Flat shoes with arch support?

gracie01March 19, 2014

I need flat (or almost flat) casual shoes to wear with jeans. I need arch support, since I had plantar fasciatis and don't want a repeat. I also need to try them on, so don't want to order online. Can anyone recommend a store? Most all I see are flats with absolutely no arch. TIA.

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Why not just get some of the inserts? I know several people with PF who use the inserts. Just a thought . . .


    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 3:27PM
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Taryn Rose?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 3:27PM
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Do you have shoestores that carry Rockport or Ecco shoes?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 3:39PM
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I have PF for which I use Good Feet arch supports. Almost all my shoes are either Clark's and Born for comfort and good arch support. I sometimes use my GF supports with them but not always, depending upon how much support the shoe has. I recently purchased two pair of Clark's shoes, one a moccasin and one a loafer. For me both of these are more comfortable with the GF inserts than without. I'm enjoying them a lot!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 3:48PM
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Thanks funnygirl for the suggestions; I'll look for stores that carry those brands.

I have arch supports, but don't like using them. Some times they raise my foot too much and the shoe doesn't fit right.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 4:11PM
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I am always on the lookout for a comfortable flat. I recently purchased some naturalizer flats that had arch support and cushioning. And they met the approval of my teenage fashion critics.

I did a search and they appear to be sold out. Maybe you might have luck with another naturalizer shoe.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 5:08PM
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My SIL introduced me to Keen shoes. Im a convert. They have removable inserts. The inserts mold to my feet over time, I love them. However the friend i introduced to Keen always removes the insert and inserts her own from good feet.

Rockport are great too.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 5:56PM
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Can you tell us more about your foot shape?

Wide, med, or narrow? Fleshy or bony? Is your arch high?

I ask since I wear narrows, and have bony bird feet with a high arch. This makes many brands just too wide for me.

I have found that unless I have an oxford or boat shoe/moc that ties, that I need a true narrow to have a well fitting shoe that won't necessitate me gripping with my toes and knees to keep the shoe on.

I am a very big fan of Van Eli. They can be found on Zappos website which I highly recommend as they offer free ship and free return ship and ship in just 1-2 days with no express ship costs.

I have also had some sandals by echo that had excellent arch support and ran narrow enough to fit well. Also Naot sandals. They run nice and narrow and are very supportive.

Have had some topsiders that I liked, but they may not have enough cushioning for your needs.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 7:28PM
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I also have had PF. I like several of the brands recommended above, Born, BOC(a subdivision of Born), Clarks. Other brands that are very good includes OrthoFeet, Naot, Drew.
I know you said you want to try on in a store, but I would really urge you to think about online shopping. The selection is much better, size and style wise and they make the return process very easy at least at the two sites I use, Shoebuy and Zappos.
I started online shoe shopping when my sons needed good, midheight, hiking boots for a weeklong trek we were planning with heavy packs. Despite living in Maine in the heart of hiking country nobody had anything in their sizes. I went online order 5 pairs per child to try. They tried them on, ran around the carpeted basement for awhile and decided which fit best. I put the unselected 8 pairs back int hte box, called the 800 # and fedex retrieved- easy peasy.
I still browse the shoe stores when I am shopping, but when they dont have my size in the color I want I am no longer disheartened- point, click, shoes!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 7:24AM
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HOTS brand shoes are supposed to be very good for your condition. I don't own any.

A shoe line made in Hawaii called Olukai is almost ridiculously comfortable and has very good support. They make only casual shoes. I have a pair similar to bluchers and a pair of loafers that I wear several times a week. They are constructed in such a way that the heel is a separate sewn piece that flattens down, to make the shoes into slides. This solves the perennial problem of people who tend to walk on the backs of the heels of their shoes and ruin them, but it also gives new meaning to the term "slip on." I highly recommend Olukai, it is a well constructed shoe with great support.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 7:54AM
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I have PF also, and I love Munro shoes. They are very supportive, and they have removable insoles, if you want to try your arch supports in them. They also come in multiple widths, so you can get a pair that actually fits.

