The 9 Best Insoles of 2021, According to an Expert

Keep foot pain at bay with these affordable inserts

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Our Top Picks
Ideal if you're a runner or spend hours standing, they offer semi-rigid arch support and heel cradles while remaining low-profile.
For those testing out the benefits of insoles, this affordable pick offers cushioning and distributed pressure.
Best for High Arches:
Superfeet Green Insoles at Amazon
If your high arches don't easily absorb the shock of landing, these insoles do the work for you with their elevated middle part.
Crafted from plush memory foam and designed with a deep heel cradle, they promise to lend support and stability to your feet.
Working especially well for those with flat feet and during high-impact activities, its four-way stretch fabric moves with you.
Whether you're sore from a past workout or are looking to prevent foot discomfort, its gel technology offers ample arch support.
They’re shorter and narrower than many other insoles, helping you cut down on unnecessary bulk.
These insoles help you get ahead of pain associated with work boots, thanks to their wide width and contoured footbed.
Boasting a three-zone design, these promise to help you run with ease.

Whether you’re at work, hitting the trails for a long run, or just out for a leisurely walk, wearing comfortable footwear is key to keeping foot pain at bay. While most shoes come with a few added features to keep you comfy, sometimes a little extra cushioning or arch support from a quality shoe insert can help you make it through the day. 

To help you find a pair of shoe inserts that work for your feet, our experts share the best insoles.

Best Overall: Powerstep Original Full Length Orthotic Shoe Insoles

Pros
  • Available in a wide range of sizes

  • Suitable for different arch types

  • No trimming needed

  • Promise to cut down on odor

Cons
  • May need to be broken in

  • May be too firm for some

  • May not be very durable

If you’re looking for insoles that are comfortable, supportive, and reasonably priced, the Powerstep Original Full-Length Orthotic Shoes Insoles check all those boxes and more. Whether you run regularly or spend many hours on your feet at work, these insoles provide the cushioning and protection that your feet need.

These insoles also work wonders for those suffering from plantar fasciitis, as well as other types of heel and arch pain. They feature semi-rigid arch support that gives you just the right amount of support and stability. The insoles’ heel cradles will cushion your feet, giving you more support and shock absorption with each step.

With an ultra-thin, low-profile design, these insoles fit most athletic, casual, and dress shoes and are easily moveable from shoe to shoe. An added bonus is that they’re very well-priced, so you’ll definitely get a lot of bang for your buck.

Sizes: 5 to 15 (women’s), 3 to 16 (men’s) | Arch Type: Low, medium, high | Anti-Odor: Yes

Best Budget: Dr. Scholl's Athletic Series Running Shoe Insoles

Dr. Scholl's Athletic Series Running Insoles for Women
Pros
  • Available in a wide range of sizes

  • Customizable

  • Promise to be shock-absorbing

  • Promise to cut down on odor

Cons
  • Not very versatile

  • Built-in arch support may be in the wrong place for some feet

  • Not as comfortable as some other options

If you’re brand new to insoles and you’re not quite sure if you’ll even benefit from them, you may want to try out an inexpensive pair before you sink money into a pricier option. These insoles from Dr. Scholl’s are perfect for those kinds of trial runs since they’re cheaper than many other insoles, but still a quality product. They feature a deep heel cup to help with shock absorption and also have padding to cushion the ball of your foot and distribute pressure.

They also have reinforced arch support to help you transition weight from landing to push-off. Users also love the SweatMax Technology, which helps to eliminate foot odors. They’re available in both men’s and women’s sizes.

Sizes: 5.5 to 9 (women’s), 7.5 to 14 (men’s) | Arch Type: Not listed | Anti-Odor: Yes

Best for High Arches: Superfeet Green Insoles

Pros
  • Available in a wide range of sizes

  • Customizable

  • Promise to cut down on odor

Cons
  • May squeak when you walk

  • May not be very durable

A powerhouse in the insole market, Superfeet offers a variety of insole options, so it’s important that you choose carefully to get the right ones for your foot type, preferences, and needs. Their Green FullLength Insole is an excellent option for those with high arches, whether you want to wear them for support during exercise or when you’re on your feet for long periods of time.

