How to Choose the Best Insoles for Flat Feet [2021 Edition]

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I have been a big supporter of insoles for many years.

My first pair was an inexpensive one from Target.

As I continued to run and it became a little more serious I could tell the difference between the cheap insole and a quality one.

Today I will share with you the top five best insoles for flat feet runners (like me!)

The Best 5 Insoles for Flat Feet

Our Top Pick
Tread Labs - Pace Short Insoles

Don’t let the agony of foot pain keep you sidelined. Firm support from Pace Short insoles reduces stress on your plantar fascia and promotes proper body alignment. The perfect opponent for foot conditions that cause pain.

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Why Are My Feet Sore From Running? - What is Flat Feet?

WebMD describes Flat feet as fallen arches.

Flat feet can happen to pretty much anyone and are caused by stretched or torn tendons, an abnormality from birth, dislocated or broken bones, or a nerve problem.

Flat feet could be a none issue for some, but for others, it can cause some problems down throughout the kinetic chain. This could be the achilles, calves, knees, and hips to name a few. 

Here is a quick diagram of the difference between a fallen/flat arch and a normal arch of the foot.

Runners have purchased shoes specifically designed for flat feet for years. If want to learn more check out some of the top insoles for flat feet.

According to JointEssential.com, the biggest reason why insoles have become so popular is that the soles inside these shoes have a slightly increased arch support which provides pressure relief.

Here are the best insoles for flat feet, I include links so you can check the prices on Amazon and other retailers.

 And of course, they come in different styles, colors, and shapes.

What Do I Look For When Choosing Insoles?

Having a quick conversation with a podiatrist may help you decide which insoles might be the best for you.

If you are willing to do some trial-and-error insole testing, the insoles listed below should help you get the support you need.

Be sure to check the sizes of the insoles so you have the correct fit.

There are several qualities you may want to consider:
  • Are they easy to clean
  • Are they able to mold to your feet
  • Price. 

What Are The Options for Insoles?

Normal store-bought running shoes have insoles already in them, but because the shoes are designed with everyone in mind, these insoles may not suit everyone’s feet.

The insoles inside store-bought running shoes are cheaper and thinner than the insoles you can buy for specific concerns. One can think of these as “generic” insoles meant to just add a little comfort in the shoe, but they rarely offer any additional benefits.

All insoles are made out of different materials, but the ones created for flat feet may feature thicker and harder support than the standard insoles found in store-bought running shoes.
Our Top Pick
Tread Labs - Pace Short Insoles

Don’t let the agony of foot pain keep you sidelined. Firm support from Pace Short insoles reduces stress on your plantar fascia and promotes proper body alignment. The perfect opponent for foot conditions that cause pain.

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

The 5 Best Insoles for Flat Feet

1. Pace Insoles by Tread Labs

It’s hard to fix great, that’s why Tread Labs Insoles make it back to the top of our list once again in 2021!

Tread Labs gives us Pace Insoles, which have a lot of good features that can suit many types of feet. Pace Insoles come in four different arch heights to suit the needs of people with varying levels of fallen arches or flat feet. 

This custom level of support can help you find a fit that is comfortable, keeping you running longer.


Tread Labs also boasts a PURE antimicrobial treatment which is able to kill a high percentage of bacteria (99.9 percent) as well as having biomechanical support, giving you firmness and comfort for long distances or running.

Tread Labs insoles are designed with a 2-part system: molded arch support and a replaceable/interchangeable top cover. You simply peel off the top cover and start fresh without having to buy a new pair. 

And it is super hard to beat the million mile guarantee! YES I SAID MILLION. 
Our Top Pick
Tread Labs - Pace Short Insoles

Don’t let the agony of foot pain keep you sidelined. Firm support from Pace Short insoles reduces stress on your plantar fascia and promotes proper body alignment. The perfect opponent for foot conditions that cause pain.

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Pace Insoles by Tread Labs are able to slide perfectly into a lot of different types of shoes and can mold to suit your feet. This is something that not all arches do, so Tread Labs gets big ups for the custom molding to your feet.

You can read more about the comparison between Superfeet and Treadlabs here. These are two behemoths of shoe insoles, so it’s worth a look to see the biggest differences.

In case you were curious, I wear these socks with my insoles for ultimate protection!

Cons

PaceInsoles by Tread Labs have top covers that can be replaced to reduce odors and keep the insoles fresh for longer, but a possible downside for this is that the replacement top covers may be difficult to find or go out of stock.

