- Benefits Of Dress Shoes for Flat Feet
- Best Dress Shoes For Flat Feet Comparison Chart
- Best Dress Shoes for Flat Feet Reviews
- 1. Clarks Men’s Escalade Step
- 2. Rockport Cobb Hill Women’s Adele
- 3. ECCO Men’s Helsinki Oxford
- 4. Vionic Women’s, Spark Minna Ballet Flat
- 5. Dansko Men’s Jackson Slip-On Loafer
- 6. Vionic Women’s Madison Mia Heels with Concealed Orthotic Support
- 7. Dunham Men’s Burlington Waterproof Oxford
- 8. Dansko Women’s Fynn Mary Jane
- 9. Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe
- 10. Trotters Women’s Danelle Dress Pump
- 11. Drew Shoe Women’s Bloom II
- What Are Dress Shoes for Flat Feet
- Types of Dress Shoes for Flat Feet
- Dress Shoes for Flat Feet Buying Guide
- FAQ About Dress Shoes for Flat Feet
- Wrap Up
People who suffer from fallen arches, aka flat feet, have a lot to think about when it comes to footwear for different occasions. Of course, some insoles can transform any shoe you have to accommodate your fallen arches, but the truth is – this doesn’t work every time. But, don’t worry, we might just have the right proposition on how to solve this issue. We offer you the guide on how to get the best dress shoes for flat feet and look classy no matter your foot form.
It is time to talk about the steps you can take (pun intended) to look good despite the state of your arches. Additionally, wearing comfortable shoes (that also look good), designed for this condition, will ease some of the discomforts anyone can feel. So, without further ado, let’s see what kind of classy, dress shoes for flat feet are there.
Benefits Of Dress Shoes for Flat Feet
If we are to talk about aesthetics, the differences are noticeable only to trained eyes. These dress shoes do not have anything added on the outside. At least they do not have outer modifications that everyone can notice (hats off to you cobblers and shoemakers). However, when it comes to the structural integrity of dress shoes for flat feet, the differences start to appear rapidly. The advantages over regular dress shoes are many, so, we would like to talk about the major improvements.
1. Structure and Build
So, the very first thing that makes these dress shoes different from the regulars is their build. This can mean a lot of things, depending on the model, but the key thing is that dress shoes for flat feet need to be sturdier to do their job. Now, do not confuse sturdy for uncomfortable, because this sturdiness is found in the most important places. For example, you cannot expect a shoe designed for flat feet to have super-strong outer arch support. This could lead to disbalances, so the manufacturers put the sturdiest materials on the spots with the highest pressure.
On the other hand, the overall build of a dress shoe for flat feet needs to be strong beneath the (fallen) arch. Another great feature of these shoes is that they keep their structural integrity for longer. This spec, however, varies from wearer to wearer – we all have different feet, different degrees of fallen arches, and ultimately, different styles of walking.
2. Critical Spot Support
Now comes the main difference in the form of critical spot support. People with flat feet tend to overpronate, often subconsciously, due to anatomical deformities. This is not such a big deal, but it needs to be supported by the shoe. We can separate these critical spots into three zones:
- Heel Zone – this is the zone where the balancing begins. People with flat feet push a bit harder with their heels, so the shoe needs to stay strong and unchanged for as long as possible.
- Arch Zone – this is the main issue, the fallen arch. Dress shoes for flat feet will have something called arch support. This additional material bulk will help with raising the arch to a normal level while the shoes are on.
- Toe Zone – also known as the toe box. This is the space you keep your toes in. Shoes for flat feet will often have a bit of extra space for your toes, but not too much. If the toe box is too big, or gets loose too easily, the foot will go into overpronation.
3. Comfort and Cushioning
Last, but not least, we have the cushioning. None of the above features would matter if these shoes weren’t comfy. Dress shoes for people with flat feet have additional cushioning, often in the form of shock absorption. Because the walking force isn’t distributed evenly, the shoe will provide some artificial support and help spread out the pressure.
