We discuss the best hiking boots for flat feet below. If you’re in a rush to learn our top picks, we’ve chosen the Vasque Men’s Mantra 2.0 GoreTex Hiking Boot and the Timberland Women’s White Ledge Mid-Ankle Boot. Both of these boots offer the greatest combination of affordability, support, and durability.
Flat feet can make any activity painful and hiking can be strenuous even for athletic individuals. But with the proper footwear, there’s no reason that you should suffer while performing your favorite outdoor activities.
When choosing a good hiking shoe, you need to consider the following factors: arch support and stability, materials, waterproofness and weight.
Our top 9 picks for hikers with flat feet include:
Top 9 Choices for Hiking Boots (For Flat-Footed Hikers)
We conducted careful research to bring you the best hiking boots for flat feet and can’t wait to share our results. Let’s get started.
The Vasque Men’s Mantra 2.0 has earned itself several outstanding reviews for its stability and traction. The XSTrek multi-directional lugs prevent slips and slides in the most technical and difficult terrain.
Despite that, this innovative sole technology doesn’t quite improve traction on ice or snow. Be careful that your stability on dry surfaces doesn’t lead to overconfidence on wet ones.
This hiking shoe does prove itself waterproof, though. It keeps feet dry and warm, yet the leather construction is still breathable.
The shoe comes up short when it comes to comfort. Stiff material and a narrow base could be a dealbreaker if you have wider feet. If you plan on long hikes, make sure you break in these shoes first.
If you’re one of the many hikers who are prone to sprains or rolled ankles, the Mantra 2.0 offers superior ankle stability. This is helpful to counter the extreme traction that it provides. You can take this shoe hiking with confidence that your joints will make it home safely.
For a competitively low price, the Vasque Men’s Mantra 2.0 offers a lot of advantages for serious hikers.
Merrell’s Moab 2 is a great follow-up product to the brand’s initial Moab hiking boot.
Most shoes take a few days to adjust to your feet, but the Moab 2 provides immediate comfort and a snug, padded fit right out of the box. The superior flexibility and cushioned collar and tongue will get you out on the trail in no time. An air-cushioned heel helps with shock absorption.
Although it’s much more stable than a running shoe, the Moab’s committed to comfort. This makes it more prone to rolling than other hiking boots on the market. The best hiking boots for flat feet have stiffer soles and collars to prevent overpronation.
The shoe does have a new innovative feature: two silicon bands along the interior and anterior sides to add structure and support.
Its Vibram rubber sole remains unchanged, which was a smart decision. It already boasted a long lifespan with superior traction in a wide range of terrains, with 5 millimeters of lug depth.
The leather/mesh construction gives the boot more breathability rather than waterproofing. You can count on this shoe to keep your feet cool but not necessarily dry.
The Salomon Quest 4D is another excellent choice in the best hiking boots for flat feet. It’s well-suited for backpacking with heavy loads, with additional sole cushioning to handle the extra weight.
Salomon’s unique ContaGrip soles offer exceptional traction in wet and slippery terrain, making it ideal for winter hiking. Be warned: this breathable boot doesn’t retain heat very well. We recommend thick winter socks if hiking in the snow.
The company boasts about this boot’s durability, but customer reviews disagree with this claim. In particular, the fragile shoelace eyelets appear to be a point of failure for many consumers.
Most buyers generally have great things to say about this boot’s GoreTex waterproofing. Many reviews claim that the Salomon Quest 4D offers one of the driest and safest winter hiking experiences possible.
The KEEN Voyageur is a reasonably-priced option for outdoor hiking. It’s recommended for its immediate fit and surprisingly roomy toe box.
Toe mobility is an often overlooked comfort issue when evaluating hiking boots. Several users found that it’s so spacious that they had to comment on it. The wide toe box makes it nearly impossible to form those pinky toe blisters that are aggravating while hiking.
This shoe model has great heel support, but its arch support is inferior to other shoes on this list. It’s critical for flat-footed hikers and walkers. The footbed tries to make up for this by increasing the heel cushioning.
This particular shoe lacks durability. Several online reviews featured photos of separated soles and tattered interior lining.
If you’re concerned about traction this brand fits your needs. Multi-directional lugs and torsion stability are both great features on this shoe.
The low price is an appreciated feature, as well, making them easily replaceable when they wear out. This shoe comes in the widest variety of colors and styles. If you’re a fashionable hiker, you’re sure to find a model that matches your attire.
The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTX is another affordable option with great reviews. Light, cheap, comfortable and durable were the most common accolades.
Although this boot takes some time to break-in, its low cut and flexibility provide great overall comfort. It does have a narrow fit, though. If you purchase these boots, we recommend that you spend several days in them before taking them hiking on the trails.
