If you’re one that’s been blessed with flat feet, you might be all too familiar with the challenge of finding a pair of supportive footwear for your feetsies.
You know you have flat feet if the entire bottom of your foot touches the ground when you’re standing.
Lucky for you, it’s possible to regain control of your foot arch functionality with a pair of perfect insoles for your flat feet.
First things first..
What are flat feet, exactly?
Flat feet are used to describe your feet when the entire bottom, or sole, of your foot touches the ground when you stand up.
This phenomenon happens when your arches don’t properly develop during your childhood years, or it can be a result of genetics.
We are all born with flat feet as babies, and during early childhood, the arches begin to form.
You may even go about the first part of your life having arches in your feet, and then come to realize that after some time, they started developing a flatness to them. This is known as acquired flat foot, aka fallen arches. But, why would this happen? Let’s investigate.
How to identify your flat feet
Your flat feet can be classified into one of two categories:
Rigid Flat Feet: feet are flat when you stand on them and flat when your feet are unweighted. If you place your foot over the opposite knee and it still seems to be flat, you have rigid flat feet.
Flexible Flat Feet: feet are flat when you stand on them but show an arch when they’re unweighted. If you put your foot over the opposite knee and the arch appears, you know you have flexible flat feet.
What factors lead to acquired flat foot over time?
If you’ve suffered from traumatic injuries like dislocating bones in the feet, arthritis, obesity (extra pressure on tendons that the feet aren’t accustomed to), high blood pressure (due to minimized blood flow through the tendons in the foot alters their ability to fully support the feet), or pregnancy (arches can flatten due to extra weight), odds are you could be subject to acquiring flat foot, if you don’t already have it.
What to consider when purchasing the best insoles for flat feet
Support: Insoles that provide great support will lift the arch enough to ensure better support. If the arch is too high or too low, the insole will only make things more uncomfortable.
Size: It’s a good idea to opt for a size that’s not too narrow or too wide, with no gaps along the sides, and that’s not too short or too long for the shoe. The sizing for insoles is usually portrayed as a shoe size range. For example, women’s 8-10, would work for any size in between these – they’re designed to be trimmed to fit. So have a pair of scissors handy when you get ready to tailor them to your feet. If you’re between sizes, you should buy the next size up.
Most insoles on the market are sold in “approximate size,” which can sometimes lead to an improper fitting for the wearer, so just make sure that when you try them on for the first time that the sizing feels adequate.
Durability: For those of you that want your insoles to last, consider shock absorption of the insoles, enhanced breathability, removable top covers, and the ability of them to be trimmed to tailor it to your feet. These are all vital components of insoles that will last you.
Ease of Use: If you’re on your feet most of the day, insoles will bring your feet the comfort they need.
*If you have flat feet, they could likely have imbalances that might lead to an overly inward rolling of the foot, referred to as over-pronation. This could lead to back or hip injuries later in life, so it’s important for insoles to be used in combination with the proper footwear to prevent this.
Comfort: It’s key to choose insoles that aren’t too stiff or too flexible. If they’re too firm, they won’t absorb the shock from your activities. Now, if they’re too cushioned, they may lack support, as often times they’re made from a compressed foam material that normally proves to not be up to par after the first few uses.
Confirm that the insoles fit your arch and foot in a way that feels good for utmost comfort.
Cost: Some insoles run fairly cheap, while others run sky-high. The more you spend, the higher quality your insoles will be, but it doesn’t cost much money for a decent pair.
Reasons to Purchase Insoles for Flat Feet
- Shock absorption if you are on your feet a lot
- Reducing joint pain
- Foot odor control
What’s the purpose behind foot arches?
Arches help us move our bodies throughout the day by allowing the central part of the foot to spread and close, adding springiness and elasticity to the way we walk.
Arches absorb the physical shock of landing and improve your balance when you’re standing.
Types of Insoles
You’ll want a pair of insoles with structure, stability, and the right amount of flexibility for your feet. Padding for shock absorption is also a crucial element to consider – springy cushioning that is supportive and that doesn’t shrink down after a few uses is ideal. Otherwise, a lack of cushion can cause lower back and joint pain if there’s not enough shock absorption.
With insole materials ranging from memory foam to gel, here are some of these common materials that insoles are created from and how they differ:
Gel: This is a great option if you work long hours on hard surfaces. The gel is ideal for maximum shock absorption, and is suitable for high-impact activities such as running or Crossfit-related exercises. Note these are heavier than other insole materials, but that’s how they absorb the impact shock so well.
