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Foot Health Blog

Find expert articles from physical therapists and podiatrists to help understand, diagnose, and treat different foot health issues such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, flat feet, and more.
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Man custom-making orthopedic insoles
OrthoticsThe Cost of Custom Orthotics: Are They Worth It?Unlike over-the-counter insoles, which are generic and can be easily purchased by walking into a store, different types of custom orthotics are specially designed to fit a particular foot and address specific foot conditions. Because of this, they tend to be more expensive compared to over-the-counter orthotics. That being said, what are they worth? And how can they be so costly? We will find out in this article. The Average Cost of Premade Insoles vs. Custom Orthotics Insoles and custom orthotics come in different sizes, shapes, and materials. As a result, they have different prices. Generally, you can expect to pay $20 to $80 for a premade insole. These premade insoles can be useful for mild conditions and bring immediate relief, but are less cost-effective in the long run due to the inferior quality of materials. Contrarily, the average custom orthotics cost between $200 and $800 and are worth every penny. See for yourself if custom orthotics are worth it: Why Are Custom Orthotics More Expensive Than OTCs? Custom orthotics are justifiably more expensive than OTCs because of the following 4 reasons: 1. The manufacturing process The fabrication of custom orthotics requires a multi-step process that begins with a physical examination of the foot. It continues with taking a report of symptoms, a personal history, a cast of your foot (or foot impressions), manufacture, and design. It’s always best to find a provider who has been making custom orthotics for years so that you can be sure you’re in good hands. 2. Specialist doctor visits Custom orthotics are not usually made by random people. Rather, they are usually fabricated by specialist doctors who have hands-on experience with different foot problems and understand specific biomechanics. This could be a podiatrist, sports medicine practitioner, or orthopedic doctor. 3. Materials This is decided based on your individual need. A good podiatrist will factor in your lifestyle, habits, and foot conditions. To get the optimal result, your orthotics must be designed from materials that can withstand the stress you put on your feet and are suitable for your particular condition. These can be rigid enough to control your feet or flexible and comfortable enough to provide cushioning and support during activities. Usually, the materials are either plastic or graphite. 4. Customization These custom orthotics are designed to fit your foot contours and provide support from one end of your footwear to the other. This customization takes time and skilled labor, which costs more money than generic one-size-fits-alls. » Read the review of the best Upstep orthotics for flat feet How Much Should You Be Spending on Custom Orthotics? To determine if an orthotic is worth its price, you must assess the orthotic strength, contour, and balance. The orthotics must be strong enough to bear varying body weights and prevent abnormal motion of the foot. It is okay if there is a close contour between the bottom of the foot and the orthotic plate. To determine if the orthotic is properly balanced, you'll need to take a foot measurement and see if the tilt or correction is the correct amount. Upstep orthotics will easily pass this quality check. The process of fabrication at Upstep begins with answering a few questions about your medical history and lifestyle. Afterward, a foot impression kit will be sent to you to take an accurate cast of your feet, guaranteeing you won't have any issues with the contouring or strength of the orthotics. Once the foot impression is received, our team of podiatrists will fabricate a unique pair of orthotics for you using the best materials and advanced technology. Are Custom Orthotics Worth the Price? Absolutely. Pain relief is always worth its price. Despite the cost being between $200-$400, Upstep’s custom orthotics are cost-effective. This is because they are made of high-quality materials which are more durable and longer-lasting than most other orthotics, and we even offer readjustments and a 120-day back money guarantee in case you’re not satisfied with the product. Invariably, when you buy custom orthotics, you invest in your health. And your body will pay you back with good health and helps save you money long-term. On the other hand, prefabricated insoles are cheaper because are made from lower-quality materials. They are not designed to fit or address any specific issues in the foot. They are also more costly in the long run as you may need to change them multiple times, whereas custom orthotics should last months or even years. » Still not convinced? Take a look at our review of the Upstep Normal Everyday Activity Insoles.
Over-The-Counter Insoles vs. Custom Orthotics: Which One Is Right for You?
