10 Best Flip Flops for Flat Feet

Best Flip Flops for Flat Feet

Flip flops are the go-to shoes for many men and women. As soon as the weather turns, people whip out their flip flops and wear them anywhere and everywhere. They are affordable and comfortable and go with nearly every outfit imaginable.

Flip flops often have flat soles, which can be problematic for people with flat feet. Fortunately, flip flop designers have created options that have supportive soles. With the best flip flops for flat feet, you can have comfort without fear of injury due to a lack of support.

The best flip flops for flat feet are available for men and women. According to studies, a notable percentage, around 20% of adults, have flat feet. Not having arches can make it painful to stand for extended periods, especially in flat shoes. Arch support is essential for people with flat feet because they add support and comfort.

In this article, we are going to look at the best flip flops for flat feet. We will look at several options and the features that make them comfortable for people who have fallen arches. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find a choice that fits your style, your feet, and your budget.

Our Top Picks

For more information about flip flop features, keep reading.

How to Choose the Right Flip Flops for Your Flat Feet

When choosing your perfect flip flops, you should know what your feet need. You should also consider where you will be wearing them and how often. Keep in mind that flip flops are designed for wearing in the warm months of the year. They are not meant for serious physical activity, so you shouldn’t wear them if you have to run, lift heavy items, or walk long distances.

Before you bring home your flip flops, you should give them the bend test. Cheap, flat flip flops won’t offer any support, and they will fail the bend test. The bend test involves trying to bend the flip flops in half at the midpoint of the shoe. If it bends, the shoe will not offer support for flat feet. Instead, the sandal should only bend at the ball of the foot, and it should not bend in half.

The shoe should have some flexibility because you will need it for walking. But, a good flip flop will have some strength so that it will support your arches. With the limited flexibility, the shoes offer arch support as well as alignment and balance, too.

When To Wear Flip Flops

It is also essential to know when it is and isn’t a good idea to wear flip flops. Even with support, you shouldn’t wear flip flops for heavy-duty work. Flip flops are for moments when you do not have to do much.

They are most comfortable when you have flat surfaces and no incline or decline. In fact, if you have to walk downhill on a slope, you could injure your toes on the posts. Walking uphill can be tough, too. Feet can slide right out of flip flops when walking up steep hills.

When you walk in flip flops, your gait actually changes. The foot has to work to keep the shoes on, so you cannot take the same type of steps you might take in a full, supportive shoe. You cannot take the typical stride with a heel strike and toe push. Many people take a short stride with a flat-footed strike.

If you are going to wear flip flops, you should only wear them for events that require limited walking. Wear them to the beach, the pool, or keep them on around the house.

Buy Flip Flops That Fit

Even though flip flops are minimal in design, you should not skimp on size. When you try them on, be sure they fit. Your toes and heels should be within the footprint of the sandal. If your toes and heels hang off the shoe, you are asking for stubbed toes or scraped heels. You should also avoid wearing flip flops that are too big because the sole can catch and create a trip hazard.

Most flip flops do not have adjustable straps, so you must buy a pair that fits you well. If the shoes are uncomfortable, you won’t wear them. If you can find a pair with some adjustability, you are more likely to enjoy wearing them.

Flip Flops for City Wear

You don’t have to live anywhere near a beach to enjoy flip flops. There are stylish flip flops that don’t have all of the traction and stability that people want to wear near the water. If you are going to wear flip flops in town, it is wise to choose the ones that have sturdy soles, so they withstand the cement.

Flip Flops for Beach Wear

Flip flops are meant to wear near the water. If you are wearing them near the beach or on a dock, you will want to have shoes with traction, especially when they are wet. Look for shoes that are snug. Some loosen up when wet so that they can slip right off. Most flip flops only have one strap that goes across the top of the foot, so they don’t stay on well in the water.

Many flip flops float, too. This feature is important if you are wearing them to the beach, in a boat, or on a dock. If they fall in the water, you will be able to retrieve  them easily.

Comfort

As you look for your ideal flip flops for flat feet, check out their comfort features. Even though flip flops have limited features, manufacturers make them with materials and designs that are comfortable. You should look at two features before you make up your mind.

