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Which Style of Insoles Do I Need?

Picking out a pair of insoles can be a good decision to keep your feet happy and ensure that you are able to walk well and maintain your mobility. Too many times we will deal with the pain, masking it with painkillers and rest, but still feeling it most of the day.

A good pair of insoles can take the pain away by providing relief to the foot. As you begin to shop around for the right insoles, you may be surprised that there are so many options available on the market for you to choose from.

Some are good for walking and standing all day, some are good for providing arch support, and some even have additional cushioning inside to make sure your feet are as comfortable as possible. But you may ask yourself, “Which style of insoles do I need?”

Let’s take a closer look at some of the different styles of insoles and how they work to help you make a smart decision for your feet.

Styles of Insoles Available for Your Feet

Which Style of Insoles Do I Need?

There are many different types of insoles that you can choose for your feet. The one that you will go with can often depend on the condition of your foot and where you will need the support and the cushioning when you decide to walk around.

Some of the most common types of insoles and reasons that you would choose each one include

  • Insoles for Arch Supports

One reason that you may choose to go with a pair of orthotics is to get some additional support at the arch. This can reduce the amount of pain you feel and provides some support and relief for conditions like plantar fasciitis and flat foot. It can readjust the foot so that you make sure the pressure and shock will go through the whole foot, and not just the heel.

There are a few options with the type of arch support that you get. A semi-rigid arch support will provide a platform for support that is somewhat flexible.

This can provide support without too much stiffness present. You can also choose a rigid arch support that makes it stiffer and can be important if you need aggressive support of the arches.

  • Cushioned Arch Support Insoles

This one will provide some of the arch support that your feet need while adding some additional cushioning as well. This is a good option if you have heel spurs or problems with the heel and need a bit more support in that area, while also enjoying some arch support for the feet as well.

Depending on your needs, there can be cushioning found in other areas of the foot as well. If you have experienced a lot of pain in your foot that you would like to cushion and prevent while also working on good arch support for the foot, then cushioned arch supports can be a smart decision for you.

  • Flat Cushions or Replacement Insoles

You can also choose to go with flat cushions or replacement insoles to protect your feet. These are going to focus more on the cushion and comfort, rather than the arch support.

They are meant to line the bottom of the shoe and can be better than the older liner that was found in there to start with.

Which Style of Insoles Do I Need?
  • Athletic and Sports Insoles

These insoles are going to be more technical than you would find with some of the other insoles on the list. They have been designed to provide additional support for the individual who needs it during intense activities and sports.

For example, an insole that is designed for a runner will often have a good amount of forefoot and heel padding, along with a foot support system to assist with the heel-to-toe movement. If you are a cyclist, on the other hand, you need a stiff and compact type of insole that will work with footwear that is tighter.

Those who are into winter activities need an insole that is going to keep the heat in and can feel good, even when wearing bulky footwear. Ice skaters and hockey players may find that an insole that fits into the skates will be a good option. You can take a look at the specific activity that you like to do and go from there.

  • Gel Insoles

For the patient who needs an insole that is able to absorb shock well, limiting the impact of walking on the joints of the whole body, a gel insole is going to be one of the best options. This gel can be a bit heavier compared to the other materials used in insoles, but it will help absorb some of the impacts and can keep your feet protected, no matter what you do.

These can be good for those in high-impact activities, though you may want to look at gel padding to make them a little lighter when you are running around. You will love how the gel in these insoles will help increase the energy return you feel, decrease foot fatigue, and absorb the shock you have too.

  • Memory Foam Insoles

Memory foam insoles can be good for many types of feet. They will be able to retain their shape and form around your foot as time goes on.

You can get additional support and comfort as the insole starts to do some of the molding processes as well. If you need a soft layer to cushion your feet while you walk, then the memory foam insoles are the best option for you.

  • High Heel Insoles

While you may be able to use your regular insole in a pair of high heels, if you plan to wear these dress shoes most of the time, then it is probably best to get a unique pair of insoles that go with them specifically. Wearing high heels can be hard on your feet and it is hard to find an insole that will work in footwear of this type.

There are a few brands that make them. Go for a low-profile and slender insole that is designed for high heels in the first place.

Why Do Insoles Make My Shoes Feel Smaller?

One concern that some patients will have when choosing a pair of insoles is that they can make the shoe feel smaller than before. If you have purchased a full-length insole to get it to fit into your shoe and they now feel small, then there is something simple that you can do to fix the issue.

The best solution is to take out the factory insert that comes with the shoe and then place the new insole in. Trying to fit both into your shoe will make it difficult and uncomfortable.

The orthotic will often work the best if you can just place it in, without the cushioning or other features of the factory insole that already comes with the shoe. Basically, the insole that you choose for your foot is meant to help replace the insert that comes with the shoe.

If you try to use both of them in your shoe, this is going to lead to discomfort and make the shoe feel too small. Take the factory to insert out, add in the new insole, and see how amazing your whole foot can feel.

Custom Shoe Insoles

Custom insoles are designed to fit snugly inside your shoes, so it is not uncommon for them to make your shoes feel slightly smaller. This is because they are taking up some of the space that was previously occupied by the factory insoles.

In addition, custom insoles are often made from thicker and more supportive materials than factory insoles. This can also make your shoes feel smaller.

If you find that your custom insoles are making your shoes too small, there are a few things you can do:

  • Try ordering your shoes in a half size up. This will give you more room for your custom insoles.
  • Remove the factory insoles before inserting your custom insoles. This will also give you more room for your custom insoles.
  • Break in your custom insoles gradually. Start by wearing them for a few hours a day and gradually increase the amount of time you wear them each day.

Do I Need Different Styles of Insoles for Different Shoes?

You may also need to consider the type of shoes that you would like to wear with your insoles to see if they are going to fit in the shoe well and give you the comfort and fit that you need. While you can look at the best insole for your needs, be aware that there are insoles that work better with different pairs of shoes.

If you only wear different shoes on occasion but have one pair that you wear the majority of the time, then it is fine to just pick out the insole that works for that. However, if you frequently change out your shoes and wear different ones all the time, then it is a much better idea to pick out an insole that will work for each one to keep your feet protected.

Which Style of Insoles Do I Need?

The foot condition that you suffer from, the amount of cushion and support that you need, and the shoes that you choose to wear will all factor into what type of insole you will need to pick for the comfort of your feet. You can take our free online quiz now to find out which custom orthotic top covers will be best for your feet. Shopping around or talking to your podiatrist will also help you decide which shoe type is the best for your needs. 

When you are ready to give your feet the very best, then feel free to chat with us now or email your questions. We are happy to answer your questions and help you find the best foot pain relief options for your feet.