The 7 Best Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet of 2020
Hiking is one of the best things you can do to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. It is so popular nowadays that even people with flat feet and other foot conditions are taking on the trails.
Who can blame them? Being with nature has been proven to reduce stress and increase happiness. Whether you're hiking in the fall, when the leaves are shades of red and orange, or in the spring, when the leaves are a vibrant green, and the flowers are all in bloom, you know that the scenery will be breathtaking.
The key to a great hike is the right equipment. It is necessary to stay hydrated and stay out of the sun. Also, if you have issues like flat feet, you must know that getting the right hiking shoes are a must. Long hikes may lead to blisters and achingly sore feet for days.
Thankfully, there are hiking shoes for flat feet that are available in the market today. We did the hard work and researched a ton of boots to bring you this list of the 7 best hiking shoes for flat feet. While our absolute favorite was the KEEN Men's Targhee II Hiking Shoe, all seven of these products are fantastic.
Best Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet
KEEN Men's Targhee II Hiking Shoe
Altra Men's Lone Peak 3 Running Shoe
Salomon Womens Speedcross 4 Trail Sneaker
Lowa Men's Camino GTX Hiking Boot
Leather and Synthetic
Merrell Moab Mid Waterproof
Leather and Textile
Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot
Hi-Tec Men's Logan Waterproof Hiking Boot
Leather and Fabric
Let’s take a look at the 7 best hiking shoes for flat feet and what makes them great for the trails.
1. Keen Men's Targhee II Hiking Shoe
The Keen Men's Targhee II Hiking Shoe is 100% leather with a rubber sole. The leather material is designed to be longer lasting than other products.
The 2-inch heel is an easy-on pull with Torsion stability and ESS shank. The hydrophobic mesh lining maximizes breathability. It has a padded tongue and collar with 4 mm multi-directional lugs.
These shoes are built to be extremely comfortable. They offer a lot of support thanks to stability shanks and mid-cut lengths.
Podiatrists have recommended them for use by people who have plantar fasciitis and other foot problems. These will greatly reduce pain and make hiking a possibility again for hikers with flat feet.
Overall, Keen has an excellent reputation for customer service and quality, comfortable shoes. They have changed a lot of their distribution and manufacturing recently, though, so make sure to look into where your shoe made and what size you will need.
2. Altra Men's Lone Peak 3 Running Shoe
The Altra Men's Lone Peak 3 Running Shoe was designed with rocky, mountainous terrain in mind. They took it for test runs on the Wasatch 100. They have recently redesigned their midsole and outsole, and also have improved upper support.
The Altra boot has a rubber sole and synthetic textile materials. It has a 5 mm contour footbed. The material is a dual-layer EVA midsole and abounds the top layer. This protects you from stones and prevents debris from getting inside.
There is a foot-shaped toe box to accommodate splaying toes. The zero-drop adequately cushioned. Very few other shoes have the same shape as a foot. If your feet are more flat than pointy, this is an excellent option for you.
These have a great length tongue extremely good traction. They also look more like sneakers than hiking boots so that they can be worn both on and off the trail.
3. Salomon Women's Speedcross 4 Trail Sneaker
The Salomon Women's Speedcross 4 Trail Sneaker is an enjoyable shoe. It's got tons of vibrant colors that will fit any preference. The shoe is made from water-resistant textile and has a debris resistant mesh with a rubber sole. The lug pattern on these shoes is perfect for softer, technical trails.
Their proprietary Sensifit cradles your foot to the lacing system, starting from the midsole. It locks securely for a customized fit. Quicklace uses a minimalistic system where you tighten your laces by tugging the top of their lacing system.
The shoe built for performance that lasts and a shape that is comfortable with endoFit. It provides perfect protection in wet terrain and dirty trails during technical running.
Something essential to consider is the terrain these shoes are meant to run through. It is inadvisable to use them on smooth surfaces or to cross streams and logs with them.
These are excellent shoes for treadmill running and technical drills, but likely won't be great if you want a well-rounded shoe for all terrains.
4. Lowa Men's Camino GTX Hiking Boot
The Lowa Men's Camino GTX Hiking Boots are made of leather with a synthetic sole. The shaft is about 6.5 inches from the arch. These also include Gore-Tex for a waterproof experience. They have a built-in supination and pronation system to reduce and eliminate overpronation or over-supination.
These boots were designed to go on long-distance hikes across brutal terrain. They are for hikers and backpackers in mind so that you can feel great no matter how many miles you hike.
Their lightweight design and sole, thinner shanks, and lacing that reaches to the toe for free movement, reduce strain, especially when you are going down a steep slope.
These are some great boots for long-lasting hikes. You could probably find more comfortable shoes for a day trip, but these are a fantastic option for long distance hikers.
Speaking of the long-distance, check out our 10 long-distance running shoes review here.
5. Merrell Moab Mid Waterproof
The waterproof Merrell Moab shoes are made of nubuck leather with slip resistance synthetic soles and cushioning. These are designed for traction in the summer. Mesh lining is designed to keep feet cool and dry.