Having a comfortable shoe that is designed for flat feet should be a priority. The structural integrity of the shoe is closely related to its comfort, because – the sturdier the structure, the longer the shoe can support your weight and your flat feet condition.
Best Dress Shoes For Flat Feet Comparison Chart
Clarks Men’s Escalade Step
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Rockport Cobb Hill Women’s Adele
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ECCO Men’s Helsinki Oxford
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Vionic Women’s, Spark Minna Ballet Flat
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Dansko Men’s Jackson Slip-On Loafer
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Vionic Women’s Madison Mia Heels with Concealed Orthotic Support
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Best Dress Shoes for Flat Feet Reviews
1. Clarks Men’s Escalade Step
If you are one of those men that like simplicity and quality, these dress shoes from Clarks might just be the right model for you. They provide the necessary support and they bring that minimalist look to your wardrobe. The materials used for the outside of these dress shoes for flat feet are 100% leather. This means that your foot will be well-protected inside, but it also means that feet can breathe through the natural material.
When it comes to colors, there isn’t much to choose from – It is either black or dark brown leather. The black ones look more formal due to the homogenous color. On the other hand, the brown models have that slightly rugged look which can be paired with jeans if needed. Inside the shoes, you can find support both for the heel and for the main arch of the foot.
- Simple-looking model that can be paired with various clothing styles
- The inside of the shoe is made of natural materials – the insole is made of leather, while the lining is made of textile
- The shoe has support for fallen arches and the heel
- The outsole is synthetic, which means that it might wear out faster, depending on your walking style
- When it comes to colors, there are only two – brown and black.
2. Rockport Cobb Hill Women’s Adele
These Rockport dress shoes for flat feet bring out that special feel that falls right between modern and classic. The looks are inspired by the colonial style shoes, but the build is modern, including the inner and the outer sole. The Adeles can go well in both formal and casual situations. They come in four colors: navy, black, merlot, and almond. So, if you like the first pair, you can always try and mix things up a little.
The shoes are elevated – they have a short, full heel at the height of 1 ½ inch. Even though high heels are not recommended for people with flat feet, the heel of this shape and size can be a good step down for ladies that used to wear extra-high heels and stilettos. The outer material is 100% leather, and the inside is made of ethylene-vinyl acetate, which is making the shoes extra-comfy. The arch support works well with the 1 ½ inch heel and the .5-inch platform.
- A great combination of modern and old-school look (influenced by European styling)
- The shoes are made of leather, making them suitable for all kinds of weather conditions
- The heel is thick and doesn’t cause issues for people with flat feet
- The heel-platform combination takes some time to get used to
- The insole is synthetic, which may not sit well with people with perspiration problems
3. ECCO Men’s Helsinki Oxford
A vast majority of men go for the Oxfords when it comes to dress shoes, including people with flat feet. These ECCO Oxfords are classy and modern, with a minimalistic approach that never goes out of style. Additionally, you get to choose between three colors: black, cocoa brown, and rusty red. If you aim for a solid formal look, the blacks are a safe choice, while the other two colors can be combined into more casual or business-casual aesthetics.
Now, the materials used to build the body of these dress shoes for flat feet are 100% leather. However, the outsole is made of PU, which is synthetic, yes, but it also absorbs more chock that any natural material out there. The outsole is also shaped in a way that gives these shoes a 1-inch heel. Inside, you can find a strong, yet comfy, arch support for your flat feet.
- 100% leather used for the build of the shoe
- Outsole built of polyurethane that absorbs shock
- These shoes have a moisture-wicking lining
- These oxfords come with a 1-inch heel, which will take you some time to get used to
4. Vionic Women’s, Spark Minna Ballet Flat
In the last few decades, we have seen the uprising of the ballet flat shoe. However, this resurfacing did not happen thanks to the art that is ballet. It happened because the ballet flats have all the classy and formal look you need, with the practicality and the ergonomics of summer shoes or a slip-on. This particular pair of ballet flats from Vionic will also provide support for your heel and for your fallen arches that cause flat feet.
