You don’t have to trek far to find the best hiking boots for flat feet, according to this Ranger on The Dyrt.
When you have flat feet, it can be a real struggle to find hiking boots that feel good.
Most hiking boots have a very pronounced arch built into the footbed, intended to help support you over all those long miles and technical terrain. That’s great for anyone who needs arch support, but if your foot isn’t shaped like the bed of most boots, it’s just not going to be a good fit.
Turns out, the best hiking boots for flat feet don’t force you to be something you’re not. The best hiking boots for flat feet simply let your tootsies be themselves.
Conventional wisdom goes that a flat foot needs support to function like higher arched feet, hence all the inserts and high-arched shoes. But if you find that flats feel good though — don’t fight it. You might not need to force your flat feet into an arched shape at all. Instead, you might find your feet feel better in minimalist boots that give them plenty of room while allowing your muscles and tendons to work together naturally.
Could these be the best hiking boots for flat feet?
“Even before I made my choice of which Vivobarefoot shoes would be best for me, I was apprehensive. I have flat feet and their ‘Firm Ground’ barefoot sole didn’t seem like it would be very helpful,” wrote Taylor. “But after encountering toe pain and shin splints from a high-arch boot, I decided to give the Tracker FG’s a try.”
Taylor was a little concerned about her new boots because she’d read that minimalist hiking boots can involve an adjustment period. If your feet are used to lots of cushioning and support, it can take time to relearn a natural gate and for the muscles in your feet to strengthen.
“The wide toe is meant to allow room for your piggies to move around and get strong on their own,” Taylor writes. “More than anything, I was curious how long it would take for me to feel the benefits of this new shoe style.”
Not long at all, apparently.
Minimalist Hiking Boots Let You Walk Naturally
“Vivo recommends working with the shoes to build foot strength for long hikes in the future, so I did just that,” writes Taylor.
“I wore my shoes around town, to work, and on trails close to home. I never felt the need to do any extra breaking in however — in fact, I actually felt ready to wear them on my longest hikes because they made my feet and legs feel that much better. Within days of walking at least four hours in the shoes, my shin pain was almost completely eliminated. The long-term pain in my big toes and balls of feet was gone within 3 weeks. After a month of use I was able to complete a 12-mile hike over rocks, fallen trees, and streams with ease.”
Taylor continues: “Their smooth thermal insole came in handy on cold morning hikes yet weren’t too stuffy when I wore them for 18-hour days while camping in and around Sunset Cove. The sole’s lugs gripped terrain of all types while also keeping me steady in the mud.”
If you struggle with finding the best hiking boots for your flat feet, a shoe designed to work with the natural shape of your arch might be the answer. With Vivobarefoot’s 100-day trial for barefoot beginners, you don’t have much to lose but discomfort.