The 10 Best Insoles

Updated November 28, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

10 Best Insoles
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you spend the majority of your day on your feet or you spend a lot of time engaged in athletic activities, like running or hiking, the odds are that you've found your shoes' stock insoles somewhat lacking. This can manifest in many ways, from foot pain to back aches, but you can readily solve the problem and find relief with a new pair of insoles designed specifically to ease your agony. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best insole on Amazon.

10. Superfeet Premium

If all you're looking for is a little arch support and a touch of extra cushioning, the Superfeet Premium will provide just that. They have a high arch that offers a good deal of lift, as well as a relatively high wall around the heel.
  • organic odor control coating
  • stabilizer cap at the base
  • not very shock-absorbent
Brand Superfeet
Model Green Premium-U
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Spenco Total Support Max

The Spenco Total Support Max use a 3-POD modulation system to provide optimal stability and motion control during a sports game or vigorous independent workouts. They help reduce the stress caused by hard impacts and quick turning.
  • prevent athletic injuries
  • backed by a one-year warranty
  • not meant for everyday use
Brand Spenco
Model 46-210-02
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Pinnacle Powerstep Premium Orthotics

The Pinnacle Powerstep Premium Orthotics provide a very flexible level of cushioning to your feet while their deep heel cradle prevents heavy, repetitive impacts from working their way painfully up your legs and into your lower back.
  • double-layer foam
  • antimicrobial top fabric
  • lining degrades rapidly
Brand Powerstep
Model Powerstep Pinnacle Orth
Weight pending
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. CurrexSole RunPro

The CurrexSole RunPro feature a high-profile arch that helps to reduce your overall fatigue and discomfort by minimizing stress on your ligaments, muscles, bones, and joints. They bridge the gap between your foot and your shoe to maximize your force transfer.
  • ideal for athletic use
  • reduce excessive motion
  • rounded heel minimizes impacts
Brand currexSole
Model 201
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Hydrofeet Dynamic Therapeutic Massaging

With the help of glycerin-filled fluid pads and traditional foam cushioning, the Hydrofeet Dynamic Therapeutic Massaging absorb the shock of each step and lightly stimulate your feet to increase blood circulation and minimize discomfort.
  • help reduce back pain
  • provide comfort for calluses
  • no arch support
Brand Hydrofeet
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Powerstep Protech Control

The Powerstep Protech Control minimize pain caused by common issues, like heel spurs, and provide effective support for the ankles, knees, and even the lower back region. The more you wear these, the better your whole skeletal system should feel.
  • double-layered eva cushion
  • designed by podiatrists
  • no built-in moisture control
Brand Powerstep
Model pending
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. Sof Sole Airr Orthotic Performance

The Sof Sole Airr Orthotic Performance are ideal for men and women with low arches, as they feature a sturdy nylon plate just behind the middle for better alignment. The heel and center also contain Skydex air bubbles for additional cushioning support.
  • coolmax fabric tops
  • good athletic option
  • tend to run a little small
Brand Sof Sole
Model pending
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. New Balance IUSA3810 Supportive Cushioning

The New Balance IUSA3810 Supportive Cushioning feature separate cushioning for the heel and forefoot, which helps to distribute your weight evenly. Their modular design addresses most types of arch problems, and their metatarsal pad protects your toes.
  • contoured shape for stabilization
  • ideal for preventing blisters
  • great for long walks and hikes
Brand New Balance
Model IUSA3810 Supportive Cus
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel

The Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel come in broad size ranges with a cut-to-fit rim extending from the middle of the sole to the toe. The gel actually keeps you ever-so-slightly off balance to activate the muscles in your foot, increasing circulation to provide comfort.
  • made in the usa
  • money-back guarantee
  • great fit in work boots
Brand Dr. Scholl's
Model 11017320593
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Montrail Enduro-Sole Unisex

The Montrail Enduro-Sole Unisex are fitted with a molded base that flexes in step with the foot's natural motion range and stabilizes the heel and ankle with each stride. They also have a synthetic top sheet that helps to wick away moisture.
  • integrafit technology in soles
  • high rebound heel pads
  • molded thermoplastic shanks
Brand Montrail
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Brief History Of Foot Orthotics

The first use of medical arch support orthotics was in 1865, when Everett H. Dunbar added leather lifts between the outsole and the insole of a pair of shoes. Forty years later in 1905, an orthopedist in Boston by the name of Royal Whitman created the first full foot orthotic. It was called the Whitman Brace and was designed to treat a condition known as flat foot. Unfortunately, the Whitman Brace could be quite cumbersome to put on. It was also large enough to distort the wearer's shoe.