The first feature to look into is the footbed. These should have contours at the heel, arch, and toe beds. With comfort designs, your feet will be able to stay in your flip flops for an extended period. The arches help prevent fatigue and aches.

The best flip flops for flat feet should be made of materials that lend themselves to comfort. Flip flops are known for the toe post between the first and second toe. But, some of the more comfortable flip flops have toe straps that wrap around the big toe instead of the post. The straps should be made of a flexible textile. Toe posts are usually made of rubber or plastic.

The toe post and strap are in the section of the shoe called the upper. The most comfortable shoes are the ones with uppers that do not irritate your toes. If the shoes fit and are comfortable, you will want to wear them.

Materials

Most flip flops are made of man-made materials, like rubber or ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA). The elements often dictate how long the flip flops will last. The material also dictates how much breathability the flip flops have. Some materials are water-resistant and easy to clean, others, not so much.

Some flip flops have leather components. But, leather flip flops can be very comfortable and breathable. They often change slightly to fit your feet. Most leather flip flops are not designed for wearing around or in the water. They are perfect for wearing around town, and they often can pass for professional wear in the summer.

Rubber flip flops are the most popular. They are durable, water-resistant, and ideal for wearing to the beach. They are easy to clean, too. However, they often have the toe posts that can cause chafing between the toes. Be sure the pair you get are flip flops that you will actually wear.

Flip flops made of EVA are also fashionable. These are usually more comfortable than rubber flip flops. EVA flip flops can come with comfort footbeds and other specialized features. They are lightweight, flexible, and durable for wearing around town or near the water.

Another natural material that some flip flops have is cork. This material is often put in the footbeds for two reasons. First, it is shock absorbing. Secondly, it forms to your foot over time. Cork footbeds are not usually water-resistant, but they are antimicrobial and cool on hot days.

Durability

Flip flops are not known for being long-lasting and durable shoes. But, some are. The lightweight sandals can last a year or two, especially if they are made of decent materials and offer some support for flat feet. The flip flops that will last longer are those that can stand up to water. If you wear leather or cork flip flops in the water, they won’t last long.

If you have flip flops that have some flexibility, they should last longer than the ones that fail the bend test or are stiff. You don’t want them to be too stiff because you could end up with foot or ankle injuries. You also don’t want them to be too bendy, or they could cause you to trip when they get caught on stairs or car pedals.

You should also pay attention to the toe post or strap. If the toe post is not flexible, it might not last long. Stretch toe straps are often more durable than ones that aren’t flexible. If the toe post shows through the bottom of the shoe, there is a chance they won’t last through the season. But, a sewn-in strap or post should last.

The Details on Flat Feet

When someone has flat feet, they have arches that are not quite normal. One of the most common symptoms of flat feet is feeling pain when engaged in physical activity. Infants usually have flat feet until they reach two or three years old as their ligaments and tendons become more like adults. Some children never develop normal arches, but most do.

Feet are complicated, with 33 joints and 26 bones. There are over 100 different soft tissues in the foot, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Many of the bones and soft tissues are small and easy to injure. The arches are an essential part of the feet, as they help us distribute body weight. They factor into our gait, too.

If adults develop flat feet, there are a few common causes. Most of the reasons are related to the soft tissues in the foot and how they affect the bones. As children age, soft tissues tighten and create arches. After those tendons tighten, some adults might have issues with their feet, which can flatten out the arches.

Some people have flat feet due to cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy.

Some people are at risk for flat feet. There is a genetic link, as the condition seems to run through families. Some physically active people can develop a problem if they have frequent foot or ankle injuries.

Elderly adults are also more likely to develop flat feet, simply because they are more likely to fall and suffer an injury. People with muscle-related diseases can develop flat feet. Hypertension and diabetes can also create problems with flat feet.

If you have flat feet and no pain, then you might not have any cause for concern. Otherwise, if you notice that your feet are aching after long walks or standing for hours, you could have flat feet that need to be diagnosed and treated. Some people experience pain in their ankles, shins, and calves, while others have numbness or develop calluses on their feet.

