How To Choose Insoles For Your Shoes
"Unless you have a good foundation, your house is going to crumble." -Dr. Francis Bean at the Foot & Ankle Center. Adding insoles to your shoes is like walking on a cloud.
"Therefore it pays to take care of your feet."
This article will help you identify:
-What type of feet you have
-What type of insoles you might need if you are experiencing foot pain
-How to fit yourself for insoles
Why Wear Insoles?
Typically in a person’s 30-40’s, the natural fat pads on the bottoms of the feet made from collagen & elastin gradually thin out, causing foot pain by the end of the day. Footwear with proper cushioning can lessen this pressure.
Cushions drastically lessen the pain on your feet muscles, arches, bunions, and heels. When you first pop them in, the pain you've been feeling can hopefully lessen, and lessen dramatically.
Differences Between Insoles and Orthotics
Orthotics are basically better versions of insoles.
When you think of insoles, you typically think of Dr. Scholls. A thin rubbery material that you put on the bottom of your sneakers to get a little bit more cushion; nothing more, nothing less.
Insoles don't need to be recommended by a chiropractor or doctor. They are made of gel, plastic, or rubber derivative and used to provide additional cushioning. They're often thin, soft, and flexible. Their life-span is typically 3-6 months before they need to be replaced. Prices range from $15-$30 depending on quality.
Orthotics are used by medical doctors and physical therapists to correct improper walking or pain in the feet. By altering the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface orthotics help create a regular gait.
What are Orthotics?
An orthotic is basically an insole with specialized support.
Orthotics are devices that are inserted into a shoe that lacks proper foot support. Their main goal is to support weak areas of the foot, helping to relieve pressure when walking or standing for long periods of time.
The main goal of an orthotic is to amp up the support where you need it. You may need support in the heel, arch, or another part of the foot. These devices prevent further injuries and can help prevent back pain.
Painful Fact: When you run, 3 to 5 times your body weight is applied directly on your feet.
How to Choose Orthotics for Your Shoes
In the past, individuals had to go to a podiatrist or physician before they could be fitted for a pair of orthotics. These days it’s as simple as shopping online, selecting your size, and waiting for the postal service to deliver them to your door.
How to Select the Right Size Insole For You?
(In three quick steps):
1. Take a tape measure or ruler.
2. Grab your most comfortable pair of shoes. These should be the shoes you feel like wearing most often.
3. Measure the shoes from tip to base. This measurement will be about a half-size bigger than your foot size; that's okay; that's what we want. The nearest half-number up is your insole size.
Should I buy an orthotic or an insole?
Q: "How do you know you need an orthotic and not an insole?"
A: If your feet just feel tired you probably need an insert. But if you have any of these 👇👇👇 issues you may need a specialized orthotic.
Take a look at the below diagrams to see if your feet match.
Common Foot Issues
Two common issues orthotics address are pronation and supination.
Individuals with a pronated stance have the weight of their bodies pressing on the inward side. Individuals with a supined stance have the weight of their bodies pressing on the exterior side.
Source: Beyond Talk
Source: Pioneer Podiatry
Feet with high arches put excess pressure on their plantar fasciitis and metatarsalgia. Quick tip to put less pressure on your arches: Change how you lace your shoes by skipping the middle two holes.
Flat feet people have fallen arches. Their plantar fasciitis muscles are stretched as a result to compensate. Physical therapists recommend regularly stretching the tight Achilles tendon, or taking a rubber ball and bending the foot across it in order to work the fasciitis muscle.
Too Much Pressure On One Area of the Foot
Generally, the part of the foot experiencing the most friction with the shoe should be lowered, not raised. By understanding your foot’s weak point - and listening to the pain your body tells you - you are more able to identify the parts of your feet that need the most amount of supplemental cushioning.
Insoles are a type of orthotics, and can be purchased by anyone wishing they had more support at the bottom of their feet. We recommend opting away from insoles made from soft materials, as these will cave in, and not offer much support to the various areas of your feet. Instead, go with ones made from plastic polymers, hard plastic, or micro-cellular materials.
Get the Right Support: Find Your Weak Point
Do you find yourself getting friction on the bottom of your heels? In such a case opt for insoles that support and cushion that area. Perhaps you are finding that the middle of your feet hurt more than the rest of the foot. In this case, you may be experiencing collapsed arches, and should opt for an orthotic that stabilizes the foot and provides ample support in the arch area - your foot may be bending unnecessarily. Or perhaps you are finding that the metatarsals of your feet are raw after a day of wearing shoes. In this case you could select a wider shoe, or go for a Metatarsal/Arch Support device that braces the weaker area.
Is Sweat a Problem? Don’t Sweat It
If you find that your feet are sweaty (even stinky) after a day spent in lockdown, it may be time to upgrade your wardrobe with a pair of insoles that offer breathability and sweat wicking technology.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the 👇 Powerstep Signature Leather Full Orthotic Insoles. 👇 These babies 👇 provide firm but flexible arch support that cradles the heel.
Source: Very Well
Or opt for antimicrobial insoles which keep feet cool and dry - while offering antimicrobial protection.
We gotta say this
We sacrifice health for the sake of money
We then pay the doctor in our old age
The Dalai Lama put it this way:
Your body is the machine that keeps you employed. It's the organism that keeps your family fed. Don't wait until it's too late to take care of yourself. Start now!
🏃 Our advice for people on the go 🏃
-Epsom salt foot bath
-Get your kids to rub your feet. Start them young. Your opener: "Without these feet here, this house would have no WiFi."
-If you’re a runner, choose a sole with shock support. [Shop shock support insoles on Leather Care Supply].
-Read about foot health on our blog
⭐ The best advice we can give is to listen to your body. Find which muscles are getting tired out first, and pamper your pedis accordingly.
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- Alex Pop