Choosing the right insoles can be the difference between getting injured and hitting a PB. The best insoles for running will help to cushion the impact felt by your foot with each step while supporting your ankle and lower leg to ensure your foot stays planted. There are a number of factors to consider to ensure you find the right ones for you. Here’s our guide to buying insoles for running shoes.
Why you’re using insoles
Your reason for buying insoles will dictate the type of insoles you choose. For example, if you spend many hours each day on your feet, such as those who work in services jobs or as nurses, then protecting your feet from aches and pains is vital to your physical health (and your success at work). Similarly, if you’re an athlete, particularly in a sport that includes a lot of running, then your foot and lower-leg health is crucial to your performance.
It’s the reason we offer different kinds of insoles. Our Comfort insoles are designed for wearing all day. They have a generally flat profile and provide a very natural, neutral feeling in your shoe. Our Performance insoles, on the other hand, are designed with athletes in mind. They are more rigid and provide better arch support with the aim of keeping your feet protected. Your feet, ankles, and lower legs undergo extreme stress during most athletic activities, and it’s important to reduce the impact this has on your physical health.
Existing health conditions
Any existing health conditions or injuries that you have will also feed into your decision making. For instance, if you regularly suffer from general aches and pains in the lower legs and feet, then softer insoles, such as our comfort range, will suffice. Similarly, if you have legs of slightly different lengths, then a simple comfort insole will help to reduce the impact of this imbalance.
For more serious conditions, then a more pronounced and supportive orthotic is recommended. For instance, if you suffer from overpronation or under pronation, a condition where the feet are angled inwards or outwards respectively, then a sturdier performance insole is more effective at moving your foot to a neutral position.
Sufferers of plantar fasciitis, a common injury amongst runners, will benefit from more rigid performance insoles too. They will help to reduce the stress placed upon your fascia (the tissue that stretches along the bottom of the foot) with each step, thus helping to minimise pain and aid recovery.
You can find more information on these conditions and other common running injuries on our injury advice page.
Other types of insole
We’ve discussed full-size insoles so far – insoles that stretch the entire length of your foot, but there are some which only cover part of the foot. For example, some insoles just cover the heel – called heel cups – and they are specifically designed for people with heel problems or if your shoes don’t have space for a full-sized insole.
Other orthotics are 3/4-length, reaching from the heel to the ball of the foot. These are particularly useful for those wearing footwear with a tight toe box who still need the support of an insole. These types of insoles are often most appropriate for those wearing formal shoes or high heels, and the best insoles for running are generally full-sized ones.
It perhaps goes without saying, but buying the correct size of insole is important. If they don’t fit your feet or the shoes they’re in, then you’ll fail to reap the benefits. With roller skates or bowling shoes, some people like to ask for a slightly bigger shoe than their actual size, but this shouldn’t be done with orthotic insoles. Buy the correct size – try to be as exact as possible. Most insoles come in full and half sizes (on the UK’s shoe size scale) to help you find the right size for you.
If you have specific medical needs, then it is recommended that you seek a doctor’s advice to find the best solution to your issue. While our insoles are excellent for most purposes, some conditions will require more specialist equipment.
Choosing the right insoles is important because of the impact they can have on your athletic performance. Being held back by injuries is every athlete’s worse nightmare, and our insoles are clinically proven to prevent and aid the recovery of a number of running-related ailments, such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and runner’s knee. Our state-of-the-art D3O shock absorption technology supports your feet and hardens on impact, protecting you with every step. We’re so confident in our insoles that they all come with a 60-day money-back guarantee. Check out our full range of products to find the right insoles for you.