OrthoticsOver-The-Counter Insoles vs. Custom Orthotics: Which One Is Right for You?Although the words "custom orthotics" and "insoles" are often used interchangeably, there is a distinction between the two. As the name suggests, custom orthotics are insoles made specifically for you on a doctor/podiatrist's prescription. On the other hand, over-the-counter (OTC) insoles refer to one-size-fits-all shoe inserts that can be purchased in any pharmacy. Custom Orthotics vs. Over-The-Counter (OTC) Insoles To get the best possible fit and comfort, you should get orthotics custom-made specifically to fit your foot's unique characteristics. With Upstep, you can place an order online and provide some medical and lifestyle information, and we will send you an impression kit to make a custom imprint of your feet. After returning the impression kit to us, our experts will analyze your feet and the information you provided to design a pair of custom orthotics made specifically for your needs. » Need some extra comfort? Consider some everyday orthotics from Upstep. Are Custom Orthotics Better Than Store-Bought? There is no straight answer to this question. Rather, whether the better one is the custom orthotics or OTC orthotics will depend on the user's particular circumstances. For example, an over-the-counter insole provides general cushioning and some arch support. However, given that people's feet are shaped differently and have different foot conditions, an off-the-shelf orthotic cannot provide the specific components required by each individual. Read on to compare the pros and cons of custom orthotics and OTC insoles. Pros of Custom Orthotics Designed to fit Custom orthotics are usually designed to the specification of the foot and the condition of the client who needs it. Invariably, this makes them more comfortable and more effective in dealing with foot problems.Better Quality Compared to OTC insoles, custom orthotics are often made with better quality materials, guaranteeing better support and longer-lasting durability.Better support Often, the materials with which custom orthotics are made are more rigid. Thus, they offer better support than prefabricated orthotics usually made from rubber or silicone.More cost-effective in the long run Compared to off-the-shelf orthotics, custom orthotics tend to be more expensive. However, the cheaper insoles break down and wear out quickly, making custom orthotics the cost-effective option when you're looking at long-term options. » Read the review of the Upstep orthotics for flat feet Pros of Over-The-Counter Insoles Cheaper alternative Standard insoles are cheaper than custom-made orthotics and would be a good option for individuals with mild conditions.Quick fix When the goal is quick pain relief, you may not have the luxury of time to wait for a custom orthotic to be fabricated. In that case, prefabricated orthotics become the better choice. You can easily cut and add them to your shoes in minutes to get quick relief. Cons of Custom Orthotics High upfront cost It costs way more to make an initial purchase of a custom orthotic than an over-the-counter orthotic because of the materials and specialized labor.Time constraints While you can just walk into a store and purchase a prefabricated orthotic, you will need to give a podiatrist time to make your orthotics. It takes an average of two to three weeks (in which you'll still experience pain) to make a pair of custom orthotics. Cons of Over-The-Counter Insoles Temporary fix While prefabricated orthotics can bring quick pain relief, it is often short-lived as they don't address the condition. Instead, they often cause damage by giving too much support to one foot or not enough to the other, which can mess with your alignment, balance, posture, and foot health.No health insurance rebate While custom orthotics are covered by the HSA and LPFSA (meaning you can get be reimbursed when you purchase them with your own money), the same is not true for OTC insoles. There is no health insurance coverage for them as anyone can easily buy them without a doctor's advice or prescription.Less durability Since OTC orthotics are made from lower-quality materials, they are often less durable. Thus, they tend to break down easily and quickly show wear and tear. The Final Verdict: Which Product Is Right for You? Custom orthotics are made of better quality materials and tend to last longer than OTC insoles. For quality arch support and comfort, you should always go with custom orthotics, as they are definitely worth it. They can help correct your gait or posture, relieve foot pain, and improve balance. Since they are crafted to treat your specific ailments, they are inevitably more successful than prefabricated insoles. However, if the goal is quick pain relief and the condition is mild, an over-the-counter insole might be all you need.
A muscular man busy lifting a heavy weight.
