have one foot that is slightly larger than the other, one may pronate when walking or running, or the opposite, supination.”

Terrain

Do you primarily walk on roads, trails, or a mix of both? Do you walk for daily activities only or long distances often? Different shoes are designed for different surfaces and distances, so choose accordingly.

Durability

Although walking shoes don’t need to withstand the same wear and tear as running shoes, they should still offer durability and withstand regular use. Look for shoes with reinforced areas in high-wear zones and durable outsole materials, as durability can be an issue with the more barebones models.

Reviews and Feedback

Read reviews from other buyers to get an idea of the shoe’s performance, durability, and overall quality. Look for feedback specifically from those with similar foot types or walking preferences.

Budget

While higher-priced models often offer advanced features, there are also affordable options available that can still meet your needs. Unlike running shoes, when it comes to walking shoes, most higher-end models won’t offer significant benefits for casual use.

Plan to replace them after approximately 300-500 miles of use to maintain optimal performance and reduce the risk of injuries, and consider this when determining your budget.

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Do People with Flat Feet Need Stability Shoes?

Having flat feet doesn’t necessarily mean you need stability shoes. Or does it? Everyone, and especially those with flat feet, need some level of arch support, but not everyone needs a shoe specifically designed to minimize excessive movement.

The need for stability shoes among individuals with flat feet depends on various factors, primarily the degree of overpronation and personal preferences. For some individuals with flat feet, stability shoes can provide support and control over foot motion that helps reduce the risk of discomfort or injury associated with overpronation. However, it’s also important to recognize that some people with flat feet may find adequate support and alignment with shoes that prioritize arch support without specific stability features.

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Which Shoes Should I Avoid Wearing if I Have Flat Feet?

If you have flat feet, it’s a good idea to steer clear of shoes with low profiles, like flip flops or slip ons, Sanchez told us. These types of footwear typically lack sufficient support and stability, which can exacerbate overpronation due to the absence of a snug fit around the heel. Without adequate support, the foot may continue to roll inward, leading to discomfort and potential issues with alignment during walking.

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Do Flat Feet Need More Arch Support?

Absolutely, individuals with flat feet require additional arch support to counteract the effects of overpronation. “Getting proper arch and heel support in your shoes and insoles is the number one priority for people with flat feet,” according to Schaeffer.

Flat feet are characterized by a tendency for the foot to roll inward excessively during walking or running, which further flattens the arch, according to Sanchez. To address this issue and provide stability, it’s crucial for individuals with flat feet to choose footwear with adequate arch support. Shoes with built-in arch support or the use of supportive insoles can help distribute weight evenly across the foot and promote proper alignment, reducing strain on the arch and minimizing discomfort associated with overpronation.

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How to Determine Your Foot Type

“Understanding your foot type is crucial for selecting the walking shoes that provide the right level of comfort and support for you,” states Mendeszoon. Arch height plays a significant role, with three primary arch types: neutral, high, and flat.

To determine your arch type, you can begin with a simple ‘wet test’, as recommended by Mendeszoon. Wet your feet and stand on a surface like concrete, sand, or a flattened paper bag, then examine the imprint left by your foot. If your foot leaves a complete, flat imprint, it suggests low arches and the potential benefit from arch support or stability shoes. However, the wet test only provides a basic idea; additional factors like weight, biomechanics, and overall fitness contribute to determining your arch type accurately.

Sanchez adds that in addition to visibly noticing a flattened arch, people with flat feet may experience symptoms such as achy feet and knees, foot fatigue, or swelling in the inner part of their feet and ankles. Another indicator is examining the wear pattern on the soles of their shoes, as people with flat feet may notice increased wear from the heel to the big toe due to overpronation during walking.

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How to Know When it’s Time to Replace Walking Shoes

It’s important to replace your walking shoes regularly to ensure adequate support and cushioning, probably more frequently than you think. As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to replace walking shoes every 300 to 500 miles (or every 3 to 5 months for those who walk 45 minutes at least 3 times per week).

The specific lifespan of a given shoe depends on a few factors, including frequency and intensity of use, quality of the shoe, and the type of surface you typically walk on. There are a few signs to look out for that may indicate it’s time to replace your shoes:

Visible Wear and Tear

Check the soles of your shoes for signs of wear, such as thinning or holes. Also, check the upper part of the shoe for any tears or holes.

Reduced Cushioning

If your shoes no longer feel as cushioned as they once did, it may be a sign that the midsole has worn down and it’s time to replace them.

Pain or Discomfort

If you’re experiencing foot or joint pain when walking, it could be a sign that your shoes are no longer providing adequate support.

Unpleasant Odors

Over time, shoes can accumulate moisture and bacteria, which can lead to unpleasant odors. If your shoes have a persistent odor that can’t be eliminated, it may be time to replace them.

Ultimately, it’s important to listen to your body and pay attention to any signs of discomfort or pain when walking. If you notice any of the above signs, it’s a good idea to start looking for a new pair of walking shoes.

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How We Tested and Selected the Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet

Over the past few years, we’ve been researching and testing new fitness shoe models from a wide range of brands. Men’s Health‘s fitness editors and contributing writers collaborated on the top walking shoes for flat feet to evaluate more than a dozen shoes and compare notes. In our assessment, we focused on factors including arch support, motion control, cushioning, durability, and fit. We also considered price point, as some walking shoes for flat feet provide a better overall value than others.

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Why You Can Trust Us

At Men’s Health, we take great pride in providing our readers with reliable and trustworthy product recommendations. We believe that our readers deserve the best, which is why we always make sure to conduct thorough research and testing before making any recommendations. Our writers and editors are experts in their own right, using their informed opinions to select products and ensuring that our content is of the highest quality.
Our product recommendations are purely editorial, and while we may receive free products to test and review, we only recommend the products we are most impressed by. We never let retailers or public relations contacts dictate our content or product coverage. Which is why you can trust us to provide you with reliable and unbiased product recommendations.

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Headshot of Talene Appleton, NASM-CPT

Talene Appleton is a fitness and food writer and editor, certified personal trainer (NASM-CPT), and former professional dancer based in New York City. Passionate about both exercise and cuisine, she merges her fitness, nutrition and culinary expertise with the goal of motivating others to embrace balanced healthy living. Her work has appeared in Men’s Health, General Surgery News, The Food Institute, The Nessie, and more.

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