One would assume that by skipping the heel, there's really no way to go wrong in terms of comfort — but poorly-designed flats have given me blisters far more excruciating than any stilettos. When searching for the
most comfortable flats, the decision isn't as straightforward as it might seem. In order to marry fashion and relief, the three ruling factors will be style, material, and outsole.
Typically when most people hear the word "flats," they think of the traditional ballet flat — but in actuality, the term applies to virtually anything sans-heel that you can slip on and off without hassle. This includes
sneakers, loafers, and sandals, so from athletic to professional, you can utilize a good flat to get just about any look you're searching for.
Now onto the construction: The specific fabric you choose will not only determine how breathable your flats are, but will also determine whether or not the shoe chafes against your skin during movement — especially in particularly sensitive areas, like the back of the heel and the top of the foot. Similarly,
cushioned outsoles or orthopedic inserts are also a great way to ensure that your feet stay comfortable long-term; since there's minimal distance between the ground and the bottom of your foot, you'll want to make sure that there's something to absorb the shock while you walk.
With all those factors in mind, here are the 17 most comfortable flats in all different styles, sizes, and colors.
The Most Comfortable Flats, All Things Considered
For those who thought UGG only made boots, here's some great news: This comfort-prioritizing brand also makes a casual ballet flat. Despite its minimal foot coverage, the
UGG Lena still utilizes a genuine sheep-fur sole and is lined with soft, chafe-resistant suede leather. Then there's the rubber bottom, which prevents slipping and absorbs shock while you walk.
When combined, all these factors create a warm but breathable shoe that reviewers have worn for an "entire 14 hour day" without any pain whatsoever. They're available in black and brown.
Positive Amazon review: "Fit like a dream. I'm a true 8.5 and that's the size I ordered - these are beautiful and so comfy. I wanted something a little thicker/warmer to wear to work on cold days rather than my usual thin ballet flats. These are perfect."
Comfortable Slip-On Sneakers
Blowfish Malibu play sneaker has rave reviews because it's comfortable, casual, and cute. The padded sole absorbs shock and provides support, while the lack of laces and internal elastic band allow the shoe to conform to your feet — plus they slip on and off with ease. Thanks to the neutral white (or brown) color and modern textile fabric, these sneakers work with everything from jeans to sundresses. Positive Amazon review: "These shoes are the perfect flat sneaker that looks cute and fashionable with just about any casual outfit."
The Best Simple Ballet Flats
No frills, cut-outs, or bows here — just a lovely combination of comfort and class.
CIOR ballet flats have a rounded toe, a rubber sole, and a cushioned, ventilated sponge insert. They're also lined with genuine, chafe-resistant leather in places where your foot is most likely to encounter friction. This pair comes in various neutral colors and three different finishes: leather, suede, and patent. Positive Amazon review: "Cute and comfortable flat shoe that looks good with jeans, dress slacks or dress." Available sizes: 4.5 — 10
The Best Flats With Arch Support
They may not look like orthopedic shoes, but
Vionic Spark Caroll flats are specifically designed to offer superior arch support and all-day comfort. The podiatrist-designed footbed hugs your arches, prevents sliding, and absorbs shock while you walk. They feature a heel cup and a stretchy, elastic upper lining that moves with you. Not just for high arches, these flats are also a hit with reviewers who experience discomfort caused by plantar fasciitis. Positive Amazon review: "Finally, arch support and comfort in a cute black ballet flat! [...] I am glad to have finally found work shoes that are dressy enough for my job that sometimes requires 8+ hours on my feet." Available sizes: 5 — 12, including Wide options
Stylish, Professional Flats For Work
From the outside, they look like professional, elegant flats — but the inside offers several features to keep you comfortable all day long. The cushioned footbed helps to prevent aches, pains, and blisters, while the soft microfiber lining limits chafing.
Meeshine flats also have a pointed toe and ruffled fabric exterior that's offered in stylish, easy-to-coordinate black and olive green. Positive Amazon review: "WOW. better quality than I expected and fits perfectly. Comfortable and looks nice. I got these for work and I’m super happy with them!"
The Best Flats For Walking
Even though they look more like ballet slippers and less like athletic shoes,
Clarks Danelly Adira flats are designed to remain breathable and comfortable despite movement. Their soft, cushioned footbed stops blisters and absorbs shock, the ventilated leather uppers improve airflow, and the rubber bottoms keep you from slipping. Get them in black, red, sand, or gray — plus they're offered in wide and Narrow sizing options, too. Positive Amazon review: "These shoes fit comfortable and I can wear them all day and be pain free at night." Available sizes: 5 — 12, including Wide and Narrow options
The Most Comfortable Casual Flats
If you're looking for a trusty slip-on shoe,
Skechers' Bobs flats are comfortable enough for errands, casual enough for your favorite jeans, and quick enough to get you to yoga on time. The 100% textile design is paired with a memory-foam footbed and an arch pillow for a surprising amount of support.
Since they're made from fabric, they're not the most durable shoes out there, but they do come in just about every color you can think of — and are even sold in a
crocheted design. Positive Amazon review: "Attractive, light-weight, easy to put on, easy to care for, comfortable casual, go-anywhere shoes." Available sizes: 5 — 12, including Wide options
You've likely heard of the
foldable flats that you can store in your bag for later use — but few options look this well-made. Meeshine foldable flats have a pointed toe, a rubber sole, and rhinestone accents, so when they're on, they look like genuine structured shoes. Reviewers say they're "perfect for weddings" because, when the pictures are taken and the heels come off, these look "expensive" and "dressy" while remaining the "most comfortable shoes ever." Positive Amazon review: "These are great flats, look professional/dressy and are comfortable (and foldable!). [...] Would definitely recommend."