In 1904, a young physician by the name of Dr. William Scholl patented the Foot-Eazer and in 1907 he founded the Scholl Manufacturing Co. Inc. to produce and sell it. It was significantly lighter and smaller than the Whitman Brace, plus its arch support was more flexible and comfortable to wear. This allowed it to quickly replace the Whitman Brace as the foot orthotic of choice and by 1915, it was an international success with stores opening in London.

Over the next two decades, shoe manufacturers started producing corrective shoes, which had built-in orthotic features. These became wildly popular and at one point, there were over 1,000 brands of orthotic footwear. The advertisements for these orthotic shoes claimed the ability to prevent, cure, and relieve such a wide range of foot disorders that, in the late 1940s, the Federal Trade Commission issued a cease-and-desist order to any company that could not support their claims.

A few notable companies were able to withstand the rapid decline of the corrective shoe industry after the cease-and-desist order, Dr. Scholl's being one of them, and in the 1960s and 1970s new materials along with an increase in athletic shoes and the burgeoning popularity of jogging gave the orthotics industry renewed vigor.

Benefits Of Using Insoles

The benefits of using insoles can be quickly realized by anybody who stands or walks for long periods of time throughout the day. They can also be beneficial for runners. Not only do they lessen foot fatigue and relieve joint pain in the ankle and knee, insoles are known to help with plantar fasciitis and abnormal foot pronation.

As we have molded our landscape to form cities with well-laid out sidewalks and roads and construct buildings with tile and marble floors, we have increased the amount of time we spend walking on unnaturally hard surfaces and reduced the amount of time spent on natural land like grass, sand, and soil. These artificial surfaces do not offer any of the cushioning and shock absorbing properties of the natural landscape. This has resulted in an estimated 50% to 60% of the population experiencing foot, ankle, and lower joint pain in some form or another.

The shock and impact absorbing properties of insoles works to combat this problem. They are designed to mold to your foot, offering more support and more cushioning. One could argue that shoes already come with enough padding, and this is often true when they are new. After walking in them for six months to a year, this padding gets compacted and loses much of its ability to effectively absorb impacts. Inserting a set of insoles into a pair of shoes is considerably cheaper than buying a new pair when the shoe's padding loses its shock absorbing properties.

Understanding The Types Of Insoles

Insoles come in a variety of types, each designed with a different application in mind. They will often be advertised with the following terms: arch support, arch cushion, comfort or cushion, athletic or sport, and gel.

Arch support insoles are somewhat hard and rigid. This is because they are designed to give support more so than add comfort. They assist the foot in attaining a natural stepping position and help to properly spread the body's weight across the entire foot. Arch supports may feel uncomfortable when one first starts using them, but most become accustomed to them within a week or two.

Arch cushions are ideal for the person who has only a slight arch problem and wants something to enhance comfort while offering support at the same time. They can also be used by someone who is having trouble becoming accustomed to the more rigid design of arch support insoles. Arch cushions have a foam padding to help absorb impacts.

Comfort insoles are designed for people who experience discomfort when standing and walking for long periods. They have thicker padding then other insole types and will work better for absorbing heavy impacts. Comfort insoles are ideal for walking all day and can help increase circulation or relieve joint pain and foot fatigue.

Athletic insoles are engineered to meet the rigorous demands of athletes. They will have more heel padding and a support system designed to promote a natural gait. Sport insoles tend to be more compact than other types of insoles so they can fit into tight running shoes.

Gel insoles offer the most shock absorption and provide one of the softest feeling steps. They mold better to the shape of the foot and can bend with the shoe if you step on uneven surfaces. Gel insoles also last longer before losing their shock absorbing abilities than traditional padding.

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Last updated on November 28, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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