Best Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis Reviewed for Comfort

Plantar Fasciitis can be incredibly painful. The band of muscle that connects the heel bone to the toes becomes inflamed and often swollen, making it harder to move the foot affected. Walking can sometimes be next to impossible. Thankfully, there are inserts which can be placed inside almost any shoe which can help alleviate some of the pain. These insoles won’t cure plantar fasciitis, but they can help reduce the amount of pain inflicted by the condition. Of course, it’s best to consult a doctor about any medical condition, but for those who are interested in over the counter (OTC) options, Amazon has a fairly wide range of affordable options.

Last Updated: June 21, 2018
By Tony Skye:

The recent update reflects the best of 2018’s insoles for plantar fasciitis of all types, shapes, sizes, colors, with new information as to how to choose the best insoles for plantar fasciitis and our criteria for evaluation. Also, included are some of the most frequently asked questions about insoles for plantar fasciitis.

Featured Recommendations

Superfeet Green
  • Superfeet Green
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Biomechanical Shape
  • Stabilizer Cap
  • Price: See Here
Powerstep Pinnacle
  • Powerstep Pinnacle
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Slightly Angled Exterior Heel Platform
  • Anti-microbial Top Fabric
  • Price: See Here
Powerstep Original
  • Powerstep Original
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Dual-Layer Cushioning
  • Heel Cradle
  • Price: See Here

There was a time when any sort of foot pain could often end in medically-specified shoes, most of which were not attractive or particularly affordable. Thankfully, things have progressed and there is now a wide range of shoe inserts available to help support the arches and alleviate some of the pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Inserts are discrete, customizable, and many are affordable enough that a little trial and error can reveal the best possible insert for each person afflicted by plantar fasciitis; as well as, allow the buyer to fit out all of their shoes with the inserts.

 

10 Best Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis

 

1. Superfeet Green

Made to help alleviate the pain associated with plantar fasciitis, these insoles are 2 inches high and 4 inches wide. they have a biomechanical shape; so, they are designed to help control the gait associated with overpronation. There is a break-in period involved with this particular set of insoles, but after said period, these insoles bring great pain relief.
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Stabilizer Cap
This brings you added structure at the rear of the foot, thus helping to give stability to the foam layer of the insole. In turn, you gain more control over your gait, as this applies to overpronation.

Odor-control Coating
Designed to help eliminate odor-causing bacteria, this coating further promotes better overall foot health. As such, these insoles are easier to maintain for longer periods of time.

Cost and Value
Coming in at the midrange of cost association, these best insoles for plantar fasciitis are worth the purchase price. Made, ideally, with high arches in mind, these insoles are great for reducing foot pain related to plantar fasciitis.

2. Powerstep Pinnacle

Powerstep is one of the heavy-hitters among insole brands, offering support for a range of foot needs. The Pinnacle insole offers a range of support features from heel to toe and was designed with comfort in mind.
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Medical Grade Support
Medical-grade support will give stable and consistent support. Multiple layers of foam and a deep heel cup give extra comfort to feet in pain.

Anti-Microbial Top Layer
The anti-microbial top layer on these insoles will keep feet from stinking and sweating, reducing friction that can agitate the skin.

Cost and Value
These are midrange in cost association when compared to other insoles on this list but they, also, have a tendency to fall apart faster. When it comes to insoles, it is very much a case of getting what you pay for.
Pros
  • Anti-microbial Top Layer
  • Deep Heel Cup
  • Medical-grade Support
  • Semi-rigid Arch Support
  • Supports All Arch Types
Cons
  • Break down easily

3. Powerstep Original

Kicking off our list is a familiar name to those who have purchased insoles before: Powerstep. They make some of the best and most affordable insoles on the market with a range of offerings for shoes that range casual to dress, athletic to daily wear.
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Heel Cradle and Multiple Forms of Cushioning
Foot pain is rarely limited to one part of the foot; that is, trying to minimize pain in one area often leads to strain in another. Powerstep tries to remedy this by giving a strong cradle for heel support and layering in several forms of arch support so that the foot, from heel to toe, is given relief.

Made in the USA
Powerstep's insoles are made in the USA rather than shipped in. For those who worry about worker exploitation and supporting domestic markets, this is a key factor when making any purchase, including insoles.