This shoe was one of the better waterproof options available. They should keep your feet dry with maintaining breathability, thanks to the proprietary GoreTex material.
Note that insoles in this boot were found to provide poor arch support. The design focuses on the comfortable low cut ankles instead. If you have very flat feet, this could be an issue for you.
Still, we can certainly recommend this hiking boot for its light weight and affordability. Weighing in at under 2 pounds, this is a great option for casual hikers with well-formed foot posture.
The Merrell Women’s Moab 2 is a great budget option for casual female hikers. Like the men’s model, customer reviews indicate that this shoe provides a great fit and snug comfort right out of the box.
A disadvantage is that it seems that this shoe isn’t watertight. If you’re planning to go hiking in wet regions, you would be better off with another brand.
A beautiful suede and mesh construction provides excellent breathability, keeping you cool during the hot summer activities. The air cushioning makes the shoe comfortable if you’re planning for long days on your feet.
This cushioning could be insufficient if you’re doing heavy-duty backpacking with large loads. Customers who wore these shoes for that purpose found that the cushioning wore out quickly in those situations.
These shoes weigh in at 2 pounds. This is close to the median weight for men’s hiking boots. Women with smaller feet and less muscle density might consider them uncomfortably heavy.
Despite these drawbacks, the Moab 2 has an attractive price tag and is well-suited for a casual outdoorswoman.
New Balance has a strong reputation for shoes that cater to your unique feet. Whether flat-footed, over-pronating, wide or narrow, this company has a model for you. Unfortunately, this particular footwear is in the upper price range for the best hiking boots for flat feet.
Multiple buyers appreciated the superior comfort of these shoes, especially right out of the box. You should be cozy all-day long, without any need for a break-in period.
Although the manufacturer doesn’t specify the weight, online reviews praise its lightweight construction. Suitable for daily use as well as trail hiking, the shoe won’t drag you down.
The soles don’t offer the traction and stability that you might expect from a hiking boot. You’ll find that the treads are less aggressive than desirable, with shallower lugs.
These shoes are warm enough to handle winter hiking and outdoor activity. With Thinsulate insulated linings, they’re proven to keep your toes warm.
Many buyers reported that the shoes didn’t fit as expected, so you may want to try them on before committing.
Despite having a brand name that could command high prices, Timberland brings us a very affordable hiking boot for women. It’s light and comfortable, and the leather design is great for an all-purpose option.
First of all, this boot sacrifices little in the way of comfort and warmth. The all-leather exterior is waterproof and still offers air ventilation. Furthermore, the padding on the tongue and collar are easy on the footbridge and ankles.
Not only is the boot waterproof, but Timberland went the extra mile by making all of the metal fasteners rust-proof. So, there’s no need to worry that those puddles will damage your footwear in any way.
The ankle support is somewhat weak, making this boot suitable mostly for light hiking or daily use. You’ll be impressed with the superior traction provided by the multi-directional lugs and rubber soles.
A few customer reviews have claimed that the boots don’t live up to their expected lifespan, with frequent sole delamination. But for the price, replacement isn’t a deal-breaker for continued comfort and style.
The Merrell Men’s Chameleon 7 Stretch is an excellent everyday shoe that also performs well on the trail.
There’s a Vibram TC5+ outsole, offering exceptional traction on both trails and smooth surfaces. This gives the wearer confidence while hiking or just daily walking. Keep in mind this outsole squeaks rather obnoxiously on most indoor surfaces, if that bothers you.
This shoe has excellent breathability, while the leather/textile outside offers decent waterproof protection for your feet. The toe box is wider than most other models, which your blister-free toes will appreciate.
One thing that diminishes the exceptional comfort of these shoes is the arch support, which is substantially higher than others. However, for very flat-footed hikers, this is exactly the kind of support you want.
For your convenience, we’ve identified the essential factors in choosing the best hiking boots for flat feet.
Looking for further tips? Check out this video.
Support and Stability
Without stable footing, you won’t make it very far in the hiking world. A few factors that play into this are:
Arch and Ankle Support
Flat-footed customers need solid arch support, especially for hiking. This usually comes through insole materials, but manufacturers often build it into the shoe’s external shape and construction.
Ankle support is another valued quality for hiking shoes. When you’re hiking across uneven or slippery terrain, this will prevent injuries. If you’re prone to rolled ankles or sprains, high-cut boots with stiff shafts will protect you best.
Although they might cause some initial discomfort, the Merrell Chameleon 7 Stretch offers the best for arches. The Vasque Mantra 2.0 provides quality ankle support among the footwear in this article.
“Comfortable fit” is a subjective quality. Customers with feet of different shapes and sizes might have radically different opinions about a shoe’s fit.
