The 7 Most Comfortable Insoles
Insoles can make all the difference when it comes to the comfort level of your shoes. They can add warmth, provide extra support (especially if you have a medical condition that affects your feet), and just generally make shoes fit better. That means practically anyone can benefit from wearing them — but with tons of different choices available, finding the most comfortable insoles can be a bit overwhelming. To help you out, Ashley Wood, RN, BSN, and author of Demystifying Your Health gave Bustle the full rundown on how to find the best insoles — and I used her advice to select some great picks to keep you comfortable while you walk, run, and stand.
Before you make a purchase, here's what you need to think about:
Identify your needs
First and foremost, it is important to choose insoles that address your specific needs. According to Wood, “Insoles make shoes more comfortable because they provide the support to the area of your foot that needs it.” For this reason, if you experience a lot of heel pain, look for an insole that provides plenty of padding in that area. If your feet are perpetually tired from standing, a foam insole with extra cushioning should keep you comfortable all day long. For exercise enthusiasts, Wood suggests an insole that offers a combination of flexible support and shock absorption. And finally, if you're trying to improve the fit of a too-big pair of shoes, Wood recommends a low profile insole that has “a layer of foam cushioning” to help reduce the extra space and create a snugger fit.
Know your arch type
Some insoles take the shape of your foot into consideration. Insoles can sometimes be designed specifically for one of the three arch types (low arches, neutral/medium arches, or high arches), so it’s important to know where yours fall so that you can pick an insole accordingly.
Choose a material
Insoles can be made from a number of materials, but foam is very common and often cheapest. Wood has plenty of good things to say about this material — specifically that it “is naturally shock absorbing, rigid and always dependable,” making it a great pick for “cushioning, support and pressure relief.” Only potential problem? Foam tends to wear down quickly, though memory foam can last a bit longer than other types and molds to your feet for better comfort.
Gel insoles are another popular pick and are really good for shock absorption. Wood says gel insoles are great when you want to “increase grip, stop slipping and relieve pain, especially in the balls of your feet.” Leather and cork are other insole material options that provide some cushioning, but are far less common.
Find the best fit
Another thing to keep in mind is that an ill-fitting insole is definitely not going to be comfortable. Make sure that the insole you purchase is sized correctly for your feet. Insoles are usually measured in shoe size and each insole size typically covers a range of shoe sizes (like women's sizes 8 to 10, for example). Full-length insoles are often trimmable, so that you can achieve the perfect fit even if you’re between size ranges.
It also matters that the insole fits inside the intended shoe. Insoles designed specifically for heels, for example, tend to be thinner and narrower, and standard insoles likely won't fit inside a pair of pumps.
Insoles come in a wide range of price points, but Wood counsels that “You don’t have to buy the most expensive insole to get the best product.” It’s all about finding the one that is right for you.
1. The Most Comfortable Foam Insoles For Everyday Wear
With more than 5,700 reviews on Amazon and an impressive 4.3-star rating overall, it’s safe to say these inserts from Powerstep are a standout pick when it comes to comfort.
One reviewer wrote “Oh, I could sing the praises of powerstep, but all I have to say is this: my 4-year suffering from plantar fasciitis has come to an end due to the religious use of these great insoles in all my shoes - including slippers. [...] I'm back to walking 3-4 miles every day, thank [you]!”
The foam insoles feature firm, yet flexible arch support (which works for all arch types), plus a deep heel cradle to increase support and stability for your feet. The plush top layer is anti-microbial, and also reduces heat and friction, leaving your feet cool, dry, and odor-free. The insoles are trimmable, too, ensuring a good fit. Choose from different size ranges, from women’s 5-5.5 up to 14-15.5.
2. The Most Comfortable Memory Foam Insoles For A More Customized Fit
Your feet will indeed be happy when you wear these insoles from Happystep; the high-density memory foam forms to your feet, giving you the best (and comfiest) fit.
One Amazon reviewer described the insole-wearing experience perfectly: “What a surprise! It was like standing on a cloud, all soft and cushy! [...] I wore them for about 12 hours and have continued to wear them every day in comfort.” And with a 4.2-star rating on Amazon, it’s safe to say that other reviewers totally agree.
According to the manufacturer, this pick is best for neutral or medium foot arch types. Choose from three size ranges (but don’t worry; they are all trimmable so you’ll end up with a good fit). The company also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can buy with no hesitation.
3. The Most Comfortable Gel Insoles For Tired Feet
Massaging gel insoles are just what the doctor ordered — Dr. Scholl, that is. Made of a shock-absorbing gel, these insoles are designed specifically to help people who experience foot discomfort and foot and leg fatigue. And reviewers on Amazon say that this pick really makes a difference; the insoles transform their shoes into ones that are comfortable to wear all day long.
