Best Insoles for Flat Feet

If your flat foot is troubling you, all you need to do is to buy a good pair of supportive shoes and practice some exercises for lifting the fallen arches naturally. Arch supporting sneakers, running shoes, and corrective walking shoes are the best ones to get relief from flat foot pain. However, you would also require work shoes, casual wear shoes, party shoes, and many more! But, this doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune buying those expensive and yet not-so-stylish footwear only because you have flat feet! Buy shoe insoles instead. Shoe insoles for flat feet are a great way to make your stylish footwear more comfortable. They can replace or supplement the insoles of your existing shoes. The best thing about flat foot insoles is that they are inexpensive and yet, they can provide you much relief from flat foot pain.

 

Top 5 Insoles for Flat Feet

In this blog, we have gathered a list of 5 best insoles for flat feet. Before you buy them, please read their descriptions properly to find out if they are suitable for your lifestyle. Also, make sure you read the customer reviews and, if required, do ask questions to the seller before ordering them. We hope this list of best shoe inserts for flat feet helps you make the right choice.

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Pros

  • It is one of the best insoles for flat feet. The semi-rigid arch provides good support and stability to the fallen arch.
  • The cushioning of the heel cradle is incredible. Powerstep orthotic insoles use dual layer cushioning with variable Cushioning Technology to protect your feet, knees, and back from everyday activities.
  • These insoles are very thin and can fit in most casual, dress, and athletic shoes.
  • They are made of Polypropylene.
  • Apart from flat feet pain, Powerstep arch support inserts are helpful for Plantar Fasciitis.
  • You can easily move them from one shoe to another. So, you don’t need to buy multiple ones.
  • They are inexpensive as compared to the customized ones and yet, they provide adequate support and stability.

Cons

  • Since the arch is semi-rigid, they may not be suitable for running or walking for long distances.
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Pros

  • Samurai inserts are also rated as one of the best shoe inserts for flat feet and fallen arches. They are as good as custom shoe insoles and yet they are very inexpensive.
  • These inserts for flat feet can correct overpronation associated with fallen arches.
  • Great for flat feet pain, heel pain, and plantar fasciitis.
  • They are lightweight and can be fit in almost all kinds of shoes including boots, clogs, sneakers, work shoes, etc.
  • You can wear them while running, cycling, jogging, jumping, etc. They are one of the top selling running insoles for flat feet.
  • They provide adequate cushioning and shock absorption.

Cons

  • These Samurai insoles for flat feet are somewhat large at the front and you may have to trim them to get a good fit.
  • They are not very thick, so they may not last for a very long time if you use them for running, jogging, etc.
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Pros

  • It is made of shock absorbing foam and firm composite material and therefore, it provides relief from flat foot pain, plantar fasciitis, high arches, and other foot related problems.
  • Can be worn with most shoe styles including casual shoes and athletic shoes.
  • They complement the natural shape of the foot. However, if required, you can trim them to get a proper fit.
  • These are washable and have antimicrobial layer. This is the reason why they are counted as one of the best insoles for people with foot and leg problems.
  • They are designed by podiatrist and therefore, they are comfortable, shock-absorbing, and have a great fit.
  • Lightweight and sturdy.

Cons

  • ViveSole shoe inserts for flat feet are great but they are not much sleek. So, you may feel that they are taking up too much space in your shoes. Further, some people find them hard.
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If you are looking for customized shoe inserts, Dr Scholl’s flat feet inserts are a great option. This company is renowned for its product quality. The customized inserts are expensive but thankfully, now you can buy the standard insoles at a very inexpensive price.

Pros

  • Dr scholls inserts for flat feet are developed by podiatrists and they have been clinically proven to provide relief from foot and back pain.
  • They provide great arch support.
  • Can fit all forms of footwear including boots, sneakers, casual shoes, and work shoes.
  • They have extra cushioning to provide all-day shock absorption.
  • Dr Scholl’s flat feet insoles are great for all day wear. They help reduce muscle fatigue.
  • They are available in many colors.
  • Can be trimmed to achieve a better fit.

 Cons

  • These shoe inserts are good for walking but they do not provide much benefit to athletes, runners, and joggers.
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Pros

  • If you are looking for durable, supportive, and comfortable inserts, Superfeet insoles for flat feet are a great option.
  • The heel cup helps position the heel naturally to absorb shock.
  • They have an anti-bacterial coating that eliminates odor-causing bacteria.
  • Superfeet insoles for flat feet are made of high density foam layer and provide a good cushiony support to the fallen arch.
  • The insoles have a biomechanical shape.
  • They are sleek and take up very less space in the shoe.
  • Can fit in all forms of footwear such as sneakers, work shoes, casual shoes, etc.

Cons

  • They are expensive as compared to other insoles for flat feet.
  • Many people experience sizing problems. Buying a larger size and trimming is often recommended.
  • They are good for running and jogging as well but in that case, they may not last long.

 

How Orthotic Insoles Can Help

As mentioned above, insoles for flat feet are great for getting relief from flat foot pain and a lot of studies have proved this. For example, a recent study that investigated the effect of arch support inserts on uphill and downhill walking of persons with flatfoot concluded that wearing them is beneficial and they help reduce muscle fatigue.(1) Further, people with flat feet are more prone to shin splint, i.e. the pain caused by overuse of the shinbone, the large front bone of the lower leg. Orthotic insoles can relieve the pressure on shins and reduce the chance of over pronation. (2)

Before you decide to buy shoe inserts for flat feet, please note that they cannot correct your flat feet. They can, however, provide you temporary pain relief and help you to continue your routine tasks without any inconvenience. If you are looking for flat feet cure, read our previous blog on ‘How to fix flat feet by naturally raising your arches’. Flat feet is often associated with a variety of painful symptoms such as pain in feet, back, the inner side of the ankle, knees, hip, and the calf muscles. Inserts for flat feet can help you successfully stay away from these symptoms and discomfort for decades! Further, studies have proven that shoe insoles can decrease the chances of injury and that’s why it is highly recommended for people with flat feet. (3) Insoles help you achieve optimal alignment of your leg, thereby preventing injury and any future problem to other parts of your body such as knees, hips, ankles, and back.

