Best Insoles For Running

Running is not exactly the easiest recreational activity in the world. Sure, it isn’t complicated and doesn’t require a lot of brain power, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, running can take a toll on your body and especially your feet. This makes it vitally important for you to not only invest in a proper pair of running shoes but also insoles. Whatever you do, never overlook something so simple as the inserts inside of your shoe because as you will soon find out, high-quality insoles can make all the difference in the world.

There are a lot of insoles on the market now, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the variety available. So we’ve done the research and made this list of the ten best insoles for running on the market today. We’ve also explained why we chose these products in particular, and included a FAQ section for additional infomation on how to keep your feet happy.

Last Updated: September 10, 2018
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By Kris Kierstead-Lewis:

We've put together this list to help you find the right insoles to keep your feet happy when you're out running. Our latest addition is the Sof Sole AIRR, which we're really into because of its air chambers in the arch and heel for extra support and cushioning. Check it out!

Superfeet Green
  • Superfeet Green
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Biomechanical shape
  • Stabilizer cap
  • Price: See Here
Powerstep Pinnacle
  • Powerstep Pinnacle
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Antimicrobial Fabric
  • Metatarsal support
  • Price: See Here
Powerstep Original
  • Powerstep Original
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Contoured heel
  • Low profile design
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Insoles For Running

 

 

Superfeet Green

Universally, the Superfeet Green Insole seems to be one of the best of its kind; if not the very best. While some users may feel it is too stiff and thick, others will marvel in its deep heel cup and professional-grade arch support.
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Cushioning
Thanks to the high-density foam layer, which is a closed-cell foam, you are provided with all-day comfort and cushioning. But, this same foam also supports your feet admirably.

Shock Absorption
Superfeet integrated their widest and deepest heel cup into their Green Insole. This aids in two areas of shock absorption as not only does it provide maximum support for your foot, it also positions the soft tissue in a specific manner to absorb as much of the blow as possible.

Arch Support
Besides the professional-grade orthotic arch support that is delivered with this insole, it also helps adapt the midsole of your footwear to your foot if it is flat. Also, its distinct shape stabilizes your foot for further support.

Odor Protection
To prevent a stench from building up and potentially causing issues to your health, there is an all-natural coating that has been applied to eliminate any bacteria that would cause a potent odor.

Sizing and Fitting
Due to the thickness, the Green insole fits all types of high-volume footwear that have removable insoles. For sizes, there is actually a strong variety available for men, women, and kids.

Overall
It is not too difficult to tell why most people are so impressed with Superfeet’s Green Insole. Granted you do not mind an insole that is extra-thick, there are few to no caveats you need to concern yourself with.
Pros
  • Features a stabilizer cap to provide structure for the foam layer
  • Designed with a biomechanical shape for exceptional support
  • Several sizes for men, women and children
Cons
  • One of the thicker options out there
  • Can be too stiff for some users
 

Powerstep Pinnacle

Powerstep is right back up and this time, it is their Pinnacle Insert. For those who have issues with their metatarsal bones, this has built-in support for it. Of course, there are those reviewers who claim it does not help with that particular area too much.
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Cushioning
Both the durable EVA foam base and the Variable Cushioning Technology deliver targeting cushion for all-day treks. Moreover, this is designed to cushion your metatarsal bones for pain relief.

Shock Absorption
The cushioning and support will end up aiding in this section in the long run.

Arch Support
Much like their Original Insole, the Pinnacle has semi-rigid arch support. While this not only adds support and stability, it enhances the padding for the balls of your feet.

Odor Protection
Being designed with a top fabric that is anti-microbial, bacteria and odor build-up should not be of concern for you. Plus, this reduces the overall heat which, in turn, enhances breathability.

Sizing and Fitting
Again, just like their other insole, there is no trimming required here and it should properly fit in a wide variety of shoe types and sizes (with many available for both men and women).

Overall
The clear advantage that the Pinnacle Insole has is its ability to alleviate pain for those who suffer metatarsal pain. Now, some users have claimed otherwise and stated it is pretty non-existent. Likely, it depends on the severity of the pain.
Pros
  • Provides a great blend of cushioning and foot control
  • Relieves foot pain in the balls of your feet
  • Features an anti-microbial top fabric
Cons
  • A few reviewers have claimed the metatarsal support is non-existent
 

Powerstep Original

What is really nice about the Original Insoles from Powerstep is that they have a low-profile and you should need to concern yourself with trimming. In addition, while some users have claimed otherwise, for the most part, most agree it sports solid cushioning and support.
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Cushioning
There are multiple layers of cushioning from the durable EVA foam base to the Variable Cushioning Technology. All in all, the cushioning is targeted to protect your feet while you are walking or running.

