Anyone with flat feet and plantar fasciitis would know the problems of leading a normal life. Thankfully, you don't have to deal with the nuisance that it is; it is quite possible to consider more affordable and effective treatment options such as quality shoe inserts that are supportive, comfortable, well-built and designed specifically to counter the pain and inflammation typically associated with these conditions.
Also known as pes planus, plantar fasciitis is a common foot ailment. As the feet get longer, it stretches the ligament called plantar fascia, thereby causing strain and damage to the sensitive areas of the leg, such as the heel, arch and even the calf muscles. The most effective and feasible option to deal with this condition is to wear orthotics that conform closely to the arches of your feet and help to reduce the tension you feel on your plantar fascia. Orthotic inserts for plantar fasciitis are firm towards the heel area and enhance the level of support and stability you get whenever you are on the move. Plus, they manage to strike a delicate balance between flexibility and rigidity, giving you plenty of room and freedom to wiggle your toes and stretch them at will. Additionally, they come with a deep and padded heel cup to ensure your heels don't end up feeling strained from carrying your body weight. The following orthotic shoe inserts manage to combine all the desirable features mentioned above and thus qualify as a necessity for people riddled with plantar fasciitis.
Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis
1. Tread Labs Pace Insole
Tread Labs Pace Insoles are part of their Pain Relief series and are the answer for anyone suffering from plantar fasciitis. If you’ve tried extra soft, cushy insoles, you know they don’t relieve your foot pain. In fact, to cure and prevent plantar fasciitis, podiatrists recommend firm support that matches the contours of your arch. Pace insoles come in four arch heights – low, medium, high and extra high – to ensure your arches have the right amount of support needed to heal your pain. Your feet will feel the difference.
What’s more, these insoles come in whole sizes rather than a range, which means you probably won’t have to trim them. They’ll easily slide into your shoes. And Tread Labs’ two-part insole system means you can replace the top cover whenever you need or swap it out for different styles – including thin and short – so that the insole fits into all your footwear. All the top covers feature high-rebound foam and an antimicrobial treatment.
Many customers who have used Tread Labs insoles before buying prescription custom orthotics say they’re glad they tried them. Not only did Tread Labs insoles cure their plantar fasciitis pain, but they saved them hundreds of dollars.
2. Powerstep Pinnacle Orthotic Insoles
Whatever be the bane of your existence, plantar fasciitis, flat feet, or metatarsal issues, the Powerstep Pinnacle has got you covered. Its versatility is one of its best features, and its ergonomic design conforms easily to your individual feet shape, helping you sail through everyday rigors. Comfortable right out of the box, these high-quality insoles include the irresistible combo of arch support and plush comfort, thereby keeping your feet stable in the face of rough terrain and harsh weather. The sole bottom is straight and firm, which means you achieve complete contact with the ground.
This automatically reduces any chances of falling off guard and spraining an ankle in the process. And that's not all; the ample cushioning at the heel further keeps your feet comfortable, no matter how long you travel or how you walk. That is practically the main reason why Powerstep Pinnacle insoles are so popular; the medical-grade support that they offer doesn't depend on the individual's gait cycle, or existing feet ailments. And the best part is that these ready-to-wear orthotics come at half the cost of those hard-to-find, tailor-made versions routinely recommended by podiatrists worldwide.
3. Orthaheel Relief Orthotic Insole - MD
These podiatrist designed shoe inserts are specially made in a cost-effective manner in order to support the leg alignment. These orthotic inserts are extremely lightweight and ensure maximum support to the foot. The insoles are designed in a way to offer natural healing solution for the pain. This orthotic shoe insert will certainly replace your old insoles as this help realign and protect your feet from different types of shocks.
These shoes are of great importance for both men and women who have pain related to poor limb alignment. Its also of great help for all those customers who have flat feet and always remain vulnerable to excess pronation as the biomechanical tri-planar motion features of these shoes help to support the realignment of the feet to their neutral position. These shoes come with the feature of medium-density molded EVA base which makes the shoe light in weight and at the same time provides support and comfort. The podiatrist has designed the shoe with the heel cup in order to ensure and maintains foot positioning. It's really advisable to at least slide in a pair of these orthoheel reliefs and feels the difference by your own.
