When you have foot problems, it can ruin your entire day. You stand on them all day at work, dreaming about going home to put them up to find some relief. If you suffer from foot pain, in particular flat feet, allow the experts at Scheck and Siress to offer some insights on the best orthotics to remedy your problem.
What are Flat Feet?
Having flat feet is a condition where the entire sole of the foot touches the floor when normally there should be an arch and only the toe pad and heels resting fully on the ground. Flat feet can be caused by a failure to develop arches while growing as a child or from wear and tear or injury as an adult. Flat feet can cause pain in the arch, heel, and ankle as well as issues with the knee, hip, and lower back due to abnormal walking patterns. Flat feet are often treated with the use of orthotics.
Orthotics are a medical device that can assist with a person’s mobility by enhancing or correcting the function of the foot. Using orthotics allows you to perform everyday routine movements with ease, such as walking, running, or standing. You also experience less discomfort, inflammation, and inconvenience. There are several different types of orthotics designed for your foot problems.
Selecting Orthotics for Flat Feet
When selecting an insole, there are some things to consider. These include flexibility, size, volume, over-the-counter vs. custom made, and price. Each of these considerations plays a part in your ultimate orthotic selection.
Flexibility is a key factor when it comes to the quality of the insole. If you’re looking for a quality insole, you will want one that’s flexible yet doesn’t bend where it needs the arch support. If your insole bends or rolls, it’s designed mostly for comfort. This comfort is usually a short term fix as the material will break down. If your insole doesn’t bend by the arch, it’s an insole that will provide support.
You also want to make sure that you have the correct size. If you buy an insole that is too small or too big, you could increase your chance of injury. If your insole is too large, your foot will feel cramped in your shoe. If your insole is too small, it won’t fit your foot correctly, resulting in improper support. It’s best to make sure your insole fits properly.
The volume of the insert is vital to consider when making your purchase. The level of impact that you need inserts for will determine whether you want a low or high volume insert. If you plan to use the insert in your running shoes to experience high impact, you want to purchase a high-volume insert. When performing low-impact activities, a low-volume insert will do.
Over the Counter Vs. Custom-Made Orthotics
Image via Flickr by mmarchin
Deciding whether an over-the-counter (OTC) or custom-made orthotic is right for you can be a difficult decision. When buying an OTC, you most likely have a machine scan your feet to determine which insole on the shelf is right for you. Read the reviews of the product to make sure that the insole will meet your needs. One benefit of purchasing an insole at your local pharmacy or retail store is that you go home with the insole that day. However, this is generally a short-term fix. OTC orthotics tend to fall between $10-$75.
Consider taking the time to see your podiatrist to create a custom-made orthotic. The podiatrist will take molds or impressions of your foot. Once the doctor orders your personalized orthotic, they will work with you to ensure it fits you properly, optimizing the support you need.
While getting a custom-made orthotic might be a long-term solution, they’re more expensive, and the process is more in-depth. Custom-made orthotics from your medical professional typically range in price from $200-$800.
What are the Best Orthotics for Flat Feet?
How do you determine which insert is right for you? To purchase the right insole, you need to know whether your flat feet are rigid or flexible. When you’re standing or sitting, and your feet are flat, you have rigid flat feet, resulting in a low arch insole. However, if you have an arch that appears while sitting, you have flexible flat feet, resulting in a medium arch insole. Either way, you need an insole that provides firm arch support.
Finding the right one for your flat feet is vital, as insoles are not a one-size-fits-all product. Not only is a low but supportive arch valuable, but finding an insole that provides heel stabilization is also crucial. Heel stabilization also offers more shock absorption and helps prevent overpronation.
Brands to Try
There are many options to consider when purchasing an insole, including:
- Tread Labs Ramble Insoles
- Four arch options
- Replaceable top-cover to keep shoes fresh
- Lifetime guarantee for arch support
- Deep heel cup
- Physix Gear Full-Length Orthotic Inserts
- Used for sports or everyday activities
- Semi-rigid arch support
- No break-in period
- Thin material with a top antibacterial layer and a cradled heel
- Sof Sole Airr Orthotic Full-Length Performance Shoe Insoles
- Used for lots of walking, running, or cross-trained activities
- Skydex air bubbles in the arch and heel and gel padding in the forefoot to absorb shock
- Designed for people who are overweight or who carry heavy loads
- Keep feet cool, dry, and comfortable
- ALINE Cushion Insoles
- Deep heel cup to cradle and cushion
- Patented Foot Suspension System
- Provide more energy for feet through more than 100 moving ribs
- Promotes healthy foot and lower extremities alignment
- Samurai Insoles Orthotics for Flat Feet
- Lightweight, low-profile, and flexible
- Can easily fit in most sneakers, boots, and flat shoes
- Conform around your feet over time
- Provide comfort and relief from fallen arches
- Superfeet Green Insoles
- For high-impact sports and exercises
- Deep heel cup
- Deep stabilizer cup
- High volume design
- Nazaroo Orthotic Insoles For Flat Feet
- Most affordable
- Money-back guarantee
- A deep, cushioned heel cup
- Perfect for walking and day-to-day tasks
- Powerstep Pinnacle Premium Orthotic Shoe Insoles
- Semi-rigid shell provides flexibility and support
- Deep heel cradle
- Antimicrobial cover to reduce friction and heat
- Soft and comfortable
Every person is different, and every foot is different. Finding the right insole for you could take some trial and error. Reading reviews, knowing what type of foot you have, considering use, and knowing your budget will help determine which insole is right for you. The experts at Scheck and Siress would love to put their 67 years of experience to work helping you pick the right orthotic.