Having the right pair of insoles can make a huge difference in how your feet feel after a long day of work or training.
By replacing your shoes insoles with a good pair of premium insoles you can significantly increase your comfort and lower your chances of injury.
If your feet are constantly hurting or you need additional arch support you should consider investing in a pair of quality insoles, which can definitely help save your feet and joints in the long run.
Here are our top 5 choices for the best insoles for work, exercise and health.
1. Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel Work Insoles
Dr. Scholl’s is well known for its high quality foot products that are designed to improve comfort and reduce injury, and their Dr. School’s Massaging Gel Work Insoles are an excellent choice if you spend long periods of time on your feet while at work.
These rubber insoles conform to the shape of your feet and use soft blue gel cushions for added comfort and great arch support. They can be trimmed to fit various shoe sizes and are ideal for people who have tired, achy feet.
Dr. Scholl’s insoles can be purchased as either one or two pair based on your needs and are designed provide excellent long term support on hard surfaces.
2. Superfeet Green Premium Insoles
Superfeet’s Premium Green Insoles offer premium foot comfort with these man-made synthetic insoles. These insoles are designed with anti-bacteria coating and have a high arch for maximum support.
The insoles fit a wide variety of footwear so they can most likely be used with your favorite sneakers, shoes, clogs or boots. If you suffer from foot, heel or arch pain then you might want to give these extremely popular insoles a shot.
3. Spenco® PolySorb® Cross Trainer Insoles
Spenco’s PolySorb Cross Trainer Insoles are made with antimicrobial material to help prevent blisters and control odor. The Eva forefoot cushion provides excellent energy return and shock absorption for sports that are known to place stress on the wearers feet.
These insoles are effective for competitive sports and high impact training, however they can also be worn during other activities that may place stress on the feet and joints. Spenco’s insoles come in a variety of colors and sizes to fit both men and women.
4. Powerstep Pinnacle Orthotics Insole
Powerstep’s Pinnacle Orthotics Insoles offer double-layer medical grade cushioned arch support.
They are made with polypropylene material and feature a unique contoured stabilizing heel cup, while the under-surface is coated with soft foam to provide added long lasting comfort. These polypropylene insoles come in blue and are sold in a wide variety of sizes for both men and women based on your individual needs.
5. New Balance IUSA3810 Supportive Cushioning Insole
New Balance is well known for their athletic shoes, however they also make supportive insoles that provide excellent relief for people dealing with plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma and metatarsalgia.
The New Balance IUSA3810 Supportive Cushioning Insole is designed with urethane/synthetic material and features ETC top fabric with Ultra Arch insoles that help minimize friction and prevent blisters from developing while helping the feet remain dry and cool throughout the day.
New Balance’s insole has separate heel and forefoot cushion with a molded arch support to provide maximum support for your feet from a variety of angles. These insoles can be used by either men or women and come in a soft blue color.
Why buy premium insoles?
Insoles add a layer of cushioning to the soles of your feet
A good pair of insoles can reduce back, joint and foot pain, minimize/eliminate foot slippage, improve arch support, facilitate better foot positioning, close toe gaps in slightly larger shoes, help heel spurs and increase comfort among other things
If you have a medical condition, spend large amounts of time walking around, work on hard surfaces throughout the day or have abnormally flat or arched feet a good pair of premium insoles can make a huge difference in your foot health and overall comfort.
For may individuals as they age the medial longitudinal arch of the foot can begin to collapse causing the foot to splay forward and causing a host of potential medical ailments.
This is where insoles can have a positive affect on the foot by adding support where it’s needed and alleviating stress and pain on the back, joints and points of the foot that support the individuals weight
Potential medical issues developed over time:
- Lower back pain
- Heel pain
- Heel spurs
- Knee pain
- Incorrect foot positioning
A good pair of premium insoles can help fill in the gaps where your feet are most vulnerable or in need of proper support so that you can lead a healthier life that is more productive and pain free.
How to choose the right type of insole for your needs
When it comes to insoles most of the insoles found in shoes are typically think in nature.
Adding a replacement insole can greatly enhance your foot comfort, relieve pain and reduce the amount of stress placed on your joints as you walk.