Looking from the outside first, you can notice that these shoes come with the classic bow tie, located on the toe box. The main parts of these shoes are made of leather, while the removable orthotic insert is made of EVA. Also, you will be happy to hear that these ballet flats come in 16 different color finishes, so everyone’s style can be matched.
- The orthotics design to help your flat feet are removable
- A large number of different colors to choose from
- These slip-ons follow and adapt to the shape of your feet
- These ballet flats will not fit you that well if you have wider feet, so make sure to double-check the sizing charts
5. Dansko Men’s Jackson Slip-On Loafer
Every modern traveler, no matter for formal his style is, has a pair of trusty loafers. Loafers come in different shapes and sizes, but these slip-ons form Dansko bring out the classy side to the front row. At first glance, you can see that the design of these loafers sits on the border between modern and old-school. The colors available are black, mahogany, and matte brown, which allows you to pick and choose the style that suits you best. Although the black ones look the most formal.
Now, the materials used to build these loafers are mostly natural. The upper, major parts, are made of 100% leather. The outsole is synthetic, and it is made of highly-resilient material that can handle all sorts of weather, including oily surfaces. The insole and the midsole are made of EVA, which provides shock-resistant features. The insole has a strengthened heel and steady arch support for your flat feet.
- Stylish looks with the modern take on a classic shoe model
- The outsole is sturdy and handles wet and oily surfaces
- The insole has a comfortable EVA support for your arches
- These loafers come at a slightly above-average price
- Wearing loafers in ultra-formal occasion requires some experience
6. Vionic Women’s Madison Mia Heels with Concealed Orthotic Support
If you have flat feet, wearing high heels is a risky game. However, these heels from Vionic had that in mind, so they decided to created high heeled dress shoes for flat feet. If you are used to tight heels, wearing these shoes will come easily. Even if you are new to elevated footwear, these pump heels will teach you how to walk in them. Additionally, you get to choose between nine different styles and colors, so you can find a style that matches your formal outfits.
One strong suit that these dress shoes for flat feet have is the footbed. It is designed by a podiatrist to match the needs of people who have fallen arches. This makes them suitable for you to wear them throughout the whole day without getting tired. The insole and the footbed are made of microfiber, making them extra-comfy. On the outside, the outsole is made of rubber, making the shoes resilient and boosting up the overall shock absorption.
- A wide arrange of design and color to choose from
- Bio-mechanically engineered to adapt to the shape of your foot
- Excellent arch support, designed by a podiatrist
- The heel can be a bit too high if you are not used to wearing elevated shoes (height goes to 2.36 inches)
Dunham Men’s Burlington Waterproof Oxford
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Dansko Women’s Fynn Mary Jane
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Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe
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Trotters Women’s Danelle Dress Pump
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Drew Shoe Women’s Bloom II
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7. Dunham Men’s Burlington Waterproof Oxford
If you went all in to investigate the history of the men’s dress shoes, you would find that Oxfords are a timeless choice. These oxfords from Dunham kept the classic look and combined it with modern engineering. Both black and smooth brown models have that formal look, but we think that they can even be a part of a business-casual style.
Looking closely, you could notice that these Oxfords are a bit elevated. The 1-inch heel seems to be comfy to people with flat feet. On the inside of the shoe, you can also find sturdy arch support for your fallen arches. And on the outside, the outsole is made of synthetic materials, designed to absorb as much shock as possible (it all depends on how you walk).
- These dress shoes for flat feet are super-resilient to all kinds of weather, including rain
- The classy look can be a part of any formal style
- The arch support is comfortable but somewhat rigid at first
- The shoes have a longer “break-in” period
- Total weight of these dress shoes for flat feet is a bit over the average
8. Dansko Women’s Fynn Mary Jane
Here we have a retro model of a shoe for flat feet. The Mary Janes, also known as the doll shoes, have been around for quite some time, but they started resurfacing only recently. This Dansko Mary Jane model is sporting two under the ankles, and you can find them in two different colors – black and red. Although they have that retro vibe, the engineering and the technology used to make them are on the modern side.
