13 Best Insoles For Flat Feet For Every Kind Of Shoe
A question I often hear from those of us who suffer from pain or discomfort associated with flat feet is "why me"?
Most people are born with flat feet because the well-defined foot arch does not properly or permanently form for several years. However, after that, some people never develop a foot arch or only have a low foot arch. In this case, the cause is likely genetic and in essence, they were born with flat feet.
Then, there are those who have flat feet thrust upon them later in life. This happens to around 20-30% of the population.
Many people with flat feet do not have symptoms. They carry on happily about their everyday activities. For others, flat feet mean pain in the foot, lower leg, hips, and/or back because their body can't cope with the stress of their feet being out of alignment. In this case, finding the best insoles for flat feet is an absolute necessity.
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How The Reviews Are Organized
In this article, I highlight thirteen of the best insoles for flat feet and discuss what makes each of them the best in their class. I selected them based upon three categories.
First- flat feet insoles for everyday. These include budget or premium choices.
Second - shoe inserts for flat fleet for dress or office shoes, flip flops or more difficult shoe designs such as sandals or high heels.
Third - orthotics for flat feet for all round athletes or specific sports such as running, hiking, playing tennis or golf.
Getting the right insole to give you the level of support you need in every pair of your shoes is going to be a process. Unless you go see a podiatrist (a doctor who specializes in feet) or have your feet examined or measured for exact arch height, then have custom orthotics made, you may have to try a few flat feet insoles before you find the perfect pair for the shoe, intended activity and unique features of your feet.
But have faith, there are plenty of different designs and styles. Even with flat feet, you can continue to wear your favorite sandals, sneakers, or even flip flops and still enjoy golfing, walking running or hiking up a mountain.
What Are The Important Features of Shoe Inserts For Flat Feet?
At the end of the reviews of the thirteen best insoles for flat feet, I supply a Buyer's Guide. Here you will learn how you might have developed flat feet and the problems they can cause if your arches are not properly supported. In addition, I set out how to choose the best insoles for flat feet when you are faced with many options.
Other Options Available For Flat Feet
This article is intended to provide a list of choices for flat feet insoles that will fit into all kinds of shoes for different sorts of activities. However, there are other options available to help with your flat feet.
- 11 Best Keen Water Shoes And Sandals - Keen manufactures a large supply of shoes with excellent arch support. This article discusses sandals with arch support for everyday or an active outdoor lifestyle.
- 12 Very Stylish Sandals For Flat Feet - This article identifies men's and women's sandals that already have good arch support. They include flip flops, slides, dress shoes or shoes for trail walking.
- 11 Most Effective And Best Insoles For Work Boots - This article focuses on finding the best insoles for work boots to address many different problems. However, there are a selection of recommended inserts for flat feet.
Best Premium Everyday Shoe Inserts For Flat Feet
Natural Foot Orthotic Inserts
- Price is more than other ready to wear insoles (but much less than custom orthotics).
- Breaking-in period to customize to your foot - may not provide instant relief.
These shoe inserts for flat feet are more expensive than other insoles, but offer a lot. They have been developed to mold to the shape of your foot giving you the best fit for your low arches. Compared to cheaper models, they are made from one solid molded piece of EVA plastic, and not several pieces of material glued together. In addition, with their low volume, they can easily fit into most everyday shoes without requiring you to purchase larger shoes.
These orthotics for flat feet are backed with a 30 day trial period, a lifetime guarantee and expert customer service support to help with sizing and comfort. The expectation is that you make one purchase and they last for a very long time.
Best Budget Everyday Flat Feet Insoles
- Sizing is a range so trimming will be required.
These are one of the best everyday insoles for flat feet for work or leisure because they are affordable and offer arch support and heel stability. The heel supplies cushion and shock absorption with each step, while simultaneously lifting arches and stabilizing the heel.
A chiropractor developed the product to meet his patients' needs for an inexpensive shoe insert that relieves the discomfort associated with flat feet. It does the job, and it is budget friendly. If you are not totally sure that your foot problems are the result of your low arches, then an initial low cost investment might be the way to go with a future purchase of a more premium product offering more features at a later date.
