Having flat feet is really problematic as a skateboarder because skate shoes have flat outsoles to make you feel connected (boardfeel) to your skateboard deck. This means the outsoles and insoles are extremely thin, killing your arch while skateboarding if you have flat feet.
Skate shoes aren’t designed for comfort, sometimes they aren’t even great for daily use. many skate shoes sacrifice comfort for boardfeel in order to pull off tricks, especially vulcanized skate shoes.
Fortunately, there are choices and skate shoe technology improves, but still there isn’t an ideal shoe that meets all your needs. Your best bet is a cupsole skate shoe with decent memory foam insoles.
Consult a professional and don’t trust some random blog, including this one because we aren’t medical experts. However, don’t dismiss this article immediately. We can offer you some guidance and tell you what to look for.
6 Best Supportive Skate Shoes For Flat Feet
We picked 6 shoes that offer support and some even offer midsole arch support, which is pretty rare for skate shoes. Often skate shoe insoles suck and are rather flat, though DVS, DC and Nike are your best bet for the most support. These insoles are thicker and/or curvier insoles which might bring some relief.
Still, the best thing is to use your own insoles, skate shoes just aren’t designed for flat feet. Also avoid Slip-on Skate shoes. More about that later, first let’s look at a couple of options.
1. Nike SB BRSB
We’ll kick off with the Nike BRSB, a cupsole vulcanized hybrid that offers great arch support but also a lot of boardfeel. The React insole really is one of the best standard insoles you can get without having to go for expensive aftermarket insoles.
Any shoe with Nike React insole technology is a good pick, it offers great impact support, makes the shoe feel very comfortable. Most importantly, it offers the best skate shoe arch support as far as standard insoles go.
The Nike BRSB feels stiffer in the heel area and more flexible further out. Be aware that this isn’t a Nike Air type of shoe. The transparent sides aren’t air pockets but a design gimmick made of semi-flexible plastic. If you look close enough, you can see one of the laces looking out of the window. The shoes look pretty rad though.
The BRSB are reasonably durable and should last for at least 60 hours when you do a lot of rotational tricks and flicks. The contact areas have an extra layer of reinforcement, but I would advise to use some shoe goo once the ollie holes appear.
The Nike BRSB fit true to size but ran a bit narrow near the nose. Loosening the laces will feel more comfortable if you have wider feet.
2. DC Legacy Slim 98
The DC Legacy slim’s are an iconic shoe that has lots of cushioning. Despite that the shoe looks bulky, it really doesn’t feel that way. It’s actually surprisingly flexible for a shoe that looks like a solid brick. Again this shoe is a cupsole and offers decent support because of the thicker outsoles, though the insole is nothing special.
The UniLite midsole provides proper cushioning and comfort combined with the Ortholite insoles for added comfort. These insoles are designed to support human foot and absorb impacts, something which is really needed if you have flat feet. The cushioning will support your arch when you’re ollying a set of stairs, or just basic ollies.
As for durability, the opinions are all over the place Some claim they are extremely durable and others have ollie holes after a week. In our experience, an average skilled skateboarder could get 70 to 80 hours out of the shoes, where a more technical skateboarder probably chews through the suede sooner.
Most important is that they hold their shape for a long time and offer the support you need. They might feel a bit cramped at first depending on your foot shape, but the shoe will adjust its shape to your feet. The DC Legacy Slim fit true to size.
3. Nike Ishoid Wair
Here we go again, another Nike skate shoe (no, Nike is not our sponsor). Just like the Nike BRSB the Ishod Wair is one of the best skate shoes for flat feet. The React insole offers a lot of support and resists the impacts which prevents your feet from flattening out on impact.
The cushioning is extremely comfortable, though the shoe runs a bit narrow near the front. This gives it extra board control for flick tricks, but some of you might need to loosen the laces a bit.
The suede is of good quality though the meshing tends to rip, it’s an odd choice but gives a lot of flexible and breathability. If you live in a warmer climate, the Ishod Wair is a good choice.
While skateboarding is not a fashion show, good looking while skateboarding doesn’t hurt your ego. The shoes look even better in real life, better than the pics I could shoot.
4. DVS Commanche 2.0
The DVS Comanche 2.0+ has a couple of advantages and some downsides that shouldn’t be ignored. They are extremely comfortable skate shoes and impact resistant, especially the insole isn’t like any standard insole you get when buying cheaper skate shoes.
However, they wear extremely fast. Especially the side rips fast, which makes them a terrible choice for those who do lots of flick tricks and ollies. If you’re more of a bowl or ramp kind of skateboarder, they are a decent choice.
While they don’t offer as much boardfeel as the Nike’s we’ve just mentioned, they feel just as comfortable and are wider. They absorb impacts when you ollie gaps or a set of stairs, the insole and sockliner, combined with the thicker midsole rebound quickly so that your arch won’t completely flatten on impact.
The DVS Comanche 2.0+ aren’t the most durable skate shoes, but they’re one of the better shoes for whose who need lots of support.
