10 Best Shoe Insoles Reviewed for Comfort
I speak from personal experience when I say the insole of a shoe is the quintessential piece of any footwear you’ll ever use in your life. For the better part of ten years, I worked in blue collar jobs where the physical demands and strenuous activity takes a heavy toll on anyone’s body. From working on six story scaffolds to crawling on hand and knee under 5-ton diesel trucks to replace brake lines, I’ve forced myself to perform in some of the most austere environments and climates around the country.
As much as eye protection and work gloves were integral to accomplishing the tasks associated in that type of industry, the one thing that I’ve always neglected was having footwear that was as flexible and supportive as the very protective equipment I’ve relied on. With several surgeries and short-term disability claims, I’ve had to make associated with foot and leg problems, something as simple as a comfortable set of insoles could’ve made a huge difference.
Insoles are the removable part inside of shoes that provide the best possible comfort and arch support necessary for any activity that you, the consumer, should wish to undertake. On a side note: consider a highly cushioned pair of shoes for jobs that require standing all day. Regardless of whether it’s for work or for recreation, no set of footwear is complete without a comfortable set of insoles in staving off potential medical issues like plantar fasciitis, blisters and heel spurs. With that said, we certainly hope this buyer’s guide in the top ten insoles provides important insight on what’s available in the market today.
10 Best Shoe Insoles
1. Superfeet Green
Built from the bottom-up with environmentally friendly materials not only in the foam insole and arch itself, the odor-eating power of its coating exudes an understanding of feet rarely found.
These insoles feature a contoured memory foam layer and supported arch designed with vigorous activity in mind. Sleek and slender, these insoles are made to fit in virtually any footwear.
Cost and Value
Considering it'll cost the consumer a lot more in medical costs and livelihood than to invest a feasible amount on a pair of odor-stopping memory foam insoles, quality outweighs the cost.
Memory foam of a highly dense variety
Supported arch to provide maximum stability
Odor-fighting coating that’ll keep shoes smelling fresh
Eco-friendly materials and design
Heel space wide enough for any foot.
A little costly in comparison to others.
Putrid green color may be off-putting.
2. Powerstep Original
Beautifully crafted to fit in any shoe without trimming, the anti-micro constructed Powerstep insole is designed for high endurance activity and continuous standing regardless of the surface you walk on.
An aesthetic as pleasing as the insole itself, Powerstep insoles provide the user with a moderately rigid support of the arch and heel cradling to alleviate and reduce foot pain.
Cost and Value
When faced with the possibility of disability, why skimp on the quality of a well-established brand that's been a mainstay in foot support for for nearly ten years of production.
Super thin low profile to fit almost any shoe
Dual-Layered padding for maximized comfort
Super flexible arch and heel cradling for shock absorption
Great for those with low to no arches
Easy fitting in most footwear
Sizing can be variable at best
Might not be ideal for those with high arches
3. Sof Sole Athlete
Top-rate synthetically molded insole with a gel heel comfort encasement allows the would-be Olympian to run shuttle sprints up and down the running trails for extended periods of time.
While its nothing like walking on a cloud, these insoles are a close second with a neutral design in the arch and wet resistant material for almost any climate condition.
Cost and Value
When it comes to providing the absolute finest in athletic and occupational insoles, cost is never an issue with quality materials and meticulous design in mind for your chosen footwear.
Neutralized arch with the athlete in mind.
Gel padding on the heel and near the arch for extended comfort
Moisture-resistant material to withstand majority of climate conditions.
Contoured and slimming design to fit most work and athletic shoe
Light in weight and design.
Perhaps TOO cushioned
Continued wear-and-tear will diminish its performance
4. Protech Support
Using a hospital-grade propylene composite, these prefabbed insoles are formed and pressed to match the wearer’s footwear while a contouring design allows for a sure fit for enhanced protection.
Shock-absorbing gel cushioning in the heel and arch supports grips and holds the feet in place without constricting blood flow, preventing slipping during extended runs or hiking up trails.
