Top 10 Tools for Arch Support Reviewed
We spend most of our lives on our feet. They help us walk, jump, hike, and survive, but the footwear we wear is often abhorrent, without the right support for our arches. Our arches survive a lot of stress and fatigue when we move, and we have to give them the support they crave so much. Some shoes do offer that support, but more often than not, you need to find alternative ways to help your arches remain healthy. But more problems arise, as arches can vary, being flat, high, or just normal, so finding the right tool to support you can become very draining. You can find the support you need in socks, sleeves, and various specific tools made just for this purpose. We created this guide of the best arch support for flat feet, so hold on tight and scroll down!
In a hurry? The test winner after 12 hours of research:
100% Recycled Materials
Top 10 Picks
1. Razer Trail
100% Recycled Materials
Your very first defense against arch pain should be a good pair of socks. They should have all the right features to alleviate most, if not all, problems related to poor arch support. Athletic or running socks are your best bet, as they have arch compression bands that squeeze your feet in all the right places, promoting blood flow and reducing swelling and pain. The Razer Trail is one of the best socks for arch support out there, and it was invented by a company called Rockay. This European based brand uses the best-recycled materials out there, utilizing their skills and experience to create amazing socks and other athletic gear.Read more
Arch support tools are always risky, as they can add unnecessary bulk around your arches that will make them cramp up. Socks are already a must when you walk, and by buying a pair that has built-in arch support is good for your wallet and for your arches. The Razer Trail is made out of recycled nylon, polyamide, and elastane. These materials are not low-quality - instead, they were resurrected to be the better version of themselves, creating features that no other sock has. They were also treated with Polygiene, a technology that makes washing the socks as often as you normally would obsolete. Polygiene fights off dirt, sweat, and bacteria that cause bad odors.
The Razer Trail is a sock that has no seams on the toes. When you move, be it walking or running, your toes need the room to wiggle, and when they do, they will move the socks around in your footwear. If the seams on the socks protrude, they create friction and rub against your skin. This can create hot spots and blisters, and when you're already suffering from arch pain or plantar fasciitis, blisters are the last thing you need. Seamless toes completely prevent blisters from developing, so the only thing you will have to fight off is arch pain. But thanks to the arch support these socks have, you won't even have to do that! Your feet will get all the support they need to keep you moving, pain-free. When you flip the Razer Trail upside, you will see some raised areas. These areas are the cushions, strategically placed around the soles to protect your feet from the impact and shock when you walk. They evenly distribute pressure and help your arches do their job even better. The top of the sock has breathable mesh zones, and they help air circulate in and out of the sock, keeping you dry and cool. Rockay is very sure that the Trail won't fail you, and as extra assurance, they offer a lifetime guarantee. If anything goes wrong with the socks, you can always tell them and expect a new pair to come flying to you!
2. Flare Quarter Running Socks
50% Econyl Regenerated Nylon, 46% Recycled Polyamide, 4% Recycled Elastane
Great Arch Support
A Bit Pricey
We are certain that you can solve most of your arch issues with a pair of socks, so we decided to include one more pair. This pair also comes from Rockay, as we believe that they did everything right to truly help you with your problems. The Flare is a quarter sock made for running. Its length will stabilize your ankles, and protect your heels and Achilles tendon from irritation. It looks very similar to the Trail, decorated with the same colors and patterns, but if you look closely, you will notice that the patterns are not the same. These patterns are actually the compression and mesh zones, and their different distributions mean that you will get a different type of support, but excellent support nonetheless.Read more
The Flare is made out of 50% Econyl Regenerated Nylon, 46% Recycled Polyamide, and 4% Recycled Elastane. As you can see, these materials are all recycled, once again showing Rockay's passion towards leaving a greener future for the next generations. The toes of the Flare are seamless, which is very important, because once you start running you will create friction, and the fewer bumps the socks have, the less friction you will experience, making blisters a thing of the past. The Flare has performance cushioning, placed in all the right areas to support your feet and to shield them from all kinds of terrain. There is a little logo on top of the top band, reflecting every source of light like a beacon to warn people of your presence. Breathable mesh zones sit on top of the socks, inviting cool air in while shooing warmer air out. And of course, the Flare has excellent arch support that is sure to help you fight your pain. Rockay offers a lifetime guarantee for this pair as well, leaving you protected if the socks fail you in any way.