Cost and Value
These insoles are wonderfully priced, riding the low curve, in terms of cost. They're easily moved from shoe to shoe, giving them a wider range of usability than many other insoles.
Pros
  • Semi-rigid Arch Support
  • Heel Cradle
  • Dual-layer Cushioning
  • Low-profile Design
Cons
  • Break-in period

4. Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx

4. Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx
Powerstep is a name that comes up regularly when discussing plantar fasciitis relief. While many insoles seem to be geared toward athletes, these insoles are more designed for someone who is on their feet all day at work, standing or walking for extended periods of time.
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Firmer Arch Support
A firmer arch increases foot stability and, when combined with the slight angle of the exterior heel platform, allows for longer lasting comfort even when worn for hours at a time.

Anti-Microbial Top Layer
A common complaint with insoles is that their top layer creates friction and heat when worn for longer lengths of time. This causes feet to sweat and can lead to further irritation. The Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx avoids this by using an anti-microbial top layer and variable cushioning. This combination reduces friction and irritation while supporting the foot at key locations.

Cost and Value
These insoles are roughly the cost of a pair of shoes, but they are worth the investment. They can be easily moved from a pair of shoes to another and provide relief and support on multiple levels.
Pros
  • Anti-microbial Top Layer
  • Support and Cushioning
  • Shoe-to-Shoe Compatibility
  • Angled Exterior Heel Platform
  • EVA Foam Base
Cons
  • Break-in period

5. Spenco Polysorb

5. Spenco Polysorb
Insoles have to fit the needs of the person wearing them. Spenco's Polysorb Cross Trainer insoles are designed from the ground up to support the feet of athletes participating in sports with high levels of foot impact.
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Anti-microbial Top Layer
Spenco features anti-microbial fabric as the top layer on their insert, reducing friction between socks and the insoles. The insoles, also, feature 4-way stretch fabric so that the insoles can survive the foot moving in different directions.

Heel plug to Absorb Heel Strike Force
Arch pain can cause an altered gait and this can lead to a harsher heel strike. Spenco's heel plug softens the force of heel strike to make walking easier and less painful.

Cost and Value
These insoles have the lowest cost. Unfortunately, they have fewer forms of support than other insoles that may cost a bit more.
Pros
  • Budget-friendly
  • Anti-microbial Top Layer
  • Heel Plug
  • EVA Forefoot Cushioning
  • 4-way Stretch Fabric
Cons
  • Minimal types of support

6. Superfeet Orange Premium

6. Superfeet Orange Premium
Superfeet keeps the hits coming with their Orange Premium insole. As with their other insoles, this particular offering has several key features that recommend it to those suffering from foot pain and plantar fasciitis, ranging from the materials it is constructed with to the specific forms of support it offers.
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Designed for High Arches
Many insoles seem designed for those with low arches, as flat feet are often associated with plantar fasciitis. The Orange Premium insoles, however, are intended for those with high arches. The height of the insoles it meant to offer as much support as possible while remaining unobtrusive.

Perfect for Shoes with a Narrow Heel
Shoe styles can vary wildly and that often leads to problems when non-factory insoles are introduced. The Orange Premium insole is specifically designed for shoes with a narrow heel, making them particularly well suited to dress shoes and high heels.

Cost and Value
These are some of the more expensive insoles on the list, falling into the midrange of cost association. For those who have high arches and still suffer from plantar fasciitis, they may be a wonderful investment that will easily move from shoe to shoe and last longer than less expensive insoles.
Pros
  • Rebound High-density EVA
  • 2-inch High; 4-inch Wide
  • High Arches
  • High-impact Foam
Cons
  • High arch only

7. Samurai Insoles Instant-Relief

7. Samurai Insoles Instant-Relief
Samurai insoles make their first appearance on this list with a strong offering. Their instant-relief orthotics promises quick relief from the pain of plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and fallen arches with a unique inner core and a low-profile insert that won't call attention to itself.
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Molded Inner Core Shapes to Your Feet
Samurai Insoles has taken a unique approach to their arch support. Instead of layered foam or hard plastic, their arch support is a molded, inner core that moves with your foot; forming as needed to give you support and balance.

Fit as Expected
It is rare to find an insole that fits without too much trimming, but this brand seems to have gotten their measurements down to a tee, as more reviews champion them as fitting true to expectations.

Cost and Value
Unlike most other insoles, these insoles come at one price. They have a variety of sizes and are specifically made to be low-profile inside any shoes with a removable factory insole, making them a supportive and unobtrusive addition to any existing wardrobe.
Pros
  • Inner Core Shapes to Your Foot
  • Fits as Expected
  • Casual or Athletic Use
  • Medical-grade Insert
  • Podiatrist-designed
Cons
  • Flat feet only

8. Nazaroo Orthotic Insole

8. Nazaroo Orthotic Insole
With microbial activity being one of the leading cause to foot odor, this EVA anti-microbial treated insole is great in reducing microbial build-up. Additionally, moisture-wicking fabric helps to keep sweat to a minimum. Furthermore, ideal for flat feet, there is a deep heel cradle and cushioning latex pad to help give you the best in comfort.
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Cushioning Latex Pad
Pain is a suffering in which those with plantar fasciitis know all-to-well. With the cushioning latex pad, however, pain levels are decreased; and with it, comfort is increased.

