If you want your favorite shoes to feel like walking mattresses, you might consider slipping in a pair of insoles. Shoe inserts and insoles are known for their ability to enhance feet comfort particularly for individuals who experience heel pain because of walking for long hours, strenuous training, tender heels and various health-related complications.
Before we get into details, here is an overview of the best shoe inserts and insoles available in the market today. Superfeet Premium Full Length Insoles will grace you with a “feeling myself” moment if you have medium arched feet. Acquire a pair of these and say goodbye to your foot problems permanently. Sof Sole high arch insoles are spot on if you have a high arch. In addition to enhancing comfort, they eliminate pain related to plantar fasciitis and other foot conditions.
If you are always scrambling for space in the gym, Sof Sole Athlete Full Length Comfort Neutral Arch Replacement Shoe Insole is your perfect match. The experience from this incredible pair will help you train beyond the pain. Relieve the insane heel pain with Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx Full Length Orthotic Shoe Insoles. Generally, Pinnacle Maxx is a lifesaver for individuals experiencing pain in the lower limbs. Another product that will leave you beaming with excitement is Instant-Relief Orthotics for Flat Feet by Samurai Insoles. It is an effortless cure for plantar fasciitis.
Insoles have long played an obvious role in foot grooming such that most people believe that choosing the right ones is a walk in the park. In fact, some people will comfortably wear shoes without them and pound the ground with long strides as if it is their last day on this quite uncertain universe. Normally, this does not lead to any noticeable challenges for the vast majority because immediate risks are few and far between.
However, undermining the value of shoe inserts can lead to long-term consequences. Simple activities like strolling aimlessly around your home area can stress the joints if your body does not absorb the pressure appropriately. Stress initiates problems in our back, knees and hips as we age. Insoles have the ability to absorb shock as our feet engage in strides and kicks. The stress is later distributed evenly to our feet. Furthermore, there are insoles that are designed to provide better support for our feet. For instance, some provide increased arch support and improved heel stability thereby preventing over pronation.
Insoles vs Orthotics
This section covers the ins and outs of shoe insoles and inserts to help you differentiate what you have from what you have been missing. You might have noticed the current explosion in the shoe accessories market (especially inserts). In particular, the orthotic market has been soaring in leaps and bounds because of the alarming cases of foot related complications. With the ever-growing number of plantar fasciitis cases, marketers have identified a new gap to fill.
First, let us differentiate shoe insoles from orthotics. Insoles are defined as removable soles that are worn in shoes for improved comfort and warmth. In most cases, insoles are flat pads and they are associated with very little cushioning. In addition, their benefits are short term because they get damaged quickly. Orthotics or rather orthosis are shoe inserts that are modeled to suit the shape of one’s foot. They are more sophisticated than ordinary insoles and therefore cable of offering benefits such as shock absorption, increased support, stabilization , just to mention a few.
Fitting each pair of shoe with a pair of insoles has been a long- standing tradition for shoes manufacturers. Unfortunately, noticing the benefits of the practice has been next to impossible because of its poor execution. Ever noticed a thin padded lining on the inner surface of your shoe? That is an insole for most shoe manufacturers. Now that you know the benefits of insoles, you can describe the phenomenon as utmost savagery.
Lately though, as people are increasingly becoming aware of feet complications, manufacturers are also responding accordingly. If you own a pair of shoes from Nike, Lowell and Ecco, you can attest to this fact. Manufacturers who provide specialized footwear such as Dr. Comfort and Propet have been on the frontline in influencing this vital change. Anyway, let’s leave the idle chatter for the grapevine and get straight to the point. The closest example that can be used to describe orthotics are the insoles that come with most athletic shoes. The only difference is that orthotics are more defined in terms of structure and uses.