3. BRD Sport Ankle Brace
3D Knit Technology
For One Foot
An ankle brace is a more serious tool meant for arch and ankle support. Unlike socks, the ankle brace doesn't touch your bare skin. It should go over your socks for optimal comfort and for the best support. Ankle braces are usually not meant for athletic purposes, but this brace can actually be worn when you exercise, so you can enjoy arch support at all times. Although the main focus of these braces is ankle stabilization and support, their construction and materials also make them an excellent tool for arch support.Read more
The one thing you have to know about this brace is that it is not a pair. If you order this product, you will only get a brace meant for the right foot. You will also have to carefully select your size. The braces do not follow shoe sizes - instead, you will have to measure your ankle circumference. If you're not sure how to do that precisely, BRD sports has a video guide on their website that will show you how to do this the right way. If you're between sizes, go for the smaller size as the brace will stretch. This ankle brace is made out of medical-grade materials, registered by the FDA, so you know you're getting a tested and safe product. They are latex-free, odor-free, but they must be hand washed if you don't want them to shrink. 3D knitting technology was used to create the best possible fit, without any seams to irritate and pinch you. The materials are moisture-wicking and breathable, saving you from sweat and bad odors.
The four-way compression prevents fatigue and swelling without affecting the range of movement. An adjustable arch strap allows you to customize the amount of support and the fit. Silicone pads placed underneath the heels, close to the arches, massage your feet and improve circulation. This makes the recovery time faster, and if you need arch support due to an injury, you can expect to start feeling better in no time! The brace will keep your ankles and feet properly aligned, fighting off any possible cause of pain or fatigue!
4. Bitly Compression Foot Sleeves
All Day Wear
Gentle Compression Aids Recovery
Natural Pain Relief
Inaccurate Sizing Chart
A foot sleeve is very similar to an ankle brace, but it's much more flexible, and it's less immobilizing than a brace. You can wear it at all times, without the need to give your feet a break. Just don't wear them when you sleep! These sleeves come in four colors - black, gray, nude, and bright pink. You can fully customize your style even when you decide to wear these sleeves! They will fit comfortably under any sock, so there's no need to settle for one thing or the other.Read more
These compression foot sleeves were made for people with plantar fasciitis, the most common problem arising thanks to problematic arches. The sleeves will support the arches and the heels, aligning the feet back to their natural positions. Their gentle compression will prevent fatigue, swelling, and pain while improving recovery rates and blood circulation. The high-quality fabrics are moisture-wicking, and since your feet are the sweatiest areas on your body, it's really important that anything that touches your feet has the ability to remove sweat. The sleeves are also anti-odor, preventing bacteria from thriving. There are four sizes to choose from, following the thickness of your arches. Their toeless design gives the toes the freedom to wiggle and splay, and it also keeps the stale air moving. This is why you can comfortably wear these sleeves all day long. The tighter top band and arch band keeps the sleeves in place, preventing friction and pain.
5. Vive Arch Support Brace
Six Gel Inserts
Adjustable Support And Compression
Lightweight And Breathable
Strong Fastener Strap
Painful At First
None of the items we described above were made specifically for arch problems. That doesn't make them less worthy of your time or money, which is why they sit so high on our list, but they do have features that make them versatile tools useful for many different occasions. The Vive Arch Support Brace, however, is a specialized tool made just for arch issues, which is why it does such a good job at alleviating the problems which arise from poor arch support!Read more
The Vive Arch Support Brace gently lifts your arches, supporting them in order to bring relief to many foot conditions that can be very painful, such as heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, sprains, and strains. The compression it offers is gentle and pushes the arches up, promoting blood flow and reducing fatigue. The brace has three little pouches securely knitted to the bottom. These pouches can hold up to three gel inserts. You can add or remove these gel inserts to adjust the intensity of the support this brace offers you. Their low-profile makes them compatible with almost all shoes and sandals, regardless if you wear socks or don't. The strong fastener strap is secure and but comfy, allowing you to adjust the level of compression and the way the brace fits you. The inner lining is made out of materials that prevent slipping and bunching, so don't worry about blisters or unwanted pain! The brace is lightweight and breathable, remaining cool and dry throughout the day.
