For those with flat feet (like me!), finding the best hiking boots is crucial to ensure a pain-free and comfortable hiking experience. The ideal boots should be high-quality, flexible, and offer ample cushioning in the insole, midsole, and outsole to provide stability and support for the heels.
The quest for the right pair can be daunting, but the right boots can make a world of difference, turning your hike into a pleasant journey rather than a painful ordeal. As someone who cherishes hiking despite having flat feet, I’ve compiled a list of the top three hiking boots tailored for this specific need.
We also have an article covering the best hiking shoes for women with flat feet.
Quick Answer: Best Hiking Boots For Flat Feet
Best Boots For Flat Feet:
The best hiking boots for flat feet are KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Boot and the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Hiking Boots. Let’s dive right into the reviews of these flat foot hiking boots and shoes.
KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot – USD $165
KEEN Men’s Targhee II Main Features:
Leather and performance mesh upper
KEEN ALL-TERRAIN rubber outsole for higher-traction grip
Weight: 2.175 / 986.6 g (Size 9 full pair)
Colors Available: Black Olive/Yellow, Shitake/Brindle, Canteen/Dark Olive
EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
Quick-dry lining for active use Removable PU insole for long-lasting comfort
Collar Height: 6.0 in / 15.2 cm
Pros and Cons of KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid:
The following are a list of pros and cons, things that we love and hate about the Keen for flat feet:
Keen’s Targhee Hiking boot offers a great mid-cut boot with a high color height for good ankle support. These boots are great for any walking surface, and terrain as the boot is designed to support flat feet as well as any degree of the arch. The boots have an upper made out of leather and performance mesh, with an all-terrain rubber outsole for improved traction and grip on any terrain and surface no matter the weather.
Additionally, the Keen hiking boot has the EVA midsole that ensures the boots are lightweight but comfy, with ample cushion for longer hikes and walks. Moreover, the Keen boots are breathable, but their lining provides protection from rain and wet hikes with their KEEN.DRY waterproof feature. The lining protects the foot and keeps it dry as well as offers quick drying for active hikers with sweaty feet.
Finally, the sole of the boot is durable and has 4mm lugs that provide substantial grip, resulting in great traction, no matter if the surfaces are wet and slick, muddy, or full of rocks and roots. The sole and its high-quality traction allow for the hiker’s foot to bite comfortably into the trail.
To summarize, the KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is rugged but lightweight and made for all different types of trails. It is a waterproof boot for hikers that will be walking in rainy and wet conditions. However, it allows for feet to breathe and wick away sweat. You can feel comfortable and safe with great mid-cut ankle support in these boots knowing they will reduce foot pain during all of your outdoor adventures!
Read our full review of the KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot.
Why I think the KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is the Best Hiking Boots For Flat Feet:
Hiking with flat feet? No problem, because I love these boots, and my flat feet feel great in them. I find them to be versatile and lightweight, with great support and cushion, allowing you to feel comfortable no matter how the hike is.
Finally, if you have a wide foot, you can choose to get the wide boot option to allow for enough room for your foot to sit comfortably in the boot. I recommend this boot for people with flat feet as the Keen Targhee II provides a great fit, outstanding comfort, and all-around traction for trails while being at a great price point (USD $165) that doesn’t break the bank!
Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Boots and Shoes – USD $110
Merrell Moab 2 Vent Main Features:
Pig suede leather and breathable mesh upper
Protective and abrasion-resistant toe cap
Lightweight EVA foam midsole for stability and comfort
Weight 1 lb 15 oz / 879 g (Size 9 full pair)
Kinetic Fit™ ADVANCED removable contoured footbed with reinforced heel cushioning for medium support for people with flat feet
Molded nylon arch shank
Collar Height: about 3 in / 7.62 cm and 5mm Lugs
Colors Available: Walnut (Light Brown, Black, and Orange Highlights), Black Night (Black and Dark Gray), Castle / Wing (Blueish and Gray)
Pros and Cons of Merrell Moab 2 Vent:
The following are a list of pros and cons, things that we love and hate about the Merrell for flat feet:
Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Boots is a durable boot that offers great comfort for people with flat feet. Right out of the box this footwear has a cushioned collar and tongue, is flexible, and provides a supportive footbed that will keep your flat feet comfortable no matter the trail. For flat feet, the insole, as well as the molded heel cup, provides noticeable comfort for any type of foot while also helping reduce heel pain during rough terrain. Merrell did a great job with the Moab 2 to reinforce the padding in the heels of these boots to allow for any type of foot, flat or with little arch support, to have a sustained journey and hike.
