Best Sandals for Flat Feet Reviewed
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The most important feature you want to be looking in any pair of shoes that you want to wear for flat feet is arch support. With these, this becomes more difficult to find as they are mostly made flat, lightweight and with minimal cushioning, support, and shock-absorbing qualities. An added disadvantage is that they will often offer insufficient support on the top of the foot, meaning that unnecessary stress is put on certain parts of your feet.
Luckily, many manufacturers recognize the need for comfortable and supportive footwear for people with flat feet (especially since almost one-third of the world’s population suffers from this condition). A perfect pair for flat feet will have a contoured, anatomical footbed with arch support that will raise your arches and allow for correct foot positioning. This will help take the pressure off of the rest of your feet, such as the heel and tendons in your feet, and maybe an important factor in preventing arthritis, back pain or strains.
All of the models listed above have been chosen because they provide wearers with adequate support. While some people require a more customized footbed, most people will do all right with an anatomical footbed.
Some of the things you should check out before making a purchase are the following:
If you have flat feet, chances are you tend to overpronate, putting too much stress on the inner part of your feet. If you are unsure whether you do this, you can check by looking at a pair of well-worn shoes. Can you see any difference in the wear of the outsole? This will show up on the heel, as the inner parts will be more worn than the outer parts. Overpronation is a habit that is common among people with flat feet or fallen arches, seeing that the underfoot muscles are not strong enough or cannot stay up in their natural position.
Although the most common consequence of overpronation is hip and knee pain, as well as discomfort in the heels, some people who overpronate may also develop conditions such as hammertoes, corns or calluses, bunions or even heel spurs.
That’s why a good pair of shoes will prevent you from putting your weight on the inner part of your feet and will promote an even distribution throughout the whole foot. Luckily, this problem can be easily solved by choosing footwear that is supportive in the arch area, as this will return your feet to the correct alignment.
Products such as those made by Birkenstock and Vionic will do especially well as they provide the necessary firm support that will stop you from putting too much of your weight on your arches while standing and walking.
We have already covered how important it is for you to have correct alignment when standing and walking. You may find that although you have flat feet, your feet do not experience any pain, but your knees, hips or back do. If you tend to experience any pain in these parts of your body after periods of standing or walking, you need to check whether your weight is evenly distributed to your whole body.
This can be done in the same way you check for overpronation – just look at the soles of your shoes, and check whether any part is overly worn. The goal is to have your shoes be evenly worn through the whole sole, and symmetrically on both sides. If your feet are positioned correctly, your whole body will have the opportunity to adapt, which means that your ankles can rest at a natural angle, and your knees and hips will come back into alignment. Through doing this, you will help take off the stress of just a part of these joints, allowing them to work in their natural position.
Another result is that the muscular structure around these joints will also get the chance to return to a natural way of working, preventing strain and thus lowering the chance of you feeling pain when going about your everyday life.
People with flat feet will tend to put too much stress on the heel of their foot when walking, resulting in this body part taking too much of the shock on impact with the ground. Too much stress on the heel can result not just in pain, but also in developing conditions such as heel spurs which are much more difficult to treat and manage than flat feet.
Perfectly, your shoes will help absorb some of the shocks your body experiences while walking. Options with soles made out of rubber and EVA foam materials are an especially good choice, as they will usually have been made with plenty of walking in mind.
Another important feature you want to look for in your footwear is cushioning which will make you feel more comfortable throughout the day. Some styles on this list have soft microfiber or suede linings, while others have cushions in the heel and forefoot. It is best to find a pair that will feel best for you. More often than not, you will find that a properly fitted pair of shoes with the right amount of support will not just prevent symptoms, but will also feel incredibly good to stand and walk-in.
The final universal criterion that you need to look for in any pair of shoes if you have flat feet is the width. People with flat arches will tend to feel more comfortable in wider shoes as this allows the foot to flatten on its whole surface.
However, in order to really prevent the symptoms of flat feet, you first need to get the right arch support and then get a pair of shoes that are properly fitted in width.
These can be a very comfortable option when it comes to width as most are adjustable and will allow you to customize the fit of the upper so that you do not feel any unnecessary pressure on your metatarsal area while still retaining a secure fit in the heel. Some makers will make shoes in different widths, and these will have a slightly wider outsole which will ensure that your whole foot is properly protected and supported throughout the day. If, however, you feel that a pair of shoes are too narrow, you will probably want to skip wearing them, as they might contribute to developing other ailments such as bunions, calluses, and corns, or even blisters which can be very difficult to manage, especially in hot and humid climates.
