When it is time to pick out an insole that will work well for your feet, you may be surprised that there are many styles that you can choose from. Some will be softer, some are more rigid, and others can be a good combination to provide support and comfort all in one. Which style of insoles will be the right one for you to choose?
Many patients want to make sure that they are picking out an insole that will work perfectly for them. With so many options available, it is hard to know which one will work for your foot problem.
You may need to work with your doctor to pick out an insole style that is the most effective. Let’s take a look at the different styles to see what works for you.
Need Help Finding the Insole Best For You?
There are many different types of insoles that you can choose based on whether you need to go with more support in the feet or if you would do better with more cushion and comfort as well. This can make it hard to know which option will actually provide you with some of the relief that you need.
Some of the most common types of insole styles that you can choose include
Orthotic Arch Supports Type Insoles
These will be insoles that will have a support plate as part of the design so that the foot can rest comfortably and get some arch support in the process. They are designed to make sure that the form of the foot is natural and healthy all day long, regardless of the types of activities you like to do on a regular basis.
This is done by focusing on two main areas of the foot, the heel, and the arch. The arch support will include an arch that will help keep the foot in place as well as a good heel cradle to keep the foot in place and avoid excessive movement of the foot as well.
The arch supports can guide the foot to make you walk in the proper manner.
You will need to give the orthotic arch support a break-in period to make sure that the feet can adapt to some of the changes as well. Start by doing this one to two hours a day and build up for a few weeks until you are able to wear the orthotic for most of the day.
These orthotics are more about providing a lot of support to the foot and keeping it in place to solve some problems with misalignment. Because of that, you will find that this type of insole is going to be rigid or semi-rigid most of the time.
Cushioned Arch Support Insoles
The second type of arch support that you will be able to choose is a cushioned arch support. These can work similarly to the ones we talked about before, but there will be more cushioning and padding throughout the insole compared to the other ones.
These insoles can provide a bit of support to the foot, but the main focus is on providing cushioning.
Many patients may need a bit of support when they are walking around, but they are more concerned about getting some relief from foot fatigue and they need some cushioned help. This can be used frequently by runners and walkers and those who have to stand all day long and may need some rest for the foot as well.
They can come with arch support to help, but it is not enough if you have supination, overpronation, or arch pain and want to use the orthotic to help out with some of those conditions. If you need to give the foot a break or have tried the other arch support and it is too uncomfortable, then the cushioned arch support can be the best one.
Flat Cushions or Replacement Insoles
These insoles are not going to provide you with any type of arch support, which is why they are considered more of a replacement insole rather than one of the orthotic ones. These are not going to be able to provide you with some foot support but can be a lining at the bottom of the shoe when the old one went out.
There are a lot of forms that they can come in though, such as ones with a cushioned top-coat and others that are flatter and firmer. You can also choose the materials inside, such as cotton, leather, gel, and more to help you choose the one that is going to work the best for your feet.
Athletic and Sports Insoles
These are very technical types of insoles that you are able to choose from compared to some of the others. Usually, when you want a sports insole, you will need to go with custom insoles to ensure they match your feet well and are designed for the specific activity that you would like to get done.
They are specially designed to give you the support that you need. You will be able to work with your doctor to create an insole that will fit your needs.
If you are a runner, you can get one with padding in the forefoot and the heel while a cyclist will be able to get one that is compact and stiff so it fits into the shoes they would like to wear. You can get them specially designed to improve performance and decrease the risk of injury.
If you are looking for a style of insole that is going to provide comfort while absorbing some of the shocks that you take on, then the gel insoles will be the best. These are heavier than others and may slow down your performance when you are playing high-impact sports.
Gel insoles can increase the energy return and decrease the amount of foot fatigue that you have. These are going to be a good idea for those who need to have help from foot fatigue and would like some relief while standing or having to move around.
Some athletes will choose them, but there are often better solutions to go with.
Heat Moldable Insoles
This is a unique option because it can speed up the process that you see with regular insoles. By heating the insoles for a small amount of time in the oven and then standing in them while they cool down, you can mold the insoles to the unique shape of the foot instantly.
This is a quick way to get a customized pair of insoles, but not the most effective.
Memory Foamed Insoles
You can also choose to go with a pair of memory foam insoles. These are great because they will mold you the most.
For those who need to fight against foot fatigue, this is the insole to go with.
How Do I Choose the Type of Insole Best for Me?
With so many different styles of insoles to consider, you may wonder which one is going to be the right one for you. This will often depend on what foot condition you are dealing with and how much support and comfort you need in the feet. You may need to do some research to figure out which insoles will work for you.
For those who have sore feet from standing all day long or walking often, then it is a good idea to go with one of the softer types of insoles. These will provide some cushioning that your foot needs, keeping you safe and providing relief from the pain from walking and standing most of the day.
On the other hand, if you are worried that the pain comes from plantar fasciitis or another type of alignment issue in the foot, it may be better to go with a more supportive and rigid orthotic. This will keep the foot secure and comfortable, ensuring that your foot will not move around and the whole body is able to go back to the proper alignment while removing pain too.
Choosing the Right Insole Style
There are many different styles of insoles that you are able to choose and the one that you should pick for your own feet will depend on the shoes you wear, the foot problem you have, and many other factors. Taking the time to learn about these different styles will ensure that you are able to pick the right one for you.
If you are uncertain what foot condition is causing you pain and discomfort, then it is time to work with a podiatrist to answer your questions and give you the best treatment possible.
Our team is ready to complete an exam, answer your questions, and give you the very best insoles for your feet are often really soft and comfortable, providing some natural cushion when you need our feet, providing you the comfort and support you deserve.
For those who are having difficulty finding a convenient time to visit a podiatrist, URthotics’ free online analysis may be a useful tool to narrow down what type of orthotic might be best for them. Give us a call or leave your information to get started today!