Like peanut butter and jelly or cookies and milk, summer and flip flops go hand-in-hand. They protect your feet from the hot pavement whenever you get out of a pool, they’re easy to pack for the beach or on a tropical vacay, and they’re effortless to throw on if you need to run outside to walk your dog. But sometimes, regular flip flops aren’t the most comfortable choice for a shoe, especially if you have a foot condition like ples planus, aka, flat feet. When one or both of your feet have little to no arch, a cheap pair might not provide the support you need—instead, you need to look for flip flops for flat feet.
- Brad Schaeffer, DPM, board-certified foot surgeon at Sole Podiatry NYC and star of TLC’s My Feet Are Killing Me
Best flip flops for flat feet at a glance
- Best leather: Rainbow, Women's Double Layer Premier Leather Sandals with Arch Support ($64)
- Best waterproof: Birkenstock, Honolulu Flip Flop ($35)
- Best shock-absorbing: Vionic, Casandra Toe Post Sandal ($75)
- Best for recovery: Oofos, Women's Ooriginal Sandal ($60)
- Best budget: Adidas, Comfort Slide Sandal ($18)
- Best for hot feet: Hush Puppies, Women's Breathe Toepost ($50)
- Best splurge: Gucci Pascar, GG Platform Flip Flop ($390)
- Best buckles: Birkenstock, Gizeh Big Buckle ($150)
- Best platform: Clarks, Women's Arla Glison Flip Flop ($35)
- Best cushion: FitFlop, iQushion Flip Flop ($26)
- Best slide: Hush Puppies, Women's Sunshine Slide ($30)
- Best faux fur: Circus by Sam Edelman, Laina Flip Flop ($20)
- Best lightweight: Crocs, Crocband Flip Flop ($20)
- Best grip: OluKai, Ohana Beach Sandals ($75)
How do you know if you have flat feet?
How can you tell if you have flat feet in the first place? Brad Shaeffer, DPM, a board-certified foot surgeon at Sole Podiatry NYC, says a simple, “getting out of the pool” test can confirm or deny. “I like to ask people, when you get out of the pool and your feet are all wet, do you see an arch on the water spot? Or does it pancake?" Dr. Schaeffer says. "When people have flat feet, the fallen arch of the foot causes the whole foot to make contact with the surface the individual is standing on, and they'll see that in their footprints."
Another tell-tale sign is discomfort. He points out that if you are experiencing arch, heel, or ankle pain, it’s best to get checked out by a podiatrist to see if you have flat feet.
Can people with flat feet wear flip flops?
If you do have fallen arches, that doesn't mean you need to write off summer flip flops completely. “If you love a pair of flip flops then wear them on occasion," he says. "But, if you experience any foot pain, then you need to help yourself out the best way possible. Support and stability need to be your focus to get you out of pain. After your problem goes away, then you can get back to your [standard] flip flops."
What do look for in flip flops for flat feet
Dr. Schaeffer also says that having flat feet is pretty common, and many people manage it by using inserts or finding shoes that offer the right kind of support—something to keep in mind when shopping for shoes. “Ultimately, the best flip flop would be something that has a little arch support, something that makes your foot feel comfortable,” he adds.
Ahead find the best flip flops for flat feet, from timeless Birkenstocks to chunky platform sandals.
Best flip flops for flat feet
Rainbow is one of Dr. Schaeffer’s go-to brands when it comes to flip flops for those with flat feet. This pair features closed-cell memory foam that allows the midsole to mold to the contour of your foot as you wear it over time. Rather than collapsing, it will just get more and more comfortable over time—which is a game-changer. It also comes in a variety of colors.
What reviews say: “I am flat footed and over-pronate and one of my legs is 1/4 inches longer than the other, thus throwing off my hips which causes pain if I don’t wear good shoes when walking for long periods…but these flip flops prevent me from ending up in pain! They have a well defined and strong arch support to keep the arch in my foot… I would highly recommend these shoes for anyone with finicky legs or feet like myself,” — Amazon customer.
Material: Leather, rubber
- Midsole with arch support
- Durable leather straps
- Non-slip rubber bottom
- Some reviewers say the straps are tight
The classic Birkenstock brand is another favorite of Dr. Schaeffer’s. If you’re spending a lot of time by the water, this waterproof pair—which has a contoured footbed for adequate support—is a great choice. It’s light and flexible, too, which is much more comfortable on fallen arches opposed to traditional, stiff midsoles.
No reviews yet
- Anatomical footbed
- Waterproof and lightweight
- Deep heel cup
- Straps are thicker
Vionic has a goldmine of podiatrist-approved sandals, including flip flops that those with flat feet won’t want to take off. The Casandra sandals are made with the brand’s proprietary arch-hugging technology that’s been found to soothe all sorts of ailments, including heel pain, plantar fasciitis, and arch stress. The rainbow of colors they come available in certainly don’t hurt either.
What reviews say: “This is my ninth pair of Vionic sandals and they didn’t disappoint. I love the little cutouts to liven up the plain Tides and the colors are great. I have plantar fasciitis and a heel spur and thought I would never be able to wear cute flip flops or sandals again. My doctor recommended Vionics and I’m back to loving summer again!” — Vionic customer.
Material: Leather, rubber
- Midsole absorbs shock
- Built-in orthotic for support
- APMA Seal of Acceptance
- Some reviewers say they are heavy
Flat feet or not, you’re bound to live in these cloud-like flip flops from Oofos. They’re technically recovery shoes, designed to give you major shock absorption on even the hardest of surface areas. And the footbed is a dream on sore feet, especially arches that need a lil’ extra love.