It is possible to prevent developing flat feet unless they are the result of a hereditary condition. If you do not already have flat feet, you can avoid developing them by taking care of your feet. Wear supportive shoes that fit and maintain a healthy weight by eating a healthy diet.

Types of Flat Feet

There are a few types of flat feet, with some more severe than others. Some people have flat feet due to posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. This is caused by the tendon that attaches to the calf muscle and the interior part of the ankle. The dysfunction begins in adulthood as the tendon becomes injured or torn. Swelling in the ankle and arch pain in the foot can be a typical reaction.

Another problem that is not as serious is flexible flat feet. This happens when arches still exist, but they only show up when you take your feet off of the ground. When you step on the ground, your feet are flat. Flexible flat feet often originate in childhood, and it usually does not cause chronic pain.

Some people experience flat feet if their Achilles tendons are tight. This soft tissue connects the heel to the calf muscle. When it tightens, the heel lifts too soon in the gait, which results in pain while walking or running.

If you have any of these problems or you have pain in your arches, you should your health care provider. Usually, your provider will recommend that you see a podiatrist or an orthopedic surgeon. Health care providers might start looking at your arches or your ankles. You might also need an x-ray to determine if you have problems with your bones.

Treatment for Flat Feet

There are several treatment options for people with flat feet. Most health care providers will begin by recommending footwear with arch support. Health care providers might give you orthotics, which are inserts you put in your shoes to get the necessary arch support. They also might prescribe heel cups to keep your feet in alignment while wearing shoes.

Another treatment option involves lifestyle changes. Some people need to manage their weight to take the burden off of their arches when they are walking. Health care providers might recommend taking breaks from standing or walking for long periods.

Health care providers often recommend medication to treat pain and inflammation. The usual recommendation is for a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory to reduce both pain and inflammation.

If the pain is chronic, your health care provider might suggest surgery. This will only happen after an orthopedic surgeon agrees with the recommendation. The operation can include repairing tendons, fusing bones, or building an arch. Surgeons also can lengthen the Achilles tendon to reduce pain.

Health care providers frequently recommend that their patients buy special shoes or add orthotics. They will recommend shoes with high arches before they suggest surgery or other extreme measures. Health care providers will recommend a shoe based on the type of limb alignment that the fallen arches have created. Many suggest wide-fitting shoes for relief.

Some people benefit from wearing a wedge along with orthotics. These will help relieve pain that comes from posterior tibial tendonitis, which causes pronation or a roll of the foot. The wedge will give some relief to the tendon. Ankle braces can also provide relief, especially if there is inflammation along with pain.

What is Pronation?

People with flat feet often suffer from pronation or supination. These happen at different stages of the footstep. Pronation is the technical term for an inward roll of the foot. When the foot lands on the ground, the ankle turns upward to the midline. In supination, the foot rolls outward, so the ankle points upward away from the body.

Pronation and supination are affected by fallen feet. It is easy to see if you have one or the other by looking at the soles of your shoes. With pronation, you will see extra wear on the inner edge of your shoes. With supination, the opposite wear occurs. There are shoes specially designed for support for either problem. You can also remedy the problem with wedges and orthotics.

If pronation or supination is left untreated, it can result in more problems like back pain, knee pain, and hip pain.

Exercises for Flat Feet

There are two easy exercises that people can do to get some relief from the pain from flat feet. One is the golf-ball roll. To do it, you need a chair and a golf ball.

To get the most from the exercise, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Put the ball under your arch and roll it toward the toes and the heel. Do this back and forth several times to give relief to the plantar fascia ligament under the arch.

The other exercise is the heel-cord stretch to stretch the calf muscle and Achilles tendon. For this stretch, stand up facing a wall and put your hand on the wall, so it is parallel with your eyes. Then, put the leg that you want to stretch a step behind and put the heel of the back foot on the ground.

Then, bend the leg closest to the wall until your back leg stretches. Move through a series of holding the stretch and resting for 30 seconds on and off. Repeat several times. When you do this exercise, keep the back straight and the abdominal muscles engaged to protect your spine.

