Insoles and Inserts : Know What is Best for You and Why?

Insoles and Inserts are pretty familiar name to you if you are interested in comfort regarding your footwear. They are often mentioned as same, though have some differences.

Insoles can be pretty much defined as anything that you insert in your shoe. They are removable layers which are placed inside shoes to provide support an add comfort. They can be soft, firm, or spongy, and they can either be in the shape of the shoe or customized to follow the contour of your feet. Insoles come in different shapes, sizes and support levels to fit different foot types.

Inserts are basically insoles which also aim to accomplish a number of purposes including comfort and foot and joint pain relief.

There are different types of insoles available in the market so sometimes, it can be confusing to choose which one suits your needs. So, how do you really determine and choose an insole that is right for you?

Choosing the Best Insole

In order to know the right insole to buy, you must identify the reason why you need one in the first place. Do you need insoles which can help alleviate pain in your feet? Are you looking for insoles which you can use for your sports activities? Do you always experience footwear fit problems when buying and wearing shoes for the first time? Or are you simply looking for a regular insole to replace the built-in insoles of your shoes?

It is important to know why you need insoles and how you intend to use them so that you will not waste money and effort in buying the wrong one. It will also help to know the types of insoles so that you can tell the difference of each and know which one might suit you best.

Two Types of Insoles and Inserts

Comfort Insoles

These insoles can either be flat or shaped and are constructed to provide comfort. As such, they usually have gel, foam or air as one of the major components. These are best recommended for people who always experience foot pain after prolonged standing or walking on hard surfaces. Comfort insoles provide relief through its shock absorbing capabilities.

Support Insoles

These insoles use harder materials for stability and support. Support insoles are recommended for those who have structural misalignment, plantar fasciitis, and supination or over-pronation. They may not be customized but they are available in different models or profiles to suit most foot shapes.

Aside from these two basic types, there are also other types of insoles meant for a variety of purposes.

  • Athletic and Sports Insoles
  • Gel Insoles
  • Warm and Wool Insoles
  • Heat-moldable Insoles
  • High Heel Insoles
  • Kid’s Insoles

Insole Fitting Tips

Once you have narrowed down the choices or have already identified the type of insole that you need, it is essential to try them out and make sure that they are a perfect fit.

First, you need to put the insole flat on the ground and then balance on it with one foot while you lift the other foot. You need to do that to check how stable you feel and whether you feel any pressure on your foot. Do you feel balanced or do you feel wobbly?

Also, check whether the tissue of your heel is cupped and supported nicely. If your heel is overlapping the insole, it may not be the correct size for you.

Then, put the insole inside your shoes and try to walk around wearing it. Assess how it fits you as well as the overall feel and the support. You may feel a little different but that’s okay. It may take a couple of uses before you totally get used to the extra support.

The insole should also take up the right amount of volume. If it does not fit inside the shoe, you can have it trimmed by a specialist.

Pros of Using Insoles

A good pair of insoles can bring a lot of benefits aside from adding comfort to the soles of your feet. Below are just some of them:

  • They can reduce back pain as well as joint and foot pain from prolonged standing, walking, or running.
  • Insoles can improve arch support and minimize foot slippage.
  • They can help position your foot better and close toe gaps in bigger shoes.
  • Inserts give additional cushioning and provides a soft bed for your feet to be comfortable.
  • They can help you recover from an injury at a faster rate by isolating and protecting areas of the foot and providing support where needed.
  • Some insoles can be custom made for your feet to solve problems of ill-fitting shoes.

Cons of Insoles

On the other hand, here are a couple of disadvantages of using insoles:

  • For runners, using insoles tend to ruin the balance of their shoes. That is because running shoes do not accommodate insoles well. They are designed not to have insoles so it can be a bit awkward to use insoles in them.
  • They are expensive and do not last very long. Insoles can disintegrate easily because of the pressure and lateral stress that they receive especially when running.


That's all regarding Insoles and Inserts from feetstrap. We try our best to deliver you the great information. Let us know if anything more you need and feel free to share with your loved ones. Enjoy.