If you’re not in bed, you are in your shoes so it makes sense to make both are comfortable. But for all kinds of reasons, shoes can make your feet sore and leave you feeling like you are dragging concrete bricks round on your feet instead of a decent pair of shoes. Tough if you’re on your feet all day working in uncomfortable work boots. There’s a dizzying array of insoles you can put in but which one is what and will best is whole other thing. Read on if you want to have comfortable feet. It could be a lot easier than you think to drop the bricks and walk with a spring in your step.
More About Types Of Shoe Insoles
Shoe insoles or orthotics are inserted in shoes for added foot comfort and support. There are various types of shoe soles available on the market and can be sorted into two broad categories, widely used over the counter insoles and custom made shoe soles known as orthopedic insoles.
Partial Shoe Insoles
Partial shoe insoles are the most popular over the counter orthotics and are available for supporting a different area of your foot.
Heel cups are types of comfort insoles – they are inserted to support heels from sudden impact shock and are also used to soothe heel pain. They are usually gel but are also available in plastic material. Heel cups are not a treatment for pain instead they help relieve pain and support the heel.
These shoe insoles are designed to raise the height of the heel. Used in one shoe only it corrects leg length discrepancies although when used in both they relieve pressure on sore calf muscles or a strained Achilles tendon.
Metatarsal pads are placed behind the ball of the foot and are used by people suffering from Morton’s neuroma and also women who wear very high heels. They made of gel and meant to support the ball of the foot.
2/3 Length Shoe Inserts
Two third length shoe insoles are used to support the foot arch in flat shoes. They are available in different types and you can choose the one that suits according to your shoe and foot design.
Along with partial shoe insoles, there are different types of full-length insoles available over the counter:
Heat-Moldable Insoles – Heat moldable insoles can be customized in your own kitchen. They are designed to be heated in the oven and shaped to match your own foot contours. They provide strong support for your foot but are not an alternative of orthopedic insoles.
Cushioned Insoles – Cushioned insoles are designed to increase the comfort of your shoes and are good for relieving foot pain although they don’t provide any arch support. They are made of gel and foam and are not available in customized sizes.
Arch-Supporting Insoles – Arch supporting insoles are just about the best thing you can do for your foot. They support the arch from deformation due to excessive walking and maintain its contours. You may also use them in your running shoes or CrossFit shoes for added support.
Key Aspects Of Shoe Insoles
Here are some key features to keep in mind when buying a new shoe insole.
Size Of The Shoe Insole
Partial and full-length insoles come in various sizes. Usually, there are fewer sizes available in full-length insoles as they are a one fit for all designed to be trimmed from the edges to fit the size of the shoe. 2 or 3 sizes of full-length insoles are available in the market and one size accommodates a range of shoe sizes like 9-11 or 8-12.
Contrary to full-length insoles 2/3 length insoles come in various sizes and cannot be trimmed to fit the shoe size. You either have to choose the one available nearest to your size over the counter or opt for customized ones.
The Placement Of The Insole
Where you place the shoe insole is a vital element. To correctly place full-length insoles in your shoes you have to completely remove the existing one. They can only be paired with very thin flat insoles and cannot go well with any other kind of the insole. However, if you want to retain the original shoe insole you can opt for 2/3 length partial shoe insoles since they are designed to be used along with existing insoles. They are either placed above or below the original shoe insole depending upon its purpose and design of the shoes.
There are three different types of the foot arch and there are specific insoles designed for them. Wearing shoes with inappropriate arch insoles can deform the foot and be very painful. Three main arch supports range from flat feet or low arches to high arches including medium or neutral. There are numerous YouTube tutorials and online guides for finding out your correct arch type.
Type Of Footbed
Along with different arch types, there are various types of footbed available for all kinds of feet. Typically there are four variations of footbed available on the market. They include rigid orthotic arch support, semi-rigid orthotic support, and cushioned arch support along with no arch or flat cushion footbed.
Choose the insole with a footbed that is comfortable for you and goes well with your foot type bearing in mind your purpose for buying the insole, whether it is for increasing foot comfort, relieving pain or modifying the shape of your foot.
The Material Of Insole
The material is another key aspect to be taken note of when buying shoe insoles. Insoles are usually made up of gel, foam, cork, and leather. The choice of material depends on your purpose of buying the insole and your budget. Gels are especially effective for shock absorption whilst foam gives cushioning for comfort and is a pain reliever.
Get gels, cork, leather or foam and add some sole comfort to your running or walking shoes for healthy feet. drop the flat arches and get some support to relieve your poor tired achy feet. Choose your heel cup and pads and insole with more care and you’ll soon feel as if bouncing along and walking on air.