The best insoles for optimum arch support are those that offer heel stabilization and a low but supportive arch. However, it can be tricky to find insoles that provide the perfect amount of arch support for people with flat feet. Here’s how you can choose the right insoles for your flat feet.
1. Find out whether you have rigid flat feet or flexible flat feet.
You have rigid, flat feet if your foot still appears flat after placing your foot over the opposite knee. On the other hand, you have flexible flat feet if your arch still appears after placing your foot over the opposite knee.
For people with rigid flat feet, the best arch supports are those that have a low arch height. Likewise, those with flexible flat feet should choose arch supports that have a medium arch height.
2. Understand the qualities of a good insole for flat feet.
There are certain qualities you need to look for when finding the best insoles for flat feet. First, a good insole should have a low but supportive arch. An arch that is firm and too high will be painful. An insole with a soft arch can only give temporary relief. Remember that insoles should not be taken as a one-size-fits-all item.
Second, good insoles should provide heel stabilization. They should have deep heel cups that can help in the fatty pad concentration underneath your heel bone. This helps in increasing shock absorption and preventing overpronation.
3. Understand insole sizing
Insole sizing is usually indicated as a shoe size range. For example, wearing a size 9.5 would mean that your insoles are sized 8-9 and 10-11. If this is your shoe size, you should buy the next size up. When using full-length insoles, don’t forget to trim off any unneeded length that comes from the end of the insole after placing it into your footwear. Likewise, insoles and inserts with ¾ range don’t require any trimming.
4. Understand insole placement
The majority of full-length insoles are designed to replace the insole that you are currently wearing entirely. Choose full-length insoles that are flat and thin to ensure comfort when you’re wearing them with your existing insoles. If you’re using a ¾ length insole, you need to place it on top of your current shoe insole. If it is an insert piece, place the insert either on top of your existing shoe insole or underneath. Usually, inserts come with instructions on how they should be set appropriately.
5. Understand insole footbed type
Generally speaking, insoles and orthotic arch supports have either one of these four types of footbed: rigid, semi-rigid, flat-cushion, and no arch support. Choosing the type of footbed you need will depend on the reason that you’re looking for an insole.
6. Know the material
Knowing the material and understanding its advantages can help you a lot when choosing the best insole for flat feet. Four materials are commonly used for making insoles. These are leather, cork, gel, and foam. While each has its advantages, choosing the material will depend on your preference. Leather material provides cushion and “right feel” if worn with thin socks. Cork provides slight cushion and support. Gel is for shock absorption. Foam works best for pressure relief, support, and cushioning.
Remember that the arches of our feet enable us to move efficiently throughout the day. Provide support to our arches to prevent foot pain and injuries. Though finding the right arch support can be tricky for those who have flat feet, it’s crucial to give our feet their much-needed care.