Having very high arches is a fairly uncommon problem, but that comes as small comfort to the twenty percent of the population who suffer from them. A very high arch causes uneven distribution of weight across the foot with the heel and ball of the foot put under great pressure and the arch greatly stressed. In fact, the bare footprint of a person with a truly high arch shows no impression of the arch at all indicating that all of the person’s weight rests on the heel and forefoot while the arch receives tremendous downward pressure.
This sad state of affairs causes pain in the heel and ball of foot and rigidity and tension in the arch. It also causes problems with the ankle, knee and hip joints because the lack of flexibility in the foot leads to a low level of shock absorption when walking. This causes pain in the joints and in the lower back.
If you are suffering from:
- Atrophy of the fat pad of your heel
- List item
- Plantar Fasciitis symptoms
- Unstable ankles
- Calloused soles
- Claw Foot
- Rigid feet
…this is a good indication that you have very high arches. If your wet footprint on a dry surface shows that your arch does not come in contact with the ground, you know that your arch is just too high for good health.
Providing good support for high arches and ample cushioning for the sole of the foot can go a long way toward relieving pain throughout the feet, legs, hips and back. In this article, we will discuss the importance of choosing the best insoles for high arches. We will also offer sound advice on exactly the right insoles to choose and how to make your selection. Read on to learn more.
Start With High Quality Footwear
If your feet hurt at all, you should take some time and invest some effort into determining the cause and solving the problem. Your feet are the foundation of your body, and your overall good health is really dependent on the health and comfort of your feet.
Making certain your arch is well supported will go far toward providing comfort and easing your pain. To that end, you should always invest in high quality shoes that provide good support and cushioning all around your foot.
If you prefer to wear sandals, it is wise to invest in the orthotic version. These may be a bit pricey, but the biomechanical foot bed and built-in arch support you will enjoy with this type of footwear are well worth the expenditure.
Likewise, orthotic slippers to wear around the house can really help ease your pain. Alternately, you might purchase plain house slippers and use orthotic insoles.
Even when you do invest well in high quality footwear, well-made high arch insoles can really make a big difference in comfort, stability and support. Insoles designed for feet with high arches give your feet a solid foundation and help distribute the weight of your body evenly. They align your hips, knees, ankles and feet and provide cushioning to absorb the shock of every step you take.
How To Choose The Right Insoles
Look for brands of insoles that are designed specifically with high arches in mind. Whatever brand you choose, when it comes to fit remember that you don’t necessarily want the support to come in full contact with the arch at all times.
Instead, it should provide both support and flexibility. An arch support that holds the arch rigidly in place will do more harm than good because it will prevent natural pronation and proper flexing of the sole.
An insole designed specifically for a foot with a high arch should also have lots of padding at the ball of the foot and at the heel to provide comfort and absorb impact shock.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you choose both your footwear and your insoles:
1. Cushioned arch support is comfy but does not provide much support. Rigid arch support negatively impacts foot flexion. For these reasons, an arch support that is labeled as “semi-rigid” is generally the best choice as it provides comfort, flexion and effective support.
2. Choose the length of the insole carefully. Generally speaking a full insole is best; however, if your footwear does not have a removable insole you may have to go with a three-quarter-length sole.
3. Extra cushioning is advised, but it will take up more space in your shoe. Be sure to plan and choose accordingly.
Clearly getting just the right combination of footwear and insoles can be a bit of a challenge, but with practice and time your choices will come naturally.
What Are The Top Choices In Insoles For High Arches?
Luckily, in this day and age it is easy to find a wide assortment of insoles and footwear online. While this type of purchase can be a bit difficult to select “long-distance” it is possible with a bit of practice. Be sure to take good measurements, read descriptions and reviews and study images carefully when buying wearables of any kind online.
Here are a few top picks to get you started:
1. Sof Sole Arch Full Length Comfort High Arch Shoe Insole for Men and Women
This insole is designed specifically for use by active people with high arches. They are an excellent choice for both casual shoes and athletic shoes as they provide ample support for standing, walking, running and cross-training.
These insoles provide enhanced arch height, gel cushioning in a deep, supportive heel cup and “Hydologix” moisture management. The insoles are also permeated with the antibacterial agent, Microban, to fight bacteria and odor.
Prices ranging between $18 and $22, these insoles come with a one-year guarantee against defects. Most users find this arch height effective. A small percentage complain that it is not high enough. Users seeking a softer insole might do better with a different model.
2. Superfeet Orange Premium Insole
Superfeet insoles come in several color-coded varieties. The orange model measures two inches high and five inches wide and is specifically designed to accommodate very high arches. Because of its larger dimensions, it is important to choose roomy footwear that has removable insoles and a narrow heel to accommodate these insoles properly.
Superfeet orange are made using high-impact, vegan, latex-free foam with a natural anti-bacterial, odor-control coating. This full-length insole provides extra cushioning and shock absorption even on hard surfaces and/or during high impact activity. They are especially designed to address common foot, arch and heel pain and the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
Superfeet orange are bio-mechanically shaped with a slim, narrow heel and deep heel cup that provide superior alignment and stability. The sole of the unit is reinforced to maintain its shape and provide maximum support with extended and challenging use.
