What is the Purpose of Shoe Insoles?

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Shoe insoles are a common sight in pharmacies and sports stores. They take many forms, including rigid inserts that conform to one’s heel, gel-based inserts large enough to cover the entire interior of a shoe and even insoles that help align the ankle, like the Protalus M100. But what are they used for and to what degree can they help? Take a look at the most common uses of shoe insoles today and see why many people swear by them.

putting insole in shoe

The Most Common Purpose of Shoe Insoles: Cushioning the Feet

Perhaps the simplest purpose of shoe insoles is to reduce pain from standing and walking around. Many careers require people to be on their feet for dozens of hours per week, carrying additional weight or walking on uneven ground. A good shoe insole can provide extra cushioning that reduces the impact these jobs have on a person’s feet, thereby reducing discomfort.

Although young people can benefit from using insoles for this purpose, older people use them more frequently because their feet lose the natural cushioning in the heel and other portions of the foot over time.

Supporting the Foot’s Natural Arch

shoe insole

Another reason people use insoles in their shoes is to support their foot’s natural arch. Most people have a fully developed arch in their foot that helps the body absorb the impact of walking, running, jumping, and other activities.

Any time that a person is taking part in rigorous activities, they are putting stress on the arch of their foot. That stress can cause the arch to flatten during times of strenuous activity, resulting in pain as well as injuries to the plantar fascia and other structures within the foot.

Using an insole can provide extra support so the arch doesn’t flex too much or flatten during work, sports, and exercise. The shoe insert absorbs the impact of the movement, reducing the likelihood of injury or the severity of pain. In this case, the purpose of shoe insoles is to act as a preventative measure for more serious injuries.

Reducing Pain from Existing Foot Issues

foot pain

As previously mentioned, many people have an arch in their foot, but that is not the case with everyone. Unfortunately, some people have flat feet, a condition where arches either do not develop or the arches collapse over time. Although some experience no symptoms from flat feet, others are not so fortunate.

People with flat feet can suffer foot pain in the toes, arch area, and heel, and they can also have swelling in their feet. Some inserts claim to reduce the pain from these existing issues by supporting the foot in various ways. Most of the time, it’s best to consult with a specialist before choosing an insert; they can recommend insoles that can focus on improving specific areas of the foot. 

Ensuring Proper Walking Motions

Lastly, shoe insoles can help encourage correct walking motions in people when they walk or run. This problem is commonly seen in people with flat feet, or when the ankle is misaligned. Not only can using an insole help reduce foot pain, but it can help with an individual’s posture and lower body movements. 

Shoe insoles serve many purposes, but they tend to be primarily concerned with reducing injuries and lessening pain. Of course, it’s possible to use insoles for non-medical reasons, too, like boosting one’s height. If you’re thinking about getting shoe insoles, then it would be wise for you to consult a medical professional to make sure you get the support your body needs.

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