9 Best Hiking Boots for Flat Feet Reviewed (2018 Edition)
I know how frustrating it is when your gear is ready to go but your flat feet aren't.
Low quality hiking boots or hiking boots that are not designed to provide enough support for flat feet or fallen arches make for a painful hiking experience you'd rather forget.
Luckily, there are some great quality boots and today I've reviewed 9 best hiking boots for flat feet.
Keep reading ...
Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX
The Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX is perfect for someone looking for all the stability and the support of a hiking / backpacking boot but doesn’t want a boot that’s going to weigh them down. Its arch support is great for flat feet and overpronation.
The construction and the design in this boot is such that it gives you all that stability and support you would expect in a hiking boot but in a really lightweight package.
First of all, the Salomon Quest is a GoreTex boot (GTX) so you have full water-proof protection for rainy days, small creek crossings and that sort of thing.
The tongue is gusseted most of the way up to the top of the boot. So you’ve got protection all the way up. The tongue is also very ergonomic. There’s padding in the tongue and it fits to the shape of your leg really well.
When you need to cinch the boot down and really cinch your heel into the heel of the boot, you’re going to have comfort down there. The boot is going to move with you a little bit but also offer that ankle support that you need in a heavy hiking boot.
The upper features a mixture of suede, nubuck, and fabric. So it’s textile and leather giving a pretty lightweight feel, but also with that leather, you have a durable construction.
There are metal eyelets where you really need to cinch down the boot as well as some fabric eyelets on the bottom.
On the front, there’s a really nice protective toe cap to protect your toes against rocks and other elements.
On the back, you have a nice heel wrap. Again, when you really need to cinch down the boot, this heel wrap is going to cup your heel to make sure that it is placed exactly where it needs to be while you’re hiking.
THE MIDSOLE/ OUTSOLE
There’s a lot going on with the midsole and the outsole. You’ve got different materials to provide rugged stability while also giving cushioning and comfort.
The boot features Salomon’s 4D Advanced Chassis which runs the whole length of the boot. There’s a nice cup on the heel.
There’s light EVA foam which gives cushioning and gives a little bit more comfort as you hike.
Just throughout the whole boot, you do have a nice fit and a nice cushioning in there especially with the Ortholite sockliner insole. The Ortholite is a nice removable insole compared to a lot of other hiking boots. It’s really breathable and wicks away sweat easily giving a lot of added comfort.
On the bottom, you have the Contagrip outsole which gives a lot of stability on rocky terrain or wet terrain. With muddy terrain, you do have really deep lugs so you can really dig in to rocks or mud that way.
FIT AND FEEL
As far as fit and feel, right out of the box, the boot has flex and does give a little bit, but it does take some break-in time. It doesn't take as much break-in time as a traditional all-leather hiking boot, but you do need to break it in a little bit before you go on a multi-day trip.
All in all, with the smart design, and the different materials that Salomon uses to give you that stability but also lightweight feel, this is the perfect boot for someone looking to carry a heavy load anywhere from day trips to weekends to multi-day trips in the backcountry.
Oboz Bridger Bdry
Offering reliable traction, durability and waterproof materials, the Oboz Bridger Mid BDry is sure to appeal to hikers or backpackers who need durable, trail worthy performance and great support for their flat feet.
Starting with the upper, we’ve got a durable waterproof nubuck leather that fully wraps around the boot. It’s a really nice material that’s going to provide some great durability and longevity in the boot’s life.
You’ve got a molded rubber toe cap that’s great for protection if you happen to kick up against any rocks or if you happen to bump your toes a lot when you’re hiking.
On the back side, you’ve got Oboz’ molded heel counter. It’s a rubber reinforced heel as well. As the leathers start to wear and break in and loosen up, that heel is going to provide a nice stable hold throughout the life of the boot.
We’ve got a mixture of fabric and metal eyelets. The fabric eyelets are going to provide some extra flexibility while the metal ones have nice durability with the metal hardware there.
