Orthotic insoles can be slipped into less-than-comfortable shoes for added support. Custom-designed orthotic insoles will give you a truly perfect fit, but they can be pricey. For that reason, you should try off-the-shelf insoles first before using a prescription insole.
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If you suffer from foot pain or have shoes with very little support, orthotic insoles can easily be slipped into your shoes to offer additional arch support, cushioning, and a better fit.
Features to look for in orthotic insoles
A good pair of orthotic insoles should provide arch support, heel support, and cushioning. They should fit snugly in your shoe and be comfortable walking around in.
Orthotic insoles might take a while to break in, but ultimately it should feel comfortable. Good cushioning will also aid stability and alignment.
The adjustability of your insoles is important. You need to ensure that the insoles purchased are customizable for the shoes you own.
Get a pair of insoles that are durable and can handle regular use. To do this, ensure that you look out for foot inserts that are made with sturdy materials.
To reduce the impact on your feet and build endurance, make sure you get a pair of insoles that handle shock well. Generally speaking, gel-based insoles are the best for shock absorption as they massage your feet in the process and reduce the impact received with every step.
Arch support is essential for comfort and pain reduction. Consider your specific needs. Some insoles may be more suitable for people with low or fallen arches, whereas others are suitable for high arches. Either way, the arch support should completely cradle your arch to take the pressure off your heel.
Fit and use
Size matters when choosing good OTC insoles. It can be not easy to find a type of insole that perfectly fits the sole of your foot and various types of shoes. Knowing when to buy the next size up and how to trim effectively are vital bits of information.
Very often, your brand new insoles will feel a bit strange. It can take a few days for misaligning ligaments and muscles to become accustomed to correction.
The materials used to make the inserts can make all the differences in the world.
Inserts made with memory foam are the most comfortable. Not only are they breathable, but they provide thicker cushioning.
Inserts made from polyurethane are easily moldable, yet they retain their elasticity. Likewise, silicone ones give added support but are a lot stiffer.
While suede may give the best grip, the odor caused by the sweat means it has to be frequently washed.
Just as there are different kinds of shoes, there are inserts with the features to suit each of them better. Trimmed inserts are quite versatile and can give you what you need when applied to most shoes. Likewise, invisible inserts are the best option for open-toed shoes and sandals. For closed-toed shoes, the possibilities are endless and can even match the tone of the shoe for aesthetic purposes.
Orthotic insoles are available in high, medium, and low volumes. These volumes indicate the amount of space they take up in your shoe.
Low-volume insoles occupy the least amount of shoe space. They are ideal for people with low arches and use with cycling shoes.
Medium-volume insoles fit well with your everyday casual and athletic shoes.
High-volume insoles are excellent options for those with high arches and are most often added into hiking boots.
Best Orthotic Insoles in 2020
Physix Gear Sport — Best Inserts for Flat Feet
Physix Gear Sport’s orthotic insoles are among the best-sellers of this US-based company. The product comes in a wide selection of sizes so that you can fit it into almost any type of shoe. What’s more, these full-length insoles are suitable for both men and women.
No matter the type of biomechanical foot issue you are experiencing, Physix Gear Sport’s orthotic insoles will improve your comfort. This product offers excellent support to the foot. Thus, you can wear the inserts if you are struggling with various conditions, including:
- Runner’s knee
- Heel spurs
- Shin splints
- Knee pain
- Achilles tendinitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Overpronation problems
- Ball of foot pain
Physix Gear Sport inserts are the best insoles for flat feet because they also provide incredible arch support. If you suffer from that condition, these insoles will soothe any pain you may be experiencing.
Design and Features
The inserts are made of dual-layered foam, which gives them a low profile. Unfortunately, it also reduces its cushioning properties.
Despite that, the Physix Gear Sport insole offers excellent stability thanks to its deep heel cup and the following additional features:
- Ergonomic design
- Non-slip properties
- Light and soft materials
The Physix Gear Sport insole can reduce foot and leg fatigue caused by prolonged standing. Therefore, it offers relief to people with standing-heavy jobs, such as bartending or house cleaning. The product is also great for individuals who play sports or have a physically demanding hobby like hiking, climbing, or jogging.
Dr. Scholl’s High Heel Relief Insoles — Best Inserts for Heels
Ladies, if you have ever worn high-heel shoes, you know how painful the experience can be. Luckily, Dr. Scholl’s High Heel Relief Insoles can reduce the pain you feel when rocking your stilettos.
The inserts are part of Dr. Scholl’s Stylish Step range, so they will offer you comfort without cramping your style. Best of all, you can buy one pair and use it with all your high-heel shoes. Just make sure the heels are at least two inches high.