4. Superfeet Green Heritage Insoles
Whether you indulge in high-impact running or prolonged walking on hard floors, the Superfeet Green shoes inserts don't disappoint. They come with a wide and deep heel cup that accommodates the most sensitive part of your feet, maximizing shock absorption and negating the impact of obstacles below. The ergonomic shape conforms to your feet naturally, giving you a comfortable fit, while the antimicrobial coating keeps off bacteria while making for an odor-free environment.
There is a stabilizer cap that wraps around the rear foot comfortably, providing top-notch stability to the underside of your feet. The density-rich foam layers provide bounce to your step, making you feel like you're stepping on a cloud, while the flexible Superfeet insoles enable the middle part of your feet to adapt to your footwear, thereby giving you a good grip over the terrain and negating the possibility of tripping and falling.
Not just that, the distinct foam covering along the entire length of the feet makes for wholesome support at every step, thereby increasing the level of support you receive on your feet and precluding the chance of aggravating heel pain, arch pain and so on. To keep it short and simple, if you are looking for an irresistible combination of aesthetic appeal and heavy-duty support, look no further than the Superfeet Green Heritage Insole.
Good arch support, prolonged comfort and a secure structure are the few things that your feet need when they are susceptible to overpronation. And the best thing about wearing orthotic insoles is that they negate the need for costlier, custom made shoe inserts or podiatrist-recommended shoes and instead give you the freedom to carry on with your regular footwear. Here we are going to take a good look at some of the finest orthotic insoles available for people with flat feet.
Insoles for Flat Feet
5. Vionic Active Orthotic Insole
The breezy, cool look of the Vionic Active Orthotic may belie its burly construction but this podiatrist designed insole is just what you need to substitute those expensive customized orthotics. It features the unique Tri-Planar Motion technology recommended by specialists worldwide, and helps your flat feet to adjust to the different movements of the gait cycle, thereby preventing excess pronation and eliminating consequent heel pain. Those who feel persistent hip pain and ankle pain while walking will find the Vionic Active extremely comfortable.
It has been especially built for people who walk for long hours at a stretch or spend a greater part of their standing on hard concrete floors. In addition to being fabulous for work shoes, they are great for cross-training and meeting the rigors of the harsh terrain. Their lightweight construction feels airy and doesn't weigh you down, while the maximum support they offer gets you through the day without feeling that familiar stabbing pain in your feet. The only downside is that they might have an annoying squeaking sound initially as stated by some users, but that too fades after a while, and they offer years of satisfactory usage. What's more, they are a great choice for people who are undergoing physical therapy for their foot ailments, and desire for greater productivity in life.
6. Superfeet BLUE Premium Insole
Superfeet BLUE Premium is the answer to every feet riddled with ailments. It comes with long-lasting comfort and arch support that can help you brace work pressure and stringent deadlines with remarkable ease. The presence of closed-cell foam padding ensures a cushiony feel that cradles your feet and dilutes the pain of blisters, or strained ankles. Plus, it fits a wide range of footwear styles, even those that do not include much room, thereby allowing you to wear it on with your favorite shoes as well.
It features an anti-bacterial coating that is not only vegan and latex-free but also capable of absorbing shock uniformly, keeping you on your feet steadily and preventing unforeseen accidents in the process. The construction is flexible yet durable, so you don't have to worry about frayed edges and quick replacements for a good amount of time. Not just that, the high-performance underside is utterly rewarding for those who are looking for a great bang for their buck. And the biomechanical design means that it fits extremely well, irrespective of the size and shape of your flat feet. With all these features and a pretty, aesthetic appeal, the Superfeet BLUE Premium is sure a winner!
7. Aline Active
Your feet deserve the highest level of comfort possible. Whether you’re suffering from debilitating heel pain from plantar fasciitis, misalignment issues from flat feet or any other foot disorders, the ALINE Active is your new best friends. The ALINE Active’s patented ‘Foot Suspension Technology’ combines over 100 moving ribs, engineered suspension zones, a heel cup and shock absorbing gel pad to make every step pain free.