In general, we measure this quality by the roominess of the toe base and the wideness of the shoe body. The shoes reviewed in this article are also rated by how accurately they match with the manufacturer’s advertised sizes.
Most of the hiking boots received great reviews regarding their comfortable fit. The only models that had negative comments were North Face, Vasque and New Balance.
A shoe’s footbed is determined by the shape and material used for the insole. Innovative fabrics such as TPU foam or gel padding can provide comfort during long periods of walking.
Additionally, the shape of the insole is what provides most of the necessary arch support for flat feet. The Keen Voyageur and the Vasque Mantra 2.0 both have technologically-advanced footbeds.
The insole and heel formation both contribute to cushioning. This is especially important for heavier hikers, or those with large backpacks.
Newly developed insole materials can improve this feature. Manufacturers also use air or gel pockets in the heel to provide more comfort.
Merrell seems to have the most consistent cushioning and heel support, in both the Men’s and Women’s Moab 2 models. The Salomon Quest 4D is another notable option for this.
Terrain and breathability are two of many factors that play a role in the best materials for hiking boots. This will be up to personal preference, where you’ll be hiking and what the weather conditions are at the time.
A rugged, durable sole is critical for a hiking lifestyle. You’ll want to opt for deep lug depth to get that traction on gravel and dirt.
Additionally, the best hiking soles will have multidirectional lugs. These will prevent slippage in every direction, which is a key benefit when walking on uneven ground.
Salomon, Vasque and Merrell Chameleon all have technologically-advanced sole materials. While the Salomon may have the edge on wet surface traction, the Vasque Mantra 2 probably has the overall superior sole that includes multidirectional lugs.
Depending on your personal material preference, any of these shoes might fit you best. Most of them are made with a leather/mesh combination.
The exterior material also determines its waterproof quality. The best shoes in this article feature GoreTex coating on the shoe exterior.
One shoe stands apart from the rest, which is the Timberland White Ledge. It’s the only 100 percent leather option and you can’t go wrong with that.
The interior of the shoe is what provides a comfortable and warm fit. If you’re planning on doing any hiking during the winter, this is essential. Look for shoes that are well-insulated with soft, comfy material.
You should try to find a hiking boot with a moisture-wicking fabric inside, such as nylon or polyester. During the hot summer, your feet will sweat and this will greatly improve your foot comfort.
The New Balance WW1400 takes the cake in this category, with not only a waterproof inner membrane but Thinsulate insulation inside to keep your toes warm.
Nothing is worse than getting your feet wet while hiking. Not only is it cold and uncomfortable, but wet feet can be prone to blisters during long walks.
Many manufacturers waterproof their shoes with GoreTex lining or exterior finishes. This leads the way in weather-proof outdoor materials.
Salomon, North Face and Vasque all included GoreTex waterproofing in their boots and New Balance was the other model that received great reviews for its waterproofness.
Of course, nobody wants to hike for miles, up steep inclines, with weights on their feet. Many factors contribute to this including dense outer materials, deep lugs and thick insoles, among others.
There’s no good way to tell if your new shoes will be too heavy for you, other than wearing them. But if the manufacturer provides an accurate weight, this is something to consider before making a purchase. All other factors considered, pick a lightweight option if you plan on long, technical hikes.
North Face had the lightest reported weight in a men’s boot, while New Balance had great reviews from female wearers for its lightweight women’s model.
Which Hiking Boot Should You Choose?
If you’re suffering from flat feet and need the absolute best in arch support, we recommend the Merrell Chameleon 7 Stretch. It’s unrivaled among these brands and models.
However, if you’re having trouble committing to your new hiking hobby, and looking for a decent pair at a low price, you can’t go wrong with the Timberland White Ledge. These 100 percent leather boots look great, feel comfortable, fit any lifestyle and most importantly: they won’t break the bank.
Finally, you may have noticed one brand in particular whose name appeared in almost every category. The Vasque Mantra 2 offers solid arch and ankle support, an advanced footbed and insole, and GoreTex waterproofing. The only drawback is their narrow fit.
Time to Hike
As a wilderness-loving man with fallen arches, I understand the importance of quality, comfortable shoes that can take care of my feet during long trail hikes.
I’m confident that my next hiking boot purchase will be the Vasque Men’s Mantra 2.0 GoreTex Hiking Boot. I recommend that women go for the Timberland Women’s White Ledge Mid-Ankle Boot. Overall, these are the best hiking boots for adventurers in terms of quality, value for your money, and arch-support.
If you found this article informative and helpful, please share it with your friends and family, especially those who love hiking and suffer from flat feet. Foot care advice is free and can improve your friends’ lifestyles.