Flat feet6 of the Best Insoles for Weightlifting With Flat FeetWhile weightlifting is not typically a high-impact sport, it does place your lower limbs and feet under intense strain—even more so if you have flat feet. Once the arches collapse, it negatively affects your posture and reduces your shock-absorbing qualities. This can increase your risk of injury, particularly to your knees, hips, and lower back. Therefore, the importance of wearing (correct) insoles cannot be overstated. Using orthotics for flat feet while weightlifting can aid with foot alignment, provide cushioning and comfort, and improve stability and mobility while providing overall support. Below we've listed the most comfortable insoles for flat feet recommended for weightlifters. » Do all athletes use the same orthotics? Different athletes experience different benefits from orthotics 1. Upstep | Flat Feet Custom Orthotics ProsCustom-madeDesigned by seasoned podiatristsAdds stability and improves arch supportFSA and HSA eligible180-day money-back guaranteeConsShort waiting period before you receive your insoles Upstep Flat Feet Custom Orthotics improve arch support, weight distribution, and shock absorption. Designed by seasoned podiatrists, these insoles promote the alignment of the kinematic chain. Upstep custom insoles cradle your foot contours, given that they're custom-fitted to your foot shape. This provides a strong base that adds stability to help the weightlifter take their game to the next level. Upstep Flat Feet Custom Orthotics are affordable. Payment methods include FSA and HSA cards or interest-free installments via Klarna. Additional benefits include a 180-day money-back guarantee and free shipping and returns. 2. SOLE | Active Thick Insoles ProsEco-friendlyRelieves pressureAffordable90-day guaranteeConsMolding process may result in an uncomfortable fit SOLE Active Thick Insoles are designed to relieve pressure on your feet, a feature that's essential for weightlifters to minimize the risk of a foot injury. The insoles also give your feet extra cushioning and support. SOLE insoles are best with footwear that has a removable insert. They're recommended for those who engage in high-pressure activities since they can reduce plantar fascia strain and increase balance. SOLE insoles are eco-friendly and made from 100% recycled corks. It also features EVA that’s made of 20% waste. Together, these form a footbed that you must mold to your foot shape after purchase. However, by conducting the molding process yourself there is a chance that the insoles may not provide a perfect fit or sufficient support. » Still searching for the perfect fit? Discover the best insoles for wide feet Active Thick Insoles 3. Superfeet | FLEXmax Insoles ProsAerospring foamSemi-rigid arch supportComfortableDurableConsMay need trimming which can cause an incorrect fit Superfeet FLEXmax Insoles are semi-rigid arch support insoles with full-length Aerospring foam to support and cushion your feet. Superfeet insoles come with a rounded edge and feature a flexible heel cradle. The specialized FLEXmax design allows the insole to provide long-lasting comfort for roomy footwear. Its structured heel cups stabilize your ankle while the contoured design redistributes weight across your feet and reduces joint stress. However, these insoles may have to be trimmed to fit in your shoes. Trimming them incorrectly can result in an uncomfortable fit. FLEXmax Insoles 4. Tread Labs | Pace Wide Insoles ProsMedical-gradeFirm arch supportComfortable thick top coverMillion mile guaranteeConsNot tailor-madeCustomers' unique foot needs not addressed Tread Labs Pace Wide Insoles are medical-grade insoles that support your foot arches, improve alignment, and bring pain relief. Weightlifters with flat feet will benefit from the arch support and deep heel cups. The thick top covers give added comfort. These insoles are affordable, including interest-free installments via ShopPay. Tread Labs's million mile guarantee covers these insoles if they crack or lose their shape. While these insoles are better suited for wide feet, they're not custom-made and don't address your foot needs directly. Pace Wide Insoles 5. Protalus | M-75 Insoles ProsTri-planar technologyAnti-slip ridgesEVA foam bodyAffordable90-day money-back guaranteeConsMultiple sizes may not provide a perfect fit Protalus M-75 Insoles are semi-rigid orthotic arch supports that improve cushioning and comfort while walking. The 3/4-length insoles are best for wider shoes with non-removable inserts. These insoles aim to benefit anyone with flat feet as well as limit overpronation by keeping your ankle in a neutral position and maintaining the integrity of your arches. Protalus M-75 insoles use patented tri-planar technology and anti-slip ridges to improve balance and stability. An EVA foam body improves cushioning, and a moisture-wicking top cloth reduces moisture to control odor and slippage. While these insoles are available in multiple sizes, you may not necessarily find the perfect fit. M-75 Insoles 6. URthotics | Comfort+ Insoles ProsCustom-madeComfortableProvides stability and motion controlDeep heel cup for pain reliefFSA and HSA eligible6-months money-back guaranteeConsWaiting period before receiving your insoles URthotics Comfort+ Insoles guarantee extra comfort for your feet. These insoles are also tailor-made by podiatrists who factor in every detail about your foot shape, needs, and biomechanical state to create unique custom orthotics for you. The custom base provides stability and motion control while the deep heel cup offers pain relief and protection. Additionally, URthotics custom insoles are FSA and HSA eligible and come with a 6-months money-back guarantee. Comfort+ Insoles Final Verdict Custom orthotics remain the best bet for weightlifters with flat feet. Asides from being designed to your exact foot specifications, they factor in the intended use and help optimize performance during weightlifting activities.
A tennis player seated on the floor with a visible frown on her face, gripping her foot with both hands, with her racquet placed beside her.