Another thing worth mentioning is that you should never wear a pair of footwear that isn't your size (this goes for both length and width). If your shoes are too long for you, you'll find that the arch support isn't where it's supposed to be, preventing you from benefiting from the supportive features. Fit really is crucial when it comes to healthy feet, so don't sacrifice them just because you think a pair of shoes look cute.
Supposing that you are purchasing a pair for summer use, it is very important to consider the materials that have been used to make the upper.
Generally, if you are going to be spending a lot of time in a hot environment, you will want your footwear to be made out of lightweight, breathable materials that won’t cause irritation or profuse sweating when worn for a longer period of time. Most products on this list are made out of synthetic uppers which will help wick moisture away from your feet, or from leather which is porous and breathable.
It is also good to have some slight stretch in the upper of your summer sandals, as this will ensure a better fit, but will also allow your feet to swell slightly, which will inevitably happen from the heat and lots of walking.
The inner lining also needs to use high-quality materials as you want the part of the shoe that touches your feet to be soft, breathable and to dry quickly enough. Antimicrobial and anti-odor treatments are a great addition as these will prevent the formation of odors or bacterial and fungal infections which tend to happen in hot and humid environments.
10 Best Sandals for Flat Feet
1. Clarks Leisa Cacti
Top of our list sits Clarks Leisa Cacti Slide, which earns its place at the top for its catching design, comfort and support, price, and brand name quality. The styling alone of this comfortable option brings a western flair, one of the top trends for fashionable footwear in 2018. Add to it an Ortholite footbed and cushioned softness with adjustable straps, and this shoe is perfect for any summer gathering!
Within the footbed of the Leisa Cacti Slide lies the Clarks Cushion Plush comfort system, which anatomically targets the ball of the foot to help reduce strain and promote natural foot gait. This dual-density cushioning helps foot fatigue for all-day wear. Ortholite technology in the footbed is an open cell structure that helps provide long-lasting comfort, breathability, and helps keep feet dry. EVA sole gives extra support, especially for those with fallen arches.
This adorable option comes in many color options, and with a three hook and loop closure hidden by decorative contrast stitching and aesthetic look, western styling finds adjustable comfort. Breathable and open, moisture-wicking Ortholite helps you keep cool on the hottest of days to keep your cool. These are great to dress up any outfit, or just paired with shorts for casual walks outside.
For a cushioned, supportive product with western style and flair, the Leisa Cacti Slide is a great option for the fashion-forward thinker who wants the most from their sandals. Ortholite technology combined with a soft cushion and adjustable closures makes it great for all sorts of individuals, not just those with flat feet. Well worth the investment, as these are certain to be in style long after the summer of 2018 is gone!
2. Naot Dorith
Naot is one of a few trusted brands for footwear that is both stylish and supportive, and by making use of quality craftsmanship within the footbed and structure elements of their shoes, they create shoes for those who need a little extra. The Dorith is an option that’s perfect for summertime fashions, with a strappy design that makes it versatile for casual and some more formal events. Add to this all of Naot’s technology and you’ll have one solid option to help your feet feel good all throughout the day.
The Dorith features structural elements designed to support those with fallen arches. Designed from a latex and cork material, the footbed not only feels softer than other shoes that can use wood or PU but is strong enough for optimal support where you need it. This footbed has been ergonomically and anatomically designed to support the arch, and nestle the heel into place with a heel cup. Straps along the back of the Dorith help to wrap around the heel, providing a snug fit that won’t let them come off, but also keep your foot in place for proper support.
Uppers are made from synthetic materials, but with its strappy design, the Dorith is quite airy and light. Maximal breathability and ventilation help keep feet cool and prevent slippage. It’s available in several colors and hues, from brighter oranges and blues to neutral tones like whites, browns, and blacks. Versatile for both formal events like dinners or weddings, as well as casual settings during summertime, it makes for a great option to consider!
3. ECCO Yucatan
This versatile option by ECCO is an excellent choice if you are looking for comfortable footwear that will serve you well on your outdoor walks and treks when the temperatures are up. They are a great choice for anyone with flat feet as they provide good support, are very pleasant to wear even during prolonged periods of standing and walking, and are adjustable both in the front and back to ensure a secure fit you can enjoy all day. To top it all off, they are available in several colors, both for women and men.
These have a triple hook and loop closure system which is excellent because they will allow you to tighten or loosen them just as you find it most comfortable. You will especially like the adjustable closure in the front as it can be readjusted during the day in case you experience any swelling due to heat or long periods of walking.
The midsole of these shoes features a direct-injected polyurethane that provides long-lasting cushioning and support, while the footbed is covered in a lightweight EVA footbed covered in soft microfiber. The RECEPTOR technology outsole is designed so as to maximize traction, give you a boost in energy during the push-off phase, as well as a 20-degree heel that promotes a landing that will put less shock on your feet.