The footbed is made of EVA, and it has both heel and fallen arch protection, which is more than needed for people that have flat feet. The outsole is made of rubber, which is known to absorb a fair amount of shock from walking. You will be happy to hear that the footbeds are removable, leaving you the option to clean the shoes better or to simply replace the footbeds with fresh ones. The linings inside are made of a leather-textile combination that focuses on comfort throughout the whole day.
- Perfectly executed retro look of the Mary Jane shoe
- Double straps provide extra stability under the ankle
- The removable EVA insole has support for your heels, and most importantly, your fallen arches
- You will have to learn how to do the straps under the ankle because they are an integral part of every Mary Jane shoe
9. Merrell Men’s Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe
Some people like to wear dress shoes that are more on the casual side. These slip-ons from Merrell bring both a formal and a casual vibe, relying more on the latter. The shoes are designed to look modern, and you cannot quite see where the shoe stops and where the outsole begins. The designer decided to make that seam a part of the look. You can find these shoes both in bug brown and in smooth black color.
Now, the futuristic style is not only for showing. Merrell decided to go with 100% full-grain leather for the upper parts. And, when it comes to the footbeds, we are talking about the famous OrthoLite. Getting around in bad weather conditions is made easy with a GRIP outsole that resists all sorts of strains.
- These shoes have molded nylon arch shanks for extra stability, especially for people with flat feet
- The air cushion in the heel absorbs more shock than a regular shoe
- For extra stability, these dress shoes have a padded collar around the ankle
- Some people might argue that this shoe is not exactly suitable for formal events
10. Trotters Women’s Danelle Dress Pump
No matter which formal style you sport, dress pumps are always a solid choice. The Trotters dress pumps for flat feet are made of 100% leather, and you can find them in 10 different color variations. They also have a small heel of 1 ½ inch that will feel natural for people who’ve never worn heels before. Additionally, the heel is thicker than average, so stability will not be an issue, regardless of your experience with heels.
One fine detail that fits into a lot of formal outfits is the shiny toe cap. Now, when it comes to anatomic parts of the shoe that will help your flat feet, you will be happy to know that these pumps have EVA insoles with anti-impact tech. On the arch position, you can find an arch cookie that elevates the inner lateral arch of our foot.
- Stylish dress pumps with a moderate heel
- These pumps come in 10 different color variation, each one with a shiny toe cap
- The shoes come with anti-impact EVA insole for additional stability and comfort
- The default width of these dress shoes for flat feet are wider, so double-check the sizing charts before you decide
11. Drew Shoe Women’s Bloom II
Formalwear comes in various degrees. If you are looking for a pair of dress shoes that are more on the casual side, these slip-ons may just be the right choice. Here we have a less-formal version of the standard Mary Janes (aka doll shoes) – the difference is the strap, which is made of Velcro (as opposed to standard buckles). Although they are made to be dress shoes, the strong suit of this model is that they are super-comfortable.
The top part of the shoes is 100% leather, and you can find them in 4 different colors: black and bone stretch, and taupe and black nubuck. The heels are also slightly elevated, and you also have the option to remove the footbeds. The sole has support for the heel and the fallen arches. You can also put your own, custom-made orthotics to support the flat feet.
- Super comfortable Mary Jane design with Velcro straps instead of buckles
- Removable footbeds that accommodate custom-made orthotics
- Made for comfort first, and aesthetics second
- These Mary Janes are not as formal as other dress shoes for flat feet
What Are Dress Shoes for Flat Feet
As the name suggests, dress shoes for flat feet are shoes designed for people with flat and want to have options when it comes to aesthetics. If you have flat feet or know someone who suffers from this condition, you know that it is not an easy job to find a comfortable pair of shoes to help you keep comfy, no matter the occasion.
Every shoe for flat feet has some sort of anatomical design that, in one way or another, helps your feet’s arches to achieve the much-needed flexion. These shoes also utilize modern materials inside that help with arch and heel support, and the overall feeling of comfort. But, on the outside, a dress shoe for flat feet will look classy, and will not in any way give away the fact that you have some feet issues. That is the win-win aspect of this type of footwear.
