By Rehan Iqbal
If you have flat feet, you are familiar with the common challenges in finding well-fitted, comfortable, supportive footwear that are best for your feet. Very often people with flat feet turn to over-the-counter (OTC) inserts to customize their shoes to perfectly fit and suit their feet. It’s very important to select an insole that provides just the right amount of structure, flexibility and stability.
The right amount of cushioning for shock absorption is also essential. You must be sure that padding is springy and supportive and will not compress after only a few uses. Lack of shock absorption can cause a great deal of pain in the lower back and the joints.
7 Best Choices In Insoles For Flat Feet
In this article, we have gathered seven of the best choices in shoe inserts for flat feet. We hope that this focus will help you make the right choice in insoles for your everyday, work and athletic shoes. As you peruse these choices, be sure to check customer reviews carefully to determine whether satisfied users’ foot problems are similar to yours.
1. Tread Labs – Ramble Insole
Part of Tread Labs Comfort Series, Ramble Insoles are designed to put an end to tired, sore flat feet. People with flat feet tend to suffer from foot pain due to overpronation. The firm arch support Ramble insoles provide improve your alignment and biomechanics. The deep heel cup increases shock absorption and stabilizes your heel. This is the preferred product used by ultra-runners and daily joggers alike. They especially like how Tread Labs’ two-part system lets them replace the top cover of the insole whenever they need, without having to replace the entire insole.
Because Ramble insoles come in whole sizes rather than a range, they may fit in your shoe without any trimming at all. The top covers come in various styles to fit all your footwear. The choice of four arch heights will ensure you’ll get a perfect fit whether your flat feet require a low or medium arch.
Ramble insoles are highly recommended by pedorthists and podiatrists because of their medical-grade support and outlasting comfort. In fact, some customer reviews have mentioned Tread Labs insoles are more comfortable than their custom orthotics.
2. Powerstep Pinnacle Premium Orthotic Shoe Insoles
Designed by a podiatrist, this popular synthetic insole is made in the USA. It consists of a semi-rigid support system featuring a deep, supportive heel cradle, firm arch support, two layers of foam cushioning and a plush anti-microbial cover designed to reduce friction and heat during very active use.
The insoles provide medical-grade support for people suffering from mild/moderate pronation, metatarsal issues, plantar fasciitis and a variety of other foot problems.
Powerstep is a well-established company founded by a podiatrist/foot surgeon, who was also a runner. The company has been in business since 1992. Not priced too high, users compare these insoles favorably with very costly prescription orthotics.
3. Superfeet BLUE Premium Insoles
These very durable and comfortable synthetic, latex-free, vegan-friendly soles are equipped with an anti-bacterial coating that helps reduce odor. These inserts are ideal for people who have a medium arch and desire intermediate support. They are especially recommended to help relieve pain in the heels and arches associated with plantar fasciitis. Superfeet BLUE Premium insoles are highly structured with reinforcing rails and a deep heel cup.
Bio-mechanical shaping provides active support to the foot, and a layer of high density foam provides shock absorption. This high level of structure and support makes these ideal for use in athletic shoes. Competitively priced, most users find these insoles very effective with proper fitting. Many reviewers warn that it is far better to fit the insole to the sole of the foot and then trim it carefully to fit the shoe. Because these insoles are fairly rigid and structured, the arch must be exactly aligned under the arch of the user’s foot, and the heel cup must fit correctly. For this reason, purchasing these insoles in person may be preferable to ordering them.
4. Vionic Active Orthotic Insole
These lightweight synthetic inserts were designed by a podiatrist. They offer a comfortable, affordable, effective alternative to costly prescribed orthotic inserts. Featuring “Tri-Planar Motion Control” design, these insoles help realign the feet with the result of a reduction in over-pronation.
These insoles are very comfortable and soft with a low profile, so they are easy to use in all sorts of shoes.