Best Insoles For Flat Feet For Dress And Office Shoes
Walk Hero Insoles
Although ultra-thin, these insoles for flat feet give you the anatomical arch support and proper foot alignment necessary to provide you with relief from the discomfort associated with flat feet. The ultra thin density means that you can use these flat feet insoles in any shoe in your wardrobe where the shoe fits snug to your foot, like most dress or office shoes.
The semi-rigid cradle for your foot promotes natural alignment and gait. The cushioning may be low volume, but it is manufactured to provide cushion and shock absorption as you walk. The competitive pricing means it makes sense to invest in several pairs for everyday use for work and leisure.
Best Insoles For Flat Feet For Women's Casual And Heeled Shoes
Vionic Slim Fit Relief Insoles
Women with flat feet don't want or need to confine their shoe choices to medical-looking clunky shoes. However, some of the most attractive women's shoe designs give very little room for flat feet insoles. This is where these slim fit shoe inserts for flat feet can save the day. You get all the biomedical support for your flat feet but in a thin volume so you can discretely adapt your favorite shoes into supportive and comfortable footwear.
Your flat feet shouldn't limit your shoe choices - with discrete and comfortable insoles for every shoe type, you can wear what you want, whenever you want – in comfort and style.
Orthotics For Flat Feet For Flip Flops
Thong Joy Arch Support
- Can't reuse as they adhere to the base of the shoe.
- May lose adhesiveness if need to adjust fit.
- Only come in two sizes - small and large.
- The support covers the arch and toe areas but not the heel.
Your flat feet don't go away when the summer months arrive and trips to the beach mean you want to wear flip flops and strappy sandals. These discrete, clear gel inserts add the support you need to your favorite summer footwear. The transparent gel design is unobtrusive and suits any style of sandal with a toe thong.
These insoles for flat feet are missing a heel cup, so they do not assist with walking alignment. Rather, it means that their appearance remains subtle so that your sandals are the main attraction.
Best Insoles For Flat Feet For Difficult Shoes
Dr. Foot's Arch Support Insoles
Arch support pads like these are ideal for providing orthotics for flat feet in difficult shoes like high heels or sandals. You position the arch pad to support your arch - it doesn't raise your heel, so you don't have shoe fitting problems and you don't have to trim them down to fit your shoe. They are re-usable and stay fresh with gentle washing. However, for the price, it is easy to justify purchasing pads for each pair of your shoes.
Whole foot insoles don't work in every pair of shoes. And these provide arch support in those shoe types. As a budget-friendly option for office shoes, evening wear, and summer sandals, these provide plenty of discrete support.
Best Shoe Insoles For Flat Feet For Multi-Sports
Vionic Active Insoles
These insoles for flat feet are designed for fast paced activities. The heel cup keeps your heel in position, and the supportive cushioning and plastic shell realigns the foot into a better position to relieve your feet, knees and hips from pain.
They are not the cheapest insoles on the market, costing as much as a budget pair of sneakers, but if you are serious about being active or about a sport that you love, you need your feet to be comfortable and supported. These flat feet insoles will keep you running, power walking, and chasing after balls on a tennis court, soccer pitch, or baseball field.
Best Budget Insoles For Flat Feet For Moderate Exercise
- Arch support is three raised cushions rather than one continuous-shaped arch support cushion normally found on more premium options.
These insoles for flat feet are suitable for sports shoes, walking shoes, and hiking boots for moderate to easy exercise provided the footwear has extra room for a thick insole.
The design and texture promote your foot's stability with a deep heel cup and a non-slip upper layer. Your feet stay fresh as the organic cotton fibers provide breathability. In addition, there is some shock absorption for comfort.
These flat feet insoles will not supply the same level of support, comfort and foot alignment as more premium insoles that may also include a thinner insole, but in the right shoes and for the right activities, they are a great option.
Best Insoles For Flat Feet For Specialty Sport Shoes
Sole Active Insoles
- No cushion.