We do have a gusseted tongue so the boot is going to hold its waterproofing up to about the mid-ankle portion.
There is a BDry membrane underneath the leather making the Oboz BDry a waterproof breathable piece of footwear. With that BDry membrane, you have a nice wicking lining on the inside which is going to help to pull the sweat away from your foot helping you to feel more comfortable and more dry along your hike.
Moving down to the midsole, there’s a dual density EVA with a nylon shank which is going to provide really good shock absorption and some extra stiffness as well as just overall comfortable fit.
There’s a really nice feature with the Oboz which is the insole. The insole is Oboz BFit Deluxe insole which is a lot different from other insoles because it's a lot more sturdy and rigid instead of being just a flimsy piece of foam. By that I mean there’s actually some structure in the arch and the heel. This gives a much more supportive overall fit with the boot because of this insole.
Another neat feature on the insole is it has an EVA pad in the high-impact zones, under the heel and under the ball of the foot. This is going to provide some extra shock absorption for added comfort. The insole is also perforated to allow for more breathability.
On the bottom, there’s Oboz Granite Peak outsole which is a really toothy and rugged looking tread. It has a nice TPU chassis built in with that which is going to help protect your foot from the underfoot stone bruising as well as giving the boots some extra stability and torsional rigidity without inhibiting the flex.
The outsole itself has got nice directional 4mm lugs. They're very toothy and they’re self-cleaning lugs and they’re going to provide really nice grip on the trails.
Another neat feature about this tread is that it comes up around the side. It’s a pretty cool system because if you’re on and off camber trail or potentially a crooked trail doing some switchbacks, it’s going to provide good grip on the sides of the boot as well as the underside. So, you have a really neat full wrap when it comes to the tread of the boot.
All in all, the Oboz Bridger Mid BDry is a great durable, hiking, backpacking boot that’s suitable for hikers, backpackers, or anyone who just needs trail worthy performance.
Zamberlan Vioz GT
A finely crafted Italian hiking boot that’s a best-seller for Zamberlan, the Vioz GT has a durable construction, really hefty materials and is built for the long haul.
This boot can handle extended backpacking adventures in almost any condition. It is constructed with really nice smooth sleek looking Hydrobloc full-grain and waxed leather that’s durable and waterproof.
The entire top side of the boot is one piece of leather that’s really durable and it’s tanned to enhance the water resistance, the durability and the overall life of the boot.
The hardware on the boot has a high-resistance treatment so it’s riveted through that leather. It’s a Gore-Tex boot so you do have a waterproof breathable bootie inside that leather.
The Zamberlan offers full waterproof protection and if the wax exterior treatment on the leather starts to wet out or allow water to absorb a little bit, you do have that Gore-Tex to enhance the waterproofing of the shoe.
As it is a full grain leather, you should treat or condition the leather occasionally during use just to make sure you get the longest possible life out of the boot.
Also, it is a pretty stiff boot and it will require a substantial break-in period before it fits super comfortably.
To enhance the fit, there’s some padding on the inside and a nice strategic cutout that’s going to allow some flex in the ankle portion. This is going to allow you to move around without being super stiff in the upper portion of the boot.
In the midsole, Zamberlan is using their Z-Flex GT shank which has got really good durability. It’s a very stiff midsole and has strategic TPU inlays for additional support and stability.
The midsole is built on the Zamberlan Air System (Z.A.S) so it’s a very comfortable and airy midsole. It’s designed to allow for very cushiony and comfortable feel throughout your hikes while not adding a ton of weight.
It’s still a relatively heavy hiking boot, but the way that that midsole is constructed, it does help to reduce the weight a little bit.
The bottom features an exclusive Zamberlan Vibram 3D outsole and it’s a really luggy, really grippy outsole. It’s got really good kind of ridged traction in the middle that’s going to really bite down on the trail.