The insoles’ deep and wide heel cups provide maximum support and stability, which helps control the motion and position of your feet. They also feature an elevated middle part, which is especially helpful for those with high arches.

These insoles fit in all types of footwear with removable insoles, from walking shoes to work shoes. They’re a bit pricier than some other insoles, but they’re extremely durable and worth the money for a quality, high-performance pair.

Sizes: 4.5 to 16 (women’s), 2.5 to 17 (men’s) | Arch Type: High | Anti-Odor: Yes

Best for Plantar Fasciitis: EasyFeet Plantar Fasciitis Arch Support Insoles

Pros
  • Available in a wide range of sizes

  • Customizable

  • Promise to be shock-absorbing

  • Promise to cut down on odor

Cons
  • May need to be broken in

  • Built-in arch support may be in the wrong place for some feet

If you have plantar fasciitis, you need an insole that will take some of the pressure off your heel—and that’s exactly what EasyFeet’s Plantar Fasciitis Insoles promise to do. The insoles are crafted from plush memory foam. And they’re designed with a deep heel cradle that promises to lend support and stability to your feet in equal measure.

The insoles offer ample arch support, giving structure to flat feet and rising up to meet high arches. And since they’re antibacterial, you shouldn’t have to worry about stench—even after wearing them for days on end. Also nice? The insoles come lined with air pockets.

These pockets promise to make the memory foam insoles even more comfortable. And since they’re shock-absorbing, they make the insoles a particularly great pick for those with plantar fasciitis.

Sizes: 5 to 13 (women’s), 6 to 13 (men’s) | Arch Type: Low, high | Anti-Odor: Yes

Quick Tip

“Insoles can help with fasciitis by providing arch support,” Dr. Jackie Sutera, D.P.M., New York-based podiatrist and Vionic Innovation Lab member, says. “Insoles for people with heel pain and fasciitis should have a heel cup, cushioning, and provide shock absorption. These are all important for treatment of plantar fasciitis.”

Best for Flat Feet: Spenco PolySorb Cross Trainer Insoles

Pros
  • Available in a wide range of sizes

  • Feel cushioned but springy

  • Shock-absorbing

  • Cut down on odor

Cons
  • May feel too soft for some

  • May not be very durable

These insoles from Spenco can be used by anyone with very low to medium arches, and they work especially well for people with flat feet. The forefoot cushion is crafted from plush EVA foam, which promises to absorb shock and offer excellent energy return. This combination makes the shoes cushioned and comfortable, but also bouncy enough to wear during sports—giving you the springy rebound you need to walk, run, and jump comfortably.

Each insole comes inside an antimicrobial cover, which promises to keep your insoles smelling fresh—even after you’ve worn them for days. And since the insoles are designed to be lightweight and low-profile, they promise to cut down on blisters and other discomfort.

Sizes: 5 to 12.5 (women’s), 6 to 15.5 (men’s) | Arch Type: Low, medium | Anti-Odor: Yes

Best for Achy Feet: Dr. Scholl's Comfort & Energy Massaging Gel Insoles

Dr. Scholl's Comfort & Energy Massaging Gel Insoles for Women
Pros
  • Textured to massage your feet

  • Customizable

  • Feel cushioned but springy

  • Flatter and lower-profile than many higher-arch-support options

Cons
  • Available in only a small range of sizes

  • May slide around inside your shoe

  • May not be very durable

  • May not offer much arch support

Dr. Scholl’s is another leader in the insole industry, and their Comfort & Energy Massaging Gel insoles are an excellent and inexpensive option for anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet. These rubber insoles promise to conform to the shape of your feet. And they’re lined with textured gel cushions that are designed to provide support, shock absorption, and comfort in equal measure. 

