Best Sandals for Flat Feet Reviewed & Rated
When choosing summer footwear, it is important to look for these properties in your next pair of sandals. Summer footwear is often made to be flimsy, lightweight, and will usually not provide much or any orthotic support. Our list of the ten best sandals for flat feet will give you some much-needed options of comfortable, supportive footwear that you can wear in the heat without having to suffer pain after spending a full day of walking on your feet.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 16 hrs of research
10 Best Sandals for Flat Feet
1. Clarks Leisa Cacti
Can Irritate After Prolonged Wear
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 sandal 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!Read more
Within the footbed of the Leisa Cacti Slide lies 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 sandal 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 sandals are great to dress up any outfit, or just paired with shorts for casual walks outside.
For a cushioned, supportive sandal 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 make 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. Birkenstock Yara
Leather and Vegan Options
Cork and Latex Footbed
Deep Heel Cup
Longitudinal and Transverse Arch Support
Roomy Toe Box
Beware of Counterfeit Items
One of the leading brands for sandals with proper support features, Birkenstock offers a variety of models, so it shouldn’t be too difficult finding a pair that appeals to your personal aesthetic. The Yara is a strap sandal that combines Birkenstock comfort and quality with a design that looks great for a variety of occasions, foregoing the bulky look that this type of sandal often offers. Available both in leather and vegan options, as well as a variety of colors, it will easily become your go-to this summer.Read more
The thing about Birkenstocks is that their footbed is made with anatomically shaped latex-cork that breaks in to match your foot perfectly, while supporting your arch (with quite a bit of height, so it’s appropriate even for those with high arches), a deep stabilizing heel cup, and a raised toe bar that makes walking much easier. This is a pair of footwear that will prevent you from overpronating, ensuring proper alignment, eliminating joint and back pain.
Being made with natural materials, the Yara will take some time getting used to, and will need a bit of breaking in. However, you can rest assured you’ll be able to wear this sandal for years. The cork in the sole is durable, the suede footbed is soft to the touch and breathable, the leather uppers have been lined with suede for a more comfortable wear, and you can adjust the ankle strap to get the best fit. In terms of cost, it will definitely set you back more than a regular pair of fashion sandals, but the associated cost is average if you look at anatomically supportive footwear.
3. ECCO Yucatan
Hook & Loop Closures
Front Curls Up
These versatile sandals by ECCO are 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.Read more
These sandals 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 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 sandals will cost you more than any regular pair of footwear. However, for the price you pay, you will be receiving a quality pair of sandals 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
Leather or Cork Upper
EVA Foam Midsole
Runs ½ Size Large
Soft for Some Users
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 sandal 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.Read more
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 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
3mm Lug Depth
Fully Adjustable Upper
Not Quick On-&-Off
These sandals 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 sandals with a casual outfit, or to the beach and even into the water on your holiday adventures.Read more
The footbed on these sandals is 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 sandals 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 movement.
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 in a sandal, combined with unisex design to suit anyone’s foot. Color options can step up the appeal of the sandal, 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 other sandals; it’s no wonder it ranks high on our top ten list.Read more
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 sandals are comprised from, 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 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 sandal 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
Soft Air Technology
Size Conversion Varies
Newer to our list is the Mephisto Helen, a simple asymmetrical designed sandal similar to Birkenstocks, but full or support and comfort that have reviewers raving about the shoe. Incorporating their Soft-Air technology to pad the sandal with comfort and flexibility, but also have shock absorption found in the heel to alleviate impact when walking. Adjustable strap helps you find the perfect fit, and soft suede lining will pad your feet in plush cushioning.Read more
Platform constructed outsole and cork midsole give this sandal 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 sandal 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 sandal with plush cushion, and combined with cork midsole and adjustable leather closures, it’s sure to fit perfectly. Asymmetrical design gives it an added aesthetic if you’re looking for something a bit unusual.
