The insole is considered to be one of the most important parts of a shoe, as the insole provides comfort for the feet, while the midsole is primarily used to offer impact protection. There are some shoes that don’t have insoles, as their midsoles already have enough cushioning for comfort, but many people would still say that shoes with insoles are so much more comfortable compared to those that have none.
What’s great about many shoes, particularly sports shoes, is that you will be able to change their insoles since the ones that come with them can be taken out. There are different brands that design and sell third-party insoles that can be used as replacements for original insoles or as upgrades since they usually have better designs and features. If you are currently looking for replacement insoles for your pairs of shoes, here is a guide on choosing the right insoles for them.
Materials Used for Insoles
There are different materials that are used for insoles, and these materials have their own set of pros and cons. Take a look below for descriptions of these insole materials so that you will know which one is suitable for you.
These insoles are made from memory foam, a type of polyurethane foam that is dense but elastic. What’s interesting about memory foam insoles is that they mold to the shape of your foot’s sole, so they provide sufficient support for the toes, heels, and arches. However, the downside to these insoles is that they are not as durable as other types of insoles.
These insoles work similarly to memory foam insoles, as they also mold to the shape of your foot. However, the heat-moldable material of these insoles conforms to your foot whenever heat is applied to its surface. Before putting the insoles inside the shoes, you should first heat them up in an oven, and once you take them out, you need to place your feet on the insoles and stand on them before they start cooling. Because you need to heat the insoles first before putting them on shoes, heat-molded insoles may not be suitable for those that want to use replacement insoles right away.
These are insoles that are typically used to keep your feet warm even on the coldest days, as the wool material is effective in regulating and maintaining your feet’s normal temperature. But wool insoles can also be used on warmer days too, as they can still retain your feet’s temperature without getting too warm. The drawback to wool insoles is that they don’t offer the same level of cushioning as the first two types of insoles.
Types of Insoles by Design
Besides materials, insoles can vary from one another based on design. There are some insoles that are specifically used for sports shoes, while there are some that are made for high heels. Here are the different types of insoles by design.
These are insoles that are designed to provide better comfort and support for sports shoes. Most sports insoles are anatomically designed so that they can give support and cushioning for different areas of the feet, including the arches and the heels. Sports insoles enable you to have a more comfortable experience playing different sports.
Cushioned Arch Insoles
When your feet have high arches, then you will need these insoles that have a cushioned arch area that will offer support for your arches no matter how high they are. A lot of insoles are not made for people with high-arched feet, so these cushioned arch insoles are more suitable for them to avoid arch pain and arch-related injuries like plantar fasciitis.
If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, there are other products that you can try, which you can find on our Guide to Selecting Essential Foot Products for Plantar Fasciitis.
These insoles are specially designed to be used on high heels for women. There are high-heel insoles that are translucent or transparent so that you can hide the insoles on top of the heels, but there are also pairs that are black or light brown in color. These insoles have padding on the heel and on the joints of the toes for extra cushioning and support, while the midfoot area of the insoles may have a non-slip feature so that your feet won’t constantly slip while wearing heels.
Orthotic insoles are the type of insoles that enable your feet to stay in their natural shape and position. If you have shoes that cause discomfort on different areas of your feet due to how they force your feet to be in awkward positions like being too slanted, you can try putting orthotic insoles in those shoes and see if the positioning problem of the feet is remedied by the insoles.
Things to Consider When Buying Insoles
Because of how many insoles from different brands are already available in the market, a lot of people may have difficulties finding the most suitable pair of insoles for them. But, by having a better understanding of the various aspects of insoles, people will surely have a faster and easier time picking the best insoles. Here are the things to consider when buying insoles.
To make sure that the insoles would fit nicely in your shoes, you may need to find ones that have a customizable size. These customizable insoles have labels that will show you where you should cut the front so that the insoles can fit inside your shoes. These labels indicate different shoe sizes, so you should cut the front of the insoles on the label that indicates your true size.
The insoles you will buy will also depend on your foot shape, particularly if you have high arches or if you are flat-footed. There are different types of insoles that are made for different shapes and sizes of feet, so you just have to find a specific pair of insoles that are suitable based on your feet’s size or shape. If you have high arches, you should buy insoles that have a cushioned arch area for better comfort or support. Then, if you are flat-footed, you should get insoles that are designed to protect your low arches from pain and discomfort.
If you really want to see which insoles are considered the best, you should check out reviews in online stores, review websites, and social media apps. These reviews will tell you almost everything you need to know about different insoles, from their special features to their pros and cons. Besides reviews, you may also want to check out online lists or rankings of some of the best insoles on the market so that you will have an easier time knowing which insoles are the most reliable and durable.
If the insoles that come with your shoes don’t provide enough cushioning or comfort for your feet, then it is time for you to replace them with better third-party insoles online or in sporting goods stores. Check out the best insoles and pick the one you think will truly enhance the comfort level of your shoes.