Do you run, ski, cycle or hike? Do blisters, aches, hot spots and discomforts take a toll on your feet? If that is the case, then you might want to consider the additional support and comfort that aftermarket insoles offer.
Stock insoles in shoes and boots are basically costly fillers, but aftermarket shoe inserts of insoles can better tailor not only your footwear’s fit but also comfort and support. Take a look at the orthotic shop at the range of insoles available.
In this read, we are going to look at the various types of insoles and how you can choose the best ones for your feet.
The Types of Insoles
The kind of insoles you’ll come across are usually known as sport or support insoles. They are made of sturdier materials for stability and structural support. Comfort is derived from better stability instead of direct cushioning. This differs from the cushy, soft insoles that most individuals are used to. Supportive or sport insoles are ideal for these conditions:
Plantar fasciitis– most medical practitioners often recommend using supportive insoles as part of a treatment process for this condition, which develops as a result of tears in the plantar fascia (a connective tissue that joins the forefoot with the heel).
Structural misalignment, which manifests not just as foot pain, but also as discomfort in the knees, ankles, hip, neck, head and even the back.
Over-pronation or Supination– supportive insoles ideally moderate the tendency for your feet to either roll out (supinate) or excessively roll in (overpronate) when walking or running.
Even though support insoles are not tailored to an individual’s feet, they come in varying shapes or types.
Support insoles come in an array of volumes, which basically means that they take varying space amounts inside your shoes. For most support insoles, there’s a correlation between the arch shape it is designed to fit and the volume.
Low volume insoles are required for low-volume footwear like ski skate boots, in-line skate boots or cycling shoes. If you have a very low arch, then a low-volume insole will work best for your needs.
Medium-volume insoles are ideal for average-volume shoes such as casual footwear and some athletic shoes. They are ideal for an array of arch profiles.
High Volume insoles, on the other hand, fit high-volume footwear like ski boots, running shoes or hiking boots. They usually work best with high arches profiles.
It is also important to keep in mind that the thickness of your socks will have a huge impact on the footwear fit.
Some Common Footwear Fit Issues
If you experience any of the following fit issues, support insoles can help. Insoles vary in arch and heel dimensions and it’s usually best to consult a footwear specialist in order to decide with one works best.
For people with substantial foot elongation when measured standing as opposed to sitting, then a support insole can be the answer. This minimizes foot elongation when weight bearing and this creates a better fit and reduces the need to size up when purchasing shoes.
Footwear that fits properly with fore and midfoot, but allows lift or heel slippage can be improved with a supportive high to mid-volume insole. This minimizes the excess volume in the shoe’s rear and stabilizes the heel of the foot, thus reducing the heel slip that can result in blisters and hot spots.
Individuals with low or collapsed arches usually ask for ‘arch support’ insoles. However, what is really required is ‘foot support’ which helps stimulate the arch muscles to be active and engaged. A support insole stabilizes your heel and distributes the pressure across the foot’s base, rather than concentrating it into the arch region. Direct arch support tends to be uncomfortable for many as it hampers the normal foot flex.
Tips For Shoe Insert
Once you have narrowed down the options for a few types, the next thing is to try them out. A footwear specialist should be able to guide you at this stage.
The first thing is to stand on the insole outside the footwear. Lift up the other foot until you reach a balance with the one that’s stepping on the insole. How stable and how much pressure do you feel? Is the tissue of your heel supported and cupped nicely?
Next, try the insole inside the footwear and do not forget to remove the existing insole first. At this point, you should evaluate the fit, feel and support. Ensure that you feel stable in the shoe and that the supportive insole takes up the proper amount of volume.
Tips For Taking Care of Your Insoles
Aftermarket support insoles usually last for about a year if you use them on a regular basis. If you have a pair, then they can last for several years. Care tips:
Wash The Insoles
If needed, you should wash them with mild detergent by hand and ensure you air dry them before re-inserting.
Air Them Out
If you sweat regularly, it’s advisable to remove them so that the trapped moisture can dry out.