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Do you experience pain in your midfoot on long or even short hikes? If you do, there’s a good chance that your current hiking boots or shoes aren’t providing enough arch support. Women with flat feet inherently put more pressure on their midfoot, which can cause the tendons to strain. This often leads to pain and swelling that can quickly cut a hike short. The good news is that choosing the best hiking boots for women with flat feet isn’t all that hard.
Women with high arches typically need more arch support or high-arch inserts for added support. Women with fallen arches or flat feet also need arch support, just not as much. In this guide, we share tips on how to select the most comfortable women’s hiking boots for flat feet and five of the top boots currently on the market.
After the reviews of each boot, we share a set of inserts you might want to check out to add to your boots. Orthotics with extra cushioning that mold to your foot are a good choice for women with flat feet. The reason behind is that all foot shapes are different – even within the same group of women with flat feet – and sometimes, hiking boots feel great right out of the box, while other times they don’t.
The five boots in this guide give you the best chance of a comfortable hiking experience out of the box without purchasing inserts or orthotics.
Top 5 Hiking Boots for Women with Flat Feet
Top 5 Hiking Boots for Women with Flat Feet
|#1) Keen Women’s Targhee II Waterproof Mid|
|#2) Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof|
|#3) Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX W|
|#4) Teva Women’s W Arrowood 2 Mid Waterproof|
|#5) Keen Women’s Voyageur Mid|
Reviews of the Best Women’s Hiking Boots
Reviews of the Best Women’s Hiking Boots
Since flat feet tend to be wider than high-arch feet, Keen grabbed two of the five spots in our Top 5. While Keen makes a great hiking boot for all foot types, Keen footwear is typically wider with a roomier toe box than most other brands. For women with narrower or regular-width flat feet, Teva, Salomon, and Merrell are all great brands.
Below, we share reviews of each boot that includes the highlights and drawbacks of owning each pair. In each review, we share our findings in the pros & cons sections. The pros & cons are good places to find reasons you may or may not want to buy a certain boot.
#1) Keen Women’s Targhee II Waterproof Mid
The Keen Targhee II boot is the best all-around women’s hiking boot for flat feet. This is a serious diesel boot that’s both super comfortable and ready to tackle any terrain. The waterproof leather uppers are the best quality you’ll find for standing the test of time and protecting your feet on any trail.
The feature that makes these boots so great for flat feet is the removable Metatomical dual-density EVA footbed. This is a signature Keen feature and one of the main reasons most women with flat feet are good with these boots out of the box without purchasing orthotic insoles. The Metatomical design provides ample arch support for flat feet while hugging the natural contours of the foot. When paired with the EVA midsole, you get a ton of cushioning from the midsole/footbed combination. Plus, over time it’ll mold to your foot.
A couple of final highlights are the Cleansport NXT feature for odor control on autopilot and the KEEN.DRY membrane that allows vapors to exit the boot without letting moisture enter. This makes for a drier boot environment that won’t begin to stink quicker than you’d like or imagined. Lastly, the 4mm multi-directional lugs are great for gripping all surfaces, including slippery ones, and are second depth-wise only to Merrell’s 5mm lugs.
- Recommended by women with wide flat feet
- More than comfortable enough to wear all day and for long hikes on any terrain
- Waterproof uppers
- Comfortable to wear right out of the box
- You most likely won’t need to buy separate insoles
- Excellent support, especially around the ankle
- Supreme toe protection
- Excellent traction on rocky terrain
- Approved by plantar fasciitis sufferers
- The boot helps to prevent pronation
- Several complaints about the soles detaching prematurely
- Sizing can be tricky, and they tend to run small (Keen recommends ordering a 1/2 size up)
#2) Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof
Another top hiking boot brand for both men and women is Merrell. The Moab, short for “Mother of All Boots,” actually talks the talk and walks the walk. Both men and women come back to these boots time and time again because of the brilliant combination of top-notch materials, comfort, and support on the trail.
Similar to Keen, Merrell’s Moab 2 boot is comfortable to hike in right out of the box. If you regularly hike on rocky terrain or over slippery surfaces during wet hikes, the Moab outsole with 5mm lugs is top-shelf quality. The Moab 2 features a Vibram TC5+ outsole for extreme durability, stability on all terrains, and superior traction.
