The best shoe inserts for you may not be the best one for your mom or husband. And if a friend swears by the best insoles she discovered, don’t get your hopes up. It’s more likely that the insoles she’s bragging about perfectly meet her needs and may not meet yours.
In the same vein, a flat-footed girl may find more comfort in shoe inserts made specifically for flat feet, even if the next insoles beside it makes her feel like she’s walking in clouds.
Choosing insoles is completely subjective. It depends on your day-to-day activity, foot structure, existing health conditions, and physical activity levels, among others.
But before you shop around for shoe inserts, do you really need them?
Here are 7 important things you should know about insoles:
- Shoe inserts or insoles are bought over-the-counter. A custom-made version, called orthotics, are recommended for those with severe problems.
- Additional insoles do not extend the shoe life, contrary to popular belief.
- Shoe inserts can help people who suffer from heel/arch pain, weak ankles, calluses, knee pain, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, overpronation, and other problems in the lower legs, knee and feet.
- Arch support insoles are specifically designed to eliminate strain on the plantar fascia (the muscle running from heel to forefoot)
- Make sure to break in your new shoe inserts, since your feet may not be used to the level of support or cushion the inserts provide.
- There are weight-dispersive insoles that reduce pressure on the heel to toes.
- Like buying shoes online, sizing displayed on over-the-counter shoe inserts may not be as accurate as you’d hope.
Now that you have an idea of the kind of shoe insert you need… we’ve filtered the market for the best of the best insoles and grouped them based on your specific requirements.
Best Shoe Inserts for Standing All Day
To combat these issues, choose a shoe insert with stabilizer cap at the base, so it could support the rear foot and deep heel cup to provide maximum support particularly for soft tissues.
As a favorite of nurses and bartenders whose day-to-day work tasks are rough on their feet, the Superfeet GREEN Full Length Insole cannot be beat. It isn’t just the high-density foam layer that helps with long-lasting support; the specially-made stabilizer cap and biomechanical shape also ensures ultimate comfort even while standing all day.
Note that Superfeet also has other insole varieties (orange has more cushion for those looking for softness), but the GREEN one will definitely help people who are constantly on their feet.
Best Shoe Inserts for Heels
A pair of sexy heels can be confidence-boosting during special occasions, but wearing them day in, day out can be hard on a person’s foot. Unfortunately for those who have to wear high heels for work, their body’s center of gravity are tilted forward, which causes a ton of pressure to the ball of foot.
Dr. Scholl, a trusted brand in foot care, has two noteworthy solutions for high-heel-wearing people.
First is the Stylish Step High Heel Relief Insoles, which are designed specifically for achy feet due to high heels. It works by shifting pressure off the ball of your foot and eventually prevent pain from shoes with 1 1/2-inch heels or higher.
Many women swear by its effectiveness in providing arch support, even if they wore heels the entire day. What’s impressive is that dancers are the number-1 fans of these insoles.
The other one is called Stylish Step Ball of Foot Cushions for High Heels, which are made with a circular shape instead of a traditional insole shape. It also relieves ball of foot pain, but gives cushioning and shock-absorbing feature to prevent toe scrunch and keep your feet from sliding forward.
As you’d guess, these two Dr. Scholl’s insoles are frequently bought together and are considered a must-have investment for high-heel-wearing folks.
Best Shoe Inserts for Flat Feet
Flat feet can be painful if the lack of supportive arch affects a person’s physical activity. Your doctor will determine if your condition requires pain meds, stretching exercise, cold compress, physical therapy, supportive insoles, or a combination of any of these things.
If you’re looking for the best shoe inserts for flat feet, you won’t go wrong in choosing Samurai Insoles Instant-Relief Orthotics for Flat Feet. It’s made by a legit podiatrist and his “dream team” of engineers, designers, QT and other industry leaders.
What I like best about Samurai Insoles is that you can use it for any kind of shoe, so you can switch up your rubber shoes and dress shoes without buying extra insoles for flat feet support. Of course, it works well in stabilizing the arch and heel area as well.
Best Shoe Inserts for Running
An important thing to note about shoe inserts is that they are designed for a particular activity or to address a specific problem. If your foot pain occurs mostly when running, you can benefit from a pair of New Balance Insoles 3810 Ultra Support Shoe.
While you do have to break it in, these support shoe insoles protect heels and forefoot from shock (thanks to the Abzorb cushioning). The New Balance Insoles 3810 have also help people with bunion/metatarsal pain, blisters, and even Plantar Fasciitis.
What makes this particular insole perfect for running is that New Balance adds special air flow channels, which works by moving warm air out while it brings cold air in.
Best Shoe Inserts for Two or More Types of Foot Pain
Whether you’re suffering from heel pain and heel spurs (Plantar Fasciitis), Ball of Foot pain, Achilles tendonitis, and a bunch of other problems that result to foot pain, WalkHero Plantar Fasciitis Feet Insoles can be the solution you need.
WalkHero’s Plantar Fasciitis insoles are designed to offer anatomical arch support and correct foot positioning. It’s made with EVA material, so your feet stays cool even when you sweat.
Designed for everyday use, these WalkHero shoe inserts will help address foot pain problems, while preventing strain, shock and stress caused by flat feet. It’s best for everyday use, so you can use it for work, walk, run or even casual hiking.
Best Budget Shoe Inserts
If money is a problem, but you need a pair of comfortable and effective shoe inserts for your daily activities, check out Powerstep’s Original Full Length Orthotic Shoe Insoles.
They’re ultra thin and designed with heel cradle, dual-Layer cushioning and 100% anti-microbial polyester. You don’t have to trim it too, since it fits to size and can accommodate all types of shoes from boots to heels.
And yeah, Powerstep’s shoe inserts are affordable too!
Choosing the best shoe inserts for you can be such a frustrating experience, but once you find the one that will fit your needs, the time, effort and money you’ve invested in insoles will definitely be worth it.
In many cases, people with foot pain issues tend to use two or more types of insoles, then switch it up depending on the activity they plan to do for the day.
So if you plan on hiking, running, or just want an everyday-use pair of insoles, I hope this list can help you get started with your search for the perfect shoe inserts.