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10 Best Summer Shoes for Flat Feet, According to Podiatrists

Provide your feet with both comfort and support with these podiatrist-recommended summer shoes for flat feet on Zappos.

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side view of woman walking down stairs outsidePablo Rogat`s Photostream/Getty Images

Choosing the best pair of shoes for flat feet

If you have flat feet, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a fairly common condition. According to the Institute for Preventive Foot Health, about eight percent of adults in the United States have flat feet. “Flat feet is the most common pathology of the foot, so it’s not surprising that we see many patients complaining of this specific issue in our office,” says Yekaterina Narodetskaya, a podiatrist at TOEtal Podiatry in New York, New York. “That’s because untreated flat feet often result in subsequent foot problems.”

While having flat feet isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can make finding shoes that fit well and feel comfortable a bit more challenging. “Individuals with flat feet should look for a shoe with a good amount of support, a rigid or structured sole, and back support or a back strap. “People with flat feet are pronators, which stresses the arch and tendons on the inside, outside and rear of the foot,” explains Nicole G. Freels, a podiatrist at Lexington Podiatry in Lexington, Kentucky. “That’s why these characteristics are ones that a customer should be looking for when shopping for shoes, if they suffer from flat feet.”

There isn’t one “right” shoe

However, these criteria don’t mean that there’s one specific shoe that’s best for flat-footed individuals. Finding shoes, in general, is not a ‘one size fits all’ type of affair. “One should not aim to find a shoe that fits a laundry list of qualities, but rather that provides comfort and support to the foot as a whole,” says Dr. Narodetskaya. “Additionally, just like some shoes adhere more closely to the ‘gold standard’ of the perfect shoe, not all flat feet are the same, making the process of shoe selection highly personalized.”

Shoes that someone with flat feet should absolutely avoid though are those with no support, as well as flip-flops, as both can cause more pain and discomfort, our podiatrists say. (This is why you should avoid walking barefoot.)

The process of figuring out which shoes are good for flat-footed individuals can be challenging and may take more time. To help you in the process of finding the best pair for you, we asked our foot experts about some of their top recommendations. Here’s what they said about the best summer shoes for flat feet.

birkenstock arizonavia zappos.com

Birkenstock Arizona

$100

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“Although sneakers are best for individuals with flat feet, we understand in the summer patients may seek a sandal, and Birkenstocks are a great option,” says Dr. Narodetskaya. “They have a wide toebox; flat feet are often wide, so this can prevent irritation on the forefoot. They have both an efficient outer sole (the black outside of the shoe) and midsole (pictured as the inside tan of the shoe), which aid in flat foot pathology control. Plus, the midsole is crafted to provide adequate arch support, which a flat foot innately lacks and therefore needs.” The deep heel cup and the shoe’s resistance to bending also provide structural support and stability.

naturalizer marianne shoesvia zappos.com

Naturalizer Marianne

$43

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Calling those who love neutrals: These slip-ons come in tan, mauve, and black, and the leather or suede uppers are soft enough for you to slide into them with ease. “This pair has good arch support and rearfoot control, which is ideal for those with flat feet,” explains Dr. Freels. “And they can also fit a custom orthotic, too.”

chaco mega z cloud sandalvia zappos.com

Chaco Mega Z Cloud

$115

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The best part about the straps on these sandals is that they can be adjusted for a personalized fit. “These are an ideal sandal for flat feet because the combination of arch support and shock absorption will cause very little stress in the wearer’s arch, as well as lots of comfort,” says podiatrist Leo Krawetz, president of Healthy Feet Podiatry in Tampa. “The combination of the deep heel cup and strap in the back of the heel is ideal for stability for someone with flat feet, too.” The sandals have an antimicrobial finish to keep odors at bay, and they have a 100 percent vegan construction, too.

cougar pippy sandals

Cougar Pippy

$63

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A platform, strappy sandal is the perfect summer shoe, and this one will make those with flat feet feel comfortable, explains Dr. Freels. “It has a well-structured sole, and the rearfoot strap prevents you from having to grip the sandals with your toes to keep them on.” The rubber outsole will keep you from slipping around, too. Choose to get them in either black or white.

