Runners and other athletes know how important it is to invest in the right pair of shoes. However, it should also be noted that insoles are equally important, as they can make a huge difference in how your feet feel after wearing shoes for long periods of time.
If you are flat-footed, it is even more important that you choose the best insoles for flat feet so that you can get the comfort and protection that your feet need while you train or run a marathon.
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The role of an insole
Basically, an insole is the removable layer inside a shoe that serves as a cushion and adds extra comfort for our feet. It can come in many shapes and sizes, depending on the shoe style. Insoles are also designed to fit different foot types, which is why you should know your foot’s form and know what type of insole to use.
Why do you need insoles?
As a runner, you are always on your feet, and you put a lot of stress on your joints, especially when you are training. If you are not careful, and if you are not equipped with the right protective gear, one wrong move can cause pain and injury to your ankles, knees, and hips.
Wearing the right kind of shoes can help a lot, but it would be better if they also came with the right insole. Insoles can provide shock absorption and can help distribute the stress that you bear along your foot.
In addition, there are also some insoles which can provide more support for your feet, especially in cases of overpronation. Insoles can also help alleviate pain caused by plantar fasciitis, which is the tearing of tissues and ligaments at the bottom of the foot. A supportive insole is usually prescribed by specialists and therapists because it can aid in the healing process.
Different types of insoles
There are three basic types of insoles that you can choose from: comfort insoles, support insoles, and custom orthotics.
Comfort insoles are usually used by those who need relief from prolonged standing, walking, or running. They are usually made from a soft foam or gel, which helps with the shock absorption and cushioning.
Support insoles were designed to address issues such as overpronation, splayed feet, plantar fasciitis, and other related ailments. They are usually made from a harder foam to help add support and stability.
Custom orthotics are specifically designed for chronic foot problems. Therapists usually recommend the use of a custom insole if comfort insoles or support insoles do not work.
Use of insoles to treat flat feet
Supportive insoles can help stabilize your arch and heel area as a treatment for flat feet. However, you do not really fix flat feet because it is not a disorder; flat feet can either be inherited or can develop on their own. Whatever the case may be, having flat feet can have some disadvantages, especially for runners. However, these disadvantages can be turned into opportunities, and it is up to you to do that.
Things to consider when choosing the best insoles for flat feet
When choosing the best insoles, you should come up with a list of things that you can look for. Does it provide sufficient arch support? Will it provide the right support to treat and reduce the stress on your feet? The recommendation is that the best insole should be able to lift the arch enough to provide support and reduce stress on the center of your foot’s arch.
If you run a lot, it is also important to consider how insoles can fit into your favorite running shoes. The insoles should be a perfect fit as much as possible, because they can also play a vital role in your road to achieving your fitness goals.
Of course, everyone wants a product which is durable enough so that it can be used for a long time. Since you will be using these insoles mainly for sports activities, you should go for those which are made from high-quality materials and will not easily wear out.
It would be best if you can find an insole which has shock absorption, removable top covers, and are made from breathable materials for comfort.
It may sound challenging, but there are a lot of insoles available on the market from which you can choose. To get the ball rolling, here are some of the best insoles for flat feet, and our reviews about each of the products.
5 Best Insoles for Flat Feet
Feetmat Premium Shoe Insoles, Orthotics Insoles for Flat Feet, Arch Comfort Sport Footbeds
Insoles manufactured by Feetmat are usually those recommended by doctors, because they are made with the best materials. They also have a unique shape and design, which help keep the foot in its ideal position.
- Feetmat Premium Shoe Insoles are medium-arched for intermediate support.
- They fit most footwear, so you should not have any problems using them in your favorite running shoes. Feetmat insoles have a slim design which allows them to be worn not just in your running shoes, but also in other types of footwear.
- It has extra soft memory foam and gel cushioning in the forefoot and back heel, which can help absorb shock whenever your feet hit the ground.
- It has an antimicrobial coating and a super light soft EVA.
- The targeting cushion and deep heel cup prevents blisters.
- Walking and running with this insole is very easy, and it can help reduce the stress on your feet.
Things to be Aware Of
- Some say the arch of the Feetmat insoles are too low, and that they do not provide much help.
- They can also be uncomfortable and tend to make a squeaking sound.