In addition, the ALINE Active Insole promotes healthy foot and lower extremities alignment through biomechanics. This product will turn every day into a breeze and make you want to want to put your shoes on in the morning.
The Active Insole is trusted by thousands of elite and professional athletes both on and off ‘the field’. From PGA Tour wins to Winter Olympic Gold Medals the ALINE Active Insole offers an unprecedented level of comfort and support. Take your comfort to the next level and try this product risk-free for 90 days.
Recent studies indicate that up to 20% of the population experience day-to-day foot problems due to high arches. An abnormally high arch causes improper weight distribution along the feet, imposing stress and pressure on the arch and causing strain in the process. This sad row of events brings pain, tension and rigidity in the arch, thereby compromising with flexibility and increasing the amount of shocks you feel while walking on hard grounds. Ultimately, this can cause pinching pain at the lower back and joints.
Common foot conditions such as calloused soles, bunions, claw feet, hammertoes, flat feet and unstable ankles are all signs of high arches. Providing an additional layer of support to the arch can make a remarkable difference to the severity of pain felt due to this condition. That's where insoles come to the picture. In this section, we will discuss some of the best choices of orthotic inserts for high arches.
Insoles for High Arches
8. Sof Sole Arch High Arch Shoe Insole for Men & Women
The very fact that the Sof Sole FIT insole comes in three different arch heights is enough to vouch for its credibility. And for all those who are not yet convinced, the insoles meant for high arch are fortified with high-rebound foam, which does a commendable job of absorbing shock and easing the rigors on your walking tours. The gel padding at the heel improves the level of comfort and cushioning you receive at your feet, while the deep, rounded shape of the heel cup accommodates them well, diminishing the chance of uneventful blisters and strain.
What's more, the fit is ergonomic and cozy, yet not tight enough to rub uncomfortably against the sensitive areas of your feet. And the pliable body makes it easy to wear it with all kinds of footwear. The combination of a wide toe area and narrower heel cup ensures proper alignment with your particular gait cycle and individual foot biomechanics. And don't think that the attractive design comes in the way of its functioning. To top it all, the entire construction is environment-friendly and devoid of noxious odors commonly associated with similar shoes as these. Speaking of the sole, it is thin and firm but flexible enough to align according to the demands of the terrain, thereby helping you hold your ground when the going gets rough.
9. Superfeet Orange Premium Insole
You don't have to have problematic high arches to appreciate the supportive and resilient Superfeet ORANGE insoles. Lined with an eco-friendly coating and responsive foam, these insoles come with additional padding at all the important pressure points of your feet. The contoured, biomechanical shape massages your foot gently, while the tough, impactful soles stand up to years of abuse while protecting your feet from the same.
The orthotic support is high enough to rival that of the high-end, professional-grade insoles, and the soft, friction-free upper negates the chance of developing painful blisters. Additionally, the rounded heel cup allows your feet to position itself naturally without getting strained in the process of fitting into the insoles, and the complete forefoot support makes it easy to wear those tight work shoes for prolonged hours. You can team them up with athletic shoes as well; the slim body makes it easy to slip in and out. And to top it all, the holistic foam padding enwraps your feet in a comfortable cocoon, keeping it shielded from the ravages of weather and abrasion outside. In short, if your feet have taken a beating from constant walking and rough terrain, then the Superfeet ORANGE insole is your answer.
Wearing The Right Insoles Can Relieve Your Foot Pain
There are many reasons why your feet might hurt. You may have a biomechanical problem such as a serious foot deformity, or your soreness may be caused by something as simple as fatigue or poorly fitted shoes. In many instances, sore feet can be soothed and helped through the use of either custom made or ready-made shoe Insoles.
Biomechanical problems are defined as issues affecting the function and/or the structure of the feet. These problems can affect your gait and can cause problems with your ankle and knee joints, hips and lower back. If you have an unusual biomechanical problem, your podiatrist may recommend custom-made orthotics. These are shoe Insoles especially designed for your feet and your body configuration.
