The Best Hiking Shoes For Flat Feet in 2021 (Top 3 Reviewed)
If you have flat feet, also known as fallen arches, you need a pair of extra supportive hiking shoes. Regular walking shoes, sandals, or running shoes often lack adequate arch support and structure to keep you going all day long. Fortunately, there’s are specialized hiking shoes for flat feet that are up to the task, cushioning and supporting your feet to prevent fatigue, injury, and discomfort.
To help you better understand which product live up to, and exceed expectation, we’ve rounded up our favorites in this Best Hiking Shoes For Flat Feet overview. These footwear options come with a wide range of special design elements. Catering especially to hikers with flat feet, fallen arches, or overpronation that need a bit of extra support on the trails.
In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:
- GORE-TEX waterproof membrane, exceptional breathability and waterproof performance
And here’s an overview of the best hiking shoes for flat feet on the market today:
Why settle for mediocre support when you can enjoy superior performance and comfort, every hike, every day? Exactly, you shouldn’t. So, discover our top footwear picks for hikers with flat feet below. And upgrade your hiking/backpacking enjoyment with this must-have piece of outdoor gear.
Best Hiking Shoes For Flat Feet – Overview
Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot
- GORE-TEX waterproof membrane, exceptional breathability and waterproof performance
The Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boots are an excellent choice for hikers with flat feet. These premium boots come with all the required features to give you the support and comfort needed, no the distance or terrain. Arch support, extra-cushioning, ankle support, and made of top-grade materials: the Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boots by Merrell tick all the boxes.
Why is this a recommended choice for flat feet? Because the style comes with Merrell’s popular M Select™ FIT.ECO+ blended EVA contoured footbed. This type of EVA footbed features a special zonal arch and extra heel support. The boot also features additional air cushioning in the heel, which supplies better shock absorption for hikers with flat feet. The mid-rise silhouette also provides a snug and secure fit around the ankle, giving you the ankle-support needed to prevent overpronation.
Other perks about the Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boots are its special GORE-TEX waterproof membrane liner, ensuring your feet stay dry, even on bad weather days. The design is made of a synthetic faux-leather, enhanced by a mesh upper for extra breathability and ventilation. The boot also comes with a protective rubber toe cap and a closed-cell foam tongue to moisture and debris out.
Vibram TC5+ rubber outsole
The cherry on the cake is the boot’s high-performance Vibram TC5+ rubber outsole. With a 5mm lug depth, this style offers great traction on all types of underground, including rocky terrain and slippery slopes.
Customer reviews on the Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boots are super positive, with hundreds of 5-star ratings. Other hikers praise the shoe’s quality, comfort, traction, and confirm the waterproof coating works a treat. But, most importantly, consumers with flat feet confirm the design provides excellent arch and ankle support. Another plus is that many reviews mention the shoes fit like a glove, straight from the box, with minimum to no break-in time required.
Of course, there are some cons, though some reviews are a bit unclear on what they are. One reviewer mentioned the toe box was too small, whilst another said it was too wide and tall. Making us think that this is more a personal matter than a defect in the design. Also, some reviewers had an issue with the synthetic leather puncturing/ripping after extensive usage. That is why we would have preferred this style in a real leather version, as it would have been slightly more durable. That said, overall the Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boots is a great value-for-money choice in hiking boots. We think for the price listed, it delivers on all fronts and is an excellent supportive match for hikers with flat feet.
Tip: The Merrell Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boots are also available in an extra-wide version for hikers with wide feet and a female version, the Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot.
- FIT.ECO+ blended EVA contoured footbed
- Vibram TC5+ rubber outsole
- Zonal arch and extra heel support
- GORE-TEX waterproof liner
- Minimum break-in time required
- Synthetic leather upper instead of suede leather/nubuck leather
- Toe box may fit awkwardly
Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot
For hikers with flat feet, the Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot comes with many premium features to help keep you securely supported on your trails. The design has a 4D chassis construction that harnesses two different midsole components. This technology allows it to provide maximum foot control, comfort, and shock absorption. The Salomon’s 4D Chassis essentially helps guides the foot, even on unstable terrains. Reducing fatigue and the risk of overpronation. The special OrthoLite technology used for the EVA foam insole aids in provides superior cushioning and breathability.
Another perk is its high-cut style. Measuring 6.75 inches from arch to top cuff, the Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot offers more ankle support than lower, mid-cut styles such as the previously listed Merrell Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boots.
First-class materials and construction
The Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot is also made of first-class materials for maximum durability. For example, the design features a nubuck leather upper. The High Traction Contagrip rubber sole features an improved lug pattern for premium traction. Whilst the boot’s GORE-TEX membrane coating keeps your feet dry, both from the outside as well as from the inside.
