Best Insoles for Running Reviewed for Comfort and Performance
Over the counter insoles provide benefits that you simply can’t get with stock insoles – such as added comfort as well as ankle and back support. Insoles are arguably the most important component of a running shoe due to the aforementioned features and come in many different form factors and budgets that were going to share with you today.
- Powerstep Original Full Length
- Ultra Thin
- SuperFeet Green Heritage
- Strong Supportive Base
- SuperFeet Blue Premium
- ECO Friendly
Insoles can be composed of gel providing a bit of a heavier cushion but of course with added flex and mobility, while others can be made of lightweight Polypropylene. Over the counter running insoles cater to a variety of different shoe sizes and styles, and are made to perform different functions. Here’s our top 10 insoles for running of 2018 so you can make your choice!
10 Best Insoles for Running
1. Powerstep Original Full Length
Being lightweight is obviously a huge key factor when looking for an insole, and the Powerstep Originals fit the description perfectly. Their ultra thin design is composed of Polypropylene materials and also features dual layer cushioning to be both comfortable and suitable for essentially all styles of shoes.
Semi-Rigid Arch Support
The full length Powerstep insoles boast a firm yet also flexible shell as well as arch support and a heel cradle. Added arch and heel support is great to have when looking for insoles because they provide a level of versatility and safety that you can’t get with regular insoles.
Cost and Value
There's no question why Powerstep has become one of the leading brands in the insole market as their products are extremely well made, and are of excellent quality in general. Seeing as the price is nothing too high, these insoles make a perfect budget and high quality option for running insoles.
- Made in USA
- Lightweight build
- Heel cradle
- Semi-rigid arch support
- Ultra thin
Might be too firm for some
2. SuperFeet Green Heritage
These premium insoles have deep and supportive base for your heels providing fantastic shock absorption. In addition, the base is also shaped in such as way that reduces stress on the legs and feet to provide the best running experience possible.
The organic coating on the base of the sole eliminates odor to keep your shoes smelling great, as well as features breathable materials for great airflow.
Cost and Value
Being a bit more expensive, the price is justified due to the nature of the insoles itself. The soles are rather large and a bit more heavier than others insoles on the market which provides great stabilization, protection, and control. Overall while these may be pricer, the quality that comes with it is fantastic, and great for bigger volume shoes.
- Organic components
- Works great with bigger shoes
- Free of latex and other harsh chemicals
- May be a bit hard on the sole when running long distances
3. SuperFeet Blue Premium
This was something that wasn't mentioned in the review of the Green Heritage, but is still a huge plus if any of you are nature lovers. SuperFeet has a thing for being eco-friendly so all of their insoles are composed of vegan and organic compounds which means their free of latex and other harsh materials, a great niche feature that helps save the earth!
High-density foam layers
The cushioning on these in soles are top of the line as they boast a fantastic shock-absorbing heel cup in addition to multiple layers of foam, which is what makes them so good for running long distances! Ideally these insoles should be utilized if your looking for intermediate levels of support without taking up too much space in the shoe.
Cost and Value
The higher price tag on this pair of insoles is to be expected as the materials used are eco-friendly and cost more than cheaper chemicals. With the price tag put to the side though, these really are a great pair of insoles that are quite unique, and can be used in any running environment especially for those long distance jogs.
- Vegan and earth freindly
- Great for low and medium volume footwear
- Great for long distance running
- Supportive heel
- Comfortable due to high quality foam
- A bit expensive due to materials
4. Envelop Gel Insoles
The Honeycomb design utilized in these insoles is quite unique compared to other gel based soles on the market. As a result, the honeycomb design works great in terms of shock absorption as it contours to the foot with each step, and works to reduce stress as a whole when running.
Lightweight Antimicrobial Construction
As you would imagine, gel inserts are pretty light, and with the addition of an excellent antimicrobial construction, the gel works to stay strong after extended wear. Also, the construction of the gel itself while also being light is quite breathable as well as moisture wicking to reduce stress.
Cost and Value
If gel insoles are your thing, that these are exactly what you should shoot for. Taking into consideration the budget price tag in addition to the features these offer makes Envelop and easy choice for gel inserts especially when running.
- Very comfortable
- Stress and pain reducing
- Honeycomb design is great for shock absorbtion
- Cheap and budget
- Versitle and lightweight
- Lacking in shoe size options
5. Sof Sole Neutral Arch
As mentioned above, the heel is protected with gel which is why this insole is so great for higher impact activities. With the addition of the gel heel pad, the forefoot is given much more comfort for long term usage.
