Do you have flat feet?
The knee pain can be a real killer, can’t it?
Choosing the right hiking boots for your flat feet can be the difference between enjoying your hike pain-free and hobbling home in regret.
This article will introduce you to the best hiking boots for flat feet of 2021 and then explain a bit about rationale behind the selections.
Keep reading to choose your next boots!
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- TOP 13 Best Hiking Boots for Flat Feet 2021
- Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid
- Keen Women’s Targhee III Mid
- Oboz Women’s Sawtooth II Mid
- Danner Women’s Crater Rim 6
- Ahnu Women’s Montara III Event
- Vasque Women’s Breeze III GTX
- Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Gore-Tex Mid
- Oboz Men’s Bridger BDRY Mid
- Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 3 GTX
- Keen Men’s Voyageur Mid
- Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid
- Scarpa Men’s Kinesis Pro
- Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent
- What Should I Look for When Buying Hiking Boots for Flat Feet?
TOP 13 Best Hiking Boots for Flat Feet 2021
Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid
Review: One of the most well-known hiking boots on the market, the Merrell Moab (or Mother of All Boots) is a fail-safe option for flat footed hikers. It provides plenty of support and structure while having extra cushioning in the heel for impact absorption.
These are boots are waterproof but breathable and have excellent traction so they’re suitable for a range of terrains and weather conditions.
- Vibram soles with 5mm lugs provide plenty of traction.
- M Select Dry technology for waterproofing.
- Suede leather and mesh uppers allow for durability and breathability.
- Good support and heel cushioning.
- Take a little breaking in.
Keen Women’s Targhee III Mid
Review: Keen boots are another example of excellent all-rounders. They’ll serve you well for any distance, terrain and season (with the exception of winter alpine hiking of course).
They’re known for being super comfortable with nice wide toe boxes and good arch support.
Their mid-rise ankle height provides additional support and the dual-density EVA midsole is shock-absorbing and lightweight.
- Women’s specific fit.
- Wide toe box.
- Dry waterproofing.
- All terrain rubber outsole with 4mm lugs.
- Soles wear out faster than other brands so avoid walking on sealed surfaces.
Oboz Women’s Sawtooth II Mid
Review: Oboz’s Sawtooth II mid-rise boots are another great choice for flatfooted hikers due to their wide sizing, well cushioned midsole and proprietary molded insole which makes for a very comfortable walking experience.
The ankle cuff is actually slighter higher than other mid-height boots providing extra stability and support which can really help reduce the stress that flat feet put on your knees.
- Supportive ankle.
- B-Dry breathable waterproofing.
- Wide sizing available.
- O Fit insole and well cushioned midsole.
- Wide toe box.
- Possibly none.
Danner Women’s Crater Rim 6
Review: Though this may not be your go-to boot for hot weather if you tend towards sweaty feet, the stability, traction and comfort these boots provide make them a great choice for flat feet.
The leather uppers provide exceptional durability, stability and waterproofing. They’re likely too heavy duty for casual day walks on well-formed trails, but if you’re looking for something sturdy that will go the distance, these are a great pair of boots.
- Excellent stability.
- Vibram sole provides very grippy traction.
- Minimal break in time despite leather upper.
- Reliable waterproofing.
- Made in the USA.
- A little heavy and lacks breathability.
Ahnu Women’s Montara III Event
Review: Made by Teva, these lightweight hiking boots are ideal for rugged terrain. With durable, waterproof Nubuck leather uppers and grippy Vibram soles, they can cope with a range of wet and muddy conditions.
Meanwhile, they’re designed to be stable but lightweight, so you’ll remain comfortable and supported for the whole day.
- eVent waterproofing.
- Vibram Megagrip outsole for superior traction.
- Good stability and support.
- Durable leather uppers.
- Reasonably affordable.
- Fit might be a little narrow.
Vasque Women’s Breeze III GTX
Review: Another slightly more affordable option, the Vasque Breeze is a popular entry-level – mid-range boot for 3 season hiking.
They have waterproof Nubuck leather and Gore-Tex uppers with mesh panels for breathability, the Vibram Megagrip outsoles provide great traction, while a TPU shank provides instep support.
- Gore-Tex membrane for breathable waterproofing.
- Well-structured midsole provides torsional stability.
- Wide and narrow sizing available.
- No break in period required.
- Will wear out quicker than more expensive brands.
Keen on checking out more awesome women’s hiking boots? Have a look at our list right here.
Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Gore-Tex Mid
Review: Designed to perform on technical trails and steep descents, these boots come with Salomon’s Sensifit technology.
