Hard vs soft arch supports

Hard arch supports (even custom made) always made my feet hurt and soft arch supports felt better but podiatrists I talked to always recommended the hard arch supports. (although I suspect it is due to a financial interest they have in selling you custom made hard arch supports).

I am wondering if there has been any research into whether hard vs soft insoles aka arch supports are better for your feet? And has anyone else had personal experience comparing these?

Hard supports take some getting used to, but are the only things that keep plantar fasciitis away. I’ve had mine for about five years now and they don’t bother me at all.

As a former pointe dancer my arches are very pronounced. I wear hard arch supports in athletic shoes. They are hard to get used to. I have to go through it every fall. I wear sandals or clogs in warm weather. They don’t bother my arches like other shoes do.
ETA I have never had any support with soft ones. I thought maybe the gel ones would work, alas they did not.

You can get solid arch supports at fancy shoe stores and shoe repair stores as well as online. Unless you have a particular foot problem they’re trying to correct, just pick whatever model seems to fit your arch the best.

The soft ones don’t do anything for me.

Soft supports don’t maintain their shape and so don’t keep your feet in the correct configuration.
I guess they would work if you were a very small person and don’t collapse them with your weight.

I started wearing Walk Fit orthotics more than 10 years ago, and I haven’t had problems with plantar fasciitis since. I found them in an “As seen on TV” section of a drug store, and they were inexpensive and worth their weight in gold.

I have had custom fitted hard supports for close to 20 years now and had no recurrence of plantar fasciitis since. Following my doctor, I went to see a podiatrist a few years (the first one had moved) and she said these were still fine and didn’t even charge for the examination.