The lugs are spaced wide enough apart so they’re going to be self-cleaning and they’re going to shed that excess dirt and debris.
In the heel portion, you’ve got a very aggressive tread so when you’re going downhill on any type of terrain, it’s really going to bite down and enhance your braking power throughout your hike.
The outsole is also resolable, meaning if you wear down this tread, you can get it resoled, which is a really convenient feature that’s going to allow you to have these boots for a really long time.
In short, the outsole is very durable, very sticky and very robust.
All in all, the Zamberlan 996 Vioz GT has a traditional boot design and some really trail-friendly features that are going to allow it to perform for a very long period of time. It caters to backpackers or trekkers who need comfort and durability over long distances.
Merrell Moab 2 Mid
The Moab 2 hiking boot was designed back in 2006 and it’s been Merrell’s iconic seller ever since and there’s actually so much love for it. It’s kind of a multi-sport shoe that you can use in different conditions. It’s called the Mid for the mid-height cuff and it’s also available in the "low".
The Moab 2 is perfect for the everyday hiker and it’s great for short distances and for lighter backpacking overnight trips.
With the Moab, the last comes first and that’s what this shoe is made around. it’s a nice snug heel fit, precise over the instep and has plenty of room in the ball area.
The biggest of the design updates is the introduction of the speed band that sticks out along the sides of the shoe. This gives an extra bit of stability on the side of the shoe to help with the lateral-medial roll.
There’s this sort of four fingers that wrap at the side. Think of it like a skeletal rib cage which helps hold the foot snugly.
Merrell have updated the upper and are going from normal suede to premium waterproof performance leather suede. Yet, they’ve kept using the mesh that’s a little bit more aerated to give you a little bit more breathability across the tongue and across the front of the foot where your foot heats up the most throughout the day.
This is the most superior suede on the market and has incredible waterproof properties. The other interesting thing about this suede is that it has very tight fibers, which allows the color to be incredibly rich. This is how Merrell were able to achieve much more bright and vibrant colors as well.
They’ve also updated the tongue to a closed cell foam so it doesn’t pressure pump water through the tongue. It keeps it a little bit more waterproof and a lot dryer.
There’s a nice wide toebox fit that’s going to give you a little bit more space for your toes to move around and breathe a little bit better.
The Merrell Moab 2 has a nice added toe cap feature to the front of the shoe that’s going to help protect your foot from rocks and stumps on the trail.
It features a nice mid-height that’s going to help lock your heel in place to keep your foot from sliding back and forth on the downhill. It’s also going to give you a little bit more support torsionally (keeping you from rolling your ankle on the trail).
The other key feature is an updated footbed. The new footbed has a 3D contoured design, a resin material on the heel to cut the instep and give you more heel support, a little bit of added arch support and then softer EVA foam under the heel for shock absorption and cushioning.
The Moab 2 has actually gone through extensive lab and field testing. The performance leather improved the long-term durability of this boot. The footbed is a revelation because it has that increased arch support and added cushioning in the heel.
The Moab 2 still has the Gore-Tex lining built into it and that’s going to give you better waterproof protection on wet muddy days but still a lot of breathability when it’s warmer outside. It’s going to help protect your feet and give you a little bit more abrasion resistance against your foot on the inside to cut down on blistering on hot days.
There’s a nice EVA midsole which offers great out-of-the-box comfort and great shock absorption in the heel as well.
The bottom features a TC5+ outsole from Vibram. It’s really tacky, really grippy on wet rock surfaces and the 5mm lugs help shed a lot of dirt and debris from underneath the shoe.
It has a nice heel to the back of it so when you’re going down steeper rock terrain, it helps give you a little bit more support and really grip in to help give you a brake system on the back of the shoe.
The Moab 2 is going to give great out-of-the-box comfort with little break-in period to keep you going all season long.
Merrell are known for making incredible comfortable shoes, but there’s something special about the Moab 2. It has this little WOW factor about it when you put it on.