- Need to wear or use heat to mold to shape of your foot.
These insoles for flat feet are suitable for active individuals with shoes that are slim-fitting with thin or no factory insoles such as some running shoes, cycling shoes, cleats, and ski boots.
With the very thin volume design, the focus of these orthotics for flat feet are support, not cushion. To that end, they supply a deep heel cup to reposition the foot for proper alignment while standing and walking, in addition, to strong arch support. They are designed to naturally mold to the shape of the foot over time, or mold into the ideal shape with heat.
These are some of the best insoles for flat feet for people who also suffer from plantar fascia. With persistent use, you will have a contoured foot bed and excellent arch support.
Best Hiking Orthotics For Flat Feet
Keen K-30 Insoles (Medium Arches)
Keen K-30 Insoles (Low Arches)
- Men's sizes only.
Not all flat feet have the same arches. You may need medium or low arch support, and Keen insoles for flat feet provide support for both instances.
You get all the great Keen technology of an anatomical footbed contoured to keep your foot supported and promote a natural gait. Plus, you get the fatigue-busting gel shock-absorbing pads and energy rebound foam. The Cleansport NXT, Keen's anti-odor technology, also makes sure your feet remain smelling fresh after a long day enjoying the outdoors.
If you enjoy long hikes but don't want to end the day with aching feet and legs, then these insoles for flat feet will do the job of supporting and caring for your feet.
Best Golf Insoles For Flat Feet
Pine Valley Golf Insoles
Golf is a sport that puts a lot of pressure on your feet, but it gets you out in the fresh air and walking for miles (if you leave the golf cart behind!) These insoles for flat feet provide soft energy responsive cushioning, flexible arch support and energy return as you walk. In addition, they are designed by a golfer to support flat feet when playing golf and the unique impact that the game places on your feet and body.
They are expensive, but should last around two years with regular use. Over two years of golfing, they cost less than a cup of coffee per week for the priceless gift of freedom from discomfort.
Best Running Insoles For Flat Feet
Dr. Scholl Performance Running Insoles
Dr. Scholl is the big name for foot care and products that keep your feet healthy and happy. These performance insoles for flat feet are a recent (September 2020) development for runners. They provide carefully thought-out supportive cushioning that reduces the backlash energy from your heel striking the ground, promote a smooth transition from heel to toe, and provide targeted size-specific support in all the right places.
These best insoles for flat feet are made to perfectly fit inside your sneakers to give you custom support to reduce lower leg pain and let you concentrate on your running form without the custom orthotic price.
Buyer's Guide To The Best Insoles For Flat Feet
Not All Flat Feet Are The Same
There are two types of flat feet – rigid and flexible. People with rigid flat feet always have a flat foot or the absence of a foot arch whether they are standing or sitting. These people benefit from low arch support insoles.
Some only have a flat foot when standing – the foot arch reappears when they sit down. In this case, they have a flexible flat foot and medium arch insoles are a better bet for comfort and support.
Why Do You Need a Foot Arch?
The human foot actually has four arches:
- Inner longitudinal arch - along the inside of your foot.
- Outer longitudinal – the outside edge.
- Behind the ball of your foot.
- In front of the heel.
Most people see it all as just one arch in the hollow part of the foot, but it is not.
The human foot is unique in the animal world with this complex system of arches that supports easy foot movements involved with walking, running, and jumping. Some of the more expensive and best insoles for flat feet provide targeted arch support for all four different arches.
Foot arches mean you:
- Move efficiently with flexibility.
- Absorb and dissipate the shock of your weight hitting the ground.
- Remain balanced on your feet through a range of movements.
Strengthening, stretching, and supporting your arches mean freedom of movement throughout your life.
What Causes Flat Feet?
Less than a third of the population has flat feet. Some underlying causes include:
- Genetics – some people are born predisposed to flat feet.
- Physical trauma – tearing a tendon or breaking a bone.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – damage to your bones.
- Obesity – excessive loading on your foot arch weakens it.
- Pregnancy – you get bone softening plus extra weight.
- Diabetes – affects the nerves in your feet, weakens tendons, and generally causes problems.
