The Best Work Boots for Flat Feet
I’ve got big, flat feet, and I need to wear some decent work boots for a lot of the projects I like to do around my house. I won’t keep you in suspense. After spending the better part of recent Saturday reading about flat foot pain, causes of flat feet, recommended remedies for fallen arches, and work boot reviews, I’ve decided that my boot of choice is one of the “Irish Setter” boots made by Red Wing shoes. This is a well established boot design by a respected company, and the reviews are glowing. They also offer a variety of boot styles in the double E size and style I need. I personally prefer the 6 inch steel toe boot, but they offer a LOT of different styles. I’m providing an affiliate links in this post (which can earn me a commission), but I’ll only recommend products I believe in. If you are interested, you can get more information about these work boots and read the customer reviews on Amazon.
I’m also considering purchasing a set of Superfeet insoles (this will also show you Amazon info). I saw them mentioned often during my research and they seem to be some of the best supports available for fallen arches. Beware however, because another article recommended getting the green Superfeet, but from all I’ve read, it seems that the BLUE ones are actually much better suited to people who have no arch. I shop a lot on Amazon nowadays since I signed up for Prime, so the links above will show you current prices and reviews from their site. If you have an opinion about the boots being sold for people with flat feet, please share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Shopping for Shoes when You’ve Got Flat Feet
If you have flat feet, you’ve probably noticed that it can be nearly impossible to find decent footwear at your local shoe shop or Wal Mart. One of the first problems with buying off the local racks is that most of the boots in stock are not made to accommodate those flat and often very wide feet that leave duck-like prints around the swimming pool. You’d think that every other person in the world wears a “D” width judging by what is on sale in most places. I’ve made the mistake of thinking these too narrow boots would eventually break in to the point of fitting my feet comfortably, and it has never happened. I’ve walked boots to the point of them falling apart without them ever actually being comfortable. Also, boots made for people with “normal” arches usually do nothing to provide the support flat footers need to make it through long hours of standing or walking.
My Research for This Review
I honestly never really had any plans for writing a work boot review or recommendation. When I started trying to find some information on the topic though, I found that there was very little information available. What was available sometimes seemed like it was written by someone who never actually experienced what it’s like to wear shoes that don’t fit right without any natural support from the arches of their feet. So, here I am, sharing what I’ve learned. I hope it helps someone.
Quality and Price Matter
As I was reading work boot reviews, I came across a comment that really struck home with me. Someone mentioned that over the past ten years or so, they’ve noticed that the prices of “cheap” boots have gone up, while the quality of them has gone down. That is exactly my experience as well. I don’t see any value in buying a pair of boots for $40 if they are uncomfortable and fall apart after three months of use. I’m not looking to pay hundreds of dollars for shoes, but I realize now that I’m willing to pay a little bit more for shoes and boots I don’t dread putting on for several hours each day. I’ve also come to believe that you often get what you pay for when it comes to durability.
Why You Should Buy Top Quality Boots
While I was searching out the best work boots for flat feet, I decided to do a little bit of research on the phenomena itself. If you’ve got feet that are flat, you have different needs than someone with “normal” feet. If you don’t make some adjustments, you are likely to continue suffering with sore feet every time you wear an ill fitting pair of shoes or boots. Here are some interesting bits of information I found:
- If you aren’t sure whether or not you have fallen arches, do what I think of as the “duck” test. Get both of your feet wet and then step on to a dry surface where your footprints will be visible. For me, this was always the area around a swimming pool. If it looks like duck feet (the whole bottom of the foot can be seen) you’re probably flat footed. I still remember someone saying it looked like a duck walked near the pool. I started walking on the outsides of my feet at that point. Kids do strange things sometimes.
- Some children can have this condition, but will later develop a normal arch. Consult your pediatrician, obviously.
- Flat feet can be caused by tendons that have been torn or stretched, obesity, normal aging processes, being pregnant, damaged bones (breaks or dislocations), diabetes, nerve issues, or even rheumatoid arthritis.
- Proper footwear can help to relieve the pain from fallen arches. Some stretches (recommended by a doctor) can help with pain too. Obviously, you should purchase the most comfortable work boots that you can afford.
- You might want to avoid high impact activities (many sports) because they can make the pain worse. I’ve personally found running for distance and ice skating to be extremely painful in the absence of an arch. I may give them another chance with some proper inserts in the future though.
- If the pain is bad, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. An exam may reveal that there are other methods (some surgical) that might be able to provide you some relief. You can read more about options at Web MD if you like.
Stretches for Your Feet
Here are some step by step instructions for flat foot stretches that might help you find some relief after a long day of standing on sore feet (but be sure to check out the Irish Setters)!
Go read some more do it yourself tips!