View Full Version : boots for flat feet

10-25-2010, 01:20
I'm looking for a comfortable boot with good support for flat feet. A stress injury would mean bad news on the trail. Any suggestions?

10-25-2010, 01:29
Depends on your base weight.

10-25-2010, 07:04
Spokes is right on...base weight can be a major factor when it comes to stress injuries.

Selecting an appropriate quality sole insert might be an important consideration as well.

10-25-2010, 11:08
Aren't the inside of all shoes and boots flat? I think the right insole would make a much bigger difference. That said, I'm not a big fan of arch support. The plantar fascia can be strengthened, and I'd rather do that instead of relying on an arch support as a crutch.

Wise Old Owl
10-25-2010, 11:14
This is one of the few area's that the internet is not a good source of info, I would get to a REI or a Outfitter and try some boots and ask a lot of questions....

and check out this thread...


10-25-2010, 11:20
I think you would be better with a good boot and a custom orthotic.

11-15-2010, 01:00
I've seen a podiatrist about intermittent foot pain and one of the comments he made was about how my high arches will cause more pain than flat feet. Fortunately my pains aren't more than I can deal with.

I always thought flat feet were the pain/ injury causers, but when I started checking it out, it seems that soldiers with flat feet have the fewest lower extremity injury rate. Go figure.

11-15-2010, 02:46
I always thought flat feet were the pain/ injury causers, but when I started checking it out, it seems that soldiers with flat feet have the fewest lower extremity injury rate. Go figure.

I've been trying to find better sources on this, but it hasn't been easy. Most medical guides keeping plantar fascia pain descriptions very simple and not very helpful. The better guides seem to say that plantar fascia pain is like most other muscle pain. It can be torn and even pull away from insertion points. The length of the plantar fascia or shape of the arch hasn't been mentioned, so maybe it's not an option. Like any type of muscle, it should benefit from long term strengthening. Suddenly going from a sedentary lifestyle to hiking thousands of miles can put more demand than parts of the foot are able to accommodate. I think arch support can help ease the demands on the foot...it is support after all...but what happens when the arch support flattens as you move down the trail? Injury. So my guess is that those with flat feet have actually adapted and gained stronger feet whereas those with high arches are more likely to use arch support and then suffer injury when there's no arch support to protect their weak feet. This site supports my guess:

Now I'm not saying that flat feet are better. I'm saying is that developing strong feet that don't need arch support should be our goal.

But I'm not a doctor or a physical therapist. I've just done a little research in medical books and journals for physical therapists.

11-15-2010, 02:54
And as far as foot pain, I can recommend a couple things.

Stretch your calves first. Follow with stretching your posterior muscles and also stretching your calves with your toes up. The entire chain of muscles from your toes to your butt is linked and can put extra strain on your plantar fascia. Stretching it all should help reduce the strain in your feet. I've gone from hobbling to comfortably walking just from stretching.

Massage your feet. I find that fingers are not strong enough to get in deep or long enough to make a big difference. My favorite tool was an old plastic hockey puck ball. Unfortunately I gave it away and the new balls are way too soft. A pool table ball is a decent heavier solution if you can make it less slippery. Thick wooden dowels and golf balls work too. It may hurt. A lot. It won't hurt as much or at all when your feet are healthy again. Massaging works to break up scar tissue and promote blood flow, which in turn allows injuries to repair more quickly and fully.

11-15-2010, 09:05
Wow! What good advice. I recommend being born agin as an Amish boy and learn the value of bare foot walking.

11-15-2010, 23:16
Nice find, Leaftye. I spent a lot of time barefoot right up until I became old enough to drive legally and I wonder if going back to that would solve my ( admittedly minor) issues with my feet.

The exercises look like they certainly couldn't hurt.

11-16-2010, 01:45
Thanks for the advice!
I use a tennis ball to stretch the muscles in my feet. I didn't know it broke up scar tissue. Incentive to do my stretches every day :)

02-08-2011, 21:14
I have completely flat feet and have found that the only way I can hike or run or even walk comfortably is to try on many different shoes and boots, and then I spend a lot of time swapping out and trying different insoles. Custom fit orthotics are expensive and contributed a lot to my pain and discomfort.

Find comfortable shoes, find comfortable insoles, massage and stretch your feet when they are tired and sore. I walk 6-8 miles each day for work, have run a half marathon and love hiking when I have the time.