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Whether you’re someone who enjoys a daily run or walk, or you periodically wait in long lines at the store, your favorite pair of shoes are probably getting a lot more wear than you realize — and your feet are feeling the consequences. That’s where shoe inserts come in. The best insoles can make a world of difference, helping to provide relief to your feet and upgrade just about any pair of shoes’ comfort level in an instant. Here’s how to find the right insoles for your footwear, along with our favorite inserts worth buying today.
Shoe Insoles Buying Guide
When you buy a new pairs of shoes, they’re outfitted with a standard insole. However, not every person’s foot is the same, meaning your feet might not adjust to the shoe in the way they need to for you to be truly comfortable. A shoe insole is designed to help with this common issue, as well as help provide extra support if you have flat feet or you’re wearing flat shoes.
We looked at the following criteria when assembling our guide of the best insoles. Overall, we recommend consulting with a podiatrist to make sure you’re getting the right insoles for you, especially if you’re experiencing foot-related pain.
Category: What are you looking to get from wearing insoles? Many are designed for specific reasons, whether that’s fatigue- or pain-related. Additionally, there are also insoles that are designed for casual, everyday use as opposed to athletic insoles. In most cases, however, you can swap your insoles into different pairs of shoes, whether they’re athletic or casual.
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Material: Insoles can be made from a variety of different materials, with the four most common types being foam, gel, cork and leather. Some insoles might be made from a combination of these materials, and each has its own benefit. For example, foam insoles are considered to be the softest type. Cork insoles often offer more support, while leather insoles are revered for the cushioned feeling they provide. It’s all a matter of preference.
Fit: Different insoles take up a different amount of space inside of your shoe, but most should fit inside your running shoes, dress shoes or hiking boots. We featured a variety of insoles for different purposes, including for running and commuting — all with comfort top of mind.
What Are the Best Shoe Insoles?
The best shoe insoles and inserts from brands like Dr. Scholl’s and Supergreen are made to fit most shoes. Here are a few of our top picks to pair with your go-to shoes.
1. Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel Insoles
These rubber insoles are lined with massaging gel cushions, making them a great all-around option. They easily form to the shape of your feet and equally support all four key areas of your foot (forefoot, mid-sole, arch and heel). They’re softer, bouncier and budget-friendly, promising to double the level comfort in your shoe without breaking your wallet. Additionally, their low volume allows them to fit in a variety of different styles, from casual sneakers to work boots. We recommend these insoles for people who are on their feet for long periods throughout the day.
2. Physix Gear Sport Orthotic Inserts
These lightweight insoles from Physix are made from a medical-grade memory foam, which helps to stabilize the arches of your feet and spread the pressure evenly throughout your foot. In other words, no one part of your foot is taking on more than it can handle. They’re designed for flat feet, those with heel spurs, as well as plantar fasciitis.
3. Superfeet Green Insoles
These insoles from Superfeet are made from a high-density, closed cell foam, which cushions your feet. The design, boasting a wide and deep heel cup, supports repetitive motions (such as running), while a built-in stability cap offers additional structure. They’re extremely durable and can fit in a number of different athletic and work shoes with removable insoles. If you’re someone who has high arches or looking for added support while you train or exercise, these may be the insoles for you. As an added bonus, these insoles feature an all-natural coating to help fight bacteria that leads to stinky feet.
4. ViveSole Silicone Gel Heel Cups
These soft gel inserts from ViveSole may not look like they provide much in the way of support, but are a total game-changer for heel comfort. They massage your heel while contouring to the shape of your foot for extra cushioning and support while commuting or hiking. They’re recommended for anyone with plantar fasciitis, bone spurs, tendonitis and more. And because of their size, they can fit in nearly any shoe.
5. Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer Insoles
These Spenco insoles are built with athletes and runners in mind, thanks to an EVA forefoot cushion that’ll give you a little extra spring in your step. Because of the optimal heel support and springy cushion, these are good for anyone with flat feet. There’s no shortage on size variety either; so however small or large your feet are, you can feel comfortable whether you’re running, walking or training.
6. Vironic Slimfit Orthotic Inserts
These Slimfit Orthotic Inserts from Vironic are the perfect fit for uncomfortable dress shoes. Their curvature provides ample support to your whole foot. Additionally, they’re outfitted with an antibacterial cloth lining at the top to keep your feet from smelling the worst while you’re looking your best.