Runner tying a shoe

Running Insoles

What are the benefits?


Repeated impact on a misaligned body and kinetic chain may lead to fatigue, chronic discomfort, or even injury 1. A great insole can help provide correct alignment.

1. Carvalho ACA, Junior LCH, Costa LOP, et alThe association between runners' lower limb alignment with running-related injuries: a systematic reviewBritish Journal of Sports Medicine 2011;45:339.

Running shoe


Not all running shoes are created equal and often the difference between good shoes and great shoes is the support provided by the insoles. Changing out the insoles can change the feel of the shoes as well as their ability to absorb shock, which can affect the way you feel when you run 2.

2. O'Leary, Katherine & Vorpahl, Kristin & Heiderscheit, Bryan. (2008). Effect of Cushioned Insoles on Impact Forces During Running. Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association. 98. 36-41. 10.7547/0980036.

Person running


A runner may find that their shoe just isn't comfortable for them. It may be that it's too stiff, too soft, or any number or other factors. Adding a favorite shoe insole can help control the feel of any shoe.

Person running

Click the images below to read stories from runners who use Protalus insoles


Are insoles good for running?

In a study published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, it was demonstrated that cushioned insoles do reduce peak impact force while running. There are many conditions and injuries associated with the repeated impact of running such as heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. Beyond that, if the insoles correct anatomical misalignment, they may reduce the likelihood of musculoskeletal injury.

Do I need custom insoles for running?

If you have pain during running or brisk walking, it is important to consult with your doctor to determine the cause before attempting to relieve that pain by adding running inserts. From there, it is best to identify your reason for using insoles. Some runners add insoles for additional cushion or because the factory insoles of their athletic shoes are uncomfortable. Insoles, along with body alignment exercises, can also help with alignment and arch support. All of these things can typically be accomplished without needing a custom orthotic. Custom insoles can also be cost-prohibitive and stiff, which makes running more difficult for some.

How long do running shoe inserts last?

The lifespan of a running insert depends heavily on the frequency of use. If the inserts are used for a high-intensity running routine such as training for a marathon, they may need to be replaced every three or four months. If the inserts are used for a less intense exercise plan such as a short jog a few times a week, they could last six months or longer. The key is to check to see how much the cushion if the insert has compressed from the heat and pressure of use.

What are the best types of over-the-counter running insoles?

When choosing insoles, it is important to think through what you want to improve in your running experience. Many over-the-counter running insoles just offer cushioning with little arch support or alignment technology. Fit is also a factor as many running shoes have a low volume and not much room to add a thick insole. Beyond that, if you overpronate or supinate, or suffer from a condition such as plantar fasciitis, you will likely also need an insole that can help correct your alignment but is also flexible enough to allow free movement. The T-Series is the best fit for many runners because it offers a moderate degree of arch support along with alignment technology, a flexible, cushioned footbed, and a slim design.

How to choose running insoles

First, check your shoe to see if the factory insole is removable with a gentle tug. If the insole can be easily removed, it is best to look for a full-length insole to replace it. If the insole that came with your shoe is sewn in, you will be looking for a partial-length insole. Next, you want to factor in the amount of arch support and cushioning you need. It can seem difficult to work through the right combination of needs so Protalus made it simple with an Insole Finder tool that asks you the right questions to determine your best fit. Just click below to take the quiz!

Find out which insole will work best for you

Insole finder TAKE THE QUIZ

Learn more about the science behind Protalus insoles