They may feel too snug to begin with, but then the boot molds to the form of your foot and you end up with a perfect fit that will provide security and stability with no room for rubbing or blisters.
Salomon are also known for their formidable traction and these boots don’t disappoint. Two different types of rubber form the Contragrip outsole which will grip to any surface far better than most soles.
- Mud guard and anti-debris mesh help to keep the trail out of your boots.
- EnergyCell midsole provides great shock absorption.
- Excellent traction.
- Sensifit technology for a secure fit.
- Sizing may run a little narrow.
Oboz Men’s Bridger BDRY Mid
Review: These versatile boots are ideal for flat feet with their comfortable insole and wide sizing. Oboz’s O-Fit Eva insole provides arch support and cushioning that will help to keep flat feet comfortable.
They are also waterproof which is a bonus for wet weather hiking, and the full-leather uppers can easily be re-treated using your own boot wax to keep the waterproofing going strong.
- B-Dry waterproof membrane.
- Good arch support.
- Granite Peak outsole with 4mm multidirectional lugs for fail-safe traction.
- O-Fit insole is shock-absorbing and moisture-wicking.
- Wide sizing available.
- Could get a bit warm.
Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 3 GTX
Review: Another great option from Salomon, the Quest 4D 3 is designed for ultimate comfort over long distances, incorporating running shoe technology to help keep your feet happy.
The slightly higher rise provides good ankle support, but the overall boot is surprisingly lightweight and flexible.
This means your feet won’t tire or start to ache prematurely and you’ll be comfortable wearing these boots all day.
- Waterproof but breathable so your feet won’t get too hot.
- Lightweight and flexible but still supportive.
- Excellent traction.
- 4D advanced chassis helps to reduce foot fatigue.
- May need to size up.
Keen Men’s Voyageur Mid
Review: This summer hiking boot is what you’ll want on your feet for hot dusty trails where ventilation is priority. It isn’t waterproof, instead choosing to prioritize breathability for ultimate comfort in hot weather.
Aside from that, it comes with all the standard Keen traits: wide fit, spacious toe box, good arch support and supreme comfort.
- Supportive heel cup.
- Roomy toe box.
- Cool and well ventilated in hot weather.
- 4mm lugs for great traction.
- Midsole designed with good torsional stability.
- Like all Keen shoes, expect the soles to wear out faster than some other top-rated brands.
Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid
Review: This highly popular boot ticks all the boxes for flat feet. It’s really stable and supportive with a carefully thought out footbed and wide sizing available.
These boots are lightweight, yet sturdy and durable which makes them really versatile for a range of hiking styles. To add to this, their waterproofing is super reliable providing you’re not submerging your foot, and they have amazing traction.
- Breathable Gore-Tex waterproofing.
- Moisture-wicking climate-control footbed.
- Well cushioned and reasonably lightweight.
- Built with gender-specific lasts.
- On the pricey side.
Scarpa Men’s Kinesis Pro
Review: Like Lowa, Scarpa are a top-rated and highly respected hiking boot brand. They’re not cheap, but you’ll know you’re getting the best quality possibly.
These Scarpa boots are designed for gnarly multi-day hikes. They’ll hold up against whatever terrain you throw at them and keep your feet and ankles safe, protected and supported.
Their 100% leather uppers are completely waterproof, the Vibram multi-terrain sole will stick to (almost) anything, and the heavy duty lacing system will keep you snug and secure inside the boot.
- Surprisingly minimal break-in time for leather boots.
- Completely waterproof.
- Full rand for extra durability against rocks and obstacles.
- Excellent traction.
- Like any leather boots, they’d benefit from some TLC (oil or wax) after wet hikes.
Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent
Review: Last but not least, this Merrell shoe provides a less intense option for flat footed hikers who don’t necessarily need loads of ankle support and would appreciate the simplicity of a shoe rather than a boot.
They’re not waterproof, preferring instead to offer plenty of ventilation for summer hiking. This means they can afford to be lightweight while still having great traction and cushioning.
- 4mm lugs for reliable traction.
- Lightweight and well ventilated for hot weather.
- Very wide toe box.
- Deep heel cup.
- The Moab 2 has made some changes that lovers of the original aren’t keen on.
Keen for more of the best hiking boots for men? We have a guide with more great options here.
What Should I Look for When Buying Hiking Boots for Flat Feet?
That’s a good question!
Unfortunately, unlike running shoes which come in many different styles according to what kind of support they offer, hiking boots don’t have as much variation.