Another thing to keep in mind is the quality that goes into making dress shoes for flat feet. Since they must support your pes planus condition, these dress shoes are mainly made of highly-endurable materials. As with any other formal shoe out there, you can also expect a lot of leather, some metallic parts, and some synthetic materials even. All in all, shoes dedicated to alleviating the pain flat feet can cause are well-made and designed to last.
Types of Dress Shoes for Flat Feet
Before you go into a shopping spree, we would like to suggest a quick tutorial. We are, of course, talking about the types of dress shoes. While we were discovering the world of dress shoes for flat feet, we’ve noticed that not a lot of people know the basic types of dress shoes. That is why we decided to help you out and lay out the most common types of dress shoes. Almost every type of dress shoe has its own flat feet pair, so it wouldn’t hurt to get to know the various versions.
1. Men’s Dress Shoes for Flat Feet
There is a reason why people judge a man’s style mostly y the look of his boots and the way he matched them with the rest of his outfit. Who would have thought that there are many types of formal shoes for men? Here are the main types that are worn by men all over the world.
When you picture a man in a suit, the chances are really big that you are picturing him in Oxfords. These shoes are the formal companion of a business suit, and they are distinguishable by their closed lacing. In the US, they can also be found under the name of Balmorals. Oxfords have virtually infinite combinations and variations when it comes to their compatibility with all sorts of formal styles.
Loafers, also known as slip-ons, are the lesser formal version of dress shoes. You can often find a pair of loafers in the wardrobe of a traveler. They have no lacing, and they are easy to put on. Loafers can be made of leather, yes, but there are also some other, more lightweight material combinations. Some use velvet, some use denim or other sorts of harsher cotton, but the important thing to remember is that you can combine them with jeans if needed be. The darker the loafers, the more formal combination they can fit into.
If you are looking for a sturdy shoe that also gives out a formal look, you should always consider a solid pair of derbies, also known as Blüchers. Derbies are like Oxford shoes with a twist – the have the lacing sewn on the outside. The clearly visible leather used to make the lacing gives the Derbies a more rugged look. Additionally, due to the way they are made, Derbies may come in more colors, and even in two-color combinations.
1.4. Cap Toes
Cap toes are not necessarily a shoe type, more of a sub-type of an existing, well-established model (except maybe sandals and loafers). As the name suggests, cap toes are shoes that have an additional cap on the toe box. This cap has aesthetic and anatomic purposes. Firstly, the additional material used gives them a slightly industrial look, and the double layer of the material makes the toe box sturdy and resilient. Some shoes (mainly boots) even have a steel cap added on top.
1.5. Monk Straps
Monk strap dress shoes can be considered as the loafer’s older, more serious cousin. As we mentioned, loafers are less formal, and monk straps resemble them in one way – no laces! Monk straps are made with an old-school approach, with a large piece of leather on top, with straps dedicated to keeping the shoe tightly on your foot. Monk straps can be as formal (if not more) than Oxfords, depending on the color and the suit, of course.
1.6. Formal Pumps
And, if you are looking for a way to squeeze in the loafer type, without being too informal, you can take the Pump approach. Pumps, or opera pumps, are known to look extremely fancy and formal, even though they have no laces, and are practically formal loafers. A lot of men, especially travelers, decide to go with pumps because they give off the full formal experience while keeping the formality levels high.
2. Women’s Dress Shoes for Flat Feet
Women tend to be much picker when it comes to footwear. However, a large number of women’s dress shoes come in the form of high heels. This might disappoint you, but we must tell you that high heels, especially heels over 2 to 3 inches, are usually not that good for your flat feet. There are exceptions to this rule, but, all in all, the foot position in a high-heeled shoe is not anatomically correct, so it should be avoided if you are riddled with pes planus. Here’s a list of dress shoes for the ladies that may also come in the form suitable for fallen arches.
