Most people buy shoe insoles at retail stores. There is a wide range of insoles or shoe inserts available for your favourite pair of shoes. But are they the ones you need for your foot health according to orthotic specialists? Do they fit your shoe shape or leg structure perfectly? Are they built to distribute your body weight? Do they have built-in arch support?
Phew! The questions are many but they are the ones you must ask yourself before you buy insoles for your feet. There are so many factors to consider before you select the right type of insole.
The best thing to do is to opt for custom orthotics for your feet. These are specially designed shoe insoles that are tailored to match your foot shape and solve your specific foot problems. They are prescribed by a foot specialist, such as a pedorthist, after performing an orthotic evaluation of your feet.
Getting the right type of orthotic insoles to help solve your foot pain is quite straight-forward especially if you follow the guidelines listed below.
Reasons why you need the perfect orthotics for your feet.
Many Canadians suffer from foot and leg pain including knee pain, flat feet, plantar fasciitis, diabetic foot ulcers, etc. All these foot issues can gain relief by using extra cushioning and foot support in the right areas.
The extra foot cushion and support provided by the orthotic insoles can relieve foot aches and even cure foot abnormalities. For most common foot conditions and for relief from foot fatigue, one can sometimes opt for over-the-counter store-bought insoles as they are inexpensive, though these insoles are the same for all footbed constructions and may or may not help with your foot aches. Only orthotic arch support insoles are fabricated for your specific footbed type and structure. Since they are customized to suit your foot type, you will get comprehensive pain relief from foot ailments, including shin splints by using these orthotic inserts for your feet.
Factors to consider when selecting the right type of orthotic foot insoles.
Supportive insoles must be custom-made to suit your feet based on the following factors. If you are buying an over-the-counter insole instead, keep these factors in mind as well and always talk to a foot specialist first.
The size of the insole is usually denoted as a shoe insole range. For instance, the pair of insole sizes may be Men’s 9-11. This is to enable the customer to trim the extra insole material to fit their footwear.
Flat, full-length insoles must be trimmed to the right shoe size. 3/4 insoles need not be trimmed as they don’t extend the full length of the shoe.
Placement of insole
If you use a full-length orthotic insert, you must remove the existing casual shoe insole from your footwear. If you want to wear the inserts in addition to the existing shoe soles, you must opt for flat full-length shoe insoles. You can place the flat insole above or below your shoe insole depending upon its type as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Type of Foot Arch
There are 3 main foot arch types:
- High arches
- Medium or Neutral arches
- Low arches, fallen arches, or flat feet
Always select the right type of insole that fits your arch type. Using the wrong arch insole will only aggravate your pain. Consult a certified pedorthist in Calgary and know your foot arch type and buy the insole accordingly. Get an insole that gives you the maximum orthotic arch support.
Type of insole footbed
Orthotic inserts and foot insoles are of 4 types based on their footbed constructions.
- Rigid orthotic arch support – this type of insole is very firm and rigid and does not bend.
- Semi-rigid orthotic arch support – this insole is firm but can flex a bit.
- Cushioned arch support – This insole type has an all cushioning arch support but lacks a rigid support plate.
- Flat Cushion – this insole has just cushioning and no support at all.
First, consider the main reason for buying the orthotic insole. This will give you an idea of the kind of arch support and extra comfort you need. Depending on the arch support, choose the right insole for additional comfort.
Type of insole material
Orthotic insoles are made of 4 types of common materials – foam, leather, cork, and gel. Each material has its own qualities and advantages for a variety of conditions, quality of life and activity levels. For instance, foam is best for pressure relief, maximum cushioning, and support. For natural shock absorption, gel insoles are the best. Cork is ideal for light cushioning and support. Leather gives you the right feel, custom fit and cushion.
Apart from these, you have wool insoles for cold weather and heavy-duty insoles for use in industrial footwear. High-heel insoles are perfect for stilettos and heels while heat-moldable insoles form to the contours of your feet.
In addition to all of these, you have orthotic sandals and footwear without removable insoles, and memory foam insoles for extra cushioning.
Have a look at the list of insoles available in the market. Bear the above factors in mind and choose your insole accordingly. If you are suffering from foot issues and poor circulation, consult our Calgary Pedorthists before selecting the right insole. Get the right type of insole with maximum arch support and one that guarantees minimum risk of injury and pronation issues.
Get insoles from Shoe Solutions that keep your feet cool and free from muscle fatigue and arch pain and improve your daily life. Book an appointment or drop by our Lethbridge or Calgary location for a free foot scan today!