Finding the best plantar fasciitis insoles can be a hassle if you don’t know what you are looking for. Have you seen the variety available out there? Which ones can provide your feet the support they need? Which ones can give you some relief from your pain during your daily run or if you are on your feet most of the day?
This is where orthotic insoles, come into play. They provide the arch support and comfort your body needs to maintain good posture and alleviate pain from your feet. They can be placed in almost any pair of shoes and offer relief for those who suffer from heel pain. However, it pays to be well informed. Read on to find out more on how these special insoles can help you.
Top 10 Best Plantar Fasciitis Insoles Comparison Guide – Take your Pick!
A word of caution, whatever you do, do NOT pick the first insole that takes your fancy! We have compiled a list and comparison table of the best ones out there so that you can make an informed decision and invest your money in a suitable solution. Read our reviews of the top 10 best insoles for Plantar Fasciitis thoroughly before spending your hard earned money. You’ll thank us later.
|Powerstep Pinnacle Blue||Casual||$$|
|Powerstep Protech Full Length||Casual||$$|
|Syono Orthotic Gel||Casual||$|
|Spenco Polysorb Total Support||Casual||$$|
|Dr. Scholl's Active Series||Sport||$|
|Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer||Sport||$|
|Sorbothane Ultra Graphite Arch||Sport||$$|
|Sof Sole Airr Orthotic Performance||Sport||$$|
|Orthaheel Active Full Length||Casual||$$|
The interactive comparison table has 5 columns which are:
• Insole pictures
• Brand and product name – (click to view more details or to purchase)
• Insole Type
• Price – These are approximate prices on Amazon.com. Here is the price legend.
- $ = under $20,
- $$ = $20 to $50,
- $$$ = $50 to $100
- $$$$ = $100+
• Rating – These are our ratings on a 1 to 5 scale.
What are Plantar Fasciitis Insoles or Orthotics?
Before we get into which insoles are the best in the market to treat this condition, let’s get into the nitty gritty of why this condition actually occurs. It actually has to do with the way the heel and the arch are connected with each other. The following orthotic diagram explains it even better.
Our feet are made up of a total of 26 bones and these are interlinked with 33 joints that hold them together and which allow our feet to move from side to side. This is actually a very complex network of joints that is arranged in arches and columns. Some are flexible and some are stiff. The back of the heel is made of the heel bone and the ankle which is connected to a muscle in the calves that is situated near our Achilles tendon, one of the most important tendons that facilitate movement. (yes, the Achille’s heel actually stems from this concept!)
Now the middle part of our foot comprises of five bones which form the arch. Each is connected to the front and back of our feet via muscles and the plantar fascia which is the ligament of the arch. When you are running full tilt or walking at a brisk pace, these protect your feet from impact by cushioning them as they strike the ground.
Now if a person is suffering from Arthritis, is overweight, runs a lot, walks on hard/uneven surfaces on a regular basis or has ill fitting shoes, these joints and muscles will suffer which can inflame the plantar fasciitis resulting in the condition. It can also be caused if the Achilles tendon shortens for any reason, but that can be lengthened with some exercises.
Whatever the reason may be, we can agree that the condition can cause intense pain which can increase if corrective measures are not adopted. However, orthotics such as Plantar Fasciitis insoles can go a long way in correcting this condition if it is used consistently
What are Orthotic Insoles?
Orthrotic insoles are actually in-shoe braces that are designed to correct abnormally aligned feet and functions in the lower extremities (leg, thigh, hip etc). They work by restricting the stress on the painful parts of the feet in order to aid the healing process. Think of them as crutches for the feet!
These are considered a cost effective and less invasive way to treat Plantar Fasciitis and have also become one of the most recommended treatment forms by foot specialists and GPs. Orthotics are designed specifically to re-align a foot that is twisted out of proportion so to speak. These also support the arches and thus reduce stress on the inflamed plantar fascia tissues leading to pain relief. In other words, not only can orthotic insoles reduce the excruciating pain that this condition is known for, it re-aligns the feet it supports thus ensuring long term relief.
However, both are made differently and the materials used in their making also vary. On the other hand, most foot specialists recommend both as a pair as part of their treatment plans to ensure both feet are cured. Think of it as if you are aligning a car by adjusting all of the wheels in front end alignment. You may not pick up those speeds, but your daily sprint will be better than ever.
