Best hiking shoes for flat feet

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RowdyandMe
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Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by RowdyandMe » Oct 29 2017 12:42 pm

I am flat footed and believe I have found the best hiking shoe for my feet.
I am now only buying Altra Timps from now on. My ankle seems to be feeling better and better since I bought these shoes at REI.
I am wondering what other flat footed hikers are wearing?
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azbackpackr
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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 29 2017 2:08 pm

My feet are not super flat, but they are moderately so. I wear Altra Lone Peaks. I like the very square toes and zero drop as well. I have both the hiker "mid" boot-like model and the shoe model. They also seem to fit my very narrow foot well enough.
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rcorfman
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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by rcorfman » Oct 29 2017 2:25 pm

I don't have flat feet, but I do have a rather low arch. To me, flat feet (fallen arches) are something to be concerned about, low arches are not. I do exercises most every day to help keep my feet strong and walk around in bare feet to help that. Wearing shoes constantly is like keeping your feet in a cast. They get weak and then problems occur. Keep your feet strong.

That being said, I've been using Altra shoes for more than two years, mostly the Lone Peaks but also the Superiors. I won't be trying the Timps because the stack height is, in my opinion, too high (29mm) compared to the Lone Peaks (25mm).

I'm glad you've found a show that is helping your ankle hurt less.
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Jim_H
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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by Jim_H » Oct 29 2017 5:07 pm

I wear which ever the Altra shoe is, with the thinnest sole. Zero drop seems to do best for me, and most flat footed people.
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KBKB
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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by KBKB » Oct 30 2017 10:18 am

I'm still wearing the Altra Superior 1.5. I purchased a number of pairs a few years ago and now have just one pair left.

Prior to making the transition to this (and similar) shoe(s), I was having terrible problems with plantar fasciitis. Those problems are largely gone now.

One of the issues I have with my Altras is that the mesh allows for quite a lot of thorn penetration. I've used Freesole over some of the mesh, mainly on the sides of the shoes to help provide some protection. It's helped quite a lot. Thorn penetration through the soles is usually not much of a problem, though there have been a few instances where really thick thorns have penetrated. I've resoled one pair of my Altras with Five Ten rubber. These not only provide for better traction in most types of terrain, but the rubber is very dense. I've never had any thorn penetrate this rubber.

I have a pair of Altra Lone Peaks, but do not like them. The sole is too thick; now that I've gotten accustomed to minimalist shoes, I really enjoy feeling the rocks under my feet.

I bought a pair of Astral Buoyancy Rasslers for canyoneering. Although not as wide across the toes as I would like, I like them otherwise. I've also used them for hiking.

I also own a number of shoes from Soft Star - the RunAmoc Dash and the original RunAmoc moccasin. I've done a few longer hikes with these moccasins. The one issue I have with them is that I occasionally get a blister under the metatarsal area of my left foot. I haven't figured out why. Even with the "trail" sole, they're quite a lot thinner than my Altra Superiors. I find them to be worth wearing for shorter hikes just to help strengthen the feet. (Though I've done up to about 12 miles at a time with my various Softstar Shoes.) The trail sole on these shoes has proven to be quite resistant against thorns. I've stepped on cholla while hiking at night and had no penetration to my foot. Also, the leather on these shoes, though thin, is much better at keeping thorns out than any of the other shoes of this type that I own.

I've also tried shoes/boots from Xero (Prio), Lems (Boulder Boot, and Primal 2), Belleville (MiniMil TR01). Each of these allow thorns to penetrate through the soles.

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RowdyandMe
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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by RowdyandMe » Oct 30 2017 11:22 am

@KBKB
I bought the timps and love them. I went to their website and noticed that they make gaitors that are custom made to fit the timps.
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KBKB
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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by KBKB » Oct 30 2017 11:50 am

@Widowmaker
Widowmaker wrote:I bought the timps and love them. I went to their website and noticed that they make gaitors that are custom made to fit the timps.
I hadn't heard of the Timps before today.

Altra's website says, "Introducing the Altra Timp, designed to fit in the sweet spot between the moderate cushioning of the Lone Peak and max cushioning of the Olympus."

Due to the fact that they're cushioned even more than the Lone Peaks, I don't think I'd like them. I find the moderate cushioning of the Lone Peak to be too much.

I own a pair of the Altra gaiters. When used with Altra shoes, the double velcro on the heel really holds the gaiter in place. Also, though it may seem like a small thing, the fact that the hook on the front points downward prevents it from catching on vegetation, something I occasionally have problems with when using Dirty Girl Gaiters. I also think that the fabric used in Altra's gaiters is tougher than that used in Dirty Girl Gaiters.

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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by te_wa » Oct 30 2017 3:32 pm

Xero shoes are made for flat, wide feet.
:D

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KBKB
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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by KBKB » Oct 30 2017 4:54 pm

te_wa wrote:Xero shoes are made for flat, wide feet.
I have a pair of Xero Prios. I like the way they feel on my feet, but I quickly found out that they're not good for hiking through thorny terrain. During my first (and only) outing with them, I got a thorn in my foot within the first mile.

