Hiking is a fun and healthy activity that over 47 million Americans enjoy yearly. Yet, walking for hours with flat feet can sometimes be too uncomfortable to enjoy the experience and scenery.
In fact, about 8 million of us have fallen arches. If you’d like to discover the best hiking shoes for flat feet, you’ve landed in the right place!
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A few other models made it to our selection of the best hiking shoes for flat feet:
- Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
- Danner Men’s Mountain 600 4.5″ Hiking Boot
- KEEN Women’s Voyageur Hiking Shoe
- Vasque Women’s Mantra 2.0 Hiking Shoe
- Salomon Men’s Authentic Leather & GORE-TEX
Our Five Best Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet
The athletic footwear market alone is estimated to be over 15 billion dollars in the US. This is to give you an idea of the number of choices we were faced with to come up with the top hiking shoes for flat feet for both men and women.
1. Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe – Best Overall
This model comes with all the features required for a pain-free feet hike. First, the midsole is made of lightweight EVA material and contours the feet to provide support.
In addition, an air-cushion is placed under the heel to help absorb shocks and impact. While being efficient, this pair is also economical – is a big plus!
Although not water-proof, the wraparound outsole design of these Moab 2s means you’ll no doubt keep your feet dry in moderately wet conditions. And not only that but walking in water with these shoes will provide a great level of grip.
Both Penny and I generally are hikers through dry even arid areas and we found these shoes to be highly breathable with little constricted feeling you get.
There is a waterproof version of the Merrell Moab 2 (which we didn’t try) that some other reviewers have suggested they may not have the ventilation of this model. They’re a bit more expensive as well.
|Material(s)||Suede leather and mesh.|
- Mesh provides super breathability.
- Available in 15 colors.
- Includes durable leather.
- Recycled materials.
- Slip-resistant rubber sole.
- Air cushioning under the heel.
- EVA midsole adds stability and comfort.
- Contour footbed with additional arch and heel support.
- Removable insole.
- Compact design.
- Some users found them a bit too heavy for a shoe.
- Not fully water-proof.
2. Danner Men’s Mountain 600 4.5″ Hiking Boot – Best Leather Boots
If you’re looking for high-quality leather hiking boots that’ll help you go on for miles, this pair might be the right choice. The shoes are made with a fully waterproof suede leather material that should also resist cuts and abrasions.
They come with an OrthoLite footbed designed to offer comfort along with stability and support.
If you don’t like hiking boots as opposed to shoes because of the weight and the unfeeling nature of them then these boots are a welcome change. The outsole doesn’t seem anything unusual, no flashy design, but they do provide exceptional grip.
The Danner hiking boot also has a very flexible sole which means you can ‘feel’ the terrain beneath allowing you to get a great feeling of security and stability whilst walking.
|Material(s)||Suede leather and a nylon shank.|
|Weight||37 oz per pair.|
- Optimum grip, even on wet surfaces.
- Flexible outsole.
- OrthoLite footbed.
- Made with abrasion-resistant leather.
- Padded midsole allows comfort and support.
- Heel designed for added stability.
- Available in 14 colors.
- 100 percent waterproof
- Comes with a one-year warranty.
- Heavier than most other models.
- The manufacturer recommends sizing-down half a size.
- The purchase of a spray will be required to maintain the waterproof ability.
3. KEEN Women’s Voyageur Hiking Shoe – Best for Value
Although these hiking shoes are still an investment, the cost is very reasonable for the value they bring.
The entire shoe aims for arch support, and the midsole is made of dense EVA foam. It comes with a contoured but removable footbed in case you’d like to insert your orthotics.
The materials used are meant to make your hike enjoyable while respecting the environment. This pair combines mesh material for good airflow with a water-resistant, eco-friendly leather.
|Material(s)||Leather, mesh, rubber sole.|
|Waterproof Ability||No—water-resistant only.|
- Pull-on tongues for ease of use.
- Contains breathable mesh material.
- Dense midsole made of EVA foam.
- Toe protection.
- Breaks-down bad smells without the use of chemicals.
- Environmentally-sourced leather.
- Ergonomically designed for arch support.
- Footbed contours the feet and heels.
- Available in two colors.
- Removable insole.
- High-traction outsole.
- Could be more comfortable.
- Users expected better durability.
4. Vasque Women’s Mantra 2.0 Hiking Shoe – Best for Wide Toe Box
If you like to wiggle your toes in your hiking shoes without feeling squashed, this might be the pair for you. Users love how much space there is in the frontal portion of the shoe. It should also give you enough space if you wear orthotics.