Often, people who use orthotics get a recommendation from a health professional. They are highly effective correctors of the biomechanical problems associated with feet, hips, knees and the back. However, over-the-counter orthotics are easy to find. Most shoe stores stock them and they are quite affordable. The price is mainly determined by obvious factors such as specifications, brand, and quality. Most of the companies that manufacture over-the-counter (OTC) orthotics are highly experienced and therefore, they can treat most biomechanical abnormities successfully. Even though OTC orthotics are capable of many things but the common ones are; provision of support, shock absorption, and prevention of overpronation and over-supination. Most OTC orthotics can fit in different types of shoes. In addition, they come in different sizes.
Orthotics that are designed based on doctor’s prescription are known as custom orthotics. The designers use an imprint of the user’s foot so that they can make the necessary accommodations depending on the abnormality under treatment. The price of custom orthotics is relatively high because they are mostly used after OTC ones have failed. In most cases, both OTC and custom orthotics do not create the need for purchasing new shoes. They can be used normal shoe provided they fit in properly.
Categories of Custom Orthotics
Medically, orthotics are divided into three main categories: accommodative, flexible and rigid. The purpose of rigid orthotics is to control the feet. Accordingly, they are made of relatively hard plastic. Pronoting is an example of the conditions that can be prevented with rigid orthotics. Flexible orthotics are designed with light-weight plastic, cushioning material and other forms of flexible material. Accommodative orthotics are designed for sensitive feet. As a result, they provide cushioning and a soft surface for feet. They are commonly used by individuals who suffer from plantar fasciitis and diabetic related foot complications.
Overall, the process of selecting orthotics brings a lot of factors into perspective. You must look at the pattern of your pain and nature of your lifestyle. The kind of shoes you intend to wear will also affect your choice of product. Some shoes have extra depth while others are less accommodative. At the end of the day, your foot must fit comfortably after your slip-in the orthotics. Otherwise, the slightest sign of compression might worsen your condition.
Foot pain is just like any other health condition. It begins with mild signs and you can begin by treating with self-medication. Start by buying OTC orthotics and observe the pain progress. Follow precautions to obtain the most benefits. If it does not work do not be discouraged. Visit a healthcare professional to learn what works and what does not work for your condition. Your foot will be examined and depending on the problem that requires treatment, your doctor will advise you accordingly.
Here are important factors concerning orthotics that you should put in mind.
- Mild foot problems are likely to disappear if the right choice of OTC orthotics is made.
- The choice of OTC orthotics should be guided by the user’s foot.
- Clients with severe biomechanical abnormalities should always visit a medical professional. OTC products might not be of much help.
- Custom devices produce the best results. Definitely, they are more accommodative because clinicians have greater control in terms design and dimensions.
- Custom devices have longer lifespan than OTC orthotics
Types of Insoles
Different insoles are tailored for different needs. Features such as structure and material vary significantly. To derive maximum comfort, choose insoles that will serve your needs perfectly.
Arch support insoles: Arch support are insoles that provide the arch of the foot with better support and comfort. They are commonly used by people who experience arch pain. Arch is the bottom part of the foot that starts from the toes to the start of the heel. Pronation or rather the rolling motion that occurs during walking or running is the primary cause of arch pain. Over-pronation and under-pronation affect even distribution of pressure on the foot.
Arch supports are essential for people who walk regularly on flat and hard surfaces. It is advisable for athletes to use them during intense training and competitions. In addition they are very helpful to people with high arches, shallow arches, flat feet and irregularly shaped arches. However, they can also be worn on doctor’s recommendation. Check below the best arch support insoles available in the market today
Allow me to describe these insoles as doozy. Based on the manufacturer’s claims, this product has so much to offer. Firstly, they are well enhanced to provide support to high arches. The heel cup is deep enough for extra-cushioning and to prevent the foot from slipping. The manufacturer has used hydrologix treatment to manage moisture. Accordingly, sweating and unpleasant odor are out of the equation. For a more sophisticated experience, the foam of the insoles is embedded with Microban to inhibit the growth of the bacteria that causes foot odor. Above all else, the insoles can be used for both athletic and casual shoes. Ideally, you can train, walk, run, or do any other foot activity with shoes that are fitted with these insoles confidently.