6. Spenco Rx Orthotic Insoles
Spencore Material Cushioning
Moldable Arch Insert
Silpure Antimicrobial Layer
Sizing Is Off
Orthotic insoles are the most commonly prescribed tool for arch support. They are meant to slide into your shoes if they have removable insoles, and then you can enjoy the extra arch support they provide. Do not try to insert them into shoes that are heavily padded, or if the insoles are not removable, because you will make the footwear smaller, and cramming your feet in there will make your problems worse, not better!Read more
The Spenco Rx Orthotic Insoles are full length, covering your whole soles to give your heels, toes, and arches the protection and support they need. Arch support is not all about extra cushions underneath that lift them though, and Spenco is well aware of that. This is why this insole has a special shock-absorbing layer that creates optimal comfort! The arch insert is moldable, adjusting itself to the shape of your arches. No arch was created equally, as you have people who suffer from problems cause either by low arches or high arches, so it's wise to create an insole that can help in both cases. There are seven different sizes to choose from, made both for men and women, and it's vital you go for the right one if you want proper support and protection. The four-way stretch fabric allows you to move freely, while the silpure antimicrobial layer fights off bacteria and keeps you odor and sweat-free. The antimicrobial layer is also anti-blister, so these insoles will minimize the risk of any foot issues you are afraid of!
7. Wonderwin Gel Arch Supports
Flexible And Lightweight
Durable And Reusable
Edges Roll Back
Gel arch supports are as simple as arch support can be. They are just a little small gel pad that is glued to your foot with a silicone band. But their simpleness is what makes them so great in the first place! You don't need to fiddle with straps and buckles, nor do you need to think whether they will fit into your shoes or not. These soft silicone gel pads evenly distribute the pressure from your arches around your whole feet, giving them a chance to recover and feel good.Read more
This low-profile brace will bring relief from any kind of foot ailment, be it foot spurs, plantar fasciitis, or a simple strain. Their lightweight, thin construction and a firm grip on your skin make` them the ideal fit for any kind of shoe. They are also rather small and white, so they won't be visible no matter how they try. You can also wear socks over them, just make sure the socks are not already padded to avoid creating bulk. The silicone they are made out of is medical-grade, meaning it won't fall apart after one use, and it will not irritate your skin in any way. Their ergonomic design mimics the natural, normal arch of your foot, creating an excellent fit. The pads are durable, can be safely washed with soap and water, and they can be used time and time again! They come in a pair of two, so you can wear the clean one while the dirty one takes a break.
8. Dr. Foot's Arch Support Insoles
Soft Medical-Grade Polyurethane Gel
Can Be Washed Safely
Lightweight And Small
On The Thicker Side
These little insoles are made specifically for flat. They will offer the gentle support flat feet need to become aligned naturally. But they can help people with high arches too, as they will sit comfortably in the hollow of your arches and support them. These pads are suitable for all kinds of footwear, and it's all thanks to their dainty size and nude color!Read more
The insoles are made out of plush and durable medical-grade polyurethane gel. This gel is completely safe to use, and it will mold itself to your shape in mere seconds, bouncing back to its original shape as soon as you take your shoes off. They are self-adhesive, so they won't slide around when you walk. The adhesive won't disintegrate when you wash the insoles. Before you stick them inside your shoes, make sure there is enough room for them. You can do this by placing the pads without removing the plastic film covering the adhesive, and once you're sure you can fit comfortably, remove the tape and place them where your arches are. The pad will gently massage your feet, improving circulation and recovery time.
9. Superfeet Women's Run Comfort Insoles
Made For Running
Evolyte Carbon Fiber
Aerospring Dual Foam
Deep Heel Cup
These insanely bright insoles should give your arches all the support they need. Layered with aero spring dual comfort foam, they absorb shock and reduce the impact when you walk, alleviating sore and tired feet. They are full length, stretching from the front to the back of the shoe. Just make sure you get the right size and check whether they can fit in your shoes!Read more
The deep heel cup cradles your heels, stabilizing the feet and cushioning them while you move, or stand. These insoles are very durable, keeping their shape which delivers support and comfort up to 12 months, or 500 miles. The insoles were specifically made for women's feet, having a slimmer construction and a shorter arch curve to create the best possible fit. The heel impact pod disperses impact so you can walk and run without pain.
