Does Being Overweight Affect Your Feet?

man placing insole in black orthopedic shoe

How Orthotic Insoles Relieve Foot Pain for Heavy People

People who are overweight or obese are more likely to have foot problems like pain and instability. This is due to the excess pressure on the bones, ligaments, and tendons in the feet, which can cause issues with alignment, knee pain, and collapsed arches.

Heavy duty insoles like PowerStep® orthotics for flat feet encourage healthy alignment and provide the extra support needed to relieve and prevent pain, which may make it easier to lose weight, too.

See how being overweight and having foot pain are related plus what you can do to stay on your feet pain-free with arch supporting orthotic insoles.

woman on yoga mat placing shoe insole into pink shoe

Foot Problems & Obesity

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for your overall well-being and your foot health. Studies show a strong connection between increasing Body Mass Index (BMI) and foot pain, including disabilities related to painful feet.

In the most recent National Foot Health Assessment from 2012, 51 percent of survey respondents with “fair” or “poor” foot health also reported being obese.

People who are overweight often have foot or lower body pain, such as knee or ankle pain, because of how much pressure is put on the feet, which were not meant to handle excess loads of force. Arch support is one way to help redistribute this pressure and alleviate pain.

Some common foot ailments related to being overweight include:

elderly woman holding lower leg in pain

Can flat feet be caused by being overweight?

One of the most common foot problems experienced in overweight individuals is flat feet. While the condition can also be genetic, adult acquired flat feet happens when the arch lacks sufficient support to withstand high amounts of pressure such as that from being overweight.

Can being overweight cause arch pain?

One of the leading causes of heel and arch pain from plantar fasciitis is being overweight. Plantar fasciitis occurs when there is too much stress on the muscles, tendons, and joints of the foot, causing inflammation in the tissues that run along the bottom of the foot.

PowerStep is the #1 podiatrist recommended insole brand for relieving and preventing pain from plantar fasciitis. Our heavy duty insoles include our clinically proven and pain-relieving support.

man placing flat foot insole into black shoe

Why You Need Arch Support if You Are Overweight

Your feet support the entire weight of your body when standing, and your arch absorbs shock when your feet hit the ground. Factors that change how your feet function and their natural alignment also affect the biomechanics of the feet, creating pain, stiffness, and poor mobility.

Being overweight puts excess strain on the arches and may cause them to collapse or fall, resulting in flat feet. Fallen arches, or flatfeet, cannot effectively absorb shock. They also tend to roll inward, or overpronate, causing instability, poor alignment, and ankle pain.

Research has shown that the use of insoles with arch support for obese individuals can help slow foot structural changes. Flat feet need arch support insoles to absorb shock, improve stability, and relieve pain. Meanwhile, those at risk of getting flat feet can wear orthotic insoles to keep the arch from collapsing.

What are the best insoles for heavy people?

If you have tried insoles for your foot pain before and were disappointed, chances are you had the wrong kind. Most over-the-counter insoles are not rigid or wide enough to support overweight feet nor do they have the right type of arch support.

What makes PowerStep orthotics the best insoles for overweight people is our anatomic arch support that conforms to your foot. They have a cushioned top cover for comfortable shock absorption, and we offer insoles for wide feet and customizable insoles, too.

If you are looking for the best insoles for heavy guys or an insole that relieves foot pain so you can walk off the weight more easily, we recommend the following:

  • PowerStep Wide Orthotics: With a wide profile, firm arch support, and stabilizing heel cradle, our insoles for wide feet resist bottoming out under weight for consistent support and foot pain relief.
  • PowerStep Pinnacle Maxx Insoles: A corrective orthotic, these insoles for overpronation have rigid arch support and an angled heel post to improve stability and keep the feet from rolling inward.
  • PowerStep PULSE Maxx Insoles: These insoles for overpronation have firm support and premium shock absorbing cushioning, making them the best insoles for those with flat feet who are trying to lose weight or simply get back into shape.
  • PowerStep Pinnacle Low Insoles: Our insoles for low arches are ideal for people with foot pain who are trying to prevent flat feet while managing their weight or need more support in their everyday shoes.

Man placing wide shoe insole into black orthopedic shoe

Use PowerStep Insoles for Overweight Foot Pain Relief

From the best insoles for a 300 lb man to the most supportive insoles for weight loss, PowerStep orthotics have the best insoles for people of all sizes, supporting your foot health by relieving pain and preventing weight related foot problems.

If you are overweight and have pain when walking or problems with your legs, ankles, or feet, consider seeing a podiatrist or foot health specialist.


How does obesity affect foot health, and what do you do about it? (2024). Institute for Preventive Foot Health.

Obesity and Orthotics. (10 January, 2023). Los Gatos Foot and Ankle.

Orthotics for Heavy People. (2014, April 9). Foot & Ankle Center of Washington.

Saito, Y. et al. (2019). Can an insole for obese individuals maintain the arch of the foot against repeated hyper loading? BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 20(1).  

Shyamala S. et al. (2020). Does Obesity Cause Flat Foot? Journal of Obesity and Therapeutics.  

The Link Between Obesity and Flat Feet. Apple Podiatry Group.