8. Taos Gift 2
Cool Recovery Foam
Width May Vary
Last but far from least on our list, is the Taos Gift 2. This stylish sandal 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. The Gift 2 is available in a number of color options as well, so you can find one to suit your favorite summer look.Read more
Taos Soft Support lines this sandal, 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 sandal to cover the top of the foot, and a thong toe helps keep this slip-on sandal 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 sandal 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 their sandals longer than a summer season. Worth considering for your next pair!
9. OluKai Ohana
Roomy Toe Box
Anatomical Arch Support & Heel Cup
Non-Marking Rubber Soles
Breathable & Quick To Dry
100% Vegan Friendly
These classic Hawaiian inspired flip flops are perfect for women who are looking for a simple yet stylish summer sandal 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.Read more
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 the 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. Vionic Neil
Good For Overpronation
Adjustable Fit On Three Points
Durable Rubber Outsole
High Quality Leather Straps
May Make Your Feet Sweat
Hook & Loop Closure Not Durable
These sandals by Vionic are an excellent choice for you if you have flat feet and are looking for a pair of summer shoes you can wear for long walks off the beaten track without experiencing any pain in your feet and legs. Vionic is a company founded by podiatrists, so when opting for their footwear you know you are getting something that is sure to keep you healthy and pain-free, with plenty of features you are bound to love.Read more
These sandals by Vionic feature an Orthaheel midsole that will reduce pressure and shock that your heels, feet and lower back would otherwise be experiencing from long walks. They are an excellent choice for alignment improvement if due to your flat feet you have a tendency towards overpronation, and can also be used if you suffer from plantar fasciitis or other foot problems.
The upper of these sandals are made out of leather that is lined with a soft padding that will have you comfortable wearing these for long hikes. The rubber outsole is durable and can stand up to rough terrain. You will especially appreciate the three-point adjustable straps that allow you to make these shoes fit just the way you need them to.
Depending on size and style, these sandals by Vionic may cost you quite a bit, just like most shoes with anatomically correct features. You will love them for the support, cushioning and flexibility they provide, and you’ll be able to wear them for quite some time as they are made to last.
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 sandals, 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 of sandals 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 of sandals 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 pressure off of the rest of your feet, such as the heel and tendons in your feet, and may be 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 hammer toes, 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.
Sandals 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. Sandals 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 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.
Sandals 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 is 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 it just because you think a pair of shoes looks cute.
Supposing that you are purchasing a pair of sandals 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 sandals 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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Many times, when we think of supportive footwear, an image of something not quite so stylish may come to mind. But with brands evolving to meet the needs of consumers, they've melded together fashion and function. Many stylish options are available, with intricate stitching designs, color options, and strappy style to keep your look on point.
Pairing sandals is quite easy for a sleek summer look. Go for something with more design elements, like stitching or colors, to boost your outfit to something more polished. Sporty sandals can be worn with just about any attire, and make it easy should you find yourself off the beaten path for a bit of adventure.
Other Factors to Consider
Shopping for sandals with a generous amount of arch support is often frustrating. Because this type of footwear (almost) never includes a removable footbed, you can’t just do what you’d do with regular shoes - remove the insoles and replace them with custom orthotics. Instead, you need to look for models that already have an appropriate level of arch support, plus that have the necessary features for the type of wear you’re interested in.
Overall, finding supportive sandals will be much easier for those who are ready to wear models made for hiking. In addition to anatomical footbeds, these will also often feature protective uppers, moisture wicking linings, as well as tractioned outsoles that will work well on all types of surfaces. They will also often have multiple adjustment points that allow for wearers to find the best fit.
Other options include anatomical footwear, but this type will usually be more casual than elegant. Birkenstocks are a great example of this - and while they can be combined with certain outfits, they unlikely to be appropriate for formal occasions.