Priced ranging around $33-$87, most users are very satisfied with these insoles; however, they do caution that getting the right fit is of the utmost importance and can be challenging. If it is possible to go to a shoe store that carries these insoles and actually try them, that is advisable.
If you are not able to do this, be sure to stand on the insoles outside of your shoes to determine arch placement before you begin trimming them to fit your shoes. Pay close attention to the fit and support provided by the heel as well. Many users find it is best to order a size up to give more flexibility in custom fitting the insole to footwear.
3. Tread Labs Insoles for High Arches
If you have high arches you will definitely benefit from hearing about the Tread Labs Stride Insole. The Stride offers both a ‘high’ and ‘extra high’ arch height option. This insole is perfect for people with high arches who are looking for proper support for their active feet. In addition, the Stride Insole offers a semi-ridged support that is biomechanically proven to cradle the foot and promote healthy alignment. Your feet will stay comfy for longer. These insoles really will keep your feet healthy and active for longer.
Here are some other benefits of the Stride Insole:
- Lifetime guarantee polypropylene arch support
- 4mm high rebound polyurethane cushioning foam top-cover
- Replaceable Top-cover to keep shoes fresh
The contour of the Stride Insole allows for even weight distribution across the arch. This limits the pressure points across the heel, arch and forefoot. Comparable custom orthotics can be as expensive at $400, but the Stride Insole offers the same level of support for only $75.
3. Superfeet Green Heritage Insoles, Green
The Superfeet green color coded insoles are a classic that has remained fairly unchanged since they were first designed and introduced in 1977. The arch support of the insoles measures a full four inches to provide maximum, professional grade orthotic support to very high arches.
As with the orange model, these insoles are recommended for use with roomy footwear that has removable insoles. These also feature anti-bacterial coating and cushiony, latex-free, vegan construction.
Superfeet green provide all the benefits of Superfeet orange for people who have extremely high arches. This model is especially recommended for people who want to participate in extreme sports and/or those who must stand for long periods of time on hard surfaces.
Some users who have tried both Superfeet orange and green express a preference for the orange insoles for active sports and the green for extended standing.
Priced between $39 and $138, Superfeet green insoles provide professional orthotic support for very high arches.
4. New Balance Insoles IUSA3810 Supportive Cushioning Insole
These ultra-arch synthetic insoles feature molded arch support and separate cushioning in the heel and the forefoot. The heel cup is deep, and the metatarsal pad is extra cushiony. These insoles combine superior arch flexibility and extra heel stability thanks to the deep heel cup. The metatarsal pad is especially contoured to help distribute weight evenly and relieve the foot pressure that causes and aggravates conditions such as:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Morton’s Neuroma
The top surface of the insole is lined with specially designed ETC® fabric, which reduces friction, helps prevent blisters and keeps the sole of your foot dry and cool.
Prices ranging between $35 – $45, users who truly have very high arches are very happy with these arch supports. A small percentage complain that the arch is too high and is painful.
Take Care Of Your Investment!
Insoles for high arches may seem a bit pricey, but in terms of the amount of comfort you will enjoy and the health benefits you will reap, they are truly a wise investment. Generally speaking, a good set of insoles will last a year with daily wear (longer with occasional wear). You can get even more value from them by taking good care of them. Here’s how:
1. Check periodically for damage or wear.
2. Wash them by hand if they get dirty.
3. Remove them from your shoes and allow them to air out if they get sweaty or wet.
4. Remove them from seasonal shoes (e.g. winter boots) when that footwear is not in regular use.
Follow These Tips To Get The Right Insole Fit
When you look at insoles in a brick and mortar store or when you receive your new insoles, take care to ensure fit. You can do this by placing the insoles on the floor and standing on them in your bare feet.
Shift from one foot to the other so that you can try out each insole with your full weight on one foot. Take note of several factors:
- Stability: Do you feel well-balanced and aligned?
- Pressure: Does any part of the insole feel uncomfortable?
- Support: Does your foot feel well supported across the sole and heel and all around the perimeter of the foot?
If the insole feels comfortable to your foot, take note of how it lines up with your foot. You may even want to use a marker to draw an outline of your foot on the top of the insole. This will help you trim your insoles (if you need to) in such a way that they fit your shoes and line up with the contours of your feet.
Don’t make any marks until you see how the insoles fit in your shoes, though! Once you are certain that the insoles will provide the support and comfort you need, try them out in your shoes.
Take the existing insole out of your footwear and replace it with your new insoles. If it fits well, slip your feet in and see how it feels. If you are lucky, all will be well and you can simply walk (or run) away!
If there are problems, determine whether you can correct them with trimming. You may need to send or take your new insoles back and try again with a different model. While this may seem like a lot of work, with a little practice and trial and error, you will soon become skilled at choosing just the right footwear and just the right insole for perfect comfort and support for your high arches.