What are the best hiking boots for flat feet? Are there specific brands or types that should be avoided? Fortunately, there is help for you, just be sure to take your time and do your research. Apart from visiting a podiatrist on orthotic inserts, you could make a huge difference in your overall life by simply wearing and buying the appropriate pair of hiking boots for flat feet.
To start, let’s get technical. The first thing to consider in finding the best hiking boots for flat feet is your anatomy. Are you round (perceive your feet as rounded) or square (perceive them as long)? What’s your arch type? Do you have high arches or a low arch?
The best hiking boots for flat feet are made of breathable material. Anything that is not breathable will not be very comfortable. Can the material be worn inside out? Some fabrics will dry out, while others will not.
Another consideration is the type of role you want. Are you going to want a rigid sole (the type that supports the entire weight of the boot) or a flexible outsole? Rigid hiking boots are more rigid but offer great stability. Flexible soles have a shock absorbing effect and provide great comfort, depending on your body type. Lastly, removable insoles come in various shapes and sizes and can add an extra layer of cushioning to your boot.
Next on your list should be the upper. There are a number of different upper styles to consider: leather upper, synthetic upper, moisture-wicking lining, full-grain uppers, and breathable gore tex. All provide exceptional support and are highly functional.
How about the arch support? Does the boot fit well across your foot and does it provide adequate protection from rocks and other hazards on your terrain? Good arch support will keep your feet locked into place and reduce fatigue. Many of the higher quality boots offer arch support as an option. This is especially important for heavy outdoor use, where extra support is necessary.
Last, but not least, is the waterproofing of the uppers. This may seem like a given, but waterproofing is often overlooked. Boots with waterproof or water repellent uppers will be able to keep your feet dry in the rain, at the end of a long day on the trail. They will also help keep feet dry from steamy streams and mud puddles when going through these conditions.
Finally, consider the outsole. The outsole of the boot is the part of the soul that touches the ground. It is built up around the laces and is one of the most flexible parts of the shoe. If you are going on long, rugged hikes that can be humid, then you want a well-constructed, durable outsole. Conversely, if you are only out for a casual day hike, then you probably don’t need to spend the money on a high-quality, waterproof outsole. A good alternative would be a mesh outsole.
To choose the best hiking shoes for flat feet, you must consider not only the outcome but the upper and the inner portions of the shoe as well. These three areas will dictate how well your foot fits in the shoes. Generally, the taller you are, the wider your feet will need to be. The width of the upper will help distribute your weight and minimize the stress on your knees and ankles.
For long, rugged hikes on terrain that is hard on feet, like steep hills or mountains, the best option for an under-the-outsole hiking shoe is a mesh outsole. Again, this allows your weight to be evenly distributed over the length of the foot and the surface you will be hiking on. If you’re hiking on terrain with an incline, like a plateau, then a rubber or plastic outsole is recommended.
When you’re choosing a pair of shoes for the trails, you should pay attention to the outcomes and midsole. In general, these two parts of the boot will provide most of the protection to your feet. The underfoot protection comes from a mesh or rubber midsole. A sturdy, durable midsole can also help protect your ankles from injuries while hiking and climbing hills. As you age, you may begin to notice that your feet no longer feel the same as they did when you were in your early twenties.
A third type of arch you may encounter when you’re hiking is a bent toenail or flat foot arch. If you have flat feet, this arch usually doesn’t pose a problem. However, if you have fallen arches (which are typically caused by the natural bending of your ankles and feet when you’re hiking), it is possible that your foot might stick out past the arch. In this case, you’ll want to purchase a pair of boots with an arch brace, especially if you spend a lot of time on your feet. Otherwise, you risk irritating your already inflamed feet and further injury.