For beach and pool wear, you will probably do great with simpler models. The OOFOS Ooriginal is great, but you can also go with a simple pair of Crocs that ensure proper alignment, and are cushioning enough to be worn all day, without you having to worry about material deterioration due to moisture.
Everyone will probably use their summer sandals for different occasions, so you need to consider how you want your sandals to serve you. Do you plan on wearing them to the office, or do you prefer to wear them for long hikes in nature? Will you be taking them to the beach, or are you more of a city kind of person? It is important to choose the correct sandal, especially for activities that require special features. If you plan on going hiking, you will need a sturdier sandal that will provide better shock absorption and cushioning so that you can feel comfortable after several hours. If you plan on heading to the beach, your sandals will need to be water friendly – this not only means a rubber outsole, but also upper and lining materials that will dry more easily than leather or cork.
Some people may work as servers at restaurants, which will require a non-slip sole for safety reasons. Before making a purchase, make sure to check whether your favorite choice ticks all the boxes for the type of use you intend to get out of your footwear. And although the style is important, fit should always take first place when prioritizing.
Last but not least, when purchasing a pair of sandals, you want to get a pair that will fit your feet in the correct way, and that includes a secure fit of the upper. As sandals have much less material on the upper than regular shoes, it is crucial that they are safely on your feet to prevent putting too much stress on certain parts of your feet. This includes making sure that they are properly fitted at the heel and ankle.
The best choices will be fully adjustable shoes with secure buckles that won’t give in after a few uses. Our favorites for their level of adjustability are the ECCO Yucatan, Vionic Gerrit, and Chaco Zvolv X2 W, all of which will allow you to choose your own perfect fit in multiple points on the sandals.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are the symptoms of flat feet?
Some people who have flat feet will never experience any symptoms. Others, however, will feel pain in their arches, tendons, ankles, knees, hips or back. If you have flat feet and leave them without the support they need, you may find that you will start overpronating which can lead to even more consequences such as hammer toes, calluses, and corns, heel spurs or even arthritis.
q: How to prevent symptoms related to flat feet?
Luckily, the consequences of flat feet can be prevented very easily. Although your podiatrist may prescribe you with medication or exercise to manage pain and to strengthen your arches, you will easily avoid experiencing any symptoms at all if you opt for footwear that gives you the correct arch support and that will help you align your feet correctly so as to avoid putting too much stress on certain parts of your feet or other joints in your body.
q: Are flat sandals a good option of footwear if I have flat feet?
Generally, sandals will not be the best option for you if you have flat feet, as most models have a completely flat sole without cushioning and shock absorbing properties, and that doesn’t provide you with the anatomical support you need. In addition, the uppers of sandals can often be flimsy, adding unnecessary stress to your feet which will have to work overtime in order to keep your footwear on. All sandals on our list have been chosen because they possess the features that are necessary for anyone with flat feet, but even among these, you may find that some models work better for you than others.
q: How do I know whether my shoes offer enough arch support?
A good pair of shoes will hug your arches even when you are sitting. You will find that the raised part of the shoe gently lifts your feet and prevents you from sinking into the inner part of your feet. You can check this by looking at the soles of the shoes and seeing whether they are more worn on the inside than on the outside portion. In addition, with insufficient arch support in your shoes, you are likely to experience foot, knee, hip or back pain after a period of standing or walking.
q: What materials are good to look for in sandals for flat feet?
The best materials to look for are shock absorbing rubber or EVA foam, but some makers make excellent shoes out of other materials as well, such as Birkenstock sandals which have cork soles.
q: I’m not sure what size I need? Should I size up or down?
If you are unsure what size to get, you can always read the reviews on Amazon, which will tell you whether a particular shoe fits smaller or larger than expected. If you still don’t know, you can either visit a brick and mortar store to be fitted or order a pair of shoes in both sizes, then return the ones which don’t fit well. As with any type of footwear, it is crucial that your sandals fit well, as the arch support needs to be in the correct place for you to actually get its benefits.