Not only do these boots help with protecting the sole of the foot but also the ankle as well. With the wider sole plate on the bottom of the boot, it allows for a better surface-to-surface connection preventing unwanted ankle and foot twists. The boot is quite flexible in the underfoot and collar region of the boot, ensuring comfort. However, it is important to note that because of the focus on flexibility and cushion, the boot is not as good for hikers and trekkers that plan on carrying a heavy load, or that will be facing sustained steep climbs.
The Moab 2 Vent Hiking Boot has an outsole that has good tread, and a good tread pattern on it that provides traction on almost any surface. Moreover, the outsole is durable and long-lasting, meaning you can feel comfortable buying this shoe and getting a long life out of the boot. The only thing to be aware of is that the tread can get caked with mud at times because of the circles, open channels, and narrow and thick lugs on it. That being said, I have not had too many issues with the tread on these boots while hiking in Nepal.
These boots are durable and comfortable and for their price point of USD $110 they come in cheaper than the other two options featured on this round-up. Additionally, Merrell has done a good job with these boots to reinforce the sole and make them more comfortable, and for this reason, I recommend them for hikers with flat feet.
Read our full review of the Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Boots.
Why I think the Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Boots are the best hiking boots for Flat Feet:
With my flat feet, hiking has always been more difficult due to boots not fitting properly. However, with the Merrell Moab 2 Vent hiking boots, I have found that they are up to the task of keeping my feet comfortable on longer hikes and treks. These boots provide ample arch support and cushion to my flat feet and have been tried and tested on my hikes in Nepal. Additionally, the lightweight nature of these with their wide base also improves stability and reduces ankle rollovers.
These are by far one of the best hiking shoes for flat feet, as they are comfortable, have good traction, and stability, as well as price point. For moderate hikers, this boot will do the job just fine. However, if you are looking to go a little more extreme on hikes or treks to the mountains, one of the other two options may be a better choice.
Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Hiking Boots – USD $165
Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Main Features:
Gore-Tex® waterproof bootie liners let your feet breathe
Sculpted to hold your flat feet in place and prevent slippage on sustained descents
Injection-molded EVA midsoles provide excellent cushioning underfoot
Weight 2 lbs. 1.5 oz. (full pair men’s size 9)
Collar Height: about 3.5 in / 8.89 cm
Advanced chassis is surrounded by foam cushioning for comfort
Mid-cut profile adds ankle support and protection, reducing ankle rollovers
Specifically placed lines on the outsoles increase the shoes’ flexibility, helping decrease foot fatigue
Colors Available: Castor Gray / Black / Green Sulphur, Black / India Ink / Monument
Pros and Cons of Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX:
The following are a list of pros and cons, things that we love and hate about the Salomon for flat feet:
The Salomon’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX hiking boots are superior when compared to other shoes for people with flat feet. Salomon does a great job with this boot finding a way to balance comfort, with durability without skipping a step on either. Additionally, the traction has withstood the tests of our hikes in Nepal. While hiking to the Shiva Statue in Pokhara, we had a mix of rocky terrain, muddy slopes, and everything in between.
Usually, you will have to sacrifice durability and comfort for a lighter boot, however, that was not the case with the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX, as it supported my flat feet throughout the trail. Additionally, the midsole is padded well enough to provide protection from any jagged rocks or other debris on the trail that may poke through the boots.
