Learning Center: How to Choose the Best Insoles



Running Shoe Insole

At Running Warehouse, we hope you will find the best shoe for your specific running needs. We understand, however, that it may not be possible to meet all of a runner's needs and preferences within the shoe itself, and sometimes the solution lies in the addition of an insole.

When using an insole, keep in mind that the sock liner that comes in your shoe needs to be removed first, and the alternate insole can be substituted. These additional insoles tend to last the lifespan of two pairs of shoes, or about 400-1,000 miles. There are a few different types of insoles to choose from, and selecting the best one for you will depend on what experience you are looking for.

For a more structured feeling in your running shoe

Running Shoe Insole 2

Structured insoles are designed to stabilize the foot and reduce the movement of the arch. These insoles feature a distinctive heel cup, which aids in positioning the heel and aligning the heel bone with the ankle and lower leg muscles. Another benefit of these insoles is that they are designed to reduce the elongation of flexible arches. Both bone misalignment and arch movement can contribute to overpronation, and for that reason structured insoles can add a degree of support for overpronation to your footwear. The additional structure under the arch adds a secure feeling as well, which might be desirable for some runners.

When choosing between options in the structured insole category, some brands offer models with different structures for different arch heights, while others offer insoles that can be heat molded to the shape of your foot. Some offer a low profile fit, making them ideal for shoes in the performance category, or for everyday footwear. Check the "Product Details" tab on each product page to see what features a particular insole provides.

Another option to achieve a secure feeling in your shoe is to select a 'Structure Cushioned' insole, which will provide a degree of cushioning as well. Keep in mind that structure cushioned insoles won't be quite as supportive as a structured insole, but they might be a little more flexible and soft.

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For a more cushioned feeling in your running shoe

To make your shoe feel softer underfoot, choose a cushioned insole. These products are designed with technologies to enhance the comfort of the shoe when you put it on. Some models offer targeted cushioning to a specific area like under your arch, or additional cushioning under the balls of your feet or under your heels. Choose a cushioned insole based on where you would like the additional cushioning, and check the "Product Details" to see where any targeted cushioning is located.

Cushioned insoles might use either gel or foam to provide the targeted cushioning. In general, an insole made with foam will be a little more springy or bouncy; while an insole that features gel cushioning will have a plush and impact-absorbing feel to it.

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For targeted cushioning for your heels or forefoot

You might find that you don't need a full-length insole, but would like a bit more cushioning in either the heel or the forefoot area. We carry a few heel cups and pads offering targeted relief for the heel, which will help cushion the heel from the force of impact. These cups or pads can help provide relief from bone spurs and sore or sensitive heels. Some heel cups offer a plastic reinforcement for increased stability, while others are softer and less structured.

Ball of foot cushions or pads are ideal when you are looking for specific cushioning for your forefoot, or just under the balls of your feet. These pads offer gel cushioning for a plush feel, and are designed to be placed under the sock liner of your shoe for maximum comfort.