High heels put great pressure on the balls of your feet. Over time, this can lead to a painful sensation. Fortunately, Dr. Scholl’s High Heel Relief inserts transfer the pressure away from this sensitive area.
Design and Features
These insoles for heels rely on a special cushioning technology that absorbs and reduces shock. Also, the product features Dr. Scholl’s trademark arch made of ultra-soft gel. As a result, it will allow you to wear your favorite pair of heels without having to deal with discomfort.
No one will notice that you are using the insoles because they have a discreet design. Therefore, you can put them even in more cut-out shoes.
Dr. Scholl’s insoles for heels will not cram your toes since they have a slim profile. However, to enjoy maximum comfort, make sure you place them inside your shoes correctly. Align the insole with the back of the shoe, and position it close to its inner edge.
Protalus M100 Max Series — Best Inserts for Plantar Fasciitis
Protalus is an American company specializing in the design of orthotic insoles. The M100 Max Series soles are among its masterpieces. If you are looking for reliable plantar fasciitis insoles, this product will provide you with the relief you crave.
M100 not only treats foot pain but also improves the body’s overall posture. By doing so, it minimizes the risk for plantar fasciitis complications, such as pain in the ankles, knees, or hips.
Still, this product is quite versatile, and people with various foot issues can use it. For instance, you can benefit from wearing the innersoles if you have any of these conditions:
- High arch
- Morton’s neuroma
- Flat feet
You should also add the Protalus M100 Max Series to your shopping list if you spend a lot of time on your feet. These insoles will reduce the fatigue in your lower limbs and allow you to remain active for hours. For optimal comfort and support, wear them with full-volume shoes like boots or supportive running sneakers.
Design and Features
Protalus’ plantar fasciitis insoles have a complex and innovative design. They feature a heel cup with a rounded shape that balances out the pressure on the foot. Also, the product has anti-slip ridges that will keep it in place while it’s in use.
The Protalus M100 Max Series orthotic insoles guarantee comfort because they are made of premium-quality materials. Their top layer has moisture-wicking and anti-friction properties. Plus, its fabric protects against bacteria and unpleasant odors.
Vionic ¾ Length Orthotic Insoles — Best ¾ Length Inserts
Vionic’s Unisex ¾ Length insoles are an advanced orthotic product. They don’t rely solely on a cushioning system to reduce stress on the lower limbs. The inserts also use modern technology to improve the alignment of your feet and legs.
Compared to full-size insoles, ¾ length ones are more suitable for everyday use. Although they don’t provide toe support, they do cushion some parts of the forefeet.
Vionic’s orthotic inserts also improve the foot’s overall posture. They can even relieve pain caused by overpronation, for instance.
Design and Features
Vionic’s ¾ length orthotic insoles were designed and developed by doctors of podiatric medicine. The soles use a new-generation Tri-Planer Motion Control technology to keep the feet in a correct position. Other design features include:
- A heel pad that absorbs shock and pressure
- A top cloth made from nylon with antimicrobial and anti-odor properties
- A deep heel cup for a more natural foot position
- A soft and light base for greater support
For the most part, the Vionic Unisex ¾ Length orthotic insoles are comfortable to wear because they have a lateral cutaway. As a result, the product can fit into almost any shoe and leave enough room for your toes.
Usually, you can wear ¾ length insoles over the factory inserts of your shoes. The same goes for Vionic’s lightweight orthotic innersoles. What’s different about them is their soft base, which will make you feel as if you are walking on clouds.
Powerstep Full-Length Orthotic Insoles — Best Full-Length Inserts
Compared to other innersoles, Powerstep insoles have moderate cushioning properties. Still, these full-length inserts will give you reliable arch support because they stabilize the entire foot.
These insoles by Powerstep are incredibly versatile. You can wear them every day, including at work. What’s more, they will support your feet and ankles even when you are playing sports. Best of all, you can fit them into various types of shoes, including athletic, casual, and dress footwear.
Since the inserts balance the pressure on the entire foot, they can help people with various biomechanical issues. Such problems, for instance, include supination, bunions, and hammertoes.
Also, Powerstep is ideal for you if your foot pain is caused by a medical condition like diabetes or arthritis. The insoles will disperse the pressure on your ankles and feet evenly. Plus, they will improve your stability.
Design and Features
Powerstep’s Full-Length orthotic insoles have dual-layer cushioning that offers comfort and reduces friction. While you’re wearing them, you’ll feel more stable on your feet thanks to the arch support and heel cradle. These two features limit unnecessary movement within the shoe and keep your lower limbs in the correct position.
If you remove the factory inserts, Powerstep’s insoles should fit perfectly in your shoes. Alternatively, you can trim them if they don’t feel comfortable enough. However, keep in mind that most full-length innersoles have a breaking-in period. Give them a few days, and they will unleash their full potential.