As all ECCO shoes, these will cost you more than any regular pair of footwear. However, for the price you pay, you will be receiving a quality pair that will not only last you long, but they will provide you with the plenty of arch support and encourage a natural gait cycle so that you do not put unnecessary stress on your joints and can avoid experiencing any pain in the feet, ankles, knees, and back.
4. Vionic Miami
Vionic shoes are all designed by podiatrists who are dedicated to making footwear that both looks good, but is good for your health as well. The Miami is a T-strap that is ideal for more dressed up occasions, but still has all the comfort features you will need to remain pain-free, even after hours of walking or standing. It comes in four color options, white, rose gold, gold cork and black, and is an elegant choice that will look great with dresses and skirts, as well as jeans and shorts.
The materials used to make the upper of the Miami are either genuine leather or real cork, ensuring that you get a fit that will be easy to break in and that’ll mold to your foot’s shape. The midsole is made with EVA foam which absorbs shock and prevents joint and muscle pain, and it is covered with microfiber which is both soft and breathable. As for the outsole, you will benefit from a durable rubber that performs great on all types of surfaces.
In terms of support, this model features Orthaheel technology that has been biomechanically designed to hug your arches. Developed to treat plantar fasciitis, this model will surely help alleviate any pain you may be feeling. Do note that the high level of support will require getting used to, so it is recommended that you wear these for a couple of hours for the first few days. In terms of cost, these rank average on this list, which is a great deal considering their great looks, versatility, as well as supportive features.
5. Chaco Zvolv X2
These by Chaco are what happens when you take good technology, high-quality materials and marry them with a stylish design that will look absolutely amazing with anything you pair them with. The midsole of these shoes is made so as to offer ultra-lightweight support that will hug your arches while the upper is fully adjustable so that you can have an excellent customized fit. With their wide versatility, you will be able to wear these with a casual outfit, or to the beach and even into the water on your holiday adventures.
The footbed on these are the reason they made it on our list, as users simply love it. If you’ve got flat feet, you will appreciate the gender-specific support these shoes offer, through the vegan-friendly PU compound. The outsole is made out of non-slip, non-marking rubber that had been recycled so as to help the environment.
Although our list features other three-point adjustable shoes, you will love these as they are something completely different. The innovative design allows you to adjust the fit of these all around the foot and through the midsole with two injection-molded ladder-lock buckles. The toe loop is there for added security in all your movements.
Even though they aren’t exactly cheap, these shoes offer great value as they are versatile and durable. You will be able to wear them almost anywhere, while still reaping the benefits of a comfortable and supportive sole that won’t leave your feet feeling any pain after hours of walking or standing.
6. OOFOS Ooriginal
The OOFOS Ooriginal Thong is all about functional comfort, combined with unisex design to suit anyone’s foot. Color options can step up the appeal of the shoe, but it’s best suited for days at the pool or lounging around town for casual meetups instead of dressier occasions. Pack with Oofoam technology in the sole, and boasting of almost 40% more shock absorption than others; it’s no wonder it ranks high on our top ten list.
OOFOS Ooriginal boasts of a patented footbed, made to support the arch, and relieve strain from pressure on the knees, hips, and ankles. Its foam is proven to be 37% more shock-absorbing than typical materials they are comprised of, and each step returns energy to you, helping to alleviate foot fatigue. Oofoam is comfortable enough where it helps prevent chaffing normal thong flip-flops may end up giving you and are super lightweight.
The unusual look of OOFOS Ooriginal does have a function! They are created to flex with your foot, but also with whatever surface you’re walking on, allowing and promoting a proper gait when walking, and natural foot articulation. Oofoam also holds it’s the cushion for life, and these shoes can handle whatever moisture they encounter. The closed-cell foam makes them water-resistant or machine washable!
Slightly less than our number one spot, for a supportive, cushioned option that primes its construction on functionality, the OOFOS Ooriginal Thong is a solid summer flip flop option. With Oofoam to cushion your steps, a biomechanical design for promoting natural foot articulation, and Oofos patented footbed with arch support, they are an ideal option for those with fallen arches!
7. Mephisto Helen
Newer to our list is the Mephisto Helen, a simple asymmetrical design similar to Birkenstocks, but full or support and comfort that have reviewers raving about the shoe. Incorporating their Soft-Air technology to pad the product with comfort and flexibility, but also have shock absorption found in the heel to alleviate impact when walking. The adjustable strap helps you find the perfect fit, and soft suede lining will pad your feet in plush cushioning.