10. RunPro Insoles
Optimal Force Transfer
Keeps Feet In Optimal Position
Not Very Durable
The RunPro Insoles were also designed specifically to make running easier. They effectively reduce fatigue, enhance performance and minimize injury risks. They will fix supination and overpronation, aligning your feet into their normal position. The bridge gap between the profiles and the flat surface creates optimal force transfer, absorbing shock to save your feet from pain.Read more
The insoles stabilize the arches and the surrounding tissues, minimizing excessive foot motion that sets off pain. Their cushy surface and soft padding reduce the stress your joints feel when you run, as the stress usually causes the pain and aches you feel in the first place. This insole should be used instead of the sock liner or removable inserts in your footwear - if you cannot take out the insoles, do not attempt to layer this insole on top of the existing one. It will create bulk and cramp up your feet, which is the opposite of what these insoles are supposed to do!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Poor arch support can lead to a lot of problems, most notably pain, plantar fasciitis, and poor limb alignment. Avoid these problems should be easy with the use of different tools that support your arches. Your arches have two main functions - they support your whole body while you're standing, and they work together with ligaments, tendons, and other body parts to create a spring-like motion that helps you walk or run. If the arches are not functioning well, you do not get the natural support you need, and you spend more energy when you walk. Using tools for arch support will help your body do what it's supposed to do. There are many ways you can support your arches, but the most common way to do that is by using a special orthotic. These orthotics have ridges and pads that fall into the hollow created by your arches, gently raising them up so they can do their job. Gel pads and braces are popular too, and a good pair of socks can actually do an incredible job at supporting you, even though they are unconventional tools for arch support.
Although you can find plenty of different tools for support today, people and scientists alike still wonder whether these tools are truly effective. For starters, you should know that these tools cannot, in any way, prevent injuries. Choosing shoes based on your arch type won't save you from sprains or strains, nor will special orthotics prevent lower limb injuries. Ankle braces and sleeves will stabilize your feet though, and they are a good way to minimize the risk of injuries. A good sock or shoe will help with saving energy when you run, but studies show that runners who wear minimal footwear generally do better than athletes with cushy sneakers. But there's one thing arch support is really good for, and that's treatment and recovery. A good tool will reduce the pressure people with flat feet feel when moving, and a good pair of orthotics should reduce supination and overpronation. Socks and shoes can lower the pressure and your calves and prevent plantar fasciitis, especially in people that have high arches. To sum it all up, arch support should be used if a podiatrist suggests you need it - otherwise, you might feel the negatives before the positives!
The tools you use for arch support have to be comfortable. Issues caused by poor arch support are undoubtedly painful, and you don't need any extra ridges and bulk creating more pressure on those tender areas. But you should know that these tools are going to be uncomfortable at first. Simply said, your feet are not used to being aligned normally, and it will hurt at the beginning. Some of the pads and orthotics massage your feet while you walk, and if your tendons are inflamed, or if your muscles are cramped up, you will feel throbbing pain. Once that adjusting period passes though, the issues you sought the tools for in the first place should start to disappear. If you can't handle the pain, your best bet is a good pair of socks or an ankle brace, because they won't put so much pressure on your feet, and they won't massage your arches. You also have to make sure that the tools you have chosen are constructed properly. If the pads are too thick or too firm, if the socks have thicks seams, and if the braces immobilize you, you won't feel any of the benefits these tools are supposed to provide you with. We created this list for you so you don't waste time looking for comfortable tools, as many users report that these items are comfortable to wear, albeit it took them time to get used to the feeling of actually having support!
