best shoe inserts for arch support

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9 Best Insoles for Shoes: A Comprehensive Guide

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By Michal Sieroslawski

Insoles for shoes are a simple yet effective way to improve comfort, support, and overall foot health. Whether you’re an athlete looking for extra cushioning during high-impact activities or someone who spends long hours on their feet, insoles can make a significant difference in your daily comfort level.

There are many different types of insoles available, each with its unique benefits. Some are designed for specific activities, such as running or hiking, while others are meant for everyday wear. When choosing insoles, it’s essential to consider factors such as arch support, cushioning, and material quality.

Arch support is crucial for preventing foot pain and fatigue, especially for those with flat feet or high arches. Insoles with a contoured arch help distribute weight evenly across the foot, reducing pressure on specific areas. Cushioning is also important, particularly for impact absorption during activities such as running or jumping.

When shopping for insoles, it’s essential to choose a high-quality material that can withstand daily wear and tear. Materials such as memory foam, gel, and cork are popular choices for their durability and comfort.

At Insole Genius, we’ve spent countless hours researching and testing insoles to identify the ones that provide the best support and comfort for all types of feet and activities. In the following sections, we’ll share our top picks and what makes them stand out from the rest.

1. Walk Hero Comfort And Support

walk hero arch support
It helps improve foot and leg alignment
Great option for those with flat feet, bunions, arthritis, and plantar fasciitis
It helps maintain correct foot positioning, protecting your heel during heavy impact and stabilizing the foot
The blue color may not be to everyone’s liking

The Walk Hero Comfort and Support insole stands out as one of the top choices for shoe insoles, especially if you’re seeking more than just basic support. It’s an ideal option for anyone needing relief from foot pain, offering dependable comfort. If a close friend asked me for the absolute best recommendation, I’d point them toward the Walk Hero, suitable for most types of shoes. Its arch support is particularly effective in improving foot and leg alignment and alleviating stress and discomfort associated with flat feet, bunions, arthritis, and plantar fasciitis.

The best-selling Walk Hero Supportive Orthotic Insoles, along with their sibling product, the Carbon Fiber Orthotic Insoles, have garnered over 1,000 positive reviews. Customers frequently purchase multiple pairs to fit each of their shoes. At Insole Genius, these insoles got an impressive average rating of 4.7 out of 5. Their deep heel cup maintains correct foot positioning, protecting the heel during heavy impact and stabilizing the foot. Featuring a sleek ergonomic design and composed of 70% EVA and 30% PUR, these insoles provide enhanced flexibility and breathability. The premium EVA material excels in shock absorption and helps reduce foot fatigue, making these insoles ideal for daily use.

The only drawback we’ve noticed is that these insoles are not as flexible as the arch supports from Good Feet Store, so it might take a few days to get accustomed to them. Also, if you’re seeking specific orthotics for your foot condition, these may not be the best choice. While they offer great moderate support, they might not be sufficient for treatment purposes.

2. Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotics 3/4 Length Inserts

custom fit shoe insoles
Customized for your feet
Provides 5-in-1 clinically proven relief of foot, knee, lower back, heel & plantar fasciitis pain – plus relief of tired, achy feet
Full-length design is best for shoes where the existing insoles are removable
Might not fit all types of shoes

Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotics are shoe insoles for those seeking something extra. These insoles are a decent alternative to custom orthotics and an excellent option if you’re seeking a reliable and customizable solution for relieving foot, knee, lower back, heel, and plantar fasciitis pain. Although part of Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit series, you don’t need to use Dr. Scholl’s kiosk with the FootMapping Scanner for a perfect fit; these insoles are pretty much suitable for everyone. Once I slipped them on, I felt the difference right away—no question about that.

In 2016, a study conducted by Sonia Nicole Young from Western Kentucky University and presented at the Combined Sections Meeting of the APTA revealed that Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit orthotic inserts significantly reduced foot pain and enhanced postural stability.

“Our study focused on people who suffer from foot pain, especially those who stand a lot. What we found is that these insoles significantly reduce foot pain. For example, our participants experienced a drop in pain levels, measured on the Foot Function Index, from 45.5 to 28.5 after just one week of using Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit inserts,” explains Dr. Young.

They passed our InsoleGenius sniff test, too, and Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Insoles received a rating of 4.5 out of 5. This high score is primarily due to their design, which allows them to fit virtually any shoe without the need for trimming. While these aren’t precisely “tailored” to fit your arch type, I find that they offer an excellent choice for those seeking customized relief, comfort, and support for their feet without paying ten times more for other custom-fit inserts.