Plantar fasciitis5 Best Insoles for Tennis Players to Prevent Plantar FasciitisPlantar fasciitis is one of the most common injuries reported by both recreational and elite athletes. Inflammation in the plantar fascia causes intense pain, especially in the area surrounding the heel, and sports that involve running and long hours of play, like tennis, are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. There are a number of plantar fasciitis exercises to alleviate pain, however, wearing the correct orthotics is an extremely effective way to prevent and manage the condition. Below is a list of the best orthotic options for you to consider to play tennis pain-free. 1. Upstep | Tennis Custom Orthotics ProsCustom-madeAffordableFSA & HSA eligible180-day money-back guaranteeSuits grass and hardcourtsAt-home impression kitConsShort waiting period before receiving orthotics Upstep's Tennis Custom Orthotics are specifically designed to the shape of your feet by podiatrists to provide stability and cushioning to your feet. Made from EVA materials, these orthotics are durable and aim to improve the dynamic range of your feet while you partake in your tennis game. Intended for both grass and hardcourt tennis shoes, these custom insoles can help to relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms by supporting your foot and redistributing any weight. » Already have plantar fasciitis? Purchase the best insoles for plantar fasciitis-related calf pain 2. Protalus | T-100 Elite Insoles ProsComfortable and thin designIdeal for standard-volume shoesHigher sides for pressure distributionAnti-slip ridges90-day money-back guaranteeConsNot custom-madeSelf-trimming may cause improper fit and supportNot durable in the long-term Protalus T-100 Elite Insoles aim to provide moderate support to the length of your foot, reduce shock applied to your foot (specifically your heel), and support your foot arch. The anti-slip ridges help to increase your foot's stability by gripping the inside of your shoe.  However, these insoles are bought as is and must be trimmed to fit. If done incorrectly, this may cause an improper fit and provide insufficient support. T-100 Elite Insoles 3. SOLE | Performance Medium Insoles With Met Pad ProsSustainable base of recycled wine corksPrioritizes forefoot comfortOdor control90-day money-back guaranteeConsIncorrect mold may cause insufficient support The SOLE Performance Medium Insoles with Met Pad offer a medium-cushioned footbed made from recycled wine corks. A metatarsal pad for forefoot support can help reduce plantar fascia pain by supporting the natural spread of your foot bones—especially helpful during a tennis game. These insoles require you to heat up and mold the insole to the shape of your feet before inserting them into your shoes. If the insoles don't mold to your foot shape correctly, the improper fit may worsen your symptoms. Performance Medium Insoles with Met Pad 4. Superfeet | ME3D Insoles ProsCustom-made3D printedOdor control60-day guaranteeConsBiometrics must be measured at a retailerWaiting period before receiving orthotics The Superfeet ME3D Insoles are custom, 3D-printed insoles designed to meet the needs of your feet. With five independent zones tuned to adapt and respond to how your feet move, these insoles aim to provide comfort and stability. As an added touch, you can even have your name engraved onto the insoles. However, you have to visit a retailer to have your biometrics measured before your insoles can be ordered. This may be inconvenient in comparison to the at-home kits of other insoles. ME3D Insoles 5. URthotics | Active/Sports Insoles ProsCustom-madeFSA & HSA eligible6-months money-back guaranteeAt-home impression kitConsWaiting period before receiving orthoticsNot specifically designed for tennis URthotics Active/Sports Insoles are custom-made insoles designed for those participating in sports or living an active lifestyle. These insoles are durable and provide custom arch support, cushioning, stability, and motion control. While not specifically designed for tennis, these insoles can help lessen the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Active/Sports Insoles Choose the Best Orthotics for You As an athlete, it's best to be proactive regarding your foot condition to ensure it doesn't worsen and for you to keep performing optimally. Custom-made, sport-specific orthotics can significantly contribute to this by helping to alleviate your plantar fasciitis symptoms and prevent injury. » Prevent possible discomfort as a tennis player with the best inserts for Achilles tendonitis
A person inserting their arch supporting insole/orthotic
OrthoticsBest Orthotics for Flat Feet and Plantar FasciitisTwo 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. » Give your foot some much-needed support with the best insoles for flat feet 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. » Discover the best insoles for plantar fasciitis-related calf pain 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.
A medical professional holding an orthotic in her hands, with a shoe placed on the counter in front of her.