They are hard to find in stores, but if there's a Nordstroms near you, they carry them.

The shoes tend to run true to size. After buying two pairs in stores, I now order my size from Zappos and they always fit. If you go to their website, they give the last* model for each shoe so you can tell if one shoe will fit like another one did.

I've also had good luck with Clarks.

*The last is the mold for the shoe.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:24AM
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I thought you weren't suppose to wear flats with PF? A slight heel is better.

I seriously love my Munro boots. I don't have any of their regular shoes or sandals, yet, but I would recommend them. I also have luck with Merrell and Naot.

There's a blog, something like Barking Dog shoes, that features shoes for problem feet.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 9:08AM
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One year I managed to get shin splints from, believe it or not, standing in too high heels at a cocktail party that was held on an outdoor stone patio. That was the last timeI wore high heels! Anyway, I was in agony and went looking for the most supportive shoe in the world. I went to The Walking Company and found shoes by a company called Abeo. I tried them on and it was like the angels began to sing. Ahhhh.

I have a very high arch and it is hard for me to find a shoe that will support them. The Abeo shoes did it. Try googling The Walking Company to find the Abeo shoes. For some reason GW wont let me attach their URL.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 9:57AM
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I think you're right, HH, that flat shoes aren't recommended for PF. I know I'm more comfortable with a slight heel. However, so far so good with the two Clark's pair I recently purchased. Of course I don't wear them on a daily basis and use my GF supports which increases the comfort level. My reason for finally purchasing flat shoes was the need for something to wear with capris and ankle pants for this transitional time of year. Once warmer weather is here, I'll switch to my sandals with 1"+ heels. Though I wasn't expecting to, I'm very much enjoying the mocs and loafers, and looking forward to investigating some of the brands mentioned on this thread.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 10:51AM
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Wow, just came back on and couldn't believe all the replies. Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Most of those brands I've never heard of. Why can't they sell these in stores? I'll check out the sites with free shipping & returns. I mostly wear a 6.5 shoe, but sometimes my big toe rubs, but then size 7 is too big; that's why I prefer to try on in the store.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:02AM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

I want to add in the Cobb Hill brand from New Balance. I ordered mine from Amazon.com. Cobb Hill has a variety of casual shoes, from oxfords to Mary Janes. I have flat feet, and the sole has an excellent arch, and they are very comfortable.

My go-to sandals are by Merrell.

I also use the "Good Feet" inserts for shoes that don't already have an arch support in the soles.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:12AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

An aside, GF had plantar f. And found rolling her foot over a tennis ball while she was watching TV was a huge help.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 7:24PM
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I've tried so so many and wasted lots of $ until my daughter talked me into going in to Boston and trying on Mephisto shoes. I walked out with a pair and have been wearing that brand ever since. The have incredible foot and arch support and a cork lining that softens the effect of walking on hard surfaces. They're a little pricey but they last literally for years.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 8:12PM
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I agree with kswl's suggestion about Olukai. Many other good brands and recommendations mentioned here. I am not familiar with GF for PF, but I do wear SuperFeet inserts in my running shoes and hiking shoes too. They have different types available for different 'feet'...pronators, higher arches, etc.

I also suggest Zappos for online service. They have free and fast shipping both ways so you really can't go wrong. Many times if I am unsure of a size I order 2 sizes and send back the one that doesn't work. I haven't used Shoebuy but understand it is similar.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 8:29AM
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Gracie, they do sell these shoes in stores--just not a lot of the big chain stores.

If there's a small, local shoe store in your area, check it out. Or if there's a shoe store that caters to odd sizes or hard to fit feet or problem feet--that's where you'll find most of these brands.

If you go to the web site of a brand you are interested in, they will usually have a list of stores that carry some of their shoes.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 9:13AM
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I had PF about 5 years ago that was exercise induced. I was able to get rid of it thankfully, and now have superfeet inserts for my sneakers and now regularly replace my sneakers even though they don't "look" old - I keep track of the mileage I run in them. I also made sure to wear low-heeled supportive shoes like those mentioned above - Clarks, Born, etc. I rarely wear flats mainly b/c I have bunions and can't find any that are actually comfortable! I do have a couple of pairs but can't wear them all day.

