The 7 Best Heels For Flat Feet, According To A Podiatrist

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by Masha Vapnitchnaia
Originally Published: 

Finding heels that you can wear comfortably all day is a feat for anyone, and that’s particularly true if you have flat feet. “Wearing shoes with more structure and support, especially for people with flat feet, is not only more comfortable but also healthier overall,” Dr. Jackie Sutera, a Board-certified podiatrist and Vionic Innovation Lab member, tells Bustle. According to Dr. Sutera, the best heels for flat feet have supportive features like cushioned insoles, a stable design, and aren’t too high for your comfort.

The Expert

Dr. Jackie Sutera is a Board-certified podiatrist practicing at City Podiatry in New York City. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and philosophy from Fordham University in New York and a medical degree from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. She is also a member of the Vionic Innovation Lab.

What To Consider When Choosing Heels For Flat Feet

When it comes to heel height, Dr. Sutera explains: “Some people with flat feet tend to have a difficult time wearing heels that are higher than 2 inches.” But if you want more height, choosing a stable heel design can help. Dr. Sutera suggests wearing a chunky heel, a wedge, or a platform shoe “because these offer more stability and transfer weight across a greater surface area as opposed to a stiletto or pump.”

Additionally, Dr. Sutera notes that “people with flat fee[t] should look for supportive features such as a deep-seated heel cup, arch support, a sturdy outersole, and a cushioned insole.” And according to Dr. Sutera, a roomy toe box will be more comfortable and help prevent issues like blisters and ingrown toenails. Finally, you may want to stick to closed shoes, as “more open styles, exposing especially the [midfoot], can be very unstable and encourage an unsteady gait which can lead to sprains, strains, and even trips and falls.”

Truth be told, you’re unlikely to find all of the above features in one shoe, especially if you’re looking for a particular style. As you’re perusing the best heels for flat feet below, consider your priorities — whether that’s a low heel, a supportive shoe with a bit more height, a rounded toe, or a padded insole — and you’re bound to find a fabulous pair of shoes that will look and feel great.

1. A Pair Of Chic Pumps With A Kitten Heel

Made from leather and suede, these kitten heels have a low 1.93-inch heel, as well as padding to support the forefoot. They feature an injected insole, enhanced forefoot contouring, and the brand is expert-approved. “Shoes and insoles from Vionic are great options because they offer their ‘[three-zone] comfort technology’ which includes a deep-seated heel cup, arch support, and cushioning,” says Dr. Sutera, who is a member of the Vionic Innovation Lab.

One helpful review: “Vionic shoes are excellent as they have great support and comfort. This is my first dressy pump from Vionic and I am very happy with them. Heel height is perfect. Dress up or down. These are an investment in your feet and back. [...] Purchased slippers, sandals and flats. Never a problem.”

Sizes: 5 — 10, including wide sizes | Colors: 3

2. A Pair Of Low-Heel Pumps

The chunky, 1.5-inch heel and 0.25-inch platform of these pumps make them a great choice for flat feet. The shoes also have a rounded toe box and padded latex insole for comfort. Plus, they’re available in a variety of faux suede and faux leather styles, in shades such as black, royal blue, red, and beige.

One helpful review: “I was blown away by these shoes!! I wore them all night, danced all night, never took them off or felt the need to. Not sure what type of sorcery is in these soles, but whatever it is, I highly recommend it!”

Sizes: 5 — 11 | Colors: 11

3. These Strappy, Chunky Heels

Featuring a block heel, these pointed-toe pumps offer a bit of height while evenly distributing weight. They’re approximately 2.25 inches high and have padded latex insoles. In addition to being a stylish detail, the shoe’s ankle straps offer some extra stability — but since the midfoot is exposed, some may find these aren’t supportive enough for their flat feet. This model is made from soft nubuck leather, but the heels are also available in suede and faux leather styles, too.

One helpful review: “I loathe wearing high heels but these are soo comfortable! I wore them for a wedding, bar meet after wedding and the reception! In total I wore them for over 9+ hours and I could have gone longer (the day was done though). It was also raining part of the day and the fabric stayed in tact! Will definitely buy more in other colors.”

Sizes: 5 — 11 | Colors and styles: 25

4. These Mary Janes With A Retro T-Strap

These retro-inspired heels have a stable, chunky heel with a 2.75-inch height. The rubber outsoles have great traction to keep you steady on your feet and they are also shock resistant. Available in suede-like and faux-leather styles, these Mary Janes also have a rounded toe box for maximum comfort.

One helpful review: “These shoes exceeded my expectations. They are a beautiful design and extremely comfortable. I literally never wear heels but needed to for an event. The chunky heel makes walking easier and I was actually shocked that I could walk so naturally in these [...] I was expecting my feet to hurt the next day, as I was on my feet for many hours, but they didn’t hurt at all. Highly recommend these.”

Sizes: 5 — 12 | Colors: 5

5. A Pair Of Ankle Booties

The insole of these Dr. Scholl’s ankle boots is designed to provide cushioning and shock-absorption for your feet. The slip-on boots also have arch support and a chunky, 2-inch heel for all-day comfort. Plus, they feature gore panels for stretch and have a spacious rounded toe. Choose from faux-leather and microsuede styles.

One helpful review: “This is the comfiest and cutest shoe I've ever owned! It's perfect for those who need a little bit of extra support and it is good for people who are on their feet all day.”

Sizes: 6 — 11 | Colors and styles: 3

6. These Versatile Wedges

These slip-on wedges are available in 10 colors and styles, including soft nubuck, faux leather, and sparkly glitter. In addition to keeping you steady, the wedge heel height is a comfortable 2 inches. These heels are also a versatile option that’ll look equally chic with casual and formal outfits.

One helpful review: “Very comfortable easy to walk in have no problem standing for a long period of time.”

Sizes: 5 — 11 | Colors: 10

7. A Classic Pump With A Cushioned Insole

If you want a little bit more height, these pumps have a 3.26-inch heel with a .5-inch platform, making the elevation feel like a more comfortable 2.76 inches. The shoes have OrthoLite foam insoles that provide long-lasting cushioning and wick moisture away as well as a durable outsole and a roomy rounded toe. These leather pumps are a popular pair, earning more than 3,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, and there’s a variety of colors and styles to choose from.

One helpful review: “I wear flats almost everyday but I’ve been wanting to dress up more for work so I was looking for something that was comfortable but still cute! These heels are not only cute but unbelievably comfortable I wore them from 8am until 9pm!!! My feet felt great!!! I’m obsessed!!!”

Sizes: 5 — 12, including wide sizes | Colors and styles: 13


Dr. Jackie Sutera, a Board-certified podiatrist and Vionic Innovation Lab member

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