Being able to wick moisture efficiently is obviously extremely important for athletic shoes. Hydrologix Techonolgy is one of the best options out their in this department and is sure to keep your feet free of sweat when out exercising.
Cost and Value
These full-length neutral arch insoles are a fantastic budget option for all types of athletic training specifically higher impact activities. Also Offering great protection and comfort when out exercising, theirs no question why these insoles are such a popular choice among athletes.
- Neutral Arch
- Gel Heel Pads
- Double as Atheltic and Casual Soles
- High Quality Foam
- Moisture Wicking
- Quite thick
6. ViveSole Plantar Fasciitis
The arches on this pair of insoles is simply amazing, you notice the difference as soon you try on the soles for the first time. In an effort to reduce back pain when running as well as walking, the reinforced arches do a great job in absorbing shock and protecting your foot as well as the rest of your body.
Reduction odor is a big plus to any insole and VIVEsole has done a great job in this regard. As a result, the Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis are one of the best smelling as well as long lasting insoles of the market.
Cost and Value
These are a great mid range option for runners as they aren't too expensive but still pack quite a punch in terms of keeping you safe and comfortable while out running. VIVEsole excels in pain relief, so the Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis are perfect if that's what your looking for.
- Full length fit
- Great at pain relief
- Durable make
- Archs can be hard to get used too
7. New Balance 3810
The 3810's are exactly what they say they are in their name: The "Ultra Support Insoles". With the extra deep heel cup on this pair of inserts the arched shape provides great support and comfort when on foot.
As mentioned above, the 3810's feature an arched shape which feels great and flexible when out running. Also, the arched shape allows for special air flow channels to move warm air out in order to keep your feet nice and cool which also wicking sweat.
Cost and Value
You can never go wrong with New Balance and for the mid range price tag these insoles have, there definitely a great and versatile option for recreational or casual use. The 3180's don't excel in one particular category, but still make for a fantastic running shoe that's durable and from a trusted company.
- Heel and forefoot protection
- Great shock absorbtion
- Casual and recreational use
- Anti-blister top cover
- Plenty of support
- Fit can be a little iffy
8. CurrexSole RunPro
The RunPro's have a bridge gap between the foot's profile and the flat surfaces of the shoe to optimize the user for the best possible transfer of force. Use of this feature allows for fantastic comfort and great shock absorption on all surfaces.
Weighing in at an extremely light 30 grams, the RunPro's are really efficient in managing stress ans well as force given the total weight of the product. With this in mind, the RunPro's pack quite a punch with the amount of features it has while also being extremely easy to use given it's weight.
Cost and Value
While these insoles may be popular in Europe, there not so popular here in the United States. Still, that doesn't necessarily mean that the inserts are bad because in all honesty there the furthest thing from it. Although they may be quite expensive compared to other in soles on the market, they are packed with useful features, and are surly worth looking into if you want a pair of high quality inserts.
- Fatigue reducing
- Ultra light
- Reduces stress on ligaments and joints
- Low profile
- Made for long distance running
- Really expensive
9. 10 Seconds Flat Sports
The patented design and main buying point of their insole relieves pain caused by over-pronation caused by having flat feet. Although it may relieve foot, knee, and lower back pain, the insole it self will not fix flat feet so keep that in mind when purchasing.
Custom Etc Top
The cushion of the insole itself is equipped with micro-zap and antimicrobial technology designed to keep away bacteria while also preventing blisters to keep you comfortable and your shoes smelling great.
Cost and Value
There aren’t many other insoles on the market for those with flat feel so the price is a little steep. Considering what’s included though, it’s not that big of a deal throwing up a little money to relieve pain associated with flat feet. All in all these are a great pain of insoles but be aware that you shouldn’t use these insoles if you don’t have flat feet.
- Pain relieving
- Blister proof
- Heel to toe pronation control
- Niche specific
- A bit expensive
10. Soul Insole Shoe Bubble
The gel material the bubble is made out of is fantastic for stability support and comfort as it has a perfect mixture of shock absorption and a consistency similar to memory foam, fantastic for both casual and recreational use.
Minimal In Size
Due to it’s extremely small size, the bubble does not add any extra bulk making it perfect for exercising. Also, it’s clear color makes it ideal for use on sandals or even open heeled shoes as well.
