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Can Memory Foam Insoles Cause Plantar Fasciitis?

Memory foam insoles seem comfortable at first, but they could potentially be causing more problems than they are solving. Read this article to find out more.

Joel Taylor
By Joel Taylor
a woman wearing a red sweater and a necklace
Edited by Taj Schlebusch

Updated March 31, 2023.

Memory foam insoles seem like a great idea when you first purchase them as there are few materials that could match them in comfort. Especially if you suffer from some form of foot or heel pain, the extra cushioning could provide some relief that you might believe is exactly what you need.

Unfortunately, memory foam insoles could potentially cause more problems than they solve.

Pros and Cons of Memory Foam Insoles

Memory Foam is Plastic and Elastic

Memory foam molds to whatever shape exerts pressure on it, and while this could be supportive in an individual with perfect form and foot design, memory foam will naturally mold to a poor gait as well. If you have slight issues with your feet, the memory foam will adhere to those errors and exacerbate them as the insoles start to degrade over time.

Memory Foam Doesn’t Last Long

Whereas hard-plastic insoles can last a few years without needing to be replaced, memory foam tends to degrade rapidly and so any issues that are caused by memory foam insoles can quickly become severe.

Memory Foam May Cause Long-Term Issues

Even if you don't have severe issues in your feet, the problems caused by memory foam insoles are not immediately noticeable and therefore not immediately attributed to the insoles. If your feet are slightly destabilized, it could lead to minor issues throughout your legs, hips, and lower back, that become more prominent over time and lead to secondary conditions such as overpronation and plantar fasciitis. You may not even notice some developed issues being directly caused by your memory foam insoles as they wouldn't necessarily feel uncomfortable compared to harder insoles.

Should You Wear Memory Foam Insoles?

Unless you can verify that your gait and foot position is 100% perfect, memory foam insoles seem to present more risk than reward. If you do have foot issues that need addressing with the use of insoles, consult a podiatrist as they can recommend the correct type of insole for your specific criteria.

» Learn more about different kinds of custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis by reading our guide on memory foam vs. gel insoles