- High blood pressure – reduces blood supply to and health in your foot.
- Age – everything gets a bit weaker and less robust with age.
Most people don't notice that they are developing flat feet until they begin to have pain.
What Problems Can You Get with Flat Feet?
Flat feet are symptomatic of feet under stress, and most of us are familiar with the potential problems:
- Tired feet – your feet ache, and you want to elevate them and give them a good rest.
- Pain – the pain can be in your foot, ankle, knees, hips, and lower back.
- Ankle swelling – tired, painful feet are swollen feet.
- Altered gait and overpronation – you walk on inside of your foot, pushing off of your big toe which throws everything off balance.
High heels, flip flops, and other shoes with poor arch support in their design can aggravate all the problems associated with having flat feet.
What About Arch Support?
Arch support is beneficial for almost everyone, regardless of flat feet, because it:
- Distributes pressure across your foot.
- Aligns foot and improves posture.
- Reduces or prevents pain.
- Helps prevent damage to your arches.
The benefits of arch support for people who spend their working lives standing on hard concrete, walking, or running are well known. Several high-quality shoes for work or athletics will boast superior cushioning and tailored arch support in certain designs. Then for people with other conditions, such as Plantar Fasciitis, you may need other shoe inserts for flat feet. Many footwear designs offer removable footbeds so that you can supply your own unique and best insoles for flat feet.
Arch support for long-term comfort needs to be firm and supportive. Soft cushioning without firm arch support that compresses over time loses its effectiveness.
Why Use The Best Insoles for Flat Feet?
Using inserts for flat feet or, in general, provides a supportive environment for your feet.
Most dress shoes, sandals, and flip-flops are for fashion rather than foot health. There are some exceptions (see Keen sandals and these men's and women's sandals for flat feet), but arch support and foot health are generally not factors in their design.
Using the best insoles for flat feet in all your footwear means:
- You keep your feet properly aligned, supported, and pain-free.
- You end your working day with less pain and fatigue.
- You improve your posture and ease of movement.
- You maintain your physical health because it is no longer painful to move around.
- You stay active in later life and improve your health.
- You improve your self-confidence and willingness to engage with new activities.
- You keep a fresh, clean environment for your feet.
You only get one pair of feet, and it makes sense to maintain them with all the care and attention you would lavish on a high-class luxury car. Look after your feet so that you get a comfy ride for life.
How to Choose Orthotics for Flat Feet?
Unless you opt for one of a kind, uniquely designed insoles for your foot type from a medical professional, most of the time, you need to go through a process of trial and error to find out what works for you and your feet. Shoe inserts for flat feet are widely available, and some of the factors to consider are:
- Price vs. longevity – you can get plenty of budget flat feet insoles under $10, some higher-priced offerings, and some costing $100 plus. A lower price makes it straightforward to experiment, but many higher-priced models offer a money-back guarantee, customer service and greater longevity.
- Arch support – low to medium arch support is best for flat feet as high arch support pushes your foot into an unnatural position. Plus, look for firm support, not soft cushioning.
- Heel cup – support for your heel improves your stability and to mobilize your foot so that it walks more naturally, but you may not always find this necessary.
- Type of shoe – you need different flat feet insoles for different types of shoes. That includes flip-flops.
- Room in shoe - there are low, medium and high volume insoles for flat feet. Which one you choose should be driven by the amount of extra room that you may have in each pair of shoes. For snug fitting shoes, you should look at low volume insoles while high volume insoles usually work for boots.
- Activity – the type of insole you need for a pair of running or golf shoes differs from that available or necessary for a pair of sandals.
- Freshness – breathability, and washability are two useful features. These help keep your insoles a pleasure to use.
Thankfully, there are many kinds of insoles for flat feet for different kinds of shoes and activities. Relief from pain and discomfort is as simple as finding the right shoe insert for the right shoe for comfort while you are doing the activity of your choice. You can choose from budget insoles to more premium options, depending on your budget. In time, you will no longer avoid being on your feet and enjoy your favorite shoes and sports.