Updated: January 22, 2021
The arches in our feet act as natural shock absorbers. It’s crucial to wear shoes with good arch support, to help our feet bear the stress we put on them while standing or moving. Without that support, it’s not just our feet that will feel weary and sore. Comfortable, well-supported feet help to keep our knees, hips, lower back, shoulders, and neck pain-free as well.
The problem is that different people have different arch heights due to genetics, age, or injury. Arches might be high, medium, or flat. Each arch height requires a different type of arch support to prevent a different array of health issues.
If you have a high arch, look for an insole that closely contours to the arch of your foot. Specifically, look for a pronounced, deep heel cup; sufficient support in the rear part of the insole; and firm support (you should be able to push down on the insole but it should offer some resistance). A medium arch is the most common and natural arch type but it still requires support.
If you have a medium arch, look for insoles that mold to the arch of your foot and provide firm support. Finally, people with flat arches benefit from insoles that also fit the contours of their feet, meaning that the insole has a low, supportive arch. People with flat arches should also look for features that stabilize their heels. A closed shoe with a reinforced heel is the best choice for flat feet.