Which are the Best Insoles For Heel Pain?
Foot pain is an issue for most people at some point or another, and can seriously interfere with your daily activities. Aching arches and burning heels can make a long shift at work or a brisk walk unbearable, but what can you do to fix it?
A good insole can cushion and support your feet, presenting a simple and effective way to banish foot fatigue. But with so many different options, how can you decide which insoles are the best for reducing heel pain?
On a quest to source and test the best insoles on the market, we tried out 30 of the most popular brands available. Putting each model to the test across a range of activities, we carefully assessed their comfort, support, and - most importantly - pain relief.
The Top 7 Best Insoles for Heel Pain
1. Superfeet GREEN Full-Length Insoles
Voted: Best for Men
Why Buy Them? If strong support is what you need, look no further than the Superfeet GREEN Insoles. Their biomechanical design gently positions the feet in a secure and healthy way, preventing uneven stresses from being put on your feet.
We found the added support of these insoles great for reducing heel pain and general discomfort, especially that caused by Plantar Fasciitis.
We were impressed with the versatility of these insoles, which fit seamlessly inside our running shoes, boots, and work shoes. In all cases, we found them to be remarkably comfortable, and barely noticeable inside our shoes.
The deep heel cup, high arch support, and stabilizer cap all lend maximum support to your feet. This effectively reduces stress, strain, and pain, whether you are running, working, or walking.
Do they work? Yes! We put the Superfeet GREENs to the ultimate test: an eight-hour shift on cement flooring. Usually our feet would be screaming after such an ordeal, but with these insoles we experienced no pain at all.
Most suitable for: The strong support of the Superfeet GREENS makes them perfect for people suffering from general foot pain, or Plantar Fasciitis
2. Superfeet Women’s Blueberry Comfort Insole
Voted: Best for Women
Specifically designed to fit the smaller dimensions of women’s feet, these insoles are also from the Superfeet family, and perform just as well as the GREENs. They lend extra support to flat work shoes, making them perfect for people whose jobs require them to be on their feet all day.
As well as effectively alleviating heel pain and foot fatigue, the Superfeet Blueberry insoles can help to correct and prevent a wide range of common foot conditions. These are a great, all-round insole that could make those long shifts at work a whole lot easier, whilst improving the long-term health of your feet.
Did they work? Absolutely! We tested the Superfeet Blueberry's out at work and when running, and were very impressed with the results. The added support and cushioning of the insoles made them comfortable to wear and highly effective in keeping foot pain at bay all day.
What’s more, the odor-control coating of the Superfeet insoles kept them clean and fresh, perfect for heavy use!
Most Suitable For: The medium support of the Superfeet Blueberry insoles make them ideal for those with flat feet or fallen arches.
3. Dr Scholl’s Comfort and Energy Work Insoles
Voted: Best for budget
The cheapest of all the insoles we reviewed, Dr Scholl’s insoles yielded mixed results when put to the test.
With plenty of extra cushioning and massaging gel technology, these insoles were quite effective for absorbing shock and reducing impact to our feet. For those who work long, standing shifts on hard surfaces, these insoles may provide some relief from heel pain.
They have a versatile shape that can be effectively paired with a wide range of footwear, and can be useful for cushioning the feet during a variety of activities.
However, if support is what you require, Dr Scholl's Insoles are unlikely to be of much use. With limited arch support, these insoles will do little to help if you have foot pain caused by Plantar fasciitis, overpronation, or over-supination.
Did they work? Kind of. We found the extra cushioning to make standing comfortable for longer periods of time, but it didn’t completely eliminate our foot fatigue. Heel pain started to set in again after around five or six hours, so we wouldn’t choose them for heavy use.
Most suitable for: The gel cushioning of Dr Scholl’s makes standing on hard surfaces more comfortable for moderate periods of time. These are a smart, budget purchase for people who need a little extra padding underfoot, but not those requiring strong support.
4. Superfeet Carbon Full-Length Insoles
Voted: Most lightweight
The Superfeet Carbon Insoles were some of the most comfortable we tested, and fit snugly inside a wide range of footwear. Their ingenious design features foam perforations to reduce their weight and improve their breathability. The result? We could hardly tell we were wearing them at all!