3. FLOWSOLE Insoles

FLOWSOLE insoles for shoes
Full-length cushion design for better support and cushioning
Unique design that is more conducive to arch collapse and flat feet
Effectively relieves and prevents foot pain
We find it a bit too thick

We tested the FLOWSOLE Insoles and found them to be incredibly supportive and comfortable. However, they are not suitable for all types of shoes. The heel is quite high, which can push your ankle out of the shoe. They’re great for adding height, but not ideal if you wear tight-fitting shoes.

FLOWSOLE is a relatively new and upcoming company, marketing products specifically designed for men and women aged 50 and above who suffer from foot ailments. Although these shoe insoles are available on Amazon, they are competitively priced at under $30 per pair. FLOWSOLE primarily sells its only product, which features a full-length cushion design providing ample support for the entire foot.

We have tested it, and it has earned a 4.3 out of 5 rating. Its unique design is particularly effective for those with arch collapse or flat feet. If you’re seeking extra support and cushioning in your daily life and work, the FLOWSOLE orthotics might be the ideal solution for you. It’s worth noting that the insoles can be cut to fit the insole size according to your own foot shape and shoe shape, but they may not fit all shoe sizes. One thing that we’ve noticed is that they help reduce overstretching in plantar fasciitis and relieve pressure and pain from flat feet. However, they may feel like you have something in your shoes, so be patient in getting used to them.

4. IEKAT Sport Athletic Insoles

insoles for shoes
The shock-absorption gel pod provides pain relief and less fatigue
The 3D dynamic crafts offer high arch support and pressure distribution for people weighing more than 220lbs
The deep-U heel cup offers stronger foot protection
The insoles may not fit all shoe sizes

We recommend the IEKAT Sport Athletic Insoles for running and hiking shoes, as well as boots. However, they might not be the best option for dress shoes. Unlike other insoles we’ve tested, the IEKATs are true to size, and we didn’t even have to trim the ends. They offer nice cushioning, both in the front and back, as the company markets them as ‘3D dynamic,’ featuring three layers for extra support and comfort. Importantly, they don’t cause your foot to pop out of the shoe. The shock absorption is insane; we tested them during high-impact activities like running and jumping.

We’ve been using these insoles for a few weeks now and we’re impressed with their performance. The shock-absorption gel pod provides excellent cushioning and reduces the impact on our feet, making it ideal for a busy, active city lifestyle. The IEKAT Sport Athletic Insoles have earned a 4.4 out of 5 in our rating. The EVA foam mid-layer is flexible and contributes to comfort, but it may not be as durable as some of the other materials we’ve seen being used in insoles.

The arch support is just right, but be aware that the front layer is extra thick, which may elevate the front of your shoe, potentially making it tighter. They are breathable and sweat-resistant, and they do keep our feet dry, but they can develop an odor after weeks of extensive exercise. Fortunately, you can wash them in the washing machine.

5. Dr. Scholl’s Love Your Sneakers Insoles

shoe insoles for women
The built-in heel cup helps with impact and supports to keep your heel in place
The super-soft top cloth keeps feet comfortable, cool, and dry, even without wearing the socks
Designed to fit comfortably in slip-ons, lace-ups, and other casual sneakers
We think these insoles are a little wide and may not fit in all shoes

Dr. Scholl’s Love Your Sneakers Insoles are thin, stylish, and affordable shoe orthotics. Although designed for ladies only, they are a great investment for anyone looking to enhance the comfort of their running shoes, casual sneakers, or boots.

These insoles are easy to use, provide excellent support and cushioning, and are designed to fit most casual footwear. However, they are not ideal for heels, sandals, or flip-flops. If you’re a massage therapist, hairdresser, or retail shop assistant who spends all day on your feet and is looking for a way to prevent discomfort when wearing your sneakers, we highly recommend giving these insoles a try.

We believe that Dr. Scholl’s Love Your Sneakers Insoles are an excellent choice for women seeking an extra comfortable experience while running errands, attending concerts, traveling, or walking on campus. They do come a bit larger, so you’ll need to trim them to fit snugly.

6. Valsole Plantar Fasciitis Insoles

insoles for running
The double-layer PU foam and gel materials provide all-day comfort and cushioning
The TPU arch support pad provides stability and support for the feet
Suitable for all arch types and can be cut to fit the original insole, making it easier to put on and off
The arch support feels way harder in the beginning, but after breaking them in they become far more comfortable

Valsole’s Plantar Fasciitis Insoles offer relief for both men and women dealing with foot pain from extended periods of standing. Valsole specializes in crafting orthotic shoe inserts and insoles designed to provide arch support, comfort, and pain relief. Their product range caters to a variety of foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, flat feet, metatarsalgia, and overpronation, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking to alleviate foot discomfort and enhance comfort during various activities.

