Hiking Boots For Flat Feet? You bet they do. Flat feet are painful foot deformities wherein the bottom of the foot doesn't rise above the surface when walking. This occurs at whatever stage, from infancy to puberty, though it may seem like an insurmountable obstacle. Hiking boots specifically designed for flat feet help alleviate this problem by providing additional cushioning. While these items are extremely helpful, they're not all created equal...
When looking for hiking boots for flat feet keep in mind that you get what you pay for. More expensive models come with better quality materials and are generally built to last. Some models, though, may include synthetic arches or uppers which wear out after just a few uses, leaving the same unhappy results as the cheap boots. Other options may include gel-filled insoles which will swell as your body temperature rises, causing some discomfort. Look for breathable, moisture-wicking uppers which muffle the sweat before it ever reaches the exterior of your skin.
Another critical component of hiking boots for flat feet is the midsole. The midsole surrounds your entire foot, acting as a shock absorber, and helps provide stability and traction. The insoles may also include arches to prevent your feet from slipping around in slippery conditions; the soft tissue of the midsole also supports your ankle and protects it from injury.
The best boots have both of these components, but the best boots combine the two to ensure a balanced and stable platform for your feet. One option you can choose to buy is a high-quality pair of all-around boots, which are built to be flexible while providing stability. This type of boot has a molded rubber outsole that contours around your foot as it fits snugly.
A downside to this type of boot is that they do not provide much support or cushioning. While they offer good arch support and extra stability, the outsole will typically have little give, leaving you with little cushioning in the heel and arch. The high-quality midsole has been designed with grooves to spread the weight of your body weight more evenly across the entire boot, but you will sacrifice some comfort and stability. You will find the best all-around boots have a shell and leather upper, a high-quality midsole, and a rubber midsole for extra durability.
One of the most popular features of a hiking boot is breathability. Wet feet are uncomfortable and can lead to skin infections and blistering. Many people who hike long distances underestimate the amount of moisture they actually are perspiring. When you are hiking in hot weather, there is no way for your feet to evaporate all of the moisture that is present. Hiking boot features like uppers and meshes accents with vents to allow for wicking and ventilation will help keep your feet dry and comfortable.
Another important feature of a boot that helps with comfort and breathability is an insole. The insole provides shock absorption, cushioning, and support and is usually made from a material called ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA), which is very comfortable. This material works well because it allows moisture to escape, which makes it more comfortable for your foot and decreases the chance of a blister developing. Another nice feature of an insole is an arch brace, which is an additional support system for flat feet.
If you would prefer a shoe that offers more stability and support, then look for hiking boots with the Merrell brand. An insole called the Pertex shield wraps around the top of the shoe and has an arch brace and tongue stops. This adds some much-needed stability to the Merrell brand. Also, the Pertex also acts as a cushioning sock liner, which works in conjunction with the Pertex shield to provide even more support to the feet. All of these features make the Merrell brand extremely well-rounded and popular with anyone who is a hiker at heart.