Hiking can be tricky if you have flat feet, but there are options out there for you. Our guide to the best hiking shoes for flat feet can help you find the perfect pair.
How can you find hiking shoes that will be supportive enough for your feet? What features should you be looking for? Which style of hiking shoe should you choose? We’ll answer all those questions and give you our top 5 recommendations, too.
The bottom line upfront: we like the KEEN Men's Targhee III Height Waterproof Hiking Boot. It has the best arch support, and it’s a good all-rounder.
We also like:
- Merrell Women's Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe – the best hiking shoes for women, these are super supportive and comfortable
- Salomon Men's Authentic Leather & GORE-TEX Backpack Boots – the best hiking shoes for men, with excellent arch support and comfort
Today we’ll be looking at:
- The best hiking shoes for flat feet and how they compare to each other
- The definition of hiking shoes for flat feet
- What to look for in your new hiking shoes
- Our top 5 picks, including their key features, pros, and cons
- Some frequently asked questions
- Which ones we like the best and why
Table of Contents
- Best Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet Compared
- What Are Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet?
- What to Look for in Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet
- Top 5 Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet
- KEEN Men’s Targhee III Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boot – Best Arch Support
- Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe – Best Hiking Shoes for Women
- Chaco Men’s ZVolv 2 – Best Hiking Sandals
- Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot – Best for Colder Weather
- Salomon Men’s Authentic Leather & GORE-TEX Backpacking Boots – Best Men’s Hiking Shoes
- Frequently Asked Questions
- To Sum Up … Which Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet are the Best?
Keep reading to find the best pair of hiking shoes for you.
Best Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet Compared
What Are Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet?
Hiking shoes are designed to keep your feet supported during outdoor activities. They’re tough and durable, and are ideal for protecting your feet from tough terrain.
Hiking shoes for flat feet should have great arch support to reduce foot and back pain, as well as good traction and ankle support.
What to Look for in Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet
There are a few things you should look for when it comes to hiking shoes for flat feet:
There are 3 main types of hiking shoes:
- Sandals – these have tough soles, but they’re ideal for hiking in warmer weather. They may also work well if you’re hiking near water, as they dry out quickly.
- Shoes – these look a little like sneakers. They’re comfortable and supportive, and they are a great compromise if you don’t like wearing boots.
- Boots – these are the best option for hiking in colder weather, and give great warmth and ankle support.
The main thing to look for if you have flat feet is a good pair of shoes with arch support. Your arches support your body weight when standing, and they absorb shock when your feet hit the ground (you can find out more about the role your arches have to play in this article by Upperline Health Indiana).
If your arch is too flat, this may make your foot roll excessively during movement. This can cause a whole host of problems including foot, ankle, knee, hip, and back pain.
In terms of hiking shoes, you’ll need to look for shoes with good arch support. This means they should have extra cushioning in the arch area to help your feet feel comfortable as you walk.
It’s important to find shoes that fit properly for safety purposes. Loose-fitting shoes can cause you to trip or fall over, while tight-fitting shoes can constrict your movement.
Always go for a proper fit. Even if a pair of shoes is great value or has interesting extra features, if they don’t fit well, they’re not worth investing in.
You can find out more about fit in this guide from Treadlabs.
Durability is key for hiking shoes. They can be expensive, which is why it’s good to look for a pair that will last a long time. The last thing you want is a pair of shoes that may fall apart during a hike!
Look for features like tough rubber or synthetic soles, and leather uppers – these are the most hard-wearing materials and should protect your feet from tough terrain.
Some boots are waterproof, allowing you to hike comfortably in the rain. Others are designed to keep your feet toasty and warm in cold weather, with extra insulation built into the lining. Which shoes you go for will depend on the conditions where you are, and you may feel tempted to buy different pairs for the changing seasons.
You can find more recommendations and information in our guide to the best waterproof boots for work.
