If you have flat feet, it can make finding suitable hiking boots a challenging task. Despite the wide range of products available, the vest majority will not provide the required support to keep your feet comfortable.
Here at SnowSunSee, we know that hiking with painful feet is far from ideal. It is certain to detract from your experience and prevent you from making the most of your time in the outdoors.
In order to improve your time on the trail, we’ve reviewed and compared the best hiking boots for flat feet. By listing the pros and cons of each option, we have provided all the information required to help you make the right choice.
Ranking The Best Hiking Boots For Flat Feet
- Keen Durand 2 Mid
- Oboz Sawtooth Mid II B-Dry
- Merrell Moab 2 Mid
- La Sportiva Spire GTX
- Salomon Quest Prime
Best Hiking Boots For Flat Feet Comparison
Superb arch support, stable upper and cushioned midsole. The ultimate boot for flat feet
A comfortable and cushioned shoe that has plenty of support for flat feet
Stable and supportive boot designed specifically to support your arches
Reduced weight backpacking boot with supreme cushioning and arch support
Arch support and cushioning that's perfect for flat feet without breaking the bank
Excellent arch support, cushioned, stable, waterproof, secure fit
Ventilated, good arch support, waterproof, good traction, comfortable
Superb arch support insole, stable, waterproof, durable, comfortable
Lightweight, great arch support, cushioned, waterproof, comfortable
Excellent arch support, cushioned, cheap, comfortable, breathable
Prone to long-term durability issues
Runs small and narrow, can lack durability
Can feel heavy underfoot, not very breathable
Can lack stability on technical terrain
Waterproofing not always reliable, can lack durability
Nubuck Leather, Mesh
2lbs. 12.2oz (1253g)
1lb. 12.8oz (816g)
2lbs 6oz (1077g)
2lbs. 8.2oz (1140g)
2lbs. 4oz (1021g)
Why Do I Need The Best Hiking Boots For Flat Feet?
Anyone that has flat feet will know the pain that inappropriate footwear can cause. Hiking boots are no different, with many providing insufficient arch support to keep your feet comfortable.
Picking out a hiking boots that will accommodate flat feet can often feel like an uphill battle. Most products don’t provide enough arch support for your needs, while others lack the quality required by serious hikers.
In this guide, we have separated the best hiking boots for flat feet into a range of categories. Each option is ideally designed for a different type of hiker, making it easy to find the boots that suit your style.
How To Choose The Best Hiking Boots For Flat Feet
Finding a hiking boot that fits your foot shape should be your top priority. It will need to have an insole and midsole shape that’s capable of supporting feet in order to maximize comfort.
The key is to look for a hiking boot that’s specifically designed with arch support. Some manufacturers tend to use a higher arch than others, so knowing which product to choose is vital.
Throughout our reviews, we have prioritized boots that have the best arch support. By looking at key product information and meta-data from a range of hikers, we have managed to pick out the most suitable options.
Anyone that has flat feet that are relatively stiff will benefit from cushioning. It will lessen the heavy impact from each step and make sure your feet don’t continue to flatten over time.
The cushioning provided by a hiking boot predominantly comes from the midsole. It will generally be made from either EVA or PU.
Anyone looking to maximize cushioning should look for EVA midsoles. Despite their tendency to break down over time, they are soft and lightweight enough to take the sting out of your step.
If you’re looking to get maximum stability and impact protection, you might require a PU midsole. The superior durability offered by PU makes it a hit with thru-hikers, but it offers minimal cushioning for those with flat feet.
Following the underfoot shape of your boot, the main deciding factor for arch support is the insole. Most hiking boots come with hard and flat insoles that can be a real pain.
Using a hiking boot with an insole that fits your foot is often the key to comfort. Anyone that has flat feet should be looking to fill the space under their arch and maximize cushioning.
If you’re unable to get along with the stock insoles provided, it’s always possible to replace them with an aftermarket model. In many cases, this is enough to remedy the aches and pains caused by lack of support.
Type of Hiking Boot
Hiking shoes have an appearance that closely resembles sneakers, but include features that improve their performance on the trail. You will often see them used by ‘fast and light’ day-hikers, or those that don’t venture too far off the beaten track.
The main benefits offered by hiking shoes are comfort and weight reduction. However, they provide insufficient ankle support for those trekking across uneven terrain or carrying heavy pack.
Day-hiking boots are the most common type of hiking boots you will find. Using a mid to high-cut, they offer a reasonable amount of ankle support for those on shorter trips over a range of terrain types.
If you spend most of your time on trail but occasionally encounter tough terrain, this is the hiking boot for you. Relatively lightweight, supportive with decent cushioning; it’s obvious why they are so popular.
