Have you ever felt intense pain in your foot that has prevented you from moving? Whether it's from your heels, uncomfortable shoes, or a sports injury, foot pain is very challenging to set aside. Fortunately, we have shoe inserts that provide cushioning and support for your feet!
Take Tread Labs' Pace Plantar Fasciitis Pain Relief Soles, for example. They're designed specifically to address common and very painful foot conditions. We've picked out nine other shoe inserts and insoles to help with your foot troubles in our top 10 list. There is also a buying guide included to help you find the best inserts for your shoes!
The list below contains bestselling shoe inserts and insoles from Amazon and Walmart. You can find an insert for each arch type, foot area, foot condition, and material to best suit your needs.
|Material||Gel and cloth|
|Highlights||Non-slip, one size fits most|
|Arch type||Neutral, low, high|
|Highlights||Deep heel cup, anti-microbial|
|Arch type||Neutral, medium, high, extra high|
|Highlights||Four arch heights, replaceable top layer|
|Material||Gel and foam|
|Arch type||Neutral, low|
|Highlights||Trimmable, massaging design, latex-free|
|Insert/insole form||2/3 or 3/4|
|Material||EVA polymer foam|
|Arch type||High, very high|
|Highlights||Deep heel cup, anti-skid, anti-microbial, sweat-wicking|
|Insert/insole form||Heel lift|
|Material||Get and cloth|
|Highlights||Height increase, shock absorption, depressurizing|
|Material||Foam and nylon|
|Insert/insole form||Heel cups|
|Arch type||Neutral, high|
|Highlights||Traction layer for better grip|
|Insert/insole form||Heel lifts|
|Highlights||Layered and adjustable|
|Material||EVA polymer foam|
|Arch type||Neutral, high|
|Highlights||Trimmable, moisture-wicking, anti-microbial|
Full Length Orthotic Shoe Insoles
Pace Plantar Fasciitis Pain Relief Insoles
Massaging Gel Advanced Insoles
Orthotic Inserts 3/4 Length
Height Increase Insoles
Polysorb Cross Trainer Athletic Cushioning Arch Support Shoe Insoles
Sport Traction Shock Absorbing Lightweight Gel Heel Cups
Adjustable Orthopedic Heel Lift
Patented Stress Relief Replacement Shoe Inserts
Instant Metatarsal Relief Shoe Inserts
A Low-Profile, High-Support Insole
Podiatrist-Recommended Pain Relief Insoles
Insoles With Added Massage Feature
2/3 Shoe Inserts for Pain Relief
A Shock-Absorbing Heel Support
Athletic Insoles With a Crash Pad
Heel Cups for Kids With Sensitive Soles
An Adjustable Heel Lift
A Multi-Layer Insole For Increased Support
|Insert/insole form||Metatarsal||Full-length||Full-length||Full-length||2/3 or 3/4||Heel lift||Full-length||Heel cups||Heel lifts||Full-length|
|Material||Gel and cloth||EVA foam||Foam||Gel and foam||EVA polymer foam||Get and cloth||Foam and nylon||Gel||Rubber||EVA polymer foam|
|Arch type||Non-slip, one size fits most||Neutral, low, high||Neutral, medium, high, extra high||Neutral, low||High, very high||-||Neutral||Neutral, high||Layered and adjustable||Neutral, high|
|Highlights||-||Deep heel cup, anti-microbial||Four arch heights, replaceable top layer||Trimmable, massaging design, latex-free||Deep heel cup, anti-skid, anti-microbial, sweat-wicking||Height increase, shock absorption, depressurizing||Anti-microbial, odor-control||Traction layer for better grip||-||Trimmable, moisture-wicking, anti-microbial|
To help you find the best one for you, here is a buying guide that explains shoe inserts in detail. We explain how to choose a shoe insert according to your needs.
First, we must differentiate among the different kinds of inserts and insoles and get acquainted with their purpose. You can consider "over-the-counter shoe inserts", which are readily available without a prescription.
