The 12 Best Comfortable Flats of 2023

The Vionic Mina Ballet Flat is a comfortable shoe designed by a podiatrist to support foot health

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10 Stylish Flats With Arch Support
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Many of us wear flats because we want comfortable shoes we can walk in that still look nice with jeans, work clothes, or eveningwear. For one reason or another—perhaps because of foot problems like bunions and plantar fasciitis—we’re bypassing heels for comfortable flats for walking so we can be “on the move” and feel good doing it.

Reviewed & Approved

The Vionic Mina Ballet Flat is our best overall pick. The shoe is designed by a podiatrist and provides excellent arch support. We choose the Hoka One Bondi 8 as the best sneaker thanks to its high-impact absorption and cushioned feel.

“A flat should fit comfortably not only in length but also should have ample room in the toe box and a good comfortable arch,” says Mark J. Mendeszoon, DPM, FACFAS, FACPM, physician spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association and footwear expert.

Depending on the individual’s foot type, it is important to try the flats on and feel if the shoe provides the proper amount of cushioning or support. “Flats generally tend to be lightweight, so flats that have more support will often provide more stiffness and thickness in the overall shoe and especially the arch area,” says Dr. Mendeszoon. Some of the shoes in our roundup have a few days’ breaking-in period, which is normal.

We talked to podiatrists about what to look for when buying flats so you don’t have to buy a ton of shoes online, try them on, and deal with the hassle of returning them if they hurt your feet.

These are the best flats for walking, according to podiatrists.

Our Comfortable Flats Recommendations

Best Overall: Vionic Mina Ballet Flat

Vionic Mina Ballet Flat

Vionic

Why We Like It: These shoes provide arch support and are comfortable to wear all day because of a cushioned toe box and stability reinforcement in the heel.

It’s Worth Noting: The rubber heel may wear down with daily use. 

Vionic shoes are a top choice among the podiatrists we interviewed because they received the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance. In fact, these flats are designed by a podiatrist to help support the body’s natural alignment from the ground up.

Like many Vionic shoes the insoles hug your arches and offer support to your foot's natural alignment,” says Krishna Tikiwala, DPM, podiatrist, and a foot & ankle surgeon of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. “The leather upper is soft on the skin, and these flats are firm yet comfortable. They have a removable microfiber-covered EVA orthotic insert as well.”

Vionic suggests wearing your new footwear for just a few hours for the first few days to allow your feet to adjust to the new level of orthotic comfort and support. You should find the product completely comfortable and supportive after one to two weeks.

Product Details:

  • Material: Leather or printed calf hair uppers
  • Available sizes: Available in women's whole and half sizes in three widths
  • Widths: Narrow/Medium/Wide
  • Price at time of publication: $119.95

Best for Travel:  Tieks by Gavrieli Ballet Flat

Tieks by Gavrieli Ballet Flat

Tieks

Why We Like It: These Italian leather ballet flats are supportive, yet designed to fold and fit into a purse. 

It’s Worth Noting: They don’t offer narrow or wide shoe sizes.

With a unique split-sole and flexible midsole, these flats with a custom instep are designed to mold to the foot and flex as you walk for maximum comfort. This feature also allows them to fit into a handbag or suitcase in their custom pouch so they’re perfect for travel. 

These flats have a cushioned back and non-skid rubber outsoles in their signature blue color. They also have over 60 designs, so we’re confident one of the shoes will go with everything in your suitcase. They even have vegan options but those can be snug so the company recommends going up to the next full size. 

Tieks can be pricey, but the company has excellent customer service and allows buyers to exchange the shoes if they purchase the wrong size. 

Product Details:

  • Material: 100% premium, soft, full-grain leather, or fabric upper and synthetic components, rubber soles
  • Available sizes: Vary by design and type
  • Widths: Standard
  • Price at time of publication: $185

Best Budget: Skechers Women's Cleo Bewitch Ballet Flat

Skechers Women's Cleo Bewitch Ballet Flat

Amazon

Why We Like It: This popular women’s flat for walking has a comfortable stretch fit design and a flattering style. 

It’s Worth Noting: The shoe is not available in wide sizes and may run small. 