We spend most of our lives on our feet, and these tools are meant to go underneath them, so it's really important that they can handle the constant abuse without failing you. You can never know how durable a product is before you try it though. You can look at which materials have been used to create the products, how the products were constructed, and maybe even the price point can be a sign. But the real way to know is to look at what the users have to say. Of course, there will always be someone that received a faulty item that fell apart after a few uses, but generally speaking, the more happy customers there are, the better the chances that the tools will persevere! You also have to know how to take care of your desired product. There are tools here that can be safely washed, while others shouldn't go near a washing machine, so you have to take the time to find out how to properly care for your products. And finally, you can look at the warranty the manufacturers offer. The longer the warranty is, the bigger the possibility is that the products won't fall apart no matter how much you use them. A lifetime warranty is the best, but a good one-year warranty is a great sign too!
Tools for arch support shouldn't just give support. They are supposed to have a lot of features that are beneficial for your feet, one way or another. For starters, look at whether the product can effectively absorb shock and disperse the impact when you walk. These two features save your feet from straining. Some of the items we described are compressive. Gentle compression also helps align the structures of your feet, and it promotes healing and lessens fatigue and swelling. The socks and orthotics should ideally be treated with anti-bacterial and anti-odor technologies. Whatever goes under your foot should also be moisture-wicking. Feet are equipped with glands that produce what seems like gallons and gallons of sweat every day, and if that sweat pools under your soles, you will develop blisters, and you will smell! And finally, make sure that the tools are breathable. This way, the hot air leaves the shoes and allows fresh air to take its place, helping reduce the sweating.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Arches can be placed in three following groups - normal, flat, and high. People that have flat or high arches are the ones who suffer from problems that arise from poor arch support. If you have flat feet, you suffer from overpronation, and if your arches are high, you suffer from supination. Pronation is a natural movement inwards that happens when our feet hit the ground. This helps with shock absorption and it supports our body weight. If your arches cannot do this normally, you will feel the consequences. You need to know what your arches look like if you want to find the right kind of support. If you have high arches, orthotics for flat feel won't do anything for you, so make sure you know their shape before you make your choice.
One thing that these tools can actually worsen is this painful condition. Running is actually not bad for your knees unless you already have knee problems. Of course, your feet suffer from more stress when you run, but the stress shouldn't be too difficult for your body to handle. Arch support interferes with the natural gait when we run, throwing our body off balance. So, if you have knee issues, and no doctor recommended you wear tools for arch support, you should avoid them altogether,
Other Factors to Consider
Every tool we mentioned here should help your arches feel better in some way. But the question is, do you have the discipline to wear them all the time, and do you have the money you need to invest in these tools? They are highly specialized, sometimes even medical-grade tools, and as such, they will not be cheap, so you have to be prepared to spend. You will also have to use these tools whenever you walk or stand for a long period of time. Failing to do so won't result in anything, and you might even blame the product instead of realizing your mistakes. We hope our guide has helped you understand these tools better, and that you found what you were looking for!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why do my arches hurt?
There are a lot of problems out there that can cause arch pain. Even standing or sitting around for too long can cause a significant amount of arch pain. The most common reason and the most painful one is plantar fasciitis. This is a treatable condition, but it takes time and a lot of will power, because treating it is painful too. Other reasons could be sprains, strains, and of course, poor arch support.
q: Does poor arch support cause plantar fasciitis?
This painful condition is not caused by poor arch support directly. It is usually seen in athletes and avid runners, as they ten to overwork the plantar fascia. People who are overweight or obese can also suffer from this condition, as their feet need to carry more weight. And finally, if you do not have adequate support, or if you sit and stand for prolonged periods of time, it's possible that you can develop this condition.
q: What role do our arches have?
As we mentioned in our Use section, the arches have two main functions. They support your body weight when you are standing, and they absorb shock, helping spring your body into action when you move. Some studies say that our arches were used to grip and climb trees. Elastic energy is stored in the ligaments and tendons of the arches. Then the arch recoils, helping us complete the motion we need to move.
q: Do I need arch support?
Unless you are feeling pain or discomfort, you probably do not need it. If you're not sure whether you need these tools, a visit to a podiatrist can help you solve your confusion!
q: Do I need to wear these products all the time?
You arches do their job all the time, except when you're lying down, so it makes sense to support them all the time. You don't need to worry about arch support when you're home though, because you can always give your feet a break, but once you leave your home, your inserts should always be there!