Best Flip Flops for Flat Feet Reviews

After looking into the basics about flip flops, let’s look at some of the best options for your flat feet. These choices are for men and women.

1. Aerothotic Comfort Thong for Women

AEROTHOTIC Women's Comfortable Orthotic Flip-Flops Sandal (US Women 6, Crystal Black)

These fashionable flip flops have padded straps with a rubber-coated toe post. The shoes have a platform and heel that measures about 0.75 inches. These have medium arch support for flat feet. The footbed and soles are made of an injected polyurethane material. They are designed to offer support that reduces heel pain and back pain.

The Aerothotic Comfort Thong is water-resistant, and they have a hollow outsole to grab onto surfaces that need the traction. The straps are made of leather, so they aren’t ideal for the beach or docks, but they are perfect for casual, everyday outfits.

To keep your gait natural, they have a raised toe bar that gives your feet something to grab. They’ve also got a heel cup to keep your foot in place.

Pros:

  • Raised toe bed
  • Cupped heel
  • Padded leather straps
  • Available in several colors
  • Medium arch support

Cons:

  • Leather straps are not water-resistant
  • Not for wide feet
  • Toe post can cause chafing

Buy On Amazon

2. Under Armour Men’s Fat Tire

Under Armour Men's Fat Tire Flip-Flop, Black (033)/White, 12

The Under Armour Men’s Fat Tire flip flop has a molded footbed with the HeroFlex sole construction. The upper is man-made and has antimicrobial properties. The EVA midsole has Under Armour’s Charged Cushioning in the rear, so the heel strike has extra absorption. Then, the heel strike turns into energy for the toe lift.

These are great for people with flat arches because of the subtle arch lift from the toes. They also have rubber traction pods under the heel and forefoot for even more comfort and traction. These are durable flip flops made with technology from Michelin tires. They are spongy, despite not having gel soles.

Pros:

  • Traction on the soles
  • Durable
  • Antimicrobial straps
  • Water-resistant and quick-dry
  • Subtle arch support

Cons:

  • Run big
  • Can become heavy when wet
  • Expensive

Buy On Amazon

3. OOFOS OOriginal Sandal

OOFOS OOriginal Sandal

Oofos has created a sandal that is designed to reduce stress on the feet and joints. The Ooriginal Sandal is made of their Oofoam technology that absorbs the impact that comes with the heel strike. They have a unique structure that helps with recovery after exercise.

These sandals offer more than arch support; they provide arch cradles to help feet, ankles, knees, and backs. Oofoam is water-resistant and perfect for the beach and showers. The closed-cell foam sandals are one piece. They are non-toxic, and they have antimicrobial properties.

They have a toe post and strap that keeps the shoe in place when walking. They aren’t adjustable, so it is vital to order a size that fits the width of your feet. These are popular with servers and other professionals who are on their feet all day.

Pros:

  • Arch support
  • One-piece design
  • Grippy footbed
  • Water-resistant and quick-dry
  • Impact-resistant

Cons:

  • Run narrow
  • Not adjustable
  • Can be slippery when wet

Buy On Zappos

4. Nike Ultra Comfort 3

Nike Ultra Comfort 3

Nike Ultra Comfort 3 flip flop sandals have a secure and comfortable thong construction. The upper is made of padded faux leather, and the toe post is narrow. The midsole is made of dual-density foam for comfort. The outsole has traction for those slippery sidewalks, showers, and docks.

They offer plenty of arch support. The Nike Swoosh is on full display right across the front of the strap. It’s easy to see the foam footbed and how it is contoured to support the bottom of the foot. They come in several colors so you can get them to match all of your outfits.

Pros:

  • Sporty Nike design
  • Comfort foam footbed
  • Padded leather uppers
  • Water-resistant and quick-dry
  • Narrow toe post for comfort

Cons:

  • Run narrow
  • Not adjustable
  • Can be slippery when wet

Buy On Zappos

5. Vionic Women’s Tide II

Vionic Women's Tide II Toe Post Sandal - Ladies Flip Flop with Concealed Orthotic Arch Support Grey Floral 8 Medium US

The Vionic Women’s Tide II are top quality sandals that are durable and supportive. They have a woven polyurethane upper that is decorated with a bit of leather trim. The toe post is woven for comfort, and the straps have foam lining to keep the foot in place. These are designed to be worn all day.

