7 Best Hiking Shoes For Flat Feet (2024)

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Hiking Shoes Buying Guide

When choosing hiking shoes, it’s important to cater your footwear to the types of terrain you’ll be in, the distances you plan on going, and the weight you plan on carrying. Here are some other important factors to consider.

Cost

With hiking gear, the reality is: you get what you pay for. Footwear is no different. Expect to pay anywhere from $80 to $200 for a quality pair of hiking boots or shoes made with durable materials.

Especially if you have flat feet or are prone to foot issues, it’s important to prioritize key features like arch support and advanced cushioning. They may come at a higher cost, but your feet will thank you. By investing in your hiking shoes, you’re investing in your all-around hiking experience.

Material

Hiking shoes generally come in one of two main options: leather uppers, or synthetic materials.

Leather is a super durable, naturally water-resistant and high-quality material. And it does an excellent job withstanding abrasion caused by rocks, trees, and rugged terrain. It’s also known for its ability to absorb and diffuse moisture.

Synthetic upper materials and mesh fabrics, on the other hand —be it polyester, nylon, or faux leather— are very lightweight, have little to no break-in period, and dry very quickly. They’re not as durable as leather constructions, however, and tend to need replacing sooner.

Style & Comfort

From traditional hiking boots to lightweight trail runners and hiking sandals, there’s a hiking shoe out there for every style. Regardless of the type of shoe you’ll be donning, ensure comfort is at the forefront by knowing how hiking shoes should fit.

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Now, although people with arch issues and flat feet will generally benefit from footwear with extra arch support, shoes are a very personal decision. There are plenty of flat-footed hikers, for instance, who prefer minimal drop shoes (shoes with little or no heel rise and hardly any arch support) for helping strengthen and rebuild their arches.

Fact is: there’s no one Cinderella slipper for flat-footed hikes, and it may take time to figure out what option works best for you.

Tread

Just like a good car tire, the tread, or outermost layer of a hiking shoe sole, provides traction, extra grip and support on a variety of terrain. Keep in mind that tread designs vary from shoe to shoe, and there are notable differences in the depth of lugs, their patterns, and the type of rubber used.

While some hiking shoe models feature “multi-purpose” treads suitable for everyday trails, others offer more specialized designs for uneven surfaces and technical, rocky terrain. Softer rubber soles and shorter lugs are generally best for slippery surfaces and rock grip, while deeper, wider lugs are meant for loose rock, mud, and snow. Unless you plan on doing a bit of everything, match your tread to the terrain you plan on being in most often.

Arch-Support

The insoles of your hiking shoe are responsible for providing arch support. For alleviating pain and discomfort associated with flat feet, you’ll generally want solid, defined arches and a support midsole. If the hiking shoes you like are perfect but you still crave more arch, know that you can purchase specialized removable insoles, too.