As the name suggests, backpacking boots are designed for those heading on long treks over treacherous terrain. Using a high-cut design with a stiff upper, they provide maximum support and stability.
Anyone that embarks on thru-hiking expeditions or carries a seriously heavy pack will benefit from backpacking boots. However, be warned that they are the heaviest option and often require a substantial ‘break-in’ period.
Anyone that hikes during the wetter months will know the benefits of waterproof boots. Keeping your feet dry is fundamental if you want to feel comfortable during your outdoor adventure.
Most boots use an inner ‘membrane’ or ‘bootie’ to keep your feet dry. One of the most common options is the ever-popular ‘Gore-Tex’, although many other brands provide their own version.
Some boots will also apply a Durable Waterproof Coating (DWR) to the upper fabric. It will help water to bead away instead of penetrating the material, giving you an added layer of protection.
Those intending to hike during the winter should always prioritize waterproofing. However, it’s worth noting that breathability can often be impacted, making them substantially warmer during the summer months.
Hiking during the summer is a recipe for hot and sweaty feet. Getting a breathable pair of hiking boots can make a big difference to your comfort and guard against unwanted blisters.
In general, lighter boots that use thinner materials will allow more moisture to escape. Synthetics, mesh, suede and split-grain leather are usually best at keeping your feet cool; despite lacking a degree of durability.
Heavier boots that offer substantial waterproofing will often run warm during the summer. If they use a thick inner membrane or are designed from full-grain leather, it’s likely that breathability will be reduced.
If you’re planning on hiking in extreme heat, we strongly suggest getting a pair of boots that provide sufficient ventilation. Fortunately, we also have a guide reviewing the best desert hiking boots that maximize breathability to keep your feet cool.
The most heavy-duty hiking boots are often constructed from full-grain leather. It’s the most durable and water-resistant option, making it popular with backpacking boots.
Keep in mind that full-grain leather compromises breathability, while it’s also the heaviest choice. However, it gives the support that thru-hikers require and is made to last for many years.
Split-Grain, Nubuck and Suede Leather
Each of these leather variants are lighter than full-grain leather, but still offer reasonable durability. They are popular choices for day-hiking boots, providing some support while maintaining flexibility.
It’s common to see these leathers combined with synthetics or mesh to improve breathability. Despite their backpacking limitations, they are more than adequate to support and protect most hikers feet.
Synthetics and Mesh
Boots made from synthetic nylon or mesh are often the lightest and most breathable. You will commonly find these materials used in entry-level boots, although they’ve become a common theme amongst ‘speed-hiking’ boots and shoes.
If you want to maximize breathability and reduce weight, you will likely want to incorporate synthetics or mesh. However, they can lack the durability and waterproofing of their leather counterparts.
Best Overall Hiking Boots For Flat Feet
Arch & Heel Support
If you have flat feet, finding a high-quality hiking boot that also offers the special support and stabilization your feet require is not an easy task. However, we found the Keen Durand 2 Mid provided the best all-round performance to become our top pick.
The level of arch support and solid heel-lock provided a secure and stable feel throughout, with the boots doing a great job of keeping your feet in a neutral position. Most of this is thanks to a removable EVA insole, which also works well to provide the added cushioning that flat footed individuals benefit from.
We were also impressed by the Durrand’s overall performance on the trail. It felt supremely comfortable every step of the way, with the grippy outsole also proving reliable on a variety of terrain types.
Hikers with flat feet will be hard pressed to find a boot that offers the comfort and stability of the Keen Durrand 2 Mid. Not only does it cushion and protect your feet, but it has reliable on-trail performance that will satisfy the ambitions of most hikers.
- Ideal arch support
- Stable heel cupping
- Cushioned insole and midsole
- Supreme comfort
- Feels secure
- Good traction
- Supportive on uneven terrain
- Some long-term durability issues
- Toe box and forefoot a bit narrow
Best Hiking Shoes For Flat Feet
Arch & Heel Support
The inherent lack of support that comes with most hiking shoes is well-known, but those with flat feet will be mighty impressed by the La Sportiva Spire GTX. The overall shape of the cushioned midsole and included ‘Ortholite’ insole provides a snug and secure feel that doesn’t disappoint.
The insole also provides the right amount arch support for flatter feet, while the stable heel cupping also proved a hit for stability. The underfoot absorption is also a strong point for the Spire and is sure to add a spring in your step throughout.
Moving away from the soles, we found the upper provided a great balance between weather-resistance and breathability. The Gore-Tex membrane gives them typically reliable waterproofing capability, while the mesh fabric and complete ventilation system made them exceed our expectations in hot weather.