Foam: If you want cushion, support, and pressure alleviation, this is the way to go.
Cork: Yes – insoles can be made from cork. This material provides support and light cushion
Memory Foam: This material is very soft and moulds to the contour of your foot over time. If a soft layer of cushioning sounds like what your feet need, this may be your best bet.
10. GAOAG Orthotic Plantar Fasciitis Shoe Insoles
These GAOAG Orthotic Plantar Fasciitis Shoe insoles for men and women are lined with sheepskin fleece- the ultimate
Before buying, ensure your foot fits the parameters of .16” in the forefront and .62” heel height. You can trim these to fit your shoe, provided its within these measurements.
The GAOAG’s are great for walking, running, crossfit training, work, or for everyday use while you’re living your best life.
The nylon plate built into the arch of the sole ensures that low arched feet stay aligned. The skydex air bubbles in the heel and in the arch absorb shock impact, if you’re planning on using this for labor-induced activities or at the gym.
The gel forefoot improves shock absorption, too, and is made from breathable material that dries quickly if you get sweaty feet.
These shoe insoles proved a wide and deep heel cup which positions the soft tissue to aid in natural shock absorption. These also take a little breaking in, but are very comfortable once you’re past that phase. These also provide good stability – one reviewer went as far as to say that these are lifechanging.
You can hand wash and air dry these in the sun. The sun dries out any bacteria, too.
*Why we love these:
-These even correct your posture
9. Dr. Foot’s Arch Support Shoe Insoles
Dr. Foot’s arch support shoe insoles are special in that they have an adhesive arch pad that ensures there will be no slippin’ and slidin’ around in your shoes.
These can be washed and reused, and come with three pairs , so you won’t need to think about buying anymore for a little while. Or, you may want to buy even more so you can have one for each pair of shoes in your closet!
If they do lose stickiness for any reason, its nothing that a bit of gorilla glue can’t fix.
These insoles suitable for sandals, flats, running shoes, and high heels..doesn’t take up much space and theyre comfortable, with no sliding
Dr. Foot’s provides relief from flat feet, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, and other arch problems, if you suffer from any of those ailments.
Reviewers have noted instant relief after the first use, if youre lookin for a quick solution to your aching feet.
This company offers a twelve month warranty and thirty day money back guarantee.
*Why we love these:
-Made of comfortable and elastic soft medical grade Pu gel material
8. Ergofoot Orthotic Insoles
Known for preventing and alleviating pain associated with flat feet, these trim-to-fit Ergofoot Orthotic insoles provide best of the best support for your feet.
Ergofoot Orthotic inserts are medical grade orthotic insoles that provide relief for those that have ankle pains, overpronation, bunions, heel pain, and foot arthritis.
These have a PORON shock absorbing cushion heel and forefoot padding, which reduces the impact on your joints and muscles.
The forefoot, arch, and U-toe heel cup support on these gives you the cushion you need to painlessly go about your day, while evenly distributing pressure on your foot and heel, to give you maximum endurance to go about your day.
Designed with high grade and medium density EVA foam, these are lightweight and anti-bacterial, if you struggle with odors or athlete’s foot.
You can wear these for activities such as running, hiking, or rock climbing. These minimize muscle fatigue so you can enjoy your favorite activities without concerning yourself with the pain of the aftermath, as its likely you won’t have any pain with these.
*Why we love these:
-Excellent for foot stabilization
7. Nazaroo Shoe Insoles
Considered medical grade orthotic inserts, Nazaroo shoe insoles are highly functional inserts that work wonders for those of you that have flat feet.
The Nazaroo’s relieve arch pain, heel pain, general pain, plantar fasciitis, and pains associated with overpronation.
These are highly functional inserts that have a deep heel cradle that keeps the foot bone vertical, and also a cushioning latex pad. This evenly distributes pressure in the foot and minimizes overall pain. You may even forget you ever had pain after wearing these!
Designed with very breathable fabric and an anti-sweat top layer, these keep your feet cool by sucking up extra moisture. These are also made from a 5mm polyurethane foam top cover for all-day comfort.
These also have superior mobility so your feet can move around freely and not feel squished.
You can use these in any type of shoe – boots, dress shoes, running shoes, work shoes, you name it!