For very severe biomechanical problems custom orthotics may be the only answer. If you have a common problem, such as flat feet or plantar fasciitis, fatigue, stress or other everyday foot woes you may be just fine with high quality shoes and the right off-the-shelf shoe inserts. Indeed, podiatrists often recommend ready-made Insoles for standard foot complaints.
What Do Shoe Insoles and Orthotics Do?
Both custom and over-the-counter (OTC) Insoles can provide extra support and alignment to help the feet function properly. Custom made orthotics are necessary in cases of foot deformity or problems such as unequal leg length.
OTC shoe inserts can often provide proper support and alignment for a wide variety of common biomechanical problems, such as:
Proper fitting with the right shoe Insoles can help relieve pain in the feet and may also help with knee pain, hip problems and backaches. Good shoe inserts relieve pressure and alleviate strain and stress on the feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back.
People suffering from arthritis often find that good shoe Insoles can help take pressure off sensitive joints. People who have diabetes find that good shoes and orthotics can help reduce potentially life threatening foot pressure.
Do Shoe Insoles Cure Foot Problems?
In a word "NO!" Even the best custom made orthotics or the most costly OTC shoe inserts will not cure your foot problem. Sometimes, even with good Insoles, your feet will hurt a little bit.
Think of your specialty insoles as you would eyeglasses or hearing aids. They are there to provide you support so that you can function better. Even though your feet may feel alright for a short period of time without orthotics, you will soon experience pain again if you stop using them.
Will OTC and Custom Orthotics Work With Any Shoes?
Shoe Insoles can help any shoe feel better on your feet, but it's wise to start out with a high quality shoe that provides proper support and protection.
Be sure to choose shoes that have enough room for your shoe inserts. If you don't, you will find yourself uncomfortable. You may also need to purchase several different types of orthotics for different types of shoes. Naturally, the support you need in your walking or running shoes is different from your dress shoe needs.
Which is Better, OTC or Custom Orthotics?
Both custom and OTC orthotics have a place in treating a wide variety of foot and ankle problems. OTC shoe Insoles can provide comfort and support for walking, hiking, running, sports and other challenging activities and may play a role in helping prevent injury.
Rigid, prescription shoe Insoles can provide a great deal of support and help control the position of the foot during ambulation. Unfortunately, many wearers find this uncomfortable and avoid wearing them. If you do not use your inserts, they will not help you!
The most popular shoe Insoles today are accommodative (cushiony) or semi-rigid. These types provide a lot of comfort and disperse weight and pressure more evenly across the sole of the foot, but they may not provide enough control of the hindfoot to correct gait problems. For this, more rigid prescription Insoles may be necessary.
Can you Use Both Prescription and Store-Bought Shoe Insoles?
If you are experiencing foot, joint, leg or back pain, see your doctor for a proper diagnosis. He or she can give you a referral to a podiatrist or orthopedist if necessary. If your doctor recommends custom orthotics, find out why and discuss the possibility of using OTC shoe Insoles. If you are able to afford a pair of custom orthotics, you may want to go with that to resolve your problem and add OTC shoe Insoles so that you can have support and relief in all your shoes.
When choosing between custom made orthotics and OTC orthotics, there is really no evidence that that the pricey custom variety is generally better than the ready made variety, as long as the prefabricated product is carefully chosen and matched appropriately with the condition being treated.
If you simply want to add support and comfort to your walking, running or work shoes, your best bet may be to visit a shoe store that offers a wide variety of insoles and will allow you to "get a feel" of some of the styles they offer. Be sure to wear clean socks and just set the insoles on the floor so that you can stand in them to see how they feel.
Here is a Brief Guide to Help you Make a Good Choice:
If you are having trouble finding the shoe insert that is right for you, consult with your podiatrist and follow his or her guidance. In most cases, OTC shoe Insoles provide equal or better results when compared with custom orthotics. In the case of extreme or challenging foot conditions (e.g. Charcot midfoot deformity or a broken bone that has healed incorrectly) custom orthotics may be necessary.
Are Shoe Insoles Expensive?