“I have a job where I have to stand for long periods of time (professor), and before these inserts, my entire body would be in pain and I would be sapped of energy at the end of the day. Now I can get through a day of teaching and be functional at the end of the day. Today, I even worked out after work - which I would have never had the energy for before,” one wrote.
These insoles have slightly firmer gel around the heel for a little extra support. However, if you are looking for a lot of arch support, reviewers say this isn’t the best option. (If arch support is what you're after, you'd be better off with the Powerstep Pinnacles for medium arches or Superfeet Green for low ones.)
This pick fits women’s sizes 6 to 10, and despite being made of gel, they are totally trimmable. Best yet, the insoles come with a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.
4. The Most Comfortable Insole For Walking And Other Exercise
Walking, running, and other exercise can take a toll on your feet. But reviewers on Amazon say that these insoles from wernies truly improve their comfort level during workouts.
“Wow. These make a huge difference when I exercise. They reduce the amount of pain in my feet and legs from the impact of running. I was able to exercise for twice as long as normal today, thanks to these puppies. [...] I cannot thank this company enough for creating such a fantastic product,” one reviewer wrote.
A combination of a foam base and gel pads is the secret sauce of this pick, giving you the best of both worlds. The insoles provide comfortable cushioning, as well as major shock absorption that reduces the impact on the joints and muscles as you walk or move. The insoles also feature reinforced arch support, a deep heel cup, and an anti-slip top layer to increase support, comfort, and stability.
The manufacturer advises that these insoles are best for neutral arches. Choose from a range of color options and sizes (from women’s size 6 to 15.5). And yes, they are trimmable, too.
5. The Most Comfortable Insole For High Heels
If you’ve ever had to change heels because your feet are barking, then you need these insoles from Pedag. The 3/4-length insoles are made of a breathable leather that gives you just the right amount of padding. What’s best, though, is the extra padding at the ball of the foot, where your heeled foot needs it most.
Since the insoles are extremely thin and narrow, they should work with any heel at any height. The insoles stick directly to your shoes, so you don’t have to worry about them sliding all around (or worse, falling out).
Reviewers on Amazon say that they really notice a difference in the comfort level of their heels when using this pick.
“Since giving birth, I've had problem feet and been unable to wear heels without pain. This is the first time since that I've worn heels without dying by midday. The leather almost feels silky to the feet and my feet actually feel more comfortable in heels with these insoles than in flats without these insoles! If you're a pavement pounder like I am, you will appreciate how the pads absorb the shock from the balls of your feet,” one reviewer wrote.
These insoles are handmade in Germany, and come in sizes ranging from 5 to 10.
6. The Most Comfortable Insole If You Have Low Or No Arches
Superfeet is known for making high-quality insoles and this pick is certainly no different. And with more than 6,800 reviews on Amazon and a 4.1-star rating overall, reviewers couldn't agree more.
“I have flat feet along with several other issues and these are great (have ordered 4 sets to date). I can wear Superfeet all day with no issues. I also have a pair of custom made foot supports that cost over $200 [...] my feet are just as "happy" at the end of the day with these as the custom built,” one reviewer wrote.
The green insoles are made of a high-density foam that cushions the feet in all the right places. The high-profile shape provides stability and support, reducing stress on your feet, ankles, and knees. The deep heel cup helps with shock absorption, too. What’s best is the longevity of this pick; get comfort for up to 12 months or 500 miles, whichever comes first.
The full-length insoles come in a range of sizes, but are intended to be trimmed to fit your shoes.
7. The Most Comfortable Shoe Insert To Help With Heel Pain
If you’ve got heel pain or discomfort, then this deep heel insole from Heel That Pain could be the answer you’ve been seeking. Designed by doctors and clinically proven, the manufacturer claims that the insole can re-align the plantar fascia ligament (which spans the sole of your foot) back into a healthy position and reduce inflammation. According to Heel That Pain, Heel Seats should provide pain relief within one to eight days of regular use.
The Original Heel Seat is made of a blend of rubber, providing maximum pressure and the firmest feel. If this is too firm for your liking, there is also a Heel Seat made entirely from gel (soft), and another made from a gel and rubber combo (semi-firm). The insole will fit into any shoe with a backing and comes in four different sizes, based on shoe size. This pick comes with a 120-day return and refund policy, too.
Amazon reviewers are thrilled with the effectiveness of the Heel Seat.
“I have suffered from heel pain for so many years & nothing has worked. [...] however these insoles helped me personally almost immediately & I am not even one to write reviews but I truly truly wanted to make sure the word got out to everyone that has suffered like me, YOU MUST PURCHASE THESE!! I promise you you will thank me later! Oh and I wear them with almost every shoe, they fit true to size & I can walk again with no pain I don't know I just love them,” one reviewer wrote.
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