You can hike, bike, run and anything you can think of you can do in the Moab 2. It’s incredibly comfortable, super versatile, and breathable in hot climates.
Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX
With sleek athletic detailing and a comfortable and supportive upper, the Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 offers year-round performance on the trail or in the mountains.
Let’s take a look at its features …
Taking a look at the upper of the boot, we’ve got a PU coated leather and textile combination which is going to allow the boot to remain supportive but also very flexible.
It won’t require a long break-in period and that’s a nice feature that adds to the versatility of the boot.
It features a reinforced rubber toe cap so that’s going to add protection from kicking any rocks or roots or anything that might jump up at you on the trail.
You’ve also got a reinforced heel portion which, again, adds to the stability of the boot.
The tongue is gusseted so you’re going to get good protection up to about the ankle portion (the upper eyelet) on the boot. So you’ve got waterproof bootie construction in the boot offering really nice weather protection and overall durability and support.
There’s Gore-Tex lining (the Gore-Tex Performance Comfort Footwear) which guarantees confident weather protection, which makes the Salomon X good for all seasons, whether it’s raining, snowing and what have you.
Moving to the midsole, we have the Advanced Chassis from Salomon. We’ve got a really nice EVA midsole that’s going to provide cushion and comfort over a long day on the trail.
The boot also features a TPU heel pod around the heel that allows really good stability and offers that really good comfort and traction while you’re on the trail.
On the inside, we do have an EVA Ortholite sockliner which is really nice, soft and light. You can take that out and put in a custom orthotic if you want to, but the Ortholite that comes with the boot is really nice and comfortable.
Moving to the outsole, we’ve got a really nice toothed, rugged ContaGrip non-marking outsole. The outsole offers really nice directional traction while its thick lugs are going to make sure you get grip on varieties of different terrain.
The outsole also offers really aggressive heel traction so when you’re stopping, it’s going to allow for really good braking power and just overall traction on the trails.
So there you have it, it’s the Salomon X Ultra MID 2 GTX offering comfort, support and lightweight. This boot will perform all year round
Vasque Talus Ultradry
This is the perfect day hiking boot that is pretty lightweight but also pretty supportive.
The Vasque Talus Ultradry is going to give you enough support for light backpacking, but it’s lightweight enough that it’s going to flex with you and move with you if you’re hiking fast.
The standout feature of this boot is it’s got mainly a leather upper and you do have a pretty traditional look. It almost has the look of an older style backpacking boot that you just got a full leather upper in there, but it doesn’t have the weight of that type of boot. It’s pretty lightweight and it’s got some mesh in the upper as well.
The waterproof protection here is Vasque’s Ultra Dry. So, you’re protected from water and from the elements.
The Vasque Talus doesn’t come as high as traditional hiking boots, but it certainly gives you enough ankle support for rugged trails.
On the side and on the outside, there are overlays in key areas of the boot that would be subject to wear and tear a little bit more.
The boot features 7 very durable eyelets with the top eyelets being metal to help you really cinch the boot down. Just an added note, the boot does come with another color lace so you can change up the laces if you have a color preference.
At the toe cap, you can’t see it on the outside but you do have some added durability there on the toe cap. That’s just going to give you more protection against rocks and against rocky terrain.
The sockliner on the inside does come out. So if you have your own insoles that you need to swap in to the boot, those come out really nicely. The footbed is a dual density EVA that offers some added comfort and cushioning.
The midsole is molded polyurethane. It is going to give you lots of support when you’ve got long days on the trail.
The outsole is a Vibram outsole and you’ve got some multi-directional lugs in there.
Down at the heel, you definitely have some lugs that are going to help with braking. As you work your way up the shoe, there are really deep lugs that offer excellent traction on the trail going up and down hill.
As with any leather boot, you do need to break it in a little bit. But because of the flex of the boot, it’s pretty flexible right out of the box. So it definitely doesn’t require that much break-in time.