Their insoles are removable in case you have custom soles you would rather use. They are a bit heavy for high desert temperatures or long-distance hikes, but they have excellent ankle support, so it's a worthwhile trade-off.
You might be like, a closer look at more details about Merrell hiking shoes.
As much as you lose by wearing a boot that is not waterproof, you gain right back by having an extremely breathable experience with this shoe. Likewise, although the traction of these boots isn’t great, comfort and support are incredible.
6. Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 Men's Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot
The Vasque Men's Breeze Hiking Boot is our favorite on the list. It is waterproof and 100% leather with a synthetic sole. The shaft is around 6 inches from the arch, and the heel is an inch and a quarter. The opening is a 12-inch circumference.
This boot is made with Gore-Tex extended comfort technology to ensure a lightweight and breathable hiking boot that offers all the leather's durability. It uses nubuck leather with an exclusive Vibram Contact sole. It even includes a rubber toe cap to preserve your feet from bruising.
This uses an air mesh upper with 2 mm waterproof tongue. It utilizes dual-density EVA and a molded TPU plate for stability.
These are amazing boots. They strike a great balance between waterproof and breathable, durable, but lightweight.
7. Hi-Tec Men's Logan Waterproof Hiking Boot
The Hi-Tec Men's Logan Waterproof Hiking Boots are a combination of leather and fabric. They have a rubber sole with a 4.5-inch shaft measurement. These are ankle height boots and have waterproof suede and mesh uppers. They use Ghillie lacing and rustproof anchors.
They utilize multi-directional traction MDT rubber outsoles and Comfort Plus compression-resistant sock liners that are contoured.
These are nice boots for casual hikers with flat feet or anyone on a budget. They will fit well, but don’t expect them to last very long if you hike a lot.
What to Look for Before Buying Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet
We strive to take care of you. We don’t want you to worry about anything or have any doubts. If none of these shoes feel like the right choice, there are a lot of other boots out there.
That’s why we’ve decided to include a little buyer’s guide for you to understand some of the most important basic features that should factor into decision making when it comes to finding the best hiking shoes for flat feet.
Stability and Support
It is crucial to protect your feet when you go hiking. Wilderness terrains will activate different muscle groups than urban ones will, so your feet and ankles will be doing a lot more work than they used to.
This makes it more likely that you will be prone to get injured if you're not careful. Ankles can roll, feet can slip or lose traction, and muscles can take extra strain working overtime to stabilize and balance you. The right hiking boots can prevent this from happening.
Your toes take a lot of hits. They are the first part of your foot to see the world. If you miss an obstacle, hit it with your toe and fall, or stub your toe and be in a lot of pain.
Many boots are made with steel toes. These offer incredibly excellent protection. If anything hits the tip of your boot or gets dropped on your toes, the boot takes the shock, and your toes remain blissfully pain-free.
Another major problem hikers see it is going downhill. This activates muscle groups that aren’t used to being used in flatter urban spaces or along stairs. Your toes work overtime to balance your entire body while moving downhill.
One of the ways to fix this is by looking for boots with a wide toe box. A hiking store can also measure your feet pretty perfectly and fit you to the right boot for your feet. Tight laces on your shoes will help to protect your ties.
The most common problem with toes is for feet to slip forward in the boots. Tight lacing, supportive sides, and the proper fit can avoid this. Lace overhand and consider knotting them before the ankles to avoid having them loosen as you walk.
Before I get into breathability, I want to let you in on the best-kept secret of this category: Gore-Tex. Every single outdoors man knows this material. They are incredibly innovative and have found a material that is waterproof, warm, and breathable, all at once. I cannot recommend this material enough. If your boots use this, they are going to be great.
Breathable shoes just mean that the materials are able to ventilate air. This becomes important because wet, sweaty feet are really gross. They will cause both your feet and shoes to stink. Worse, this is how blisters start to form, and it softens calluses that build up to help us endure longer treks more easily.
On the contrary, shoes with much breathability will work to keep you cooler and avoid dehydration and overheating.
Most of the lighter weight boots are made by weaving layers of mesh together to allow air, heat, and moisture to escape and keep you cool and dry. High tech versions also allow vapor to pass through while keeping water and wind out.
One of the ways to check the breathability of your shoes is to ask for the RET Score. Anything above a 13 is not going to be great for hiking. The closer to 0 you get, the more breathable your shoe is. Nothing above 13 recommended for high activity rates.
As with toe protection, comfort comes down to picking the right fit. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have your foot correctly fitted by an outdoor store with a specialist on hand.
The right fit will ensure that your feet are adequately supported, not sliding around, have plenty of air, so you don’t end up with fungus or blisters, and can correct imperfections in your gait.
The tongue on your boots needs to have some padding. You want to make sure it is stiff enough not to cut off tight laces but padded adequately not to press into your foot.
Ankle padding on the inside of the boot is also critical to a comfortable fit. Your ankles don’t have any protective layers, but they do much work on hiking trails. Make sure that your boot fits securely around your ankle without sliding on your heel.