The Salomon X ultra 3 mid rides lower on the foot and comes just above the ankle. Even though the boot is a little lower, it still provides great support to the ankles and helps prevent ankle turnovers. The boots can also be tightened up pretty securely around your flat feet and ankles, as there is plenty of cushion in the tongue sole and tongue. Meaning you don’t need to sacrifice any comfort for stability.
In terms of weight, we weighed the footwear to see that the Salomon boot is just over two pounds (2 pounds 1.5 ounces). We found that this weight makes the boot seem very agile and athletic, making it easy to traverse different obstacles along the hiking trail. The lightweight nature of the boots as well as the tread makes this boot a well-rounded selection for almost any type of hiker with flat feet. Many hikers, as well as ourselves, are able to handle rocky hills, fresh snow, and even trekking through mud and rocks with ease. The lugs on the tread are deep yet don’t cake up with small rocks or mud very easily.
Finally, the X Ultra 3 Mid hiking boot comes in both waterproof and non-waterproof options. The waterproof version stood up well against the snow and wet terrain while trekking up to Mardi Himal in Nepal. The snow had almost no effect on the boots – the deeper snow did pour over the top of the boot. However, if you are mindful of this, as well as careful while traversing waterways, you should have no issues with wet flat feet. If the boots do end up getting wet, you don’t need to worry as the boots are relatively quick drying.
The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid is a solid choice for people with flat feet and looking for hiking boots. However, for trekkers that may be going off trail more often, more burley and steady boot might be the best way to go. The rubber sole and tread provide great protection as well as traction to your flat feet. It protects at the front, as well as along the length of the foot. It is a durable boot that can withstand almost any trail and terrain while carrying trekking backpack loads up to around 30-35 lbs.
Read our full review of the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX.
Why I think the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX are the Best flat foot hiking shoes:
Salomon’s line of footwear has always been my personal preference when it comes to getting boots and shoes for my flat feet. From hiking to playing disc golf, the Solomon footwear has been durable and long-lasting. Moreover, I love the flexibility of these boots, as well as the support and cushion it give my wide flat feet. I have found it able to withstand any type of terrain while hiking and trekking in Nepal. Whereas, snow, muddy terrain, rocky trails, and even trails with a thousand stairs, these boots have been able to tackle it all.
Finally, for the price point of USD $165, these boots are great for everyday hikers that go on smaller backpacking trips. I would recommend these for anyone with flat feet that finds themselves as mid-level hikers as no matter your foot shape they will fit great! However, as mentioned above, if you are planning on going on more technical trails, a stronger burlier boot may be the best – but for anything else, these Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Hiking Boots are the way to go!
Things to know before buying Boots for your Flat Feet:
Below are a few things that you should consider before buying hiking boots. Every hiker and trekker are different, and so are the trails they traverse. Therefore, make sure you make a well-informed decision that matches your style and hiking needs.
Hiking Shoes or Hiking Boots?
Both hiking boots and trail runners will get you out on the trail and hiking. The question that you need to ask is: Where and when will I be hiking? Depending on your answer, a hiking boot or hiking shoe will be better. If you are planning on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in my home state of Oregon, then you’ll be fine with a hiking shoe. However, if you plan on trying to climb one of the tallest mountains in Nepal, like the Annapurna Base Camp trek, you may want to lean towards getting yourself some hiking boots instead.
Looking for a little more information on choosing between hiking boots and trail runners? Then check out our in-depth guide on knowing which type of shoe is best for you, your trail, and overall walking mechanics!
Know the Components of hiking boots:
Knowing about the different components of the boots will help you make a more informed decision before buying. Each component has its own unique feature which all add up to protect your feet and provide comfort. A few of the components to know about include:
1. Hiking Boot Uppers:
The boot uppers and the materials they are made out of impact the boot’s weight, breathability, durability, and water resistance. Furthermore, depending on the hiking you plan on doing, you will want different materials which allow for better air flow, or moisture wiking.