As opposed to the men’s version, women’s pumps are known to give off a much more professional and formal look. The toe box on a woman’s pump shoe can be either rounded or pointed, or even open-toed, which is becoming more and more popular. When they entered the mainstream, pumps were made almost exclusively out of leather. Nowadays, we can see that there are all sorts of pumps out there, made of linens and even synthetic materials. Additionally, pumps are elevated, but models designed to support flat feet are elevated only moderately.
Loafers for women are much more casual than loafers for men. These slip-on shoes are the first choice of many women out there that travel a lot and enjoy comfort even during business meetings. As opposed to men’s loafers, women’s version can some with laces or straps near the ankle. Loafers are a great choice if you have issues with feet perspiration, because of all that extra ventilation on top. However, keep in mind that loafers + socks combination is not a welcome one, so build your outfit around that fact.
2.3. Ballet Flats
Up until a few decades ago, the only place you could see ballet flats in was the theatre. But, thanks to their practicality and lightweight design, the ballet flats found their place in the wardrobes of many professional-looking women. As the name suggests, they are designed to resemble the original ballet shoes, without the lacing and the extra straps. They are flat by definition, with arch support for the flat fleet. On top of that, you will be able to find ballet shoes in all sorts of colors and finishes, so their formality heavily relies on aesthetics. The original dress ballet flats have a bow tie on the rounded toe box.
On the formality scale, sandals are on the edge between casual and formal. While men’s sandals would be considered a fashion mistake, women’s sandals can be quite formal if paired with a good outfit. Obviously, thanks to their looser design, sandals are made for hotter climates, and almost always summertime. Keep in mind that sandals with orthotic support for flat feet can be tricky, especially if you want to conceal that they are made for fallen arches.
2.5. Mary Jane
The Mary Jane is making its comeback in the last decade, about a century after they originally became popular. They are also known as doll shoes or even bar shoes in some parts of the world. A Mary Jane shoe can provide a lot of comfort since it is flat and it has a rounded toe box. Every shoe of this type will have at least one strap on the instep, resembling the original model from the early 20th century. Modern Mary Janes can have more straps or even a slightly elevated heel. A lot of women with flat feet fin this model extra comfortable, but not as formal as the other types of women’s footwear.
Dress Shoes for Flat Feet Buying Guide
Now that you know what kind of dress shoes are there, it is time to see to watch for while looking for a pair of dress shoes for flat feet. Use this guide to make a checklist, customized to your own needs and tastes.
1. Pick a Type
As you may have noticed in the section above, there is a lot to think about when it comes to the type of dress shoes you want. The variety makes this a hard challenge because of the variety of outfits that match the shoes. This is just one out of many reasons why you should pay more attention to the process of choosing a dress shoe type. So, here what we recommend:
- Try to assess the level of formality you want to achieve, and narrow the options accordingly. For example, loafers and ballet flats are considered less formal than, let’s say oxfords or formal pumps.
- Go through your closet and see which colors dominate. Try to match the shoes you want to buy with those colors.
- Learn about the materials used in making the type of dress shoes for flat feet that you want to get. Every material out there has its own maintenance routine, so plan accordingly.
2. Select the Right Size!
We cannot stress the importance of having a fitting pair of shoes for flat feet enough. Collapsed arches can be a nuisance on their own, and getting a pair of dress shoes that don’t quite fit can worsen the situation even further. There is more to foot size besides a number for the length and a letter for the width.
2.1. Feet measuring
People that suffer from any kind of foot condition, mild or severe, need to learn how to determine the correct size for the shoes they are going to wear. Out of all footwear out there, dress shoes are known to be on the stiffer side, so measuring your foot to get the correct size of dress shoes for flat feet is paramount. Firstly, you need to get a ruler. And, before you measure your foot, we just want to establish one fact – not all shoes are made equal in the sense of sizes. An Oxford size 11 might not be as big as a loafer of the same size.
