10 Best Shoe Insoles for Athletes with Flat Feet and Ankle Pain

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While there are specially built shoes for athletes or those who lead an active lifestyle to address their flat feet and those suffering from ankle pain, inserts are less expensive and often more effective.

This means that you can purchase the right type of shoes for your needs and buy the proper inserts separately.

For athletes who compete in distance events or enjoy running or jogging as exercise, getting the right insoles can make all the difference.

This is why understanding the benefits of the right insoles or inserts for your shoes is important to the health and well-being of your feet, ankles, knees, legs, hips, and even your back.

Benefits of Shoe Inserts for Runners

As an athlete or a runner, there are considerable advantages to using the right inserts in your shoes, especially for flat feet.

However, to gain the full benefits, you will need to get the insoles that fully address the issues that affect your feet.

A few advantages offered by best athletic shoe insoles are:

1- Arch Support: Proper arch support means that your feet keep their proper shape. The right insoles for flat feet will fill the gap between the sole of the shoe and the top of the arch in your feet.

Without the proper arch support, you will feel increased pain and, in some cases, the collapse of the arch, which can cause significant issues in the feet.

2- Impact Resistance: Next to the proper arch support is lessening the impact of the feet against hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete.

Even running on hard ground can have a negative impact. The right insoles reduce that impact significantly. This means you feel less tired and more energetic after a run.

Plus, any long-term damage to your feet from the repeated impact is lessened considerably.

3- Less Wear on the Joints: While muscles can recover, ligaments and tendons differ.

This is why wearing the right insoles helps lessen the wear and tear on the joints. When wearing the right insoles, your ankles and knees will not be as sore after a run.

It should be noted that the proper insoles are not a panacea. While they provide excellent protection, you must change to new ones when needed.

Plus, you’ll need to watch for signs of injury if you decide to press yourself harder when running because you now have the additional protection.

10 Best Shoe Insoles for Athletes with Flat Feet

Picking an ideal pair of athletic shoe insoles is most important when you want to give your best performance on the field.

So here are a few popular brands and pieces you can rely on…

1- Dr. Foot’s Orthotics Insoles

If you are looking for high-quality orthotic insoles to help reduce foot aches, Dr. Foot’s Orthotics Insoles, specifically designed for flat feet people, is an excellent choice.

As the name implies, Dr. Foot’s Orthotics insoles have a flexible design, so you can expect to support and comfort throughout your entire day.

This full-length insole design fits your shoes without needing to be modified or trimmed. The insole is available in a wide range of sizes to fit your shoe sizes.

Designed out of premium quality EVA material with an anti-bacterial sweat-wicking top layer ensures the user a comfortable workout throughout the day.

The insole comes featuring dual-layer cushioning that has an anti-skid bottom layer offering stability to the wearer.

Orthotic insoles are available for both men and women, fitting all types of trainers shoes.

Dr. Foot Orthotics Insoles are great for everyday use, especially for those who are suffering from plantar fasciitis, mild to moderate pronation, or normal arch foot pain, as they are specially designed to help you alleviate physical discomfort and improve your daily satisfaction.

You can order a promising delivery from Amazon with a 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked.

2- Sof Sole Orthotic Gel Shoe Insert

Sof Sole athletic shoe insoles are ideally designed for athletes, runners, and cross trainers who suffer from low arches and flat feet problems.

Armed with reinforced nylon arch support plate, these orthotic insoles enhance motion control and help in promoting alignment

These sports orthotic insoles also feature SKYDEX air bubbles in the heel and arch that helps in absorbing the shock during performing high-impact activities.

Furthermore, its COOLMAX fabric top cover wicks away all the moisture content to keep your feet cool and dry while training. This is essential for preventing the growth of odor-causing bacteria when you are practicing extra hours.

Available in a range of different sizes, you can buy these insoles online to boost your performance level.

3- PCSsole Orthotic Arch Support Shoe Inserts

PCSsole Orthotic Arch Support Shoe Inserts Insoles are a good choice for people with flat feet.

It is a high-quality cushioned with a shock-absorbent feature aiding people with flat feet and also providing relief against the daily impact of running, walking, and standing for a longer duration.

This orthotic arch support shoe insert is designed with a contoured arch design. It provides additional cushioning for most foot types and can work well with casual and athletic shoes.

