If you have flat feet, you might find that even just shopping for normal, everyday shoes to wear around the house or to the office is a pain (both literally and figuratively). So when you’re trying to find the perfect pair of hiking shoes, the frustration only mounts. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up the hunt and settle for your fav pair of tennis shoes for your next hike.
Having the right hiking shoes is so important to your next excursion, both for your comfort and keeping you safe. The best hiking shoes will offer support, traction, breathability or warmth and protection from the elements — and, yes, it is possible to find a pair of boots that offers all this and more for flat feet.
We’ve pulled together some of the 10 best hiking shoes for flat feet so that you can have a fun and safe hiking trip— no matter where in the world you’re hiking, no matter your level of activity (whether you’re hiking easy switchbacks or trail running down a mountain) and no matter your budget. Here are the 10 best hiking shoes for flat feet.
Best Flat Feet Hiking Shoes and Boots for Men
Here are the best hiking boots for men available this season.
On the more affordable side of hiking boots, KEEN Men’s Targhee Boots are only a little over $100 and provide a solid level of arch support for extra comfort when hiking.
Extra heel support keeps your foot in place no matter the rough situations you find yourself in, and the ankle padding provides additional comfort. The arch and heel support specifically, though, are what make this hiking boot ideal for men with flat feet. Extra features include a mix of water-resistant and breathable mesh upper materials and 18 different color options.
The deep lugs (aka, the bumpy bits on the bottom of the shoe that give you extra traction) provide enhanced stability. And the foamy cushioning for your arch helps absorb shock while contouring to the shape of your foot.
If you’re not a fan of hiking boots with high ankle support, you may like these Merrell favorites. Definitely a hiking shoe rather than a boot (more on the differences in a minute), the Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoes offer all the ruggedness of a hiking boot, just in shoe form. They look more like your average pair of tennis shoes than a piece of hiking gear. Still, they offer lots of stability, breathability and shock absorption.
The only downsides? This shoe isn’t waterproof, even if it does dry quickly, so expect some soggy socks if you’re hiking in particularly wet conditions.
Also, because this is a hiking shoe rather than a boot, it doesn’t have that ankle protection that some hikers with flat feet prefer due to the extra stability a high-ankle boot provides.
If you don’t hike on anything particularly treacherous and you can’t stand putting on a pair of socks during the summer, you may want to consider the Chaco ZVolv2 for your next pair of hiking shoes.
Chacos are known for being comfy, but they’re also a pretty good option for light, summertime day hikes, too, especially if you’re going to be near the water. They are also a good fit for other outdoor activities, such as kayaking or paddleboarding.
These Chacos offer a grid sole for more traction and webbing heel risers for excellent support along your heel and Achilles tendon.
A hiking sandal that’ll keep you comfortable and safe during the hottest hiking days of the year, it’s easy to see why these are a favorite for hikers with flat feet.
This best-selling hiking boot is 100% waterproof and entirely rugged. Whereas Chacos are ideal for your summertime leisurely hiking, these Timberland White Ledge Boots deliver when it comes to wintertime, rough hiking.
You’ll enjoy a great grip, lots of ankle support and highly supported arches for less foot, knee and back pain. Plus, they come in several different colors, and they’re built to last, with high-quality materials, rust-proof hardware, waterproof lacing and sealed seams.
Best Flat Feet Hiking Shoes and Boots for Women
For the adventure-loving gal, here are the best hiking shoes for women.
Tons of lugs along the bottom of the rubber sole provide extra traction on rugged terrain. But beyond all of the features that make this boot ideal for women with flat feet, it also offers a lot more.
The design keeps water and even particles — twigs, leaves, pebbles and the like — out of the shoe; the breathable lining protects against odors. The sole even features an antimicrobial solution. You get it all for an agreeable price, too.
For a hiking shoe rather than a hiking boot, look to KEEN Voyageur Hiking Shoe. The leather and mesh shoe is breathable and comfortable, with lots of stability for rough terrain. Even though the shoe doesn’t feature that high ankle that you normally see with a pair of hiking boots, it still provides lots of ankle support for fewer risks of accidents while out on the trail.
The footbed is removable, too, in case you want to personalize this pair of hiking shoes to better fit your needs, with a specialty sole insert.
Another hiking shoe that looks even more like a traditional running shoe than a hiking boot, the Merrell Siren is one of the more stylish on our list but still ticks all of the boxes for functionality.
The contoured footbed is ideal for those with flat feet and comes complete with a foot frame that helps to better contour the shoe to your foot and stride patterns. The overall result is less stress and shock on your feet, for no more painful toes or blisters after a long day of hiking.
