The 14 Most Comfortable Flat Shoes to Walk All Day In

With these chic and comfy options, you'll be unstoppable.

Woman walking in comfortable tan flats.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

"Comfortable flats" may sound a little redundant—but just like feet, not every flat is the same. The shoe is held to pretty high standards, after all: As a slip-on that needs to be super walkable as well as work- and party-appropriate, flats can't always get away with comfort the same way a sneaker can. And you probably don't want to wear a sneaker to work for an important business meeting or on date night. But what's unacceptable is a flat that pinches your toes, rubs your ankles, or falls flat (hah!) when it comes to arch support. The best flats are comfortable and easy to wear because, otherwise, they contradict their purpose as a supposed-to-be-effortless shoe. 

Marie Claire tapped Marion Parke, a podiatric surgeon turned footwear designer, for insight on what to keep in mind when looking for comfy and walkable flats (surprise, surprise: support is key). We also turned to our favorite comfortable shoe brands—think Rothy's, Allbirds, and Vionic—and rounded up the best flats in all categories to make sure you're supported in any situation. From ballet flats to slip-on clogs to Oxford loafers, click through to find the ones that will carry you here, there, and everywhere. Let's try to see your favorite sneakers do that!

What to Look For in Comfortable Flats

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  • Height

Yes, it sounds counterintuitive to be thinking of height when shopping for flats, but hear us out: "Sometimes a flat is too flat and wearing it is effectively like going barefoot, which can aggravate the Achilles tendon or plantar fascia," explains Parke of the eponymous shoe brand. "Even just a half-inch heel can help reduce the tension on the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Anyone who has had plantar fasciitis knows what I'm talking about."

  • Arch Support

"Try doing what I call 'the shoe test,' where you hold the shoe from heel to toe, bend it, and then look closely at where the shoe bends," offers Parke. "The only place a shoe should bend is across the widest part of the toe box. Avoid wearing shoes that bend across the arch or midfoot for an extended period of time. When a shoe bends or folds across the midfoot, it isn't providing support to your arch, and that can lead to soreness and fatigue with weight-bearing over time."

Emma Childs
Fashion Features Editor

Emma is the fashion features editor at Marie Claire, where she writes deep-dive trend reports, zeitgeisty fashion featurettes on what style tastemakers are wearing, long-form profiles on emerging designers and the names to know, and human interest vignette-style round-ups. Previously, she was Marie Claire's style editor, where she wrote shopping e-commerce guides and seasonal trend reports, assisted with the market for fashion photo shoots, and assigned and edited fashion celebrity news.

Emma also wrote for The Zoe Report, Editorialist, Elite Daily, Bustle, and Mission Magazine. She studied Fashion Studies and New Media at Fordham University Lincoln Center and launched her own magazine, Childs Play Magazine, in 2015 as a creative pastime. When she's not waxing poetic about niche fashion topics, you'll find her stalking eBay for designer vintage, reading literary fiction on her Kindle, and baking banana bread in her tiny NYC kitchen.