Stores everywhere carry a variety of insoles for shoes that claim to reduce pain and help your feet. It seems like a great idea: slip these gadgets into your shoes and you’ll get extra cushion and shock absorption. But should you use them? And how do you choose one?
Types of Insoles
To determine whether an insole might work for you, it’s best to know what insoles are intended to do. Comfort insoles are basically extra cushioning and padding that can reduce foot fatigue if you’re on your feet all day. They help absorb shock and may benefit people who have standing jobs. But, they won’t correct shoes that have inadequate or poor support.
Sport insoles are not “cushy” feeling, but are usually firm and designed for a specific purpose. Many are designed to provide arch support, correct overpronation (inward rolling of the feet), or to otherwise help align the foot in the shoe. To use these properly, it’s important to first be aware of your foot issues and what you need to correct them. Using an insole improperly, or the wrong type, can actually make some foot pain and problems worse.
How to Use Insoles
Try these tips for proper insole usage to minimize any problems:
Put the insole on the floor and stand on it as if it’s in your shoe. Stand on each insole, one foot at a time, to see how it feels.
Make sure you have room in your shoes. Any time you add an insole, you make your shoe a little tighter. Sometimes people buy shoes a half size larger to accommodate an insole they like. Just make sure your feet have enough room to move. In general, there should be a quarter to half inch of space between the tip of your toe and the end of the shoe.
Before wearing any insole for long periods, try it out for a short amount of time to ensure it isn’t making you uncomfortable. Foot pain is a red flag that you have the wrong insole!
Start with the Right Shoes
Insoles can be beneficial for people who need a little extra padding or support. But they aren’t a cure-all if you have wor-out shoes or those without proper support to begin with. In many cases, switching to a properly fitting, supportive shoe can reduce or eliminate foot fatigue and pain. Look for shoes that have the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association.
If the right shoes aren’t enough and you still have foot pain, it may be time to see your podiatrist. Certain foot problems can be corrected with proper support from insoles or orthotics, but you’ll need a podiatrist’s expert opinion on your individual foot issues. He or she can provide a recommendation on what you should wear to correct foot issues and get you back to living without foot pain.
Take charge of foot pain – contact Dr. Jeffery LaMour to schedule your podiatry appointment today!