The 12 Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet for Men

This article is a review of the best walking shoes for flat feet. It reviews shoes for men in various styles. But if you are a woman then you can find shoe reviews for women with flat feet here.

You probably already know that you have flat feet and understand the many benefits you can get by having the best walking shoe to help reduce pain and hopefully prevent problems that flat feet might cause.

Last Reviewed on 23 January 2019 - Split Men's & Women's Flat Feet Reviews into separate pages.

Woowalkers – The Fitness Walking Resource 1

by Jennifer & Curtis

So we'll get straight to the reviews. Use the navigation tables which show the shoes reviewed. Then use the 'jump to' links in the tables to go straight to the shoe that interests you.

If you are here hoping to better understand if you have flat feet or why you have them or find out what problems flat feet can give rise to, I have that information covered after the reviews. Or you can skip straight down there with the blue button under here.


Navigation Table & Quick Look at the
Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet - Men


Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet - Men 

Merrell MOAB 2 Waterproof Shoe 

Hoka One One Gaviota

New Balance 1300 Trail Walking

Nike Air Monarch IV Trainer

Brooks Addicition Walker

Rockport Randle Ubal Sneaker

Propet Wash N Wear Slip-On Loafer II

Skechers Equalizer Relaxed Fit 3.0 

Nunn Bush Cameron Slip-On

Cole Haan Zerogrande Wing Oxford


Best Hiking Shoe for Flat Feet - Men 
Merrell MOAB 2 Waterproof Trail Walker 

For Gait Type
Overpronators - Neutral

For Arch Type
Low - Normal

For Walk Type
Power & Trail

Merrel Shoes
89
Overall

Pros

  • Multiple Widths
  • Lightweight Shoe
  • Durable
  • Wider Toe Box
  • Very Comfortable
  • Supportive
  • Power & Fitness Walkers Shoe
  • 5 Star Walking Shoe

Cons

  • Poor Color Choice
  • A bit pricey

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Best Athletic Shoe for Flat Feet & Plantar Fasciitis - Men
Hoka One One Gaviota Athletic Walker

For Gait Type
Overpronators - Neutral

For Arch Type
Flat - Normal

For Walk Type
Power & Fitness

Hoka One Shoes
86
Overall

Pros

  • Good Square Last
  • Lightweight
  • Soft Cushioning
  • Overpronation Control
  • Good Breathability
  • Comfort & Supportive Insole
  • 5 Star Walking Shoe

Cons

  • A Little Pricey

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Best Trail Walking Shoe for Flat Feet - Men 
New Balance 1300 Fashionable Trail Walking Shoe

For Gait Type
Overpronator

For Arch Type
Flat to Normal

For Walk Type
Regular Treadmill

New Balance Shoes
83
Overall

Pros

  • Square Toe Box for Toe Spread 
  • Great Leather Uppers
  • Cushioned and comfortable
  • Rollbar for Overpronators
  • Wide Fitings
  • Durable Outsole

Cons

  • Limited Color Styles
  • A bit heavier than some

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Best Training Shoe for Flat Feet - Men
 
Nike Air Monarch IV

For Gait Type
Mild Overpronator

For Arch Type
Normal & Wide Feet

For Walk Type
General Walking

Nike Shoes
88
Overall

Pros

  • Multi-Purpose
  • Cross Trainer
  • Leather Uppers
  • Budget Price
  • Removable insole
  • Multiple Width Fittings

Cons

  • Medium a bit Narrow.
  • Quite Heavy
  • Add 1/2 size for custom orthotics
  • Good Shoe for Grandad

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Best Walking Shoe for Flat Feet for Men
Brooks Addiction Walker

For Gait Type
Overpronator

For Arch Type
Flat

For Walk Type
Multi-Purpose

Brooks Shoes
90
Overall

Pros

  • Quality Leather Uppers
  • Great Support
  • Overpronator Specific
  • Good Cushioning
  • Durable
  • King of Walking Shoes for Overpronators

Cons

  • Not many Colors
  • Restrained Design

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Best Orthopedic Walking Shoe for Flat Feet - Men
Orthofeet Sorrento

For Gait Type
Overpronator

For Arch Type
Flat - Normal

For Walk Type
Casual & Work

Orthofeet Shoes
85
Overall

Pros

  • Multiple Choices for Foot Type
  • Great Brand
  • Premium Orthotic
  • Designed for Flat Feeet
  • Good Fit with Space
  • Removable insoles & various width sizes

Cons

  • Can Take Getting Used To
  • Not particularly durable

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Best Sneaker for Flat Feet - Men 
Rockport Randle Ubal Sneaker 

For Gait Type
Neutral

For Arch Type
Normal

For Walk Type
Multi-Use

Rockport
94
Overall

Pros

  • Great Looks
  • Best Seller
  • Lightweight
  • Good Cushioning
  • Classic Sneaker Design
  • Wide & Normal Fittings

Cons

  • You'll Want Two
  • A Smidgen Narrow for Some

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Best Slip-On Loafer for Flat Feet - Men
Propet Wash N Wear Slip-On II Loafer