What Are Different Types of Plantar Fasciitis Insoles?
How this condition is caused has a lot to do with which Plantar Fasciitis insole should be recommended. There are basically two types available in the market, accommodative and functional foot orthoses. Both can be used to correct the ‘foot plant’ of a person suffering from this condition so that they can resume their activities pain free. Let’s discuss them in more detail:
Accommodative Foot Orthoses
As the name implies, these kinds of insoles or foot orthoses adjusts the alignment of the affected foot to correct impact. It does this by cushioning, padding or by alleviating pressure from the painful or injured areas at the bottom of the feet so you don’t scream in agony each time you walk or run. They are typically quite flexible to ensure the feet do not lose complete mobility and are made from leather, plastic, foam, cork and of course, rubber.
Due to their malleable nature, they can be adjusted with ease and are more comfortable compared to their functional counterpart. Accomodative foot orthoses are modeled around a three dimensional model of the affected foot which is taken through a plaster mould, compressible foam or through a digital image of the foot taken from an optical scanner.
Functional Foot Orthoses
Even though these are stiffer than their accommodative counterparts, they are just as effective in relieving plantar fasciitis pain. These are typically used to correct abnormal foot function, pain in the big and little toe, in-step and arch pain, heel and ankle pain and other discomforting areas in lower extremities. These insoles are typically thin and can fit in almost any shoe with ease. Like accommodative foot orthoses, these are also created by making a 3D plaster, scan or foam impression of the foot. However, it is typically used to treat tendinitis and bursitis in the ankle, hip and knee.
Even though function foot orthoses or insoles may seem rigid, they can be adjusted to fit into shoes. They might not be as ‘cushy’ but using these will also go a long way in relieving that excruciating plantar fasciitis pain.
How To Get Rid of Plantar Fasciitis By Using Insoles?
If you are an avid runner, then you probably go through a stretching routine before heading out the door, right? If you are suffering from this condition, then you might feel stabbing pain when your foot limbers up or you stretch it before a nice, long run. Unfortunately, some people think they are cured if the pain recedes, but most are unaware that it can return if they keep standing, running and they may even experience pain when they sit up from a seated position.
You see, there is a thick layer of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that is located across the bottom of our feet and which connects our heel bone to our toes. When this band of muscle gets inflamed, you can be in for a world of hurt! We will discuss how this happens later.
If you are sick and tired of the pain, then you can say goodbye to it once and for all by placing an insole that is designed to treat the condition in your running shoes before heading out. Before we get into the best ones you can get, let’s discuss how this remarkable remedy helps in alleviating that god-awful heel pain.
How Plantar Fasciitis Orthotics Work?
Believe it or not, Plantar Fasciitis can be healed and even eliminated, but before you can get relief from it, it is vital to break the cycle of pain it generates. What does that mean, you ask? It’s simple. Since our plantar fascia can get inflamed if the foot is misaligned, it stands to reason that it can be alleviated if the foot is aligned properly. Since the inflamed tissue runs across the bottom of the feet, you can ease some of the pain by keeping your feet aligned as you walk or run.
This is one of the reasons why biomechanic experts stress the importance of good posture and of the importance of supporting the feet from the moment you spring out of bed in the morning to the last step you take before jumping back in at night.
This is where orthotic support such as Plantar Fasciitis insoles, come in handy. They break the cycle of pain by supporting/aligning the heel, alleviating pain from your plantar fascia and ensuring your feet function the way they are supposed to without discomfort, whether you are running a marathon or out shopping.
If you are flat footed, love to run and are suffering from this condition, then getting a foot insole would be a good idea. Besides aligning your feet as they hit the pavement, these insoles will cushion them from the impact and decrease energy consumption at the same time. The result would be faster and pain free heels, whether you are out for a run or walking about town. These will also go a long way to keep your steps symmetrical and compel you to moderate your walking speed automatically for full effect.
Excited? Then we have some more great news for you! We are going to share health benefits of wearing orthotic insoles which are backed by science. Rather than going from store to store and from review to review, just scroll down for a list of health benefits of using some of the best Plantar Fasciitis insoles in the market.
Health Benefits of Using Plantar Fasciitis Insoles – See what the Experts have to Say!