The arch support inserts equally distribute your feet weight; hence, the pressure is minimal on the foot. The inserts are built on a latex pad, offering enhanced stability and shock absorption.

It has a durable EVA material that provides long-lasting comfort and support while you are running, hiking, or walking.

The insert material keeps your feet dry and cool, sucking up all the sweat and moisture produced by your feet. Available in a wide range of sizes, the insoles can be trimmed accordingly to fit your shoe size.

You can determine your foot arch profile at Amazon and select the right size for you. With the money-back guarantee, this is an excellent product that you can get to relax your aching feet.

4- Powerstep Pinnacle Orthopedic Foot Insoles

Powerstep is a line of premium quality orthotic insoles that just do more than cushion your feet.

The insoles are a combination of cushioning, support, and balance. These podiatric-designed insoles are known for relieving foot aches that include Plantar Fasciitis.

The insoles are perfect for adding extra comfort to any fitting shoe. Great for construction workers, runners, athletics, nurses, and workers of any kind of job, which includes long hours standing and walking!

The insole is designed out on a durable EVA foam base that has a plush layer offering great cushioning and enhanced support to the wearer.

The semi-grid arch support supports and cradles your deep heel, further increasing stability, and foot support prevents you from tripping.

The insole has antimicrobial top fabric that reduces the heat and friction, helping your feet stay cool, odor-free, and dry.

For those who have sensitive skin, it relieves you from blisters and similar skin problems.

This versatile insole is suitable for all foot arch types, i.e., low, neutral, and high arches and easily fits into different types of shoes.

Make a promising purchase from Amazon, which comes with a full money refund guarantee if you are not happy with the purchase.

5- Pedag VIVA LOW Soft Flexible Leather Orthotic

Pedag VIVA provides insoles designed specifically offering special foot support made from durable cowhide.

This full-length orthotic insole is German hand-made and elegant, and the durable fitting majority of the boots and shoes.

The extra high longitudinal arch support of Pedag VIVA supports the foot, ensuring to keep it rightly aligned. Anatomically shaped insole heel cushion absorbs the shock.

This orthotic insole features with semi-rigid longitudinal arch and plantar vault, along with a built-in orthopedic metatarsal pad for the latitudinal arch and a substantial heel cushion.

It has a breathable leather tanned with herbal extracts that develop a healthy climate inside of the shoes. Insoles are highly effective in preventing foot odor.

The metatarsal pad of insoles prevents developing any sort of foot injuries as well as eliminates foot aches, Plantar Fasciitis, knee pain, etc.

The material is breathable, made from vegetable-tanned cowhide surface, and the active carbon filter provides an optimal climate inside the shoe.

It awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association seal of acceptance for promoting foot health.

6- Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer Athletic Shoe Insoles

Spenco Polysorb cross trainer insoles are a great way to be proactive in preventing the impact that is shock-related foot injuries.

Offering added cushioning support, the insoles contoured heel cup and arch support position of your feet, overall reducing the impact stress from hard surfaces.

The insoles feature with special forefoot cushion design, offering ease in a variety of sports movements. Made from EVA foam material which is light, and flexible its nature makes it the best cushioning material.

The Spenco insoles are shock absorbent and well-padded, ensuring that the wearer can gain maximum benefit for the reason it has been worn.

It has antimicrobial stretch fabric that prevents your feet from developing blisters and keeping it odor-free.

Washable and durable, Spenco Polysorb insoles offer the extra comfort that you need while keeping your feet safe from any injuries.

Available on Amazon in all sizes with a full refund guarantee if you are unhappy with the product.

7- Physix Gear Sport Orthotic Inserts with Arch Support

Whether you are doing a lot of walking or your job involves standing long hours to make these activities more comfortable, adding a pair of Physix gear sport orthotic inserts provides you extensive benefits.

The orthotic inserts are best for people with flat feet, suffering from Achilles Tendinitis, runner’s knee, and shin splints problems.

The arch supports of these insoles prevent you from muscle fatigue of the feet and leg.

Physix orthotic inserts are designed to help you alleviate issues by offering a cushion to the various foot aches and get through your day.

These inserts are designed with the anti-microbial top layer, which means it keeps your foot cool, dry, sweat-free, and odor-free.

Unlike other shoe inserts, the material is soft and durable, which not only helps you from relieving foot pain but comes with an extended life.