All in all, the Vasque Talus is a really clean retro looking boot that is going to take you anywhere from day hikes to light backpacking for a really great value. It's a comfortable boot right out of the box.
Keen Targhee II Mid
For hiking on snow, wet surfaces, dust, mud or rocks, you can’t beat the stable traction that the Targhee II Mid hiking boot provides. The Keen Targhee II is one of Keen’s most versatile hiking boots.
Made by keen, the leader in outdoor tech, the mid-cut height of this boot provides plenty of ankle support and stability through canyons and over mountaintops. The Targhee II is 100% waterproof with Keen Dry waterproof technology which is a proprietary for Keen.
There’s a breathable mesh down the center to give you that ventilation and breathability you’re going to need over a long trip so you don’t get hot and sweaty.
The waterproof breathable eVENT barrier keeps your feet dry and comfortable all day long.
The Targhee II is light and flexible and, with all Keen shoes, boots and sandals, comes with Keen’s famous patented toe bumper which protects you from injury on the roughest terrain.
Keen do use a cool yoke system at the ankle that as you tighten down the lace, it straps down the rest of the heel and anchors you in.
At the back of the shoe, there’s an S3 heel support structure and that cushions the heel as well as ensures your foot remains stable within the boot itself.
It’s inside where things get really interesting. There’s a metatomical footbed, and what that means is you’ve got individually shaped footbed for both your left and for your right foot. The footbed provides excellent foot support and is removable.
It features a dual density EVA midsole for cushioning and that’s going to give you that ride and stability you need for that long hike multiple days.
The Targhee has got a full rubber outsole which offers great traction for everything you might do on a weekend backpack trip. There are some aggressive lugs which make sure you’ve got excellent grip when you’re out and about.
The outsole also has a torsion stability shank, and that means the boot stays nice and stable over rocky ground.
With most boots, you generally have to wear them in three, four, five times before they get really comfortable, but the Targhee is so comfortable right out of the box and you can literally hit the hills running.
If you’re looking for a great versatile lightweight hiking boot that works well for long day hikes but it’s comfortable enough to wear around town, the Targhee II Mid hiking boot is the perfect fit.
Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Mid
Lightweight, water-resistant and well cushioned, the Ultra Lone Peak Mid is a great boot for runners, ultralight backpackers, fast packers or even hikers..
The Lone Peak is built with high-quality materials that make it weather-resistant and comfortable.
The upper is constructed with a quick-drying air mesh material and it does have a Polartec Neoshell lining. That Polartec Neoshell is a weatherproof lining for the boot and it’s going to provide a little bit of warmth and insulation for those cooler weather runs or hikes.
The Lone Peak is abrasion-resistant and it actually has a synthetic overlay called the Medial Impact Shield which is going to give you some extra protection around the sides of the shoe.
The boot is well padded in the mid portion and it is cut a little bit higher with a really good cushion up top to really hug the foot and be comfortable for a long run.
The toe box is a really interesting design with all Altra footwear. The Lone Peak 3.0 has a foot-shaped toe box that’s much wider than a traditional trail shoe. The toe box is not quite aggressive and it does not taper off as much as most running or trail running shoes. This feature allows the big toe to stay straight and stay properly aligned which is going to give you a little bit more comfort and more rooms for your toes to splay. It’s also designed to promote a more neutral stride.
Other features on the upper include a gaiter trap attachment and a ring on the front which makes the Lona Peak certainly compatible with Altra trail gaiters. The gaiters are not included and are sold separately.
THE MIDSOLE (ZERO DROP)
The midsole is very well designed. It’s an EVA foam midsole with an Abound top layer. The big story with the midsole is that it is a zero drop platform. That simply means that the heel and the toes are the same distance off the ground. What’s that designed to do is to help promote a more natural stride and a more natural running gait.
