Best Dress Shoes for Flat Feet
At the end of a busy day, your feet take most of the beating. It’s demonstrably worse if you suffer from flat feet. Dress shoes for flat feet are designed to offer the needed stability while providing the arch and metatarsals the much-needed support.
Here are the best dress shoes for flat feet:
- Dansko Women’s Jenna Flat
- Dunham Men’s Burlington Waterproof Oxford
- Bostonian Men’s Mendon Dress Slip-On
- ECCO Men’s Windsor Tie Oxford
- Rockport Women’s Total Motion Pump
Understanding Flat Feet
First things first, you’re not alone; this is a common condition. Back in the ’20s, it was among the conditions that kept most Americans out of military service: Upwards of 10 percent of the people called were rejected. This criterion has since changed.
A recent study found that, contrary to popular belief, there are no significant disadvantages faced by flat-footed servicemen and servicewomen. This, however, is only true where the condition is asymptomatic—absent of pain and other related symptoms.
Where flat feet cause pain and discomfort, most symptoms are easily alleviated by the use of appropriate footgear. The trick is to understand your specific condition and it’s unique requirements before making a purchase.
Types of Flat Feet
This ailment may be hereditary or acquired. Acquired flat foot is caused by medical conditions like diabetes, stroke, arthritis and conditions that affect the muscles. It can also be caused by sudden weight gain and injury. In such a case, you want dress shoes that’ll offer support to the feet without affecting other injury points.
The degree to which the condition has affected your body is also essential. If the symptoms are very severe, go for dress shoes that offer motion control. The near-perfect fit of the Rockport Women’s Total Motion Pump should prove useful in such a scenario.
Where the condition is caused by muscle weakness resulting from age, injury, or select diseases, the best dress shoes for flat feet are big on support and stability. They train the weakened muscles and may reverse the damage—the Dunham Men’s Burlington Waterproof Oxford comes to mind.
What Makes for the Best Dress Shoes for Flat Feet?
The shoe has to be aesthetic because you’ll wear it to parties and your workplace: the two places where people arguably check out your footwear the most. The best dress shoes for flat feet, however, have to check several boxes before consideration of their aesthetics—or lack thereof—is made. Here are the most important factors:
The best dress shoes for flat feet all offer arch support, but not all support is appropriate for every foot. Go for the brand that feels most comfortable. This proves especially problematic for buyers who are getting their first flat-foot-friendly pairs.
Every shoe a new customer tries on feels better than their conventional footgear. That’s why it may be tempting to buy the first shoe that fits—only I strongly advise against it.
Go for arch support that’s right in the middle of cushiony and stone-immovable. This is because the arch of the foot usually collapses when you move or lift heavy items. If the supporting material is too cushiony, it’ll collapse when you lift heavy items—leaving your weakened arch without support.
You want arch support that’ll offer support in such a scenario but isn’t so rigid as to keep the arch from falling and distributing the weight across the foot.
Shoes marketed for plantar fasciitis are usually rock-hard. They won’t work to your benefit if you don’t have the condition, so ignore the claims that they are just as appropriate for flat feet.
Shoe sizes are not universal, especially among brands that address flat feet. The average buyer can live with a shoe that’s a few inches too wide or narrow, but not so if you have flat feet.
If your footwear is too broad, it antagonizes any motion control and arch support features the shoe offers. If it’s too tight, not only will it be uncomfortable, but it may also prevent the tendons in your muscles from moving. That, in turn, keeps them from growing in strength, which undermines recovery—where the flat foot isn’t genetic, of course.
Room for Insoles
You’ll almost always wear your dress shoes with socks if you’re a man. For every gender, the inclusion of flat-foot designed insoles increases the comfort and usability of your shoes. Always leave room enough for these accessories.
It’s also advisable that you get rid of the shoes every 300 miles—250 miles if you want to get the best out of every purchase. After such extended use, the support, stability and motion control features are a far cry from what they used to be. A suitable insole can arguably extend the life of the shoes through another 100 miles.
Top 5 Best Dress Shoes for Flat Feet
After hours of research, personal experience, and thousands of reviews, I’ve compiled what I found to be the best dress shoes for flat feet. These five made it because they’re comfortable and can go toe-to-toe—forgive the pun—with the best looking conventional dress shoes the market has to offer.
This is a 100 percent leather shoe with a 1.5-inch heel and a 0.5-inch platform. An adjustable ankle strap also adds to its appeal. The shoe’s leather is stain-resistant thanks to its 3M Scotchgard construction. This comes in handy when you’re out partying; a simple swipe should be enough to get rid of the night’s mess.
This shoe should provide much-needed relief if your feet ache at the end of a busy day. Its injected EVA outsole has excellent shock absorption and offers excellent arch support. An integrated insole with customized shank and tuck board enhance stability and maximize support.
The EVA outsole is slip-resistant. This is why the shoe affords to be mostly open without antagonizing the footwear’s stability features. The Dansko also happens to be roomy, which proves useful for feet that have spaced-out toes—a situation that’s very common with flat feet.
An open PU footbed further enhances arch support making this one of the best dress shoes for flat feet, for ladies.
Current sizing is limited to a 6.5 or a 7.
- Stain-resistant 3M Scotchgard construction.