To understand how orthotic inserts for flat feet help us, let’s first understand what flat feet are and how they affect our body. Normal human feet have arches at the center. These arches act like spring. They protect our knees, ankles, foot, and back from stress caused by everyday activities. The arches can lose their elasticity and fall down due to a number of reasons such as aging, obesity, diabetes, pregnancy, arthritis, and some musculoskeletal and nervous system diseases. Some people inherit it and, in some cases, it is caused due to bone deformity. Whatever be the reason, flat feet do not require attention unless you are experiencing pain and discomfort.

Flat feet support simply lifts your foot at the center to create an arch. This arch helps balance your body, thereby protecting your knees, ankles, and other parts of the leg. Even if you are not experiencing any trouble, you can still wear shoe insoles to prevent any future problem. Running insoles for flat feet are great for athletes and people who have a very active lifestyle that requires them to walk, run, or stand for long hours. Shoe insoles align your joints and reduce fatigue. Apart from wearing insoles, your doctor or physical therapist will also recommend you to wear proper shoes for flat feet and some flat feet exercises to prevent pain and discomfort. If you have flat feet due to bone deformity, arch support inserts may not help you much and, in such case, the doctor may advise you a foot correction surgery.

 

Are Orthopedic Insoles Right For You?

Orthotic insoles are great for anyone and everyone but they are specifically recommended for:

  • People with flat feet: As mentioned above, flat feet could be genetic or due to various other reasons such as arthritis, aging, some musculoskeletal and nervous disorders, excessively stressed legs, bad lifestyle, obesity, pregnancy, etc. Even if you are not experiencing any pain or discomfort, you may still use them to prevent or delay any future problem.
  • Osteoarthritis patients: A study conducted by Rush University Medical Center concluded that shoe insoles can reduce knee strain of osteoarthritis patients and increase their functionality.  (4)
  • People who overpronate while walking: Overpronation can damage the calf muscles and affect the knees and back. Studies have concluded that arch support inserts can prevent or minimize the damage. (5)

  • People who have to stand or walk for a long time.
  • Aged people who are suffering from consistent pain in their feet.
  • Athletes or people who are engaged in running and other sports.
  • People who are suffering from foot, knee, and back problem: Not every problem requires you to wear shoe inserts but, if your doctor or physical therapist has recommended them, then you must use them.
  • People who are at the risk of developing flat feet.

 

Examining Over-The-Counter Orthotic Insoles

Cushioning

While buying orthotic insoles, you need to make sure that you choose the one that provides you the right amount of flexibility and stability. It must provide the right amount of cushioning and support so that your heels are able to absorb the shock instead of passing it to your knees and back. A very rigid shoe insole is of no use. It will not help your feet absorb the shock and therefore, it will provide little or no benefit from pain relief. On the other hand, arch support inserts that are too cushiony do not provide appropriate support and balance to the fallen arch. Initially, they may feel very comfortable but they are not going to work.

Material

Insoles for flat feet are usually made of foam, leather, and gel. The choice of material depends on your requirements and budget. If you don’t have a very active lifestyle, you may go for the foam ones. Foam is a natural shock absorber and is very comfortable. But, foam insoles are not very durable. Some foam insoles, however, have compressed air bubbles, which increases their life. Leather insoles for flat feet are great for pain relief. They provide strong arch support and have a very good life. Gel shoe inserts are in trend these days. They are made of gel encapsulated bubbles and have a foam bed. But, gel shoe inserts are expensive as compared to the other varieties.

Sizing

Always buy an insole that fits the sole of your foot properly. If you do not find something that fits you well, you may get them customized but do not compromise on the quality and fit.

Other features

  • The best inserts for flat feet are the ones that have an anti-microbial layer that reduces unpleasant odor and discourage the growth of fungi.
  • Always buy insoles that are washable. To keep them hygienic, you will have to wash them frequently.
  • When you start wearing a shoe insole, you will feel uncomfortable for a few days. But, soon your ligaments and muscles will get accustomed to the correction. Continue wearing them for at least a week even if they feel uncomfortable. But, make sure the fitting is good.

 

We hope this blog helps you buy the perfect pair of shoe insert to ease your flat feet pain. Keep reading our blog for more information.

References and citations

  1. Huang Y, Kim K, Song C, Chen Y, Peng H. How Arch Support Insoles Help Persons with Flatfoot on Uphill and Downhill Walking. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5401752/
  2. The truth about arch support – A meta analysis of 150 studies. Running Shoes Reviews. 2018. Available at: https://runrepeat.com/arch-support-study.
  3. Mündermann A e. Relationship between footwear comfort of shoe inserts and anthropometric and sensory factors. – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2018. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11689747
  4. Researchers test benefit of ‘smart’ shoe insole for patients with knee osteoarthritis. News-Medicalnet. 2018. Available at: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20171004/Researchers-test-benefit-of-smart-shoe-insole-for-patients-with-knee-osteoarthritis.aspx.
  5. Available at: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jpfsm/3/4/3_385/_pdf.

Last updated on July 31st, 2018

Editorial Team

Academic Association of Medicine is the go to resource for all health related issues. We are an independent body that seeks to offer general information on various health topics and unbiased reviews on health products.

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