Insoles are designed to slip inside your shoes to provide support, assist in proper foot alignment and to reduce shocks to your leg joints.
Over the years insoles have been continually refined and are now considered an important assistive device that can make a huge difference in a person’s quality of life.
Below is our list of the 12 most important benefits of insoles, as compiled by our team of health experts.
12 Benefits Of Insoles
Insoles are a simple way to address a variety of issues related to the feet. Here are to the most important benefits enjoyed by people who use insoles.
1: Insoles help relieve foot pain.
This is why you buy insoles to begin with. So if they don’t alleviate pain, there’s something wrong. Good insoles will effectively address your particular foot issue and, in doing so, nullify the cause of your pain and discomfort. Whether the problem is a collapsed arch or arches, plantar fasciitis, or just wear and tear caused by years of running, CrossFit or other physical activity. Insoles absorb and redistribute pressure exerted on the foot, or they provide your arches with a firm underpinning. Whatever the issue with your foot, there is an insole that can help.
2: Insoles support your arches.
Just like the arches that support ancient Roman aqueducts (1) the job of the arches in your feet is to absorb and redistribute weight. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s exactly what insoles are designed to do too. You use insoles when your own arches have lost the ability to absorb the forces associated with walking, running, or doing anything else on your feet. There are a lot of reasons why someone’s arches may have fallen. But whatever the exact cause insoles like the ones profiled above can step in (so to speak) and fill the support void.
3: Insoles make developing foot problems less likely.
That’s why a lot of people who don’t have any particular problem with their feet wear insoles anyway. Insoles can help ensure that they don’t develop fallen arches, shin splints, plantar fasciitis or bunions (2). The fact is a lot of foot problems are preventable. They’re the result of improper foot movement or low-quality footwear or simply overuse. If you are worried that you may be developing issues with your feet, the sooner you get some high-quality insoles and start wearing them, the better.
4: Insoles produce a positive effect throughout the body.
Just as good teeth lead to more complete chewing, better digestion, better nutrient absorption, and better health, so too healthy feet promote strong legs. Your feet and legs don’t exist in separate worlds. They are inextricably linked and have a direct effect on one another. If your feet are in poor shape, it will cause unnatural stresses on your legs that could lead to ankle, knee, or hip injury. Or muscle strains, ligament tears, and more. Using insoles to re-establish a healthy relationship between feet and legs can have myriad benefits. Research even suggests that strong legs mean a strong, active mind when you get older (3). So wear your insoles, keep your legs strong and stay mentally sharp.
5: Insoles can help prevent shin splints.
Shin splints (4) is a blanket term that describes pain that radiates up and down the front of the shin. The pain is the result of microscopic tears in the muscles and bone tissue in the lower leg. A common cause of shin splints is going from not exercising at all to doing too much too quickly. Older folks who decide to get in shape after years of inactivity sometimes fall victim to shin splints. So to, do those with fallen arches, another common cause of this condition. Insoles can help prevent shin splints. And if you’ve already developed them, insoles can help reduce the pain they produce.
6: Insoles can help reduce back pain.
Strong feet and legs go a long way toward ensuring a strong back. One that is less prone to injury and less susceptible to everyday aches and pains. When feet are not well-served by the shoes, a person wears, or because of extraordinary stresses and strains caused by exercise, problems can arise that project up through the legs to the back. This is not the kind of problem that should be ignored. If you are experiencing back pain after being on your feet for some time, don’t assume the problem originates with your back. It may well be foot-related (5). In which case, insoles may help solve the problem.
7: Insoles are easy to use and produce lasting results.
This is one of their most endearing qualities. Many ailments and injuries require complex and expensive treatment. An ACL tear (6), for instance, is a fairly common injury of the knee. It may require surgery, months of physical therapy, and the use of a knee brace for a year or more. By comparison, plantar fasciitis or a fallen arch can often be effectively addressed with a simple pair of commercially available insoles. It would be a wonderful world indeed if all physical maladies could be addressed so quickly, effectively, and cheaply.
8: Insoles are a cost-effective form of healthcare.
You know that ACL tear we just mentioned? Do you know how much you’ll pay out of pocket for surgery if your insurance doesn’t cover it? Between $20,000 and $50,000 (7). In addition, the months of physical therapy we mentioned will tack many thousands more on top of that. And we haven’t even begun to talk about the cost of painkillers, anti-inflammatories, and other drugs. Or how much money you will lose due to missing work. By contrast, you can effectively deal with the pain and discomfort in your legs knees and back caused by plantar fasciitis for about the price of a large pizza.
9: Insoles can help improve the flexibility of your feet.
When people put too much stress and strain on the muscles and tendons of the feet, they tend to stiffen up. Flexibility is lost, and even the simplest movements can be awkward and painful. This is true whether the pain is the result of plantar fasciitis or too much pounding of the heel (when running). Or if the pain originates in the ball of the foot. A condition known as metatarsalgia (8). Metatarsalgia can be extremely uncomfortable and produce considerable pain. It can also produce swelling of the surrounding tissue, which causes stiffness throughout the sole of the foot. Insoles can relieve metatarsalgia and the stiffness it produces.
10: Insoles can help prevent neuroma.
Anything that produces compression of a nerve can produce neuroma (9). And since walking, running, or even just standing compresses the tissue on the bottom of the feet, it’s a common area of the body for neuroma to occur. Athletes often suffer from neuroma as they tend to spend long hours slamming their feet into the ground. Former athletes or people who have worked out for years are also common victims of this painful condition. Cushioned insoles can help alleviate the symptoms of neuroma. Wearing them as a preventive measure can also stave off developing neuroma in the long run.
11: Insoles help prevent fatigue.
That’s because enduring foot pain can be a tiring experience. And that’s just as true for 20-something triathletes as it is for older individuals, who have enough things weighing on their health as it is. Wearing insoles alleviates foot pain, helps strengthen the legs and back, and reduces stress and strain on the ankles, knees, and hips. It also eliminates the fatigue that all those various types of pain produce.
12: Insoles help your shoes last longer.
Whether you are using insoles to deal with metatarsalgia or plantar fasciitis, or if you just want to fend off foot problems, they’ll help your shoes last longer. Insoles absorb a large amount of the force that would otherwise be applied directly to your footwear. As a result, you’ll not only feel better, your shoes will last longer too. That will also help you avoid developing future problems arising from wearing old, beat-up shoes.
Insoles provide additional support that relieves foot pain, bolsters your arches, helps you walk with a more natural gait, reduces back pain and helps fend off conditions like neuroma. As a bit of icing on the cake they will also help your shoes last longer and make walking less of a chore.