Cost and ValueTake on the rigors of the world with ProTech Full Length insoles. These insoles feature a flexible, yet firm arch for support along with dual-layered padding and shock-resistant cushioning to provide superior performance and comfort to the wearer. Regardless of whether you're running on a "Spartan Race" course or taking a stroll out in town, these insoles are near priceless.
Cost and Value
Probably the most costly of the bunch, it's not to say the price is unwarranted. Insoles like these are worthy of the same investment as a good set of footwear.
Gel-Cushioned heel provides shock-resistant protection
Dual-Layered Padding for additional comfort
Prefabricated, no cheap adhesives
Contoured arches for additional plantar support
Robust design to withstand extended use.
A little on the thicker side
5. Timberland PRO
Pure 100% Leather ripped straight from the hide of an American Steer, these insoles are certainly built with a highly-deft set of hands to place into any Timberland boot available.
These insoles are built as if they were feet themselves, feet that were designed with anti-fatigue technology and a synthetic sole to help regulate internal temperature and circulation.
Cost and Value
These Timberland-brand insoles are not without its price, possibly a little too steep for an insole that may or may not be as flexible or durable as some of the other brands listed on this guide.
High-quality leather with protective synthetic sole
Near perfect fit for any Timberland Boot
Anti-Fatigue technology with a full-supported arch
Available model allows for any gender to use.
The comfort is short-lived and prone to tearing after extended use.
Might only work for boots, Timberland at that.
6. HappyStep Cushioned
Made of a sturdy grade of top-brand memory foam, HappyStep Shoe insoles are an alternative to costly medically-formed insoles one would expect out of a podiatrists office.
A near-insulating set of these insoles provide the same comforts of gel-based or polypropylene-based insoles to provide effortless and supportive comfort in all of life’s activities.
Cost and Value
For those looking for more bang for their buck, these super-slim ultra-affordable insoles provide the right amount of comfort for the frugal 5k runner or city street walker.
Unobtrusive design to allow for better ventilation
Slim-down design for easier installation
High-Grade Memory Foam for added Comfort
Sizes don’t match what’s advertised
Extremely thin on the padding
7. New Balance Supportive
Prance about in inner solitude or let the sun kiss your skin with composite synthetic fabrics outlining a sturdy arch and force-absorbent pad that contours the metatarsal in active motion.
While the supporting arch may be a bit more pronounced than most insoles, the cushioned synthetic padding provides substantial pain relief and allows for traversing many types of terrain.
Cost and Value
Takes a lot of work to keep your body moving and a lot of research to construct an insole that'll provide the wearer the type of liberating freedom they crave.
Extremely comfortable fit for a plethora of activity
Highly cushioned padding for comfort
Deep cut heel space for increased motion and comfort
Contoured design to fit the feet well
High arch might be too high for some.
Prone to tearing without proper maintenance
8. Spenco Rx
Spenco Rx Comfort Thin Lightweight insoles offer extremely pliable fabric that provides extended coverage of the shoe and odor-fighting properties to provide ample levels of comfort during long stretches.
While the low profile of the sole may seem off-putting to some, the ability to place them on-top of other insoles for additional comfort is a true blessing in itself.
Cost and Value
Cost effective comfort without breaking the bank is something all insole developers should strive to achieve. Truly a great option for those looking for price friendly solutions.
Light slimming profile to fit for any footwear
Flattened cushioning to provide balanced comfort
7+ sizes for additional comfort options
Supporting insoles that cover the whole base of the foot
Thin profile means easier wear and tear.
Might require some trimming with some sizes
9. Pedag 196
Designed of high quality terry-cloth and environmentally-safe latex padding, these rewashable wonders provide added convenience for the free-footed pedestrian.
Elegant in its design and materials, the soft padding of latex and terry-cloth allows the wearer to enjoy the summer breeze not only in their face but on their feet as well.
Cost and Value
German-engineering comes at the consumer at a hefty price-tag. But for a sure fit for your summer wear, you’ll not find a better pair of insoles for your slip-ons.
Aesthetically designed for sock-free footwear
Made with ventilation contour for odorless movement
Soft terry-cloth to provide maximum comfort
Flexible material to fit virtually any shoe
No evident sign of arch support
Looks like a smashed Q-tip
10. Dr. Scholl's Extra Support
Thick, Bulky in design with a wide and rigid gel sole, Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel Extra Support insoles were made with high endurance and hard movement in mind.