We believe these insoles are a great fit for men with a weight of 220 pounds or more. They’re designed to replace your existing shoe insoles and offer essential arch support. Unlike many other thin inserts that tend to wear out quickly under heavy loads, these can endure weights exceeding 220 pounds (100 kilograms) for months.

Valsole orthotics offer all the features you’d expect from a quality shoe insert, including anti-slip technology, a moisture-absorbing surface, and high-density PU material that keeps your feet cool, dry, and odor-free during strenuous activities. They’re perfect for anyone seeking a comfortable and supportive insole for extended periods of standing, walking, hiking, or running.

7. ZAIWOO Carbon Fiber Insoles

best shoe insoles carbon fiber
The carbon fiber material provides ample arch support that won’t collapse, reducing foot and lower back fatigue
The larger lateral area and ability to support weights exceeding 280 lbs make these insoles especially friendly to individuals who are overweight
It helps maintain correct foot positioning, protecting your heel during heavy impact and stabilizing the foot
The insoles may take a few days to break in and feel comfy

ZAIWOO, pronounced “ZiWo,” is a company specializing in arch support solutions, including Gel Arch Support Shoe Insoles and Reusable Adhesive Arch Pads for conditions like plantar fasciitis and flat feet. While they may not be as widely recognized as Curex or Superfeet, ZAIWOO offers a unique product – the ZAIWOO Carbon Fiber Insoles.

ZAIWOO insoles are a game-changer for those who spend extended periods on their feet. The carbon fiber material provides exceptional arch support, and the Poron material in the forefoot ensures comfort and stability. While the packaging claims that they are suitable for people weighing 280 pounds or more, I must confess that we haven’t tested it yet. (ZAIWOO, can we trust you?)

We highly recommend the ZAIWOO Carbon Fiber Insoles for all-day comfort and support. Just keep in mind that they offer slightly higher arch support. And, like most insoles, they might require a few days of use to break in and become comfortable.

8. FeelLife Shoe Insoles

FeelLife Plantar Fasciitis insoles for shoes
The arch support feature can balance the force structure of your foot
The TPU & GEL SHOCK & STRONG absorption inserts with PU layer help stabilize and support the rear foot
The insoles are soft and adjustable in size
It may be quite hard and require daily wear for a few days to break in

The FeelLife Insoles for shoes, which bear a striking resemblance to EasyFeet, are an excellent choice for anyone seeking high-quality insoles to alleviate heel or metatarsal pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis. In our testing, they received a rating of 4.2 out of 5 for their lightweight design, PU layer, and shock-absorbing properties. With a 100% replacement and refund guarantee for quality issues within a 12-month warranty, you can confidently purchase these insoles.

In terms of price, they fall in the range of $15 to $25, which is cheaper than most other popular brands, including SPENCO or Super Feet, but still slightly more expensive than Dr. Scholl’s. The insoles feature the widest and deepest heel cradle design, providing high-quality support and protecting your heel during heavy impacts while running or walking.

9. PIHESA Shoe Insoles

See on Amazon
best shoe insoles for sport
The high arch support and U shape heel cup provide excellent stabilization and cushioning for flat feet
The gel pad under the heel absorbs shock and reduces stress on the foot
The breathable venting holes and mesh fabric allow for better air circulation
The insoles may not fit all shoe sizes perfectly and may require trimming to fit properly

The PIHESA Shoe Insoles, priced at under $10 per pair, are a budget-friendly option and a decent choice for anyone seeking to enhance the comfort and support of their shoes, especially for individuals with flat feet or those engaging in sports or other high-impact activities. These insoles are made of high-quality PU material that is safe and environmentally friendly. They can be easily trimmed to fit any shoe size and come with a 12-month warranty for quality issues. They are a bit thin and slightly more flexible, almost feeling too flexible, but for the price, it’s an okay value.

If you’re on a budget, we highly recommend the PIHESA Shoe Insoles for added comfort and support to your shoes. If you can spend more, consider our top picks, which are ranked #1 and #3 on this list.

How To Choose The Best Insoles For Shoes?

Wearing the right insoles can provide support and comfort to the feet, reduce the risk of foot injuries, and improve overall foot health. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best insoles for shoes.