Though expensive, customer reviews confirm the Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot is worth the splurge. With over a thousand 5-star reviews, hikers can’t praise the style enough for its comfort, durability, air cushion shock absorption, great forefoot support, and outstanding traction. Reviewers also confirm this is a top choice if you want maximum ankle support. Because the high-top fit prevents your ankle from rolling.
Are there cons? Well, hardly, but there is one that comes immediately to mind: the price. As one of the more expensive options in hiking footwear, the Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot costs a pretty penny. This may make it less accessible to those on budget. However, if you have the money to spend, we’re confident this is one of the best purchases you could make. Because according to most reviews, the only downside to these hiking boots, is that you’ll never want to take them off again. Though some reviewers also mention the shoes are not fully waterproofed, and some had issues with manufacturing defects. But rest assured: both these issues were only reported in a very limited number of ratings.
Tip: The Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX style is also available in a female version: the Salomon Women’s Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot.
- 4D Chassis Construction midsole
- High Traction Contagrip rubber outsole
- OrthoLite technology EVA foam insole
- High-cut fit for additional ankle support
- Some consumers report shoe not to be fully waterproof
- Some consumers reported manufacturing defects
Lowa Men’s Camino GTX Hiking Boots
The Lowa Men’s Camino GTX Hiking Boots are quite expensive, but their outstanding quality-standard and durability make them a worthy investment. According to customer reviews, these waterproof boots will last you for many years to come, with minimal wear and tear even with intensive usage.
The design has a nubuck leather upper enhanced with a waterproof GORE-TEX lining. The interior of the shoe features a structured polyurethane foam insole with SPS cushioning. The ergonomic tongue stud distributes pressure evenly. The Lowa Flex lacing system has ball bearing lace loops set on free-moving tabs. This enables you to pull the laces easily and helps reduce overall pressure against your feet.
The Lowa Men’s Camino GTX Hiking Boots also comes with a climate control footbed that helps your feet stay cool and dry, even on hot days or long trails. The breathable foam top layer helps transport moisture away from the foot, whilst the soft foam minimizes friction and further reduces fatigue.
This premium pair of waterproof hiking boots also offer great traction thank to their Vibram Apptrail outsole. As this durable synthetic sole delivers maximum trail contact. Your feet are protected against rocks, loose undergrounds, and debris with a rubber toe cap. The Lowa Men’s Camino GTX Hiking Boots measure around 6.5 inches from the shaft to the ankle, providing extra heel support, ankle support, and stability – even on long distances.
Customer reviews on the Lowa Men’s Camino GTX Hiking Boots are very positive, giving the style top-marks for its quality construction, durability, and easy-to-use quick lacing system. They also confirm the boot is very well insulated, keeping your foot warm even in cold conditions when wearing just a simply cotton sock liner. And, most importantly, praise the shoe’s ability to provide maximum ankle and arch support. The innovative X-lacing system allows and high-cut allows you to customize the tightness: snug around the ankle, but not a strangulating around the upper. Ensuring your foot doesn’t jam into the toebox and create hot spots.
When to size-up or go wide
Minor cons mentioned are that for some hikers the boots were quite narrow. The good news is that the shoe is also available in a wide feet version so that con is easily mitigated. Also, this style is reported to run small, so you might want to consider going half a size up from your regular fit. And though we can’t fault the Lowa Men’s Camino GTX Hiking Boots on durability or quality, we do regret its high price-tag. Though we understand why it’s more expensive due to the sleek Nubuck leather upper and innovative design-details… We can’t help but wish this pair of boots was a bit more attainable for those on a more limited budget.
Tip: Though the Lowa Camino GTX Hiking boots are currently unavailable via Amazon in a female version, the Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots are a similar style, with similar features.
- Supination-Pronation System designed for flat feet
- Polyurethane foam insole with SPS cushioning
- Vibram Apptrail outsole
- LOWA Flex lacing system for easy lace-up
- Climate control footbed with excellent breathability
- Boots may fit very narrow
- Boots may fit too tightly (consider sizing up)
The Merrell Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot, Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX, and Lowa Men’s Camino GTX Hiking Boots all are a solid, well-supported choice to keep you on your (flat) feet all day. Which design is best for your needs, depends on your preferences. Each of the styles offers great arch support, ankle support, and comes with great traction and excellent grip. As each is made by a respected brand in outdoor gear, you’re also sure you’re getting an authentic product with great quality standards. As budget-brand designs may lack the durability and quality needed to correct overpronation and rolling ankles. This is why we’d advise picking a best hiking boot that has the customer reviews and brand-name to back-up their performance. Which al 3 designs on this list do. Meaning you can’t make a bad choice, as each design is already a winner in the flat feet hiking shoe selection.
