best insoles for plantar fasciitis

How To Find The Best Insoles For Plantar Fasciitis

Does your heel tend to hurt a lot? Have problems running because of the pain? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, then perhaps you ought to consider getting insoles for it. More likely than not, the pain is due to plantar fasciitis, and so looking around for a pair of good insoles can help you take away the pain, without having to sacrifice a lot of time and money for surgery.

That said, in this article, we are here to give you information on how to find the best insoles for plantar fasciitis, as well as offer some products to get you started. Soon enough, you will be able to recover quickly and get back on track in running. Let’s get started!

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What is plantar fasciitis?

Considered one of the most common sports injuries among runners, plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia (a ligament that connects the heel to the toe) becomes strained and inflamed, thereby leading to pain in the heel area. More often than not, it is caused by some of these factors:

1. You have high or low arches. Depending on how your foot is shaped, having a specific arch can make a difference in how you normally run. While the ideal is having a medium arch, many of us tend to fall into the category of having high or low arches. As a result, it can cause problems with our biomechanics in how we run, thereby leading to injury.

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2. You over-train. Like with any other injuries out there, running too much and not taking enough time off to rest and recover creates strained muscles, which then leads to improper running form and subsequently getting injured.

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3. You wear worn-out or improper shoes. Not all running shoes are designed to fit every runner; in fact, it is important to know which ones will suit you the best, in terms of arch and heel support. Additionally, replacing your shoes after many months of running helps to prevent instability and injuries from happening.

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4. You have tight muscles. Especially in the calf muscles and Achilles tendons, having tense muscles creates inflexibility, which then leads to improper running form and later injury. While you might not be able to help it, taking measures to stretch and loosen up the muscles after running can make all the difference in how you run later.

For some more information on plantar fasciitis, check out our article on it here.

How do I find the best insoles to treat it?

In order to find the best insoles to help you recover from plantar fasciitis, it is important to consider some of these points:

1. Know your foot type. Once again, it is essential that you know your foot’s arch type, in order to make sure that you are purchasing the right kind of insoles for your feet. Determine if you have a high, medium, or low arch by taking the “Wet Test,” which you can find here.

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2. Check the material. It depends on what kind of arch you have, but in any case you will need to determine what kind of insole material will work best for it. If you tend to have a high arch, then a more-cushioned insole is best for you to make up for the space between the foot and shoe. For low arches, a more rigid insole would be better for providing stability and shock support.

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3. Give it a trial run. If possible, see if you could test out the insoles you have chosen. Try walking around in them, and even run around a little to see if it feels comfortable and strong enough to last a good amount of time. Doing so helps you to find the best pair, so that you do not waste time and money looking around.

best-insoles-for-plantar-fasciitis

4. If necessary, customize it. Under special circumstances, you might need to get custom orthotics. Especially if your feet are distinctively-shaped, then it might benefit you to pay an extra bit to get good support for your feet in the long run.

For more thoughts on finding the best insoles, why not check out our article on orthotics?

Top Five Best Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis

1. Healthy Step Full Length Orthotic Insole.

Designed for both high and low-arched feet, this insole from Healthy Step is specialized to treat just about any heel pain out there, from plantar fasciitis to heel spurs. It also provides breathable material and a comfortable experience when you are running or walking.

Healthy Step? Full Length Orthotic Insole-orthotic Inserts-best Orthopedic Insole for Plantar Fasciitis, Flat Feet and Painful Foot (S/5.5-7)

Via Amazon.com

Pros

  • Made from breathable, anti-bacterial material for a dry, odor-free experience.
  • Contains a “heel cup” that protects and stabilizes the heel from moving all over the place.
  • Works for both high arches and low arches.

Cons

  • Might feel a bit stiffer than other insoles out there.

Opinion

Considering that I have low arches, I found that wearing Healthy Step’s orthotic insole was a wonderful, comfortable experience; I especially enjoyed the protection around the heel to keep it in place. Only thing was that it took a while to break it in, but afterwards, it was smooth-sailing from there.


