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Should You Wear Arch Supports if You Have Flat Feet?

Have flat feet but no pain, or suffering from severe pain that you attribute to your flat feet, read this article to find our if you should be wearing arch supports.

Joel Taylor
By Joel Taylor
a woman wearing a red sweater and a necklace
Edited by Taj Schlebusch

Updated February 17, 2023.

Deciding whether you need to be wearing arch supports for your flat feet depends largely on the severity of the condition. Some variations of flat feet, such as asymptomatic flexible flat feet, do not cause discomfort or pain and don't necessarily need to be treated.

Whereas symptomatic flexible flat feet and rigid flat feet often cause pain and could lead to a series of other conditions, which are best treated as soon as possible.

Pain Relief and Flat Feet Symptom Reduction

Flat feet are caused when the tissue that holds up the arch in your foot is weakened enough that your arch depresses to the floor. It's important to understand that you can't definitively cure flat feet as it's impossible to truly fix a collapsed arch without highly invasive surgery.

Instead of trying to fix flat feet outright, most treatments look at reducing and managing symptoms instead. Artificial arch supports adjust your feet to operate in a certain way that redistributes the pressure around your foot and strengthens weakened muscles. They don't necessarily rebuild your arches totally, but they can make your feet function better and reduce the symptoms.

When Should You Purchase Arch Support for Flat Feet?

If you have flexible flat feet (your arches are apparent when seated or on tiptoes, but disappear when you stand up) and don't experience any pain and discomfort then you shouldn't worry yourself with insoles or orthotics.

However, if your flat feet cause you any pain or discomfort then you should seek treatment as soon as possible as it could lead to a number of other conditions like overpronation or plantar fasciitis. Additionally, only a podiatrist will be able to assess whether you need medium or high arch supports.