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7 Best Insoles to Treat Calf Pain in Athletes

Janik Sundstrom
By Janik Sundstrom
Michelle Meyer - Editor for Upstep
Reviewed by Michelle Meyer

Published November 1, 2022.

A runner with their hands pressed against the side and back of their left calf.

Athletes are prone to developing calf pain because of the physical activities they do, especially if it involves high-impact activities or high running volumes. This places strain on the soleus muscle in the lower leg, resulting in calf pain. There are ways to mitigate and prevent the development of calf pain in athletes while reducing the prevalence of injury in the long term—including the use of insoles.

While you may be overwhelmed by the choices in the market, we'll give you an overview of the best insoles to help you narrow your options so you can reap the diverse benefits of wearing orthotics.

» Is your calf pain not sports related? Find the best insoles for alleviating general calf pain

1. Upstep Multi-Sports Custom Orthotics

Upstep Multi-Sports Custom Orthotics are versatile insoles designed to improve your quality of life by reducing pain and providing optimum comfort for your feet. The insoles aim to support your feet throughout your athletic activities by improving their overall function and health. 

These affordable custom orthotics are specifically molded to the shape of your feet—you can even complete the molding process in the convenience of your own home. Comfort is provided through the combination of high-quality cushioning material layers that support the crucial areas of your foot. Upstep's custom orthotics are an ideal choice for all-around activity by absorbing impact and keeping you injury- and pain-free through all your physical endeavors.

» Think your calf pain is from a foot condition? Discover the best insoles for treating calf pain due to plantar fasciits

2. SOLE Softec Response Insoles

The SOLE Softec Response Insoles provide moderate cushioning to your feet during your physical activities and aim to reduce strain placed on the plantar fascia under your foot, thereby reducing calf pain by extension. The insoles distribute weight and pressure equally throughout your foot to promote natural foot alignment during sports activities.  

However, the orthotics aren't directly molded to your feet like custom orthotics. Instead, you're required to heat and mold the insoles to the shape of your feet after purchase, increasing the chances that they may not fit optimally.

3. Superfeet Flexthin Insoles

The Superfeet Flexthin Insoles provide stability and support to your feet through a contoured design and a supportive, flexible heel cradle. The insoles further provide comfort and support to your feet under weight-bearing and reduce the repetitive impacts placed onto the structures of the lower leg. 

The insoles are designed to fit well in slim-fitting footwear and can be trimmed to fit the shoe correctly. However, it's not custom-made, therefore you may not get maximum performance.

4. Protalus T-100 Elite Insoles

The Protalus T-100 Elite Insoles provide moderate support throughout the entirety of your foot during physical activities and are geared to address foot pain experienced by athletes. The materials used aim to reduce shock in your feet, while providing arch and overall foot support. 

The insoles are purchased complete and require you to remove the insoles of your shoes before inserting the Protalus T-100 Elite Insoles. You have the option of trimming the insole down to fit the shoe correctly. This insole is designed for standard volume, and low-profile style shoes, and could potentially be uncomfortable for some users. The insoles have also been reported to not be durable in the long term.

5. URthotics Active/Sports Insoles

The URthotics Active/Sports Insoles cater to foot and ankle pain, including plantar fasciitis and generalized discomfort during physical activities. These insoles reduce shock and provide stability to your feet. 

However, these insoles are geared more toward people who live an active lifestyle and not necessarily athletes engaging in strenuous physical activities.

6. Tread Labs Dash Insoles

The Tread Labs Dash Insoles provide ultra-firm support in an effort to improve support and overall performance in physical activities. These orthotics are aimed at people who experience foot pain while exercising and for those who have flat feet. But these insoles may not be able to adequately improve the symptoms of calf pain that you may be experiencing.

7. FitMyFoot Full-Length Insoles (Orange)

These orthotics feature a shock-absorbing supportive design, aimed at providing your feet with comfort and stability to reduce foot pain. The flexible design works to restore your foot alignment and reduce foot fatigue.

But while the FitMyFoot Full-Length Insoles (Orange) may be effective in reducing foot pain, it may not be as reliable in managing symptoms of calf pain.

Final Verdict

An athlete looking for maximum support, comfort, and performance would benefit greatly from using custom orthotics for all their sporting needs. Custom-built orthotics are tailor-made to your feet, accommodating the shape and structure of your feet while being durable and absorbent to moisture. Affordable options are available that will last you for the long term.

» Does all exercise require orthotics? Learn which athletes can benefit from wearing orthotics

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