Most hiking boots are made with durability, traction and overall stability in mind rather than accounting for people with different shaped arches.
However, this also comes with its positives. Though it’ll be hard to find a hiking boot specifically designed for flat feet, the vast majority of good quality hiking boots will be suitable provided you can get them in the right size for you.
In saying that, there are a few key things that will make a boot more comfortable for people with flat feet.
People with flat feet also tend to have wide feet, because once the arch isn’t there to hold the foot up, it flattens and spreads outwards.
So, to be comfortable and find a boot that fits correctly, you’ll need to look for a wide fit.
We have another great list of tramping boots for wide feet here if you’re interested in more options.
This is a really important factor in being comfortable and staying comfortable for the duration of your hike and not ending up with knee pain.
When you have flat feet, you don’t have the natural shock absorption mechanism that a healthy arch would provide. This means, often, your knees are forced to absorb the shock. You can help counter this by making sure your boots have adequate shock absorption in the midsole, and even better, a nice soft insole.
Bear in mind though, most hiking boots will feel a lot less cushioned and stiffer than a running shoe, regardless of how well cushioned they actually are.
Cushioning is also particularly important if you have plantar fasciitis. If this is you, be sure to check out of guide to the best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis for more great options.
There are many different forms of stability in a hiking boot. For example, torsional stability controls the twisting of the boot through the midsole and can help with preventing overpronation.
Ankle support comes from a well-structured upper, a good lacing system and at least a mid-rise ankle cuff. A well-designed upper and lacing system can also help with overpronation.
Arch support can come from firmer pieces of foam under the arch area of the midsole and a sculpted insole.
All of these things are really helpful for people with flat feet – except for the sculpted insole. A little bit of an arch is ok, but too much will just dig in and be uncomfortable.
Aside from factors specific to flat feet, also bear in mind what season you’ll be hiking in and what kind of trails you’ll be on.
Summer boots tend to be lighter weight, more breathable, not waterproof, and have a more flexible sole.
Winter boots are often designed for alpine expeditions and need to be able to handle a pair of crampons. For this reason they’ll have a stiffer sole, a point at which crampons can be attached and they’ll also be waterproof, often high rise, and warm.
Somewhere in the middle you get 3 season boots which account for majority of the boots on this list. They’ll be waterproof, mid-rise, with good traction and reasonable durability but remain more flexible than true winter boots.
Are hiking boots good for flat feet?
There aren’t many hiking boots, if any, that are specifically designed for flat feet. Unlike running shoes, hiking boots are designed with terrain and weather in mind rather than foot type.
However, you can still be very comfortable in hiking boots with flat feet if you choose a pair that fit you well and provide some support. You may even choose to add your own insoles.
What are the best hiking boots for flat feet?
The best hiking boots for flat feet are wide enough to comfortably accommodate your foot with no pressure while being supportive and well cushioned. All of the boots on the list above are great choices for flat feet.
What is the best support for flat feet?
The best support for flat feet comes in the form of stability and prevention of overpronation without a protruding arch in the footbed.
This stability can come from both the midsole and the upper and prevent excessive overpronation while not digging uncomfortably into your low arch.
Can flat feet be corrected?
There are mixed thoughts on this and it really depends whether your flat feet are anatomically flat and you were born that way, or whether your arches have fallen over time due to lack of use (as a result of wearing shoes all the time).
If you fall in the latter category, then yes, with time and patience, flat feet can be corrected. If you fall in the former category, then no, you’re better off equipping yourself with good shoes and making peace with your flat feet.
Why do arch supports hurt my flat feet?
Arch supports with a prominent shape and protruding arch will be uncomfortable for flat feet as they are putting pressure on the part of the foot where the arch should be, but isn’t.
You can’t force a flat foot to have an arch just by wearing an arch support. Rebuilding an arch takes time and lots of foot strengthening exercises and won’t be possible for everyone.
What problems can flat feet cause?
If flat feet result in overpronation (which for most people they do), they can cause your other joints to fall out of alignment resulting in knee, hip and back pain. You may also be more prone to problems such as bunions and plantar fasciitis.
Thank you for reading this guide to the best hiking boots for flat feet in 2021. I hope you’ve found something that will work for you so your hiking adventures won’t be curtailed by any foot pain!
Remember, good hiking boots for flat feet will have stability, cushioning and a wide fit.
Feel free to share your thoughts below if you have flat feet or have tried any of the shoes above. And before you leave for your next trip, be sure to have read my guide to solo travel safety so you’re ready for anything!
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