No two feet are created alike, and it can often feel impossible to find a shoe that fits comfortably. Thankfully though, there is an easy and inexpensive solution: shoe inserts. But like our feet, shoe inserts differ greatly between models and the companies that produce them. While some are used for mere comfort, others are used to correct serious foot care issues such as lack of arch support. Thus when buying an insert, it is important to address your personal foot care needs. The inserts listed below are the best in their category and as a result, the most comfortable.
One of the most common foot problems people experience is lack of natural arch support. This condition can be extremely painful and even physically handicapping years down the road. Spenco has created a line of inexpensive inserts that can remedy most arch support problems. These supports can help reduce pronation and return your foot to its natural shape, relieving foot and back pain.
Metatarsal Support Inserts
A variety of companies produce pads to relieve pressure on the metatarsal bones, another very common foot problem. To work properly, these pads must be placed directly where the ball of the foot will rest in your shoe. They are simple, easy to use, and identical in design from company to company.
Prescribed by physical therapists and podiatrists alike, heel cups are designed to relieve general heel pain and plantar fasciitis, or the inflammation of the heel bone. Like metatarsal pads and arch supports, heel cups are produced by a variety of companies and are generally comparable in terms of quality. Regardless, many claim the greatest success with gel heel cups, namely Dr. Scholl's.
Shoe Inserts for Athletes
Your specific level of activity is always extremely important in choosing the most comfortable insert. Athletes, who typically place significantly more stress on their feet, require a specific style of insert. These inserts, while produced in a variety of shapes and materials, are typically sturdier and adhere to the shoe's sole better so as to resist repeated abuse. Superfeet is an especially good producer of athletic shoe inserts.
- Sports Scientists; The Science of Sport; Dr. Ross Tucker, et al.; March 4, 2008
- "Wired"; Wired Science; Dylan Tweney; April 23, 2008
- E Science News: Science News Articles About Inserts
- "The New York Times"; Fitness and Nutrition; Gina Kolata; Jan. 17, 2011
- LifeMojo; Managing Your Heel Pain or Planat Fisciitis; Ravish Taori; March 29, 2011
- Mingdun: Cushioned Shoe Inserts
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