These added cushioning and supported arch with its invariable gel padding provide the wearer with seamless endurance potential when in work or in sport.
Cost and Value
A reasonably priced advent of a cheesy TV ad campaign, these insoles can be the very sought after insole the consumer may need, both in convenience and in comfort.
Extra gel padding built for high endurance activity
Wide in cut and dimension for added convenience.
Gel-Supported arch to maximize movement
Reasonably priced and high in availability
Very thick design could make it difficult to fit in some footwear
Arch support may be too low for some.
How to Choose the Best Insoles for Shoes
The decision of finding the perfect insole has never been more difficult these days. So many options and unanswered questions can leave the consumer more confused and uncertain without doing appropriate research on what’ll be the best yield for them. When considering what type of insole you’re looking for, take in account of the type of activities you’ll be pursuing while wearing the insoles.
Also, recognize what type of footwear you’ll be placing them into so as not to choose a lightly padded Pedag 196 Washable Summer Pure Cotton insole, when you’ll be hiking up mountain cliffs and desire a set of Sof Sole Athlete Full Length Comfort insoles. Regardless of the decision you make or level of uncertainty you have in your future purchases, feel rest assured with this buying guide providing you with the comfort and confidence to make the right choice for the right set of feet.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Shoe Insoles
One of the main things you should have when you purchase some shoe insoles is more comfort wearing your shoes than you had before you bought them. A good sign you’re getting that is an insole that’s stated to have a dual-layer cushioning. It’s designed to provide targeted pressure relief to your feet. This helps to give you great comfort during any of your athletic activities or even just for when you’re standing for long periods or walking all day. Another feature you can focus on in getting that nice feeling on your feet is shoe insoles that feature gel padding. Gel padding provides an excellent amount of cushioning that reduces any pain or strain you may currently feel in your feet whenever you take steps. One other good pad to find in an insole is a metatarsal pad. The metatarsal pad redistributes the weight and pressure on your feet helping ease symptoms of common foot problems such as plantar fasciitis.
A memory foam would be something to search for if you’re desiring a unique comfort to your feet in your potential shoe insole purchase. The memory foam molds itself to your feet when you step on them. The molding to the shape of your feet helps to give you the best comfort specifically for you. A lot of insoles give full length cushioning, but some insoles can focus cushioning on certain parts of the foot, such as forefoot cushioning. If that’s where you tend to feel the most pain in your feet or maybe some other part, that can be a more suitable feature to look for. Something else you might not be familiar with is the heel cradle feature with some shoe insoles. The heel cradle is great for cushioning your heel by helping your foot absorb those impacts in your steps making for an easier time walking around.
The material can also play a role in the important comfort you’re looking for with your insole. Insoles being made with material such as pure cotton terry with padded latex, which we know how incredibly soft cotton can be, is an example of the kind of softness you can get that’ll feel great on your feet. Also, shoe insoles such as orthotic ones make their insoles with material fabric specifically to benefit medical professionals who have long work hours on their feet. Lastly, any insole that’s stated to have durable construction is also a great sign that’ll give you maximum comfort for your everyday needs.
Arch Support/Anatomical Footbed
Sometimes the shoes you wear, such as sandals or flip flops perhaps, don’t give you the necessary support that your foot needs in order to avoid feeling strain and soreness. Failure to get that arch support and foot support, in general, can lead to a number of foot problems such as foot calluses and muscle spasms. An anatomical footbed can be a great place to start. It’s designed to support the natural shape of a human foot and also helps to center your heels with each step that you take. Other great shoe insoles can highlight their arch designs that adapt to all foot shapes to give the best support.
There are different types of arch support you can look for with your insole that can work for your specific needs. If you have a high arch, most of your weight goes on your heel which maybe where you feel most of your foot pain. The insole that highlights being high-arched will be best for giving you that necessary foot support. If you’re not too sure whether the arches in your feet are too high or too low then you should opt for finding shoe insoles featuring a neutral arch design. Insoles designed in this way are generally able to fit most foot types and give you all the adequate support you need. You can also keep an out eye for the semi-rigid arch support feature, which is designed to provide maximum stability to your feet.