*Why we love these:
-Great for pain relief associated with flat feet.
6. Copper Compression Insoles
Designed for men and women of all ages, these Copper Compression insoles will give your flat feet the relief they need in an instant.
These beauties are able to be trimmed to fit perfectly to your shoes and feet, and make for a fun DIY project if you have children.
The Copper Compression inserts are anti-fatigue insoles that are made from a massaging gel honeycomb design. It’s designed to sustain your whole body, beginning with your feet, ankles, hips, knees, and will support all the way up to your hips and beyond.
This brand has the highest amount of copper in any insoles, which is unique in that it has bacteria resistant properties. This is great if you are someone that struggles with athletes foot or just stinky feet in general. Note these aren’t as breathable but that’s ok because the copper benefits make up for it.
These are good for everyday use, and if you like to workout – they’re great for running. The shock absorption on these is superior, and supports stiff and sore muscles.
Reviewers mention an immediate improvement in overall foot comfortability, and some mention that these even help with nerve pain in the feet.
These are offered at a great price – ringing in at twenty bucks and the company also offers a 100% money-back guarantee if you decide you don’t like them.
*Why we love these:
-They’re copper infused to combat bacteria.
5. Walk-Hero Comfort and Support Plantar Fasciitis Feet Insoles
Walk-Hero has designed new insole technology for you humans with flat feet that provide all-day comfort to help you stay energized and on your feet all day long!
These feature arch support that improves foot and leg alignment, and that relieves stress and pain caused by overpronation, ball of foot pain, and Achilles tendonitis.
The Walk-Heros have built-in silicon and EVA material for shock absorption, which also keeps your feetsies cool throughout the day.
The deep heel cup on these protects the heel during high impact landings – so, if you’re an athlete and love running, but have been discouraged to continue this passion because of your flat feet, these insoles for flat feet might be life-changing.
These are great for everyday use in your work shoes, hiking boots, or tennis shoes, but they do work best with wider-designed shoes, not so much with a pair of low profile flats.
These should last a little more than two years, provided you take good care of them! No need to machine wash- gentle handwashing is best.
*Why we love these:
-The supportive deep heel cup.
4. Superfeet Black Insoles
Highly rated by both men and women with flat feet, Superfeet Black Insoles are known for their versatility to fit into just about any type of shoe.
With a flexible, low profile shape that stabilizes and supports flat feet, this pair of inserts easily molds to tight footwear (even in shoes that don’t allow for the pre-existing insoles to be removed!). These just slip right over them with their low key design.
These gems are designed and lined with synthetic material, and are four inches high and 14 inches wide.
The Superfeet Black insoles help to relieve arch pain, heel pain, and foot discomfort with the accommodating heel cup.
These are formulated with a special NXT antibacterial coating – which means that its vegan and latex-free, and that you won’t have to deal with any odors.
The biomechanical shape and stabilizer cap on these gives structure and support to your feet, knees, and hips.
The Superfeet Black insoles feature a high density foam layer, with closed cell foam that bolsters and cushions the foot for all-day comfort.
These are very affordable for the excellent quality,
*Why we love these:
- They are compatible with a wide range of footwear
3. Tread Labs Stride Insole
A brand preferred by ultra-runners, Tread Labs Stride Insoles provides utmost comfort and unique support for those of you with flat feet.
This company promises that you will walk over a million miles in these shoes. How’s that for durability?
This choice promotes healthy body alignment by cradling the foot, and features a two-part system with a deep cushioning heel cup to improve your foot’s padding abilities.
Tread Labs offers four arch-height options along with lifetime guarantee arch support.
These insoles come with a replaceable top cover to keep shoes clean and free from odor, killing 99.9% of bacteria that may be lurking.
This best pair of insoles for flat feet are very recommended by doctors for their exceptional comfort, and if you decide you dislike something about these, the company offers a 30-day money back guarantee if you decide you don’t like them.
2. Physix Gear Orthotic Inserts
With Physix Gear Orthotic inserts for flat feet, you’ll feel like you’re walking on clouds.
Great for both men and women, these insoles feature an anti-microbial top fabric and thin design, a cradling heel, and a double layer of foam for maximum support.
This choice supports your foot with a semi-rigid arch while also helping enforce proper walking form, supporting arch support and overall posture.