The midsole is made of a medium-density EVA that is lightweight and flexible. The midsole is designed to absorb shock at the point of the heel shock to prevent stress reactions on the feet and leg joints. These are so well made that they have received the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).

They also have the Vionic TPR outsole with a wavy tread for traction in a variety of situations. The grippy footbed keeps the foot in place without having to work too hard.

Pros:

  • Grippy footbed
  • Woven upper and toe post
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Water-resistant and quick-dry
  • Supportive arches
  • Available in several colors

Cons:

  • Run narrow
  • Not adjustable
  • Take time to adjust to the foot

Buy On Amazon

6. Skechers Women’s Reggae Seize the Day

Skechers Women's Reggae-Seize The Day-Toe Thong Sandal Flip-Flop, White, 8 M US

The Skechers Reggae Seize the Day sandals are made of rubber and textiles. They have a pocked footbed to keep the foot in place. They also have two straps rather than one, for adjustability and support. Instead of the typical flip-flop toe post, these have a toe strap that provides more durability.

The toe strap has some stretch, and the strap at the top of the foot is adjustable with a hook-and-loop closure. The comfort footbed has a raised arch designed to help people with flat feet. The heel height is one inch, and the mid-sole has shock-absorbing qualities for heel strikes. They are loaded with support features.

These sandals come in several colors and patterns. They are designed to be shoes that look great at the beach, on the dock, or in the city. The outsole is made of rubber with a pattern that provides plenty of traction.

Pros:

  • Grippy footbed
  • Supportive arches
  • Two straps for more support
  • Absorbing heels
  • Traction pattern on the bottoms
  • Several colors and patterns
  • Adjustable

Cons:

  • Run narrow
  • Not everyone likes the toe strap
  • Instep can be tight

Buy On Amazon

7. Skechers Men’s Pelem Emiro

Skechers USA Men's Pelem Emiro Flat Sandal,Chocolate,8 M US

Women aren’t the only ones who get to benefit from the sandals that Skechers makes. Men get the Pelem Emiro sandals. These flip flops look more traditional with the toe post and single strap. These are made of all synthetic materials, despite the straps that look like leather. The toe post is woven, and the straps are padded for extra comfort.

The best part of the Skechers Men’s Pelem Emiro is the footbed, which is made of Relaxed Memory Foam. These offer arch support and whole-foot support. The heel has a cupped design to keep it in place, too. The soles of the shoes have a pebble design with limited traction, but they do become less slippery as the bottoms scuff on cement.

They are water-resistant and will dry quickly after getting wet. They do have a bit of weight to them, which shows that they are durable.

Pros:

  • Memory Foam footbed
  • Woven toe post
  • Padded straps
  • Simple design
  • Water-resistant

Cons:

  • Not much traction
  • One color choice
  • Runs small

Buy On Amazon

8. Clarks Women’s Breeze Sea

Clarks Women's Breeze Sea Flip Flop, New Black Synthetic, 8 B(M) US

Clarks makes comfortable shoes that have the Cloudsteppers footbed. These sandals have an adjustable strap with a woven toe post. The straps have light padding. Even though these sandals can be used near water, they do have a cork footbed under the Cloudsteppers top. The footbed also has a pretty floral design that coordinates with the colors of the straps and soles.

These sandals have soles with a wave pattern for some traction. The heels are 1.18 inches, and the platform is 0.5 inches. There is some arch support, but the heel and platform heights provide comfort for people with flat arches. These are designed to last for several years, not just one season. They do not need any break-in period and are comfortable right out of the box.

Pros:

  • Comfortable footbed
  • Cloudsteppers cushioning
  • Adjustable strap
  • Woven toe post
  • Arch support from slight heel

Cons:

  • Not meant to get wet
  • Design can peel off of footbed if it gets wet too often
  • Can develop an odor

Buy On Amazon

9. Sanuk Yoga Mat Flip Flop

Sanuk Yoga Mat Ebony 9 B (M)

The Sanuk Yoga Mat Flip Flop is available in designs for men and women. The biggest difference is the size of the strap, as the men’s version has a wider one. Both the men’s and women’s sandals have the yoga-mat sole that provides cushioning for all feet, especially those with flattened arches.