This nice, moderately priced product is available in varied sizes for both men and women. Easy to use, it doesn’t require a lot of trimming like others.

It provides true support to your feet, with better alignment ensuring perfect comfort if you wear it for the entire day.

The insoles are available in a wide range of sizes for both men and women, be bought from Amazon, which comes with a money-back guarantee.

8- Vionic Full-Length Active Orthotic – Athletic Shoe Insert

If you want to add extraordinary support to your everyday walking shoes, you need a Vionic relief full-length orthotic insole.

The insoles are podiatric-designed inserts featuring high-quality material, making them one of the most preferred choices for people suffering from foot aches.

This orthotic insert can be used in various footwear, including running shoes, cross trainers, boots, etc. It has a reinforced hardened plastic shell that provides added motion stability.

These are clinically proven inserts that are proven to reduce excess pronation, which is a contributing factor to flat feet.

If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, the increased arch support of these inserts will aid in reducing the pain.

Experience supreme comfort in every step you take with Vionic orthotic inserts. You can shop these premium insoles at Amazon and find your perfect insert for any type of footwear.

It’s time to say goodbye to your foot aches and take your comfort to an entirely new level.

Available with a money-back guarantee with no questions asked if you do not like the product.

Make a promising purchase and let your feet enjoy the comfort of walking in these orthotic inserts.

9- Superfeet BLUE Insoles, Professional-Grade Orthotic Insert

The Superfeet Blue insoles are full-length, rigid orthotic arch support inserts featuring with patented stabilizer cap for optimal underfoot support.

The inserts are designed to fit in different types of fitting shoes; the arch shape easily accommodates low to medium arches, whereas the deep heel cup offers comfort and control.

There are 3 primary components of this insole, i.e., support, foundation, and shape, and each of them plays an important role in providing you with a pain-free stride.

The insoles easily accommodate the shape and design hence this unique combination creates a deep cup that cradles your heel’s pad offering improved shock absorption.

It provides necessary comfort and stability for various activities such as running, walking, hiking, etc.

Since the heel is the first point of touch to the ground, Superfeet Blue insoles deep heel cups are designed to absorb shock along with offering appropriate bone alignment.

This high-density foam provides and supports the entire foot.

The top layer is treated with an environmentally friendly anti-microbial coating that reduces the growth of the bacteria in the feet and prevents foot odor.

Available in a wide range of sizes at Amazon with a money-back guarantee if you are not happy using it.

10- Hyperspace Sports Insole for High Arch and Plantar Fasciitis

Hyperspace sports shoe inserts are designed to provide medical-grade orthotic support. The design of the insert support cure of flat feet, heel, and ankle pain.

Furthermore, the inserts are also the preferred choice for people suffering from Plantar fasciitis.

It has a deep cradle design that protects your heel from the heavy impact of walking and running. It helps you to stabilize your foot by keeping the foot bone vertically stable.

The insoles are made from premium antibacterial and PU fabric, providing better cushioning, breathable, and bacteriostatic effects.

The shoe insert design ensures that your feet get the best tender care they deserve – anywhere, anytime. These are perfect for improving the performance of outdoor activities.

These insoles are excellent for ball games, sports, camping, rock climbing, and other similar sports. Also great for those who stand on their feet for a long duration such as retail employees and service industry workers.

The ergonomic design makes the insole light-weighted orthotic show, and arch support insoles provide long-lasting hours of comfort.

The shock absorption reduces leg muscle fatigue. It is ideal for insoles for boots, work shoes, hiking shoes, trainers, and sneakers.

Hyperspace offers all our customers 12 months warranty, along with24 hours of online friendly and prompt customer service when you buy it from Amazon.

Pros and Cons of Flat Feet

Before we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having flat feet, let’s have a clear understanding of what these are?

Flat feet (also known as fallen arches) are defined as a condition where a person lacks a normal arch in the center of the foot which gives the foot a kind of flattened appearance.

The very purpose of this foot arch is to act like a natural shock absorber that lowers the load of your total body weight while walking, running, or performing any kind of athletic activity.


“Flat Feet” is a term that has always been associated with a kind of abnormality in athletes.

However, in a few rare cases, it’s seen as an advantage as people with flat feet experienced fewer problems with injury than those with high arches.