Anyone looking to find a hiking shoe that can provide stability, support and cushioning will be happy with the La Sportiva Spire GTX. Its impressive all-weather performance and underfoot features make it our by far our favourite hiking shoe for flat feet.
- Arch support insole
- Superb ventilation
- Waterproof (Gore-Tex)
- Snug and secure fit
- Springy cushioning
- Great outsole traction
- Fit runs small and narrow for some
- Questionable durability
Best Day-Hiking Boots For Flat Feet
Arch & Heel Support
Oboz are a brand that is synonymous with comfortable hiking boots, so it’s not surprising that they have produced some of the best hiking boots for flat feet. The Sawtooth Mid II B-Dry is the best of the bunch in our opinion, producing solid all-round performance that feels great underfoot.
The included ‘O Fit’ insoles offered superior support that’s built to keep flat feet happy, while the secure stabilization felt around the heel is appreciated on bumpy terrain. Underneath the boot, the EVA midsole provides great cushioning every step of the way and is helped by the grippy outsoles when the going gets tough.
Despite feeling a bit ‘cumbersome’ at times, we found the Sawtooth provided exemplary durability thanks to its beefy construction. The support offered was also more than capable of handling tricky terrain, while the waterproofing will keep you hiking year-round.
Offering comfort, weather-resistance, support and stability for flat feet; it’s easy to see why the Oboz Sawtooth Mid II B-Dry has made our list. If you want a reliable day-hiking boot that will keep you walking with a smile, this is porbably your best bet.
- Great arch support
- Supreme comfort
- Good heel stability
- Secure fit
- Stable and supportive
- Good durability
- Overall comfortable feel
- Lacks breathability
- Feels a bit heavy underfoot
Best Backpacking Boots For Flat Feet
Arch & Heel Support
It’s no secret that multiday backpacking trips can be a recipe for painful feet. However, the Salomon Quest does a great job of keeping flat footed thru-hikers happy through the use of cushioning and support.
Inside the boots, Salomon have used an ‘Ortholite’ insole that we found provides more than adequate arch support and heel retention. It also feels soft and springy with every step, producing a great shock-absorbing effect when combined with the EVA midsole.
The main aim of the Quest Prime is to provide a lightweight and comfortable alternative to traditionally heavy backpacking boots. We found them to have accomplished this task well, while still retaining the build-quality and durability that you should expect from a Salomon product.
Overall, we were very impressed with the overall support and comfort the Quest Prime offered for hikers with flat feet. If you’re looking for a lightweight and cushioned backpacking boot that will stave off foot pain, this is the boot for you.
- Secure heel cupping
- Solid support for flat footed arches
- Waterproof (Gore-Tex)
- Light for a backpacking boot
- Great underfoot cushioning
- Stable and supportive
- Decent traction
- Can lack stability on technical terrain
- Sole is a bit soft on sharp surfaces
Best Budget Hiking Boots For Flat Feet
Arch & Heel Support
The Merrell Moab 2 Mid is one of the most popular hiking boots on the market thanks to its affordable price and comfortable design. It has proven particularly popular amongst those with flat feet by providing just the right amount of arch support and heel stability required for ideal ‘out of the box’ comfort.
The boots use a footbed with a contoured shape that nicely cups your heels and arches for a secure and comfortable feel. Underneath the heel they have also included air cushioning that is perfect for absorbing shocks and enhancing stability.
The boot upper is made of mesh and suede leather; offering the highest level of breathability in our test but sacrificing an element of waterproofing reliability. The softer materials made for an overall comfortable feel while still giving the support necessary for all-day pursuits.
When analysing the key features and product performance, it’s easy to see why the Moab 2 Mid is the boot of choice for many. Budget friendly, comfortable and supportive; it’s one of the best hiking boots for flat feet.
- Great arch support
- Budget friendly
- No ‘break-in’ period
- Feels stable
- Can be prone to water leaks
- questionable long-term durability
Here at SnowSunSee, it’s our aim to improve your outdoor experience. Hiking in pain is never fun, so we have taken it upon ourselves to make sure everyone can enjoy their trail time without discomfort.
Finding the best hiking boots for flat feet poses a serious challenge. However, the models listed in our reviews are time-tested and proven to provide the support required to keep you comfortable.
Take the time to consider the benefits of each option and find the one that best suits your style. If you stick to the hiking boots we have listed, we’re sure you will greatly improve the feeling in your feet.
James is the founder of SnowSunSee. He started skiing when he was five years old and has been a qualified ski instructor for 8 years. He has taught skiing in many countries, including UK, Europe, Japan, China and Malaysia. When he’s not on the slopes, James spends his time travelling the world one trail at a time.