The flip flop has synthetic straps with contrasting details on the inside. The toe post is made of a woven textile. The soles have the Sanuk smiley face pattern for traction. These have a simple design with a 0.75-inch heel and a 0.5-inch platform. These have minimal arch support, but they have plenty of comfort as the mid-sole is made of squishy yoga mats.

Pros:

  • Traction on sole
  • Squishy footbed
  • Slight heel
  • Woven toe post
  • Water-resistant
  • Last more than one season

Cons:

  • Not adjustable
  • Limited arch support
  • Simple design

Buy On Amazon

10. Scott Hawaii Classic’s Men Makaha Sandals

Scott Hawaii Men's Makaha Flip Flop,Black,11 M US

The Scott Hawaii Classic is a traditional flip flop with durability, comfort, and arch support. They are made in the USA and have a grooved rubber sole for traction on wet docks and slippery sidewalks. They have a nylon strap with a durable toe post made of woven material, too. The molded footbed has arch support and a heel cup to give the foot support.

These are designed to be waterproof. They also have some impact-resistance for heel strikes. The soles are non-marking. The traction design is meant to keep the foot from hydroplaning on slippery surfaces. These have been handmade in Hawaii for over 80 years. These are real surf shop flip flops and will last for several seasons.

Pros:

  • Classic design
  • Traction design is anti-hydroplaning
  • Waterproof
  • Sold for over 80 years
  • Arch support and heel cup

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Stitching on the strap can be problematic for some people
  • Inconsistent sizing

Buy On Amazon

The Verdict

Flip flops come in several styles to meet the podiatric needs of everyone who wants to wear them. People love to wear flip flops, and they often want ones that will last for more than one season. They also want models that offer some support, especially when compared to the $1.99 options.

Best Overall

It is tough to choose the overall best flip flops for flat feet, but the Skechers Women’s Reggae Seize the Day offer everything that a person with flat feet would like. These are affordable, and they offer adjustable support for the toes, arches, and heels. They are good looking and come in plenty of colors and patterns, too.

The Skechers footbed is incredibly comfortable, and the straps have padding to add to the comfort. The key to all of the comfort is the fact that the top strap is adjustable, even though it isn’t stretchy.

These also have the lower strap, but unlike the other flip flops, they have a toe strap rather than a post. For people who cannot tolerate the toe post, the toe strap can be a pleasant alternative. The toe strap does have stretch.

For flat feet, they have arch support and a subtle heel. The other flip flops on this list have varying degrees of arch support, but these have the most. They cup the foot, so your gait is not compromised while walking in them. The Skechers sandals are water-resistant, and they have a pattern that provides traction on the bottom.

Premium Product

If money is no object, the Under Armour Men’s Fat Tire is an excellent choice. While they are designed for men, women could comfortably wear them, too. They have the attractive Under Armour styling, and they have soles that are made by premium tire manufacturer Michelin.

These sandals have the cushioned Under Armour Charged footbed to provide squishy support. They also have arch support, though not as much as other flip flops on this list. The Michelin tires soles provide outstanding traction on slippery docks and sidewalks.

The upper has a subtle sublimation pattern with padding underneath. The toe post is woven and narrow, so it fits comfortably between the toes. The Under Armour logo is on the strap, the footbed, and the soles. They are designed to provide a robust cushion with heel strikes, so your joints and feet do not tire quickly.

Best Value

The best value flip flop is the Sanuk Yoga Mat Flip Flop. These are excellent choices for men and women. They can be purchased for an affordable price. On top of that, they are designed to last for several years, especially since they are made of squishy yoga mats.

Like the Under Armour Fat Tires, the Sanuk flip flop does not have as much arch support as some of the other models. But the squishy yoga mat midsoles give arches what they need. These are durable, supportive, and incredibly comfortable. The straps have padding on the inside for comfort on top of the foot.