As someone who has had very high arches all her life, I should have been wearing orthotic insoles from the beginning. But I wasn't. Only when I joined Tread Labs did I try on orthotic insoles and understand just what a difference they make in foot support. I found that the Stride's high arch model worked perfectly. My best friend is the complete opposite with extremely flat feet. She was shocked how much the Stride insole improved comfort.
How could one insole provide optimal support for such different foot types? The answer is in the arch. No matter your arch height, there's an arch-support insole that can help both relieve and prevent many types of foot pain.
When seeking out the best insoles for flat feet or high arches, you of course need to know your arch height. If you don't already know, there's an easy way to find out.
Use this very easy footprint test to determine your arch height.
See examples of what the various footprints look like here:
Determining your arch height is just the first step to understanding how insoles help each type of arch.
When you have flat feet, the entire bottom of your foot (the sole) touches the ground when you’re standing. Flat feet often occur when your arches don’t develop properly as you’re growing up or if you overpronate. They can also develop as you age or after a foot injury. For women, pregnancy can cause flat feet.
For some people, flat feet don’t cause any difficulties. But for others, they can cause:
The best insoles for flat feet will fully support your arch and stabilize your heel to concentrate the fatty pad underneath your heel bone. This will both prevent overpronation and provide firm support. Typically, the best insoles for flat feet will have a low but supportive arch. However, you should try different heights to determine which one will adequately support your feet.
If your arch is neither low nor high, you have the most common foot type — moderate. Hooray, you're normal! But that doesn't mean you don't need arch support. In fact, it's the opposite. Your feet still need support to prevent overpronation. Plus, all feet benefit from support when you're exercising. Runners, walkers, and cyclists particularly need additional arch support.
High arches are usually inherited and you have them from birth. If you develop a high arch in just one foot over the years or see just one high arch when you look at your footprint instead of two, please check with your doctor. The difference could be a neurological issue.
Typically, high arches alone don’t cause pain, but they can result in underpronation (more commonly known as supination). As a supinator, your arches don't collapse enough to absorb the shock of walking/running, which puts stress on your feet and can lead to:
Insoles provide support for high arches and help prevent supination. Tread Labs Stride offers one of the best insoles for high arches. It fully supports the arch and stabilizes the heel with a deep heel cup, which concentrates the fatty pad underneath your heel bone.
Note: If you have high arches, you may think that you need the highest possible insole, but you should try a couple of arch heights in your insoles to see which one will support your feet best.
Supportive arch support insoles can dramatically increase foot comfort and improve sports performance. By preventing overpronation, they can reduce foot fatigue, alleviate or prevent plantar fasciitis, and increase stride length. For maximum benefit, the insole must fit well and be durable enough to maintain its shape, even after hard use. The best arch support insoles are the ones that offer firm support and a perfect fit. We'll start at the heel.
The absolute best way to get a great fit is to try arch support insoles with a variety of contours and configurations. Though it may take a few days to insure that your choice is correct, your feet (and legs, hips and back) will tell you when you've made the right choice.
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