The slightly scalloped edge on these Skechers Cleo Bewitch Ballet Flats give a stylish update to basic flats. These flats pair well with casual outfits, look nice enough for work, and are light enough to fit into a work bag. Thanks to the roomy toe box, these shoes are a great option for people with bunions. 

The 1/8-inch rubber heel is comfortable for walking all day, particularly around an office. The inner layer features air-cooled memory foam for support and the shoe is made with Bio-Dri material so your feet stay dry and cool, even on hot days or if you’re prone to sweaty feet

Product Details:

  • Material: Soft stretchable woven fabric, memory foam interior, rubber soles
  • Available sizes: 5.5 -11.0
  • Available widths: Medium
  • Price at time of publication: $49.95

Best for Bunions: Clarks Women's Sillian Bella Mary Jane Flat

Clarks Women's Sillian Bella Mary Jane Flat

Amazon

Why We Like It: A rounded toe box allows the toes to spread out a bit.

It’s Worth Noting: When wearing these flats without lightweight socks, they may run hot or cause feet to sweat. 

Someone who has bunions should look for a shoe with a wide toe box and lots of cushioning, suggests Anne M. Sharkey, DPM. This Clarks Mary Jane-style flat gives your toes plenty of space. 

The shoe also has a 1.35-inch heel and an Ortholite footbed insole for support. The brand’s signature CloudSteppers technology provides cushioning in the form of high-density foam, a shock-absorbing midsole, and a top layer in the footbed for maximum comfort. The Mary Jane strap across the upper surface of the foot prevents the flat from slipping off to avoid injury. 

Product Details:

  • Material: Synthetic with a rubber sole
  • Available sizes: 5-12 
  • Available widths: Regular/wide/narrow
  • Price at time of publication: $85.00

Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Trotters Estee Woven

Trotters Estee Woven

Zappos

Why We Like It: These shoes offer excellent arch support, which is especially important for people with plantar fasciitis.

It’s Worth Noting: Sometimes the shoe makes a squeaking sound when walking.

Plantar fasciitis often shows up as a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot after standing or sitting for long periods of time. The discomfort is a result of micro-tears in the plantar fascia ligament that connects the heel to the toe. If you have plantar fasciitis, you’ll want supportive shoes that won’t aggravate the existing condition or cause it to get worse. Shoes with solid arch support, wide widths, and a sturdy heel cup, which these Trotters Estee Woven have, will help.

These shoes have a cushioned footbed that makes them perfect for walking—often with no break-in period necessary. And even though the flats come in wide and extra-wide, they also offer a regular and narrow option for people who need them. 

Best of all, Trotters is known as a company that stands behind its shoes—with good-quality materials and craftsmanship as well as stellar customer service.

Product Details:

  • Material: Leather with a synthetic outsole
  • Available sizes: 5-12 
  • Available widths: Narrow, regular, wide, and extra-wide
  • Price at time of publication: $135

Best for Wide Feet: Naturalizer Soul Gift Flat

Naturalizer Soul Gift Flat

Naturalizer

Why We Like It: Podiatrists recommended these shoes as a good-quality option with their soft foam lining, arch support, and flexible outsoles.

It’s Worth Noting:  They are only available in wide sizes 6 to 10. 

When you’re shopping for shoes for wide feet, look for shoes with a large toe box.  “Wide-width shoes can help with a variety of foot problems, such as bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis, says Daniel Pledger, Podiatrist and Founder of ePodiatrists. “If you suffer from any of these conditions, it's important to find wide-width shoes that offer ample support and cushioning.”

The Naturalizer Soul Gift Flat is a versatile shoe that works for the office or weekend brunch. “I love the All Thru Comfort aspect which involves a soft foam lining, memory foam arch support, and antimicrobial sock lining,” says Dr. Tikiwala.

Product Details:

  • Material: Synthetic, memory foam, rubber soles
  • Available sizes: Medium: 5-11, Wide: 6-10
  • Available widths: Regular and wide
  • Price at time of publication: $79.99

Best for Narrow Feet: Sam Edelman Felicia Flat

Sam Edelman Felicia Flat

Nordstrom

Why We Like It: These shoes come in a variety of styles and colors—and they’re all comfortable for people with narrow feet. 