I know this seems petty, but it can definitely be frustrating.

Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel Advanced Insoles All-Day Comfort that Allows You to Stay on Your Feet Longer (for Women's 6-10, also Available for Men's 8-14)

There is nothing like a trusted name. Dr. Scholl's has been around for well over 20 years producing quality insoles. They pioneered the way insoles are created and the customization that now takes place. 

The Massaging gel insoles provide the all-day comfort that you would expect for a Dr. Scholl's brand. 

Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel Insoles
  • SUPERIOR, ALL-DAY COMFORT: clinically proven to provide all-day comfort in each of the 4 key areas of your foot - forefoot, midsole, arch & heel
  • REDUCES MUSCLE FATIGUE: allows you to stay on your feet longer and keeps you feeling more energized


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I like the comfort and support with these as they are like walking on clouds! 

And they provide the support in the four areas of your foot you need it most; forefoot, mid-sole, arch & heel

Cons

These are some of the most inexpensive compared to the others and simply won't stay in top condition after 100-200 miles. 


Pace Plantar Fasciitis Insoles For Men And Women – Pain Relief Orthotic Inserts For Shoes And Boots – Podiatrist Recommended Arch Supports Available In 4 Arch Heights For Flat Feet to High Arches

Designed to offer pain relief and support for flat feet, the Pace Plantar Fasciitis Pain Relief Insoles will for a variety of age groups and activities.

These inserts offer assistance to align your body starting at the feet and will work all the way up through your legs and lower back.

These inserts are known to create some foot pressure for 3-7 days of wearing while you break them in. So we would recommend that you should only wear them for 2-3 hours a day for the first week and increase the amount of time gradually for best success. 

These insoles will help prevent overpronation with EasyFeet Biomechanical Reinforcement Technology. These insoles also provide a shock-absorbing effect because the gel forefoot and air capsules enhance cushioning.

For further support, these insoles feature a deep heel cradle with built-in for better stability.
Pace Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis – Extra Firm Men’s and Women’s Orthotics – Podiatrist Recommended Arch Supports for Flat Feet to High Arches
  • EXTRA FIRM MEDICAL-GRADE SUPPORT WITHOUT COMPROMISING COMFORT. Whether you have plantar fasciitis or other foot pain, it can derail your life. Extra firm support gets you back on your feet - and back to what you love. Pace insoles deliver podiatrist-recommended firmness with precision-fit arch support and a deep heel cup that work together to decrease impact, increase stability, improve balance and reduce pain with every step.
  • MILLION MILE GUARANTEE. Our 2-part insole system is designed for the long haul. The medical-grade, molded arch supports are unconditionally guaranteed. Forever. The replaceable top covers can be easily replaced as often as you like, without breaking the bank.

Cons

These will not offer fully custom fit, but its a great value for the price you’re paying!


Superfeet Unisex Green Professional-Grade High Arch Orthotic Shoe Inserts for Maximum Support Insole, 8.5-10 US Women

The Superfeet Green is one of the best insoles for flat feet, and another insole great for flat feet from the same company is the Superfeet Black Theraputic Support. For more in-depth analysis you can check out our full review of the Superfeet Green Insoles here.

The Superfeet Green insoles have a closed-cell foam that can mold to your shoes and to your feet, which can help stop injuries.

Superfeet Green also features an Encapsulating Stabilizer System (ESS) which gives your feet proper support and alignment, regardless of which shoes you decide to use them in.

This ESS technology can bring an end to running discomfort and pain.

Superfeet Green knows that the first connect of your feet to the floor is felt through your heel, so it has added a deep heel cup that absorbs this shock, adds stability to the foot, and cushioning for your feet.
Superfeet Unisex Green

The GREEN offer affordable, professional-grade orthotic support, performance, and comfort for anyone who wants their footwear to fit and feel better.

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Cons

Superfeet Green, like the DK Signature Edition for Sole Insoles, are incredibly thick (3.75mm – 8mm) so you may have issues fitting them into your shoes.

If the thickness is an issue, the Superfeet Black Theraputic Support is thinner and may be a better option for you.

CURREX RUNPRO - – World’s leading insoles for Running shoes. Cushioning, dynamic support & performance

The Currex RUNPRO Low offers exceptional support for flat feet. These insoles help you maintain good foot posture which in turn enhances your body’s natural ability to attenuate shock.

When running, your feet have a natural pathway, and these running insoles help you to maintain that pathway with the Currex ultimate fit solution. This will enhance comfort, feel, function, and performance.

