A shoe insole is material that can be added to the inside of the shoe for a variety of reasons; ultimately to gain more foot comfort. This material is placed inside the shoe and is removable in most cases.
It functions by filling out the empty spaces between the shoe and the foot for a better fit. Many people use shoe insoles for added comfort, warmth, improved posture, and decreased aches and pains after standing for long hours. Shoe insoles have also been proven to improve the fit of shoes, increase arch support, correct gait, and prevent sport injury as well as other foot disorders.
Shoe insoles can be purchased without a prescription from a wide variety of retailers, in-person or online. The material of a shoe insole can vary and include gel, plastic, foam, memory foam, or leather. Patients with certain disorders of the feet or skeletal system can benefit from custom-made prescribed shoe insoles after they undergo an evaluation with a podiatrist or orthopedist.
Shoe insoles, especially the custom-made orthotics, have been shown to be able to correct the biomechanics of foot issues, including the correction of gait, which can affect the patient’s musculoskeletal system, leading to back, hip, and knee problems, causing a lot of pain and discomfort.
What are the Benefits of Shoe Insoles?
A shoe insole offers great benefits by better supporting the foot and improving contact in the base of the shoe to improve the arch. A shoe insole will help distribute the weight properly, preventing multiple conditions of the musculoskeletal system. These are some of the many benefits of shoe insoles:
- Improve the fit of shoes
- Improve comfort
- Reduce fatigue
- Prevent blisters, calluses, and ingrown toenails
- Improve balance and alignment
- Provide heel cushioning and support
- Maintain performance and prolong endurance
- Prevent shin splints
- Prevent metatarsal fractures or pain
- Reduce shock and stress on the metatarsal bones in the foot
- Support and strengthen the foot arch
- Correct gait
- Offer ankle joint support to prevent falls and prevent ankle sprains
- Prevent bunions
- Relieve neuroma
- Alleviate arthritic pain
- Improve common pain by high heels
- Alleviate knee pain
- Prevent plantar fasciitis
- Prevent and alleviate lower back pain
- Prevent achilles tendonitis
Popular Shoe Insole Brands
There are many brands on the market that sell high-quality insoles, ranging in material, quality, and price. The following are popular brands that offer great options for prescription and non-prescription shoe insole seekers.
- Powerstep: This company offers shoe insoles that are affordable and great at fulfilling a variety of needs that would fit athletic shoes to dress shoes.
- Superfeet: This company offers excellent shoe insoles, perfect for patients with high arches who are looking for comfort and support while they are active, or during prolonged hours of standing. They can be a little bit pricier than the other brands, but they are known to be durable and last a while.
- Walk Hero: Offers great foam-cushioned insoles that protect feet from impact during exercise and daily activities, such as walking. They can last up to two years, and come in several sizes to choose from for the perfect fit.
- Spenco Polysorb: Offers one of the best support for low to medium-arched feet as well as flat feet. They provide excellent shock absorption and are great for high impact activities, such as running. They also have additional features to help prevent blisters and odors.
- New balance: Offers shoe insoles of high quality for people who suffer from foot problems, such as plantar fasciitis. They provide great support and minimize friction to prevent blisters.
Getting Custom Insoles
It is important to research the products prior to purchasing any shoe insole, as there are a vast variety of options on the market with many different characteristics to fit specific needs. Making a choice about a shoe insole should depend on one’s specific needs, including pain assessment, choice of material, need for a custom-made options, and cost.
If someone is looking to add comfort and support, maintain a good balance and gait, and simply prevent injuries or conditions, then over-the-counter insoles can be a great option. However, for those who suffer from foot problems, such as plantar fasciitis, neuroma, metatarsal pain, lower back pain, bunions, and/or significant gait issues, they should consult with a podiatrist for proper guidance regarding the best insole that will fit their needs and provide benefits. It is important to choose the right material that can help with shock absorption, pressure distribution, and energy efficiency. Some insoles are needed to support the ankles and improve foot pressure distribution.