Platform constructed outsole and cork midsole give this product about an inch platform off the ground, but considerable cushioning for all-day wear. A textured sole helps keep you from slipping when caught in summertime thunderstorms, and contoured footbed design helps promote foot alignment, and conforms over time to your specific foot. Leather straps provide soft adjustable closures to ensure a proper fit.
The midsole of the Helen is like many of Mephisto brand shoes and sandals, consisting of their Soft-Air technology. It’s made to be breathable and flexible but also minimizes shock absorption from walking in general. This technology helps to reduce pain in the hips, knees, back and promotes a soft ‘moss’ feel to each step, ensuring you walk in comfort.
On the pricier side of our spectrum, the Mephisto Helen is still a great investment for those with fallen arches. The Soft-Air technology pads this option with plush cushion, and combined with cork midsole and adjustable leather closures, it’s sure to fit perfectly. The asymmetrical design gives it an added aesthetic if you’re looking for something a bit unusual.
8. Taos Gift 2
Last but far from least on our list, is the Taos Gift 2. This stylish option really steps up design when it comes to supportive footwear for summertime. Support is found for both the arch and front of the foot and toes, and with plush soft leather uppers and microfiber lining, you’ll be able to wear these for long days out in the sun. Gift 2 is available in a number of color options as well, so you can find one to suit your favorite summer look.
Taos Soft Support lines this product, with metatarsal support and arch support made from premium polyurethane. Also, Cool Recovery Foam gives the footbed a plush microfiber cushion and proprietary gel that cools your feet as you walk. Microfiber is treated with Silvadur to prevent any unwanted buildup of moisture and bacteria, and durability is found in the rubber outsole for your next adventure outside.
Scrunched leather adorns this one to cover the top of the foot, and a thong toe helps keep this slip-on in place. With a number of color options to select, you are certain to find one to pair with a cute skirt or summer dresses. The Gift 2 is perfect for nights out where you dress to look your best, or if you want to stroll along the boardwalk for a day of carnival rides and sweet treats.
Similar to the cost of Birkenstocks, the Taos Gift 2 is a great option for those who want support and cushion, but also prefer a bit more stylish options in their footwear collection. With the Cool Recovery Foam and Silvadur antimicrobial treatment, it’s a smart purchase for fashionistas who want to keep theirs longer than a summer season. Worth considering for your next pair!
9. OluKai Ohana
These classic Hawaiian inspired flip flops are perfect for women who are looking for a simple yet stylish summer option that will be comfortable, water-friendly and will provide them with plenty of arch support to prevent foot and lower leg pain. Made out of 100% natural materials without the use of any animal products, these are vegan-friendly shoes that will serve you well even if you decide to wear them around water.
The footbed of these flip-flops is made out of anatomically compressed EVA foam midsole combined with a soft ICEVA drop-in footbed that provides not just cushioning, but also excellent medial and lateral arch support to reduce pain and fatigue from long days of standing and walking, promoting natural shock absorption in the feet. The toe box is roomy for better balance and less stress on the back part of the foot, while the heel is cupped so that lateral movement is minimized and the body is properly aligned.
Not only are these shoes 100% vegan, but they use the highest quality synthetic materials which provide you with breathability, durability and quick-drying water-friendly properties. In addition, the outsole is made out of non-marking rubber that has razor siped edges so that you have a solid grip even on wet surfaces.
Although expensive compared to some footwear, these flip-flops are well worth the investment if you are looking for a high-quality pair of shoes that will allow you to feel as if you were walking in wet sand. They will perfectly mold to your foot, giving you plenty of support, cushioning and shock absorption, exactly where you need them.
10. Alegria Venice
Another great option on our list, the Alegria Venice is a slide style option with comfort features to have you on your feet all day long feeling supported and happy. One great difference with this pair from other brands is the rocker mini-outsole, designed to promote the heel-toe movement during walking and alleviate foot fatigue and better gait. With an adjustable three-strap closure, it’s also great for several foot shapes and sizes and comes in a plethora of stylish colors and patterns.
Alegria footwear is known for their latex and cork footbeds, which help pad footfalls in the cushion, but also remain supportive over time. This combination of materials will conform to the shape of the foot over time, without losing the supportive arch feature. Leather insoles create durability, so you can rest assured the shoe won’t break down quickly when you wear it for daily use. Synthetic soles have some patterned tread to help with traction and grip, as well as keeping your steps cushioned.
Uppers on the Venice are constructed from leather, as is the footbed lining, giving it a durable structure. We’d recommend using a leather protectant spray to ward of stains or damage from rain or liquid spills, however. A three-strap closure fastens with strong Velcro to make it adjustable for many widths. With cute patterns and a number of different solid hues, you’ll likely find one suitable for your wardrobe for summertime fun.