These insoles feature a deep heel cup to offer a better in-shoe fit and to hold your foot in, almost like a crackle. Furthermore, there is a triple layer of fabric for optimum moisture wicking solutions.

This will lead to fewer blisters thanks to the specially developed mid-layer.

Also equipped with a 3D DAT for natural foot guidance, and a PROPO+ which offers a dynamic propulsion plate in the forefoot for maximum rebound.
CURREX RUNPRO - – World’s leading insoles for Running shoes. Cushioning, dynamic support & performance
  • Rated #1 in Comfort & Foot Pressure Relief* (Scientific Study, German Sports University of Cologne, Germany)
  • Designed to help reducing injuries & pain from plantar fasciitis & other common foot problems
  • Appropriate for all shoes with removable liner / if added to other shoes you may need to go half size up for your shoe
  • Each insole boasts a different shape, arch height & flex, allowing for a customized fit
  • Blue-HIGH, Orange-MED or Red-LOW? Your foot-type determines the color!

Cons

For some feet, these insoles could have a break-in period that can cause some feet soreness. Ease into wearing them if you can.



Durability of Insoles for Flat Feet

A lot of the best insoles for flat feet are quite durable, not only because they are made out of firm materials that make them rigid, but because they are designed to stand the wear and tear of intense exercising, including running.

Despite their rigidity, they have material that is breathable for your feet while effectively absorbing the impact of each step during running.

The firmer material in the insoles means they can last for a long time. For example, the Low-Arch model of Superfeet Green is notable because it is firm, durable, and fills in your arch for greater support.

Of course, it does depend on how long and how often you wear them, but the current pair I have in my running shoes have lasted a little over a year with no issues.

Do Flat Feet Cause a Lot of Pain?

best running shoes for flat feet

It really does depend on the person; some people find flat feet painful and others are oblivious to their flat feet.

We touched upon this a little earlier, but flat feet can cause a lot of pain because it can affect the whole leg, including feet, ankles, lower leg, hip, and lower back.

Flat feet can also cause problems with the bones, connective tissues, and muscles in the feet. They can also make feet roll inwards a lot more than they are supposed to (this is known as overpronation).

A lot of people who have flat feet go through a ton of shoes quickly as well as having a lot of leg related injuries. Running shoes can wear down much quicker if there is excess inward rolling that wears down the rubber and foam.

pain from flat feet

via MacauCentral.com

But I Enjoy Running

If you are a runner who has flat feet and feels pain either during or after a run, there are many things you can do to make your feet more comfortable.

A very easy method you can try to remedy this pain would be to try out different types of insoles because they can relieve the pain of your feet during or after your run.

Insoles for flat feet can help with the alignment of your legs as well as to prevent knee and ankle injuries.

These insoles are specially designed to bring comfort to those with flat feet. They are slightly thicker in the arch area, providing extra support for your feet.

If you would prefer to double-up the protection I recommend these Skechers. We also listed out the top five shoes (not just Skechers) on the market.

Traditional arches that are one-size-fits-most are usually not sufficient for those with flat feet. Some insoles can be very firm while others can be quite soft.

In my opinion, it’s best to seek out customizable insoles or insoles known to offer a very adaptive fit and feel.

You can even use them in all your shoes, not just running shoes, to increase comfort and arch support during your daily routines. They are usually pretty easy to slip in and out of different shoes.

How Can Insoles Help Me?

Some insoles can be used for everyday wear, not just running. These insoles will provide comfort during activities such as walking and sitting; even when you are relaxing, these insoles are working to try to fix your flat feet.

In the rest of this article, I will focus on the insoles that are best for running.

According to Jeff Rizzo of Rizknow YouTube channel, insoles can also make your running shoes more comfortable by making your arch better.

This is a primary difference between insoles for flat feet and those for feet with standard arches.

They can improve your performance, allowing you to run longer by adjusting your stride.

Insoles will also help streamline your biomechanics, as there will be less energy diffusion to correct your overpronation.

Good insoles will also help you get more miles out of your running shoes.

Conclusion

Finally, we will just reiterate the primary points because there are so many insoles to choose from and it can be hard to remember what to look for in your ideal pair of insoles.

Here’s a quick reminder of the three basic things you should be thinking about while you are insole shopping:


  • the insoles should feel comfortable on your feet
  • the insoles should help relieve knee, ankle, and foot pain, preventing injuries and supporting flat feet
  • the insoles should allow you to perform better and more often

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Last update on 2021-07-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API