As far as comfort inside the boot, you get Merrell’s M Select EVA footbed with air cushioning in the heel. For folks with flat feet and/or plantar fasciitis, it doesn’t get much better than this for a stock footbed. Expect higher levels of shock absorption, foot stabilization, and arch support from the Moab 2 without the purchase of orthotics or insoles.
- The deepest lugs of the boots in this guide
- Air cushioning in the heel for added shock absorption
- The perfect level of arch support for most women with flat feet
- They fit true to size
- No pinching in the toe box
- Very sturdy yet lightweight
- Excellent traction on wet trails, slippery rocks, and steep rocky terrain
- Approved by women with wide flat feet
- Enough room for feet with bunions (order up a 1/2 size)
- Women with flat feet and overpronation may require orthotics
- Hit or miss results for women with plantar fasciitis
- Potentially too wide for women with narrow feet
#3) Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX W
Of the five boots in this guide, the X Ultra 3 is the best waterproof hiking boot for women with wide feet because of the GORE-TEX membrane that completely blocks water from entering through the uppers. If you’re planning to trek through mud or go on hikes with stream crossings, the Ultra 3 is an excellent choice with its GORE-TEX membrane and trademark Contagrip TD lug pattern.
Comfort touches we like in this boot are the EnergyCell EVA midsole for shock attenuation, and more importantly, Salomon’s signature SensiFit that really sets this boot apart from its competitors. The SensiFit design helps to cradle your foot from the midsole up to the lacing system to give your foot a more customized fit. Features like these are what make the boots in this guide our top picks for women with flat feet.
One final highlight is the stock OrthoLite insole that’s built to match the natural contours of your foot and provide ample cushioning. Like the boots above it, there’s a good chance you won’t need to buy insoles or orthotics if you choose this boot.
- A good choice for hiking around creeks and on hikes with stream crossings
- Approved for hiking through melting snow
- Little to no break-in period
- Comfortable to wear for 8+ hours at a time
- The grip lives up to what’s advertised
- A good boot for women with flat feet & plantar fasciitis
- Good arch support out of the box
- Spacious toe box
- Runs large (some women ordered a full size down)
- A couple of complaints about the tongue design
- The lace hooks may stick out too far for your liking
#4) Teva Women’s W Arrowood 2 Mid Waterproof
For women who are in the mood for something a little more stylish and cuter, the Teva Arrowood 2 boot is the prettiest of the five choices. However, it’s not just pretty, it also packs in a lot of cool features, and Teva is known for providing better arch support than most other brands. The only drawback to keep in mind – as mentioned earlier – is that this boot runs narrower than the other four models in this guide. Remember to keep this in mind if you have a wide flat foot shape.
The greatest advantage of this boot is its lightweight design. Of the five boots in this guide, the Arrowood 2 is the lightest, yet it also features waterproof uppers to make it a good choice for wet hikes. We also really like the lug pattern in this shoe since it reminds us of the classic Teva outsoles in the company’s sandals that are known for providing excellent grip.
You’ll also notice that Teva didn’t skimp when developing the support system in this shoe. There’s plenty of depth in the heel for added support & shock absorption and combined with the Teva Float Lite midsole, the boot manages to stay very lightweight.
- The cutest boot in this guide for women who desire a hybrid hiking/everyday boot
- Seriously comfortable
- The lightest boot of the five in this guide
- Waterproof uppers
- An excellent choice for camping/hiking trips
- Ample arch support for flat feet
- A good walking boot to take on vacation (very lightweight to cut down on luggage weight)
- They do a good job of keeping feet warm in cold climates
- Narrower than the other four boots in our guide
- Not as good at gripping slick surfaces as Merrell
- Less supportive than Merrell or Keen
#5) Keen Women’s Voyageur Mid
Another good hiking boot for women with wide feet by Keen is the Voyageur model. Compared to the Targhee II model, the Voyageur is a tad bit lighter, and it does not feature the KEEN.DRY membrane. Keep this in mind if you regularly go on wet hikes because the Targhee II is the better choice for moist environments.