It’s Worth Noting: These shoes run small, so size up a half size.

Women with narrow feet have to worry about their shoes falling off, (Cinderella, we feel you) or try to wear a certain sock thickness to make a shoe fit better and stay on. With these flats, you have a lot of color options and an adorable charm on the bow makes for a pretty finish. We like the metallic colors in particular for a pretty flat for walking that looks great with dressy clothes. These shoes also go up to larger sizes than most of the flats featured here.

Although these shoes are comfortable enough to walk miles in, we don't recommend doing that since these flats shoes are made of soft leather that you don't want to risk getting wet.

Product Details: 

  • Material: Leather outsole with rubber heeltap.
  • Available sizes: 4-14 
  • Available widths: Narrow, medium, and wide
  • Price at time of publication: $99.95

Most Stylish:  Tory Burch Women's Minnie Travel Ballet Flats

Tory Burch Women's Minnie Travel Ballet Flats

Zappos

Why We Like It: This classic ballet flat with the iconic double-T medallion is very comfortable and fits well.

It’s Worth Noting: These shoes are only available in medium width.

These high-end slip-on flats are known for their style, but devoted fans love them because of their comfort. They’re available in a variety of styles and color options. The footbed is lightly padded and features a smooth leather lining. And the heel has an elastic fit for a gentle stretch while you walk. 

These flats do stretch a bit so you may want to size down by a half-size to allow for them to stretch to the perfect size as you wear them. The toe box is roomy enough so toes can spread out, which is great for people with bunions or who are prone to corns. 

These stylish flats also fit nicely into a shoulder bag and arrive in a dust bag for a special unboxing experience. 

Product Details: 

  • Material: Leather upper, rubber sole
  • Available sizes: 4-13
  • Available widths: Medium
  • Price at time of publication: $248

Best Ballet Flat: M. Gemi The Danza

M. Gemi The Danza

M. Gemi

Why We Like: These ballet flats featured a hidden heel wedge for support.

It’s Worth Noting: These shoes run narrow and don’t have a wide option.

These delicate leather ballet flats are handmade in Tuscany, Italy. While they are pricey, they are made from a sustainable, certified leather. These shoes can fold in half and fit easily into a handbag or carry-on. 

The hidden wedge element (0.8-inch) offers support and comfort to the arches while still achieving the look of a ballet flat. A square toe with a pretty bow offers a modern twist on the classic ballet-style shoe.

Product Details: 

  • Material: Leather
  • Available size: 5-12
  • Available widths: Medium

Price at time of publication: $248

Best Sneaker: Hoka One Bondi 8 

 Hoka One One Bondi 8

Hoka

Why We Like It: It’s a comfortable, high-tech shoe for running and walking.

It’s Worth Noting: These may be pricey sneakers for casual walkers.

These Hoka shoes are designed for everyday running and walking and received the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance, which recognizes shoes that are beneficial to foot health

The sneakers have a plush feel and are made with a higher bed of soft cushioning to absorb impact while you run. Hokas have neutral support, are made with ultralight resilient foam for a bouncy feel, and offer breathablity for sweaty feet. The wide fit is great for people with wide feet or foot issues like bunions.

Product Details: 

  • Material: Mesh, foam, rubber
  • Available sizes: 5-12
  • Available widths: Regular and wide
  • Price at time of publication: $165

Best Canvas: Lifestride Next Level Moccasin

Lifestride Next Level Moccasin

Lifestride

Why We Like It: It’s a comfortable, cushioned slip-on sneaker.

It’s Worth Noting: The medium styles may run wide.

These slip-ons are made with a knit designed to be washed and worn over and over again. The washable feature can help extend the longevity of your casual walking shoes. 

Lifestride’s canvas shoes have a 1-inch heel, are made with Lifestride’s Soft System comfort package for all-day support and cushioning. The Active Arch provides arch support and cushioning—great for those with high arches and plantar fasciitis.