- High Quality
- Capable of managing arch pain
- Highly dependable
- Can be a little bit thick
- Not available in many colors
Nazaroo Orthotic Flat Foot Support Insoles
Here is another great product that you might want to try. As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. Nazaroo insoles are orthotic and the manufacturer claims that they offer enhanced support to plantar fasciitis patients. Furthermore, the insoles are helpful for painful and sore feet, unstable ankles and unstable pronation. The bottom of the insoles is made of medical grade plastic for enhanced arch support. They come in different sizes for both men and women. Lastly, as you can see, they are quite good looking.
- They reduce foot pain
- Very cheap
- They provide great arch support
- Can be trimmed to fit different shoe sizes
- The material is relatively hard
- Available in one color only
Sof Sole Airr Orthotic Full Length Performance Shoe Insoles
These product has very interesting features and I would go for it if I were you and had flat feet or low arches. The arch of the insole is made of a nylon plate to ensure that the foot stays in line. The arch and heel area contains skydex air bubbles for absorption of impact. The forefront is made of gel for increased shock absorption. CoolMax moisture wicking technology has been used to prevent accumulation of moisture and sweat in the shoes. They are also embedded with Microban to inhibit the growth of odor. They are perfect for athletic shoes or any other shoes that are used for high-energy activities.
- Great features
- The insoles’ ability to reduce pain and enhance feet comfort
- They are somehow pricey
- Fitting complaints. Be careful when selecting your size
Powerstep Pinnacle Shoe Insole Orthotics
You can count on these insoles any day, any time if you have flat feet or low arches and suffering from planter fasciitis at the same time. Pinnacle’s ability to alleviate a wide range of foot conditions is commendable. They feature incredible components that enhance their ability to offer cushioning, flexibility and firmness at the same time. The heel area is deep and well cushioned to provide the foot with increased stability and comfort. The manufacturer has used anti-microbial top fabric to prevent the development of infection and odor-causing bacteria. The top fabric is also capable of reducing heat and friction inside the shoes.
- Ability to reduce pain from a variety of foot conditions
- Relatively affordable
- Availability in different lengths and fits
- Available in more than one color
- Superior arch support
- Relatively hard
Sof Sole 3/4 Length Orthotic Arch Support Shoe Insole
The most outstanding feature about these insoles is that they are available for all arch types. Accordingly, everybody can find their perfect match. The ¾ length makes them ideal for almost all types of footwear. The upper layer of the insoles is made of woven nylon for increased arch support and stability. They are embedded with a foam cover to reduce friction. They are purposely designed to help people who experience over-pronation. The insoles have been medically tested for their ability to relieve pain caused by tissue inflammation in the feet.
- Very good for extra support
- They are high quality and durable
- The insoles some with a variety of options
- The treat foot pain and over-pronation successfully
- Available in one color
Running and Sports Insoles
Running and sports are some of the best shoe inserts and insoles that you can find in the market today. They are considered superior because unlike most insoles that offer a specific functionality, they deal with multiple challenges that the foot is likely to experience during high-energy activities. To cut the long story short, the benefits derived from running and sports insoles include; arch support, stress and shock alleviation, and increased foot stability and balance. Most of them are made from flexible and durable materials such as rubber, foam and gel. Running and sports insoles are ideal for individuals who engage in sporting activities such as walking, running, cycling, football, jumping, hiking and rugby.
Generally, if you are engaging your feet in activities that can lead to stress build-up, you definitely need sports insoles. They will prevent you from risky conditions such as plantar fasciitis and over-pronation. Sports insoles will not only provide your feet with a more sophisticated experience but also, they will allow you to train harder without the fear of injuries. Here is an overview of the best five running and sports insoles that you can find in the market today.
Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer Athletic Cushioning Arch Support Shoe Insoles
If you want to train all day long without any pain or injuries, go for this top-notch product and thank me later. Spenco offers a variety of interesting features in this product. Firstly, the product stretches four ways to allow increased foot comfort. The Spencore material is great for impact and shock absorption. It will allow you to play like a calf without any fears. You do not have to worry about dragging your feet around. The insoles are lightweight and they will provide you with the best walking experience. Spenco uses the Spencore heel pug to provide extra-cushioning for the heel. The insoles are specifically designed for athletic purposes and most of their benefits revolve round that area.
- Great for intense activities such as hiking and running
- Very affordable
- They reduce pain from conditions such as plantar fasciitis
- Some people experience arch support issues with these insoles. However, it is important to note that they are designed for athletic shoes which are known for their ability to provide great arch support even with the absence of extra inserts.
The most interesting feature that you will notice about this insole is the neutral arch design. Ideally, almost all foot types can fit these insole without a problem. Furthermore, the manufacturer has used gel pads to provide extra-cushioning in the heel and forefoot. Exercising and heavy activities can lead to increased sweeting. To alleviate this problem, the insole is fastened with hydrologix moisture management treatment. Get a pair of these insoles and your foot fatigue problem will be gone for good.
- Provides increased foot comfort
- High Quality
- Suitable for different foot types
- No trimming guidelines for people who experience fitting issues
Superfeet Women’s BERRY Performance & Comfort Insoles
These insoles are as good as they look. The manufacturer did not come to play with the pink color- it is rather the beginning of a beautiful tale. Once you buy these insoles, you will notice that they work perfectly will almost all types of footwear. They come with high impact foam for extra foot support and cushioning. The heel cup is deep for increased heel support and stability. Additionally, the design of the heel cup is narrow to ensure that the heel remains in position during high impact activities. The insoles have a biomechanical shape to provide better stability for the foot. The feature is also ideal for reduction of stress and pain in the feet, knees and ankles. An organic coating is used to inhibit the development of the odor-causing bacteria.
- They are great for pain reduction
- The insoles are good looking
- They can be trimmed for proper fit
- Available in pink color only
Dr. Scholl’s Comfort and Energy Work Insoles for Men
If you work on hard surfaces day in-day out, then look no further. Dr. Scholl’s Comfort and Energy Work insoles will provide you with the comfort you have been looking for and much more. Let’s dig deeper into their features and how they are of benefit to your foot. Firstly, they are designed with the massaging gel technology for increased stress and shock absorption. The insoles are fastened with gel waves for all day foot cushioning. Their columns are firm and well contoured for greater arch support. Not to mention, they are embedded with cooling vents to ensure that the feet maintain a cool and dry feel throughout.
- The insoles reduce muscle an foot fatigue
- Very affordable
- High quality
- Limited color options
Ubearkk Full Length Performance Shoe Insoles
These might not be the most popular insoles out there but they are definitely worth trying. They have a number of unique features and their ability to reduce foot pain is commendable. The insoles are made of medical grade gel. Accordingly, besides targeting athletes, they also target individuals experiencing foot related complications. To foster the reduction of pain in the joints, feet and ankles, the insoles are well cushioned. The heel cup is well contoured to facilitate heel comfort and stability. They are fastened with active carbon fiber to minimize sweating and accumulation of odor. They are washable and can be easily cut to fit different feet sizes. The insoles are ultra-thin to prevent toe-crowding.
- They can be easily cut to size
- The gel material enhances comfort
- Alleviate foot pain
- Very affordable
- Available in limited colors
Plantar Fasciitis Shoe Inserts and Insoles
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that leads to the development of pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia region. The most common way to discover whether you are suffering from plantar fasciitis is pain around the heel area. The pain becomes intense in the morning when leaving bed or any other time when moving from a stationary position. Although in most cases victims do not experience pain when walking, the condition can persist for a long time. The good news is that plantar fasciitis can be completely healed. The most crucial thing is ensuring that the cycle of pain becomes broken. Ideally, keeping your feet aligned can alleviate the pain. To achieve proper foot alignment, patients are advised to use orthotic support constantly.