If we had to pick a winner, the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot would be top our list. This style is available in both a men’s and a women’s variety, meaning there’s a match for every flat feet hiker.
The Merrell Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot ticks all the boxes when it comes to supporting for flat feet. This includes Merrell’s popular M Select™ FIT.ECO+ blended EVA contoured footbed. This EVA midsole/footbed features a special zonal arch for maximum comfort and support. The air cushion in the boot’s heel provides extra shock absorption, whilst the snug, mid-top fit also prevents your ankles from rolling and overpronation. Other perks include a durable, great traction Merrell Vibram sole and a waterproofed GORE-TEX membrane.
We reckon that for the price listed, this is simply an outstanding deal. Though not cheap, the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot is more affordable than the other options on this list, yet doesn’t compromise on performance. Yes, we would have preferred a suede leather or nubuck upper instead of synthetic leather, but we reckon for its affordability, it’s a fair trade-off.
Hiking shoes for Flat Feet – FAQ
What is Overpronation?
A consequence of flat feet is that you may be prone to overpronation. Pronation is a term for the natural way of moving your foot from side to side when you walk, run, or hike. This movement is completely normal and simply happens when transferring weight from the heel to the ball of your foot while taking steps. However, people with flat feet often suffer from overpronation. Overpronation is a term for when the movement of the foot rolls excessively inwards towards the arch. With overpronation, when your foot hits the ground, the arch ‘collapses’ too much to help absorb the impact.
Unfortunately, overpronation can lead to many injuries and aches, including plantar fasciitis, chronic lower back pain, bunions, heel pain, and even stress fractures in the foot lower leg. The good news is that there are different treatment options to reduce overpronation. The most common aids are exercises to strengthen the arches and muscles, wearing orthotics, and investing in supportive footwear. As we’re not medical experts, we’ll refrain from giving you training advice. But we can help you find a pair of suitable hiking boots to help elevate the effects of overpronation on hikes and trails. Check out our overview of the top-rated options for more inspiration!
What Are The Buying Criteria For Hiking Shoes For Flat Feet?
When you’re shopping for hiking boots or shoes for flat feet, there are some criteria a product needs to adhere to, for it to provide the support and performance you need. From a specialized footbed to extra cushioning: there are a few features every hiking shoe for flat feet should have. These are the top criteria to take into consideration when buying hiking boots online via Amazon, or in-store:
Perhaps the most important feature of all, arch support is a necessity for hikers with flat feet, fallen arches, and/or overpronation. Designs without a structured arch cannot stabilize your feet and legs, leading to fatigue and discomfort. Hiking boots with added arch support / arch shanks help support the ligaments and tendons between your toes and your heel.
A lack of structure and support in the ankle part of a hiking shoe has multiple unwanted consequences. Firstly, insufficient ankle support can increase the risk of overpronation, a.k.a. your foot rolling inwards excessively. Secondly, lack of ankle support can also increase the risk of twists, sprains, and stress fractures. This is why we always recommend checking if a hiking shoe or boot fits tightly/snugly around the ankle. By choosing a shoe with extra ankle support, you’re able to keep straight, stable footing, even on long hikes. This is also why we would not recommend a pair of hiking sandals for those that suffer from flat feet. As they simply lack the snug support you need to conquer rugged terrain.
Needless to say, buying a pair of hiking shoes made of high-quality materials is always a great idea. However, for hikers with flat feet, this is even more important. Let us explain. As mentioned previously, a hiking boot for flat feet needs to provide optimal, durable support for both your arch and your ankle. Cheap, low-grade materials often lack durability, waterproofing, and quality. Second-rate synthetics can stretch, rip, or tear. Whilst cheap foam inserts wear down easily and are prone to disintegrating.
This is why quality materials are a key factor when buying hiking shoes for flat feet. We recommend designs made of suede or nubuck leather, or top-grade synthetics, to ensure durability, longevity, and adequate support. Also, check if a hiking boot has a waterproof/water-resistant coating and if the cushioned sole is thick enough to provide sufficient arch and heel support. Most quality outdoor brands such as Merrell, Keen, Salomon, Vasque, Chacos, and more will always clearly list the used materials in their product descriptions.
Our advice is to avoid buying hiking boots from brands that do not list the materials used. Or simply say synthetic, instead of providing precise details on the actual synthetic materials used. In our experience, brand’s that use top-quality materials, list them proudly. Brands that use low-grade materials, will rather shift the focus to affordability. And though we love a great deal, we reckon that high-quality materials should be a bigger priority than nabbing yourself a (low-quality) bargain when it comes to adequate hiking gear.
Other than the above-listed criteria, other factors to take into consideration are breathability, price, toe protection, the type of footbed, the type of insole, and also style (though this comes last on our list, as for us performance is more important than the appearance).