OrthoticsOut-Toeing—Symptoms, Causes, and TreatmentsOut-toeing is the outward turn of your feet away from the medial line. Also known as being duck-footed, it's common for children just learning how to walk to move in this way. Occasionally, it can also occur in adolescents and adults. While out-toeing is typically asymptomatic and will resolve itself, sometimes you'll need external arch support to improve foot alignment, correct gait, and provide heel stability. Read on to learn more about the condition and how Upstep's Flat Feet Custom Orthotics can help. The collapsed or low arches of flat feet give little to no support and can cause your feet to turn outward Out-Toeing Out-toeing occurs because of femoral retroversion or tibial torsion—meaning your femur or tibia turns toward the outside of your leg, causing your foot to point outward too. In most cases, it's not a problem. However, out-toeing can be a sign of an underlying cause, especially if there's pain, limping, or discomfort. So, it's important to know the possible causes of out-toeing as this can also determine treatment. Causes ChildrenFetal position of a baby's legs in utero before birth (especially the footling breech position)Resting position of a child's legs during infancyGeneticsOther foot conditions like flat feetRare conditions like congenital bone deformity and slipped capital femoral epiphysisAdolescentsHip injury e.g., hip dysplasiaMuscle tightness in the legs or hipsPoor postureAnterior pelvic tilt caused by a sedentary lifestyle Symptoms Generally, out-toeing is not associated with any adverse symptoms like pain and discomfort (unless there is an underlying condition). Recognizing out-toeing is easy. Children with out-toeing tend to stand, walk, or run with their feet turned outward, making it seem like they're waddling. You may also notice their knees point outward, making walking and running clumsy and causing them to fall more often. Treatment Most cases of out-toeing resolve in children between the ages of six and eight. Even with adults, treating their feet may only become necessary if they're painful and it impedes physical activity performance. With severe symptoms, surgery may be necessary to correct gait deformity and neutrally align legs and feet. It’s always recommended to seek professional medical advice regarding the best line of action. Meanwhile, wearing custom orthotics can also prove helpful. » Experiencing discomfort in your feet? Discover the best insoles for out-toeing The Case for Custom Orthotics The magic of custom orthotics is that it's tailor-made for your feet, thereby addressing your foot needs and easily fitting into your lifestyle. Custom support to address out-toeing Ideal for Flat feet and out-toeing FSA & HSA eligible Yes Shipping and returns Free Upstep's Flat Feet Custom Orthotics aim to enhance your foot function by providing arch support, thereby increasing stability and evenly distributing weight across your feet. Its heel-stabilizing function will help improve your foot alignment by retraining your muscles so you can walk with your feet facing forward and not outward. These adjustments will help to ameliorate your gait and reduce the risk of injury. With additional shock absorption qualities, these custom insoles are comfortable and durable. ProsCustom-made by podiatristsAddress your foot needs directlyFSA & HSA eligible180-day money-back guaranteeFree shipping and returnsConsShort waiting period before receiving orthotics The Verdict While out-toeing is typically asymptomatic and can resolve itself, we recommend that you are proactive. Identifying any symptoms and causes early can help mitigate the worsening of the condition so that it doesn't eventually lead to surgery. Custom orthotics are an effective treatment for out-toeing, especially if the underlying cause is flat feet. The custom insoles provide the necessary arch support and heel stabilization to improve your foot alignment and address out-toeing. » Still unsure? Read our custom orthotics for flat feet review
An athlete holding a pair of insoles in the air with one hand, indicating towards it with the other.
