If you have flat feet, you’ve most likely received a lot of conflicting advice about shoes. Some say to wear shoes with a lot of arch support, while others insist you need to do the opposite.
In reality, the answer is not that black and white. In this post, we’ve compiled some helpful information about flat feet, and reviewed our top picks for the best tennis shoes for flat feet.
Reviews – Best Shoes for Flat Feet
The shoes we’ve reviewed in this post all provide either a good level of arch support, a wider fit to accommodate orthotics, or both. Read more below to learn why or if these features are important for your particular situation.
We’ve also divided our reviews into two sections: Best Shoes for Everyday Wear (including running and other sports besides tennis) and the Best Shoes for Playing Tennis. Because “tennis” shoes mean different things to different people.
Best Shoes for Everyday Wear (Including Running and Other Sports)
Best Shoes for Playing Tennis
- Prince T22
- New Balance MC806
- Adidas Barricade Classic Bounce
- Asics Gel-Resolution 7
- Asics Gel-Challenger 12
- Asics Court FF 2
- Nike Air Zoom Vapor X
Before jumping into the reviews, let’s cover some useful information about flat feet that will help you make a more informed decision.
Two Types of Flat Feet: Anatomically Flat vs. Fallen Arches
When choosing the right shoe for your situation, it’s important to know that there are two distinct types of flat feet.
Some have anatomically flat feet, and others have “collapsed arches,” which are flat due to muscle weakness. In other words, some people have flat feet because they were born like that, and others can strengthen their feet through added arch support.
So how do you know which you are? Most qualified health professionals will be able to examine your feet and diagnose if you have fallen arches. According to Medical News Today, here are some symptoms of fallen arches:
- flat feet that have only developed recently
- pain in the feet, ankles, or lower limbs
- symptoms that do not improve with supportive, well-fitted shoes
- the feet feeling rigid, stiff, heavy, and unwieldy
It’s recommended that you seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms. And if you’re experiencing pain in your heel specifically (possibly due to plantar fasciitis), check out our post on the best tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Recommendations for Anatomically Flat Feet
If you have anatomically flat feet, you don’t want a shoe with high arch support. For one thing, it’s not going to change your arch pattern. And for another, the constant pressure of the arch support against your foot can actually cause knee problems.
Instead, you’ll probably want a wider shoe with lower to moderate arch support. Check out our list of best tennis shoes for wide feet for some ideas. Wide tennis shoes also have the added benefit of being able to more easily accommodate your custom orthotics.
Because your feet are naturally flat, and arch support may cause pain, you might also try a minimalist/natural shoe. Shoes like the WHITIN Barefoot or Xero Shoes Prio are designed to strengthen your feet and allow your feet to behave naturally. We cover more about minimalist shoes in our post on the best tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Recommendations for Fallen Arches
If, on the other hand, your flat feet are a result of fallen arches (see symptoms above), then you will probably want to opt for shoes with better arch support. These kinds of shoes will help you strengthen and support your arches, reducing pain and hopefully improving your arch pattern over time.
Once again, having a wider shoe will allow you to more easily use your own custom orthotics or sole inserts, so you can customize the shoe to fit your particular arch support needs.
In addition to a wide shoe with good arch support, here are some traits you want to look for in a shoe for fallen arches:
- Firm heel counter
- Torsional stability (stiff and very little motion when you twist side to side)
- Removable insole (which means you can use your own custom orthotics)
- Natural bend at toes (not in center of the shoe)
And with that, let’s jump into our shoe reviews.
Again, the shoes reviewed here all provide either moderate to high arch support, a wider fit to accommodate orthotics, or both. This makes them great fits for those with flat feet due to fallen arches.
Best Shoes for Everyday Wear (Including Running & Other Sports)
Here are the best tennis shoes for flat feet, if you aren’t concerned with how they perform on a tennis court.
One common problem for a lot of people with flat feet is overpronation. This is when the ankle rolls too far downard and inward when stepping.
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 comes with their Guiderail Support System to help prevent overpronation. This not only helps prevent foot pain commonly associated with flat feet, but it can also help prevent knee injury.
This shoe is also very well cushioned and supportive, and is the successor to the Adrenaline GTS 19, which has a lot of flat-footed fans.
The Adrenaline GTS 19 is the predecessor to the Adrenaline GTS 20 and has a lot of fans. It’s supportive and well cushioned, and it a go-to options for lots of people with flat feet. It’s available in Men’s and Women’s.
It also features the Guiderail Support System, same as the Adrenaline GTS 20.
The Brooks Ghost 12 is part of another popular line of shoes by Brooks. It’s well cushioned, has a wider fit, and doesn’t have too high of arch support, making it great for those who experience pain from shoes with high arches.
The Asics Gel-Venture 5 is a great option for those with flat feet, with many people saying they don’t hurt the sides of their feet at all. They have extra arch support and a wider toe box. The Gel-Venture 5 are also a bit less expensive than some of the other shoes in this list.
