Best Hiking Boots for Men with Flat Feet: A Buying Guide
"Flat feet" is a medical condition that refers to feet with collapsed arches. If you have flat feet, the whole sole of your foot touches the ground either fully or almost so. The condition is generally not painful. But most people with flat feet find it challenging to walk for long periods. The condition is especially debilitating for people who love the outdoors and go on hikes regularly. Thankfully, you need not forego your passion for the outdoors just because you have flat feet. The best hiking boots for men with flat feet offer the right degree of stability and support to let you indulge in your passion painlessly.
Why Do Flat-Feet Men Need Special Walking Shoes?
The arch of the foot is like a spring that connects the forefoot and the back foot. Walking on trails and rocky mountainous terrain carrying a heavy backpack exerts pressure on the foot. The arch lets the foot absorb much of this shock before it can reach the knee and the thigh. But when there is no arch or if it is low, the foot tends to rolls too much inward upon landing. This is known as overpronation, and then the ankle has to step in to provide support to the body. So flat-feet men usually develop ankle problems and chronic leg pain after walking around in the wrong pair of shoes for a long time.
The best hiking shoes for flat-feet men offer support to the foot that would otherwise have been provided by the arch. These shoes have built-in arches that simulate the curvature of the foot to protect the ankle and help it support the body during weight-bearing activities.
These are actually running shoes for flat feet that provide motion control and stability. Look for the words "motion control" and "stability" on the package before choosing a pair for yourself! But steer clear of the flexible walking shoes. These shoes do not provide adequate support to the mid sole and the heel areas.
Motion Control Shoes for Flat Feet
Motion control shoes for hikers with flat feet have a dense layer of foam in the mid sole area. While browsing for shoes, you might come across features like medial posts. This is the typical jargon shoemakers use to describe this hard layer of foam that may also be in the form of an in-built raised firm arch. This foam is usually polyurethane that makes the shoes durable. Motion control shoes also usually have a protective layer of foam along the instep.
These shoes tend to be tad heavier than the ones that do not have such protection. But they protect your feet and leg from stress and strain by preventing excessive inward pronation. Preferably look for motion control hiking boots that have fitted heel cups that restrict rotation of the ankle-foot bone—the primary cause behind painful ankle twists—and also provide extra strike protection.
Stability Control Shoes for Flat Feet
Not all flat-feet men need motion control hiking shoes. If you have a low arch (vis-à-vis being completely flat footed), then stability control shoes will suffice for your hikes. These shoes have a dense layer of foam that run along the instep, and it is usually quite prominently marked in a different color. This protective layer of foam provides support to the feet by preventing excessive inward rolling. Additionally, stability control shoes have structured cushioning that gives a snug fit and prevents excess motion of the feet.
Don't be perturbed that you will never find hiking shoes that have all these features. Reputable brands like Adidas, Saucony, Brooks, Asics, New Balance, Nike, and quite a few others manufacture some of the best hiking boots for men with flat feet. Choose a pair and enjoy your hike without worrying about aching feet!