The 17 Most Comfortable Flats
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.
1. 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 also available in black, brown, gold, and silver.
- Available sizes: 5 — 12
2. Comfortable Slip-On Sneakers
The 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.
- Available sizes: 6 — 11
3. 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.
- Available sizes: 7 — 10
4. 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 also feature a heel cup and a stretchy, elastic upper lining that moves with you.
"I've been trying to find a nice pair of dependable, go-to work shoes for years," says one reviewer with plantar fasciitis. Even after dozens of name-brand comfort shoes, this buyer calls these "the best ballet flats for arch [and] heel support," and has already ordered a second pair.
- Available sizes: 5 — 11 wide
5. 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 three stylish but easy-to-coordinate colors: black, olive green, and classic pink.
- Available sizes: 5.5 — 10
6. 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 foot bed stops blisters and absorbs shock, the ventilated leather uppers improve airflow, and the rubber bottoms keep you from slipping.
"Very comfortable walking shoes," one reviewer writes, while another says, "I packed these for a trip to NYC and walked [six-plus] miles per day in them." Get them in black, red, sand, gray, or yellow — plus they're offered in wide sizing options, too.
- Available sizes: 5 — 12 wide
7. 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-percent 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.
- Available sizes: 5 — 11 wide
8. The Best Foldable Flats
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."
- Available sizes: 6 — 11
9. 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 percent 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 six color options work with just about any outfit.
"I have wide feet with a high instep so it's very difficult to find the right shoes that will actually fit my feet," one reviewer writes. "My only question is: Why didn't someone think of this before? Such a simple solution and they look good too!"
- Available sizes: 6 extra wide — 13 extra wide
10. The Best Flats For Commuters
The 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.
"These shoes are amazing," one reviewer writes. "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." Get this pair in just about any color.
- Available sizes: 4.5 — 11
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.
- Available sizes: 5.5 — 10
12. 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 tons of creative, eye-catching designs, like Starry Night, cute animals, and butterflies.
- Available sizes: 4.5 — 10
13. The Best Flat Sandals
Designed with the adventurer in mind, Plaka flat sandals are "so incredibly comfortable," 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."
- Available sizes: 5 — 11
14. The Most Comfortable Lace-Up Flats
Lace-up sandals are extremely popular right now, but very few pairs are actually comfortable. These Gladiator flats, on the other hand, have reviewers raving that they wore them to the Wisconsin State Fair (where they walked, stood, and danced for hours), and they "honestly remained comfortable the entire time." Using soft, padded materials, reinforced adjustable cords, and a cushioned thong, these might just become your go-to open-toed flat.
- Available sizes: 5 — 11
15. The Best-Selling Sock Sneakers
Admittedly, this pick is slightly raised, but its supportive, slip-on design has earned it over 3,500 reviews 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.
- Available sizes: 5 — 13
16. 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 Bird Nest Jelly flat from Kunsto. This unique design is a throwback to the '90s jelly-shoe trend, and reviewers say their "childhood dream [has now been] achieved."
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 five different colors, starting at just $10 a pair.
- Available sizes: 5.5 — 11
17. The Most Comfortable Designer Flats
Why pay for the label without considering the comfort? The Queen V ballet flat from Melissa looks especially high-end thanks to its structured design, peep-toe opening, and two-tone bow accent. That said, this shoe is lightly-cushioned and reinforced in all the right places to prevent chafing and pain. "They could not be more comfortable," reviewers rave.
- Available sizes: 5 — 10
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