A Great Pair For Extra-Wide Feet
If you have particularly wide feet, structured flats can be especially painful. This
pair from Luoika is half a size longer and 12% wider than your average flats. They also feature a high-density memory foam insole and a faux-leather interior. The elastic cross-ankle bands offer a fashionable take on a traditional ballet slipper while keeping the shoe in place despite the width — and the seven color and texture options work with just about any outfit. Positive Amazon review: "I have wide feet with a high instep so it's very difficult to find the right shoes that will actually fit my feet. [...] My only question is: Why didn't someone think of this before? Such a simple solution and they look good too!" Available sizes: 7 X-Wide — 10.5 X-Wide
The Best Flats For Commuters
VenusCelia flat comfort loafer retains a professional appearance thanks to the genuine leather and subtle accents — but the memory foam insole and textured bottom are specifically designed for comfortable walking. This is amazing news for people who commute to work and would rather not lug a second pair of shoes around in their bag. Get this pair in just about any color. Positive Amazon review: "These shoes are amazing!!! They are so comfortable, I can wear them for work at my office job, and they are comfortable enough to handle all of the walking that I do in the course of my commute. Highly recommend!" Available sizes: 4.5 — 11
The Most Breathable Fabric Flats
Closed-toe shoes have their benefits even in hot climates, but leather flats can feel constrictive and sweaty when the temperature starts to rise.
Ollio lace flats offer the coverage and protection of a closed-toe shoe, but are so much more breathable. The fabric material is woven into a lace design that gives an elegant look while remaining cooling and ventilating. Reviewers also say that they're "very comfortable" because they're soft and flexible. They're available in seven different colors, ranging from neutral beige to eye-catching green. Positive Amazon review: "I love to wear this type of shoe in the summer because they are breathable so of course my feet don't get as hot as with other closed shoes. The fit was great!" Available sizes: 5.5 — 10.5
The Best For Flats For Traveling
No matter where you're going,
UIN canvas travel flats can keep up. In addition to slip-resistant soles and a cushioned microfiber-suede interior, these shoes are lightweight and have a wider toe so they're ergonomically better-suited for your feet. As a result, they're supportive and breathable enough for long plane rides, hikes, and exploring. Last but definitely not least, they're available in six creative, eye-catching designs. Positive Amazon review: "Great for walking [on] any surface [...] Great for travel as they are roomy enough to use with or without socks." Available sizes: 4.5 — 10
Designed with the adventurer in mind,
Plaka flat sandals are "incredibly comfortable," according to multiple reviewers — but they're also durable, versatile, and surprisingly hard to ruin. The stretchy, hand-braided rope straps are made to hug your foot, and the high-quality rubber soles provide cushioning and traction. That said, the whole shoe is water-resistant and made for just about any activity. Whether you're kayaking, exploring, or camping, reviewers say these sandals "are some of the best [they] have ever purchased." Plus, they're available in 20 different colors. Positive Amazon review: "These sandals are worth EVERY PENNY. They are just so pretty and super comfortable! [...] We are a very outdoorsy family, love camping and roadtripping so these sandals provide great support for exploring."
The Most Comfortable Ankle-Strap Wedge
Looking for a comfortable upgrade to your work shoe? This
wedged ankle strap sandal is just what you need. They're supportive, thanks to their cushioned footbed and sturdy ankle strap, while still being seriously polished. Plus, they look just a great with work attire as they do with jeans. Positive Amazon review: "[A]mazing! Super comfortable, dressy enough for work, or to pair with some skinny jeans."
The Best-Selling Sock Sneakers
Admittedly, this pick is slightly raised, but its supportive, slip-on design has earned it nearly 10,000 positive ratings on Amazon. The
TIOSEBON athletic mesh flat resembles a sneaker in its full-coverage profile and ankle-hugging opening — but the mesh fabric is stretchy, breathable, and extremely comfortable, plus it comes in over 30 colors.
This pick is especially well-suited for active lifestyles because it wicks moisture, allows for airflow, cushions the bottom of the foot, and provides traction and non-slip security. These shoes can even be thrown in the washing machine post-hike.
Positive Amazon review: "Great support, wonderful cushion, and ultimate comfort make these shoes my 'go-to' shoes. [...] I dream about buying every color they offer."
The Most Affordable Pick
If you're looking for a flat that's casual, flexible, durable, and —most importantly — affordable, look no further than the
Chic Shoe Women Jelly Flats. This unique design is a throwback to the '90s jelly-shoe trend, and reviewers say these gave them major "nostalgia for [their] childhood."
This pick is made from malleable PVC, which conforms to the shape of your feet and allows for optimal ventilation. They're also waterproof, heat-resistant, and infused with some sparkle. Get them in eight different colors, starting at just $10 a pair.
Positive Amazon review: "I love these shoes for working around the house, they can get wet and you don't have to worry. Super lightweight and fun colors to choose from."
The Sleekest, Most Comfortable Designer Flats
Why pay for the label without considering the comfort? These
Frye slingback ballet flats look especially high-end thanks to their sleek design and Italian leather upper. According to reviewers, the leather is soft and has a little give, which makes the flats extra comfortable to wear. You can get these Fryes in 11 different colors, including solid hues, metallics, and animal prints. Positive Amazon review: "Quality shoe, very stylish, versatile and comfortable! Highly recommend." Available sizes: 5.5 — 11