Other than those couple of differences, the boots are mostly the same in the key-feature department. The Voyageur also features Keen’s Cleansport NXT odor control system, 4mm multi-directional lugs, a torsion stability shank, and most importantly for women with flat feet, Keen’s metatomical footbed design for ample arch support.
One reason you may want to choose the Voyageur over the Targhee II is the upper design. The Voyageur uppers breathe better with four mesh slots on either side running just above the outsole, which makes these a better choice for women who mostly hike in warm climates or do desert hikes over rocks.
- The lacing system does a great job of keeping the tongue in place
- They breathe better than the Targhee II
- Roomier than the Targhee since they skip the waterproof membrane
- Good arch support for women with flat feet
- The highest level of durability in a hiking boot
- The best choice in the guide for wide flat feet
- A comfortable hiking boot for women with bunions
- The toe box is wider than most boots
- The lacing hook on one boot can catch on the other boot
- The sole is prone to failing
- They tend to run up to a full size small (though Keen claims they’re true to size)
The five models in this guide are currently the best hiking boots for women with flat feet. As we mentioned in the introduction, good hiking boots sold by reliable brands typically feature enough arch support out of the box for flat feet. Once you venture outside of top brands like Keen, Teva, Salomon, or Merrell, you’re more likely to run into comfort or blister issues.
When sticking with these brands, the more important quality to look for is the boot width. Keen tends to run the widest for women with wide flat feet, and Teva usually runs the narrowest for women with narrow flat feet. Merrell and Salomon are somewhere in between and a good fit for all foot types.
Lastly, as promised, we want to recommend a good orthotic for hiking boots should you still find your boots uncomfortable. Some women have very unique foot shapes, which can require a custom insole no matter what boot you choose.
Best Women’s Hiking Boot Insole for Flat Feet
One of our favorite orthotic brands is Sole. The Sole Active Thick inserts below are our top choice for women’s hiking boots:
Return to Top 5 Chart
Among the very best hiking shoes for flat feet are these shoes from Merrell, which provide all the stability you need. They come in a wide range of colors and both standard and wide fit, so it is easy to find a pair that will suit you perfectly.Is Merrell Moab good for flat feet? ›
The Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Boots!! These boots have just about everything that most flat-footed hikers are looking for. They're breathable and lightweight. They have a versatile Vibram outsole.Are keen hiking boots good for flat feet? ›
KEEN Men's Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
The arch and heel support specifically, though, are what make this hiking boot ideal for men with flat feet. Extra features include a mix of water-resistant and breathable mesh upper materials and 18 different color options.
- Best Everyday Sneakers: Munro Gabbie Sneaker.
- Best Booties: Munro Lexi Boot.
- Best Orthopedic: Alegria Paloma Slip-On.
- Best Running Sneakers: Asics Gel Kayano 28 Sneaker.
- Best Sandals: Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed Sandal.
- Best Walking Shoes: New Balance 1540v3 Sneaker.
The best arch support insoles for flat feet will have: Low, but supportive arch - What you need is a low arch that offers strong support. A firm arch that is too high will be painful. A soft arch that your foot compresses will not provide long term relief.Do flat arches need arch support? ›
Arch Support for Flat Feet
Many of them probably ask, "Do flat feet need arch support?" According to the Mayo Clinic, the answer is, "Yes." Arch supports can help not only alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with flat feet but also help stretch someone's Achilles tendon, which might also help.
The Salomon X-Mission 3s are the best trail running shoes for flat feet on the market, with extra cushioning around the midsole to provide a comfortable ride. They also feature Salomon's All Terrain Contagrip, to keep your feet stable on any surface, including wet, slippery trails.What heel drop is best for flat feet? ›
One of the problems with flat feet is that your PT is in overdrive to try and lift your arch… so send PT a bit of love and get a shoe with a decent drop. A 10-12mm heel to toe drop is a good amount.What are the best Keen boots for flat feet? ›
The KEEN Flint II Work Boot is the lightweight steel toe boot you want for a long day at the job site if you've got flat feet. KEEN uses a proprietary midsole that's higher density than standard EVA foam, so you're getting even more cushion and sturdy support for your mid-foot.Are Columbia boots good for flat feet? ›
If you are looking for all-terrain hiking footwear that is perfect for all weather conditions then Columbia is your brand. You do not have to worry about added support for your flat foot condition.