Specialty orthotics can be extremely costly. In the United States, the manufacturing of these prescription shoe Insoles is an industry worth about a billion dollars annually. Many times, the practitioner who prescribes the orthotic also profits handsomely.
Very often, custom shoe Insoles can cost as much as $350 a pair, and quite frankly, unless you have a very unusual foot condition you will probably be able to get just as much relief from a set of OTC Insoles for $60 or less.
Good custom or OTC orthotics can help alleviate a wide variety of foot problems. Well chosen shoe Insoles stabilize your feet and cushion your midsoles and arches. If you are an athlete or simply a very active individual, use of good Insoles can help you avoid overuse injuries, cope with stability issues and alleviate pain.
What are the Best OTC Shoe Insoles?
If you are active in sports, walk or run a lot or are simply on your feet all day, look to these six brands of OTC insoles for support and relief for your aching feet.
1. Branded Insoles
Top-selling brands like Superfeet, Powerstep, Othaheel, Aline, Tread Labs , Sof Sole come highly recommended by competitive runners. They are well-known for providing firm, consistent arch support and helping to reduce pronation. These insoles are designed to keep the heel aligned and stable. This reduces stress on your hips, knees and ankles. These insoles are slightly high-dollar, but the durability, support and comfort they provide are well worth the investment. These Insoles can provide:
2. ZenToes Metatarsal Pads
This brand is excellent for ball-of-foot pain. If you hike or run up and down hills, you may find yourself experiencing this type of midfoot pain. These metatarsal pads fit just beneath the balls of the feet to help alleviate pressure on the second and third metatarsal bones.
Unlike many types of metatarsal pads which must be glued onto the sole of the foot, ZenToes pads fit your foot like a half-sock, completely surrounding the forefoot. This means that they can be slipped on and off easily, and you will not have to suffer with the strange and squishy feeling that always accompanies a glued-on ball-of-foot cushion.
3. Massaging Gel Insoles from Dr. Scholl's
Dr. Scholl's products are tried and true, so it's no wonder that the company's many different styles of shoe Insoles continue to be worldwide best-sellers. The company's new, patented gel insoles provide excellent cushioning, as well as midsole stabilization and moderate arch support. These inserts are especially recommended for people who bicycle a great deal.
4. Gel Heel Cups
In some instances, you may be able to get complete relief or enhance the effectiveness of your insoles by using gel heel cups. Very often, a heel cup is all that is needed to alleviate foot pain caused by a wide variety of conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, bruises and heel spurs.
There are many different brands of heel cups available in multiple styles and materials. Gel heel cups (especially those made with medical grade silicone) are highly recommended because they cushion so well and conform perfectly to the shape of the heel.
These inserts work by stabilizing and lifting the heel to help decrease pressure and alleviate pain. Generally speaking OTC heel cups are very affordable and often come in economy packs that allow you to outfit all of your shoes at once.
How Do You Choose?
Both custom orthotics and OTC shoe Insoles are available for specific types of sports shoes and athletic activities. If you seek relief from common foot pain and do not have an extremely serious or complex condition, off-the-shelf shoe Insoles can provide cushioning, support and relief from many common types of foot pain and problems.
One of the major advantages of choosing OTC shoe Insoles is that you can affordably assemble a collection of support and cushioning to fit all of your shoes. When you use prescription orthotics, it is often difficult to afford more than one pair. This can severely limit your choices footwear.
You can find OTC insoles in a wide variety of configurations ranging from simple, flat, foam Insoles to those with extra arch support, heel pain relief features, metatarsus pressure relief and more. The deep cushiony orthotics you may want for your work shoes are unlikely to fit well in your dress pumps. OTC shoe inserts come in sizes, shapes and styles to fit high heels, work shoes, running shoes, slippers and even sandals.
In the past, reasonably priced, prefabricated insoles were made of inferior materials that needed to be replaced frequently. Today, this is sometimes the case, but more often than not, high quality insoles are made of the same materials as custom insoles and will provide favorably comparable performance and durability. For this reason, use of OTC shoe Insoles is a great way to supplement or entirely sidestep the use of custom made orthotics.