An arch shell is another great feature you can find for stability in your steps. It helps to give you a more effective motion control along with some better side to side stability. Perhaps a great feature to have in your shoe insole purchase if you’re an athlete or a dancer.
Air Circulation/Odor Control/Anti-Bacterial
With insoles adding to the number of things inside of your shoe, there’s a concern for heat increasing inside causing sweating, odor, and unfortunately creating a breeding ground for bacteria and infections. It’s important your shoe insole can provide air circulation to help keep things cool inside. One feature that would help you would be the perforation feature. Similarly, the way they work with shoes, these openings allow for air to flow through the insole to decrease the temperature inside. Certain designs like the stoma design also allow for more air circulation. Pay attention if any shoe insole you see highlights their cover or fabric as designed to keep your feet cool.
There’s a lot of features you can find with the best insoles to help control any potential odors that develop in your shoe. The first one worth mentioning is active carbon fiber. A shoe insole that has that particular material has it just for the sole purpose of minimizing odor. Another feature you can look out for in insoles that can help control odors is a silpure antimicrobial. In addition to controlling odor, it can help to prevent blisters too. With sweat being the main culprit of odor, you want to find something in an insole that can reduce that. A great find would be a shoe insole that has moisture management treatment which will reduce moisture in the shoe, and thus reduce odor.
As mentioned earlier in this specific criteria, heat buildup in a shoe can be a breeding ground for bacteria. An insole that features anti-bacteria coating will keep the bacteria at bay and help maintain the healthiness of your feet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the best shoe insoles for my feet?
A: It all depends on your particular foot needs and your personal preferences. If you’re a person that desires just having more softness in your steps throughout the day, certain shoe insoles like Orthotics tend to provide more cushioning than arch support. If you’re a person whose feet needs more arch support because of certain foot issues, then you need to look out for insoles highlighting their arch supports and heel cups, or one’s specifically designed for athletic shoes would be a good possibility for you.
Q: How do I cut the insole to the size of my shoe?
A: Sometimes with certain shoe insoles you purchase, they’ll come to you larger than the size of the shoe you wear requiring you to cut down to size. First thing you need to get of course is a pair of scissors. Then you need to pull out the current insole inside of your shoe. Put the old insole you removed on top of the new insole you purchased, and align it with the back of the heel and the arch. With a pencil or marker, mark around the old insole to have a marking of what extra pieces you need to cut off on the new insole. Once you do that, cut around the new insole to get sized down to the old insole and then stick the insoles inside of the shoe. Then you can stick your feet in and take joy in all of the comfort. By the way, if you can’t remove the shoe’s original insole for some reason, stick a piece of paper in the shoe, draw around the corners inside of the shoe to get it’s exact size. After you do that, cut the piece of paper to that size and then follow the rest of the steps starting from the part where you would have put the old insole on top of the new insole.
Q: How do I clean my shoe insoles?
A: The best way to clean your shoe insoles is to simply wash them with soap and warm water, carefully making sure not too much water is absorbed in them. Insole experts advise that if your insoles are foam or cloth material, you actually shouldn’t use any water on those insoles as it’ll damage them. Stains that are difficult to get out can be cleaned up with the use of a small brush. Once you’re done cleaning with soap and water, rinse them off, and just sit them out to dry. It’s recommended not to put them in any drying machines.
Q: When do I replace my shoe insoles?
A: It depends on your level of activity. If you’re not standing or walking around for hours of the day, then it’s suggested your shoe insoles will be probably last 6 to 9 months. The more you’re on your feet, the closer to the shorter end of that time span your insole life expectancy will be.
Q: Do all insoles fit well with any shoe?
A: Not necessarily. Some insoles are specifically designed for shoe types like athletic and casual shoes. Also, some insoles can just be put into shoes, while others require you to remove the original insole first. So keep in mind the particular usage being highlighted on the description of the shoe insole you’re looking at, as well as the fact that you might have to trim your insole down to size as some of them can be large and wide.
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