skechers go walk lite slip on shoesvia zappos.com

Skechers Performance Go Walk Lite

$45

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The lightly padded collar will prevent these slip-ons from rubbing or cutting into your foot even after a long day of walking. (These are the best walking shoes for your feet.) The fabric is breathable, which makes them a good option for steamy days, and the responsive cushioning in the sole will put a little more pep in your step. “These are great for flat feet because the arch support and semi-rigid back of the heel allow for stability, giving more overall support to the arch, where it’s needed most,” says Dr. Krawetz.

oofos ooahh slide sandalsvia zappos.com

OOFOS OOahh Slide Sandal

$50

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This sandal might look clunky, but it actually only weighs four-and-a-half ounces. “This pair is good for flat feet because there is enough arch support to keep the foot from flattening while walking,” explains Dr. Krawetz. “The upper strap of the sandal also pushes the foot against the sandal’s arch, providing the foot with more stability of the sandal will hold the foot against the arch giving more stability to the foot.”

new balance classics sneakersvia zappos.com

New Balance Classic WL574v2

$80

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You can’t go wrong with a classic, and the light color of these make them a great summer sneaker option—especially for those with flat feet. “The shoes we generally recommend to flat-footed patients is a comfortable sneaker, like this New Balance pair,” says Dr. Freels. “The model runs wide and has great support for the arch.” The foam passing on the color and tongue keep any chaffing at bay, too.

merrell juno wrap sandalsvia zappos.com

Merrell Juno Wrap

$90

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We love the coral color of these sandals (though they come in black and beige as well, if you prefer neutrals), and the crisscross strap design, which serves a functional purpose, too. “These are great for flat feet because there is excellent arch support, and a deeper heel cup which will help stabilize the foot,” says Dr. Krawetz. “The strap across the top of the foot will keep the foot pushed down, against the heel bed, giving more support to flat feet by pushing the feet on the supportive arch.”

topo athletic phantom sneakersvia zappos.com

Topo Athletic Phantom

$130

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If you’re looking for a bright new summer sneaker, look no further. “These have a supportive outsole that provides control and traction,” says Dr. Narodetskaya. “The insole has good cushioning and arch support, which can aid those flat feet from feeling more pain.” The kicks have a roomy toebox as well, perfect for those with wider feet. Reviews do say that the shoe can run small, so Dr. Narodetskaya suggests sizing up to prevent friction and discomfort.

keen lorelai slip on shoesvia zappos.com

Keen Lorelai Slip-On

$90

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Slide your feet into these leather shoes and immediately notice how soft the fabric feels against your feet. Plus, it’s a breathable material, too, so you’ll get ample airflow on hot days. “These slip-on shoes are a good pair for flat feet because there is an ideal arch in the shoe, which is not overwhelming, and the upper, with its elastic sides, will hold the foot against the arch to allow for excellent support,” explains Dr. Krawetz.

Sources

Amy Schlinger
Amy Schlinger is a skilled reporter, writer, and editor who regularly interviews world-renowned doctors and medical professionals, elite trainers, nutrition experts, professional athletes, and celebrities. She has 11 years of experience covering health, fitness, wellness, nutrition, and lifestyle topics. She has held staff positions at Shape Magazine, DailyBurn, Self Magazine, and PopSugar. Her work has appeared in Men’s Health, The New York Post, Women’s Health, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Health Magazine, Outside Magazine, Livestrong, Map My Fitness, MSN, Runner’s World, Bicycling Magazine, and more. She has been featured in DailyBurn’s Live to Fail workout video series (five total), is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), and is certified in Kettlebell Training. Amy is extremely passionate about healthy living, and can often be found researching and testing out new wellness trends and fitness programs or strength training at the gym. She has run six half marathons, completed one triathlon, biked two century rides, finished two Tough Mudder races, and four Spartan races, including a beast at the Spartan World Championships at Squaw Mountain in North Lake Tahoe.