[dropcap]E[/dropcap]veryone’s feet differ and that makes it hard to get the ideal fit for every pair that you really like. Some of your favorite pairs of shoes might be a little too loose/big or maybe they rub against your feet and feel very uncomfortable after wearing for long periods. For women, even fitting heels can become painfully uncomfortable at times. Fortunately, companies that specialize in shoe insoles, such as Protalus, are here to help alleviate these problems and make your shoes more comfortable to wear.
So, what are insoles?
Simply put, they are material pieces that are placed inside the shoe for warmth and comfort purposes. Insoles are ideally known as inner soles or footbeds. More often than not, they are items you purchase separately and insert into your pair of shoes, but the soles fixed inside a shoe are ideally called insoles sometimes. These pieces are primarily used to enhance the fit of shoes and are sometimes helpful in keeping shoes fresh as they can be removed and cleaned occasionally.
The measurement of insoles is usually the length and width of either the insole or the foot at the widest point.
What are they made of?
There are several different materials that are used to make insoles similar to those found in Spenco sandals. Perhaps the most common is foam. It is the cheapest option. Foam is ideal as it’s rigid, dependable and naturally shock absorbing. The only issue with foam is its inability to last for long. Memory foam insoles are great as they take the shape of your foot, thus making your shoes comfortable to wear.
Some inner soles utilize air in order to provide cushioning and comfort. The supportive foam sole contains pressurized air bubbles. This not only offers great comfort but tends to extend the life of your soles and shoes as well.
Another insole option is leather. Leather insoles give strong arch support and are hard wearing and tough.
Gel is yet another popular inner sole material. It is ideally enclosed in bubbles and placed into a foam footbed. Gel inner soles are also known to provide comfort and support while extending the lifespan of your shoes. It is the latest material for making inner soles. However, even though it is soft and very comfortable, it is more expensive compared to its counterparts, especially foam insoles.
So, Why Should You Use an Inner Sole?
There are numerous reasons to use insoles and different types can be availed to meet different needs. One of the most common reasons to purchase an inner sole is to reduce the size of the shoe, ultimately making the shoe feel a bit small. Standard shoes tend to fit differently and it can be hard to find a half size. As such, the best solution is to pick a shoe that is slightly larger and then put an inner sole to fill the space and give you a tighter fit.
In addition to reducing the size of the shoe and making the pair fit, inner soles can also help your feet feel warmer. Having an additional layer that allows you to insulate your feet during cold weather conditions can help your whole body feel warmer. Inner soles can ideally help avoid blisters as they will prevent the shoes rubbing as a result of the tighter fit. A reduction in the movement between the skin and the shoe substantially reduces the chances of developing blisters.
Last but not least, inner soles can be availed to help correct issues with posture and feet. These kinds of inner soles are best known as orthotic insoles or orthotics. They can be custom made to give the right treatment for specific issues that affect walking, running and even standing.
Orthotic inner soles are beneficial as they help with numerous foot related issues such as heel pain, arch pain and much more. They can give you arch support when required and help with issues such as Achilles tendonitis and Plantar Fasciitis. Some orthotic inner soles are readily available over the counter, but others require a prescription from a podiatrist.
Tips for Picking an Insole
Unless you require a specific orthotic, picking the right inner sole depends on the specific fit issues you have with your shoes as well as what feels fitting and comfortable for you.
If your shoes are rubbing the skin or slipping off, you can remedy the issue with a gel heel grip. However, this does not completely solve the problem and so, it is advisable to get a half inner sole instead. Half insoles are specifically made to support the heel but they will not provide the required support for the foot’s front.
If there is too much space in your show, then you may want to buy a full inner sole for complete support and comfort. All you have to do is pick an insole with a size that corresponds to the size of the shoe.
When wearing high heels, you might need more support on the balls of the feet in order to stop them from aching or hurting. A ball of foot cushion can give the needed comfort by alleviating the pressure exerted on the metatarsal bones. These products are generally smaller than full-size inner soles and so, they perfectly fit into tight-fitting shoes or slimmer heels while giving your feet the relief they require.
Inner Sole Maintenance
In order to keep the inner soles working for you, it is important to take proper care of them. Inner sole’s life can be extended simply by taking care of them.
If you use insoles on a daily basis, the feet can easily get sweaty, trapping the moisture inside the shoe. In order to avoid this, regularly take out the shoes to dry out and allow them to breathe. This will also prevent cases of smelly feet.
You can ideally wash the inner soles, but they are usually harder for most people. Just wash them with a mild detergent, rinse them and allow them to completely dry before putting them back in your shoes.
Inner soles can certainly help with an array of issues when it comes to comfort, odor, posture and health issues. They are handy to have as they help a lot if you look after them. So, before you throw away your favorite pair just because it’s too big, consider trying inner soles first.