Shock Absorption
The main design feature that helps absorb the shock created when your foot strikes the ground is the heel cradle. It manages to cushion your foot with each step and adds much-needed support.

Arch Support
Powerstep classifies their arch support as semi-rigid and overall, the shell is very flexible and it delivers a strong amount of support and stability.

Odor Protection
Odor and bacteria do not seem to be an issue with this insole. Glancing through various customer feedback, not too many (if all) claimed to have issues with moisture build-up or smell.

Sizing and Fitting
Due to the low-profile design, this insole should fit in practically any shoe imaginable. Granted, you select the right size from the plenty that are available. In fact, no trimming will be necessary.

Overall
Is this up-to-par with some of the others on this list? Probably not, but does that indicate it is irrelevant and a wasted investment? No, as the stability and support that is delivered should be sufficient enough for most.
Pros
  • Integrates a contoured heel cup for balance
  • Designed with a low-profile that will fit most shoes
  • Ideal for alleviating pain associated with several foot ailments
Cons
  • Various users have claimed it did not have enough padding or support
  • Maybe too narrow for some people’s preferences
 

Spenco Polysorb

Spenco Polysorb
While Spenco’s Polysorb Insole is terrific for its four-way fabric that prevents blisters and controls odors, polyurethane foam to absorb shocks, and EVA forefoot cushion, it may not be suitable for those with high arches looking for the appropriate amount of support.
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Cushioning
Due to the EVA forefoot that has been integrated into this insole, you not only receive superior cushioning but also enough energy return when you make heavy foot strikes with the ground.

Shock Absorption
The Spencore material, which is a 5/32-inch layer of this insole, is what manages to reduce and alleviate the impact taken from each step you take; even if the impacts are intense.

Arch Support
A polysorb, polyurethane foam it what provides the support for your heel and arch. But, users have reported that this is better suited for those with low to mid arch. It just does not feature enough support for high arches.

Odor Protection
Spenco decided to go with a four-way stretch fabric that is antimicrobial. As you know, this helps to prevent blisters and control the odor from your feet.

Sizing and Fitting
If you have shoes that do not have removable insoles, these may not suit you. While not impossible to use, they are best used alone. Just like most manufacturers, there is no shortage of sizes.

Overall
Despite not being ideal for individuals with high arches, and some claims of questionable durability, this is still a competent insole from Spenco.
Pros
  • Provides great cushioning and shock absorption in the heel
  • Features excellent energy-return on every strike
  • Designed to control odors and prevent moisture from building up
Cons
  • Not ideal for high arches
  • A few users have claimed the cushion does not last too long

Spenco Total Support

Spenco Total Support
Thanks to the 3-Pod cushioning system provided by Spenco, their Total Support Insoles assist to prevent overpronation; which can be an issue for some people when they run. Past this, this also creates a more rigid arch support.
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Cushioning
Spenco makes it pretty clear with their Total Support Insoles that they aimed to help overpronation. The 3-Pod cushioning system does so by changing the ground forces that reach the foot.

Shock Absorption
For both added comfort and support for those long runs in the brisk morning, the cushioning system also provides increases shock absorption.

Arch Support
This is aimed at people looking for rigid arch support. What this also means is this insole will be stiffer than you may expect, but this will provide stability and support.

Odor Protection
Acknowledgement goes to the silpure antimicrobial treatment that was applied to these insoles as this is the main factor that reduces odors and manages the moisture.

Sizing and Fitting
Spenco certainly did not skimp out on sizes as there are several varying options for both men and women. However, take note that they recommend you select a size lower than your shoe size.

Overall
Let’s just be honest, you will either love or hate these insoles. They assist in preventing overpronation and are terrific in that sense. But, many will never be able to get used to the stiffness and rigid arch support.
Pros
  • Improves the control of your motion to reduce overpronation
  • Attached to the top cloth is a custom EVA layer
  • Backed by an unconditional guarantee for one year
Cons
  • Due to their rigidness, some may feel these insoles are not comfortable

Sof Sole Airr

Sof Sole Airr
Sof Sole's AIRR insoles are the perfect combination of form and function. The embedded air chambers ensure you get the cushioning that you need while offering solid support for low arches.
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Cushioning

Air chambers embedded in the heel and arch sections, as well as polymer gel in the forefoot, provides excellent cushioning. You'll feel like you're walking on air; after all, you technically are.

