Flat Feet: How Do You Pick the Best Insoles?

woman stretching before exercise

With so many foot orthotics on the market, it’s so difficult to know which one will work best to help you to relieve the pain and instability of flat feet and heel pain.

Most large high street stores will have a small range of heel pads and ready made insoles that you can slip into your shoes and these can help but for many people, they just don’t give enough control in the heel or mid foot and you really should see a Podiatrist or Orthotist who are trained to understand the very complex biomechanics of the foot in walking or running.

Your clinician will undertake a biomechanical assessment which looks not just at your feet, but the whole kinetic chain from the spine, through the pelvis, hips, knees and ankles to your foot and from this will develop a prescription which will relieve your problems.

There are two main routes that your clinician can take to help you with a foot insole

If your problems are acute and temporary, a simple ready made orthotic insert, maybe with an additional wedge might be all that you need.

For more complex or chronic, long term problems your clinician will probably recommend custom made foot orthotics which are specifically made for you to a scan, cast or impression of your foot.

Once this decision has been made, there are several types of orthotics that can be offered.

These can be the traditional moulded orthotic, either foam or carbon fibre that’s heat moulded onto a cast of your foot impression; a milled orthotic that’s created on the screen and then carved out of a solid block of plastic foam; or what is becoming available now, 3D printed foot orthotics.

Here are the relative benefits of each type of foot insoles:

table of 8sole product features

With so many new products are becoming available it’s difficult to know which product are right for your patients so here are a few questions to ask your clinician about their orthotic suppliers.

  • Have the orthotics been in development for over 5 years?
  • Have they been developed as part of a structured patient trial process?
  • Have the shells been tested to over 2 million full body weight repetitions without failure?
  • Can I order using a smooth, integrated scan order app?
  • Can I use a portable easy to use scanner, not a bulky fixed piece of equipment?
  • Are the shells made using a plastic that won’t fracture under normal use?
  • Can I order for different shoe and activity types?
  • Are the orthotics designed specifically taking into account each patient’s weight and activity level?
  • Can I order over 25 different features and choose which orthotic to apply the feature to?
  • Can my patient choose different lengths and colours?
  • Is each pair uniquely identified and can the patient add their name?
  • Do I get exactly what I order and not a technician’s interpretation?
  • Can I order an exact copy repeat pair?
  • Will they be delivered to me within 2 weeks?
  • Is there full online certificated training and support?

3D printed custom-made prescription foot orthotics have set a new standard in feet comfort. 8Soles are custom-made to perfectly fit your feet, needs and lifestyle.

For more information on 3D printed orthotics