Best Hiking Boots for Flat Feet: How to Choose the Right Pair

best hiking boots for flat feet

Love hiking but struggling to find the perfect footwear for your flat feet? You’re not alone! Flat feet, or fallen arches, affect up to 20% of the population, making it harder to find comfortable and supportive hiking boots. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the best hiking boots for flat feet, help you understand what features to look for, and even show you how to measure and fit your shoes correctly. So, get ready to hit the trails confidently and comfortably – let’s go!

What are Flat Feet and What Causes Them?

Flat feet are a condition that occurs when the arches of the feet either collapse or fail to develop correctly. The arches, the curved parts of the feet, distribute the body’s weight and absorb shock. When the arches are flat, the feet roll inward, leading to overpronation. This can cause alignment issues and stress the ankles, knees, hips, and back. There are several potential causes of flat feet, including:

  • Genetics: Some people have flat feet from birth, while others get them from their parents.
  • Aging: As we age, the ligaments and tendons that support our arches weaken and stretch, resulting in flat feet.
  • Injury: Trauma to the feet, ankles, or lower legs may cause the arches to collapse or flatten.
  • Obesity: Excess weight can strain the feet, causing the arches to flatten with time.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes can impair the nerves and blood arteries in the foot, resulting in loss of sensation and arch support.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis can cause inflammation and stiffness in the joints of the feet, affecting the arches and resulting in flat feet.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnancy can lead to hormonal changes and weight gain, which can affect the ligaments and tendons in the feet and cause flat feet.

How to Find Out You Have Flat Feet

The easiest way to find out if you have flat feet is to perform the wet foot test as follows:
1. Wet your feet and stand on a flat surface like paper or cardboard.
2. Step off and examine the imprint of your feet.
3. If you can see the entire outline of your feet, including the arches, then you have flat feet. However, you have normal or high arches if you notice a gap where the arches should be.
You can also check your feet by standing in front of a mirror and looking at the inside of your ankles. You have flat feet if your ankles tilt inward and your feet appear dull. Conversely, if your ankles are straight, and you can see a visible arch, you have normal or high arches.
Another way to spot flat feet is to check your shoes. If the inside edges of your shoes are worn out more than the outside edges, it may be due to your feet rolling inwards, causing more wear and tear.

Why You Need the Best Hiking Boots for Flat Feet

If you suffer from flat feet, having the proper hiking boots to prevent injuries and provide necessary support is essential. Hiking boots are different from regular shoes as they are designed to provide stability, traction, and protection on uneven terrain. They also have additional cushioning and padding to reduce fatigue and absorb shock.
The best hiking boots for flat feet should have the following features:
1. Arch Support:
Arch support is crucial for flat feet, as it helps prevent overpronation and maintain proper alignment. The hiking boots should provide arch support that matches your feet‘ shape and size, whether through insoles, orthotics, or built-in features.
2. Heel Support:
Heel support is another critical feature for flat feet, as it helps stabilize the heel and prevent it from slipping or sliding. The hiking boots should have heel cups, counters, or straps that fit snugly and comfortably around your heel.
3. Ankle Support:
Ankle support is crucial for preventing ankle sprains and twists. The hiking boots should have high or mid-cut shafts, ankle collars, or ankle straps that provide enough height and stiffness to support your ankles and prevent them from rolling inward or outward.
4. Toe Box:
The toe box is the part of the hiking boots that covers your toes and the front of your feet. It should be reinforced and durable to protect your toes from obstacles. The best hiking boots for flat feet should have a broad and spacious toe box that gives your toes enough room to wiggle and spread.
5. Sole:
The sole is the part of the hiking boots that contacts the ground and provides traction and grip. It should be thick and sturdy enough to withstand the impact of hiking and have deep, aggressive lugs or treads to provide grip and stability. The best hiking boots for flat feet should have slip-resistant soles that provide enough cushioning and shock absorption.

How to Measure Your Feet and Fit Your Hiking Boots Properly

If you want to find the best hiking boots for your flat feet, measuring your feet and fitting them correctly is essential. Here are some tips that can help you with that:
Measure your feet in the afternoon or evening when they are their largest size. Use a ruler or tape measure to measure the length and width of your feet. You can also trace the outline of your feet on a piece of paper and measure it. Make sure to measure both feet and use the larger measurement.
Compare your measurements with the size chart of the hiking boots you want to buy. Choose the size that matches your measurements or is slightly larger. Avoid buying too tight or small boots, as they can cause blisters, corns, and other foot problems.
Try on the boots:
Try on the hiking boots while wearing the socks, insoles, or orthotics you plan to wear. This will ensure that you have enough space and comfort in the boots. You can also bring your old hiking boots or shoes to compare the fit and feel.
Check on the boots:
Walk around, lace up, and flex your feet to check the fit and feel of the hiking boots. Your boots should feel snug but not tight, comfortable but not loose, and supportive but not restrictive. The shoes should have no gaps, rubbing, or pressure points. It would be best to have about a finger’s width of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoes.
Break in the boots:
Before going on a long hike, break in your hiking boots by wearing them around the house, on short walks, or easy trails. This will help to soften the materials, mold the shoes to your feet, and prevent blisters and injuries.

