Plantar fasciitis is an excruciating condition that occurs when the plantar fascia (i.e., the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot) becomes torn and inflamed. It can feel like you’re repeatedly being stabbed in the heel or bottom of your foot. Still, thanks to the invention of store-bought insoles, you can ease heel and arch pain by slipping on a supportive pair.
Table of Content
|1.||Features to consider when buying plantar fasciitis insoles|
|2.||The 5 best plantar fasciitis insoles|
Orthotic inserts, or insoles, can provide a cushy cup for your heel to relieve pressure. It can also externally support the arch, thus reducing the stress or load of the arch. Together, those features may help make your foot feel less painful.
Over-the-counter insoles are a good option to try before considering getting fitted for custom orthotics, which usually require a doctor’s prescription. Just keep in mind that there isn’t substantial research on how well store-bought inserts work or which ones are the most effective. So personal comfort counts for a lot.
Features to consider when buying plantar fasciitis insoles
A proper pair of insoles should provide adequate arch support, heel support, and cushioning. They should fit snugly in your shoe and be comfortable walking around in.
Before you buy, consider these features:
Arch support is important for comfort and minimizing pain. Make sure it adheres as closely as possible to the form and height of your arch. Some insoles are more appropriate for people with low or fallen arches, whereas othertyes of insoles may work better for high arches. Either way, the arch support should entirely cradle your arch to take the pressure off your heel.
Additional arch support in the insoles will help to engage and strengthen the muscles of your arches as you walk. This support helps to distribute the pressure evenly across the foot to help offload stress as well as provide stability to the heel.
A deep heel cup can help absorb shock. It may also help with alignment and stability.
For athletic wear, look for insoles withantimicrobial, breathablematerial. If your plantar fasciitis pain is severe, you should opt for an insole that features a gel cushion, which will add extra spring to your step and reduce heel pain.
When it comes to this type of specialized insole, four types of material are typically used in their fabrication: gel, foam, leather, and cork. Which material seems the best match for you will be your choice, hopefully, informed by input from a qualified orthopedist. That said, cork is used less and less these days, leather has been on the way out for the better part of two decades and most of the best insoles for plantar fasciitis today are fashioned from either gel or foam.
Cork and leather have fallen largely out of favor and been replaced in recent years with plantar fasciitis today are fashioned from gel or foam. The primary reason these materials have gained supremacy is that they’re more comfortable. So before you decide to go old school and opt for cork insoles, take a minute and reconsider for comfort’s sake.
Good insole cushioning will keep your foot comfortable. It will also aid alignment and stability.
Insoles are available in low, medium, and high volumes. These volumes indicate the amount of space they take up in your shoe.
Low-volume insoles require the least amount of shoe space. Therefore, they are ideal for those with low arches.
Medium-volume insoles fit well in your casual and athletic shoes.
High-volume insoles are great options for those with high arches and are most often added into hiking boots and running shoes.
Plantar fasciitis relief doesn’t always call for a full-length insole. Although most people will default to a full length to make sure they have all their bases covered, there may be times when full-length insoles are not necessary. Insoles for plantar fasciitis can either extend to the end of the arch, to the balls of the feet, or the end of the toes. If the pain does not project beyond the heel area and the balls of the feet and the toes are largely unaffected, there may be no compelling reason to get full-length plantar fasciitis insoles.
Nobody wants their insoles to fall apart after a couple of weeks. To avoid this, make sure you don’t buy your insoles based solely on price.
The 5 best plantar fasciitis insoles
Finding the right plantar fasciitis insoles might involve a little bit of experimenting, so to help you find the right insoles, we rounded up the top-rated options.
Best Option for Work Boots: Powerstep Pinnacle Insoles
If you tend to do a lot of physical work that puts heavy pressure on your feet, you will likely suffer from PF at some point. So, what you need is a good set of plantar fasciitis insoles that have high arch support and a lighter volume than other options on the market. By far, the best choice for people who wear work boots for long periods of time is the Powerstep Pinnacle.
When you compare this product to other popular plantar fasciitis insoles, you’ll notice that the Pinnacle has higher arch support. However, these insoles are not nearly as rigid as a typical high-arch option might be. They have enough padding to provide your feet with cushioning, stability, and comfort. More importantly, they distribute weight perfectly, so you can walk without too much pressure on your arches and heels.
The astounding relief these insoles provide is courtesy of their heel cups. Each individual cup is deep and rounded, thus evenly distributing your weight when you put your shoes on. Moreover, it’s made of grooved polyester, so you can kiss accidental foot-sliding goodbye — this material will ensure that your feet stay in place. If you’re someone who does hard physical labor, not slipping by accident should be one of your top priorities for safety.
Best Option for Walking: Walk-Hero PF Insoles
People who take frequent walks might also develop plantar fasciitis. Whether you’re taking your dog out for a walk, jogging, or just going on a stroll with friends, you can expect some heel pain. So, if you want to continue walking without making things worse, Walk-Hero insoles are the best product you can get for plantar fasciitis.