See also  .308 Winchester for Black Bear Hunting? Best Ammo (Round, Load, Cartridge) for a Successful Black Bear Hunt Hunting Calibers 04 Apr, 2020 Posted By: Foundry Outdoors Is the .308 Winchester a viable caliber/load/round/cartridge for black bear hunting? The accurate answer is “it depends”. However, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether the .308 Winchester is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest black bear. As with anything, the devil is in the details. To answer the question completely, we would need to evaluate the downrange distance to the black bear, the bullet type, the grain weight of the bullet, the physical condition of the firearm, the size of the black bear in question, the shot placement, the local wind conditions, the expected accuracy of the shooter, the ethics of the ideal maximum number of shots – the list goes on. [Click Here to Shop .308 Winchester Ammo]What we can do is provide a framework to understand what average conditions might look like, and whether those are reasonably viable for a shot from the average shooter to harvest a black bear in the fewest number of shots possible, i.e., ethically. Let’s dive right in. In the question of “Is the .308 Winchester within the ideal range of suitable calibers for black bear hunting?” our answer is: Yes, the .308 Winchester is A GOOD CHOICE for black bear hunting, under average conditions, from a mid-range distance, with a medium grain expanding bullet, and with correct shot placement.Let’s look at those assumptions a bit closer in the following table. Assumption Value Caliber .308 Winchester Animal Species Black Bear Muzzle Energy 2620 foot-pounds Animal Weight 340 lbs Shot Distance 150 yardsWhat is the average muzzle energy for a .308 Winchester? In this case, we have assumed the average muzzle energy for a .308 Winchester round is approximately 2620 foot-pounds. What is the average weight of an adult male black bear? Here we have leaned conservative by taking the average weight of a male individual of the species, since females generally weigh less and require less stopping power. In this case, the average weight of an adult male black bear is approximately 340 lbs. [Click Here to Shop .308 Winchester Ammo]What is the distance this species is typically hunted from? Distance, of course, plays an important role in the viability of a given caliber in black bear hunting. The kinetic energy of the projectile drops dramatically the further downrange it travels primarily due to energy lost in the form of heat generated by friction against the air itself. This phenonemon is known as drag or air resistance. Thus, a caliber that is effective from 50 yards may not have enough stopping power from 200 yards. With that said, we have assumed the average hunting distance for black bear to be approximately 150 yards. What about the other assumptions? We have three other primary assumptions being made here. First, the average bullet weight is encapsulated in the average muzzle energy for the .308 Winchester. The second important assumption is ‘slightly-suboptimal’ to ‘optimal’ shot placement. That is to say, we assume the black bear being harvested is shot directly or nearly directly in the vitals (heart and/or lungs). The third assumption is that a projectile with appropriate terminal ballistics is being used, which for hunting usually means an expanding bullet.Various calibersA common thread you may encounter in online forums is anecdote after anecdote of large animals being brought down by small caliber bullets, or small animals surviving large caliber bullets. Of course those stories exist, and they are not disputed here. A 22LR cartridge can fell a bull elephant under the right conditions, and a newborn squirrel can survive a 50 BMG round under other specific conditions. Again, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether .308 Winchester is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest black bear - and to this question, the response again is yes, the .308 Winchester is A GOOD CHOICE for black bear hunting. [Click Here to Shop .308 Winchester Ammo]This article does not serve as the final say, but simply as a starting point for beginner hunters, as well as a venue for further discussion. Please feel free to agree, disagree, and share stories from your own experience in the comments section below. Disclaimer: the information above is purely for illustrative purposes and should not be taken as permission to use a particular caliber, a statement of the legality or safety of using certain calibers, or legal advice in any way. You must read and understand your own local laws before hunting black bear to know whether your caliber of choice is a legal option.Foundry Outdoors is your trusted home for buying archery, camping, fishing, hunting, shooting sports, and outdoor gear online.We offer cheap ammo and bulk ammo deals on the most popular ammo calibers. We have a variety of deals on Rifle Ammo, Handgun Ammo, Shotgun Ammo & Rimfire Ammo, as well as ammo for target practice, plinking, hunting, or shooting competitions. Our website lists special deals on 9mm Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 45-70 Ammo, 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, 300 Blackout Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 5.56 Ammo, Underwood Ammo, Buffalo Bore Ammo and more special deals on bulk ammo.We offer a 100% Authenticity Guarantee on all products sold on our website. Please email us if you have questions about any of our product listings. Leave a commentComments have to be approved before showing up Your Name * Your Email * Your Comment * Post Comment

Cushioning

Cushioning in a shoe mainly aids in shock absorption, while adding extra comfort. That’s critical for hiking, since you’ll often have to bounce through rough terrain, and you’re on your feet for hours on end.

There’s also your backpack weight. Chances are that if you’re hiking anything over a mile, you’ll be carrying a pack with snacks, water, a first aid kit, and other essentials. If you’re going longer distances and camping overnight, you’ll be tacking on things like a tent, sleeping bag, and food storage. All that extra weight puts pressure on your feet. Extra cushioning helps absorb all that impact force and provides all-day comfort.

Waterproof Protection

From stream crossings and muddy terrain to surprise thunderstorms, you’re bound to encounter water in some form when logging trail miles.

So is there a perfect pair of waterproof hiking boots out there for keeping your feet dry? Not exactly. What some shoes have in waterproof protection they lack in breathability. So it’s important to rank which is more important to you based on your local climate or where you’ll be hiking.

Many hiking boots, for instance, feature waterproof “membranes;” think Gore-Tex and similar. These are amazing for wet weather, snowy hikes, or trails with plenty of water crossings. But they’re usually not the most breathable materials, especially in the heat.

Summary

For flat-footed hikers of all ages, Merrell’s Moab 3 Mid balances comfort, support and value like no other. All in a rugged, waterproof package that is truly hard to beat.

If weight and being quick on your feet are more of a concern, though, I recommend Salolmon’s Outpulse Gore-Tex shoes. Or, go the trail runner route with the Hoka Speedgoat 5’s. Both offer agility without compromising a strong arch.

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Now, if sandals are more your jam, look no further than the Chaco Cloud Z’s. They’re one of the few sandals that can be trusted to support weak arches on longer hikes.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>