How To Choose Shoe Inserts For Your Health And Comfort
So before you ‘Add To Cart’ those positively reviewed shoe inserts online, take time to read the tips we have gathered for you. Learn how to choose the shoe inserts that will appropriately take care of your feet.
Why Do I Need To Use An Insole?
Insoles or shoe inserts help your feet absorb the shock and strain from standing for long hours, playing high-impact sports, or using uncomfortable shoes. They help distribute your body weight along the length and breadth of each of your feet.
You may decide to buy insoles when:
- You’re experiencing pain in your feet or it’s prescribed by a healthcare professional.
- You’re in need of a pair for your sports activities.
- The original insoles of your shoes are already worn-out.
What Kind Of Insoles Do I Need?
You can choose from three categories of supportive insoles, rigid support, soft support, and semi-rigid support, based on your specific needs.
Rigid Support Or Custom Orthotic
You can get this type of supportive insole from custom insole makers or podiatrists. These insoles are designed to control the movement of the foot below your ankle, preventing the foot from turning in excessive pronation or supination. These are usually made of polyurethane plastic with foam and microfiber materials.
It is best to consult a medical professional before getting one for yourself.
Having a rigid support insole will be useful if you have the following conditions:
- Overpronation – A condition when your foot rolls inwards excessively when you take a step
- Over supination – A condition when your foot extremely rolls outward that your shoes wear away on the outer lip of the sole
- Plantar Fasciitis – A condition when your plantar muscle is too stretched that it gives you extreme pain. The plantar is the large flat muscle that stretches from your heel to your toes. Over-stretching of the plantar is caused by wearing heels and standing for long hours without a break.
- A significant difference in leg length – If your two legs have a pronounced difference in length, it is best to see a podiatrist. You can be provided with a custom rigid support insole that would elevate the shorter leg appropriately.
Soft Support Insole
These insoles are lightweight as they are usually foam-based; some contain gel to serve as a shock absorber. They help keep your balance and ease sores. If you have somewhat big shoes, you can use a soft support insole to fill up the extra space.
Soft support insoles are useful for people with:
- Shoes with worn-out soles that cause pain.
Semi-rigid Support Insole
Athletes and sports enthusiasts commonly use this type of insole. It provides the right amount of support with materials such as plastic, leather, foam, and cork.
You can use semi-rigid support insoles if:
- You play high-impact sports
- You wear hiker boots or work boots
- You have Morton’s Neuroma – A condition when the nerves between the third and fourth toes flare up and becomes enlarged, causing extreme pain.
Here are some more essential tips on how to know which insoles to buy:
- To measure your insole, get your best-fitting shoe and a tape measure. Put the end with ‘0’ at the tip of the toe inside your shoe. Laying the tape flat, run it down to the bottom part of the heel.
- You may purchase a full-length insole, a ¾-length insole, or an insert. Each type comes with instructions on proper placement.
- Choose the material based on your preference or upon the advice of a healthcare professional. The most common types of materials used for insoles are foam, cork, gel, and leather.
- When buying an insole, you should know which among these is your arch type: neutral or medium arches, low arches, flat feet, or fallen arches or high arches.
How to choose shoe inserts require understanding your feet’s condition and needs.
Listen to your body. Your feet need more than a fashionable pair of shoes and functional insoles for protection. Take a break if you need to. If you are experiencing extreme pain, consult with a health professional.