Best Orthotics for Flat Feet and Plantar Fasciitis
Updated March 31, 2023.
Two leading causes of discomfort in the foot are flat feet and plantar fasciitis. Flat feet refer to the foot condition in which the foot arch collapses, causing the entire sole to touch the floor when standing. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia that runs from the base of the toes to the heel bone.
Sometimes, flatfoot is the cause of plantar fasciitis. When that is the case, there are specific orthotics you can wear to address the symptoms. In this guide, we cover the best orthotics for flat feet and plantar fasciitis and how to pick the best.
Having Plantar Fasciitis With Flat Feet
Flat feet is a leading cause of plantar fasciitis. It predisposes you to overpronation which causes your feet to roll inwards as you walk. Overpronation stretches the plantar fascia more than necessary. The continuous pressure on the plantar fascia leads to its inflammation.
While plantar fasciitis has many treatment options such as treatment for plantar plate tears, it is best to consider the etiology before deciding on a treatment option. When plantar fasciitis and flat feet occur together, orthotics present one of the best options to manage the condition.
Effectiveness of Orthotics for Flat Feet and Plantar Fasciitis
Orthotics are very effective when it comes to treating plantar fasciitis that’s related to flat feet. In one study, 27% of the participants selected orthotics as the best treatment for plantar fasciitis. They are very effective because they help control overpronation and limit any abnormal foot motion.
In place of the fallen arch, orthotics will provide artificial arch support that will reduce the strain on the plantar fascia. Orthotics will limit abnormal foot motion and improve your gait and balance. Also, it will improve your ability to absorb shock as you walk. Thus, using orthotics will prevent further debilitating foot complications in the future.
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Features of Good Orthotics for Flat Feet and Plantar Fasciitis
Not every orthotic will work for flat feet and plantar fasciitis. However, all effective orthotics for flat feet and plantar fasciitis have three things in common: firm arch support, proper fit, and a deep heel cup.
- Proper fit For the most effective treatment, you need an orthotic insert that matches the contouring of your foot perfectly. That is only possible if the arch height of the orthotic is the same as that of your foot. Most times, you’ll get this with a custom orthotic rather than a store-bought insert. This is one reason why over-the-counter insoles are not appropriate for managing flat feet and plantar fasciitis.
- Firm arch support The reason why you need firm arch support should be immediately obvious. A collapsed arch puts strain on the plantar fascia because of overpronation. With an orthotic that guarantees firm arch support, you limit overpronation and remove the strain from the plantar fascia. You may need to opt for orthotics made from tougher materials. If it is too flexible, it may not do the job.
- Deep heel cup With a deep heel cup, the orthotic keeps your foot aligned during movement. It complements the fat padding in the heel to absorb the shock with every step. It also improves the stability, balance, and efficiency of energy transfer as you walk from place to place.
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Types of Orthotics for Flat Feet and Plantar Fasciitis
In choosing orthotics for flat feet and plantar fasciitis, it is important to identify what type of flat feet it is. There are two distinct types of flat feet, the flexible and the rigid and they both require different types of orthotics. You also need to decide whether you will choose soft or hard orthotics for plantar fasciitis.
If you have flexible flat feet, you'll need medium or well-pronounced arch insoles that’ll give aggressive correction. Alternatively, you could have rigid flat feet. In that case, you'll need a flexible orthotic that is softer, more cushioned and provides less aggressive correction.
How to Choose Orthotics for Flat Feet and Plantar Fasciitis
To reiterate, the best orthotics for plantar fasciitis and flat feet will have firm but flexible arch support and provide excellent shock absorption to the feet. It will also have a deep heel cup to preserve anatomical foot alignment and prevent any compensatory lateral movement due to overpronation. Aesthetically, it should also be custom-fitted for your foot shape and type.
For flexible flat feet, the Upstep Normal Everyday Activity insole will deliver the appropriate support and cushioning to the feet. Contrarily, On My Feet All Day is ideal for people with rigid flat feet.