So, measure your feet, starting on the root of your heel to the tip of your big toe. After you get that number down, repeat for the second foot. Always go with the longer foot, and do not worry about your feet not being the same size – this is normal for everyone. After you have selected the correct measure, add another .2” to the number. This addition is there to make sure your feet are comfy inside the shoe.
The next thing you need to do is measure the foot width. This is as easy as the first measurement. All you have to do is measure the foot at its widest point, which is usually at the ball of the foot.
2.2. Shoe sizes
No, we are not going to bore you with standardized shoe sizes and variations. We would only like to remind you that different manufacturers use different molds and standards to make their shoes. Yes, a size 8 will always be a size 8, but an 8 from one manufacturer isn’t necessarily as big as the 8 from the other. You see what we are aiming at?
So, to combat this, and adjust for different standards and manufacturing processes, use those measures of your own feet you have, and compare them to the charts that the manufacturer provides. As easy that.
A quick side note – foot width is most-commonly described with letters, with D being a letter for the shoe width for men, and B describing the width of shoes for women.
3. Manufacturing Materials
The anatomy of a shoe is a complex thing. Naturally, the materials used in creating dress shoes for flat feet should have several important features. These shoes need to also be able to:
- Keep supporting your fallen arches
- Look good and firm after the initial break-in period
- Keep your feet comfy and safe for as long as possible
Now, even though we all have different walking styles (which affects shoe durability), dress shoes for flat feet follow should follow certain material standards. Most dress shoes will have leather as the main outer building material, and for a reason. We, as humans, perfected leatherworking because this particular material goes along great with the skin – the skin can breathe without the shoe losing its form. If you are not a fan of animal products, there are always substitutes in the form of PU leather.
Next up is the inner side of the shoe. Here, the best option is to go natural. This includes all sorts of materials like wool, rayon, cotton, and linen. If these are not among the options, you can always go with Lycra, rayon, polypropylene, nylon.
4. Shock Absorption
One of the most important features, even when it comes to dress shoes for flat feet is – shock absorption. This feature comes from different sources and engineering solutions, but one of the main solutions that can help with absorbing shock is in the shape and the materials of the shoe. We are aware that you do not get to chose a lot when shapes are in order, but if your style is on the flexible side, you might want to consider sacrificing some aesthetics in the name of functionality. For example, running shoes for flat feet are famous for their shock-absorption features.
Shapes are mostly dictated by fashion and style of the shoe, but some shoes can have a shock-absorbing, invisible lining inside or underneath the insole. The shock-absorbing feature is important, especially for people that will be standing a lot.
5. Insole and Outsole
The outsole of dress shoes for flat feet are not as important as the insoles. Why? Because of the arch support, of course. Supporting the fallen arch is the number one concern you should have while choosing a pair of shoes to alleviate the pain of your flat feet. Nevertheless, the insoles vary, based on the degree of the fallen arches you have. If you have flexible flat feet, a milder form of arch support is used. The insoles should be soft enough to give you proper cushioning, and hard enough to support the arches by elevating them.
5.1. Replaceable and/or removable insoles
A large number of people are on the fence when it comes to having removable insoles for flat feet in their dress shoes. The reasons for this feature include:
- You can easily clean and or air out your shoes, in case you have problem with feet sweating
- You can replace the insoles once they get deformed or worn out
- You can put your own, custom-made insoles (if you use those, that is)
On the other hand, some people are not exactly fans of removable insoles in dress shoes for flat feet. The reasons behind this are:
- You can damage the inside of the shoe by removing the insoles too often
- You can deform the insoles themselves by meddling with them too much
We are on the side of removable insoles, because, let’s be real – having the option to thoroughly clean your dress shoes for flat feet should be included in the whole process of maintenance.
6. Additional Stabilization and Protection
With various types of dress shoes for flat feet out there come various systems of stabilization. There are many forms and ways to stabilize the shoe, and we would like to get you to look out for these (major) three:
A shank is a simple piece of metal. Simple, yes, but it is carefully placed underneath the outsole, or sometimes even hidden between the insole and the outsole. The main purpose of the shank is to keep the integrity of the dress shoe for flat feet intact. It is placed in such a position that you won’t even notice it is there. The metal is often durable and lightweight. But, the main feature of the shank is that it keeps the shoe from twisting.
