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Sunday 13 September 2020

What shoes to wear when you have flat feet ?

What shoes to wear when you have flat feet ?


Having flat feet can be painful and cause discomfort. Having the right shoe for your flat foot will help to reduce pain and provide relief during your day. These shoes should provide adequate arch support, cushioning and stability.


A good shoe for flat feet must respect specific specifications that correspond to those of orthopedic shoes.

And no matter which shoe you need, whether it's athletic, casual or dress shoes, the characteristics of these flat foot shoes remain the same.


Flat feet

The difference between flat feet and physiological feet is simple. On a flat foot, the pressures are not distributed as they should be. In fact, this type of foot tends to sink inwards and cause pain in the arch of the foot, in the heel and in the joints. This pain can even extend to the knees or hips.


How to correct flat feet ?

There are different things you can do to correct flat feet:

  • Choose suitable shoes: opt for a model with a thick, wide sole with arch support
  • Wear orthopedic insoles for flat feet: they act on the points of support on the ground in order to correct the posture and relieve the pain
  • Physical therapy or home exercises
  • Have surgery: as a last resort, in agreement with a medical team and after having tried all possible alternatives

Discover more in our post Flat foot, what to do with this deformation of the foot?

Characteristics of a good flat foot shoe

When you have flat feet, you will find that you are prone to foot or heel pain and discomfort after a long day of walking or stomping.

To avoid this type of pain, it is important to choose shoes with good stability and support.



Flat foot shoe selection



Support and stability

This is one of the most important things to look for when you suffer from flat feet. Shoes that fit flat feet in both men and women will not bend towards the middle of the shoe.

The midfoot really needs a lot of support in the case of flat feet. A shoe with a rigid outsole will provide the most support for your arches.


The shoe should provide good support in the midfoot while allowing flexibility in the toes.


In the heel area, it is very important to have a well-fitting counter that provides extra support for the heel. People with flat feet tend to experience an inward collapse of the foot. This arch collapse can extend to the back of the foot, which can cause pain in the ankles.

Although it may seem that a rigid shoe can be uncomfortable, this is not the case for people with flat feet.

With these elements, you should feel better support for your flat feet and thus reduce pain.

In addition, this type of shoe offers foam padding and other comfort features that will allow you to feel supported and comfortable.

Your shoes should also be shock absorbing, so it is important to choose an outsole that will reduce the impact of the ground on your heels. This is especially important if you are looking for running shoes or walking shoes.


Orthotics for flat feet

In the case of a flat foot, we recommend that you consult a pedorthist or other foot specialist to make custom-made foot orthotics for you. 

We invite you to find out which shoes to wear with orthotics.
With orthopedic insoles that are perfectly suited to your flat feet, you can choose a shoe with a removable insole.

The removable insole, which you can take out and replace with your orthopedic insole, combined with the above features, will give you all the support and comfort that your flat feet require.


What are the essential characteristics of a shoe for flat feet ?

To summarize, a shoe adapted for flat feet must have :

  • A good support of the midfoot and the back foot
  • A removable sole that can be replaced by your orthopedic insoles

The different types of shoes for flat feet

What kind of shoes should I wear with flat feet ?

If you have flat feet, it doesn't matter what type of shoes you wear as long as they have good support for the rearfoot and midfoot and have removable insoles that you can replace with your own custom-made orthopedic insoles. In fact, even a sandal with a back support can be adapted.


City shoes

Dress shoes are an excellent option when it comes to flat feet. A shoe with a firm heel will go a long way to making a day on your feet more bearable. In addition, choosing shoes with leather uppers will help to keep that support for a long time.

Orthotics for flat feet are also important to use if you need extra support. This is where removable insoles come in handy, as they can be replaced with your foot orthotics without losing volume inside the shoe.

chaussure pied plat podowell servane


Podowell - Servane (Navy)


Orthopedic or therapeutic shoes

This is an excellent option, but you must choose your shoes carefully. You need to choose shoes that meet the specifications mentioned above. Some orthopedic shoes do not have a back support or are too soft for a flat foot.

chaussure pied plat podartis giotto windsor


Podartis - Giotto Windsor (Brown)


Sports shoes

If you have flat feet and are physically active, there is always a risk of twisting your ankle. People with flat feet tend to turn their ankles inwards.

This can not only cause injury, but also put extra pressure on the knees, ankles and feet.

The advantage of sports shoes for flat feet is that they are made of lightweight and breathable materials. In addition, these shoes also have removable insoles that can be replaced with your own custom-made orthopedic insoles.

The running shoes are also designed to keep your ankles straight while remaining comfortable with adequate cushioning.

chaussure pied plat dr comfort katy


Dr Comfort - Katy (Purple)



Wearing sandals is not forbidden when you have flat feet. In fact, there are sandals with correct support for the back of the foot and removable soles.


But you must remember that sandals, by their very nature, do not have the characteristics of closed shoes and will provide less support than the latter.

We therefore recommend that you try to wear your sandals for short periods of time and that you use closed-toe shoes for activities such as walking.

sandale pied plat neut isabeau


Neut - Isabeau (Pearl)


Conclusion : How should I fit my shoes when I have flat feet ?

The ideal shoe for flat feet should not be able to bend at the mid-foot level and offer great support to the arch of the foot. It should also have a removable sole to accommodate orthopedic inserts.


Back foot support and mid-foot support are the two most important features in choosing your flat foot shoes.

The model can also be significant, as we have seen that closed shoes are more effective than sandals.

But remember that picking the right shoes for your flat foot will help you to relieve pain and have a comfortable day.


Author : Philippe Vesin - Pedorthist