Partial shoe inserts target a specific area of the foot that typically needs support or pain relief. You can consider heel cups to address heel pain through cushioning and shock absorption. You can also find heel lifts that help relieve calf and ankle pain by raising the heel to remove strain on this area.
Metatarsal pads, on the other hand, are placed on the front of the shoe. These are recommended for people who walk in heels a lot and put pressure on the ball of the foot or those with conditions like Morton’s neuroma, a painful condition affecting the ball of the foot.
Another type is a two-thirds shoe insert that runs from the heel to just before the balls of the feet. These are designed for those who don’t feel pain or don’t require extra support for strenuous activities like a marathon but are simply looking for added comfort throughout the day.
The shape and size of two-thirds - also known as three-quarters - shoe inserts are perfect for flat, casual, or dress footwear. A two-thirds insert is also often used on shoes that do not have removable inserts. They’re thin and can be placed inside your shoes.
Full-length insoles are purchased according to the size of your shoe and added for extra comfort, arch support, and cushioning.
You'll often need to remove the existing insole from the shoe before placing the new one, so this is something to keep in mind, especially if you like your existing soles for their comfort. A workaround is adding the inserts on top, but you will be limited to very thin or flat full-sized insoles as a bulky one can jeopardize the shoe's overall fit.
Those with flat feet are often prescribed full-length insoles with arch to push for the foot's natural form or biomechanics. Arches are essential for moving efficiently, minimizing shock, and improving balance.
Rigid flat feet that are flat when standing or sitting are often paired with low arch insoles. Meanwhile, flexible flat feet, or arches that appear when sitting, require medium arch insoles.
Custom orthotics, or orthopedic insoles, are prescribed by a doctor and constructed specifically for your foot, to give support or address an existing issue. Whether the issue is a diabetic foot ulcer or a foot injury, custom-made inserts can tackle individual problems. They can be 3D-printed, made from scratch, or pre-made.
We recommend going for custom orthotics if you are struggling with existing foot pain or issue. This way, you get the assurance that you are addressing the problem directly and minimizing the chances of using the wrong insert.
There are also orthopedic, orthotic, or podiatrist-recommended inserts available online that address specific foot conditions. While these may be a better option than universal ones, it is best to read through the reviews for confirmation whether the product provided the right support or not.
Much like any product, inserts have features that make them more worthwhile. For example, you can get ones with antimicrobial features to keep the buildup of foot odor to a low. There are extra ingredients or materials used on the insert to limit mold, mildew, yeasts, or algae, which contribute to odor.
Another feature to consider is the option to trim the soles to fit your shoe size correctly. The sizing of inserts can be a hit or miss, especially non-custom ones. They can be too broad or crawl up the sides of the insoles.
The most common materials used for inserts are foam, gel, cork, and leather. Foam has a reputation for being the best for cushioning, support, and pressure relief. Meanwhile, gel is great at shock absorption because it retains its form despite the pressure.
Cork is for optimal support with a bit of cushioning and leather is best for a comfortable feel of the insert as well as adequate cushioning.
There are also other types of inserts that serve a specific or seasonal purpose. For example, warm or wool insoles are great for their insulation properties. This means your feet stay cool during summer and warm during winter. A wool insole is perfect for those who spend a lot of time outdoors or stay at low temperatures beyond typical comfort levels.
You can also find inserts or insoles with heat-moldable properties or memory cushioning to better conform to the curves of your foot. A heat-moldable insole will take form according to your foot shape and stay that way.
Meanwhile, memory foam reverts to its original state. Memory foam is excellent for heavy-duty cushioning because you can rely on the comfort and support for extended periods of time.
Inserts for athletes or sports are another example of a more specialized type. These have a more technical design and cater to a specific sport or activity by using the best material to achieve optimal performance. For example, cyclists require rigid and compact inserts in their footwear, while runners need something more flexible.
Not quite satisfied or relieved from pain? Pamper your feet with these foot-related essentials.
Feet are not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Metatarsal inserts, heel lifts, or full-length insoles - every person has a unique need. Luckily, there are ways to achieve supportive footwear that can keep up with your specific demands. We hope we helped you find some relief!
Author: Hana Otsuka
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