Comfortable walking shoes are all too often non-existent for those who suffer with flat feet. Despite the hundreds and thousands of different shoe designs widely available on the market, most are surprisingly ill suited for the flat footed individual. This has meant that many flat footed men, women and children have been forced to cram their feet into ill suited and potentially dangerous shoes, that have not only caused them severe pain, but adversely affected their stationary and walking posture.
Now before the flat footed among you bury your head in your hands and shout, “we’re doomed!”, you should know that there is hope for you yet. There are in fact a number of walking shoes that are better suited for your unique foot shape. Some of these shoe designs will not only allow you to go about your life in comfort, but will also straighten your posture and prevent you from causing severe pain to other areas of your body such as your knees, hips and lower back. So, what are the best walking shoes for flat feet?
Primarily a shoe with some type of arch support is best for preventing pain while walking. This does not have to mean a custom made arch support, as there are many shoes available that have a raised insole that will adequately support the arch. Many running shoes for instance have a raised insole that will allow the individual’s arch to be positioned back to a more normal walking position. However while over the counter running shoes might help a flat footed individual with walking, a custom made shoe is obviously always going to be the better option. In order to obtain a shoe with custom made arch supports, you would be best served to enquire at a professional podiatrist’s store.
Shoes with insoles that support flat footed arches are important, but so is a shoe with ample width. It is often an overlooked fact that people with flat feet suffer from foot swelling, as their entire bodyweight is pivoted on the flat soles of their feet, causing their feet to swell and in the process become very painful. A wide shoe, such as a tennis shoe or a wide fitting walking boot, would allow the foot room to swell without becoming painfully squashed inside the shoe itself.
Trainers or sneakers are perhaps the best walking shoe for flat footed individuals, as they are often wide bodied and have a raised insole that can support a weak arch while remaining both comfortable and manoeuvrable. It is worth mentioning that not all trainers/sneakers are made for flat feet. Some can be quite narrow and have a flat sole, like for instance a sports or gym shoe. These types of shoe do not offer the support needed by those with fallen arches and over pronation caused as a result of their flat feet.
As with any item of clothing or footwear, the emphasis is always on ‘try before you buy’. Just because a shoe looks comfortable does not mean that it will support a flat foot. It is worth making sure that the shoe is wide bodied, has insole support for fallen arches and is comfortable to walk in. Of course you might want to add custom insoles or wedges at your own convenience, but the best walking shoes for flat feet should not need much in the way of customisation.