The ASICS GT-4000 is a lightweight yet durable shoe that provides excellent cushioning. The wider 2E size is a great option for those with flat feet, as it combines this excellent cushioning with enough room for a comfortable fit. This is a no-nonsense, minimal yet functional shoe that’s great for everyday wear or going for a run if you flat feet.
Best Shoes for Playing Tennis
And now, these are our top picks for tennis shoes for tennis players with flat feet.
- Excellent level of comfort
- Substantial support, but doesn’t feel heavy or bulky
- Some reports of inconsistent quality or occasional “bad pairs”
The Prince T22 has been a favorite of many tennis player for many years. They’ll tell you it’s the best tennis shoe they’ve ever played in. It offers tons of support and a cushioned, comfortable fit. The arch support and wider fit makes it great for those with flat feet who need relief from pain from fallen arches.
Our recommendation: The Prince T22
an excellent all-around tennis shoe for all players, and especially those with flat or wide feet.
- Available in multiple widths
- Excellent stability and support
- ABZORB cushioning makes for a comfortable feel
- Moderate arch support
- Some issues with durability
New Balance is a go-to option for a lot of tennis players with wide and/or flat feet. The MC806 comes in a variety of width options, and has is a great fit for those with flat feet who need moderate to high arch support.
Our recommendation: The New Balance MC806
a great shoe for players with flat or wide feet who want a comfortable, stable tennis shoe.
- Bounce technology provides energized comfort all day
- Great stability and ankle support
- Adi-Turf material adds durability to the toe
- Excellent traction, they really grip the court
- Some complaints that the shoes are flimsy and fall apart over time
The Adidas Barricade Classic Bounce is a very popular option for tennis players with flat feet. They offer a lot of arch support, so if that’s something you’re looking for, you should really consider them.
Also, the insoles come out easily, so you can replace with your own orthotics if you want.
They are decently durable as well. The front of the shoe around the toe has added durability thanks to the Adi-Turf material.
Our recommendation: The Adidas Barricade Classic Bounce
a high-performance shoe for tennis players who want a lot of arch support.
- Very durable, should last a long time
- Great balance of stability and comfort
- Great arch support
- A slightly heavier shoe
- Less ventilation and breathability
- May require a break-in period
The Asics Gel-Resolution 7 is one of the best performance tennis shoes available today. It’s extremely comfortable, but also offers a high level of stability, support, and traction. It’s a premium shoe that’s worth every penny.
For those with flat feet, it also has great arch support that Asics is well known for.
Our recommendation: The Asics Gel-Resolution 7
a top-of-the-line performance tennis shoe with great arch support.
- Stable and supportive
- Excellent traction and control, with substantial tread
- Great cushioning
- May require a break-in period
Slightly less expensive than the Gel-Resolution 7 is another excellent performance tennis shoe by Asics, the Gel-Challenger 12. It’s an all-around excellent tennis shoe, and some find it to be just as good as (or actually prefer it over) the more expensive Gel-Resolution 7.
It has decent arch support, if you are looking for good arch support to help relieve pain from fallen arches.
Our recommendation: The Asics Gel-Challenger 12
great for players looking for a high performance tennis shoe at a slightly lower price.
- Incredible support and fit
- Well cushioned
- Durable, should last a long time
- Less ventilation and breathability
The Asics Court FF 2 is an elite tennis shoe, which was designed by tennis pro Novak Djokovic. It’s extremely comfortable and offers unparalleled levels of support and traction. It’s also very durable and should last a long time.
The Gel Technology Cushioning System absorbs shock during impact, and allows movement in multiple planes, making them an extremely comfortable and stable pair of shoes.
For players with flat feet, they offer decent arch support, which should help prevent pain from fallen arches.
Our recommendation: The Asics Court FF 2
We recommend the Asics Court FF 2 for tennis players who want the best quality tennis shoe that money can buy.
- Well-cushioned and comfortable
- Very lightweight and responsive
- Several colorways
- May be ruined by washing
- Hard plastic section in middle of outsole may cause scraping sound
- Not the most durable
The Nike Air Zoom Vapor X is extremely lightweight and responsive. It’s also surprisingly stable, comfortable, and well-cushioned for how lightweight it is.
This high level of cushion and decent arch support makes it a great fit for players with flat feet.
Our recommendation: The Nike Air Zoom Vapor X
a good option for players who want a tennis shoe that’s built for speed.
Summary & Recommendations
If you have flat feet, choosing the right shoe can be a difficult task. We hope the information in this post has helped. Here’s a recap of some of the key points.
Avoid Arch Support if you have Anatomically Flat Feet
If you have anatomically flat feet (you were born with them), no amount of arch support is going to change that. Arch support might actually end up causing knee problems.
Choose a Shoe with Lots of Arch Support if you have “Fallen Arches”
On the other hand, if your flat feet are the result of weakened muscles, you can help relieve the pain with shoes that offer a lot of arch support. Like the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 (for running and everyday wear), the Prince T22 (for tennis), and the other shoes in this post.
You could also look for a shoe that’s wide enough to fit your own custom orthotics, thereby giving almost any shoe the amount of arch support you need.
We wish you the best of luck finding the right shoe for you!
Post last updated on May 26, 2020