Ideal for Flat Feet
These insoles are specific to those with flat feet. Combine the design with a deep heel cradle and you have a combination for maximum early morning comfort.

Cost and Value
These insoles are budget-friendly when compared to other insoles on this list. There is a chance that the dye may rub off on socks and there is a known break-in period, as well. With that being stated, however, these do perform well and help to reduce the pains associated with plantar fasciitis.
Pros
  • EVA Anti-Microbial Treated
  • Cushioning Latex Pad
  • Moisture-wicking Fabric
  • Ideal for Flat Feet
  • Deep Heel Cradle
Cons
  • Break-in period
  • Color may rub off on socks

9. Spenco Total Support

9. Spenco Total Support
Spenco's insoles seem specially designed for athletes, construction workers, and anyone else who puts their feet through their literal paces day in and day out. The Total Sport Original features multiple forms of support, anti-friction top coating, and seem more than up to the task of supporting some of the hardest-working feet they come across.
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Shock Absorbing Pads
Three separate locations feature shock-absorbing pads following a patent-pending design. These lower the strain of impact from running and jumping, making these insoles perfect for athletes and those whose work keeps them on their feet all day.

Multiple Forms of Forefoot Relief
These insoles are all about forefoot relief. They feature metatarsal supports that relieve pressure on the forefoot; as well as, shock-absorbing pads that ease strike force on the ball of the foot. This, in turn, eases the movement of the foot and lowers strain on the forefoot, particularly when running.

Cost and Value
These insoles fall in the middle of the cost spectrum, though they can still run the same cost as a pair of shoes. Given their longevity and support level, however, they would be a worthwhile investment for athletes.
Pros
  • Shock-absorbing Pads
  • Anti-friction Top Layer
  • Deep Heel Cup
  • Forefoot Crash Pad
Cons
  • Size runs large

10. Natural Foot Orthotic

10. Natural Foot Orthotic
These insoles are made with class 1 medical-grade material. Furthermore, there are two options which accommodate both medium-to-high (Original Stabilizer) and medium-to-low (Slim Stabilizer) arches. A 30-day exchange program is in place to ensure you get exactly what you need. These insoles help to relieve pressure in both the heel and forefoot area. Additionally, these are great for improving posture and overall skeletal structure.
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Original & Slim Stabilizer
The two variants are in place to address both medium-to-high and medium-to-low arches. Moreover, you can gain a fit which is right for you, as these are designed to handle plantar fasciitis.

Body Posture-friendly
These insoles can help improve your posture over the long-term. In essence, your skeletal structure improves, as a result.

Cost and Value
When compared to other insoles on this list, these are expensive. they are made, however, to last a long time. But more importantly, however, these insoles are designed to heal over the long-run and not just address symptoms.
Pros
  • Class 1 Medical Device
  • Dual Arch Support Types
  • 30-day Exchange Program
  • Easy Sizing
Cons
  • A bit pricey

Foot pain can be devastating. When walking causes misery, everything from household chores, to work, to a person’s favorite hobby can become the most hated thing in the world. The right insoles might not cure plantar fasciitis but it can relieve the pain and let the sufferer get back to leading their lives. Prescription insoles can run about twice the cost of standard-issue shoes but these alternatives make them more accessible for those who suffer, offering relief in a variety of styles so that there is something for everyone.

 

Criteria for Evaluating the Best Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis

Construction Material

Insoles are as unique as the people who walk on them. When choosing a pair, take into account whether the insoles will be rigid enough to support fallen arches or soft enough to relieve pressure on an over-stressed forefoot. The material of the top layer, also, has to be taken into account. If the material does not wick moisture away or contain antimicrobial properties it could lead to agitated skin, compounding the issues of foot pain instead of leading to relief.

Most insoles feature an anti-microbial top layer to prevent friction and sweating, though the specific material varies from company to company. Some will, also, feature hard plastic heel cups lined in foam or impact-absorbing cushions. These can be important for those suffering from plantar fasciitis since for the majority of suffering feet the worst pain can be felt between the arch and the heel. If the heel is secure and the arch is supported then the condition can be treated more effectively and, hopefully, more quickly.