Walkers with flat feet who want to avoid overpronation can’t go wrong with these insoles. They have a rounded silicone heel cup that keeps the heel in place during those long, exhausting walks. Moreover, the footbed is rounded, giving your foot a proper, curved base to stand on. Such insoles might offer limited variation when it comes to arch height, but the Walk-Hero are definitely one of the options with the best arch support.
These insoles use antimicrobial fabric, which is perfect if you happen to sweat a lot during walks or exercise. The material helps alleviate the unpleasant odors that come with hours of intense physical activity. More importantly, it reduces friction and wicks the moisture for added comfort.
It should be noted that Walk-Hero is not a top-rated brand like others we mentioned here. However, the fact that its products are on this list should tell you enough about their quality. More importantly, these are some of the most budget-friendly plantar fasciitis insoles on the market. So, if you happen to be on a tight budget, the Walk-Hero insoles are perfect for you.
Best Option for Running: Superfeet Green Insoles
A nice, soft insole sounds like a good way to handle PF-related pain, at least on paper. However, if you’re a runner, you’ll need something firm and durable. And that’s where Superfeet GREEN insoles for plantar fasciitis come in.
Unlike most commercial insoles that claim to battle PF, Superfeet insoles contain sturdy materials that hold your feet in the proper position. Couple that with a firm but comfortable heel cup, and you get the best PF insoles for active movement. Runners are not the only ones who can benefit from the Green inserts. Everyone, from hikers to skaters, cyclists, and assembly workers will find this product extremely helpful.
In fact, even if you’re not all that physically active, you should consider giving Superfeet a try. Plantar Fasciitis is just one of the conditions that these insoles can help you with. With proper foot posture, you can eliminate lower and upper leg pain, lower back problems, and knee issues.
Each pair of Green Superfeet insoles has a deep and wide base. So, if you want to fit them comfortably in your shoes, you might need footwear that’s a bit roomier. Moreover, they are mainly suitable for people with high arches. However, if you want something lower, Superfeet also has the medium Blue and the low Black options.
The Superfeet Green insoles for plantar fasciitis are a bit on the pricier side. Still, considering how beneficial they are, they’re worth every penny.
Best Budget Option: SuperfeetEasy Fit Orthotic Insoles
Most high-quality plantar fasciitis insoles tend to cost a pretty penny. Of course, it’s completely understandable if you want to save money and get a budget-friendly pair. But there are risks that come with buying a less expensive option because some cheap variants are of extremely low quality. Luckily, that is not the case with the Easy Fit orthotic insoles.
The arch support of Easy Fit’s insoles is made from high-quality TPU. They are firm enough to maintain proper foot posture, but soft enough not to cause further discomfort. In addition, the cover is light and breathable, which helps reduce heat and friction as you walk. Moreover, the soles have a durable, rounded cup that will hold any heel in place.
Professional podiatrists have worked hard to develop Easy Fit’s products and make some of the best pain-relieving insoles on the market. Thanks to their shape and durability, they will relieve any discomfort caused by PF. In addition, they’re the perfect solution to other feet conditions, such as flatness, overpronation, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, and bunions.
For a budget option, the Easy Fit insoles really seem to have it all. Not only are they suitable for users of all ages, be they male or female, but they are also a good fit for any activity. So, whether you’re walking, running, jogging, or just taking a brief stroll somewhere, these inserts will endure every step of the way.
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Best Overall Option: Protalus M100 Max Series
There are many reasons we picked Protalus M100 Max as the best plantar fasciitis insoles of 2020. Few of the other inserts came close to this pair simply because Protalus knows feet inside and out. After decades of research, hundreds of patents, and thousands of products sold, we can safely say that Protalus is a giant in the industry with the quality to match.
The M100 insoles are the best example of just how impressive Protalus products are. For starters, they were specifically designed to support the subtalar joint. That way, they prevent issues such as overpronation and oversupination. Moreover, they relieve stress on all joints below the waist, from the ankles to the hips.
However, the innovations don’t end there. Each insole contains both soft, cushiony materials and firm, durable ones. In short, your foot will have all the support needs, and it will take a long time for the insoles to wear out. In addition, the materials will wick any moisture perfectly, providing you with unmatched comfort. Protalus claims that the shape of the insoles provides ankle alignment that’s 31% more effective than regular insoles.
Interestingly, the M100 Max insoles have very few flaws to speak of. Perhaps their “worst” disadvantage is that they fit large shoes better than small ones. So, if you’re a basketball player or a runner with bigger feet, these inserts will do wonders for your performance. But don’t worry if your feet are a bit small. The M100 Max insoles will still fit regular-sized footwear perfectly fine.
As you can see, the Protalus M100 Max insoles are our pick for the best plantar fasciitis insoles of this year. They have the best design, the most durable exterior, and will provide the most comfort. However, if you can’t afford them, feel free to give any of the other four options a try. Whether you’re an active runner or a casual walker, all of them will help you handle PF in the best, most natural way.