  • Material: Insoles are made of different materials such as foam, gel, cork, and leather. Each material has its benefits and drawbacks. Foam is lightweight and provides cushioning, while the gel is more durable and offers better shock absorption. Cork is natural and molds to the shape of the foot, while leather is breathable and provides good arch support.
  • Size: Insoles come in different sizes, so it’s important to choose the right size to ensure a proper fit. Insoles that are too small can cause discomfort and may not provide adequate support, while insoles that are too big can slip around inside the shoe and cause blisters.
  • Arch Support: Insoles can provide different levels of arch support, from low to high. It’s important to choose the right level of arch support based on the shape of your foot and your specific needs. Insoles with low arch support are best for people with flat feet, while those with high arch support are best for people with high arches.
  • Cushioning: Insoles can provide different levels of cushioning, from soft to firm. Soft insoles provide more cushioning and are best for people who stand or walk for long periods, while firm insoles provide more support and are best for people who need extra stability.
  • Purpose: Insoles are designed for different purposes, such as providing extra cushioning, arch support, or shock absorption. It’s important to choose the right type of insole based on your specific needs. For example, if you have plantar fasciitis, you may need an insole with extra arch support to reduce pain and inflammation.

What are the best shoe insoles for flat feet?

The best insoles for flat feet are those with strong arch support and deep heel cups. Look for insoles made from firm materials, like rigid or semi-rigid plastic, which offer better control and stability. If you have sensitive feet, look for insoles with extra cushioning. For those prone to foot sweat, moisture-wicking materials are essential. Adapt the features based on your specific needs and activities.

Insoles for flat feet should generally be replaced every 6-12 months. However, for athletes or those with high foot traffic, replacing them every 3-6 months is advisable for optimal support. Replace your insoles not just based on time, but also on wear and tear. If you notice a decline in support or comfort, it’s time for a new pair, regardless of the time frame.

What are the best shoe insoles for plantar fasciitis?

The best insoles for plantar fasciitis typically feature strong arch support and materials like gel or memory foam because they provide both support and cushioning. Insoles aid in managing pain associated with plantar fasciitis by providing proper arch support, reducing stress on the plantar fascia, and offering cushioning to absorb impact and alleviate pressure on the heel.

When choosing insoles for plantar fasciitis, consider your lifestyle. For athletes or those on their feet often, durability and firm support are crucial. For everyday wear, focus on comfort and cushioning.

What are the best shoe insoles to make you taller?

The best insoles to make you taller are height-increasing insoles or lifts. These are made of layers of foam or gel and can be slipped into most shoes. Look for insoles that offer a comfortable fit and stability. Certain insoles can improve posture while adding height. Choose insoles that provide good arch support and a comfortable fit to ensure they don’t just add height but also help in maintaining a good posture.

If using elevation insoles regularly, it’s important to prioritize foot health. Choose insoles that offer some cushioning and take breaks from wearing them to prevent potential foot discomfort or alignment issues. While insoles can provide a significant height boost, understand the limits for practical and health reasons. Overextending the height increase can lead to discomfort and stability issues, affecting daily activities.

What are the best shoe inserts for heels?

The best shoe insoles for heels are those designed for narrower shoes and provide arch support and cushioning at the ball of the foot. Gel inserts are popular for high heels as they offer comfort without taking up too much space.

To choose the right arch support for high-heeled shoes, consider the height of the heel and the shape of your foot. Inserts with a lower profile are better for higher heels and ensure the arch support matches the natural curve of your foot.

When choosing inserts for different heel types, consider the heel height and shoe design. For higher heels, opt for inserts with more cushioning at the ball of the foot. For lower or chunkier heels, look for inserts that offer overall comfort and support. Inserts in high heels can significantly enhance comfort by reducing the strain on the ball of the foot and providing arch support. This can make wearing high heels more bearable for longer periods, reducing the likelihood of foot pain and discomfort.

What are the best shoe inserts for comfort?

The best shoe inserts for comfort are those made from memory foam or gel. Memory foam molds to the foot for personalized support, while gel provides excellent shock absorption and pressure relief. They offer superior cushioning and adapt to the shape of your foot, providing personalized comfort and support.

For standing long hours, the most comfortable insoles are those with ample cushioning and arch support. For prolonged standing, insoles with an ergonomic design that includes a well-defined arch and a deep heel cup offer added comfort and reduce fatigue.

What are the best types of insoles?