If you spend large amounts of time walking around or you work on hard surfaces throughout the day investing in a pair of premium insoles can notably improve your experience.
Prior to choosing an insole you’ll want to identify your foot type and any potential medical/foot conditions you may have as this can have a notice impact on how well an aftermarket insole will work for your feet.
If you aren’t sure of your arch type there are some great videos you can check out on YouTube to help you determine which insole is best for you.
Alternatively you can also go to an orthodontist or podiatrist and have them measure your feet, diagnose any potential foot problems you may have and recommend the appropriate insoles for your needs.
When people generally think about replacing their insoles with aftermarket ones they are typically thinking of cushioned insoles which help soften the points between their feet and the sole of the shoe.
This type of insole is usually evenly designed with the cushioning spread throughout the insole, and is primarily made to relieve pressure and provide shock absorption.
Cushioned insoles are also often thicker than other types of insoles as their primary focus is on comfort and shock relief.
These are one of the most common types of insoles found on the market as they can appeal to the average individual that just wants a more comfortable walking experience.
If however you find yourself in need of a more specialized type of insole there are a number of different designs and functions based on your particular needs and/or medical condition.
Here are some of the most common types of insoles sold on the market for specialized purposes.
Arch support insoles
If you’re looking for a cushion that provides all of the benefits of a standard premium cushion but you need a little more support the arch cushion will enhance your comfort by adding additional backing in the arch area of the foot.
Arch support insoles still provide the wearer with flexibility and comfort, however they also provide a nice balance of adding extra support for the arch. These type of insoles are great for anyone who is dealing with mild discomfort around their arches or for those who are getting used to orthotic inserts and need an interim to help them get adjusted.
If you are constantly walking around with poor arch support or feel as though your arch is not in a proper position then take a look at insoles that are designed to offer better arch support.
Orthotic insoles are typically designed to provide arch specific support, however they can also provide support to the metatarsal and heel if necessary. These insoles are designed to be either rigged or semi-rigged in nature to provide support and improve foot alignment so that the wearer has proper motion control as they walk and flex their feet.
Orthotic insoles may be offered in full foot and 3/4 options depending on their use case (athletic or causal) and can also come in think or thick variations with thicker insoles adding greater levels of shock absorption.
Because orthotic insoles are often stiffer than arch supported or gel insoles they may feel uncomfortable or awkward to wear in the beginning so taking some time to adjust and get used to these insoles is a common practice among users.
Once you get used to these insoles through you’ll quickly come to love them and will definitely notice a difference whenever you wear shoes that don’t have orthotic insoles.
As the name suggests gel insoles are made from a gel material and are primarily designed to improve foot comfort through their extremely soft material, which helps reduces foot shock and absorbs impact against hard surfaces.
These insoles are often noted for their softness and can work well for people who have mild foot aches and joint pain as they reduce the hardness and rigidity of walking on cement or concrete floors, however those with early signs of foot problems should see a specialist to identify if they need more appropriate insoles or foot care.
If you are perfectly healthy, but want to add a bit more cushioning and softness to your daily walking experience then gel insoles may be the right choice for you.
Athletic/trainer insoles focus on providing support to the athletes foot by having a built in arch, heel and toe design that facilities proper movement during extreme activities.
These insoles are made for high impact activities such as running, jumping, cycling or sports such as basketball, soccer and football, so they offer a very different form factor and level of support than low impact insoles, which are typically designed for walking or causal shoe wear.
In order to provide the best results athletic insoles may be made out of gel, foam or even rubber material depending on the activity being performed and the level of impact that is expected from that particular activity.
If you are an athletic individual and seeking an insole that will support your activities then think about investing in a pair of athletic/trainer insoles.
Heel support insoles
Heel support insoles are either sold as partial heel cups or as full insoles and are made specifically for individuals who need a little extra support in the heel area.
These insoles can be used to alleviate stress placed on the heels during long days, to prevent slippage in the shoe/boot when an existing heel doesn’t provide proper support, to help fill out a shoe that is a little too large for the individuals foot or even as a way to add an additional layer of comfort for those wearing high heels.
Both the thickness and softness of the heel insole will vary depending on the type of shoe being worn and the support that is needed for the foot.
