Flats, heels, wedges, boots, and loafers: there are so many types of footwear specifically made for women. Owning correctly-fitting shoes doesn’t necessarily mean extra comfort as you go about your daily errands. That’s why many women incorporate shoe inserts or insoles into their footwear for even better fit, improved posture, added warmth, and blister prevention.
Beautiful footwear also gives confidence to women, but we have to face the fact that wearing high heels can be painful when walking or standing for a considerable amount of time. With the shoe comfort inserts women use, these types of footwear can be bearable, and even comfortable. Luckily, there are even specific shoe inserts for women’s heels available.
Insoles are great to use, especially when you are carrying something heavy. The weight of the object affects how comfortable your feet feel with the footwear that you are wearing. If you are going to lift heavy objects, flat shoes with a thick rubber sole work best, and you can even add insoles for more stability and support: wearing the proper footwear and insoles prevents injuries.
Your heel and arch are the two essential parts of your foot that need support. The heel should be nice and cradled to give you a better, natural cushion. The midsole and the shape of your footwear are going to help with that to a certain extent.
Remember that your arch acts as a natural spring. It collapses a little bit as you put weight and goes back up when the weight is removed. If you’re hiking and carrying a lot of weight or taking a long trip, the arch’s collapse will be greater, causing more strain on your foot.
Wearing socks is not usually enough to prevent the strain. Plus, there are types of shoes that can’t be worn with socks—adding insoles to your footwear is a smarter choice.
Wearing proper insoles can minimize stress in your back, legs, and hips. They also give improved arch alignment and better arch support. Before purchasing your insoles, consider the type of footwear you’ll be inserting them in, and the activities you’ll need them for.
Determining your foot type is vital when you select insoles. We have three basic foot types in accordance with the arch: flat, normal, and high. All of these can be determined by merely looking at your footprint. If all else fails, you can also consult a professional.
You can identify a flat arch if your footprint looks like a full, flat foot. Your foot probably also pronates or rolls in when you run or walk. It can be painful, because your low arches may contribute to joint issues or muscle strain.
On the other hand, a footprint with a half-filled middle means that you have a normal arch. Your arch technically supports your weight and pronates with an average load.
You have a high arch if you can hardly see the middle of your footprint. This can contribute to excessive pain in your muscles and joints when you run, walk, or stand for a long time.
To make it perfectly clear to you, conduct a wet test in four easy steps:
- Wet the sole of your foot.
- Step onto a heavy, darker blank paper like a shopping bag.
- Step off and observe your footprint.
- Take a look at the chart below to determine your foot type.
Buying the Right Insoles for You
Now that you are sure about your foot type, this is the perfect time to discuss the right insoles for you. Getting the right insoles guarantees comfort and satisfaction for your feet.
If you have a flat arch, you can opt for insoles that improve motion control to stabilize your feet.
You can buy cushioning insoles that provide light support if you have a normal foot arch. You may also look for shoes with straight to semi-curved lasts and firm midsoles. The last is the outline of the sole.
In case you have a high arch, get shock-absorbing or arch supportive insoles to help reduce impact force caused by running or walking.
Most insoles depend on shoe size range and can be reduced for a customized fit. Try full-length insoles that can support your entire foot, especially when walking a lot or standing for a long time. A full-length insole has extra cushioning for better shock absorption. You can also get ¾-length insoles for more toe space, and you can use these with open-toe shoes or high heels.
Other Types of Insoles
There are different types of insoles that can help alleviate pain and bring comfort as you wear your favorite footwear. Insoles can also correct various foot irregularities.
You can use arch supportive insoles, which offer support to the arch and help stabilize your heel by equalizing the pressure all over the whole base of your foot. This type of insole is also best for people with flat feet and fallen arches, or those who may have structural misalignment and sore foot conditions like plantar fasciitis.
Shock-absorbing insoles like foot gel inserts women use in their stilettos have thick and built-in padded foam or gel. These insoles protect the ball of your foot and provide shock-absorbing relief. Gel sole inserts women insert in their heels are an excellent example of shock-absorbing insoles.
Motion control insoles combine the padding of cushioned insoles with the balancing features of arch supportive insoles. They are good for physically active people who want the best comfort and stability. If you are an outdoorsy type, you can choose air-cushioned insoles that have pressurized air bubbles within a supportive foam, which also prolongs the life of your shoes.
Custom orthotic insoles are best for those who have biomechanical conditions such as supination, overpronation, large bunions, and fallen arches. Custom insoles are usually made from polyurethane or foam. They are not flexible because their goal is to maintain the foot at the correct angle.
In getting the right orthotic insoles, you need a doctor’s prescription and recommendation. The doctor that specializes in foot care is called a podiatrist. A podiatrist will get 3D images of each foot and conduct a thorough examination. The specialist can also watch a patient walk and note how the feet, legs, hips, and ankles move.
If you want a budget-friendly insole for a particular foot condition, you can try orthotic insoles that are less expensive than custom orthotics.
You can also customize your insoles to give your feet more support and cushioning. The material is usually molded with heat to your foot to get its shape accurately. Memory foam insoles are another option because they can mold to the shape of your foot.
Go ahead and buy the insoles you deserve. Why do you need to suffer when the secret to enjoying your footwear is in your local pharmacy? Pain can ruin your confidence, so if you love the design of your shoes, and yet they hurt, incorporate insoles right away! There are many superset insoles women can buy in their favorite stores offline or online.
If you have a foot condition, don’t be afraid to visit a podiatrist and get tested. Always remember that certain foot issues are still correctable, like overpronation and supination. With the help of technological innovation, greater advancement in insole production is taking place too.
You can use high-quality insoles for a long time. However, it is highly recommended to replace them every 500 miles, and that’s about every six to nine months for an average user, although it depends significantly on how active you are.
It is important to clean your insoles whenever you see the presence of a stain or dirt. You can wash them using a sports detergent or mild detergent. Use your hands or a brush depending on the kind of dirt or stain on your insoles. Do not forget to dry the insoles before reinserting them into your footwear.
With proper care, insoles can save you money by saving your feet, extending the lifespan of your already-purchased shoes, and preventing you from purchasing expensive (and clunky) specialized orthopedic shoes. All this for just a few bucks? Count us in!