Insoles buyer’s guide
Since body weight and foot pain are directly related, gaining extra weight will put more pressure on the legs, ankles, and feet with every step taken. Insoles are great products to use to help eliminate foot pain, as they can absorb and distribute excess pressure.
However, to find an insole that suits your needs, you’ll need to learn what to look for in insoles for overweight people. Below are some tips to guide your decision.
Types of shoe inserts
There are two main types of insoles:
- Supportive insoles
Cushioning insoles are fairly inexpensive, utilizing thicker padding and extra cushioning for shock absorbency. However, they tend to wear down pretty quickly compared to other types. If you suffer from sore heels or pain in the ball of your foot, then cushioned insoles are ideal for you.
On the other hand, supportive insoles are created to mold to the shape of your foot. Compared to cushioning insoles, they are made from a much firmer material.
As such, they are better at holding your foot in place. These products are a lot more expensive than cushioned soles, and it may be harder to find the perfect pair for your needs.
Flat feet and collapsed arches are fairly common issues among fat people. By using insoles, you can reduce the discomfort of flattened arches.
However, before purchasing one, you’ll need to identify your arch type to avoid causing further damage and discomfort.
Generally, there are three arch types:
- High arch
- Medium/neutral arch
- Low arch
To identify your arch type, look at your footprint. If you have high-arched feet, the arch in your footprint will not be visible. With a medium arch, there will be a slightly visible arch on the outer edge of the foot. A low arch will be highly prominent and pronounced in the footprint.
Heel cups are the cupping area that protects your heel and supports the foot and ankle. Heel cups provide comfort and prevent injuries by absorbing shock as you move.
Orthotic insoles can help reduce pain, especially if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, but you will need the correct size cup. For example, deep heel cups, or large sizes, can support those with a deeper arch, while they would not be as helpful to someone with flatter feet.
We have spoken a lot about shock absorption, and for a good reason: this is a very important factor to consider while seeking insoles. Shock-absorbing technology in insoles reduces the impact when walking or performing high-impact activities, consequently reducing discomfort and pain. Many brands will use foam to absorb shock since it’s less bulky.
Since most removable insoles are made from soft materials like foam, they can be trimmed using scissors to fit your shoes. But while this is an option, you should try and find an insole that is your exact foot size to guarantee comfort.
The support, heel, and sole placements are placed on the insole depending on shoe size. So, if you purchase a large pair of insoles, but your feet are small, the placements for arch support, heel cups, and cushioning will not be properly aligned to support your feet.
The shoe type is another important consideration. Generally, dress shoes require additional support than Running shoes for heavy men. Moreover, basketball shoes need more cushioning than hiking boots or walking shoes.
By locating which area of your foot requires the most support like the foot arch or the ball of the foot, you can select insoles that will work best for your needs.
Why do my feet hurt when I wear insoles?
Your insoles will likely feel uncomfortable if they are not properly fitted. If the arch placement is wrong, the heel cup does not fit in the correct place, or the material is too firm, you will experience discomfort and pain. Insoles should be fitted to your specific foot shape.
If your insoles are old or worn out, they are inefficient and can cause pain. Frequent usage will eventually flatten the insole and destroy all supportive properties, so it is very important to replace your insoles over time. Bear in mind that some insoles last longer than others.
How long does it take for feet to get used to shoe inserts?
As a rule, it will take around 1 to 2 weeks for your feet to get used to new insoles. We recommend wearing them for 2 to 4 hours each day around your home when you first buy them to make the transition easier.
Afterward, you can gradually increase the time spent wearing the insoles every day until you get to wearing them full-time.
The reason insoles hurt when you first wear them is because the soft tissue inside your foot needs to adjust to the new shape of your shoes. Once they adjust and the insole material has molded to your foot shape, you will feel lesser and lesser discomfort.
It is so important to listen to your body and only increase the time spent in your new orthotics when the time is right. If your insoles are still painful to wear after 3 weeks, you may need to look for a different pair.
Insoles can change your life, altering the way you feel about walking or moving. Once your foot pain subsides, you will be surprised how your mood will improve.
Take a look through our chosen products in the list above, but if you would prefer to find your own insoles, remember to keep our buyer’s guide in mind. Consider all aspects, and find a pair that suits your specific foot shape, arch, and heel. For more information be sure to check out the rest of Extra Large Living.