Gel insoles, insert, and orthotics are not just for athletes anymore. Anyone who has spent any time toiling in retail is no stranger to foot pain. Standing in front of a register all day is absolute murder on the feet, but it does not have to be. Sometimes all you need to make bad shoes into good ones is a simple insert to support your arches or heels.
Bad support in your feet can lead to a variety of other health problems as well, this includes knee pain and back pain. Poor shoes is also one of the leading reasons behind poor posture which just leads to more back pain. If your feet feel fine, but your knees and back are killing you, you may be surprised to find out it all has to do with the shoe.
However, many inserts are cheaply made and often feel good for about a day before they begin to break down and the foot pain begins again. Nothing makes me more angry than $15 insoles that goes flat after one day of use. Below are the top gel insoles, inserts, and orthotics that you can buy to pamper your feet.
Superfeet Performance Insoles
Superfeet performance insoles were made to withstand the wear and tear that runners put on their shoes and to prevent injury. The days that you are going to spend running around your place of work are probably limited, however; if these insoles can stand up to miles of running, they can withstand hours of standing too! Superfeet performance insoles help prevent pronation and increase arch support.
They are also designed to hold heel alignment, which reduces the strain on your knees and back while running. These insoles do not come cheap though, they run about $35 on average. However, if there is one thing we can learn from buying insoles is that they are only of those items where you get what you pay for.
If you plan on using these insoles for more than just work, this is really the best option. They are sturdy and will last you for a long time. Oh, and just really so comfortable.
Spenco Arch Supports
These are great for people with high arches or flat feet that need the extra support for their feet. though they are not limited to arch supports, I found that their arch supports are their best working product. Where with Superfeet performance insoles you have to pay for performance quality, Spenco has a variety of inserts that are reasonably priced for people who do not want to shell out the extra cash.
These are not exactly performance quality insoles, but they do have a longer life than most other options out there. They help reduce foot pain by keeping the foot in a mostly neutral position so you are not getting so much pressure bearing down on them.
Dr. Scholls Insoles
Dr. Scholls is the most affordable option. These are made for people that do not have anything in particular wrong with their foot. For examples, they do not have high arches, flat feet, or need extra support anywhere. The Dr. Scholls goal is simple comfort and they are good at what they do.
They do have a more expensive option if you can find it. If you happen across a Dr. Scholls machine that claims to find the right insoles for you by running tests on your feet, USE IT! Those insoles where the best insoles I ever wore. I unfortunately lost them with my shoes in a lake though. I was skeptical about shelling out the $30-$40 dollars, but it was so worth it.
If you are not into the expensive option or just cannot find one of those machines, they have many other great options. Dr. Schools other insoles are great for wearing at work or for any activity that you do. I personally recommend the gel insoles as it kind of feels like it massages your feet as you move. It is really quite nice.
I am going to bring back a blast from the past here for a second.
I'm gelin'. Are you gelin'?
New Balance Insoles
New Balance has always been an affordable option for a running shoe if you do not want to dish out the cash for a top quality running shoe. At first, their insoles were just replacement insoles for their shoes, but they work just as good in any shoe. They do not have the comforting massaging quality of a Dr. Scholls gel insert, but they are still a nice all around foot insert. You can choose from motion control, stability and comfort too, just to fit the needs you have.
Most other insoles do not give you the option to pick what you are trying to work on.
Heel Cups and Metatarsal Pads
If none of these options are doing it for you, you may need to invest in a foot insert that is a little more specific on your foot.
Heel cups do exactly what they sound like they do, they cup your heel. They help exactly what they sound like they help as well, the heel. Heel cups raise your heal and are often padded with gel to help reduce the stress on that area of the foot. So if you insoles feel okay, but it is your heel that is really hurting, it may be time to invest in a heel cup. The brands above all make a fine heel cup.
Metatarsal pads are for people who have pain more in the middle of their foot. these are pads that fit right in the ball of your foot to take pressure off their namesake, the metatarsal bones. Most athletes use these if they do a lot of uphill running. Again, all the brands above make a wonderful metatarsal pad.
The only seller above that does not sell metatarsal pads or heel cups would be New Balance, as again, they only produce insoles as replacements for their shoes.