Shock Absorption

Not only do the air chambers and polymer gel discussed above provide excellent cushioning, they also work to convert impact into kinetic energy, thus providing maximum shock absorption.

Arch Support

The arch section features embedded air chambers to provide excellent arch support throughout all of your activities.

Odor Protection

Sof Sole uses a special Coolmax fabric cover to wick moisture, and the Microban material works to mitigate odor-causing bacteria, even after long-term daily use.

Size and Fit

These are offered in two sizes: Women's 5-7.5, and Women's 8-11. Most users report these running true to size, though they are also thicker than some other soles so make sure they'll be comfortable in your shoes of choice.

Overall

While these are on the more expensive side, Sof Sole's AIRR insoles provide optimal cushioning, and the nylon stability plate provides solid motion control. If you're okay with a thicker insole, the Sof Sole AIRR is the way to go.
Pros

Microban for odor mitigation

Air chambers in arch and heel sections

Polymer gel in forefoot area

Cons

Expensive

Sole Softec Insert

Sole Softec Insert
Featuring high-density EVA foam, unlike plastic, which is not jarring to the feet and that provides the support needed, this insole is top-notch. Couple this with its 3.2mm footbed for optimal shock absorption and cushioning, and you have an insole made in heaven.
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Cushioning
Cushioning and comfort are prominent here and the combination of the soft nubuck top layer, which adds comfort to the arch support technology, and the 3.2mm Softec build provides enough comfort for all-day uses.

Shock Absorption
Once again, the cushioning technology also comes into play with the shock absorption. The 3.2mm build also works as a shock absorbing material and will protect you from sudden impacts when you are running.

Arch Support
Overall, this insole aligns your foot in a natural shape that will prevent injuries and limit your lower limb pain. As for the support, the bottom layer of high-density EVA foam is highly contoured in both the heel and the arch and provides it for the footbed.

Odor Protection
Among the various reviews, it does not appear as if users have had any issue with odor build-up and an abundance of bacteria forming.

Sizing and Fitting
No matter your current shoe, this Softec Insole should slide easily into it with no issues. If not, you can toss it in the oven to mold the shape to your foot. In addition, men and women can choose from various sizes ranging from 3 to 22.

Overall
Truthfully, this is a very similar insole to the previously documented version. Again, the thickness and firmness may prove to be too overbearing for some of you and could lead to you heading in a different direction.
Pros
  • Assists people who deal with plantar fasciitis
  • Properly aligns your foot to a natural position
  • Integrated EVA foam feels comfortable and provides support
Cons
  • Maybe too firm of an insole for some
  • Very thick

RunPro

RunPro
This is the third straight entry to receive the same rating, giving you an idea of how close these are in quality. As opposed to the others, the RunPro Insoles come in three different profiles of arch to accommodate for as many people as possible.
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Cushioning
Every single time you take a step when you run, the Medium Rebound Poron Cushion technology assists in keeping your feet comfortable and properly cushioned.

Shock Absorption
Implemented into the RunPro Insoles is CurEVA technology. This is an EVA rubber compound and in conjunction with the Auto-fit Heel Cup which reduces motion and molds to your heel, delivers exceptional shock absorption.

Arch Support
For your convenience, there are three different profiles that these insoles are available in (low, medium and high). As such, ensure that you understand your foot arch to select the choice that adapts for you best.

Odor Protection
Both the top cover and the mid layer provide odor and bacteria protection. The top layer, which is a DryTrek Fabric, will wick away moisture and prevent it from building up. Meanwhile, the mid-level foam is designed with Bamboo charcoal which kills bacteria and properly controls the moisture.

Sizing and Fitting
To provide an easier fit for you, these insoles have been designed with a deep heel cup. In terms of sizes, the manufacturer accounts for nearly all men and women.

Overall
Clearly, the arch support and odor protection are the two features that stand out the most. The ability to choose the arch support you need is a huge bonus as this ensures you know you are receiving the appropriate arch you need.
Pros
  • Due to the Sensor Gel beneath the heel, shocks are kept to a minimum
  • Both the top and mid layers control moisture and prevent odor
  • Available in three different profiles
Cons
  • Some users have taken issue with the wide fit

Spenco Total Support

Spenco Total Support
Thanks to the 3-Pod cushioning system provided by Spenco, their Total Support Insoles assist to prevent overpronation; which can be an issue for some people when they run. Past this, this also creates a more rigid arch support.
Expand to see more
Cushioning
Spenco makes it pretty clear with their Total Support Insoles that they aimed to help overpronation. The 3-Pod cushioning system does so by changing the ground forces that reach the foot.