For Gait Type
Overpronator Neutral

For Arch Type
Flat - Normal

For Walk Type
Multi-Purpose

Propet Shoes
87
Overall

Pros

  • Made for Flat Feet
  • Good Cushioning
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to Put On
  • Washable
  • Multi-Purpose

Cons

  • Jack of All Trades
  • Better Shock Absorbance to be Had

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Most Comfortable Shoe for Flat Feet - Men
Skechers Men's Relaxed Fit Equalizer 3.0 

For Gait Type
Overpronator Neutral

For Arch Type
Flat - Normal

For Walk Type
Multi-Purpose

98
Overall

Pros

  • Best Seller
  • Great Cushioning
  • Lightweight
  • Oh So Comfy
  • Look Great
  • Multi-Purpose

Cons

  • Not a Great Choice if You Only Wear Leather?

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Best Shoes for Wide Flat Feet - Men
Orthofeet Gramercy 

For Gait Type
Overpronator Neutral

For Arch Type
Flat - Normal

For Walk Type
Multi-Purpose

Orthofeet Shoes
91
Overall

Pros

  • Made for Flat Feet
  • Good Cushioning
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to Put On
  • Good Formal Shoe
  • Good Orthotics Supplied

Cons

  • Stilted Design
  • Limited Color Choice

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Best Formal Slip-On Walking Shoe for Flat Feet - Men
Nunn Bush Men’s Cam Slip-on Casual Walking Shoe 

For Gait Type
Neutral

For Arch Type
Normal Supportive

For Walk Type
Casual & Work

Nunn Bush
90
Overall

Pros

  • Good Leather Uppers
  • Great Price Point
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Bargain Quality Shoe

Cons

  • Rubber Soles Don't Suit Everyone
  • Limited Color Choice

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Best Dress Shoes for Flat Feet - Men
Cole Haan Zerogrande Wing Oxford 

For Gait Type
Neutral

For Arch Type
Flat - Normal

For Walk Type
Stylish Casual / Formal

Cole Haan
92
Overall

Pros

  • Cl;ass & Style
  • Well Cushioned
  • Lightweight
  • Quality Materials
  • Formally Casual
  • Great Brand

Cons

  • You Have to Pay For Quality

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What are Flat Feet?

The human foot has 26 bones, joined together with 33 joints and more than a hundred muscles, tendons and ligaments to hold the whole thing together.

These muscles, tendons, and ligaments connect between the heel bone and the toe joints pulling together to form your foot arch. This arch acts as a sort of flat spring.

Injury, age, arthritis, lack of strength in the tendons and ligaments as well as excessive weight, can all contribute to reducing the efficiency of your foot arch and lead to it flattening.

Phases of Gait When Walking

The Gait Cycle

It helps to understand the basic mechanism of the gait cycle first as background knowledge to the subject of flat feet.

In the first stage of the gait cycle called the heel strike, your body weight is taken up by the heel as your weight shifts onto the grounded foot from the other foot.

In the next stage, the foot arch receives weight from your heel as you move forwards through your stride. The ligaments and tendons in your foot stretch, spreading the forces more evenly through your foot as your weight is transferred. This is essentially a shock absorbing action that your arch provides you.

Then as you move yet further through your stride, your weight is passed from the midfoot to the forefoot and toes, ready to eventually push off and propel you forward.

Examining the gait a little more we see that as the foot arch spring takes your weight, it flattens and in so doing rotates the foot towards its inside edge. The ankle also rotates inwards. This rotation of ankle and foot is called pronation and happens to everyone.

Then, as your weight is transferred off from the arch to the toes, your foot rotates in the opposite direction along with ankle. This is called supination and again happens with almost everyone to some extent.

Flat feet refers to the shape of the feet with this condition compared to a more normal foot. If the muscles, tendons, and ligaments stretch then the arch flattens more than a normal arch does and creates an excessive rotation of the foot and ankle inwards which is called overpronation.

From the overpronated alignment of the foot, it is difficult for it to recover during the counter supinating rotation phase. This leaves your weight too much on the inside and stressing the big toe.

It follows that most flat footed people are also overpronators.

What are the Effects of Flat Feet?

The problem with flat feet is not just with the foot rotating more than normal and weight being shifted more than usual onto the inside part of the foot and ball of your foot behind the big toe.

Complications arise in other parts of the foot and beyond.

Firstly there is the issue that the over-flattening of the foot results in the tendon under the foot compressing against the bone and potentially becoming inflamed. The tendon is called the plantar fascia and inflammation of that tendon is called plantar fasciitis though flat feet are not the only cause.

Increased pressure on the large pad of your foot behind the big toe can cause bruising of that area and resulting pain. This increased pressure comes from the foot being unable to level itself quickly enough in the mid stride to push off phase transition. 

Image of Overpronator Foot Pressure Transfer Through Gait Cycle

Overpronator Foot Pressure Transfer Through Gait Cycle

Over rotation of the ankle can cause ankle pain too as greater effort is made by various muscles to counteract the rotation and avoid turning the ankle.

The abnormal alignment of the ankle also affects the leg bones and muscles that can cause shin splints, pain in the knees, hips, back and so on.