Orthotics for Flat Feet by Samurai Insoles
These insoles or orthotic inserts by Samurai Insoles were made to fight against plantar fasciitis, heel pain, and pronation. At a very affordable price, you can maximize the benefits of arch support as well as comfort and versatility. This might be best for flat-footed runners, because it also offers different great features. Samurai Insoles were designed to control overpronation associated with low arches. They also provide support for flat feet and quick relief from other foot conditions.
- It has a slim design so it can easily fit into any type of shoe.
- Samurai Insoles are assembled in a state-of-the-art orthotic laboratory in the US.
- They are designed to enhance the action of the feet. They are naturally form fitting and these insoles can comfortably cradle your feet and may prevent further flattening of the feet.
- The cover absorbs heat and friction, while also keeping your feet cool and dry.
Things to be Aware Of
- Durability needs to be improved as these insoles last only for about 6 to 12 months.
- They may be affordable, but there are other insoles which work the same, but cost less.
Superfeet BLUE Premium Insoles
The BLUE Premium insoles from Superfeet were designed to improve not just the fit, but also the performance of your footwear, especially your running shoes. This insole is considered to be one of the most popular insoles of the manufacturer, because of its biomechanical shape and design. It fits most low and medium-volume footwear, and can be used in shoes with immovable insoles.
- It has an anti-microbial coating to prevent the growth of any odor causing bacteria.
- The top cover is treated with Moisturewick antimicrobial technology, which can also prevent the growth of bacteria.
- It offers maximum support and shock absorption, because of its widest and deepest heel cup feature. It also encourages proper alignment of the bones.
- It has a stabilizer cap, which acts as the base of the insole. It supports the foot and provides structure and stability to your shoes and the foam layer.
- Insoles can be trimmed to fit.
Things to be Aware Of
- The Superfeet blue insoles are a bit overpriced.
- There are issues with durability. As you may be using these to run, it may be a good idea to purchase two or more pairs.
Walkfit Platinum Orthotics
These insoles have a new and improved design, and the manufacturer added unique gel pads for added comfort and shock absorption. Walkfit Platinum Orthotics help reduce knee, hip, and lower back pain by realigning your spine and pelvic area. A clinical study that showed Walkfit technology helped relieve foot pain among 90% of its users.
- It cups your foot with durable support to alleviate discomfort.
- It helps distribute your weight evenly across your foot, which also helps prevent collapsing, stress, and rubbing.
- The arch supports are very durable and will last for a long time.
- If you experience any ball of the foot pain, the metatarsal pads can also be helpful in eradicating the pain.
- It helps ease impact by evenly distributing the force of your steps. Every time your foot hits the ground, it flexes and cushions to help absorb the shockwaves traveling to your body.
- It has a custom comfort feature, which means there are three sets of arch inserts that you can choose from, depending on which one feels great for you.
Things to be Aware Of
- It provides limited support in the middle portion of the arch; it does not conform tightly to the arch of the foot, so it cannot provide the best relief for plantar fasciitis, heel pain, or heel spurs.
Sof Sole Arch Full Length Comfort High Arch Shoe Insole for Men and Women
This arch insole is designed for runners who have high arches, but the use of this insole is not limited to just that. It is recommended for those who seek enhanced arch cushioning. If you are looking for support so that you can stay on your feet and keep running for longer periods of time, you might want to consider this high arch shoe insole.
- It has Hydrologix moisture-wicking technology, which helps keep your feet and shoes cooler and drier.
- It has an enhanced arch support and a deep heel cup for superior cushioning. It also helps prevent slippage, which is very important for athletes.
- It has Microban embedded in the foam of the insoles, which impedes the growth of odor-causing bacteria in your shoes. It uses polyurethane foam for enhanced comfort.
Things to be Aware Of
- Some say that they do not feel as natural as other insoles, and there is a little bit of awkwardness when you run with these insoles.
- It is not a great idea to wear white socks, because the insole tends to bleed colors.
All the insoles that we have reviewed have great features, which can help runners achieve the comfort and added support that they need. However, based on the pros and cons, it seems that the Feetmat Premium Shoe Insole is the best for runners with flat feet. It provides sufficient arch support and can also fit any type of shoe. It also helps that most doctors recommend this insole to address foot problems.
The next time someone asks you about the best insoles for flat feet, you can share what you have learned, so that more flat-footed runners, athletes, and even those who are not, can experience the benefits that the best insoles can provide.