In the case where there is an absence of a natural arch (or if it’s underdeveloped), the load of the bodyweight gets transferred to other lower body parts such as the knees and lower back.

This may cause pain in the body parts like the lower back and knees, which may seriously affect your athletic performance in the long run.

Flat feet for athletes should, therefore, be treated by providing the best modern treatment options which may include exercising, orthotics for flat feet, shoes for flat feet, etc.

Just in case you do not want to buy orthotics for flat feet, you may consider making them in a DIY way at home. Check the below video for help…

How to make insoles for flat feet?

Considerations when Buying Athletic Shoe Insoles

There are several areas to consider when you are purchasing the best insoles that are good for athletes with flat feet.

If you are an athlete, compete in long-distance running, or perhaps cross-train, which results in a repeated impact on the feet, then you should account for the benefits that the right insoles or inserts provide.


Good quality should be the main factor in every product you purchase, but it is quite important here because you only want good, solid materials used to protect your feet.

This means you will need to check out the reputation of the insoles as being a solid, dependable product. However, the only true test is to purchase a pair, put them on, and give them a proper workout.

Good quality insoles will hold up daily and should last as long as your shoes. Perhaps longer, depending on the type of performance or working out that you do.

The three other basic factors that go into the right insoles for flat feet are as follows;

Good Fitting

Regardless of how suitably a shoe insert fits your shoe, it can’t be comfy if it doesn’t fit your foot.

To check the fit, you can put the insoles on the ground and stand on them. It should fit you comfortably and keep your feet completely encompassed.

There shouldn’t be any toes hanging from the front edge or heels falling out from the back. It should keep the ball of your foot enclosed and support the arch in the correct place.

Another spec to notice when it comes to checking the fitting is whether the shoe inserts are crafted to mold according to your feet.

Some make this happen by wearing it daily, while others do it by heating it so that it molds quickly.

Odor Resistance and Moisture

Surely, when you will stand on your foot all day in your preferred footwear, it means your feet will be fully enclosed. It may cause sweaty feet and eventually smelly shoes.

A lot of shoe inserts consider this fact and thus offer moisture-wicking facilities along with anti-microbial odor control.

Moisture-wicking helps keep the sweat away from your feet and keeps them fresh, pleasant smelling, and dry. Anti-microbial properties help in preventing bad odor-creating bacteria.

Cushioning and Shock Absorbent

There is a lot of material that manufacturers use to offer shock-absorbent facility and cushioning to the feet. It comprises things like gel and foam.

Foam performs better in relieving pressure and offering to cushion. And gel is feasible for shock absorption.

Some insoles also come with these materials sited in the desired location throughout the insole.

They have a gel at the heels and balls of your foot i.e. at places where your feet are in contact with the ground, while others have to cushion throughout.

All these factors come into play when purchasing insoles or inserts for your running shoes. That’s why you will need to consider the right type that is effective for the sport, activity, or exercise you are doing.

As a matter of fact, a long-distance runner will need a different type of insole compared to a cross trainer or those who run relatively short distances.

Remember that foam does tend to flatten over time, while gel may become uncomfortable if you run long distances. And for this reason, many runners prefer getting cork shoe insoles that are much more comfortable and sturdy.

It will simply come down to what works best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions On Shoe Insoles for Athletes

How to Know Your Foot Type?

Knowing the real cause is most important when you experience pain in your foot.

While flat feet are one of the major causes of your painful foot, the pain can also be due to high arches, which is just the opposite of the condition.

So how will you know the exact problem?

Perhaps the simplest way is to test it at your home (or let your podiatrist perform it for you) via what is known as “wet test”.

During this test, you need to soak your feet in the water. Then take the feet out and stand on a surface such as a concrete floor or brown paper, where you can get an imprint of your feet.

The type of imprint you get on the surface will indicate the type of arch you have in your feet.

  • If the arch imprinted is less visible, you probably have high arches
  • If the print has a more visible arch, you should have a natural foot arch
  • If the footprint is complete without any arch, you may have flat feet

The below video will help you more to get an idea of how to perform this wet test for deciding the type of foot arch you have.

How to Wash Your Orthotics Insoles?

Orthotics insoles are quite helpful, especially for those who engage in heavy exercise activities or sports that require a considerable amount of movement.

However, because most insoles are made from foam, they tend to get dirty quickly. And if left for long (in your shoes or sandals), these can become smelly, which may sometimes be hard to bear.