6.2. Heel stabilization
Some dress shoes for flat feet have extra-strengthened heels. This means that the manufacturer went all out to put a stable heel inside the shoes. Dress shoes for flat feet with this kind of heel stabilization may be slightly heavier but at the cost of a great payoff. Because people with flat feet have issues with over-pronation, an extra-stable heel can mean the world to them.
6.3. Steel cap
Lastly, we have a rare occurrence when it comes to dress shoes. They are more of a thing often found in work boots for flat feet. A steel cap on top of the toe box can be seen only on some oxfords or other, more formal, models. A steel cap serves the purpose of protection, but it also can fit into a certain aesthetic or style. Bear in mind that steel caps add some weight to the shoes, and they are not to be worn in extremely cold weather. The steel tends to get cold if not insulated, and you will feel like you’ve put your feet in the freezer.
FAQ About Dress Shoes for Flat Feet
1. Can people with flat feet wear heels?
The short answer is – It depends. Here’s how to look at it. If you have flexible fallen arches, you can try going with high heels, but not too high. Flexible flat feet are easy to spot. People with flexible fallen arches have flat feet when they are on the ground, and as soon as they lift their foot, a normal arch appears. This is considered a milder form of flat feet, so heels are fair game as long as they are not too aggressive.
On the other hand, people with more rigid flat feet condition should not choose heels as their first choice. Wearing high heels with rigid flat feet can sometimes worsen the condition, or even lead to injuries, like plantar fasciitis.
2. Are memory foam shoes good for flat feet?
While it may seem like a great idea at first, we would like to ask you to think twice when it comes to putting memory insoles into your dress shoes for flat feet. While memory foam may be a good choice when it comes to comfort, having too much cushioning can be harmful to a person with flat feet. So, if you do decide to get a pair of memory foam insoles, or but a pair of dress shoes with them, do not opt for a cheaper option and pick a less soft pair.
3. How to clean dress shoes?
When it comes to maintenance of dress shoes, you might want to brace yourself, because this process takes some time to learn. We will go through a simplified version, but for a detailed version, we invite you to check out our dress shoes for plantar fasciitis guide that has all the info on how to maintain dress shoes.
So, the basics of cleaning dress shoes come down to:
- Always clean them while dry
- Use a dedicated shoe cleaner. By dedicated we mean getting a cleaner that is made for the type and color of the shoes you have
- Shoe conditioners and shoe polish are always a welcome finisher, but do not overdo it
- When maintaining and cleaning dress shoes, try to do it with cloths made of natural materials, preferably soft cotton or wool
- If you are not sure how to do this, go to a shoe store and ask for a professional. Though shoe-shiners are on the verge of extinction, shoemakers can teach you how to tackle this issue on your own.
4. Can you exercise with flat feet?
The vast majority of people with flat feet can go to the gym and/or exercise freely. As long as there is no pain in your feet or legs, you are free to participate in any sports you like. However, if you start experiencing discomfort, you should act upon it. Either it is time to get some tennis shoes for flat feet, or you should start doing some dedicated exercises to alleviate the pain and strengthen your tendons and delicate feet muscles. We made a compilation (with tutorials) on the easiest and most-effective flat feet exercises that anyone can do, with little to no needed gear.
And there we have it – everything you should know about the best dress shoes for flat feet before you make a valuable decision. The choices are plenty, and everyone has their own preference when it comes to aesthetics. What matters is that you need to choose comfort and health first, and the looks second. In this case, and with these shoes, you get both at the same time.
Often, people think that their options are limited because of their foot condition. We made this guide to prove that anyone can look good, and dress up for a formal occasion, no matter the foot condition. After all, if flat feet stop us from certain activities, who says that we need to stop looking good. If you have any questions or wanted to add something, feel free to contact us, and we will come back with answers asap! Stay classy, and stay comfy!