Physix Gear is a good choice for sports and work, rock climbing, camping, you name it. You’ll feel comfortable doing any activity in these, for there is extra space in the toe cavity for a more comfortable fit.
These have an ergonomic non-slip style also with a non-slip heel to hold the insole securely inside of your shoe. No need to keep having to adjust them throughout the day!
These are made of medical grade dual based layered high-performance EVA foam and PU material.
These inserts help reduce foot pain, relieve metatarsal arch and heel pain, corrects abnormal walking patterns, relieves pain in the ball of the foot, helps with knee pain and shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and helps relieve low back pain.
A 100% money back guarantee is offered if you decide you don’t like them.
*Why we love these:
-Optimal orthotic support to soothe flat feet pains
1. Samurai Insoles Instant Relief Insoles
Featuring podiatrist designed arch support, these Samurai insoles are a warrior of an insert.
These best pair of insoles for flat feet are lightweight and durable, and have been designed with a springy molded inner core to provides support in the places you need.
These inserts contour to your feet as you move, so the more you break them in and wear them, the more they become one with your feet.
The unique part about the Samurai is that it fits your exact foot size, not a size range. So, there’s no need to trim these like you might have to trim other pairs of insoles. They’re ready to go as soon as you open the box.
If you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis and heel pain, rest assured that these will provide quick relief.
Just choose your normal shoe size, take out the insoles that are currently in your shoes, and replace them with your new pair of Samurai’s. Your feet will thank you in no time.
You may choose to wear these in your house shoes, boots, sneakers, ballet shoes, or any type of shoe you set your eyes upon.
*Why we love these:
-Samurai fits your exact shoe size – no need to trim these!
How can I find the best pair of insoles for flat feet?
They will have strong arch support, and will fully stabilize the heel to concentrate the fatty pad beneath your heel bone. Structural support is key.
What should I do if my new insoles don’t feel comfortable?
It’s pretty typical for your new insoles to feel weird at first. Know that it may take a few days for misaligned ligaments and muscles to become corrected back to normal.
Where is an insole placed in the shoe?
Directly under your feet in the shoe.
Will insoles affect my balance?
This depends. If you buy a thinner insole, you won’t notice a huge difference in the way your overall balance feels. Now, if you buy a higher profile, thicker one, it may take some time to get adjusted to your taller height. You don’t want your insoles sliding around or bunching up – this is why buying the perfect size and fit is essential.
Is it worth it to spend the money on a pair of insoles when my shoes already come with insoles?
Insoles that come in your shoes aren’t necessarily designed for flat feet. So, it’s a good idea to buy a specific pair outside of the ones that come with your shoes that are made for feet like yours. Yes, your feet support your entire body, from the moment you get out of bed in the morning until you prop them up to relax at night. Even if you’re not experiencing pain, choosing not to invest in a pair of insoles when you have flat feet could lead to pain later in life.
Are there certain types of shoes to avoid if I have flat feet?
You should stray away from high heels and flip-flops, as this can lead to pain over the long term.
What sorts of injuries can flat feet lead to?
Whether you have genetically flat feet, or have acquired this syndrome over time, flat feet can lead to injuries such as:
-foot pain and fatigued feet
-swelling along the inner parts of ankles
-altered placement of the foot on the ground
What to do if you suffer from Flat Feet Pain
-Using the proper insoles designed for your feet’s needs
-Home foot spa treatments
-Always wear shoes that fit you well
-Soak your feet in a tub of warm water with epsom salts
-RICE (Rest, ice, compression, elevation)
-Drink herbal tea to help with pain such as kava-kava root, or try a pain-relieving botanical such as Arnica flower
-Stretch your feet
-Eat nourishing foods for your body, as everything is interconnected. Just because your feet are at the opposite end of your body, doesn’t mean they’re not affected by the food you eat.
-Relax for at least 20 minutes daily.
-Establish good lifestyle habits like exercising (your feet carry your weight load every single day), so be conscious of your workout habits and how these affect your feet. Adequate sleep is important for rejuvenation, too. These habits serve as preventatives for more serious conditions like diabetes and heart ailments that would potentially affect your feet.
How we Ranked
When compiling our list, we examined a few things we mentioned above, like durability, sizing, comfortability, cost, and ease of use. We also took into consideration how established the brand is, how many reviews there were on major consumer websites and what those look like. In the end, we wanted to verify the items we recommended are up to par all around.