In the summer,I live in flip flops but my days are pretty casual. However, I was sad to learn when I had PF that flip flops were the worst thing I could wear if one suffers from PF. Until I healed, I would wear my supportive sneakers for several hours after running or as much as possible. I still wore my flip flops but not for long periods of time. However, I discovered that Born flip flops (leather) were very supportive so I could wear those when I wanted to wear flip flops. I bought some Superfeet flip flops from my running store that I could wear to the pool and running around (nice as nice as leather). Last summer, I got turned on to Olukai by a friend of mine who also runs. LOVE them. They are very expensive for flip flops but so comfy and worth the price to me. They are leather and look nice enough to wear with a casual sundress. I also have a few pairs of espadrille/wedge type shoes that I can wear in the summer that are comfortable and supportive but I don't remember the brand.

Unfortunately, I haven't found any totally "flat" shoes that provide me enough support for my arch. The ones that I wear short term do not fit my inserts so I only wear them if I'm not going to have them on long.

And make sure to wear shoes all the time, even at home. If you don't wear shoes indoors, then invest in a pair of supportive slippers.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 1:50PM
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>Why can't they sell these in stores?

They do. Look for a store that specializes in fitting (not just selling) sports shoes. There are a lot of different kinds of removable inserts and a good store will help you find what fits you best.

BTW, that doesn't necessarily mean an athletic shoe store. It may be a local, non-chain regular shoe store.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 5:21PM
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I LOVE this thread, as I need new flat shoes for Spring! I have short, boney-on-the-bottoms, wide feet (6.5 -7 Wide) with very high arches and, for the past 15 years, I couldn't walk in any heels higher than 1" to save my life. I own 11 pair of Clarks and the cushioning and arch support is great. They're my go-to brand, although I'm always on the lookout for comfortable, flat, STYLISH shoes. Why can't they design more that are stylish as well as comfortable?!? I love my one pair of Borns. I also like my Naturalizers. All my tennis are white New Balances although I'd love to find some that look more slender and stylish. I wonder if Keds would have something for me? BTW, DH has a pair of the Olukai leather sandals and they are fantastic, although very expensive. They were something like $115!
I'm now going to look into many of the other new-to-me brands you all have mentioned here. Thanks for this great thread, Gracie!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 6:17PM
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I have a hard time finding any shoes that are comfortable because of a right foot neuroma. Years of walking on hard floors as a nurse.

I love the Skechers GoWalk. My feet are between average and wide. And in this shoe I buy average.

I hate to admit that I bought the shoe in 3 colors. I can actually exercise in them pain free. I wear them all day, even around the house. They feel like house slippers. They are not however stylish.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 1:11PM
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Famous Footwear is a discount chain that carries several brands, including shoes for work, and they also sell good shoe inserts.

Also, if you type in "discount shoe store chains" in the Google search engine quite a few links come up.

I frequently choose men's flats over women's because they have better construction and come in larger sizes; if you are careful as to style some of them can work well. My favorite store for this is a local department store chain (Boscov's) when men's shoes are on sale.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wiki Famous Footwear article

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 1:42PM
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Lynn If you haven't been to a Clark's store in awhile you will be surprised to see they are making some very stylish shoes these days. I also like Clark's and love the great boots I got there this year. I just bought these and they are awesome!

Here is a link that might be useful: new shoes

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 5:02PM
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RNmomof2 zone 5

I have been reading along and finally will add my 2 cents worth. I am a former PF sufferer. Birkenstocks were (and still are) my savior. They give great arch support and have some sandals that don't look too frumpy.

For flats I second Clarks or their funkier brand Privo. I have had good luck with Sperry Top Siders lately also for casual.

P.S. If anyone is a Birkie wearer, go to the website Baumhouse. It will redirect you, but it is a German site that ships to the US. Cheaper prices, huge selection. I have ordered from there before.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 11:04AM
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