This design promotes that forefoot strike, so instead of landing on your heels and rolling off to the toes, it is designed to help you try to land on your forefoot and push off with your forefoot. But be careful because that does take a little bit of getting used to so I recommend following Altra’s instructions on transitioning to that type of running.
The outsole of the Lone Peak is really grippy. It features Altra’s trail claw outsole and it’s actually multiple different densities of rubber. So, you’ve got a slightly softer compound and a harder compound where you need that extra grip.
The outsole is strategically designed and the lugs are really deep and they give you multi-directional traction so you can really get a good grip on the trails. So the outsole is super sticky all the way, really flexible and really comfortable while offering really good grip.
Another benefit to the shoe is that sandwiched between the midsole and the outsole there is a stone guard protector which is going to give you extra protection from sharp rocks or things that are jumping off the trail and potentially could hurt you under your foot.
All in all, with that Medial Impact Shield, reinforced heel, really good Neoshell upper materials for weatherproof performance, comfortable zero drop platform and that really sticky outsole, the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Mid is a great hiking, trail running or fast packing boot.
HOKA ONE ONE Tor Ultra HI
An extremely unique blend of a running shoe and a hiking boot upper create a truly innovative offering. The Hoka One One Tor Waterproof offers a smooth ride with tons of cushion and a durable upper material that’ll take you long and far on the trail.
Taking a look at the upper of this boot, we’ve got a few different types of materials that give it a lot of durability. We’ve got a nice abrasion resistant leather on the side of the boot. There’s also abrasion resistant textile materials that offer a nice blend of durability and comfort.
In the ankle portion of the boot, we do have a slightly more stretchy material and that’s designed to hold tight around the ankle and prevent any loose rocks or dirt from getting in the boot. That’s a great option there to save you the trouble of having to take the shoe and dump it out.
Around the heel, we do have some reinforcement with a rubber material to give you a nice sturdy hold in the heel of the boot.
The toe area is wrapped with a rubber rand to give you additional protection from rocks or roots or anything that might protrude from the trail.
The laces go to the toes which is a really great offering. You can get increased sensitivity just by changing the way that you lace your boots; you can really dial in that fit.
This boot is waterproof and features an eVENT waterproof breathable fabric. There’s a full bootie construction inside the boot with that eVENT fabric which will give you confident weather protection no matter what conditions you encounter on the trail.
Taking a look at the midsole, we’ve got a full-length EVA midsole with multiple different densities for cushion and shock absorption. Toward the top, you have a bit of a softer feeling EVA to give you excellent cushion and comfort. As it gets lower, the EVA gets a little more firm and stable. So, we do have an active foot frame stability. Although the boot is really well padded and cushioned, it gives you excellent stability and comfort overall as well.
We do have a Meta-Rocker geometry designed to help the shoe kind of guide your gait or your stride by providing a rocker-like stride from heel to toe. The Hoka is designed like kind of the idea of a rocking chair where you hit the heel and roll off onto the toes and really get the maximum push from the toes.
This midsole is engineered for a supportive ride by offering up to one and a half times the cushion of a standard running shoe.
The outsole features a Vibram MegaGrip outsole with really beefy directional lugs. There are 5mm lugs throughout the outsole of the boot and it’s kind of interesting how the lugs are constructed.
The gray lugs on the outside and right across the middle of the toe section are a little firmer and stiffer for overall durability and support while the orange portion is a bit softer to really bite down on the trail and grip and kind of conform to those different bumps and surfaces.
So the Hoka Tor boot is going to give you optimum grip, high traction with that Vibram MegaGrip outsole. It also offers a really good balance of stability and durability as well as flexibility overall and will maintain grip on wet and dry surfaces which is a great benefit to that MegaGrip compound.
For maximum cushion and comfort whether you’re fast packing, hiking or doing anything outdoors, the Hoka One One Tor hiking boot is a great option for you.
End of article: Best Hiking Boots for Flat feet
Do you have flat feet and have tried a boot that helped alleviate the pain? Please tell us about your experience in the comments section below.