5. Nike SB Nyjah Free 2
This is the only shoe we haven’t tried ourselves so we have to go with what others say. After browsing Reddit and some general customer reviews on several websites, you can assume that they aren’t great for the more technical skateboarder and feel rather stiff.
However, for your needs, they seem to be a good choice. It looks a bit like a runner and has a different insole than the Ishod and BRSB. The thicker midsole should offer some decent arch support, especially for a skate shoe. The cushioning support is more focused around the midsole.
The midsole comes with a similar Nike SB midsole like its predecessor, the Nyjah 1, and makes this shoe interesting for those that need extra arch support.
The shoe features a thick separately wedged out component made from Nike Free technology, which releases stiffness in the foam. This allows the foam to move as naturally and mimic barefoot movement.
The Tristar midsole absorbs the most of the impacts. The thin sockliner which is added to the insole, offers better boardfeel. This is a cupsole skate shoe and its true to size, but stiffness might be not for everyone.
6. Etnies Josin 2
The Etnies Joslin 2 are extremely comfortable shoe with lots of support and cushioning. In order to get the most support from this shoe, we recommend replacing the insoles.
The insoles are rather flat near the arch, though the outsole offers some compensation. It’s not enough for those that need lots of arch support, but enough for those needing medium arch support.
Other than that, this is a decent cupsole skate shoe that has lots of cushioning, which makes them suitable for high and medium impact skateboarding. The Velcro strap is the most noticeable feature which unfortunately wears rather quickly.
The Joslin 2 are very comfy shoes that are suitable for daily wear and also look great. Unfortunately, the suede rips rather quickly, making them one of the least durable skate shoes on this list.
The lace protectors are the first to go leaving the laces exposed. the shoe does gave an extra layer of suede near the high-contact area but that also don’t last very long.
They fit true to size, and the wider toe box offers some extra room for those that need it. This shoe is for those who need lots of support and don’t mind that the shoes aren’t the most durable.
Skate Shoes for Arch Support Addendum
Orthotic insoles and arch support inserts will make a big difference. Few skate shoe brands provide them, so it’s a good idea to buy them separately.
As shoe technology improves and big players such as Nike become more dominant, there are more options to pick from. Always look for a quality cupsole skate shoe with decent foam liners and thicker insoles, or a shoe with a thicker midsole.
I also suggest checking out a couple of topics on Slap Magazine, lots of suggestions about shoes and insoles. Recommended before you splurge all your money on shoes and insoles, keep in mind that they are personal experiences.
Insole Memory Foam and Arch Support
Many insoles comprise memory foam, brands have different names for insoles but basically it’s all some type of memory foam. According to Christopher Hubbard, M.D., (board-certified foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon), memory foam can help provide arch support, at least in running shoes.
There should be some benefit in getting proper insoles, especially when it considering high impact skateboarding.
Determining Your Arch Type
This is pretty easy actually and all you have to do is dip your feet in water, step on cardboard (and off), et voilà, you can see your footprint! Not as fancy as the Nike the footprint heatmaps which maps pressure points, but it works.
If you have a normal arch your feet cover halt of the footprints middle section. Lower arch will show a more complete footprint and flat feet pretty close to a complete. Those with high arches will probably only see a toe area and heel imprint.
Can You Skateboard if You Have Flat Feet?
With the right insoles and shoes, you can skate with flat feet. However, it is important to get some medical advice from a professional who can help you get the right stuff.
Skateboarding isn’t exactly gentle on the feet and will mess them up the longer your skate, according to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). Defeatist mentality won’t give you the satisfaction of landing a tre-flip though. Anyway, it can’t hurt to get special orthotic inserts or other type of foot support in order to make skateboarding easier on your feet.
What To Look For In A Skate Shoe For Flat Feet
If it isn’t obvious by now , look for shoes with good arch support. Your best bet is to visit your local (skate) shop and fit the shoes you have in mind. You can’t tell from a review or a picture if a skate shoe is right for you. Then again, going to a store also doesn’t always work until you find a shoe that works well for you, it’s tough.
Thicker soles are the way to go, so this means buying cupsoles and leave the vulcanized skate shoes. You sacrifice boardfeel for comfort, though Nike really is getting close to mimicking vulcs with their React insoles. Avoid vulcanized skate shoes like Vans classics, Nike Janoski’s, Lakai Riley Hawk, etc.
Go for a skate shoe with memory foam somewhere, either insoles or midsoles or both. You want comfort and you need a shoe that won’t flatten your arch when you land a trick. A softer shoe or foam will adjust to the shape of your feet.
Mentioned before, but your best bet is an orthotic insert. The level of support might vary depending on your arch, but it will offer more support. Replacing standard insoles is pretty common because frankly, most standard skate shoe insoles suck.
Not all feet are the same. Some have wide feet, flat feet, low arches, high arches, and there are normal people with normal feet, who we all hate so much. There are many more shoes that offer more arch support, but at least now you have an idea what to look for.
It is not the intention to sell you anything and be wary of online advice, including ours.