Cost and Value
Yes the bubble is pretty expensive for what it is, but personally i’d say it's worth it. Soul Insole has created a fantastic product that's not like other insoles on the market. Given it’s small size and clear color you can use it on shoes that you couldn’t use standard inserts on.
- Can use on open heel shoes and sandals.
- Clear and low profile color
- Ultra small and light
- Comfortable and shock absorbing
- Great for exercising
Purchasing over the counter insoles may be an unpopular practice for many, but it provides a hand full of health benefits that improve day to day life. In terms of running insoles, over the counter options can include gel or foam constructions with plenty of features and foot shapes to fit exactly what you need. In an effort to reduce running related ankle, back, and other injuries, buying insoles tailored specifically for running may be something you should look into. Happy trailing!
Criteria for Choosing the Best Insoles for Running
Gel vs Foam
We decided to include two different types of insoles; Gel and Foam. Of course there are some insoles which act as hybrids such as the Neutral Arch Sof Soles, but for the most part all of the insoles on this list fall under the two categories below.
Both of these types were chosen because they are the most popular among insoles and provide enough versatility to cover all of the running shoe needs there are.
Gel, rather than foam in most cases, is a lot lighter and catered towards those who have pain when walking/running for extended durations. Obviously the gel Insoles by Envelop are a fantastic example of this as they provide top of the line pain relief and are more of a therapeutic type sole as the are marketed as “massaging gel insoles”. On the other hand, gel insoles can play a more important part in impact related exercises as the material is more suited for managing stress than foam is. For example, the Full-Length Neutral Arch Insole by Sof Sole although it’s mainly composed of foam, has a gel heel for reducing the shock associated with cross fit and running.
Foam on the other hand is more for long, drawn out running as the materials are quite comfortable and can withstand a lot of stress; much like the gel insoles can. In addition, foam insoles are superior when it comes to moisture wicking features as well as breathability. The Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis insoles by VIVEsol feature a much more breathable body than any gel insole could have due to the nature of the materials used.
In the end it all comes down to what your looking for in general. Foam and Gel cover enough features that’s there really no need for more abstract materials that are much more expansive to be put on the list.
Pain Relief and Comfort
Pain relief and comfort for the most part go together because if your comfortable, odds are you aren’t experiencing any pain. Both pain relief and comfort are two huge components that an insole has to have because it essentially dictates whether or not your going to invest in the sole in the first place. Stock insoles for the most part aren’t high enough quality to fix pain associated with exercising, which is why both of these features were taken into account when making our list.
One of the main reasons why insoles are purchased is pain relief, and when running, making sure you aren’t straining or damaging any bones/muscles is extremely important. Every insole on our list aids in pain relief although some may be better at it than others. One of the best insoles for pain relief on this list is Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis by VIVEsole as it is designed by podiatrists for top of the line foot support above all else.
Pain relief also subsections down into shock absorption as this is also another very important feature in reducing the stress applied on your foot when running.
Comfort is another big one because sometimes you just get that shoe thats just awful to wear whether it be casually or for exercising because of how uncomfortable it is. Both Gel and Foam insoles are great for comfort creating great synergy with every feature we wanted to include in our list. The BLUE Premium Insoles by SuperFeet for example are a foam insert and one of the most comfortable insoles on the market. On the other hand Sof Sole’s Neutral Arch has a gel heel that double’s as a pain relief feature and is also comfortable creating great synergy between these two categories.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you change your shoe inserts?
- Typically if you wear your insoles normally a pair of high quality shoe insoles will last you around 8 months. When the insoles begin to start showing wear and you notice when they start becoming ineffective it’s probably time to get a new pair of insoles.
Can I put my insoles in the washing machine?
- Of course you should always check the packaging as well as the brand website FAQ on this question in particular for best results. In most case’s you can wash your insoles with lukewarm water and a mild detergent or soap. Make sure not to let the insoles soak in the water too much as it will ruin them, but of course results may very depending on the insole you have.
What is the “Drop” in the insole?
- The drop simply means there is no space or “drop” between the shoe and the forefoot. Standard shoe insoles usually have a 12mm drop whereas insoles don’t.
How do you get the smell out of your insoles?
- One of the best ways I’ve found to deodorize your shoes is to apply a small amount of baking soda into the soles and then place them into a plastic bag and then in the freezer over night.
How do I trim my Insoles?
- Here’s a chart I found on the SuperFeet website that explains how to trim your insoles: (all credit to SuperFeet)