Plantar fasciitis orthotic inserts are good because they do not require new footwear. You simply purchase them and insert them in your existing shoes. Your choice of inserts is vital because it determines your fate with the excruciating pain and the entire condition. In fact, immediate relief can be experienced with some inserts. Below is an overview of the best five insoles for plantar fasciitis available in the market today.
Instant-relief orthotics by Samurai is a solid pick if you have flat feet or low arches that are suffering from plantar fasciitis. This are not the usual insoles that will give you problems right, left and center. They are podiatrist designed to help people with plantar fasciitis and other conditions that induce pain in the heel. They will enhance your ability to walk around by eliminating the pain completely and correct problems such as over-pronation in a snap. The insoles are flexible and soft. Worry not, if you have zero tolerance for excessive rigidity under your feet. They are fitted with a springy, flexible inner core that provides your feet with a soft landing. It doesn’t matter whether you are moving or sited, the experience will be the same. They come in different sizes and you not need to trim them to get a custom fit. Simply choose a size that matches your standard shoe size and you are good to go.
- Capable of eliminating pain and plantar fasciitis
- Great for people with flat feet and low arches
- Great quality
- Very versatile
- Relatively expensive
- Available in one color only
Pinnacle Maxx is among the products that have earned Powerstep a big name in the orthotics industry. The most eye-catching feature in these insoles is their uniquely designed heel. It is slightly angled and somehow creates the visual impression of a wedge. The design of the heel offers maximum foot support. The insoles are embedded with EVA foam cushioning for increased comfort and support. In addition, they are fitted with an anti-microbial top cover to prevent the growth of bacteria and for heat and friction reduction. They are flexible can be moved from on pair of shoes to another without trimming. Lastly, they provide great arch support for all foot types.
- Suitable for different arch types
- They prevent pronation
- They are effective for plantar fasciitis and other foot problems
- Very durable because they are of great quality
- Available in two colors only
Superfeet Green Heritage Insoles
Superfeet Green Heritage Insoles
Just like the name suggests, these insoles are super. Immediately, you add them to your collection, they will become your new favorites. This product is incredible for people who are suffering from heel pain, plantar fasciitis, knee stress, and heel and ankle pain. They are fitted with a stabilizer cup in the base to provide increased support to the rearfoot. The stabilizer cup also keeps the foam layer stable and in shape. The heel cup is deep and wide for maximum foot support and shock absorption. They have a biomechanical shape to alleviate stress from different joints in the lower limbs. The insoles are fitted with a high-density foam layer that cushions the feet for increased comfort.
- Good for treating heel pain and other foot conditions
- Can be used with a wide range of footwear
- Quite expensive
- Some customers claim that the arch is too close to the heel
- Suitable for high arch feet only
Plantar Fasciitis Insoles by ViveSole
Designed to provide greater comfort and support to feet suffering from plantar fasciitis, these insoles are spot on for plantar fasciitis patients. They are designed by podiatrists to ensure that the needs of plantar fasciitis patients are put into consideration. The manufacturers have embedded the fabric with anti-microbial agents to ensure that the insoles do not harbor bacteria. They can be used with different types of shoes and incase of fitting challenges, they can be trimmed to custom fit.
- Very affordable
- The alleviate pain
- The insoles provide great arch support
- Not the most durable insoles in the market today
- Available in one color only
This is another product by Superfeet that will make you forget all the foot problems you have been experiencing. These insoles are great for people with medium-arched foot. They can fit in different types of footwear especially if you are good at picking the ideal size for you. The fabric is fitted with anti-bacteria agents and you do not have to worry about accumulation of sweat and odor. The heel cup is well designed for proper foot positioning. Just like other products by Superfeet, they are fitted with a stabilizer cup for increased support and for structure reinforcement.
- Quite affordable
- Great for pain alleviation
Available for medium-arched foot only (although the can be used some people who have flat feet)
With that information, it is very clear that you can make several choices without making a mistake. Keep calm and wear your walking clouds 😉