Here’s an overview of the different types of insoles, so you can find the type that’s best-suited for you.
Orthotic Arch Supports
These types of insoles either have rigid or semi-rigid insole support for their design. These are often referred to as arch supports. Moreover, they’re originally crafted to ensure that the foot is healthy, regardless of the strenuous activities you partake in.
These have built-in arch support that keeps it from over-collapsing while limiting unnecessary ankle movement. It reduces the strain on your plantar fascia, preventing arch pain and foot disorders.
Using orthotic arch supports guides your feet in making a natural walking motion in each step, which avoids over-pronation.
How do you use it?
These have a small break-in time before you can start using them all day. Only use your arch supports one to two hours a day during the first week, you can then increase it to three to four hours the following week.
Take Note: It’s okay for the orthotic arch supports to be uncomfortable in the first week. After the break-in, it reduces discomfort. However, if this persists, kindly consider purchasing a new insole.
Cushioned Arch Supports
Unlike the Orthotic Arch Supports, these are made completely from cushioned padding, so it does not have a semi-rigid plate.
These are referred to as arch cushions, they’re created to deliver some support to your foot. However, it mainly focuses on maximum cushioning. While it can be used for cases where support is needed, this is best used to give relief from foot fatigue.
Who mostly wears these supports?
Runners and brisk walkers often look for cushioned arch supports as their go-to wear than its orthotic arch support counterpart. What’s more, people who stand for long periods (like security guards and promo girls) prefer this type as well, considering they do not have existing foot conditions.
The built-in arch support from this type is enough to provide support, especially insoles with heel cup feature. However, it can’t compete with orthotic arch support. If you are someone who experiences arch pain or over-pronation, Orthotic Arch insoles are the better option.
For people who have foot fatigue and shin splints, this type is the best for you. Also, for users who have tried wearing semi-rigid orthotic arch support and find it awkward, give Cushioned Arch Supports a shot.
Flat Cushions/Replacement Insoles
These do not have arch support at all, that’s why they’re referred to as replacement insoles. This type of insole is designed to line the bottom of your shoe as an alternative for a sock-liner.
Replacement insoles can feature a cushioned top-coat or a flattened one. You can purchase this type in a variety of materials, including foam, leather, and cotton. Its wide-range of options fits all user preferences. These are thinner than the other types on the list as well.
This may vary depending on your sport or activity and these are more technical than other forms. Runners need to have a decent heel and forefoot cushion, it should have a foot support system for the heel to toe motion.
However, cyclists are a different case. They need to have tight-fitting footwear, so a rigid and compact insole works best for them. Meanwhile, winter sports activities need an insole that has a heat retention feature, making it comfortable for you to use in bulkier shoes.
These are popular because of their shock absorption properties. True enough, gel insoles are heavier than other materials, but people who take part in high-impact motions, like running, benefit from gel insoles. It decreases foot fatigue and enhances the athlete’s energy.
Warm & Wool Insoles
They are popular because of their insulation properties, in work to regulate and maintain the optimal temperature, regardless of the weather (hot or cold).
These insoles keep your feet cool in the summer. Hence, the reason why golf enthusiasts are fond of using wool insoles.
While it’s true that all insoles will eventually conform to the shape of your foot, it takes weeks for that to happen. These heat-moldable insoles fasten the development, allowing you to be more comfortable over a short period.
This is done by heating it for a few minutes in the oven and standing on top of the insoles as they cool down. By doing this process, the insoles mold to your foot shape right away.
If you’re looking for an insole that gives you a customized fit in an instant, these are a good option.