Whether you opt for functional or accommodative foot orthoses, you cannot deny that Plantar Fasciitis insoles are the best treatment for a painful heel. The results for both types can vary according to researchers.
Let’s take two studies into account to bring this into perspective. In a study published by the University of California’s Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Center, 15 centers took part in a random trial that compared a number of non-operative procedures for heal pain or proximal plantar fasciitis. The study examined 76 men and 160 men with the condition who were in their mid teens and a bit older.
Most of the 236 subjects were already suffering from the condition for 6 months at least and the group was divided into 5 groups. All of them were treated with stretching exercises to treat Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. However, one was made to undergo stretching as a form of treatment while the remaining four were made to wear orthotic show inserts. Long story short, when all five groups were evaluated after 8 weeks of treatment, the prefabricated or functional orthoses treatment stood head and shoulders above the stretching exercise and custom insoles.
Still not convinced? Let’s take another study conducted by the University of Teesside’s School of Health and Social Care department into account. The study evaluated 48 patients who were randomly given either an accommodative or functional orthoses to treat their condition. The results spoke for themselves as they revealed a significant reduction in foot pain along with an increase in mobility throughout the 8 week trial. Even though the accommodative variety showed significant results at just 4 weeks, the functional orthoses ensured a better quality of life. In other words, both kinds are equally effective in treating the pain associated with plantar fasciitis; the final choice lies with you. Choose wisely.
How to Choose Good Plantar Fasciitis Insoles
The good news is that we conducted all of the research for you so that you don’t have to. Have you seen how many insoles and shoe inserts are actually available in the market? Even if you whittle down your choices, how do you know which one will alleviate the pain when you are on your feet all day? A good pair of orthotics can serve as viable substitutes for a stable pair of shoes that can correct foot misalignment, provide arch support and ensure good posture.
Your podiatric (which is a foot doctor by the way), will recommend an orthotic that can complement the shape of your feet and treat your particular condition. Yes, the pain is relative to each person who suffers from this condition so you better listen! There are 3 things that you have to look for when you are our orthotic shopping and which the specialist may also recommend:
- Does anyone else suffering from plantar fasciitis use this product? Even if it seems like a viable option, it’s a good idea to do your research and see how effective it is. Users will also have tested options that did not work for them which you should note down as well.
- It’s all well and good to get an orthotic that is popular in the market, but that may be just the branding (and packaging) talking. Most companies that make such products cater to a certain demographic such as people who have bunions, foot ulcers etc. So, read the product description to ensure the one you choose treats plantar fasciitis!
- Last, but definitely not least, determine whether you are Supinator, Over-Pronator or a Pronator. To determine this, take a look at your walking and running shoes. If you are a pronator, it means it rolls inward when it hits the ground to disperse the impact, if you are a over-pronator, it means it means your foot rolls in excessively, twisting the shin and knees and causing pain in those areas and if you are a Supinator, it means your foot does not roll enough when it lands on the ground and thus does not protect your legs from impact sufficiently.
Now, certain brands target people who are either all three or one or two of these, so it would be a good idea to check which one you belong to before shopping.
Here is a quick video that shows you how to choose the best plantar fasciitis insoles for your feet.
It’s not all sunshine and roses though. There are some minor cons to this solution that you should know:
- Some insoles, particularly the functional kind, can prove quite expensive. If you cannot afford them, then you can simply go for those that provide good arch support. They are equally effective.
- Some people can have trouble breaking in orthotic insoles that provide rigid arch support. Don’t worry though. You can get rid of that problem by walking around with them in your shoes for a couple of days.
- Patients who have a more active lifestyle complain of durability. Since these insoles are supposed to be worn all day, they can wear down quickly, but how quickly they do so will depend on the brand you purchase.
10 Best Plantar Fasciitis Insoles Reviews
Speaking of brands, it pays to know your insoles before heading to the nearest store. The following are reviews of the 10 best plantar fasciitis insoles available in the market:
1. Superfeet Premium
These are considered one of the most influential inserts out there and there is a reason for that. The Superfeet Premium features a custom design for those who have high to medium arches and particularly flat feet. This brand would be a good choice for you if you are new to insoles and don’t have high arches on your feet. Such inserts can fit in almost any shoe since they are more shapely and can last for a long time. The only con of the Superfeet Premium is its impressive price tag, which most buyers don’t consider.