Washing the insoles is not complicated, but you do need to follow a few guidelines, so you can remove the stains, dirt, and germs without damaging the foam interior.

Washing Machine

The easiest way to wash your orthotics insoles is to toss them into the washing machine.

However, you want to set the water temperature for cold or warm. Hot water tends to cause the foam inside to fall apart as they are usually bonded with heat treatment.

You may be able to wash the insoles with other clothing; just remember to inspect them after washing to ensure they are still in one piece.

You can also hand wash the insoles with soap and water. Use a damp cloth to remove any stains on the surface. Just remember to not use hot water, and the insoles should be fine.

Take Away Smelly Odor

If you want to keep your insoles odor-free, you can use one of the most common household products around, baking soda.

Baking soda neutralizes odors, so all you need to do is lightly sprinkle baking soda on the insoles before you go to bed and let them sit overnight.

Eight to twelve hours later, the insoles will have absorbed the baking soda and will smell fresh.

How Long Can I Expect My Shoe Inserts to Last?

It is obvious that when you have invested in a perfect fit runner’s shoe inserts, you will want them to last for long.

However, regardless of how often you would clean your shoes, boots, or your insoles, there is definitely a life that comes in with your insoles.

In general most of the quality shoe inserts should last anything up to 12 months. But on average, athletes who used them need to replace in between 6 to 9 months.

It usually depends on how much physically active you are or how often you run with your shoe inserts.

How can I Keep Them Long Lasting?

To keep your insoles fresh, smell-proof, and long-lasting, one thing you can do is remove them off your shoes and air them out for a few hours.

No matter whether you run for long or just sprint, as you air out your shoes after taking them off, you can do the same with your insoles as well to make them long-lasting.

Remember that as soon as your inserts show the signs of wear and tear (or if you feel them are no longer comfortable), it’s time to replace them with a new pair.

Just like your old running shoes won’t give your ankles and feet the cushioning and support they need, neither will your old athletes’ insoles.

Gel Insoles vs. Foam Insoles: Which One Is Better?

While some insoles are made from fabrics such as cotton, most generally use gel or foam.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so your evaluation of which material to choose starts with the activities you engage in regularly.

Gel insoles have become quite popular. Not only because they are inexpensive and durable but also because they are easy to take care of and will retain their shape even after many miles of running.

Their impact resistance is greater than foam, but they do have some downsides.

The gel itself is heavier, which may make your feet feel heavier when running.

Plus, because the material is not breathable, you will need to wear socks, and your feet will sweat more which might make them uncomfortably hot in certain situations.

This means that gel insoles are best suited for shorter distances and cross-training, which reduces the impact on the feet.

Foam insoles are better suited for long-distance running because the material is breathable, light, and quite comfortable even after many miles on the road.

Because they are breathable and can wick moisture away from the feet, they are more comfortable, especially in warmer conditions compared to gel insoles.

While memory foam insoles will mold to the shape of your feet, they are less durable compared to gel insoles which makes them more expensive to maintain.

Also, you’ll want to check the exact materials used to create the foam insoles because some might not be as breathable as you want. This means that the insole might build up moisture over a long-distance run.

Can Flat Feet Insoles Benefit Runners with High Arches?

Not only flat feet but also high arches can make running for athletes equally challenging.

However, the pain you may suffer due to high arches can be relieved by using proper shoes and orthotics that are specially designed for supporting your high arches.

But remember, with a wide variety of options available on the market, finding the right shoes and insoles can be a cumbersome experience if you do not have the right knowledge.

For this reason, it has been seen that many runners/athletes purchase flat feet insoles when they actually need them for high arches.

While there are many good brands that manufacture the product that can fit equally for both these problems, there are still many that come only for flat feet and not the high arches.

It is hence important to check carefully about the problem you are suffering from (a high arch or flat feet) before you buy any of these recommended products.

If you are unsure, do check with the manufacturer or your podiatrist before making a final decision.

In the end,

Purchasing the right insoles means that you have provided your feet with better arch support. And better cushioning against impacts.

Your feet, ankles, knees, legs, hips, and back will feel better after a run or working out when you are wearing the right insoles.

Keep in mind that the insoles need to fit well in order for them to work. So, take the time to find the right pair of insoles that will help you run longer with less wear and tear.

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