I received a product announcement from Xero regarding some boots & hiking shoes that they're now offering. I asked if the sole material was an different with regard to thorns. They said that the soles of their new offerings didn't differ much from the Prios that I currently own.

I think the Prio and some of their other footwear may be great for non-thorny terrain. But, for me at least, the fact that thorns easily penetrate the sole makes them a non-starter. I may resole the ones I have to be better in this regard.

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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by RowdyandMe » Oct 30 2017 6:26 pm

@KBKB
I love mine and I am wearing double insoles in mine and they are comfy. I am looking at going to a custom shoe store and having custom made insoles made for them as you can buy insoles in stores.
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azbackpackr
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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 30 2017 6:41 pm

@KBKB
I also have Altra Superiors, an older pair, and have done some hiking and easy backpacking with them, but my particular foot issues are better served with the thicker soles of the Altra Lone Peaks. I do like the superiors, though. Wish I could enjoy feeling the rocks, but it's not in the cards for me.
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KBKB
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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by KBKB » Oct 31 2017 12:02 am

azbackpackr wrote:@KBKB
I also have Altra Superiors, an older pair, and have done some hiking and easy backpacking with them, but my particular foot issues are better served with the thicker soles of the Altra Lone Peaks. I do like the superiors, though. Wish I could enjoy feeling the rocks, but it's not in the cards for me.
It took me a while to adapt my feet. Even now, after several years of using minimalist shoes, there are times when I think that I bruise some part of my foot from walking over too many rocks. Or, perhaps I do not take sufficient care when walking over the rocks. When that happens, I switch to using shoes with somewhat less flexible soles for a while.

One of the shoes that I forgot to mention earlier are some from SOM, a Colorado based shoemaker. I bought some of their early models several years ago. They're zero drop shoes with a nice wide toe box. The soles are somewhat thicker than most of the other shoes that I've been wearing. Not especially cushy though. The ones I own have a Cordura nylon upper; they're not as breathable as some of my other shoes, but they do a better job at keeping dust, dirt, and thorns out.

Anyway, I often switch to wearing my SOMs when I find myself needing a shoe with a less flexible sole.

I liked them a lot after first buying them. My plantar fasciitis returned, so I switched back to my Altras. I think that the SOMs have no arch support whatsoever, but that the Altras have a slight amount. While wearing my moccasins from Soft Star, I learned that I have to actively engage the muscles that form an arch in the foot or else I have problems. Had I also done this with the SOMs, I might not have had a problem. (I shattered my right heel in a climbing injury, so I perhaps have some unique problems with my feet.)

I wear the SOMs only occasionally now, though I did find myself wearing them a lot during our June trip to Utah. They didn't exacerbate the blister that I developed from wearing my moccasins.

I haven't tried SOM's current shoe models. But they may be worth a look for folks who want a zero drop, wide toe box shoe.

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azbackpackr
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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 31 2017 5:57 am

@KBKB
I hiked Hualapai Peak yesterday, about 8 or 9 miles, with the addition of Spenco inserts in my Lone Peak hiker mids. These added more cushioning, arch support and a slight heel lift to the shoe. I had a stress fracture over a year ago which only recently healed, and I have osteopenia. I had no foot pain yesterday, whereas with the inserts that came with the shoe I had foot pain a couple weeks ago. I had to basically quit hiking for about a year, and only now am trying different things to see what doesn't hurt. The main reason Altras work for me has to do with the square toe box. Most shoes are too pointy for me.
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KBKB
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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by KBKB » Oct 31 2017 11:38 am

azbackpackr wrote:Most shoes are too pointy for me.
Yes, for me also. After getting accustomed to Altras, most other shoes feel too confining now. I especially hate squishing my feet into my cycling shoes.

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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by ALMAL » Oct 31 2017 3:38 pm

@te_wa
https://xeroshoes.com/

I have 3 different pairs, love them!
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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by oldmanonthetrail » Nov 03 2017 5:14 pm

After suffering with deep blisters and plantar on my thru hike attempt I decided to to toss my Merrill's and try something different. After reading this thread I went to try on a pair of of the 3.5 Altra lone peak . I walked around the store getting used to the zero drop and after ten minutes I was sold .Couldn't leave the store without them . I do worry about heel bruises as the zero drop makes my heel feel much closer to the ground. My local terrain is nothing like the AZT and was wondering if any 200+ pounds hikers had any issues with my new favorite shoe .Thanks for the info. Cheers Dave

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KBKB
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Re: Best hiking shoes for flat feet

Post by KBKB » Nov 03 2017 6:36 pm

@oldmanonthetrail
I've weighed as much as 230lbs and have worn the even thinner soled Altra Superior 1.5 while hiking with a 25+ lb pack. (I'm down to about 210 now.) I only do day hikes, sometimes as much as 16 miles at a time, but most are in the 8-12 mile range.

As noted earlier in this thread, I also have a pair of Lone Peaks, but do not wear them very often as I do not like the extra thickness / cushioning of the midsole.

Heel bruises can be a concern, however. I've had to learn how to walk/hike differently using the Altra Superior and other minimalist shoes. I've also found that my feet have adapted to using the thinner soles. When first used them, I found it painful to walk on rocky trails, but now enjoy the additional texture.

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