Just because you are foregoing the heel doesn’t mean that you can never go wrong in shoe comfort. Poorly designed flats can give you blisters and feet pains especially when you have to walk in them for long distances.
When shopping for the best flat shoes for walking, the decision is not always as simple as picking the right fit and color. A good flat for walking should offer a great balance between fashion and comfort. This means that, you need a shoe that combines style, material and quality outsole.
Skechers BOBS Women’s Bobs
VenusCelia Women’s Natural Comfort Walking
Flats do not necessarily mean the classic ballet flat. It is any shoe that does not have a heel and one that you can easily slip on and off. In that list are sneakers, sandals and loafers. From a fitness walker’s point, you can choose a good flat from a wide range of flats to get a comfortable yet stylish look.
Top Women’s Flats for Walking (and Comfort)
Just before we dive into the top flats for walking, you need to understand that the construction of a flat is very important.
The fabric of the flat determines how breathable and consequently how comfortable the flat shoe is. This fabric also determines whether the shoe will chafe against your skin while you walk; especially at the back of your heel at the foot top.
There is minimal ground between your feet and the ground; as such, you need a shoe that cushions and supports you fully for added comfort.
1. Skechers Bobs Flats
These are comfortable casual flats. The flats, christened Plush-Peace and Love Flats, are comfortable enough for all-day walks. They sport a simple casual design to match perfect with jeans. Their 100-percent textile construction with a memory foam footbed and arch support pillow makes them very comfortable for long walks. They also support your arch and heel to ensure you do not experience pain and aches.
The shoes are offered in almost all common colors so you can match them with any casual attire. You might also find a crocheted design.
- Available in a wide selection of colors
- Light and comfortable
- Easy to slip on and off
- Relatively less comfortable
2. VenusCelia Comfort Loafer
This flat loafer has a professional appearance; you can use it on or off trail. If your work involves running errands or a lot of walking, you might find these shoes comfortable. The subtle accents on the genuine leather that creates these shoes make them look professional. Besides, they have a memory foam insole that makes them very comfortable and supportive.
Their textured bottom makes them comfortable when walking on wet surfaces. If you walk to work, this might be a good pair as you do not need to have a second pair of shoes in your bag.
- Comes in a wide range of sizes
- Professional but comfortable design
- Stylish design
- Available in many colors
- Relatively less cushioned
3. Clarks Danelly Adira
Now this is a shoe that was designed for fitness walkers who are always on the road. It sports a simple classic ballet design; they look exactly like ballet slippers and you’d easily pass them buy on your way to shop for athletic shoes. Despite their simple design, these flats are highly comfortable and breathable allowing you to walk an extra mile. Inside, they have a soft, cushioned footbed that supports your arch and heel to keep pain and blisters away. Their ventilated leather upper keeps makes the shoe more breathable while the rubber sole keeps you stable when you are walking on wet surface.
- Available in red, gray, sand and yellow
- Wide sizing range
- Light and simple but with great cushioning
- Offers less foot coverage for those walking rough trails
4. Vionic Spark Caroll Ortho Flats
These flats are designed with a fitness walker in mind thanks to their great arch support. The shoes do not look like orthopedic shoes but they offer great arch support to keep you comfortable all day. You will, however, have to spend relatively more money for this pair of shoes. Their footbed is podiatrist designed to comfortably hug you arch, reduce sliding and absorb shock during your walk. They have a heel cup for added stability and an elastic upper lining that stretches while you walk to reduce friction.
Seeing that these are orthopedic shoes, they are great for those who suffer feet conditions such as plantar fasciitis. For those who walk long distances, their enhanced heel and arch support protects your feet from feet conditions.
- Great arch and heel support
- Stretchy back lining that moves with you
- Simple design foe easy wear
- Relatively more expensive
5. CIOR Ballet Flats
If what you need is a simple and comfortable flat shoe, this pair will give you comfort, class and simplicity. It sports a simple design that lacks most of the features you’d expect on most shoes such as laces, straps and exaggerated parts; it is a classic ballet shoe only with added comfort.
Its toe is rounded to keep your toes comfortable, it has a rubber sole for added grip and it features a cushioned and ventilated insert for support and comfort. To reduce friction on the top of the foot and at the top of your heel, the shoe is lined with chafe-resistant leather. You can choose between leather, suede and patent finishes matching your attire.
- Simple design to easily slip on and off
- Features a comfortable insert
- Light in weight
- Available in different finishes
- Offers less foot coverage when you are trekking rough trail
6. UGG Lena Ballet Flat
This shoe is designed for comfort whenever you are engaged in any activity. If your work involves a lot of walking or you do frequent fitness walks, this shoe might be a good choice for you. Though the shoe comes from a company that is known for making boots, it still sports a comfortable design that does not need any breaking-in period.
The shoe has minimal foot coverage with a sheep-fur sole that is lined with a soft fabric. To enhance grip, the shoe has a rubber bottom that also absorbs shock during a walk. The shoe is very warm but very breathable for use in different weather conditions. You can wear them for continuous 14 hours without pain.
- Available in a choice of black, brown, silver and gold
- Designed warm but breathable
- Available in sizes 5 to 12
- Highly flexible for added comfort
- Minimal leg coverage
Flats (Shoes) Shopping Guide
There is a lot to consider when you go shopping for flat shoes besides color and size. Since you will be using these shoes for walking, you need to ensure they are comfortable enough; this means they need to offer great support and comfort.
Most flat shoes are made of leather or suede leather or fabric upper and a rubber sole. A rubber sole is great for enhanced grip when you are walking on a wet surface. Leather is long lasting but it is not as elastic as other materials and may take longer to break in. Suede leather is softer than pure leather making it more comfortable especially around areas that experience a lot of friction such as the top of your foot and the top of your heel. Fabric uppers are great in that they are soft and comfortable on your feet and they are available in a wide selection of beautiful colors. However, fabric uppers are relatively less durable.
Cushioning and Support
Many flat shoes for walking are fitted with memory foam cushioning which makes them highly comfortable. Others have an added arch support to keep your arch protected especially when you embark on a long distance walk. If you suffer a feet condition, look for a flat pair of shoes that offers added arch and heel support.
Do you need a ballet style, loafers or sneakers? Ballet style shoes are great when you need lightweight shoes with minimal feet coverage. Sneakers are great when you are walking along a rough trail since they offer maximum feet coverage protecting you from elements. Loafers are great if you need professional flat shoes to walk to work.
Most flat shoes are designed to be slipped on or off with only a few having laces, buckles or straps. For eased of use, consider simple slip-on design.
Color, Price and Size
Most flat shoes are offered in a very wide selection of colors to match any outfit. They are also offered in a wide range of sizes, from size 4 to size 13, to accommodate all wearers. Even better, they come in a wide range of prices with some retailing for as low as $15 and others retailing for as much as $120. Simple ballet style flat shoes cost the lowest while orthopedic flat shoes cost the highest: shop according to your budget.
Any flats that you love not on our list? Let us know in the comments below!