2. Hiking Boot Midsoles:
The midsole section of your boot provides the cushion for the soles of your feet. Moreover, it helps buffer against shock as well as rocky and uneven terrain. Choosing between stiff boots, or ones that are a little softer will change the way your shoe reacts to the ground.
3. Hiking Boot Internal Support:
The first internal support to consider is the Shanks. They are extremely thin inserts that add load-bearing stiffness to the midsole. Furthermore, the second support feature for the boots is the plates. These thin, semi-flexible inserts protect the feet from getting bruised by roots or uneven rocks.
4. Hiking Boot Outsoles:
The rubber outsoles are important for traction. Depending on the type of trail and terrain, as well as if you plan on going hiking or trekking. Make sure you know the difference between trekking and hiking, as each will call for a different type of traction.
5. Crampon Compatibility:
Finally, if you plan on going trekking in Nepal, or mountaineering in a different country, you will want to make sure that you have boots that are crampon compatible, to ensure traction and your safety.
How to choose the best hiking boots for flat feet?
Knowing how to choose the right hiking boots depends on the type of hiking you plan on doing as well as where you plan on hiking.
For example, do you plan on hiking during the winter time, rainy season, or summer? Depending on what the weather looks like, you will want a boot that is waterproof. Or maybe you need a boot that has stiff midsoles in it to protect your feet because the hiking trail has a lot of rocks and roots sticking out.
Additionally, you will need to ensure that your boots meet three specifications:
1. Type of Boot:
Choose the type of boot that fits your needs. Depending on if you are hiking or trekking, you may either require an ultralight trail shoe or perhaps a heavy-duty, waterproof mountaineering boot.
2. Boot Components:
To choose the best boot for hiking, you will need to understand how the different components of the boot work. Including Hiking boot uppers, lowers, midsoles, and outsoles as well as hiking boots that are crampon compatible!
3. The Boot Fit:
To ensure your feet are safe from blisters you need to get a pair of boots that fit correctly. Remember, it is important to leave a little toe wiggle room in the front of the shoe. This will help protect your toes when hiking downhill or with a heavy backpack.
Key Features to Consider When Choosing Hiking Boots for Flat Feet:
When buying hiking boots for flat feet, keep an eye out for the following essential attributes:
1. Adequate Arch Support:
To counteract overpronation and alleviate discomfort, prioritize boots that offer robust arch support. Look for shoe options with integrated arch support or interchangeable insoles, allowing you to swap them out for custom orthotics. This adaptability not only lets you use your preferred orthotic inserts but also ensures optimum support and comfort for your feet.
2. Enhanced Stability
Select boots that prioritize stability to manage excessive foot movement associated with flat arches. Look for boots with:
- A firm midsole that resists torsion
- A gently curving rocker profile guiding your foot’s gait cycle
- A wide, sturdy heel counter that securely cradles your heel
- Minimal difference in elevation from heel to toe (0-4mm) for a level platform
3. Ample Cushioning
Effective cushioning absorbs shocks and enhances comfort, particularly crucial for flat arches. Boots equipped with an EVA midsole, gel inserts, or air pockets in the heel and forefoot deliver better cushioning. For extended hiking trips, greater cushioning becomes even more vital.
4. Reliable Waterproofing
Look for boots that have a waterproof membrane like Gore-Tex. These will maintain dryness while allowing for moisture to escape. Alternatively, for warmer conditions, a water-resistant boot might suffice. In either scenario, prioritize breathability.
5. Balanced Flexibility
While stability is vital for flat feet, it’s also essential to ensure a degree of flexibility in the boot to facilitate natural foot movement. Opt for boots featuring flex grooves, slits, or panels in the forefoot area. Moreover, This design enables the front of your foot to flex freely, promoting a fluid stride.
By identifying hiking boots that encompass these critical attributes, you’re on the right path to discovering the ideal pair for your flat and wide feet.