2. Powerstep Pinnacle Blue
The Powerstep Pinnacle Blue features the pinnacle of orthotic equipment and can match the Superfeet line with ease. Unlike the Superfeet, it offers cushioning along with stable support which is designed to offer maximum comfort. Of course, as discussed before, these two attributes can alleviate the pain associated with plantar fasciitis as well. The only cons re that it takes a little time to get used to them and some buyers have complained of quality issues.
3. Powerstep ProTech
Another insole from Powerstep, the ProTech offers full length models that, like the Pinnacle, offer malleable, rigid and firm support. This is supplemented by shock absorbing layer that is double cushioned for more comfort along with an extra heel pad. The ProTech is perfect for everyday use but it can take some time to get used to.
4. Soyno Orthotic Gel Insoles
These gel based insoles were designed keeping the comfort of the wearer in mind and are favored by several sufferers of plantar fasciitis. It offers cushioning through a blue gel which is located in the heel and forefoot areas which makes them ideal as pain management solutions. Besides feeling heavenly on the feet, the Soyno Orthotic Gel Insoles are relatively inexpensive. However, some users report that they do offer sufficient arch support, but that did not stop anyone from buying them.
5. Spenco Polysorb Total
The Spenco Polysord Total insert is presented as one of the best insoles the brand came out with due to its superior support and stability. This is not surprising if we take its design into account which comprises of a semi-rigid cradle, a ‘crash pad’ for the front part of the foot and a metatarsal dome which maximizes comfort. It is super effective for alleviation of plantar fasciitis pain and quite popular with athletes. The only downsides? It’s not suitable for flat feet and may not provide sufficient support for the arch.
6. Dr. Scholl’s Active Series
Ideal for athletes, Dr Scholl’s Active Series of shoe insoles stemmed from the fact that the foot is subject to 2 to 3 times our body weight when it experiences impact shock. If left untreated, it can result in foot and knee pain. The insoles in the Active Series combat this by reducing that shock by almost 50% via Triple Zone Protection Technology. In layman’s terms, this solution reduces impact on the arch and heel, thus reducing chances of pain. You may have difficulty making it fit inside your shoes at first though.
7. Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer
Like Dr. Schol’s, Spenco’s Polysorb Cross Trainers are also designed to facilitate athletic performance, but these also increase the life of the running shoes they are placed in. These insoles offer light heel and arch support along with cushioning for touch training. You might have to squeeze these in your track shoes and have to wrestle to tuck in the thick heel, but it will be worth it in the end.
8. Sorbothane Ultra Graphite Arch
If you know your insoles, then you may have heard of this brand. Sorbothane designs insoles that are created specifically for athletes and sports. Their Graphite Arch line was created specifically for those who are either active in sports or spend a lot of time on their feet for long periods of time. The design is ergonomic and offers maximum comfort as well as stability. Like all sports equipment, it may be on the expensive side compared to other brands, but that’s only because it’s quite effective.
9. Sof Sole Comfort Shock Absorption Airr
Sof Sole’s Airr line of insoles was created for shock absorption mostly, but it is also slim enough to fit almost all kinds of footwear. With air pockets in the heels and arch along with gel in the forefoot, these insoles are viable options when it comes to relieving plantar fasciitis pain. Pricing is quite reasonable and it is best for runners. Some of the downsides that buyers have reported are sizing issues only.
10. Orthaheel Active Full Length Orthotics
The Orthaheel Active full length insoles are considered the best ones from the brand since they are shaped ergonomically and provide support to both the heel and the arch. With support from Tri Planar Motion Control Technology, these inserts offer support in three planes of motion and it also eliminated foot odor! So, no more smelly feet when you come in from a long run! Besides this, it also offers extra bounce and prevents arch, heel, back and foot pain.
Get the Best Plantar Fasciitis Insoles for Your Feet
So, if you are searching for the best plantar fasciitis insoles to get rid of those knives stabbing your feet each time you run or walk, then this guide will help you narrow your choice. We don’t want you to waste your money after all. Make an informed decision by going through the comparison table we created for you. Select for only the best and say good bye to that discomfort and pain once and for all.
Browse through our list of the top 10 best plantar fasciitis insoles and choose one that can alleviate your pain. Consult a certified podiatric if you are uncertain, but we are sure that our reviews and views will serve just as well.