Since a large amount of pressure is placed on the heel when standing these insoles are ideal for people who tend to support much of their weight on their heels for extended periods of time.
If you wear a boot or regular shoe a heel cup may be enough for you, however if you wear high heels than you may want a full insole to protect your foot and prevent you from obscuring your balance.
As always it is recommended that you see a foot specialist prior to adding an insole as you’ll want to make sure it is appropriate for your foot type.
Arthritic / Diabetic insoles
Simply put diabetic insoles are insoles that are designed to aide individuals who are dealing with a diabetic condition.
Thees insoles help those with either insensitive or hypersensitive foot conditions and provide an additional level of pressure relief to make walking easier and more comfortable.
Some arthritic/diabetic insoles may be designed with a self-molding material to that shapes itself naturally to the feet as the user wears it and uses the individuals own body heat and weight to help with the molding process.
If you’re an individual dealing with such a condition you should talk to your podiatrist or orthodontist to have them recommend an appropriate arthritic/diabetic insole for the best possible experience.
Corrective insoles are designed to correct foot alignment and put the foot in a more neutral, proper position. Corrective insoles are typically made with a mild level of arch and heel support to improve alignment and stop any potential rolling that may be going on as you walk around by cradling the foot in a more natural way.
For those who are dealing with specific medical conditions these insoles may also be designed with several layers including bacterial and microbial layers to prevent odor and fungus from occurring.
The level and positioning of the layers may be custom tailored to properly fit the individuals foot based on their measurements and their doctors prescription.
Custom insoles are generally made by seeing a tailor or foot specialist that can take measurements and moldings of your foot to provide an appropriate custom insole for your particular needs.
These insoles are individually crafted based on the architecture of your foot to ensure the best possible supportive structure is designed and constructed for your foot.
If you have tried numerous insoles sold on the market, but still deal with foot issues or discomfort consider getting a custom made insole.
These insoles may be more expensive due to the custom design and additional work that goes into making them, but they can offer you the best fit and finish on the market.
High impact vs low impact insoles
The difference between high impact and low impact insoles is very simple and clear.
If you perform high impact activities (typically sports related) then you’ll want a insole designed to deal with the rigors of a high impact lifestyle, if however your day insoles low impact activities (walking, cycling etc…) than your best option is an insole that works well for low impact tasks.
In other words high impact insoles are designed for sports and high impact activities such as running, skiing, hiking, football or other high impact movements.
Low impact insoles are designed for casual activities such as walking, light volume work, cycling or other low impact movements.
Trimming your insoles for a better fit
When you first purchase your insoles it’s quite easy to over look fact that they don’t fit your shoe perfectly and just settle with the way they are.
Unless you purchase an insole that is designed to fit your shoe size and shape perfectly you may be creating an imbalance by shoving an incompatible insole into your shoe.
Prior to purchasing your insole check to see if it is designed to be trimmed to fit your shoes.
Some insoles are sold as is with no trimming necessary, but there are plenty of insoles that are designed to be trimmed in order to provide an appropriate fit.
If you do happen to purchase such a pair of insoles be sure to follow the guided instructions available to you in the manual or online though the manufacturers website.
By trimming your insoles (if that’s how they’re designed) you’ll provide yourself with a better fit and save yourself from the discomfort of walking around with an imbalanced, crunched up insole.
Where to buy insoles
Insoles can be found sold at most major shoe stores and at online shoe retailers as well as large distributors such as Amazon.com
There are a number of benefits to shopping at a physical store location or online.
One of the benefits of shopping in stores is the fact that it is easier and faster to return the insoles if they do not work out well for you.
Additionally depending on the store you may have the option of speaking with a representative who can help you pick out an insole that’s right for you.
In regards to shopping online there is a huge benefit of having customer reviews that you can scroll through to identify the pros and cons of each insole
In fact websites such as Amazon.com may have thousands of reviews on a single item, which can provide you with plenty of information and insights into a particular insole so that you can make the best buying decision possible.
Reading reviews and best sellers is also a great way for you to identify any potential issues that may not be mentioned in the products description.
Either way you decide to shop for your insoles it is important to know what you can expect when buying at a physical store versus shopping online.