When it comes to choosing the best types of insoles for shoes, there are several types to consider. Each type of insole has its unique benefits, so it’s important to choose the one that best meets your needs. Here are three of the best types of insoles:

Orthotic Insoles

Orthotic insoles are designed to provide support and stability to the foot. They can help alleviate pain and discomfort caused by conditions such as plantar fasciitis, flat feet, and overpronation. Orthotic insoles are available in a variety of materials, including foam, cork, and leather. They can be custom-made to fit the unique shape of your foot, or you can purchase pre-made orthotic insoles that are designed to fit a range of shoe sizes.

Gel Insoles

Gel insoles are made from soft, flexible materials that help absorb shock and provide cushioning to the foot. They can help reduce pressure on the feet and joints, making them a good choice for people who spend a lot of time on their feet. Gel insoles can also help improve the fit of shoes that are too loose or too tight. They are available in a range of thicknesses and can be trimmed to fit any shoe size.

Custom Orthotics

Custom orthotics are designed to fit the unique shape of your foot and provide personalized support and cushioning. They are typically made from a mold of your foot, which is used to create a custom insole that fits perfectly inside your shoe. Custom orthotics can be used to treat a variety of foot conditions, including plantar fasciitis, flat feet, and overpronation. They can be more expensive than other types of insoles, but they offer a high level of comfort and support.

Arch Support Insoles

Arch support insoles are designed to provide extra support for the arch of your foot. They can be a good option for people with flat feet or other foot conditions that require extra support.

Heel Insoles

Heel insoles are designed to provide extra cushioning and support for the heel of your foot. They can be a good option for people with heel pain or discomfort.

What are the best shoe insole options for various foot conditions?

Depending on your specific foot condition, there may be different types of insoles that are best for you. Orthotic insoles, specifically designed to address individual foot conditions, are generally the best choice for more severe or specific foot problems.

What are the best Insoles For Foot Pain?

The best insoles for foot pain are those with arch support, cushioning, and stability features. Memory foam insoles provide a balance of comfort and support, ideal for relieving arch discomfort. They adapt to the shape of your feet, offering targeted support to high arches and reducing stress on the plantar fascia.

What are the best Insoles For Heel Pain?

The best insoles for heel pain typically have firm arch support and cushioning, especially in the heel area. For chronic heel pain, custom orthotics, designed to fit your specific foot shape and condition, can be highly effective.

When choosing insoles to combat heel aches, look for features like gel or foam cushioning for shock absorption, a contoured design to distribute pressure evenly, and materials that provide good arch support to reduce strain on the heel.

Regarding top-rated orthotic inserts for managing heel spurs, products from reputable brands like Superfeet, Powerstep, and Dr. Scholl’s are often recommended. They offer a balance of support, cushioning, and durability, tailored for heel spur relief.

What are the best Insoles For Overpronation?

The best insoles for overpronation usually feature strong arch support, a structured heel cup, and rigid material to control excessive inward foot rolling. These elements help in stabilizing the foot and distributing weight evenly.

For runners, insoles assist with overpronation during running by providing necessary arch support, reducing stress on the foot’s inner side, and helping align the foot to a more neutral position. This improves running form and reduces the risk of injury.

Custom-made insoles for overpronation are a real ‘feet’ of engineering. They’re like tailored suits for your feet, designed to fit your unique foot structure, gait, and the specific degree of overpronation. This personalized approach means they offer precise support and alignment, something that one-size-fits-all, over-the-counter insoles might miss. So, while your shoes might be off-the-shelf, your insoles can be top-shelf, providing a more effective correction and the kind of comfort that keeps your toes wiggling happily.

What are the best Insoles For Bunions?

Insoles for overpronation are specially designed to correct the inward rolling of the foot, unlike regular inserts that mainly provide cushioning and basic support. These specialized insoles have specific features like structured arch support and a deeper heel cup to realign the foot and ankle, reducing strain on your knees, hips, and back. Regular inserts don’t typically address these biomechanical issues.

What are the best Insoles For High Arches?

The best insoles for high arches are those that offer firm arch support, deep heel cups, and cushioning. Brands like Superfeet, Powerstep, and Dr. Scholl’s are popular choices. Now, insoles for high arches differ from regular ones primarily in their arch design – they have a more pronounced arch to comfortably support the higher curve of your foot. It’s like comparing a mountain to a hill; the high arch insoles have a more significant ‘mountain’ to fill the gap under your arches.

Key features to look for in these insoles include high and well-structured arch support, stable heel cups, and sufficient cushioning to absorb shock. Imagine your foot as a fancy car – you want the best shock absorbers to make the ride smooth. As for replacement frequency, insoles for high arches should generally be replaced every 6 to 12 months, depending on usage and wear.

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