Shoe inserts are non-prescription foot support that is placed inside the shoes. You can buy them in stores without a prescription from a podiatrist. They may be made of materials like gel, plastic or foam. It is designed to support and align the foot and lower extremities including the knees, hips and lower back.
Types of shoe inserts
The most common types of shoe inserts are:
- Arch support. Arch supports generally have a “bumped-up” appearance and are designed to support the foot’s natural arch.
- Insoles. Insoles slip into your shoe to provide extra cushioning and support. They are often made of gel, foam, or plastic.
- Heel liners. Heel liners, sometimes called heel pads or heel cups, provides extra cushioning in the heel region. They may be especially useful for patients who have foot pain caused by age-related thinning of the heels’ natural fat pads.
- Foot cushions. Foot cushions are used as a barrier between your foot and your shoes. They are designed in many shapes and sizes to accommodate your needs.
The advantage of using shoe inserts
Wearing shoe inserts can provide numerous benefits for the feet as well as the rest of the body. This is because the structural improvements of your foot can help regulate the movement of your whole body.
The advantages of using shoe inserts include:
- Supports foot arch
- Less risk of foot conditions
- Relief from foot pain
- Healthy movements
- Improvement in performance
- Eases lower body pain
- Simple and affordable
Tips in choosing over-the-counter shoe inserts
Selecting a shoe insert from a variety of options can be overwhelming. Here are some podiatrist-tested advice to help you find the insert that best suits your needs:
- Consider your health. An over-the-counter may not be the best option if you have foot conditions like diabetes and poor circulation. These conditions increase your risk of foot ulcers and infections. It is better to Request an Appointment with a podiatrist to help you select a solution that won’t cause additional health problems.
- Think about the purpose. Look for a product that fits your planned level of activities.
- Bring your shoes. For the insert to be effective, it has to fit into your shoes. Bring whatever you plan to wear with your insert. Look for an insert that will fit the contours of your foot.
- Try them on. If all possible, slip the insert into your shoe and try it out. Take time to walk around a little and feel the comfort it brings to your feet. Don’t assume the feelings of pressure will go away with continued wear.
Although inserts can make your shoes more comfortable, they are not designed to correct your foot problems. Custom orthotics are the solution you need in the occurrence of a foot condition.
If using a shoe insert doesn’t help in eliminating your pain or discomfort, call us. We can Request an Appointment with one of our listed expert podiatrists.