Flat feet7 Best Cycling Shoe Insoles for Flat FeetHaving flat feet is a disadvantage when it comes to cycling. Apart from contributing to pain due to repetitive stress, it reduces your ability to pedal optimally. While cycling shoes can help bridge some of this gap, a proper cycling shoe insole for flat feet will do more. Knowing an insole for flat feet will help is one thing. Choosing the right one with the different types available on the market is quite another. That’s why we have reviewed the insoles on the market and listed the best cycling shoe insoles for flat feet below. » How can you treat flat feet? Try these exercises for flat feet 1. Upstep Cycling Custom Orthotics With research suggesting that custom orthotics are better for flat feet than prefabricated ones, Upstep cycling custom orthotics rank highest in our list of cycling shoe insoles for flat feet. They're designed by professional podiatrists using your unique foot impression and personal lifestyle information. The insoles are made of high-quality materials, have a durable polypropylene shell, high-quality top covers, and well-cushioned middle layers to guarantee comfort every time. The benefits of cycling orthotics include durability, maximum support and comfort to the foot, limited overpronation, and easier pedaling during cycling. » Do you need additional support while cycling? Compare the best cycling shoe insoles for arch support and plantar fasciitis 2. Upstep Flat Feet Custom Orthotics Upstep flat feet custom orthotics are somewhat different from cycling custom orthotics as they directly address your flat feet condition. They have a reinforced heel counter and moderate arch support to maintain body alignment. Additionally, Upstep flat feet custom orthotics are affordable, and you can pay in installments or with your FSA and HSA insurance. » Looking for everyday flat feet orthotics? Consider these best insoles for flat feet 3. SOLE Performance Thin Insoles With Metatarsal Pad SOLE performance thin insoles score extra points because of their metatarsal pads which help relieve pain in the balls of your feet and support the natural spacing of the metatarsal bones. They come in multiple arch heights and help promote natural foot alignment, minimizing overpronation due to flat feet. They also have a 1.6 mm cushioning underfoot, ensuring everyday comfort during activities. SOLE Performance insoles are not custom fitted. Instead, they're heat- and wear-moldable, so you can get a fit that's as close as possible. 4. Tread Labs Dash Insoles Tread Labs Dash insoles are rigid insoles made from carbon fiber, making them light and super-thin. These are performance insoles meant to improve foot biomechanics and aid optimal energy returns during physical activity. Apart from having thick arch supports, these insoles also have 5mm thick, ventilated top covers to prevent your foot from sweating too much. Dash insoles come in four different arch heights. While the low and medium arches are the most suitable for flat feet, they're less effective than custom orthotics that would fit your foot perfectly. 5. Superfeet Trailblazer Comfort Insoles Superfeet Trailblazer Comfort insoles have a very unique shape and help to stabilize the foot on all kinds of terrain, including very rough ones. Its features include a deep heel cup to stabilize the ankle joint and two layers of heel-to-toe cushioning to reduce fatigue and provide comfort. While Superfeet trailblazer comfort insoles are affordable, they provide a short-term solution to a long-term foot challenge. They're not as durable and may need replacement often. 6. Protalus T-100 Elite Insoles Protalus T-100 elite insoles give the necessary arch support for all foot types. The insoles are full-length with semi-rigid orthotic arch support and a tri-planar system that keeps the ankle joint aligned and the foot stable. They're also made with moisture-wicking fabric and microbial lining to remove any odor from your feet if you sweat a lot. However, these insoles are not custom-fitted and come in specific sizes that may warrant trimming to fit foot contours. 7. URthotics Comfort+ Insoles Like the Upstep insoles, URthotics Comfort+ insoles are also custom fitted to the foot. They're designed not just based on the foot contour but also on any pre-existing foot conditions and potential activities. Ideally, URthotics comfort+ insoles are best for those with sensitive feet. While these insoles can be expensive, and unfortunately there are no options to pay in installments, you can purchase the orthotics with HSA and FSA cards. Final Verdict In the end, your choice of an insole depends on you. However, if you want quality and want to make a long-term investment, we recommend choosing custom orthotics. These insoles are customized to your feet and needs, thereby giving you the best support. Also, if you don't want to spend time breaking in your insoles, your custom orthotics will be ready to wear when you receive them. » Are custom orthotics beneficial for all sports? Explore the benefits of orthotics for different athletes
A woman busy with an at-home exercise in her living room.
Orthotics5 Best Insoles to Wear While Squatting to Aid in Heel ElevationSquatting is a popular exercise for anyone looking to keep fit. It targets several muscle groups at the same time, including the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and core abdominal muscles. As simple as it may seem, squats can cause injury when not performed properly. If you're going to start a routine that includes squatting, but remain unsure about where to begin, getting the right shoes is a good start. However, beyond what a shoe can do, the right insole can improve your squats by aiding heel elevation, boosting stability, and improving your range of movement. Below we’ve compiled a list of the best five insoles to wear while squatting to aid heel elevation. Gym Custom Orthotics 1. Upstep A personal, tailor-made, long-term solution for your feet Custom made Based on your unique foot shape to address your foot needs Indoor workouts Zumba, Step, Circuit, TRX, CrossFit, Weightlifting, and more Versatile Works with any athletic footwear Made from durable materials Provides comfort and support Extended return policy 180-day money-back guarantee with free adjustments Designed by podiatrists with years of experience, Gym Custom Orthotics are ideal for those looking to perform indoor workouts. Using durable materials that caress every inch of your feet, these custom insoles help to improve stability, reduce pain, and protect you from injuries throughout your workout—making them ideal for squatting to aid heel elevation. A moisture-absorbent top layer also helps to reduce any odor. Upstep insoles are affordable, being eligible for both FSA and HSA, and come with a 180-day money-back guarantee, including free adjustments. Ramble Insoles 2. Tread Labs Full length, firm, flexible support for your feet Extra arch support Choose from 4 arch heights for the best fit Replaceable top cover Keep your insoles for the long term Prevents odor Made from 100% recycled antimicrobial polyester fabric Million mile guarantee Easily replace your insoles if they crack or lose their shape Tread Labs Ramble Insoles are flexible yet supportive. Designed for shoes with full-length, removable inserts, these insoles keep your foot neutrally aligned and in a proper weight-bearing position, making them ideal during squatting. Tread Labs Ramble Insoles have a 2-part system that includes an arch support and a top cover that can be replaced if it wears out. The top covers are made from polyurethane foam and 100% recycled polyester fabric, making them resilient. They're also treated for microbes to reduce foot odor. When you first start using the Ramble Insoles, the support may feel excessive, but you’ll get used to the feeling within a week or two. A drawback of the Ramble Insoles is that they're not custom-made. Instead, they're available in four specific arch heights (low, medium, high, and extra high), possibly making their support less than ideal. Performance Wide Medium Insoles 3. SOLE For sustainable, shock-absorbing comfort every day Naturally wide toebox Provides more comfort and stability Improves balance Distributes weight evenly over your foot Deep heel cup Helps prevent lateral movement Reasonable return policy 90 day return policy SOLE Performance Wide Medium Insoles are affordable and made from recycled wine corks, offering you a cushioned footbed that absorbs shock, provides comfort, and protects your feet during weight-bearing. These insoles have a deep heel cup that prevents lateral ankle bone movement during squatting and a solid arch support that keeps the heel elevated. Unlike custom orthotics, SOLE Performance Wide Medium Insoles are not tailored to your foot size, but are heat and wear moldable, thereby possibly giving you a less-than-ideal fit. You can return them within 90 days of purchase and get a replacement if you're dissatisfied with your purchase. M-100 Insoles 4. Protalus Give your feet full volume, maximum support Maximum support Insole sides come up higher on the sides of your feet Rebound foam Increases your mobility Anti-slip ridges Insoles won't slip inside of your shoes Reasonable return policy 90-day return guarantee The Protalus M-100 Insoles feature a Tri-Planar Alignment System that improves body alignment and functioning. The high arch support keeps your foot arch up and reduces pressure, while the rebound foam and anti-slip ridges provide mobility and additional stability. Protalus M-100 insoles have a semi-custom fit and come in a range of sizes to pick from. The fit may therefore not be perfect and require some trimming. However, these insoles have a 90-day guarantee to ensure your satisfaction with your purchase. Orange Insoles 5. Superfeet Protection for your feet from high-impact punishment High-impact foam forefoot Provides additional shock absorption Heel cup and stabilizer cup Increases structure and stability Odor control Organic top coat prevents odor Durable Guaranteed to keep shape until the first 12 months or 500 miles Superfeet Orange Insoles are specifically designed to cater to the needs of persons involved in high-impact activities. These insoles have a deep heel cup and an additional stabilizer cup that positions and stabilizes the heel. A high-impact foam forefoot provides extra support and shock absorption, which is especially useful during squats. Superfeet Orange Insoles are affordable and durable, guaranteed to maintain their shape, comfort, and support for the first 12 months or 500 miles (whichever comes first). Finally, the natural top coating controls bacteria and therefore odor. However, while these insoles are available in a variety of sizes, they aren't tailored to your feet and may require trimming. You may possibly not obtain the perfect fit and support. Choose Wisely Elevating your heels during squats will increase the depth of your squat and help transfer force to your quadriceps. With a proper insole, you'll not only improve your squat but you’ll also keep the ankle in a neutral position, preventing injury. Orthotics provide the necessary support for your arch, cushion the feet, and aid shock absorption. Of these, custom orthotics yield the best results. Based on your feet and your needs, custom orthotics will support your unique foot shape in a way other orthotics can't. » Want to see more custom orthotics? Discover more of the best insoles for weightlifting
A pair of hiking boots, socks, and insoles drying outside on grass.