Every person is unique, and the set up of our joints, bones muscles and tendons is not identical. Some can handle the misaligned gait better than others.

And so some people with flat feet never experience any pain, and others will experience a lot of pain. Some will have flat feet from their hereditary make up from an early age and others will develop it because of disease, trauma or because they grow too heavy for the component parts of their feet to handle.

Yet others will experience the problem through changes in their bones and muscles through arthritis or overworking them.

There is a myriad of reasons why flat feet come about and the level of pain or damage to other parts of the body that result.

What Should You Do About Flat Feet?

As I mentioned, some people will never experience pain from flat feet but it makes sense to take precautions and not leave the problem to the ravages of time. You may already have some pain or be feeling the twinges in your knees or hips. Or you may have been to a doctor who has examined you and explained that you have flat feet and to find shoes to help offset potential problems and reduce pain.

There are a few obvious factors that a shoe can do to somewhat counter the effects of your arches collapsing. This is done by reducing the amount the shoe can twist torsionally by the use of rigid inserts, usually in the midsole to counter twist. A wider sole can also help.

These shoes are called stability shoes or motion control shoes. The addition of an anti-torsion device in the sole makes the base of the shoe more rigid which can be more or less rigid depending on design. Motion control shoes are more rigid than stability shoes.

Another thing a shoe can achieve is to cushion the underside of your foot so that there is less force pushing the plantar fascia against the bones sitting above it. So well-cushioned shoes will help a good deal too.

Support to the arch can be provided by the shoe to stop its complete collapse and allow the foot to stay better aligned. This reduces the rotation inwards and allows the foot to recover and properly distribute pressure into the forefoot. In so doing the pressure on the big toe area is reduced along with the risk of developing bunions.

Orthotic Arch Support & Heel Cup Positioner

Orthotic Arch Support & Heel Cup Positioner

As shoes are made to fit a wide range of foot shapes and gait types, sometimes the support provided with the shoe does not suit you. The support can be too high or too low, too firm or soft or located too near the heel or too far forward. This can also affect cushioning as well since the insole contributes a lot to comfort and shock absorbance as well as support.

For this reason, it is a good idea to have shoes that have removable insoles that can be swapped out for a different design. As supplied insoles tend to be quite thin in many shoes, 3 - 5mm is common, yet shop bought orthotic replacements are quite thick maybe 8 - 10mm, this is another reason to make sure the shoe is slightly looser to provide space for the extra thickness.

One last point about flat feet is common sense really and is that flat feet tend to be wider than normally arched feet because as the arch drops to the floor, the foot spreads out as do the toes to balance the body. And so a shoe for flat feet will normally need to be a little wider in the shoe last than usual.

Look for these features in the best walking shoes for flat feet:

  • Stability control in the sole and a wider sole is a bonus
  • Good cushioning to protect the Plantar Fascia
  • Support to the arch of the foot to stop the foot turning too much mid stride
  • A generally slightly wider last for a better fit and to allow the toes to spread naturally.
  • Removable insoles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Flat Feet Cause Knee Pain?

Flat feet can cause knee pain and it is a common side effect. Not everyone will get knee pain though as it depends on the whole set up of your leg, bones, ligaments, tendons and particular gait.

The reason flat feet can cause knee pain is that when you are in the middle of your stride your weight is taken mostly by the middle of your foot and arch. As the arch collapses (which it is designed to do), the foot twists inwards with the ankle rotating too. If the rotation is too much then the foot is misaligned - and typically flat feet cause too much inward twist.

With the foot misaligned your brain signals the rest of the parts of your feet and legs to compensate which includes the leg muscles. In compensating these 'other parts' of your leg and foot are out of alignment and that includes the knees.

And so you may eventually end up with knee pain depending on how your body compensates and how strong the 'other parts' are to be able to cope.

That is an individual matter of physiology which is why not everyone suffers the symptom.

How Can Flat Feet Be Cured?

Flat feet can't be cured effectively but there are exercises you can do to strengthen the Plantar Fascia and other tendons in your feet which can slow any further flattenting.

Overweight is linked with flat feet because of the incresed weight and, as a result, pressures the soles of your feet have to cope with. So losing weight can be another good way to slow or stop your arches flattening too much.

Whilst shoe technology can't reverse flat footedness, it can help support the arch to prevent too much rotation through your stride and also cushion the sole from sudden pressures and distribute those pressures more evenly.

There is some debate on the benefits because wearing supports will eventually weaken the component parts that are causing the flat footedness. That viewpoint does not consider the damage being caused to the other parts of your legs and feet that have to compensate and deal with the extra pressures the flat footedness causes. these can be significant.

For this reason WooWalkers suggest that it is best to stop the problem causing an avalanche of issues and instead do exercises to strengthen the Plantar Fascia, Achilles and other tendons to encourage better arch operation. In other words these stretching exercises will keep the tendons and ligaments in good condition and prevent their further weakening.

Your podiatrist should advise you on the best exercises for your particular foot physiology.

Sources: Diagnosis & Treatment of Flat Feet



The 12 Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet for Men
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