· By Casey Rutledge

Step Up Your Comfort Game: 7 Things to Know About Insoles

7 Things to Know About Insoles
We spend most of our days in our shoes. Everything from exercising to commuting place to place, to sitting at our desks or relaxing at home, our shoes come with us. Whether or not we realize it, our footwear experience isn't as comfortable or supportive as it could be. Insoles are often-overlooked contributors to comfort and can make a significant difference in our daily lives. 

We put together a list of things you need to know about insoles in order to help you have a more promising experience on your feet. 

1) Insoles are Made to add Comfort and Support
At their core, insoles are designed to enhance the comfort and support provided by your shoes. They act as a cushion between your feet and the hard surfaces you walk on, absorbing shocks and reducing pressure. By redistributing weight evenly, insoles can alleviate foot fatigue and discomfort, allowing you to stay on your feet longer without feeling exhausted.

2) Insoles are Versatile
Insoles aren’t limited to a certain style of shoe. Slip a pair of insoles into your dress shoes at work, your slippers at home, or your winter boots (link to warm feet article). There's a range of different insole options on the market, designed with different specifications, but all aiming to enhance how you feel in any type of shoe.

3) Insoles and Orthotics are not the Same
Insoles and orthotics are not the same things (link to insole article). Insoles can bring upgraded comfort and support to a range of feet, while orthotics are far more niche. Orthotics are generally prescribed by a doctor in order to address a medical issue like foot, ankle, and other lower body pains or major arch support needs.

4) Different Insole Materials

Most aftermarket insoles source some type of foam as their building block material. Different layering options can be added to the foam to provide different benefits. You’ll see materials like shearling, cork, leather, and gel on the market. Each material offers unique benefits such as shock absorption, moisture-wicking properties, odor control, and enhanced arch support. Experimenting with different materials can help you find the perfect match for your feet.

Shearling is sourced to provide warmth and breathability, along with comfort to an insole. By nature, cork is moisture-wicking, shock-absorbing, and breathable. Gels also absorb shock well during high-impact activities. And leather insoles aim to have a long and comfortable lifespan and endure tougher levels of wear and tear. 

5) Remove Your Insert
Most pairs of shoes come with removable insoles or inserts that are bonded to the bottom of the shoe. There are some instances where the insert will be stitched to the bottom of the shoe and can’t be removed. Insoles are going to fit best when they can be a replacement for the insert already in your shoe. 

6) Pricing of Insoles
The market for insoles is pretty consistent across the board with pricing. That doesn’t mean the playing field is necessarily leveled from a quality perspective though. You can expect to pay between $30 to $50 for quality insoles, depending on the complexity and intent of the insole.

Custom orthotics have a far greater range and specificity. It’s not uncommon to spend $300 to $600 on a pair of custom orthotics. 

7) Insoles aren’t a 1 for 1 design
Because shoes are all designed differently, an after-market insole likely won’t always be a perfect fit. While most insoles are designed to be versatile options, you may have to adjust them at times. If you’re looking for a closer 1 to 1 fit for a shoe, most insoles can be trimmed to better fit your specific shoe.

Update Your Comfort
Insoles are the unsung heroes that bring comfort and support to our daily lives. With their versatile nature, they can be used in various shoe types and activities.  From foam to gel and shearling to cork, insoles come in different materials catering to individual needs. So, give your feet the care they deserve and step into a world of enhanced comfort and support with the right pair of insoles.