It would be best if you also had perfect insole. The sole should offer some padding to protect your feet, but also be rigid enough to support them.
For flat feet, you want to make sure you have a special insole and don’t pick boots with high arches. If you are crazy about fitness, then you might be like cross training shoes for flat feet.
If you need to walk for a long distance to reach the hiking trail, you may consider buying a pair of long-distance walking shoes and hiking shoes.
Materials are crucial to choosing the right pair of hiking boots. Each material designed for a different purpose. Knowing what you need from your boots is important.
Will you be hiking in the mountains or forests? Are you going in summer weather or winter? Do you need something your feet can breathe in or something that offers maximum support? Are you a day hiker or a long-distance walker? Will your terrain be flat or have many hills? Answering these types of questions will allow you to pick materials made for your specific trek.
If Gore-Tex is one of the materials, you can expect a pretty waterproof boot while still being extremely breathable. These will keep your feet dry in wetter hiking. Waterproof membranes can cause your feet to sweat more on hot days, so I recommend sticking to a Gore-Tex membrane only to avoid that issue.
Synthetic materials are much more lightweight than leather boots. Most modern boots use these materials. They break in quickly and dry faster. The downside to these materials is that they are usually nowhere near as durable as leather and will need replacing much quicker.
Leather boots are pretty standard among those who want much support and don't mind heavier shoes. These are the most durable hiking boots on the market. They are also pretty waterproof.
These boots are the favorite of long-distance hikers and backpackers, as well as people who go on extended trips across more rugged terrains. It is not very breathable, so your feet will probably sweat, and they require a lot of time to break-in.
If your leather made from nubuck, it has been buffed to look like suede instead of polished leather. It's much more durable, and they usually add a layer of water-resistance to the process. It's more flexible than regular leather.
Split grain leather means that it's a mix of leather and mesh or nylon. This is a more modern practice that makes for a lightweight boot. The drawback of this process is that you lose the waterproof nature of leather.
Midsoles provide the cushion for your feet. These will determine how stiff a boot is and how much shock it will absorb for your feet. There are two main types of materials here, EVA and Polyurethane. I prefer EVA because it is much cushier and far more budget-friendly.
Extremely durable hiking boots are likely going to be much more expensive than their less sustainable counterparts. If you see two boots that both look like they have very similar features, but one is much pricier, that is probably because it is built to last.
If you are a hobbyist day hiker who goes out once or twice a year for a short trek, you are more than likely going to be able to get away with the less durable shoes and save some money. They will last for fewer wears, but with casual use, they should still last for several years before being replaced.
If you're an avid hiker who tends to take longer trips, and can put hundreds of miles on your boots in a single season, then it is critical for you to spend a little extra to buy those durable boots. You will end up saving tons of money in the long run.
You can usually make a decent assessment as to how durable the pair of boots is by taking a look at the material and construction. Gore-Tex and leather last a long time. Synthetics don't last as long. If the stitches are firm and tight, they will last longer than loose and shoddy stitch work.
Also, check out how the treads built into the boots. If you can see the glue layer, you may want to skip them and choose another pair.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still, have some questions? That’s okay! We are here to help. These are some of the most commonly asked questions that buyers have when purchasing these shoes for flat feet.
Q. How do I make my hiking boots more comfortable?
A. There are a few ways to do this. If your boots don’t come with toe shields, add them. Narrow points and downhill treks can push your toes into the tip of your boots and bruise them. Toe shields can add some comfort and relieve pressure.
Think about a great pair of inserts for your soles. Using cork or gel insoles can prevent your feet from slipping and muscles from cramping.
The right pair of socks will also do wonders for your shoes. A lot of discomforts happens because people test their sizing before they’ve done much walking and aren’t wearing the thicker hiking socks they’d ordinarily put on with the boots.
Make sure this isn’t happening to you, and if it has, then get some stretch spray or a stretcher to widen your boot shaft.
Q. How do I pick the right boot?
A. There are a lot of different kinds of boots, so deciding which is the right one can be overwhelming. The simple answer to this question is to know your hiking style.
Determine where you will be hiking and what season you will do it. This way, you know your terrain needs and weather needs. That will make picking the right type of boot much easier.
Q. Are hiking boots true to size?
A. This is probably the question that gets asked the most. It’s important to know what size boot to get, and every brand runs a little bit differently in terms of sizing. Width and length can be very difficult to determine without physically trying a boot on.
Unfortunately, that makes this question impossible to answer in a general sense. As a trend, it seems that buying boots a size larger than your usual fit is the most common thing people have noticed.
If you are shopping online, this question is asked and answered in every product question section, so be sure to check for that question on each product before determining which size to buy.
All of these boots are great, but each one designed for different terrain and purposes. While our personal favorite is the Vasque boot, that may not hold for your needs.
Be sure to understand what terrain and weather conditions you will be hiking in and know whether you’re making short or long trips and whether you will be hiking regularly or seasonally. This list will help you choose the best hiking shoes for flat feet.