Besides the extra-room, these shoes are specifically built for flat feet and offer a supportive footbed. Some reviewers find them so comfortable that they report wearing them without a “break-in” period.
|Material(s)||Synthetic, nubuck, and mesh.|
- Wide toe-box.
- The straight-line designed for flat feet.
- Durable outsole.
- Good traction on all surfaces.
- Comes with abrasion-resistant mesh.
- Supportive footbed made with dense EVA material.
- Users love the comfort they provide.
- Some users found them clunky.
- Insoles can be harder than expected.
- Outsoles stick out at the back.
5. Salomon Men’s Authentic Leather & GORE-TEX – Best for Full-Feet Support
This pair should help support your flat arches, as well as your entire foot. Both the ankle and foot are wrapped in leather, synthetic, and rubber materials to provide stability all-around. The mesh material should also keep moisture at bay.
Even better, the midsole is filled with EVA foam and is built to absorb impacts and keep your joints healthy.
|Material(s)||Nubuck leather, synthetic mesh.|
- OrthoLite footbed.
- Midsole is made of foam to absorb shocks.
- Supports feet and ankles.
- Rubber toe-cap for better durability.
- Available in three colors.
- 3D mesh for optimum breathability.
- Advanced Chassis Technology improves stability and energy management.
- Doesn’t fit all budgets.
- Not available in wide sizes.
- Some users are disappointed that the shoes aren’t fully waterproof when submerged.
Do I Have Flat Feet?
By now, you may have taken a peek at your feet and wondered if they’re considered flat. A flat foot is the collapse of its arch. It’s in contact with the ground, from the toes to the heel.
The chance of having a flat arch increases with age and is more prevalent in people with large feet or who are on the heavy side.
Although health consequences are generally minimal, they can sometimes be debilitating. Ankle, foot, knee, hip, or back pain are common. Foot deformities such as hammertoes are also associated with flat feet.
In addition, this foot shape typically leads to overpronation, when your feet tend to roll inwards. This position can cause heel pain, plantar fasciitis, lower back pain, or shin splints.
Luckily, good hiking shoes can help flat feet with the support needed so that you can enjoy your walking adventures.
Choosing the Best Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet
First of all, if you wonder what even type of sports shoes to wear for what activity then we have dissected the differences between walking shoes, running shoes and trainers.
And if you’re interested in which criteria to search for when hunting for your new hiking shoes, here are some pointers:
- Foot support.
- Other features.
Choosing a pair that’ll embrace your feet well from all angles is critical, especially in the case of overpronation. Ankle boots are ideal, but some lower shoes can also be suitable. They should come with a contoured footbed, providing your feet with the needed support.
Models offering good support also make the best walking shoes for high arches.
The structure of the shoe can help keep your feet balanced and stable. The shoe should have a straight line as much as possible, without a deep heel drop (the height from heel to toe).
Manufacturers have come up with various new technologies to improve shoe stability, such as dense and compressed EVA midsole.
Whether you have flat feet or a well-curved arch, padding is essential. Look for cushioned midsoles and insoles. Not only does it make the shoes more comfortable, but it also helps to absorb shocks and vibrations from walking.
You’ll find that several manufacturers include OrthoLite insoles. This type of footbed is renowned for its comfort, quality, and performance.
Whether you have over-the-counter or prescribed customized orthotics, you’ll want to make sure they’ll fit inside the shoes. If you get pain in your feet and it’s always advisable to get them looked at by a foot specialist who should be able to model a bespoke pair of orthotics to insert into your footwear.
First, search for hiking shoes that give you lots of space to add your orthotics. Ideally, you’ll want a pair with a removable insole to replace yours with although I find that you can always rip them out with a little effort.
As for your hiking needs, the following characteristics should make your walk easier:
- Breathable material to keep your feet dry.
- Waterproof or water-resistance.
- Slip-resistance and good grip.
- Wide toe-box.
If you don’t have a normal shaped arch, hiking can still be a favorite hobby without feeling pain and discomfort. The best hiking shoes for flat feet should provide support, stability, and a padded insole.
For women, Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe is my top choice. It’s economical, comes with a removable insole, includes air cushioning, and a supportive footbed. Plus, the midsole provides a lot of stability.
I haven’t left men aside. Danner Men’s Mountain 600 4.5″ Hiking Boot is a top runner (walker?). It has a high-quality OrthoLite footbed and a padded midsole for support. The heel is ergonomically designed to offer added stability, and its waterproof ability should keep your feet dry.
Check out our boots for rucking – fun stuff.