Cocktail parties, work conferences, festivals, sporting events — there are endless occasions where you spend hours on your feet. If you’re someone with flat feet, you probably cringe every time you hear words like “walking tour” or “all day trade show.” Luckily, the best insoles for flat feet can help alleviate your pain.
Before shopping for insoles, however, it’s important to understand the root of your soreness. According to Dr. Cassandra Tomczak, Foot and Ankle Surgeon with Summit Orthopaedics in Portland, Oregon, having flat feet isn’t a problem in itself. It’s that your flat feet create calf and hamstring tightness which then limits your ankle motion, causing other muscles to compensate and creating stress throughout your foot.
This is why stretching will help immensely. According to Tomczak, doing exercises to lengthen your calves and hamstrings as well as strengthen your foot muscles will work wonders. You can also ice your feet twice a day and take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen or aspirin, she said. Doing these things in conjunction with wearing insoles will be your most effective therapy.
When shopping for insoles, there are a lot of things to consider. The most important thing is to make sure that the size is a good fit for both the length and width of your feet. The closer the shape of the insole is to the shape of your actual foot, the more effective it will be.
Jeff Gray, a certified pedorthist and Director of Outreach and Fit at Superfeet insoles, explained that your foot is like a shock absorber on a car. With flat feet, they often stay compressed — or pronated — for longer than normal. Similar to if a shock absorber were fully compressed upon impact from another car, your feet essentially "bottom out" from the impact of your body overhead. Insoles create a natural shock absorber to soften that impact. That's why it's so important that they fit right. And since fit can vary widely from running shoes to work boots, you should consider the type of footwear you'll be wearing, too.
And finally, the last tip Tomczak shared with me was to keep in mind that your feet will need time to adjust to new insoles, so you shouldn't wear them every day at first.
Here is a list of some of the best insoles for flat feet.
1A Lightweight Insole With And High-Tech Odor Control
If your feet tend to get hot and sweaty, you will love these ultra lightweight insoles made with cork construction. With medium cushioning, they support your feet without feeling heavy or bulky to walk around in. Designed with a metatarsal pad that lifts pressure in the ball of your foot, the open-cell foam technology delivers heavenly shock absorption. Best of all, it has a breathable, moisture-wicking top sheet with Polygiene odor control technology that will keep your feet dry and smelling fresh.
2An Ultra-Slim Fashion Insole For Heels And Other Narrow Shows
The problem with a lot of insoles is that they're built for big bulky shoes and are therefore impossible to wear with dress shoes, high heels, or work flats. These insoles are specifically designed to be slender enough for heels, wedges, ballet slippers, pumps, boots, sandals, and other narrow shoes. With a tapered profile and S-shape shell, the insoles cushion your heel and the ball of your foot with built-in VCT (Variable Cushioning Technology), offering total comfort and arch support. They have a grippy underside that holds in in place so it doesn't bunch up in your shoe and an anti-microbial top fabric to reduce heat, friction, and odor.
3A Carbon Fiber Sole With Bio-Mechanical Memory For Athletic Footwear
For the sporty types, these athletic insoles are the perfect choice to provide comfort and pain relief while jogging, cycling, running, mountaining biking, working out at the gym, or other high-energy activities. Designed to easily fit inside athletic shoes and sneakers, the high-tech insoles feature a lightweight carbon fiber reinforced stabilizer cap with a sturdy foam layer for ultimate support. Using EVOlyte, a blend of carbon fiber and a proprietary polymer, the comfy cushioning features bio-mechanical memory similar to sleep foam. They also have a coating that blocks odor-causing bacteria from growing which, combined with perforations under the forefoot that make them super breathable, allows you to work up a serious sweat without getting hot and stinky.
4An Insole For Wider Feet To Wear With Heavy Impact Work Shoes
These heavy duty insoles are designed for someone with slightly wider feet who spends tons of time standing up. Shaped to fit high volume shoes like work boots or basketball shoes, they are perfect if you're someone who's on your feet all day for your job. The fantastically soft and comfortable insoles use patented tri-planar technology to deliver arch support for flat footed folksand align your ankle joint. Using a mega-cushy heel cup, they redistribute pressure throughout your foot and reduce the amount of repetitive stress, allowing you to come home at the end of the day and not spend hours soaking your feet and begging for a foot rub.
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