Since the insoles are lower-profile than most, they’re a great option for those who don’t need a ton of arch support. So if what you’re looking for is a cushioned insole that won’t put pressure on your feet—and that won’t demand a ton of space in your shoe—you’ve found it.

That said, there is one caveat worth mentioning: Since these insoles are much less expensive than some other options, they may not be very durable. But they’re still a good value for the price.

Sizes: 6 to 10 (women’s), 8 to 14 (men’s) | Arch Type: Not listed | Anti-Odor: No

Best for Dress Shoes: Vionic Slimfit Orthotic Insoles

Pros
  • Fit inside many kinds of shoes

  • Shock-absorbing

  • Promise to cut down on odor

  • Available in two colors

  • Flatter and lower-profile than many higher-arch-support options

Cons
  • Available in a limited range of sizes

  • Best for dress shoes

  • May not offer much arch support

Most insoles are designed to slide inside sneakers and athletic shoes. But what if you want a set of insoles that suits dressier footwear—like your favorite flats or your go-to high heels? These Slimfit Insoles from Vionic promise to be up to the task. The insoles are particularly lightweight, so they make an easy addition to most casual and dress shoes. They’re also shorter and narrower than many other insoles, helping you cut down on unnecessary bulk. 

But despite their low profile, the insoles still promise to offer plenty of support. The curve of these inserts helps realign the foot to its natural position, preventing aching and toe crowding. And you won't have to worry about foot odor either: The cloth lining the top of the insole promises to be antimicrobial, helping you prevent the buildup of odor-causing bacteria.

Sizes: 4 to 8 and 10.5 to 12 (women’s), 9.5 to 11 (men’s) | Arch Type: Not listed | Anti-Odor: Yes

Best for Boots: Protalus Protalus M100 Max Series Shoe Insoles

Pros
  • Great for boots and other wide shoes

  • Moisture-wicking

  • Shock-absorbing

  • Cut down on odor

Cons
  • Available in a limited range of sizes

  • May need to be broken in

  • May squeak when you walk

If you're someone who wears work boots for most of the day, give the Protalus M100 Insoles a try. They're wider than standard insoles, giving you the coverage you need to fill out your boots. And this design feature makes them a great pick for other wide shoes—like high tops and basketball shoes—too.

The insole’s footbed is contoured to reduce pressure on your feet, allowing you to stand for long periods of time more comfortably. And the insoles come lined with padding that promises to absorb shock, helping you feel less strain on your joints as you walk.

To make matters even better, the insoles promise to wick moisture as you wear them—helping you cut down on the sweat that tends to accompany a day spent in boots.

Sizes: 6.5 and 9.5 (men’s) | Arch Type: Low, medium, high | Anti-Odor: Yes

Best for Running: Currex RunPro Running Insoles

Pros
  • Available in a wide range of sizes

  • Available in three different styles

  • Designed to cushion, absorb shock, and offer rebound in strategic places

  • Lightweight and low-profile

Cons
  • May need to be broken in

  • May be too firm for some

Currex’s RunPro Insoles were crafted with runners in mind—and it shows. The insoles are designed to replace the inserts in your go-to sneakers, helping you get the support you want without crowding your shoes. And they boast a three-zone design that promises to help you run with ease.

The middle of the insole is designed to cushion your foot, while the heel offers support and absorbs shock. Meanwhile, the front of the insole promises to feel springy—giving you plenty of rebound every time you take a step.

The insoles are available in a wide range of sizes, so it shouldn’t be hard to find an option that suits you. And even better: The insoles come in three different styles. So you can choose whether you want low, medium, or high arch support.

Sizes: 4.5 to 16 (women’s), 3 to 14.5 (men’s) | Arch Type: Low, medium, high | Anti-Odor: No

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a go-to set of insoles, Powerstep’s Original Full-Length Orthotic Shoes Insoles (view at Amazon) are a solid choice. The insoles promise to be comfortable and supportive. And thanks to their versatile design, you should be able to pair them with most of the shoes in your closet—dress shoes and casual shoes included.