2. Powerstep Pinnacle Premium Orthotic Shoe Insoles.

With a semi-rigid material built into it, this orthotic insole from Powerstep offers both flexibility and firmness to deal with just about anything your feet take while out and about. That said, it helps those who often over-pronate and/or have plantar fasciitis to relieve some of that discomfort.

Powerstep Pinnacle Premium Orthotic Shoe Insoles, Flexible Cushioning, Perfect For Alleviating Foot Pain

Via Amazon.com

Pros

  • Contains a Double Layer Foam Cushioning feature for extra padding and comfort.
  • Has an Anti-Microbial Top Fabric element to reduce heat and friction while you run.
  • Can be used to reduce pain from plantar fasciitis, as well as healing it.

Cons

  • Because of the extra padding from the Double Layer Foam Cushioning feature, it might not be able to fit into your shoes.

Opinion

Since I enjoy comfort along with stable support, I found Powerstep’s insoles to satisfy both reasons. However, the insoles do seem a bit too thick for my liking, as I had a hard time at first fitting them into my shoes.


3. FootSpa Pro Plantar Fasciitis Insoles.

Besides being able to treat plantar fasciitis, this product from FootSpa can also be used to alleviate pain caused by shin splints, ankle pain, and over-pronation. In fact, the design of this insole can help correct improper running form, thereby allowing you to continue running efficiently and pain-free.

FootSpa Pro Plantar Fasciitis Insoles, Orthotic Insoles, Relief from Heel and Foot Pain, Insoles Support Arch and Heel, Provides Extreme Comfort, Suitable For Most Foot And...

Via Amazon.com

Pros

  • Consists of a raised heel support that can help realign flat feet.
  • Easy to trim down for fitting well into the shoe.
  • Contains both rigid and cushioned areas to better mold your feet in.

Cons

  • The plastic structure of the insoles might feel too rigid for some users.

Opinion

After reading the description for this product, I was very impressed by how versatile it could be used to treat just about any foot pain out there. I thought the raised heel support was a nice touch, but did find the material of the insole to be a bit too hard and inflexible.


4. Ten Seconds Arch 1000 Insoles.

Containing a shock absorption foam and an anti-blister top cover, Ten Second’s arch insoles consists of many features that complement the overall comfort of what the product itself has to offer for relieving you of foot and heel pain.

10 Seconds Arch 1000 Insoles, Men 9.5 - 10.5 / Women 12 - 13

Via Amazon.com

Pros

  • Has lightweight cushioning for comfort and convenience.
  • Contains soft side edges that will not rub abrasively against your foot.
  • Can be worn with just about any type of shoes (running, formal, boots).

Cons

  • The arch area might not be as comfortable and as supportive as other brands’.

Opinion

What surprised me at first about Ten Second’s arch insoles was how soft and light they felt; after trying them on, I have felt nothing but comfort throughout the day. My only wish is that they provided more arch support, for I found it to be lacking a bit.


5. Sof Sole Athlete Shoe Insole.

This insole from Sof Sole consists of gel material in the heel and front of the foot, which gives all-around cushioning to the insole itself. It can also be used to reduce pressure on the joints, especially if you are just starting out running.

Sof Sole Athlete Full Length Comfort Neutral Arch Shoe Insole for Men and Women

Via Amazon.com

Pros

  • Consists of a Hydrologix moisture management to help it stay cool and dry.
  • Helps relieve joint pain.
  • Has a good bounce-back quality.

Cons

  • Specifically designed for neutral arches, which does not encompass other arch types.

Opinion

I really enjoyed the all-encompassing cushion support from these insoles, as well as the odor-free and moisture-free features. However, I have low arches, and I felt that these insoles would work better on medium arches.


Winner of the Round-Up

Altogether, all of these insoles had their benefits and flaws to them. However, the winner of this roundup would have to go to Sof Sole Athlete Shoe Insole (#5). Not only did this brand offer relief for joint pain, but it also went above and beyond with its breathable, odor-free features from its Hydrologix moisture management to keep your feet clean and happy.

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