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Do Flat Feet Need Arch Supports?

Learn more about why flat feet could benefit from arch support and how you can manage your flat feet pain using orthotics.

a man with a mustache and a vest
By Janik Sundstrom
Joel Taylor
Edited by Joel Taylor

Updated February 17, 2023.

Flat feet are a common condition characterized by a visual loss of arch height noted in the foot, when placed under load. In flat feet, the majority of the foot is seen to make contact with the floor or ground while standing or walking. It is a pain-free condition that usually doesn’t pose a threat to a person’s health, and can be managed using arch supports in the form of orthotics. 

Determining the type of flat foot you have is important to determining the height of arch support you may need. A flexible flat foot is a foot that goes flat when placed under weight, but the arch returns when weight is lifted off. A rigid flat foot is a foot that always presents as flat, whether weight bearing, or not. 

Can You Build Arches in Flat Feet?

Custom-made orthotics are a useful and cost-effective way to manage symptoms experienced from daily life with feet that do not have enough adequate support. Orthotic insoles are designed to maintain the arch, whether you have a rigid or flexible foot. A flexible flat foot usually requires a medium arch support, while a rigid flat foot requires a low arch support. Orthotics will prevent the inward roll of the ankle and tibia, reducing strain placed on these joints, as well as the knees and hip joints. Exercises and therapy can help you build your arches and relieve symptoms that can arise from having flat feet.

» Need support for flat feet? Consider investing in flat feet custom orthotics or a versatile insole for everyday use like Upstep's On My Feet All Day insoles

How Can Arch Supports Help Flat Feet?

Arch supports can be specifically tailored to suit your feet, are easily removable, and can be used interchangeably between a variety of different shoes you may have. It’ll help you ensure that you don’t compromise comfort for style. Orthotics can also be removed from your shoes and washed. By using orthotics, you can support your feet and correct your body’s alignment from the ground up.

» Still unconvinced? Read this review of flat feet custom orthotics