Product details: 

  • Material: Knit, rubber
  • Available sizes: 5-12
  • Available widths: Medium and wide
  • Price at time of publication: $79.99

Best for Flat Feet: Dr. Scholl’s Madison Slip-On Sneaker

Dr. Scholl’s Madison Slip-On Sneaker

Dr. Scholl’s Shoes

Why We Like It: These shoes are long-lasting and versatile sneaker.

It’s Worth Noting: They could be more breathable.

You know Dr. Scholl’s for their iconic wooden sandal and probably their foot health products in the drugstores, but if you haven’t tried the company’s expanded shoe line in recent decades, you’re missing out. All of Dr. Scholl’s shoes are designed with comfort in mind. 

This slip-on pair has stretchy top panels, a lightweight construction designed to move with you, and a padded collar. The insole features anti-microbial and anti-odor technology so your feet won’t smell if you wear these without socks. We love the slip-on style for running errands or playing outside with the family. These shoes are comfortable enough to be worn all day.

Product Details:

  • Material: Soft linings and microsuede made from recycled bottles, rubber soles
  • Available sizes: 6-11
  • Available widths: Medium
  • Price at time of publication: $80

What to Know about the Best Flats for Walking

When you’re buying a comfortable flat, you’ll need to consider the shoe’s support, flexibility, toe box, and arch support. “The more flexible a shoe, the more the foot has to work to remain stable thus causing more fatigue,” says Dr. Tikiwala. “You want to look for flats that have a contoured insole, shock absorption, cushioning, and arch support.”

Cushioning

You'll also want to find a shoe that has a good amount of cushioning to help absorb shock and protect your feet from impact. Many of the comfortable flats for walking in this article feature insoles made with memory foam or some type of foam to absorb the brunt of the impact every time your foot hits the ground as you walk.

Arch Type

Another thing to consider when looking for a good pair of flats for walking is your arch type. People with high arches tend to need shoes with more support than those with low arches. “If you have high arches, look for shoes that have a stiffer sole and avoid shoes with too much flexibility, says Dr. Pledger. If you have low arches, on the other hand, you'll want to look for shoes that are more flexible and have a softer sole.

Finally, when choosing a pair of walking flats, be sure to select a style that is appropriate for your activity level. If you plan on wearing your shoes all day long, choose a style that is comfortable and supportive. If you only plan on wearing them for short periods of time, however, you can afford to be a bit more daring and choose a style that is more fashion-forward.

Shoe sizes

Visit a store that takes the time to properly measure you and fit you appropriately, suggests Dr. Mendeszoon. “Remember, that all shoes are made differently and that it is not unusual to have a size differential depending the brand of shoe.” If you’re buying shoes online, look closely at their return and exchange policy before purchasing. While many stores won’t take back shoes that have clearly be worn outside, you’ll want to be able to exchange or return shoes if they don’t fit properly or hurt your feet while wearing them around your home.

Sole

A durable rubber sole is good for shock absorption and providing a better grip as you walk.

Your Questions, Answered

Are flat shoes good for walking or wearing regulary?

Flats can be worn throughout the day if you wear a style that is appropriate for your activity level and what you’re doing. If you plan to walk a mile or two to work and then walk and stand all day, you’ll need a more durable, stable shoe than a lightweight ballet flat. Some of the comfortable flats in this article are better for wearing in short time periods, like at dressy, special events. Other shoes, like the sneakers and canvas shoes would work for people who are on their feet all day—like medical professionals. If you have foot problems, always check with your doctor about their recommendations on the best shoes for you to wear and how long you can wear them for. 

How much should I expect to pay for a good pair of flats for walking?

The price of a good pair of flats varies widely, based on the materials used, brand, and style. Our best overall pick the Vionic Mina Ballet Flat costs $119 at the time of publication. Other options, like our best burget selection, the Skechers Women's Cleo Bewitch Ballet Flat, costs less than $50. The amount you’re willing to spend on a flat shoe will depend on how often you plan to wear them and the longevity of the shoe. Shoes like the Lifestride Next Level Moccasin ($79.99 at time of publication) that can be thrown in the washing machine, can help extend the life of your flats. 

Who We Are

Diana Kelly Levey is a freelance journalist based in Long Island, NY, and has been covering health topics for over 15 years. She frequently covers women’s health, sleep, nutrition, and fitness topics.

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