But if you really would prefer something rugged and durable over something that puts a heavy emphasis on style, you might want to consider this suede leather waterproof hiking boot from Columbia. Favorited for its overall comfort, this shoe is easy to break in, durable and is ideal for the roughest of terrains. If you’re an average hiker who gets out on the trails a few times per month, you’ll find that these boots easily last a season or even two.
The shoe is filled with cushioning that helps to keep your feet in place, but it’s also flexible enough to adjust to your foot needs.
While most of the hiking boots on this list are relatively budget-friendly, at around the $100 to $150 mark, the Lowa Renegade GTX is a little more pricey, at over $200 — but you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to outdoor gear.
The boot features a sturdy heel, lots of arch support and extra ankle support. The molded Vibram soles gently adjust your foot to the proper position for ultimate comfort over a long hike.
The overall result is a shoe that keeps your feet in place and safe while also ensuring all-day comfort. And even though the boots are 100% leather and totally waterproof, they’re also very breathable, making them suitable for hiking all year round.
Things to Consider When Shopping for Hiking Shoes or Hiking Boots
There are a few things to consider when you’re shopping for the best hiking shoes for flat feet.
Do you want hiking shoes or hiking boots?
While the two terms could definitely be used interchangeably, they are still technical terms and, if you ask for one or the other at your local sporting goods store or search for one or the other on Amazon, that’s what you’ll be given.
Hiking shoes are usually closer in appearance to your everyday tennis shoes; they offer a good grip, stability, durability and protection from your surroundings, but they also are usually more stylish than hiking boots, so you can go from trail to dinner reservations with ease. However, hiking shoes do come with their downsides; while sturdy, they’re usually just not as sturdy as hiking boots.
Hiking boots are made with more extreme hiking in mind. While you might not necessarily need hiking boots if you’re taking on a relatively flat trail with no incline or scrambles, you definitely need hiking boots if you’ll be scaling any mountains or any rough — think roots, rocks and erosion — terrain (especially in bad weather).
Special considerations for hikers with flat feet
Of course, whether you go with hiking shoes or hiking boots, you’ll want to make sure that whatever option you go with is capable of providing you the extra support you need as a hiker with flat feet. Because hikers with flat feet don’t have much of an arch (or any arch at all), you may not have the balance and stability that other hikers have naturally. Your shoe should make up for that overpronation or underpronation, both for safety and comfort.
Look for a high-quality hiking shoe that’s flexible, with cushion in the heel and lots of supports and stability in the insole, outsole and midsole. Look for a shoe with lots of traction and ensure that your hiking shoe is the perfect fit for your foot, both in length and width. Keep in mind that your feet swell when they’re hot or over the course of a day — so you may need a shoe made for wide feet, at least while hiking.
Some flat feet hikers swear by boots outfitted with orthotics, but others prefer less cushioning. Whichever you find more comfortable, be sure to try out a range of boots and shoes to see what feels good for your feet. You don’t want to jump on the first pair you find.
What to look for in hiking boots or hiking shoes overall
But beyond the special considerations for those with flat feet, there are a few things you’ll want to look for in hiking boots or hiking shoes, no matter who you are.
You want to look for boots or shoes that are made for your type of activity. Do you trail run? What weather conditions do you usually hike in? Do you prefer technically challenging trails? Whatever your preferences and habits, look for a shoe that’s made for that type of activity.
You’ll want to also look for shoes that provide breathability in the summer and insulation in the winter, as well as shoes that are as waterproof as possible (don’t rely solely on a rubber outsole to keep you dry). Even if you don’t think you encounter that much water while you’re out on the trail, you don’t want to be caught at a stream crossing and suddenly realize that it’s either turn back and go home or spend the rest of the day in a soggy, soupy mess.
Of course, look for hiking boots or hiking shoes that will protect you from not only the elements but also the rough and rugged conditions of any trail. You don’t want to end up with a shoe that falls apart when encountering rock scrambles or one that’s going to let in stray sticks and leaves, pebbles or other items that will work their way underneath your feet and leave you miserable.
Finding the Best Hiking Boots and Shoes for Flat Feet Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
When shopping for shoes, you might think there’s no hope for your flat feet, but don’t give up so easily. You can find the best hiking shoes for your flat feet if you take your time to shop around, try on shoes in the store and consider what makes you most comfortable.
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Best Hiking Shoes for Flat-Footed Men:
- KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
- Salomon Men’s Authentic LTR GTX Backpacking Boots
- Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoes
- Chaco ZVolv 2
- Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boots
Best Hiking Shoes for Flat-Footed Women:
- Merrell Moab II Waterproof Hiking Boot
- KEEN Women’s Voyageur Hiking Shoe
- Merrell Women’s Siren Hiking Shoe
- Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof
- Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots