Flat Foot Insoles: Do You Need It?

Custom Insoles Singapore
Straits Podiatry
Straits Podiatry

Flat feet, or fallen arches, can cause discomfort and pain for many individuals, impacting their daily activities and quality of life. Fortunately, the right pair of insoles can provide significant relief and support. In this article, we’ll explain the indications, functions, and benefits of insoles for flat feet in Singapore.

Understanding Flat Feet

Flat feet, or Pes Planus, occur when the arches of the feet collapse, causing the entire sole to contact the ground. This condition can be genetic (passed down from parents) or develop over time due to injury, ageing, or prolonged standing. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is one of the most common foot injuries that cause arches to collapse over time. Individuals with flat feet often experience symptoms such as foot pain, swelling, and difficulty standing or walking for long periods.

Flat foot insoles

How Can Insoles Help Flat Foot?

Insoles, also known as foot orthotics, are specially designed shoe inserts that fit into shoes to provide support, stability, and cushioning for the feet. Generic insoles are widely available in the market and are typically suitable for individuals with normal feet and minimal issues. However, for individuals with flat feet, custom insoles are generally recommended to help realign foot posture.

An ideal pair of flat foot insoles should reduce excessive pronation, where the ankle rolls inwards while standing and walking. By reducing excessive pronation, flat foot insoles will reduce stress on the muscles, joints and ligaments of the foot. This can also lead to a chain reaction up the leg and lower back, reducing stress on our knees, hips, and lower back. Flat foot insoles with the right design can certainly improve overall foot functions and alleviate knee pain and lower back pain.

Custom insoles for flat feet

How Does Flat Foot Insoles Work?

The most common misconception about insoles for flat feet is that they provide arch support. However, arch support is uncomfortable for most individuals with significant flat feet. It usually causes pain and discomfort along the arch, and most people cannot tolerate it. This is because arch support alone only applies pressure to the arch and does not change foot posture.

Flat foot insoles, when made correctly, should typically result in a change in foot posture. The only exception is when a person has a rigid foot deformity. The insoles should have features that efficiently apply forces at the right location of the foot and tilt the foot outwards. The change in foot posture will reduce the stress acting on the tendons, ligaments, and joints and provide relief to the individual.

A well-designed pair of flat foot insoles should incorporate the following features:

  1. An ideal amount of heel tilt (rearfoot varus)
  2. A correctly placed peak location of the arch
  3. A deep heel cup to support the heel
  4. Modifications to apply supination force to realign the foot
  5. A good balance of force and angular change acting on the foot (kinetics vs kinematics)

Each pair of insoles is unique as the severity of flat feet is different between individuals.

Effects of flat foot insoles

Custom Flat Foot Insoles at Straits Podiatry

At Straits Podiatry, we understand how finding the right insoles for flat feet is essential for maintaining foot health and mobility. A pair of high-quality insoles can make a significant difference in alleviating pain and discomfort, allowing you to stay active and mobile. Our team of qualified podiatrists have personal experience with flat feet and can help you manage your condition. If you want to know more about insoles for flat feet, feel free to contact us or book an appointment today!


Are flat foot insoles uncomfortable to wear?

When the design is appropriate, custom flat foot insoles should not cause discomfort. Discomfort normally arises when the insoles exert too much pressure on the arch without a change in foot posture. However, you may need a few weeks to adapt to the change in walking pattern initially.

How long do insoles last?

Depending on the materials used, a pair of custom flat foot insoles can last between 1 to 3 years. Factors that can accelerate wear and tear are the amount of physical activity you do, in terms of frequency and intensity. Insoles for a regular working adult generally last longer than a marathon runner.

Can flat foot insoles be used in different shoes?

Yes, you can. However, this does not apply to all kinds of shoes. Our general advice is that flat foot insoles can usually fit most sports shoes and sneakers. There may be limitations when trying to fit them in leather shoes or ladies’ court shoes, and in such cases, a different design can be made to fit these shoes.

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