What to Look for in an Insole

Type

Insoles are designed to provide your foot with support, but some are crafted with comfort in mind while others are heavily focused on support or relief from foot pain. Marcia Graddon, certified orthotist at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics, says that individuals need to look for a variety of characteristics in their insoles, including size, arch height, rigidity, and the ability to add accommodations such as metatarsal pads.

Volume

Graddon notes the importance of volume because different models are designed for different shoe types. “Sport models are designed to give you a lot more shock absorption and they’re designed to be more rugged and hold up to a lot of stress,” she says. On the contrary, she explains that dress models are about half the length and are designed to be super thin—allowing you to wear them in shoes that don’t have high volume.

Material

Cork, plastic, foam, and combination materials are used as the main support for insoles. Each material reacts differently to the foot so it’s advisable to understand why you need an insole in the first place. 

“A cork and foam orthotic is not going to be as stiff and is going to mold more to the foot than a typical plastic-based orthotic,” says Graddon. “Foam would be the softest and most often, least supportive.” She says that someone with diabetes or neuropathy (loss of feeling in their feet) should use a softer, more accommodative material.

Cost

Off-the-shelf orthotic insoles are less expensive than custom-made insoles. If cost is a factor, it’s best to start with store-bought options and move your way to orthotics if you don’t experience relief from foot pain or discomfort. It’s always a good idea to visit a podiatrist if you’re unsure what insole will suit your needs.

Versatility

Some insoles are on the more expensive side, so being able to swap them in and out of different shoes can save you money. “Most people can get away with a sport-style insole and a dress insole,” says Graddon. She explains that those models will typically work on most shoe options. 

FAQs

How to clean insoles

After a few days of wear, insoles can get smelly. Thankfully, they’re pretty easy to clean. 

To clean your insoles, start by removing them from your shoes. Then, wipe them down with soap or laundry detergent. (You can do this with a washcloth or an old toothbrush.) Once they’re clean, wipe them down with water. (Try to avoid getting them too wet.) Then, let them air-dry. 

And remember, you can always cut down on insole stench by snagging a pair that’s odor-resistant or antimicrobial. 

How long do insoles last?

“Generally, insoles last about a year, depending on use and wear,” Dr. Sutera says. Your insoles may need to be replaced sooner if they’re flattening or peeling, if they have holes in them, or if they look generally worn out.

How to wear insoles in shoes

Before adding an insole to your shoe, take a look at your shoe. Does it already have an insole? And if so, what does that insole look like? If the insole is flat and removable, Dr. Sutera recommends removing it and replacing it with a better insole. If the insole is flat but not removable, she recommends placing the new insole on top of the old one.

Many insoles come in different sizes, so you can choose the size that best suits your shoe. Some others are designed to be trimmed to fit your shoe more precisely. To figure out how much to trim your insoles, you can use the insole that was already in your shoe as a guide. (Remove it from the shoe, hold it up to your new insole, and cut the new insole to be the same size as the old one.)

What Experts Say

“There are a variety of reasons why purchasing an insole may be beneficial. Individuals with flat feet who feel pain or soreness when wearing shoes should consider an insole with arch support built-in. A cushioned insole can help to compensate for the loss of the foot’s natural cushion that happens with aging. Also, people with a callus on the ball of foot, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, or a deformity in the foot or ankle may also benefit from insoles.” Dr. Steven Neufeld, a foot and ankle surgeon at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

Certified running coach and fitness writer Christine Luff has spent years researching, testing, and recommending fitness and athletic products and knows that the right gear can tremendously improve performance and comfort.

Additional reporting to this story by Lindsey Lanquist

As a seasoned health and fitness writer, Lindsey Lanquist understands how vital quality product recommendations can be. She is careful to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them. 

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Article Sources
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