The firm arch and heel support of the Superfeet Carbons is great for people with flat feet and fallen arches. The extra support helps to keep the foot firm and stable through a wide range of activities, and can also make standing far more comfortable.
The heel cup perfectly positions the feet in such a way as to reduce impact and shock, reducing stress when running, playing sports or walking.
Did they work? We found the Superfeet Carbon Insoles to be excellent for relieving heel pain. Worn to work, when running, and at the gym, we were impressed with the support and comfort of these insoles. The design of the heel cup effectively absorbed shock, leaving our feet comfortable and pain-free throughout the day. The only issue we had with this product was the noise they make inside your shoe, with each footfall accompanied by a squeaking sound. It’s a small problem, but a little embarrassing at the gym nonetheless.
Most suitable for: Easing foot fatigue when you’re on the move, playing sports, and working out.
5. New Balance Insoles 3810
Voted: Best for running
Why buy them? These New Balance Insoles are a runner's dream and are designed to keep your feet stable and supported, and your toes aligned. This and the shock absorbent cushioning on the heels and forefoot protects your feet as you run, preventing pain from interfering with your workout.
The top cover of the New Balance Insoles is also made from anti-blister fabric, to further protect your feet from damage. To cap it off, the design of the arch shape allows air to flow through, keeping your feet fresh and ventilated as you run.
Did they work? Yes! When put to the test on a 10k run, we were pleased to discover that our feet weren’t suffering at all. We found these insoles to provide relief not only when running, but also when walking and standing. They have strong metatarsal support, which is particularly beneficial for those with Plantar Fasciitis, and the trim-to-fit design means they can be cut to fit any type of shoe
Most suitable for: Enthusiastic runners who have issues with Plantar Fasciitis, shin splints, over-pronation, over-supination, and general foot pain when exercising.
6. Powerstep Pinnacle Shoe Insoles
Voted: Best For Versatility
Why buy them? If you are shopping for your first insole and are unsure which type you would benefit from, the Powerstep Pinnacle Insoles could be your best bet. The cleverly designed Powersteps support all foot types, whether you have low, medium, or high arches. They can also be used with many different types of footwear, whatever your personal requirements may be.
When put to the test, we found these very comfortable and effective; however, they did begin to wear out after a while. With just a few months of daily use, several members of our team noticed that the foam cover was starting to peel away - not ideal.
Did it work? Yes...but not for long. As a team, our requirements when it comes to our feet are diverse and varied, and yet all of us benefited to some extent from the Powerstep Pinnacles.
Heel, arch, forefoot, ankle and knee pain were all very much improved when wearing these insoles. However, if you have a specific condition (such as over-pronation, or Plantar Fasciitis) it is advisable to look for an insole specifically designed to address those issues.
Given their tendency to wear out over time, these are not the best choice for people who require insoles on a daily basis.
Most suitable for: These are the best insoles for relieving general heel and foot pain in people who need it a few times a week.
7. Superfeet BLUE Full Length Insole
Voted: Best for sports
Why Buy Them? We love the Superfeet family, and found the BLUE insoles to be a great middle-ground between the GREEN and Blueberry models.
With a little more arch support than the Blueberry insoles, and a little less than the GREEN, the Superfeet BLUE provide perfect stability for people with medium arches. Too much arch support can cause pain in the arches, heels, and Achilles, particularly during physical activity. The lower arch design of the BLUE insoles, therefore, make them perfect for wearing when playing sports.
We loved the durable yet lightweight design of these insoles, and are confident that they can withstand even the most vigorous of exercise. The Superfeet BLUE insoles have a versatile design, making them suitable for other pain-inducing activities, such as standing.
Did They Work? Like a dream. We tried them out during a game of soccer and found that these absorbed much of the shock and impact of running. The natural antibacterial coating also kept them odor-free, perfect for active types! As an added bonus, we all finished the game blister-free; a pleasant surprise, as rubbing can be a problem with some insoles.
Best For: People who regularly play sports, and need a little extra cushioning and support to keep their feet free of pain.
