The 10 Best Insoles

Updated February 02, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Insoles
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 35 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 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. Sof Sole Airr

The Sof Sole Airr are ideal for men and women with low arches, as they feature a sturdy nylon plate just behind the middle for better alignment. Also, the heel and center contain air bubbles for additional cushioning, but these may be a little too thick for some.
  • fabric tops stay cool
  • don't move around in your shoes
  • tend to run a little small
Brand Sof Sole
Model pending
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Spenco Total Support Max

The Spenco Total Support Max feature strategically placed pods that provide optimal stability and motion control during a sports game or vigorous workouts. They help reduce the stress caused by hard impacts and quick turning.
  • can prevent athletic injuries
  • backed by a one-year warranty
  • not meant for everyday use
Brand Spenco
Model 46-210-02
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Hydrofeet Dynamic Therapeutic

With the help of glycerin-filled fluid pads and traditional foam, the Hydrofeet Dynamic Therapeutic absorb the shock of each step, so your joints don't have to. They also provide light stimulation to increase blood circulation and relieve discomfort.
  • alleviate back pain
  • provide comfort for calluses
  • no arch support
Brand Hydrofeet
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

7. Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel

The Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel come in a wide range of sizes 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.
  • good choice for irregular feet
  • great fit in work boots
  • can slide around in other shoes
Brand Dr. Scholl's
Model 11017320593
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Powerstep Protech

The Powerstep Protech can lessen pain caused by common issues, like heel spurs, and effectively reinforce 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 14.4 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. New Balance 3810

The New Balance 3810 feature separate cushioning for the heel and forefoot, which helps to distribute your weight evenly. Their modular design addresses most types of arch problem, and their metatarsal pad protects your toes.
  • contoured shape for stabilization
  • ideal for preventing blisters
  • not very flexible
Brand New Balance
Model 3810 Ultra Support Inso
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. CurrexSole RunPro

The CurrexSole RunPro have a high-profile that helps to diminish your overall fatigue and discomfort by reducing stress on your ligaments, muscles, bones, and joints. They bridge the gap between your foot and your shoe to maximize the transfer of force.
  • ideal for athletic use
  • limit excessive motion
  • rounded heel minimizes impacts
Brand currexSole
Model 201
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Powerstep Pinnacle

The Powerstep Pinnacle are impressively flexible and their deep heel cradle prevents heavy, repetitive impacts from working their way painfully up your legs and into your lower back. They're ready for a diverse range of movement.
  • double-layer foam
  • antimicrobial surface fabric
  • materials reduce friction
Brand Powerstep
Model Pinnacle
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Spenco Rx Comfort

If you've already spent more than you'd like to admit on shoes, then any related accessories need to be budget-friendly, like the Spenco Rx Comfort. These add just the right amount of cushioning for moderate activity and everyday tasks.
  • take up barely any space
  • perfect for uneven ground
  • also work with custom-made insoles
Brand Spenco
Model 40-212-04
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Superfeet Carbon

The Superfeet Carbon offer everything you want in an insole, and nothing you don't. They're extremely lightweight, while also remarkably durable. Plus, these breathe well to prevent any embarrassing foot odor that can come after a long day.
  • keep their shape over time
  • never make footwear feel tight
  • provide comfort for flat arches
Brand Superfeet
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 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 February 02, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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