What reviews say: “This is my second pair of Oofos. They are incredibly comfortable and give great support (and I have lots of foot issues!). Highly recommend,” — Oofos customer.
- Footbed reduces stress on knees, ankles, and joints
- Absorbs impact
- Supports arches
- Some reviewers say they make their feet sweat
Dr. Schaeffer likes Adidas or Nike sandals for at-home footwear. “It’s very important to walk around the home in a comfortable shoe or slider sandal that offers support as well,” he says.
The Comfort Slide sandals by Adidas is soft all over, maximizing comfort without undermining any support. Slip ’em on while you’re padding around your house for a sweet treat on your feet and your wallet.
What reviews say: “I love my Adidas flip flops! This is the second pair and the first pair I bought over 5 years ago are still comfy and have held up. I only purchased a new pair because the old ones were looking a bit rough. But after 5 years of almost daily wear they truly held up,” — Amazon customer.
- Soft cushion
- Some reviewers say they run big
If you’re looking for sandals that you can wear walking around without worrying about pain, this Hush Puppies pair might be your holy grail. These are made with everything you need for a stress-free jaunt, including a high energy return EVA foam midsole, anti-microbial linings, a memory foam footbed, and moisture-wicking material so your feet are not only comfortable, but sweat-free.
What reviews say: “Very comfortable sole! I like the Velcro and elastic closing,” — Hush Puppies customer.
Material: Microsuede, EVA
- Cushioned footbed
- Adjustable strap
- Moisture-wicking and anti-microbial
- Some reviewers say they run wide
Designer flip flops? Why not? These have a textured footbed that feels dreamy on even the flattest of feet. If you’re going to splurge, do it on these—they feature that recognizable double G logo, and come in black, white, or pink.
What reviews say: “These are super stylish dress up or down and super comfortable, I’m a true 9 and bought size 39 fits like a glove. Thinking of buying a second pair, my new favorite sandals!” — Nordstrom customer.
- Textured footbed
- Soft rubber
Back to Birkenstock. Another elevated option from a typical flip flop style, these gold buckle Birks feature a cork and foam padded footbed that custom-molds to your feet with a shock-absorbing EVA outsole that is crafted to distribute your body weight more evenly as you walk.
What reviews say: “I love everything about this item. The fit, size, and material. My feet are happy wearing them with arch support not like other sandals,” — Zappos customer.
Material: Leather or suede, EVA
- Anatomical footbed
- Adjustable strap
- Some reviewers say the toe divider is uncomfortable
This style from Clarks’ Cloudsteppers line is a solid choice for flat-footed folks. They’re flip flops with arch support and have comfortable fabric, an EVA midsole, and an OrthoLite footbed with Cushion Soft technology. They come in a ton of color and pattern choices to fit every personality and style.
What reviews say: “This is the fourth pair of Arla Glison flip flops I have bought because they are by far the most comfortable shoes I have ever put on my feet. They have the perfect amount of arch support and keep my feet from over pronating,” — Amazon customer.
Material: Textile, rubber
- Arch support
- Some reviewers say the straps are loose
You’ll be able to spend all season (and year) in these FitFlip iQushion flip flops, thanks to the air-foam cushioning and built-in arch support to support your feet. They’re ergonomic, lightweight, comfortable, and ready for any adventure.
What reviews say: “I love these sandals. I have several pairs. Comfortable thong goes with everything. Good heel cushioning, and placement of the foot without slipping. These last a very long time,” — Amazon customer
- Air-foam cushioning
- Anatomic footbed
- Arch support
- Some reviewers say they run small
If you’d rather opt for a slide sandal than thong flip flops, these Hush Puppies are a must. They come in a ton of fun, bright colors, and are made with the brand’s signature Bounce insole, which returns energy as you walk while and distributing weight evenly.
What reviews say: “These are such a fun pop of color! I’m a neutrals gal but went outside my comfort zone for the Orange and I do not regret it. They are so so squishy. If you are a half size, I would size up! They come a bit snug but warm up to your feet quickly,” — Hush Puppies customer
- Memory foam cushion
- Distributes weight evenly
- Some reviewers say they slide off the feet
Like the idea of a platform flip flop but don’t want anything too high? This is a good compromise. The plush terry platform promises “cloud-like” comfort, and they’re chic enough to go with a variety of outfits, not just your poolside wardrobe.
No reviews yet
Material: Faux fur
- Soft cushioning
- Flatform heel
- Not as weather-resistant
Swap your regular pair of Crocs for one that’s made for warm weather activities. These sporty Crocs flip flops are lightweight and easy to clean. Plus they have a foam sole and massage-pod footbed that helps with grip and comfort.
What reviews say: “I LOVE these flip flops. I found these in 2012 and never looked back. I’ve owned 15+ pairs. They’re are incredibly comfortable and fit my arch perfectly. They have decent traction (for a flipflop) and I can even run in them. (Not go on a run but like run after something etc.)” — Amazon customer
Material: Man made
- Massage-pod footbed
- Some reviewers say they run large
Flip flops are made to be worn by water, and this pair by OluKai are quick-drying and have traction on the sole to help prevent slipping when you’re splashing around. They have soft straps, an ergonomic footbed, and arch support, too.
What reviews say: “I absolutely love the fit, comfort and support the shoe gives. There was no break in time needed. No soreness between the toes. Dry quickly. Not slippery when wet,” — Amazon customer
- Anatomical footbed
- Lug design on sole for traction
- Some reviewers say they are loose
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