Hiking and outdoor activities are on the rise, and many people look for hiking shoes for flat feet but don’t know where to look.
This is more so as an estimated 25 to 30 percent of the population has flat feet. Many casual and experienced hikers who have flat feet are not even aware that they have flat feet.
Being not aware makes hikers go out and buy general lifestyle hiking shoes which may not fit their needs. For hiking or not, wearing the right type of shoe is essential for your good health.
Your feet carry the full weight of your body, and wearing the wrong shoe can cause pain in the ankle, knee, hip, and back.
In this article, we explore the 5 best hiking shoes for flat feet hikers.
5 Best Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet
Best Hiking Shoe For Flat Feet Review
What Are Flat Feet And How To Identify It?
Many people don’t realize the type of feet they have. It is essential to know your foot type for any long-term outdoor activities.
So, what in reality is flat feet?
People with flat feet do not have an arch on their feet. You can identify if you have flat feet by looking at your feet and see if you have any arch on the feet. If you have a slight arch or no arch, then it means that you have flat feet. This may be in either one foot or both feet.
Why is this arch necessary?
Your feet carry the whole weight of your body. The arch in the feet acts as a spring, which helps to absorb the shock and distributes the body weight. The arch in your feet determines the way you walk, run, or hike.
But the problem with flat feet is that it causes the feet to roll to the inner side when you are standing or walking. This condition is called overpronation. The overpronation causes the feet to roll inward, and it is advisable to use overpronation shoes.
Now don’t get too concerned about it if you have flat feet. Many people don’t even realize that they have flat feet and live their life without having any issues. But a severe flat feet condition may cause several complications.
One very common painful condition is plantar fasciitis which causes pain in the heel. People who wear shoes with inadequate support are at more risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
Types of Flat Feet
Depending on the structure of your feet, there are three types of flat feet.
1. Neutral Pronation
The body weight on the feet causes the ankle to bend either inward or outward. In neutral pronation, the ankle does not turn more than 15 percent inward with each step.
This is the right position to be in as in this the foot and ankle care in the upright and aligned posture. The bodyweight gets uniformly distributed around the toe and heel.
2. Over Pronation
Overpronation causes the feet to roll inward during the walk. The weight is not uniformly distributed and causes excess stress on the ankle, which causes the ankle to bend inward as you walk. The excess one side weight causes more wear toward the inner ball area.
3. Under Pronation
The under pronation is also known as supination. In this, the steps fall across the outer heel and outer ball. In supination, the foot does not roll inward enough with each step. During the walk and run, the steps fall across the outer heel and outer ball of the foot.
This causes more wear and tear to the shoe across the outside, which is below the small toe and outer heel.
What to Look for in the Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet
Once you have identified your arch type, you should look for the shoes which are designed for your feet arch type.
It may be challenging to find a shoe that clearly labels the shoe for each arch type. But knowing where your feet are getting the most pressure can help you find matching footwear for you.
Here are some guidelines to find hiking shoes for flat feet.
Hiking Shoe for Neutral Pronation
Hikers and runners with neutral pronation should use a shoe that provides more stability. A person with neutral pronation has body weight evenly distributed.
If you have a standard pronation feet type, then you can pick a shoe that has balances insole cushion area. It keeps your body balanced when wearing the shoe.
Hiking Shoe for Over Pronation
Hikers with overpronation move their step which falls across the outer heel and inner ball of the foot. During a hike or walk, the step falls first outside of the heel area, which makes the bodyweight move inward.
More wear and tear happen below the big toe area to inner heal. You should pick a shoe that is more durable and has more cushion toward the inside.
Hiking Shoe for Under Pronation
Hikers with under-pronation often have higher arches and get more weight outside the foot area. If you have this type of foot, then use a shoe that has a sturdy outward sole.
It provides comfort and support to the ankle. Pick a lightweight and flexible sole shoe to support the arches.
Other Considerations When Choosing Hiking Shoe For Flat Feet
Here are some other factors to consider when choosing the hiking shoe
Comfort is the most important thing when shopping for shoes, especially when you will be using them for hiking. Hiking puts more pressure on the feet during climbing and descending. The boot should be comfortable to wear so your feet can take extra physical stress.
We recommend picking a shoe, which provides comfort for the toe and heel area during walking. This will prevent your ankle from getting bend due to flat feet.
There are various types of materials used in making a shoe. Hiking causes too much sweat and bending. Pick a shoe that is made of a material that allows the free air circulation to let your feet get dry.
A good shoe fit is essential as the too-tight fit will create more stress on your feet’ ligaments. A loose-fit shoe will cause friction, which may result in blistering.
The best thing is to know your feet size, which you can measure yourself. Based on the feet size you can pick a shoe that you know will fit you perfectly.
Durability is vital as you don’t want a shoe to get ripped off during the mid of the hike or just after your first hike. Invest in a quality shoe that has reliable and premium quality material so it can last multiple hikes.
Swelling is widespread in people who wear incorrect shoe sizes. Factor in the type of socks you will be wearing as it may result in changing shoe size.
For example, hiking in colder weather, you will be wearing a thicker sock, and during hot weather, thinner socks will be appropriate. Consider these when you are picking the best hiking boots to avoid any discomfort or disappointment during your hike.
This one should be self-explanatory. Every day so many people go hiking with various levels of experience and background. Many go with regular pairs of boots or wear casual boots during hiking.
You don’t need a specialized hiking shoe if you are going for short casual hiking. But if you are looking to do some rigorous hiking then pick a shoe that is designed for hiking purposes.
Hiking generally involves walking through a well-defined trail or exploring uncharted, rocky territories. Consider the kind of hiking you will be doing. Get some more information about the terrain you will be hiking so you can be better prepared.
Another thing to consider for hiking shoes is the weight you will be carrying. More massive loads such as camping gear or items you plan to take require more sturdy hiking shoes.
For bulky and more extended hiking, we recommend that you choose hiking boots that are designed to use in rugged and unplanned trails. These boots often have a high ankle collar to provide excellent foot support.
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