Height of Arch Support

Some of the insoles listed above are very specific about the arch height they support. Buying too high or low a support can lead to even more intense foot pain, ultimately costing more in the long run. It is important to take time and make sure the arch support height matches what each foot requires. Since plantar fasciitis is caused by small tears in the plantar fascia that stem from the strain on other areas of the foot, properly supporting your arches is essential in treating the condition. Most plantar fasciitis sufferers have chronically low arches which allow for too much strain to be put on the plantar fascia ligament. These kinds of arches have to be propped up and supported so as to give the ligament the rest and support it requires to heal and prevent re-injury.

Longevity

Though they, generally, don’t cost more than $50, insoles can easily run the cost of a normal pair of shoes.  Not only are they expensive, but specialty insoles rarely survive as long as the shoes they’re added to, unfortunately. Insoles in casual or dress shoes that are rarely walked in may last for a year or more, but most insoles for athletic shoes and high-traffic footwear will have to be replaced every six months. Even the most highly used insoles, however, should last more than three months if they’re worth the money spent on them. This longevity is especially important for the treatment of plantar fasciitis, as the condition can take months and sometimes even more than a year to heal if the feet cannot be on constant bed rest. If the insoles wear out too soon, the strain could resume on the plantar fascia ligament and prolong the pain of the condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I put insoles into my shoes?
A: The factory insoles must be removed before new or custom insoles can be put in. Some shoes make this easy and the insoles will come out cleanly, but others will not be able to be removed without tearing out the old insoles.

Q: How often will I have to replace my insoles?
A: The life of an insole depends on a few things, but most of all it depends on how often the shoes are put to use; as well as, what kind of use the shoes see. A runner’s insoles will wear out faster than a casual pair that only makes a few laps around the office before the wearer switches to a different pair for the evening.

Q: What if the insoles don’t fit my shoes or my feet?
A: The resolution to ill-fitting insoles depends on the type of material the insole is made of and where the problem fit is. If the insole doesn’t properly support the arch in need, then trying to returning or exchanging the insole is the only real option. Some insoles, however, can be trimmed down around the edges to fit a narrower shoe. It’s important not to snip any gel packs or air cushions, but the foam edging may be able to be trimmed.

Q: Why do insoles help plantar fasciitis?
A: Insoles serve a dual purpose in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. They help stretch the plantar fascia tendon to prevent it from growing too stiff during recovery while at the same time supporting the arch of the foot and reducing impact from walking and exercise to help prevent the tears and strain that can prolong the condition.

Q: Can plantar fasciitis be cured?
A: In most cases, plantar fasciitis can be cured. It may reoccur more easily, due to the pre-existing wear on the ligament, but it is possible to recover from the condition in a few months if the foot is treated properly. This can include icing, supportive footwear, stretching therapy, and rest. The exact option is best discussed with a health professional and most will recommend an insole like those listed above, as a starting measure to treat the condition.

Q: How do I know what type of insole to buy?
A: Insole fit sometimes requires a bit of trial and error to get right, but there are a few basic ground rules that people with plantar fasciitis need to go by. The insole must have a fairly strong heel support so that the foot does not twist or become re-injured while the ligament is healing. Each insole must, also, support the typically low arches of plantar fasciitis sufferers; since, strain on the plantar fascia occurs when a low arch put strains on the center and ball of the feet with each step, as it moves too much under the strain of use. A strong arch support is one of the keys in preventing this from taking place. A higher than normal arch will be uncomfortable at first, but many plantar fasciitis sufferers swear that over time the pain stops and their feet are healthier than before. A doctor or medical professional is, of course, the best person to consult for specifics on any foot pain that starts after buying new insoles.

Q: Are insoles required to cure plantar fasciitis?
A: Strictly speaking, nothing is required for the cure of plantar fasciitis aside from rest and time. Insoles, however, can shorten the time required to heal from the condition and to prevent it from happening again. Most people cannot spend days, weeks, or months off their feet. It simply isn’t an option, so aides such as insoles, ice, and stretches can shorten plantar fasciitis recovery time significantly.

Sources

  1. WedMD, Shoe Inserts for Plantar Fasciitis - Topic Overview, Webpage, Feb 21, 2018
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff, Plantar fasciitis, Webpage, Feb 21, 2018
  3. Tyler McCracken, Time to Choose Your Best Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis, Webpage, Feb 21, 2018
  4. Tuff, S., Do You Really Need an $800 Custom Insole?, article; blog, Jun 22, 2006
  5. Norton, A., Are Pricey Orthotic Insoles Worth It for Heel Pain?, articl; blog, Mar 20, 2018


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