Fallen Arches Insoles - Support Reduces Pain & Fatigue

by Mark Paigen August 20, 2015


Having fallen arches is not a pleasant experience. How can people with fallen arches avoid unnecessary pain? Fallen arches insoles can do wonders. Of course, it is important to use appropriate shoes and insoles. So, what are the best shoe and arch support insoles for flat feet? Let’s explore some of the available solutions.

What are Flat Feet?

People with flat feet don’t have properly tightened tendons. Most people with flat feet are simply born that way. Many children have flat feet, as arches sometimes develop during pre-adolescence.

To test if you have flat feet, put a piece of newspaper or a brown paper bag flat on the floor. Then wet your feet. Step on the paper briefly. Look at the shape of your footprint. If your arch looks mostly filled in, you have flat feet.

Are Fallen Arches the Same as Flat Feet?

Unlike flat feet, fallen arches develop in adulthood. Fallen arches are the cause of flat feet when people are not born with them. This condition can occur after a variety of injuries. For example, dislocating bones in the feet or ripping tendons can lead to fallen arches. A series of tendons and ligaments that attach leg muscles to the foot create the foot’s arch. When these tendons are injured or otherwise loosen, arches begin to fall. Symptoms worsen with age.

Rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammation of the joints, is another common cause of fallen arches. Arthritis in the feet can be incredibly painful. When the joints in ankles and feet don’t work properly, the arch muscles loosen. If you think this is your situation, see a doctor immediately to create a plan of action.

Obesity and pregnancy can also put pressure on foot tendons. See a doctor to see if weight may be playing a factor in your arch pain. Pregnancy changes arches in two ways: weight gain and hormonal changes. Typically, women see a fairly large change in their arch during their first pregnancy. Subsequent pregnancies cause much more mild changes in the feet.

Symptoms of Fallen Arches

Fallen arches cause feet to tire easily. This limits the ability to perform jobs requiring long periods of standing or engage in strenuous physical activities like distance running and soccer. Tired feet is the most common symptom of fallen arches and can be very painful.

Back pain is another symptom of fallen arches. Flat feet don’t provide sufficient support for a  healthy posture. Poor posture then puts extra strain on back muscles. Back pain symptoms range in severity.

Fallen arches can also cause swollen ankles. This can make footwear uncomfortable. In fact, unsupportive shoes, like high heels, can accelerate these problems.

Do I Need to Do Something About My Fallen Arches?

Even when fallen arches are not particularly painful, it is important to address the condition, as it can lead to other painful foot issues. It is associated with plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, and worsening arthritis.

Fallen arches can also exacerbate existing knee and hip pain. Staying fit and doing yoga is a good preventative measure. However, treating fallen arches is also important for people with sensitive knees and hips. Additionally, fallen arches make the toes work harder while walking. This can lead to even more foot pain, corns, and blisters.

Can I Fix My Fallen Arches?

There are a few quick and easy ways to temporarily relieve foot pain caused by fallen arches. These are great options for pregnant women or those with only mildly flat feet:

  • Raise your feet for at least 20 minutes per day. This also helps prevent varicose veins and spider veins
  • Use an ice pack to soothe swollen feet
  • Stretch and massage feet
  • See a physical therapist
  • Take over-the-counter pain treatments as needed – ibuprofen or NSAIDS

If fallen arches are a long-term problem, there are some other treatments to consider, including:

  • Weight loss (particularly if age is also a factor)
  • Bone grafting or fusions (for arthritis sufferers)
  • Tendon surgery
  • Arch-support insoles
  • Custom orthotics

For most of these options, consulting a doctor is appropriate. However, an easier, less expensive option is to find proper insoles and shoes that support fallen arches. Proper arch support for flat feet can provide the necessary support and relieve pain and discomfort.

Arch support insoles for flat feet can’t cure fallen arches. Rather, they provide temporary support and ease the pain. Wearing supportive insoles can also prevent the condition from getting worse. With the proper insoles, many of the problems associated with flat feet can be remedied.

Arch Support for Flat Feet – Custom Orthotics

For some, custom orthotics are the best shoe inserts for flat feet. Custom-molded arch supports provide support for the entire foot. Prices range from $300 – $500 for well-crafted custom orthotics. For best results find a Pedorthist that will take non-weight-bearing imprints of your feet and make the orthotics on-site. Any adjustments or corrections will be easy and successful.

Arch Supports for Flat Feet – Non-Custom Insoles

Better quality, non-custom flat foot insoles can also provide relief. They are considerably less expensive ($50 - $100) and work well if they provide adequate support. The key is an accurate fit and strong support. They can be placed in hiking boots, sneakers, and a variety of shoes. This option is excellent for people who lead an active lifestyle.

don't let sore feet ruin your day


Resist the temptation to buy the cheap cushioned insoles you find at drugstores or supermarkets. These soft insoles may provide initial relief, but their lack of support will not address the root problem – fallen arches. Proper fallen arches support insoles will provide structure not simply cushion and comfort.

Relief is a Click Away

Insoles and custom orthotics can also help shoes last longer. People with flat feet tend to wear out shoes quickly. Insoles spread weight properly across the bottom of the foot. More comfort and longer lasting shoes? Insoles are a win-win for fallen arches.

Usually a low-arch model is the best insole for flat feet. For some people with flat but very flexible feet, higher arch supports provide additional comfort. Don’t hesitate to try insoles with higher arches to find the right level of comfort. Tread Labs provides insoles in 4 different arch heights. If they don’t help your fallen arches, with our Million Mile Guarantee you can send them back for a full refund. For most people with fallen arches, arch-supporting insoles like the ones we make at Tread Labs are a great solution.

Mark Paigen
Mark Paigen

4 Responses

Dan- Tread Labs
Dan- Tread Labs

June 20, 2018

Hi Monica,
Our Stride insole works great for crossfit footwear featuring a removable factory insert. This insole is available in several different arch heights, providing a near custom fit for just about everyone.Determining your arch height and arch flexibility is the first step in choosing the Tread Labs insole that will be right for you.
Please do not hesitate to give us a call or send us an email and we’d be happy to help you.

Monica Guerrero
Monica Guerrero

June 20, 2018

Hi there, I just recently started running and experiencing pain. Went to the podiatrist who stated that I have fallen arches. I did buy good running shoes that have helped with the pain. I am currently looking for inserts that I can use for my workouts at crossfit. Lifting weights puts a lot of pressure on my arch. I wear reebok nanos and was looking for an insert that would help. Could you recommend what type of support I would need.

Dan- Tread Labs
Dan- Tread Labs

November 30, 2017

Hi Eileen,
An insole with arch support could very well help your son’s fallen arches. The High and Extra High arch supports can feel a bit aggressive to some folks with fallen arches, but there are certainly people with a more flexible arch that benefits from the higher arch supports.
We offer insoles that would cover up to a size 13.5, so fitting your son would be no problem.
Give us a call at 781-435-0662 or shoot us an email if we can assist in any way.

Eileen Rosario
Eileen Rosario

November 24, 2017

My son has fallen arches, therefore I’m looking for insoles like the ones you have extra high for a size 13 men size.

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