- Good shock absorption.
- Slip-resistant outsole.
- Open PU footbed for enhanced arch support.
- Aesthetic design.
- Durable leather exterior.
- A little pricier than most.
Right off the bat, this is the best dress shoes for flat feet for men. It’s made of 100 percent leather, has a synthetic sole and comes with a heel that’s approximately 1 inch high. This Dunham is available in many size options: sizes 7 to 20 and widths ranging from narrow to XX.
This pair comes with a decent arch support, but the footbed is easily removable if you want to slide in an option that’s better suited to your needs. The leather exterior makes this a very easy-to-clean product. Leather is also very durable when well-cared for.
The height of the heel is moderate and shouldn’t stress your gait. Arch support is also minimal, allowing the arch muscles enough exercise for potential recovery. This is why it’s among the Medicare-approved shoes for people with diabetes-caused flat feet.
The biggest downside to this pair, and other 100 percent leather shoes, is that they require a lot of maintenance if creasing is to be avoided.
- Usable both in the workplace and social gatherings.
- 100 percent durable leather design.
- Removable footbed.
- Medicare-approved for flat-feet.
- Wide range of size options.
- Decent arch support.
- Leather creases and scratches easily.
- Requires a high level of maintenance.
Bostonian has been making shoes for upwards of a century, and its experience shows with this pair. These shoes are made of a 100 percent leather exterior with a synthetic sole that’s designed to offer arch support and enhance foot stability. It also has a 2-Pod footbed that absorbs pressure from your foot’s key strike points.
It comes with a square toe and a padded collar for maximum comfort—a good choice if you’re shopping for something to wear for an extended period.
The footbed has a cushioned insole that enhances arch support and maintains proper foot alignment as you walk. Consequently, you’ll be less tired after a long day, and the impacts of a flat foot are greatly minimized.
These Bostonians have a light polyurethane outsole that offers good traction. They’re excellent for the user who plans to do a lot of walking. The full-grain leather further adds to the gear’s appeal by making it waterproof while adding a stylish shine to the footwear.
You should try these if you’re after a more casual look. These are among the best dress shoes for flat feet for the gentleman looking for party shoes that are good enough for a business meeting.
An area of concern may be the insole, which most people find too thin. The overall quality is excellent, though, and changing this removable insole will leave you with a great piece of footwear.
You’ll find these shoes available in sizes 7–15.
- Cushioned footbed.
- Padded collar.
- Elegant design.
- Waterproof and breathable exterior.
- Light polyurethane outsole with excellent traction.
- 2-Pod footbed absorbs pressure.
- Some report the sole to be too thin.
- Users comment that the shoes get squeaky after some time.
This pair has a rubber sole that absorbs the pressure as you move. It’s made of 100 percent leather.
ECCO produces its leather in eco-friendly fashion, so this may be the shoe for you if you want to dress environmentally conscious.
The ECCO Windsor boasts of moc-toe stitching that makes for added elegance and beauty. Also, its interior is made of leather for enhanced durability, and the padded collar ensures that you won’t get too uncomfortable after a long day on your feet.
The insoles are devised to offer arch support and distribute the weight across your metatarsals. Like many leather shoes, however, maintenance may be a bit of a snag. The shoes also happen to be a little narrow, and you may have to order a size bigger larger for comfort.
They’re currently available from a 5 to a 12.5.
- Rubber sole.
- Insole redistributes weight from crucial pressure points.
- Available in four colors.
- Padded collar.
- Leather is very durable.
- Aesthetic design for both casual and formal wear.
- Some customers complained that the shoes are a little narrow for their respective sizes.
- Leather requires a lot of maintenance.
For the lady that won’t let her flat feet interfere with her love for heels, this pair comes with 3-inch heels. These ABS heels are excellent for impact resistance—you should be able to walk on any terrain without fear of breaking them.
This Rockport pair boasts of a glove-like fit that’s firm enough for you to maintain good form as you walk. Also, TPU midsoles and outsoles enhance arch support and foot stability.
A thin lining of retention foam lines the interior, enhancing comfort, while the exterior boasts of full-grain leather that increases the durability. The outsoles are biomechanically engineered to support your movement, no matter the nature of your condition. The block heels further add to the shoe’s overall stability.
This pair is currently available in sizes 5–13 with narrow and wide widths on offer.
- Very sleek and durable design.
- Comfortable retention foam lining.
- Enhanced stability, thanks to a square heel.
- ABS heels don’t break easily.
- Glove-like fit for enhanced comfort.
- Available in 21 colors and multiple size variations.
- Some customers found the toe box a little uncomfortable.
- A little pricey
In a Nutshell
Flat-feet shouldn’t spell doom for your career and social life. The best dress shoes for flat feet are engineered with your unique needs in mind.
I conclude with two products that checked the most boxes. The Dansko Women’s Jenna Flat footwear are the best dress shoes for flat-footed ladies. They’re elegant, and the EVA outsole has excellent pressure absorption properties that redistribute weight across the foot.
The Dunham Men’s Burlington Waterproof Oxford proved to be the best men’s dress shoes for flat feet. They’re available in a broad range of sizes and widths and offer commendable arch support right out of the box, which can be improved with the introduction of an appropriate insole.