Adding these insoles to all shoes (boots, work shoes, athletic shoes, etc.) can keep feet in alignment and significantly reduce pain in the hips, knees and back.
At a moderate price, these insoles provide very firm support, which most users like and compare favorably to costly prescription inserts. Some people find that these soles do not provide enough cushioning for standing on hard surfaces for extended periods of time.
5. Sof Sole Airr Orthotic Full Length Performance Shoe Insoles
These insoles are an excellent choice for people who have a lot of walking to do or want to participate in cross-training or running activities. They are built with a reinforced nylon stability plate that provides added support while enhancing motion for flat or low-arched feet. This added cushioning helps keep feet in alignment and provides effective shock support.
More cushioning is provided by Skydex Air Bubbles in both the arch and the heel. These help absorb impact. Gel padding in the forefoot also helps absorb shock.
This winning combination allows people with weak, low or non-existent arches to participate in active sports without pain. A COOLMAX fabric covering keeps feet cool, dry and comfortable. Priced in the mid ranges, these insoles are long lasting, thick and especially good for people who are overweight or who carry heavy loads.
6. Aline Cushion Insoles
ALINE Cushion Insole is specifically designed to cure pain from flat feet and fallen arches. This product provides the perfect combination of support and cushion to promote all-day foot comfort. It's patented Foot Suspension Systems adapts to your unique foot and delivers all-day pain relief. Here’s how this product can help you find comfort from flat feet.
This product has cured thousands of plantar fasciitis, ankle pain, arch pain and heel pain brought on by overpronating. In addition, the ALINE Cushion insoles promote healthy foot and lower extremities alignment through biomechanics. This product will turn every day into a your most comfortable and make you want to put your shoes on in the morning whether it is for work, running or walking.
7. Birkenstock Blue Footbed Casual Arch Support
Made of a combination of cork and synthetic materials, these negative-heel insoles provide a great deal of support and comfort. The soles feature a very deep heel cup, high sides and contoured arches that reduce foot fatigue and help distribute weight evenly to balance pressure on the sole of the foot. The comfortable soles are lined with absorbent silk.
These higher end insoles enable you to convert any flat shoe to a “negative heel” shoe. Users unanimously cite complete relief of pain when using these inserts. They are available in all sizes for men and women.
Fit and Use
Size definitely matters when choosing good OTC insoles. It can be very difficult to find a type of insole that perfectly fits the sole of your foot and various types of shoes. Knowing when to buy the next size up and how to trim effectively are vital bits of information.
Very often (even when you fit very carefully) your brand new insoles will feel a bit strange. This can lead to disappointment and premature return (or discard) of the product. To avoid this problem, it is important to choose carefully at the outset. When you have made your choice(s) and purchased a product, be sure to give it a chance once you have it in place. It can take a few days for misaligned ligaments and muscles to become accustomed to correction.
Take A Holistic Approach To Flat Foot Pain Relief
Your flat feet may or may not cause you pain. If they do, the amount of pain present is dependent upon a number of different factors. Using OTC insoles can certainly be very helpful in relieving pain and preventing further damage to the feet. In addition to this smart move, here are a few more ways you can effectively address foot pain:
Be careful to establish smart lifestyle habits and maintain good overall health. Even though your feet are very far away from your mouth, your diet plays an important role in foot comfort and health. Be sure to eat the right amounts of healthy, whole foods and drink plenty of pure, filtered water every day.
Get at least 20 minutes of relaxation and 20 minutes of light to moderate exercise daily. If your foot pain prevents you from walking and running for exercise, swim and/or practice yoga. Manage stress and get plenty of good quality sleep.
Establishing good lifestyle habits will help you maintain a healthy weight and good cardiovascular health. This, in turn, helps you prevent problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes and other life threatening conditions that can wreak havoc with your overall health and the condition of your feet.
A combination of smart habits and wise purchases (such as proper footwear and high quality insoles) can help you attain glowing good health while improving the quality of your life.