Now you’ve decided which type of insole is best for relieving your heel pain, all that’s left to do is buy a pair! To make sure you get the best from your purchase, we’ve compiled our best tips and hints for fitting and maintaining your insoles.
Shoe Insert Fit Tips
Making sure you new insole fits properly in your shoe is very important. Improper positioning can cause your insoles to move out of place, preventing you from getting the support you need. Slippage can also lead to blisters, which will only add to your discomfort.
- First, remove any insole you currently have in your shoe. Wearing two insoles at once often results in an overly snug fit, which can cause additional pain.
- Consider your shoe type. Shoe insoles come in a range of volumes (that is, the amount of space they occupy inside your shoe). Casual shoes, such as sneakers, will often require a high volume insole, whereas dress and work shoes will typically need a thinner (low-volume) insole.
- Check your shoe size. Many insoles have a trim-to-fit design, so they can be adapted to fit your shoes. Making absolutely sure that you know what size your shoes are beforehand can prevent mistakes, which can result in a poor fit.
- Find out your foot type. Feet come in all shapes and sizes, and your arch and footbed type will need to be taken into account when choosing insoles. The design of insoles varies according to what types of feet they are intended to fit, and all offer varying degrees of support. Wearing the wrong ones can cause further damage and discomfort to your feet, so make sure you know what you're looking for!
Taking good care of your insoles can significantly extend their lifespan, meaning they need to be replaced less often. This allows you to get the best value for your purchase, especially if you wear your insoles every day.
- Keep them dry. Regularly getting your insoles soaking wet will cause damage to the material, particularly if they are made of cloth and/or foam.
- If your insoles DO get wet… gently pat them dry with a towel to remove excess moisture. Then, leave them in a well-ventilated area to dry completely. Depending on the material of your insoles, this may take up to several days.
- Wash with care. All insoles need a wash now and then, especially if you wear them during exercise. However, this should be done gently - do not throw them straight into the washing machine along with your other laundry. Instead, handwash your insoles with warm water and detergent, taking care not to let them absorb too much water.
Heel Pain Remedies
Heel pain can be persistent, especially for people suffering from conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis. Although a good shoe insole can help to relieve heel pain, there are other steps you can take to further reduce any lingering discomfort:
- Cold therapy. Placing an ice pack on sore heels can help to reduce swelling and discomfort, helping to take the sting out of your heels after a long day on your feet. to remove excess moisture. Then, leave them in a well-ventilated area to dry completely. Depending on the material of your insoles, this may take up to several days.
- Over the counter painkillers. Paracetamol and ibuprofen are an inexpensive and effective way to reduce troublesome heel pain.
- Rest. Listen to your body, and rest when you need to. If your job requires you to stand for long periods of time, keep a stool or chair handy so you can take a break when you need to. When at home, take time to put your feet up and relax. Making sure you are getting adequate rest is essential for improving the long-term health of your feet, and can noticeably reduce discomfort.
- Avoid uneven surfaces. Walking on hard or uneven surfaces can exacerbate heel pain, and should be avoided wherever possible.
For people who frequently suffer from foot fatigue, there are many insoles to choose from that can effectively relieve heel pain. On our mission to find the best of the best, we searched high and low for the insoles with the most support and the greatest degree of comfort. After trying and testing 30 different models, we found the Superfeet GREEN and the Superfeet Women's Blueberry insoles to be the best on offer. Providing firm stability to the feet, and cushioning to reduce shock and impact, the Superfeet insoles kept us comfortable throughout the day.
Whether you are suffering from a foot condition, or routinely put your feet through a lot of stress, these insoles can help to effectively relieve heel pain.
This allows you to stand, walk, or run with ease, making your life a whole lot more comfortable!
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Who am I ?
I'm Sam Rondot, the person behind the blog Running Addicted. I'm a French entrepreneur and I'm passionated about running. I started running since 12 years old and have covered 16 marathons (at the point of writing).I enjoy running and the exhausted feeling I have after a long run. I always follow one rule: I try to do my best and run until I can’t. This makes me feel that I can do anything. I know you have that feeling, too. Running has taught me that I am capable of so much more than I have ever imagined.Learn more
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