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How to Find the Best Insoles for Sneakers

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By Janik Sundstrom
Siphokazi Mdidimba
Edited by Siphokazi Mdidimba

Updated January 30, 2024.

Person inserting insole into sneaker

A large portion of the pain and discomfort that arises in the feet is a result of our shoe choices or lack thereof. Sneakers often have unsupportive insoles and if worn for long periods, can cause pain and discomfort in the feet. People suffering from conditions such as bunions, heel pain, or flat feet are at high risk of developing pain and discomfort while wearing sneakers. 

Sneakers often do not have an adequate supportive sole as they are more focused on style than support. Sneakers are designed for people to wear for short periods and may not support the fatiguing muscles of the foot as you go about your day. Not only does improper footwear affect the foot but the rest of the body as well.

The ankles, knees, hips, and lower back end up taking strain from wearing worn-down shoes, due to the alterations in normal biomechanics of the feet and legs. An effort to look after your feet can have a vastly greater effect on the body than we often realize.

Disadvantages of Sneakers for Your Feet

Often with sneakers initially they fit the foot snugly and often don’t accommodate the swelling that occurs in the feet naturally after a certain time of walking or standing. The swelling creates pressure areas between the foot and the shoe.

When purchasing sneakers, allow for some space for the foot to swell throughout the day. Wearing sneakers that are too small leads to increased pressure being placed on the toes and heel, potentially leading to pain or other complications. 

Sneakers often don’t come with durable insoles and that is why they wear down quickly through continuous use. Worn-down insoles or shoes can lead to biomechanical issues in the joints above the ankle. As a result, you may experience ankle pain when you walk. Long-term use of sneakers with poor insoles can lead to a host of complications arising in the foot.

Sneakers may not be a great option if you already have conditions affecting the feet, such as bunions and flat feet. Sneaker insoles aren’t designed to support this and may lead your conditions to get progressively worse as you wear the sneakers.

Additions of insoles can be made to support and reduce strain on the feet. For instance, people with bunions would strictly need to get insoles for bunions and not normal insoles.

Benefits of Using Insoles in Sneakers

The addition of insoles into your shoes is a cost-effective way to improve your overall comfort while wearing the sneakers, especially over an extended period. Insoles improve comfort by adding cushioning to the underside of the foot and support to the arch of the foot within the shoe. 

Muscle fatigue in the muscles of the foot has been reported to be less as a result of using insoles in one’s sneakers.

If you have flat feet or other conditions that affect your feet, these can be accommodated to not aggravate those conditions further. Doing so will greatly improve your overall comfort while wearing your overall comfort through constant arch support within the shoe.

Features of Good Insoles for Sneakers

For maximum comfort in your sneakers, custom insoles can be tailor-made to suit your specific foot structure and will provide support where it is needed. It is important that the insoles that you purchase fit well within the shoe. A larger orthotic that doesn’t fit well within the shoe can cause discomfort and pain. 

A thinner orthotic is usually advised as sneakers may not have enough height within the shoe to accommodate a thicker orthotic and the foot. The same level of comfort is achieved from a thinner orthotic because you are not placing high levels of force through the foot, as seen in running or jumping activities.

Try the insoles in your sneakers to ensure that they fit properly within the shoe. Check if there is enough space between the top of the foot and the laces of your shoe. 

Best Insoles for Sneakers

Choosing the best insoles for sneakers may seem like a daunting task, but it is fairly easy. Because of the materials that sneakers are made of, the insoles should be made from durable materials. This is to maintain their integrity and structure for more than 4 hours.

Upstep has a range of custom orthotics to suit your everyday needs. Custom orthotics from Upstep can provide you with the necessary support, maximum comfort, and accommodations you need to have throughout the day. 

Comfort is paramount when looking for the right insoles for your sneakers. Make sure that the insoles fit the shoe correctly and do not slide within the shoe. If you have preexisting conditions like burning feet, insoles for burning feet will be the best insoles for you.