Excellent arch support
Moreover, this day hiking boot's footbed grants additional cushioning, arch support, and underfoot comfort.
People with flat feet should choose shoes with a reinforced heel. A firm heel counter in the shoe provides support for the foot. This can protect the heel, the tendon that attaches the bones of the foot to the calf muscle, and the Achilles tendon. This tendon attaches the heel bone to the calf muscle.Are wide shoes better for flat feet? ›
Are wide shoes better for flat feet? Unless your flat feet are narrow, many people with flat feet can benefit from wide width shoes and should avoid shoes with a narrow forefoot. As people with flat feet tend to apply more pressure on the toe area, with more room for the toes, wide shoes can help prevent toe cramping.What causes flat feet to worsen? ›
The arches disappear when you put weight on the feet. Flexible flatfoot comes on during childhood or the teen years. It affects both feet and gradually gets worse with age. Tendons and ligaments in the arches of the feet can stretch, tear and swell.What are the two types of flat feet? ›
Research has shown there are two types of flat feet. Rigid flat feet indicate the arch is completely missing, and flexible flat feet show the arch is present when the patient sits or stands.What problems do flat feet cause? ›
Most people have no symptoms associated with flatfeet. But some people with flatfeet experience foot pain, particularly in the heel or arch area. Pain may worsen with activity. Swelling may occur along the inside of the ankle.What are the benefits of being flat footed? ›
It's because a flat foot creates more flexibility within the foot which is incredible for shock absorption in comparison to a high arch which has less flexibility and therefore less ability to absorb.
If you have a foot injury or flat feet, look for memory foam shoes that are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), such as the Skechers GO WALK or GO RUN series, Brooks running shoes and Hoka One One footwear.How do you rebuild arches in flat feet? ›
- Arch Squeeze. While sitting with your feet flat on the floor and keeping your toes flat on the ground, slide your forefoot backward towards your heel while squeezing the arch. ...
- Heel Raises. ...
- Walking Barefoot on Soft Ground. ...
- Marble Pick-Ups. ...
- Plantar Foot Stretch. ...
- Calf Muscle Stretch.
Men and women with flat feet should generally avoid shoes that offer little to no arch support, such as flip flops, shoes with thin or flat soles, and certain types of high heels. Look for shoes that will provide the support you'll need to safely participate in physical activities.
- Orthopedic arch-supporting shoe insert. Simply slip these inserts in your shoes. ...
- Footwear. Its best to change your footwear daily. ...
- Healthy diet. It is important to maintain a healthy diet. ...
- Stretching and strengthening exercises.
A minimally invasive surgery such as a tendon transfer or osteotomy is considered lower in risk and can be done for the early stages of flatfoot. A fusion surgery used to correct arthritis is a permanent solution and is done for later stages of flatfoot.Can you hike with flat feet? ›
Can I Go Hiking with Flat Feet? If you have flat feet, you can absolutely still make your way out onto the trails. However, you should know that you are prone to experiencing far more discomfort than the average hiker.Do you need a stability shoe for flat feet? ›
We mentioned before that there is no one right shoe for all runners with flat feet. While some prefer shoes packed with stability features or cushioning, others prefer to keep it minimal, claiming a lack of support can strengthen the musculature of the foot (which can help with collapsed arches.)Are Brooks Ghost good for flat feet? ›
The lightweight, cloud-like Brooks Ghost 11 Women's Road-Running Shoes are perfect for those with flat feet as well as long-distance and road runners.What is the difference between fallen arches and flat feet? ›
Fallen arches is a term used to describe flat feet that develop during adulthood. This is in contrast to flat feet that are present from early childhood, when the arch of the foot simply doesn't form.Are Zero Drop shoes better for flat feet? ›
Zero drop shoes should be avoided as most flat feet have a tight achilles tendon. Zero drop will put even more tension on the tendon.Are flat feet overpronation or Underpronation? ›
Over-pronation, or flat feet, is a common biomechanical problem that occurs in the walking process when a person's arch collapses upon weight bearing. This motion can cause extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia, possibly causing severe discomfort and leading to other foot problems.Which company makes shoes for flat feet? ›
Nike is one of the most recognizable brands on the planet, and many consumers love the style and sleek design Nike is known for. The Air Zoom Structure is one of Nike's most cushioned running shoes, designed to provide support and a secure fit for those with flat feet, runners and non-runners alike.Are Clarks good for flat feet? ›
Podiatrists praise them for their function. “Clarks offer a lot of support,” says Dr. Polina Zaydenberg. The NYC-based board-certified podiatrist explains: “Most of the shoes have wider toe boxes, which helps prevent bunions, hammertoes and neuromas.” She also says Clarks are great for people with flat feet.
- Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator. Great (224,117 reviews) Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator. Great (224,117 reviews) Any color. Size. $100 $55 Save 45% See on Amazon.
- New Balance 978. Good (1,079 reviews) New Balance 978. Good (1,079 reviews) Any color. Size. $155 $76 Save 51% See on eBay.
Some good options include Salomon X Ultra, Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator, and Keen Targhee III Hiking Shoes. They have strong arch support and are comfortable to wear, allowing you to concentrate on the trail.What brand of shoes has good arch support? ›
Best Arch Support Shoes for Walking: Skechers GO WALK Arch Fit Men's | Women's. Best Shoes for High Arches: Hoka One One Clifton 8 Men's | Women's. Best Cushioned Arch Support Shoes: New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v12 Men's | Women's. Best Arch Support Shoes for Hiking: Salomon Sense Ride 4 Men's | Women's.Do Sorel boots have good arch support? ›
Sorel Tofino II Boots
Plus, they have a removable, cushioned insole to help support your arches and heels. “These are a personal favorite of mine because I own them!” Dr. Parthasarathy says. “The lace-up style and high ankle height will give you plenty of stability for winter adventures,” she says.
Proper arch support is an important part of the right fit. The best hiking boots will fit your feet perfectly, holding your foot securely without constriction or hot spots. Also consider the flex of the boots, breathability, outsole tread, and weight.Can you train yourself to not be flat-footed? ›
In short, yes, exercise is good for flat feet. Notes Bogden, “As long as you're not having pain, and progress increases in activities or exercise in moderation, there's no reason to limit yourself.”What can a podiatrist do for flat feet? ›
In severe cases, surgery may be required, however in most cases a podiatrist will be able to suggest proper footwear and orthotics as well as exercises and foot stretches to help your condition. Flatfoot is a condition many people suffer from.Do flat feet cause weak ankles? ›
Flat feet can become painful and even lead to ankle instability and foot deformities. The condition can also affect your gait — the way you walk — and if that becomes impaired or awkward, moving becomes a bona fide hassle.Is it better to have hiking boots too big or too small? ›
Hiking boots should fit snug everywhere, tight nowhere and offer room to wiggle your toes. Try them on at the end of the day (after feet swell) and with the socks you plan to wear. Know your size.Is it better for hiking boots to be bigger or smaller? ›
Bigger is usually better
Feet tend to swell a bit during hiking, so erring on the side of larger hiking shoes or boots is advisable. In general, aim to buy your hiking boots a half size larger than you think you need.
Merrell's design philosophy is built on four pillars: comfort, durability, design, and versatility. That's why their boots are all made with an anatomical footbed with built-in heel counter and arch support.Is overpronation the same as flat feet? ›
Over-pronation, or flat feet, is a common biomechanical problem that occurs in the walking process when a person's arch collapses upon weight bearing. This motion can cause extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia, possibly causing severe discomfort and leading to other foot problems.What is the difference between overpronation and pronation? ›
Pronation simply means how your foot naturally rolls when you walk or run. Overpronation is when your ankle rolls more inward than usual when you take a step. Typically, people who overpronate are more susceptible to strains in their big toe and second toe, as the inward rolling forces weight onto them.Do Overpronators need arch support? ›
Negative effects of overpronation include arch collapse, plantar fasciitis, inefficiency, and pain in your kinetic chain. Adding firm, supportive insoles to you shoes can counteract overpronation while improving your alignment and efficiency. They should mimic the contours of your arches and provide firm support.