Top 5 Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet
Now, here are our top 5 recommendations for hiking shoes. We’ll give you the lowdown on the type of arch support you can expect, the weatherproofing and durability, and all the key details you need to know about each pair.
KEEN Men’s Targhee III Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boot – Best Arch Support
- Sizes: 7-9.5 (Regular and Wide fit)
- Materials: Leather/synthetic
The KEEN Men's Targhee III Height Waterproof Hiking Boot is great if you need extra arch support. It has an External Support Shank to provide support on uneven surfaces, and excellent heel support too.
Made from leather with a synthetic sole, these boots have a waterproof, breathable membrane to keep your feet dry and comfortable, allowing your skin to breathe without letting any water in. The outer layer is water repellant, and it has a high-traction grip for slippery surfaces. The rubber insoles leave no imprints when walking indoors, too.
These boots come in a variety of sizes, from 7-9.5, in both regular fit and wide fit. There’s a wide range of color options to choose from, too.
While they’re excellent for people with flat feet, they may not be as durable as more expensive options. Still, for a mid-range boot, they’re pretty tough and hard-wearing in different weather conditions.
- Good arch support
- Wide range of color options
- Not as durable as some other boots on this list
Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe – Best Hiking Shoes for Women
- Sizes: 5-11.5 (Regular and Wide fit)
- Materials: Suede leather/mesh
The Merrell Women's Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe is an excellent choice for women. With great arch support, stability, and shock absorption, these are the best option if you want hiking shoes rather than hiking boots. They feel lightweight to wear, but they’re protective at the same time.
These shoes are made from suede leather and mesh. While they’re protective, they’re not waterproof. They’ll make perfect hiking shoes for warmer weather, but if you’re hiking in rain or cold, you may prefer something that will keep you a little warmer.
They come in a large variety of sizes from 5-11.5, with regular and wide fit options, and they are available in several different colors.
They’re pretty durable, and they come in at a decent price point for hiking shoes.
- Great arch support
- Good shock absorption
- Comes in a wide range of colors and sizes
- Comfortable to wear
- Not waterproof
Chaco Men’s ZVolv 2 – Best Hiking Sandals
- Sizes: 7-15
- Materials: Synthetic, rubber
The Chaco Men's ZVolv 2 is the perfect hiking sandal. They have adjustable heel risers, excellent arch support, and toe loops to keep your feet safe and secure.
These sandals are made from synthetic materials with a rubber sole. They’re perfect for hiking near water, and they have a strong tread to keep you secure as you walk. While they obviously won’t work on more challenging terrain, they’re perfect for light hikes in the spring and summer.
They’re available in a wide range of sizes, from 7-15, and there is a women’s version available too. They have a decent range of color options to choose from. The downside is that the strap is quite long, meaning those with narrow feet may have to deal with an extra bit of strap flapping around.
They come in at a decent price point, and they’re pretty durable too.
- Good arch support
- Adjustable heel risers
- Strong tread
- Lots of size and color options
- Those with narrow feet may struggle with the strap length
Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot – Best for Colder Weather
- Sizes: 7-15 (Regular and Wide fit)
- Materials: Leather, rubber
The Timberland Men's White Ledge Mid Wateprroof Hiking Boot is ideal for colder weather. It has excellent grip and ankle support and extremely supportive arches. They feel comfortable to wear, and they’re easy to adjust to keep your feet secure.
Made from tough leather with rubber soles, these are waterproof and very tough. They’re durable, perfect for hiking on challenging terrain, and ideal for all weathers. They’ll keep your feet warm and dry even in cold conditions.
They come in a wide range of sizes from 7-15 (regular and wide fit) with a few color choices, although they’re suited for hiking rather than work. If you wanted to use these as work boots, you might find that they wear out more quickly than you’d like, given the price point. For outdoor pursuits, they work perfectly.
