Have you tried custom insoles? May runners, walkers, and athletes swear by them – but are they right for you? Here’s what you need to know:
Common Misconceptions about Insoles
Let’s start with some common misconceptions about insoles. Have these thoughts ever crossed your mind?
- Insoles are for people with chronic foot pain
- Insoles are best for older people who need extra support in their shoes to maintain proper posture and alignment
- I don’t need insoles, my shoes come with them
- Athletes and runners don’t use insoles, they can rely on the support of a good shoe to keep their feet and bodies healthy
Now for the fun part, debunking misconceptions! We bet you’ll be surprised to learn that:
Finnish Women's National Basketball Team
Insoles are For Everyone
Seriously. Stop thinking about them as orthotics. Professional basketball players were them, soccer players wear them, runners wear them. The list goes on and on. Age doesn’t dictate one’s need for insoles. Think of it this way: Your feet don’t get a lot of love. You’re standing on them all day, pounding the pavement mile after mile during your runs throughout the week or simply walking around in the office and coming home with sore, tired feet. Your feet bare the burden of stabilizing your entire body every day.
The scary part is, you might not notice the effects of the efforts your feet tackle daily until you’re feeling pain or you get injured. While insoles can’t solve all your aches and pains (stretching, foam rolling and preventative exercises are musts), they can certainly help. Insoles function as a stabilizing force to support your body and help counteract all the wear and tear your feet go through every day. Plus, they’re super comfy.
Great Shoes Help, But Add Insoles And You’re in Comfort Heaven
It’s always a good idea to get fitted for a shoe that works best for:
a) Your type of foot (wide, narrow, high arch, etc)
b) The type of activity you plan to use the shoe for (running, walking, cross-training)
c) Supporting your natural pronation (stability, neutral)
If you’ve done that, you’ve taken a big step in the right direction – we’re proud of you! So where do the insoles come in? Great question. If you were fitted for a shoe based on the above factors, it’s still crucial to recognize that that shoe is great for your feet but having an extra layer of customized (say it with me, ‘customized’) support is key. The shoe is likely a good fit for your activity and foot type, but it isn’t customized to your feet. Custom insoles are molded to your foot to support your specific foot type. That kind of support is invaluable because it means your great shoes are now paired with a highly customized feature designed to:
☑ Aid in the prevention of future injuries;
☑ Improve athletic performance and;
☑ Provide relief from existing injuries.
Your Shoes Actually Don’t Come with Insoles
Those aren’t insoles in your shoes, they’re sock liners. They don’t provide any support, they’re just there to help keep your feet in place inside your shoes. Insoles, especially custom-molded insoles, are made to support your specific foot. If you have a high arch, for example, custom insoles will be molded to your foot to support that arch. Sockliners can’t do that.