How to Find the Best Insoles For High Arches & Flat Feet

How to Find the Best Insoles For High Arches & Flat Feet

by Mark Paigen 6 minute read

Whether you have sky high arches or the flattest feet, you want them to be comfortable all day long. You already know that arch support insoles are going to make all the difference, but finding the right ones can be tough. Options seem infinite and it's hard to tell which is going to make your feet feel best. Fear not, we're the light at the end of the long, dark, confusing tunnel.

The Basics ---

  • Arch support inserts make your feet more comfortable and help solve foot pain, but finding insoles with the right arch height can be tough.
  • Determining your arch height is the first step toward finding the right orthotics for high arches, moderate arches or flat feet. Once you know your arch height, you can find an insole that matches the contours of your feet, providing support across your entire arch. 
  • Insoles with firm support will give you the long-term comfort you want. Don't make the mistake of buying cushioned insoles that feel good initially, but ultimately leave your arch unsupported.
  • If you're a first time insole wearer, we recommend Tread Labs Ramble Insoles. If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis or other foot pain, check out Pace Insoles. Or, if you like rigid support or have particularly flat feet, shop our Dash Insoles.

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What You Need To Know ---

Finding the best arch support for any foot just takes a little bit of knowledge. Read on to learn about high arches, flat feet, and moderate arches, and to find out how to pick the best insole for each.

  1. How to determine your arch height using a Wet Test
  2. For high arches: causes of foot pain from high arches
  3. For high arches: how to find insoles that will help alleviate pain and discomfort
  4. For flat feet: causes of foot pain from flat feet
  5. For flat feet: how to find insoles that will help alleviate pain and discomfort
  6. For moderate arches: what type of arch support you need
  7. The different features you’ll want to ensure your insoles have, regardless of arch height

Do I Have High Arches or Flat Feet?

When seeking out the best insoles for flat feet or high arches, you need to know your arch height. Determining your arch height is as easy as looking at your wet footprint. Compare your footprint to the chart below.

If you have flat feet, take the extra step to look at your arches in an unweighted position. The easiest way is to sit down and put your ankle on the opposite knee.

If you can see an arch when you are not standing up, you will be better off with a medium high arch support as shown in the chart below. If your foot is just as flat sitting as standing, a low arch support will be best. 

Arch Height Chart

What does your footprint look like? Describe your arch Your best insole arch height
Low Arch Foot My arch is flat when I sit or stand. Low arch height insole
Low Arch Foot My arch is flat when I stand but appears when I sit. Medium arch height insole
Medium Arch height foot  My arch is close to but does not touch the ground when I stand. Medium arch height insole
High Arch Height foot My arch is high off the ground when I stand. High arch height insole
Extra High arch height foot No one has an arch higher than mine! Extra high arch height insole

What Causes High Arches?

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). This means your arches don't collapse enough to absorb the shock of walking/running, which puts stress on your feet and can lead to:

What Are The Best Insoles For High Arches?

Insoles provide support for high arches and help prevent underpronation, but it's important to get the right pair. The best insoles for high arches should provide:

  • Firm support that relieves excessive pressure on the ball and heel of your foot
  • A flawless fit across the length of your arch that distributes body weight evenly across your foot, cushioning the impact of walking, running or jumping
  • Stabilization of your heel

Tread Labs high arch insoles fully support the entire arch and stabilize the heel with a deep heel cup, which concentrates the fatty pad underneath your heel bone.

Learn more about  finding the best high arch support insoles here.

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.

How Do Arch Support Insoles Help With Flat Feet?

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:

  • Pain in the heel (plantar fasciitis) or in the arch
  • Swelling along the inside of your ankle
  • Knee and hip problems

What are the Best Insoles For Low Arches?

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.

While it may seem like soft, cushy insoles are a good option for people with flat feet, those won't get the job done. What flat feet need is structural support that aligns with their contours, offering arch support and heel stabilization.

Learn more about  finding the best arch support insoles for flat feet here.

Moderate Arches Need Arch Support Too

If your arch is neither low nor high, you have the most common foot type — moderate. 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. In addition, all foot types benefit from support when you're exercising. Runners, walkers, and cyclists particularly need additional arch support.

What Makes An Arch Support Insert Good?

Supportive arch support insoles dramatically increase foot comfort and improve sports performance. By preventing overpronation, they reduce foot fatigue, alleviate or prevent plantar fasciitis, and increase stride length.

For maximum benefit, an 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. When shopping for insoles, note that the best insoles will include these 4 features:

  1. Strong Support – Soft foam insoles that deflect easily beneath your feet will not provide long-term comfort. At the same time, the arch support insole must flex like a spring to work in concert with the foot. You should be able to flex the arch, but not easily.
  2. A Flawless Fit - A great fit unlocks the benefits of strong support. Look for insoles with multiple options for arch heights. If insoles don't feature different arch heights, they're probably too soft to give life changing support.
  3. Durability – Cheap pharmacy insoles will last a few months. better quality insoles usually last 6-12 months. The Tread Labs 2-part system is designed for the long haul. The molded arch supports are unconditionally guaranteed. Forever. The interchangeable top covers can be replaced easily to refresh your footwear.
  4. Compatibility With All Your Footwear – Athletic shoes with full length removable inserts will take one style of insole. Dress shoes without removable inserts will take another. Many insole brands make different insoles to accommodate the footwear in your closet. The Tread Labs 2-part system allows you to easily swap top covers on a set of arch supports. A set of insoles with an extra set of top covers can fit a large variety of footwear.

The best way to get a great fit is to try arch support insoles with a variety of contours and configurations. Invest a few days to ensure that you have the best insoles for your arch height. Your feet will thank you.

Insoles for Every Arch Height 

No matter your arch height, insoles will dramatically increase comfort by supporting the bones of your foot for an efficient stride. Do yourself a favor and see what arch support can do to improve your outlook and your day.

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