Orthotics5 Best Hiking Boot Insoles to Wear for Plantar FasciitisAs someone who enjoys hiking, you rely heavily on your hiking boots to carry you over challenging terrains. This makes proper foot support essential to avoid injury—and even more so if you have plantar fasciitis. Wearing the correct orthotics in hiking boots, especially with plantar fasciitis, will help to optimize your gait by holding your feet aligned, stable, and in place. Insoles will also provide additional comfort, cushioning, and arch support for your feet to reduce foot fatigue and lessen the risk of developing inflammation in your plantar fasciitis while hiking. Below we've listed the best hiking boot insoles to wear for plantar fasciitis. » Getting calf pain from plantar fasciitis? Try these insoles 1. Upstep | Fitness Walking & Hiking Custom Orthotics ProsCustom-madeDesigned by podiatristsDurableAddresses and manages plantar fasciitis symptomsAffordableConsShort waiting period before receiving your insoles Upstep’s Fitness Walking & Hiking Custom Orthotics are custom-made by professional podiatrists to fit snugly in your hiking boots in an effort to reduce foot fatigue, improve foot mechanics, and provide you with optimum support as you hike. The orthotics are durable and effectively reduce and manage plantar fasciitis symptoms, preventing it from progressively getting worse in the future. These insoles are affordable (available with FSA and HSA cards or through interest-free payments) and come with a 180-day money-back guarantee. Be sure to check out the best insoles for hiking with ample arch support. 2. Superfeet | Adapt Hike Max Insoles ProsFlexible structureAdapts to your natural motionDurableAffordableConsNot custom-made and must be trimmedMay not fit correctly or provide sufficient support Superfeet Adapt Hike Max Insoles are designed to support and cushion your feet through its flexible structure. These insoles adapt to the natural movement of your feet, making them suitable for hiking activities. Apart from being affordable, these insoles also feature durable construction, an energizing heel cushion, and responsive forefoot zone, making it effective for managing plantar fasciitis. Superfeet Adapt Hike Max Insoles are bought over-the-counter and must be trimmed to fit. Therefore, they may not address your foot needs as fully as custom orthotics. Adapt Hike Max Insoles 3. Protalus | M-100 Elite Insoles ProsSuitable for full-volume shoesAnti-slip ridgesHeel cup corrects misalignmentOdor controlConsOne fit for all arch typesImproper fit may not provide sufficient support Protalus M-100 Elite Insoles are affordable, over-the-counter insoles that feature a comfortable, durable, three-layered design. Suitable for full-volume shoes, the heel cup keeps your ankle in a neutral position in an effort to correct misalignment while the anti-slip ridges work to prevent the insoles from slipping or moving in your hiking boots, giving you more stable footing. The top coat manages any moisture and bacteria, providing odor and slippage control. However, the insoles have a universal fit only for all arch types. This may not provide you with the necessary support and may aggravate your plantar fasciitis. M-100 Elite Insoles 4. SOLE | Performance Wide Thick Insoles ProsSuitable for shoes with wider toe-boxesSustainableComfortableAffordableConsNot custom-madeFit and support may be incorrect SOLE Performance Wide Thick Insoles are made from recycled wine cork and feature a wider toe-box for maximum comfort. The insoles are designed to reduce strain placed on the plantar fascia by reducing foot fatigue, improving balance, and redistributing weight equally across your feet. While these insoles are affordable and available in multiple sizes, they're not custom-made and you may not find the perfect fit or support (especially your arches). Performance Wide Thick Insoles 5. Tread Labs | Pace Thin Insoles ProsMedical-grade insolesExtra firm supportDeep heel cup improves stabilityConsBetter suited for low-volume shoesChoices of arch heights may not provide sufficient supportDifferent sizes may not fit perfectly Tread Labs Pace Thin Insoles are affordable medical-grade orthotics, designed for those with plantar fasciitis, severe over pronation, and are heavy on their feet. The insoles provide extra firm support to lessen plantar fasciitis symptoms, while a deep heel cup decreases the impact of your feet with the ground and improves stability. While these insoles are available in multiple sizes, they're better suited for low-volume shoes and not necessarily hiking boots. You also have your choice from 4 different arch heights, however, this doesn't guarantee you'll find one that fits perfect and provides the necessary support. Pace Thin Insoles Final Verdict Not having insoles that fit correctly and provide adequate support in your hiking boots can increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis and can aggravate symptoms you currently have. Custom orthotics are the best option to manage any symptoms related to plantar fasciitis because the source of your condition is not necessarily the same as the next person. Custom insoles are made based on your foot shape, activities, and lifestyle. Therefore, it's best suited to address your specific foot needs as opposed to a universal, over-the-counter insole that provides generic support.