- Excellent arch support
- Good grip and ankle support
- Waterproof and tough
- Good range of sizes
- May wear out quickly if used as work boots
Salomon Men’s Authentic Leather & GORE-TEX Backpacking Boots – Best Men’s Hiking Shoes
- Sizes: 7-14
- Materials: Leather, synthetic
The Salomon Men's Authentic Leather & GORE-TEX Backpack Boots is the perfect hard-wearing pair of hiking and backpacking boots for men. They have excellent arch support and deep lugs (the bumpy parts on the bottom) for extra traction and stability. They have excellent shock absorption, too.
They’re synthetic with leather elements, ideal for all kinds of weather conditions. The shoes are durable, holding up well even after long hikes. They’re fairly water-resistant too.
These boots have a limited size range, which is a downside. They also don’t offer half sizes currently.
In terms of pricing, they’re good value given how durable they are.
- Great arch support
- Deep lugs for extra traction and stability
- Good shock absorption
- Limited size range available
Frequently Asked Questions
Before we give you our final verdict, here are some of the most commonly asked questions about hiking shoes for flat feet:
Is it safe to go hiking if I have flat feet?
It’s absolutely safe to go hiking with flat feet, as long as you have supportive footwear. If you’re concerned, you can check with your doctor to see if you need treatment or extra support before you start hiking. You can find more about possible medical treatment for flat feet in this article by Mayo Clinic.
Can I wear my hiking shoes to work?
If you work in construction, or you work outdoors, you may be tempted to wear your hiking shoes to work. While some hiking boots and boots for work are similar, there are a few safety concerns. You can find out more about work boot safety guidelines in Occupational Health & Safety’s Guide to Safety Footwear Regulation.
Are hiking shoes comfortable to wear?
Hiking shoes should feel comfortable, but they may feel a little stiff to start with. Some may require breaking in before you can use them on longer hikes.
How can I break in my hiking shoes?
You can break in hiking shoes by following a few simple steps:
- Wear your boots at home to start with. Use the socks you’ll be using on the trail, and tie them snugly. This is a great way to reduce the stiffness of your new boots, as you can take them off whenever you need to.
- Wear them on short walks. Once your boots have softened a little, you can start wearing them on short walks. Don’t go for hikes just yet. It’s better to wear them to the grocery store or to run errands before you take them out for the first time.
- Take them on your first hike. If you’re unsure, plan a shorter hike to begin with. The last thing you want is to be stuck miles from home with blisters on your feet!
There are some other methods out there, like soaking your boots or stuffing them with newspaper, but these may damage your shoes. It’s better to break them in bit-by-bit just to make sure.
What other equipment do I need to go hiking?
Other than shoes, you will need:
- Protective clothing for cold weather, like gloves (like those in our guide to the best hiking gloves for women). These will keep your hands safe and provide extra grip if you need it
- A good daypack or backpack to hold your essential items
- A decent water bottle or water bladder to keep you hydrated
Do I need insoles for hiking shoes?
It depends on the fit. If you feel that your shoes aren’t quite snug enough or they aren’t giving you the necessary arch support, you can get insoles to help improve the comfort levels for you. Check out our guide to the best insoles for work boots for more information.
To Sum Up … Which Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet are the Best?
You can’t go wrong with the KEEN Men's Targhee III Height Waterproof Hiking Boot. These boots have excellent arch and ankle support. They’re also durable, and they come in a wide range of colors and sizes. A good all-rounder for all types of weather conditions.
We’d also recommend the Merrell Women's Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe. If you don’t like the feel of wearing boots, these are a good option. They feel a little like sneakers, but they still have excellent arch support, and they’re comfortable and durable too.
Finally, we like the Salomon Men's Authentic Leather & GORE-TEX Backpack Boots. Again, they’re comfortable, durable, and with good arch support to help you avoid foot or back pain.
We hope this has been helpful to you. If it has been, please feel free to share it on social media. We’d also like to hear your opinions. Do you have flat feet? How do you manage with hiking, and do you have any recommendations or tips? Leave us a comment with your thoughts!