Best Hiking Boots for Flat Feet on the Market

Finding the proper hiking boots can be challenging if you have flat feet. Not all hiking boots offer the support and comfort for flat feet. To make your search easier, we have compiled a list of some of the best hiking boots for flat feet:
1. Oboz Bridger Mid BDry:
best hiking boots for flat feetThe Oboz Bridger Mid BDry hiking boot is an excellent flat-foot choice. It offers great support for the arch, heel, and ankle. The boot features a waterproof nubuck leather upper, a breathable mesh lining, a B-DRY membrane, a molded rubber toe cap, a dual-density EVA midsole, a nylon shank, a TPU heel counter, an O FIT insole, and a Granite Peak outsole. It is a durable and comfortable boot that can handle terrain and weather conditions.
2. Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof:
best hiking boots for flat feetAnother excellent option for flat feet is the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof hiking boot. It provides good support for the arch, heel, and ankle. The boot features a suede leather and meshes upper, an M Select DRY membrane, a rubber toe cap, a bellows tongue, a contoured EVA footbed, a molded nylon arch shank, a Merrell air cushion in the heel, an EVA midsole, a Vibram TC5+ outsole. It is a lightweight, breathable, and cushioned boot that can handle a variety of terrains and trails.
3. Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX:
best hiking boots for flat feetThe Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX hiking boot is an excellent flat-foot choice. It offers superb support for the arch, heel, and ankle. The boot features a nubuck leather and textile upper, a Gore-Tex membrane, a rubber toe cap, a gusseted tongue, an OrthoLite sock liner, a dual-density EVA midsole, a 4D Advanced Chassis, a heel foam pad, a Contragrip TD outsole, and a SensiFit system. It is a sturdy, waterproof, and comfortable boot that can handle terrain and weather conditions.

How to Care for Your Hiking Boots

If you’ve found the perfect hiking boots for flat feet, taking good care of them is important to ensure they last longer and perform better. Here are some tips on how to care for your hiking boots:
Clean your boots:
Clean your hiking boots after each hike using a soft brush or a damp cloth to remove dirt, mud, and debris from the upper and the sole. Avoid using soap, detergent, or bleach, as they can damage the materials and waterproofing. If your hiking boots are dirty,se them with cold water but don’t soak them or put them in the washing machine or dryer.
Dry your hiking boots:
Dry your hiking boots entirely before storing them. Air dry them in a calm and ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Please don’t use a hair dryer, radiator, or fireplace, as they can cause the materials to crack or shrink. You can stuff your hiking boots with newspaper or paper towels to absorb moisture and help retain their shape.
Condition your hiking boots:
Condition your hiking boots periodically. Apply a thin layer of leather conditioner or wax to the leather parts of your hiking boots to keep them soft and supple. Avoid using oil or grease, as they can clog the pores and affect the breathability and waterproofing. You can also spray a water-repellent treatment on your hiking boots’ fabric or synthetic parts to enhance their water resistance.
Store your hiking boots properly. Please keep them dry and cool, away from moisture and heat. Don’t store them in a plastic bag or a box, as they can trap moisture and cause mold or mildew. You can also use cedar shoe trees or silica gel packets to prevent odor and bacteria growth.

Ending Note:

Hiking is an exhilarating activity that can be enjoyed thoroughly, regardless of flat feet. All you need is the perfect pair of hiking boots that provide optimal support and prevent potential injuries. The best hiking boots for flat feet should have arch, heel, ankle, toe box, and sole support that cater to your feet and hiking needs. Proper measurement and fitting of your hiking boots are crucial for comfort and performance. Proper care ensures your hiking boots can last longer while maintaining quality. Our comprehensive guide ensures that you’ll find the best hiking boots for flat feet so you can confidently embark on your adventure. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Happy hiking!


Most frequent questions and answers

Reddit users highly recommend Keen Targhee III Mid Waterproof, Vasque Breeze III GTX, and Lowa Renegade GTX Mid as some of the best hiking boots for flat feet. These hiking boots are famous for their comfort, support, durability, and quality.

Women with flat feet prefer Altra Lone Peak 4.5, Saucony Peregrine 10, and Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 as some of the best hiking shoes. These shoes are known for their cushioning, responsiveness, traction, and style.

Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II, Adidas Terrex Swift R2 GTX, and The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTX are some of the best waterproof walking shoes for flat feet. These shoes are waterproof, breathable, comfortable, and suitable for wet and muddy conditions.

Women with flat feet love Timberland White Ledge Mid Waterproof, Clarks Orinoco Spice, and Dr Martens 1460 as some of the best boots. These boots are stylish, versatile, comfortable, and appropriate for casual and formal occasions.

Reddit users suggest Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX, Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator, and La Sportiva Spire GTX as some of the best hiking shoes for flat feet. These shoes are lightweight, breathable, supportive, and ideal for various terrains and trails.

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