Podiatrists Helped Us Find Actually Supportive Ballet Flats

Professional-looking and office-friendly shoes from brands like Vionic and Dansko.
<a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=38395X987171&xs=1&xcust=631c0ae8e4b046aa02351e66&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ally.nyc%2Fproducts%2Fcopy-of-tenacious-tan-suede-courageous-caramel-flat%3Fvariant%3D32133800820849" target="_blank" data-affiliate="true" role="link" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Two-toned pointed flats" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="631c0ae8e4b046aa02351e66" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=38395X987171&xs=1&xcust=631c0ae8e4b046aa02351e66&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ally.nyc%2Fproducts%2Fcopy-of-tenacious-tan-suede-courageous-caramel-flat%3Fvariant%3D32133800820849" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="0">Two-toned pointed flats</a>, <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=Zb4jl9GtVeY&mid=1237&u1=631c0ae8e4b046aa02351e66&murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nordstrom.com%2Fs%2Flilly-mary-jane-flat-women%2F6984936%3Forigin%3Dkeywordsearch-personalizedsort%26breadcrumb%3DHome%252FAll%2520Results%26color%3D030" target="_blank" data-affiliate="true" role="link" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="faux-snakeskin Mary Janes" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="631c0ae8e4b046aa02351e66" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=Zb4jl9GtVeY&mid=1237&u1=631c0ae8e4b046aa02351e66&murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nordstrom.com%2Fs%2Flilly-mary-jane-flat-women%2F6984936%3Forigin%3Dkeywordsearch-personalizedsort%26breadcrumb%3DHome%252FAll%2520Results%26color%3D030" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="1">faux-snakeskin Mary Janes</a> and <a href="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=Zb4jl9GtVeY&mid=43354&u1=631c0ae8e4b046aa02351e66&murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vionicshoes.com%2Fluxana-flat.html%3Fcolor%3D20" target="_blank" data-affiliate="true" role="link" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="suede flats with a decorative block heel" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="631c0ae8e4b046aa02351e66" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=Zb4jl9GtVeY&mid=43354&u1=631c0ae8e4b046aa02351e66&murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vionicshoes.com%2Fluxana-flat.html%3Fcolor%3D20" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="2">suede flats with a decorative block heel</a>.

The streamlined and professional-looking ballet flat reigns as the unofficial shoe for the office and beyond, but, as a frequent ballet flat-wearer myself, I can confirm the style doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being the most comfortable shoe around. By their very nature, they are “flat” in design, with little-to-no arch support or cushion.

“Shoes support our feet and our feet support the weight of our entire body! If your feet are not adequately supported, your whole body will eventually begin to suffer,” said Dr. Ebonie Vincent, a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon based in California.

So what exactly constitutes a shoe adequate enough to support the weight of our body? Dr. Lauren Wurster, an Arizona-based foot and ankle specialist and spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association, said that she looks at three main things: Does the shoe have a little give in the toe, without rolling all the way back? Is the sole itself unable to be folded in half? And does the back of the heel offer plenty of stability and not cave in?

“To make it even more simple, if the shoe does not bend or twist, you’re starting off on the right foot!” Wurster said.

She added that when it comes to ballet flats in particular, you should also look for features such as a square shape that offers ample room for your toes, or a shoe that is constructed in breathable materials that prevent your feet from sweating.

As difficult as it may seem to find ballet flats that won’t have your feet begging for mercy at the end of a workday, Wurster says you can also turn to APMA’s list of accepted footwear as a resource to find shoes that promote foot health. We did some of the hard work for you by gathering the following list of ergonomic and highly supportive (not to mention good-looking) ballet flats. Most of the options are from brands that have been recommended by Vincent and Wurster themselves or that have been approved by the APMA; we also added a few crowd-pleasing editor’s picks that you may want to check out.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Nordstrom, Cole Haan
A Cole Haan Cloudfeel flat with an intensely cushioned insole
These Cole Haan flats use systematic layers of proprietary cushioning compounds in the insole as well as a dual-density internal wedge to pad and support feet. They have also been outfitted with the brand's signature rubber outsole that's designed to offer optimal traction. You can also find these in solid black on Cole Haan’s website in addition to the white and two-tone options pictured here.
Soft leather flats with anatomical contoured soles
These soft leather round-toe flats by Fitflop use a cushioned footbed that is anatomically contoured to support your feet and minimize impact. The elasticized top line of this shoe provides a comfy foot-hugging fit and the outer soles are made with durable anti-slip rubber.
Suede slip-ons with a decorative block heel
According to Vincent, the arch-hugging and highly supportive designs provided by Vionic are great to try when hunting for shoes with all-day comfort. These sleek suede slip-ons feature a decorative heel, a non-crushing squoval toe and built-in orthotic soles that can help treat heel pain.
An ergonomically designed pointed-toe flat
Vincent also suggested Ally Shoes, a brand that specializes in scientifically engineered shoes that can alleviate heel pain while still looking fashionable. These suede and lambskin flats use a padded, ergonomically designed insole and built-in metatarsal and arch support and are available in 10 different colors. You can also get these flats in half sizes and four different width options.
A memory foam Mary Jane flat
Also available in black, these memory foam Mary Janes by Dansko have an insole that mimics the shape of your natural arch. They have an adjustable hook-and-loop strap for a flexible fit and use a microbe-shield lining that can prevent odor.
Pointed-toe flats with orthotic soles in leopard print
Like all of Vionic's shoes, these pointed-toe leather flats promise orthotic-level comfort and support with their built-in injected sole. The footbed is also lined with a breathable "sock" design, and they are available in light tan or black.
A woven leather flat
Aetrex, an APMA-approved brand that supports foot health, is the maker of these woven leather flats that utilize an orthotic system meant to stabilize and align feet. The arch placement of these soles is a little further back, which, according to the company, is proven to help relieve symptoms of plantar fasciitis. These slip-ons also feature a removable cork piece under the footbed to create a slimmer fit and are available in three other colors.
A classic pair of suede ballet flats with bow detail
Created with Fitflop's signature cushioning and high-rebound soles, these classic ballet flats are made with a butter-soft kid suede that are already Scotchgard-protected. They also have an elastic topline for a hugging fit and can be purchased in three different colors.
Adjustable sling-black flats
Constructed of rich nappa leather, these chic sling-backs by Vionic have an adjustable heel strap, a durable rubber outer sole and an insole that has been designed to hug your arches and support natural alignment from the ground up. You can also snag these in light gray.
Knit-top ballet flats meant to feel like you're wearing sneakers
These slip-ons may look like ballet flats, but they actually feel more like sneakers thanks to the soft and breathable engineered multi-knit fabric with a stretchy top line. Available in five colors, these are also injected with Fitflop's ergonomic insoles.
Slip-on flats with Dansko natural arch technology
These 100% loafer-style flats by Dansko use a half-sock-like construction for a fully flexible fit as well as the brand's notable natural arch for support. You can get these in eight colors including black and metallic pewter.
Classic ballerinas with a re-molding insole
Crafted with premium leather and featuring a wood block heel, these classic flats have a soft insole that repeatedly molds and remolds to the unique shape of your foot.

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