With the advent of the Fitbit and other fitness technologies, many Americans are striving to walk a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. While walking is good for your health, taking all of those steps also puts a strain on your body.
To protect your feet and your joints, it's important to get the best insoles for your shoes. Having the right insoles will ensure that, whether you're walking, running, or both, that your feet are well supported.
Let's look at how you can make sure you're getting the best insoles for your shoes.
What Happens When You Don't Have the Best Insoles?
Before we discuss how to choose the right insoles, let's take a closer look at why they're so important. What happens to your body when your feet are not supported with great insoles?
When we spend time standing, walking, or running, we're constantly putting a strain on our feet, ankles, and legs. This can lead to heel pain, tendinitis, shin splints, and even back pain.
Athletes aren't the only ones that deal with this pain. People with jobs in education, retail, or healthcare who are on their feet all day also deal with this additional stress.
Insoles make a difference by providing additional support and improving posture. When you have the best insoles, you can stay on your feet longer with less pain.
Types of Insoles
When it comes to choosing the best insoles, there is no right answer. Instead, it's important to find the insoles that are the best for you and your needs.
Here's a brief overview of some of the different kinds of insoles available.
These insoles are best for folks who are mostly standing or walking. Comfort insoles protect the foot by absorbing the shock of stepping on hard surfaces.
These insoles are typically made from gel or foam. They are also available in a full-length version to support your whole foot, or a half-length version to just support the arch and heel.
For some folks, their foot and ankle pain is caused more by poor posture or flat feet than by the shock of taking steps. Also, some joggers have a tendency to roll their feet in or out while running, which can cause pain. In these cases, a support insole is a better choice than a comfort insole.
Support insoles are usually made from a harder material. This is because they are designed to improve stability, rather than provide comfort.
Of course, the best way to get an insole to support your foot is to have one custom-made by a podiatrist. But even without taking that step, it is possible to find support insoles made specifically for people with certain foot shapes or posture habits. Finding the right one for you can help reduce pain.
Shoe Fit Insoles
In some cases, folks purchase insoles to help their shoes fit better. Using an insole can be a great way to make uncomfortable shoes more comfortable.
For instance, perhaps you've noticed your heel slipping out of your shoe when you walk. Wearing a supportive insole will fill the excess space in the back of your shoe, and help stop your heel from slipping.
The Mileage of Your Insoles
Different insoles are designed to hold up to a certain amount of use. High-volume insoles will be able to withstand walking for more miles, while low-volume insoles are better for more casual use.
Deciding which insoles you should choose will depend on your personal habits. For instance, low-volume insoles tend to be less expensive. So, if you don't walk a lot, they may be the right fit for you.
By contrast, if you have a job where you're on your feet, or you like to go jogging or walking, high-volume insoles are probably a better bet. Even if you save money on the original cost, you'll spend that money later when you have to replace the insoles often.
Find Insoles that Fit
That said, the length of time that your insoles will last is not the only factor you should consider. You'll also want to think about how the insoles will fit into the shoes you plan to wear them with.
For instance, if you like to run every day, you might assume that you'll want high-volume insoles. But these insoles also tend to be thicker. For this reason, they might not fit well in your running shoes.
Trying Insoles Out
Getting the best insoles is kind of like buying a new car. You won't know which is right for you until you try it out.
When you're trying a new insole, start by standing on it outside of the shoe. Think about whether you feel stable, and whether each part of your foot feels supported.
Then, see how it feels with the insole in the shoe. Remember to always remove the stock insole before putting the new on in.
In addition to considering the support, think about how well the insole fits in the shoe. Do you feel like you could wear this all day, or does it make the shoe feel too tight?
Caring for Your Insoles
To get the best use out of your insoles, it's important to care for them properly. This will help them to last longer and provide the best support.
First, you should regularly remove the insoles from your shoe to allow them to wear out. This is especially important to remove moisture if you sweat a lot.
If you decide to wash the insoles, use a mild detergent. You should wash the insoles by hand, and should always let them air dry. If you notice the insoles starting to look deteriorated, it might be time to replace them.
Get the Support You Need
When you have the best insoles, you can stay on your feet longer with less pain.
If you want more information about how to get support for your feet, contact us. We'll help you get the best insoles so that you can live your best, pain-free life.