Shock Absorption
For both added comfort and support for those long runs in the brisk morning, the cushioning system also provides increases shock absorption.

Arch Support
This is aimed at people looking for rigid arch support. What this also means is this insole will be stiffer than you may expect, but this will provide stability and support.

Odor Protection
Acknowledgement goes to the silpure antimicrobial treatment that was applied to these insoles as this is the main factor that reduces odors and manages the moisture.

Sizing and Fitting
Spenco certainly did not skimp out on sizes as there are several varying options for both men and women. However, take note that they recommend you select a size lower than your shoe size.

Overall
Let’s just be honest, you will either love or hate these insoles. They assist in preventing overpronation and are terrific in that sense. But, many will never be able to get used to the stiffness and rigid arch support.
Pros
  • Improves the control of your motion to reduce overpronation
  • Attached to the top cloth is a custom EVA layer
  • Backed by an unconditional guarantee for one year
Cons
  • Due to their rigidness, some may feel these insoles are not comfortable

Aetrex Sports

Be aware of certain versions of the Aetrex Sports Series as some provide more cushioning than others. That minor disclaimer aside, the combination of shock absorption, arch support and cushioning is nearly unparalleled with this particular insole.
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Cushioning
The L405, which is the technical name of this insole, is a lightweight orthotic and it provides superior cushioning in every area. This includes the center with its Pro-Shox polyurethane cushioning.

Shock Absorption
Not only is the center layer integrated for cushioning, it also comes into play for shock absorption. This layer alone is used for shock attenuation.

Arch Support
During all high-impact activities, including running, this insole delivers superior arch support. In addition, the AreoCell core is used to hold the shape of the insole and provide additional support.

Odor Protection
Integrated on the top of the Sports Series Insole is a CopperGuard cover. While it may not prevent every instance, it does an admirable job averting different types of bacteria, fungi, and even odor.

Sizing and Fitting
For both men and women, there are specific sizes available. However, there is much more of a variety for men and only a few options for women.

Overall
Every major area of assessment for a running insole is either great to amazing here. The shock absorption, cushioning, odor protection and arch support are all achieved in this all-in-one running insole.
Pros
  • Features a cupped heel for stability
  • Has metatarsal support that treats ball-of-foot pain
  • It is clinically proven to prevent foot ailments such as plantar fasciitis
Cons
  • Some versions are less comfortable than others

Criteria Used For The Evaluation

The Overall Comfort and Cushioning

For such a simple design, there is truly a lot that goes into insoles. But, it all starts with the comfort and cushioning. First off, and this is important, do not get too caught up in how soft or stiff the insole is. After all, if the support and pressure are not in the correct locations for you, it does not matter if it is hard or soft. As such, when you hear people claim an insole is too stiff for them or not comfortable, they may think it is simply because of the stiffness itself. Of course, you may even have your personal preference when it comes to stiff insoles or soft insoles.

However, the cushioning is there to make your feet feel comfortable and then, in turn, start helping and alleviating some of the common pains that your feet feel every single day. Also, you want the cushion to last a decent amount of time. If there are common complaints that the cushion is not long-lasting and within no time it is flattened and reduced to nothing, you may want to veer on a different path.

The Shock Absorbing Technology

Truthfully, the cushioning and shock absorption of an insole do go hand-in-hand. A lot of times, the cushioning will be directly responsible how much shock absorption an insole will provide for you. But, no matter how it is accomplished, it is vitally important. You may not even think about it at first, but do you realize how much stress and work you put on your feet when you go for a run? Each time you strike the ground, your feet are being abused and over time, this can become downright unbearably painful. Unless, of course, you have an insole that will absorb those blows and reduce the amount of stress your feet endure.

While many insoles will sport this technology, this seems to be where gel insoles and inserts shine so much. Due to the nature of the gel, it does a phenomenal job of absorbing all the impacts you take within a run. Not only that but they usually specifically target certain pressure points on your feet while you are running. All in all, this results in a better and more comfortable experience for you.

The Arch Support

When it comes down to it, the best insole in the world may still not have a good effect on you. Why so? It comes down to your foot arch. See, insoles are designed to contour to a certain type of foot arch. Whether this is for low arches and flat feet, high arches, or neutral and medium arches. Now, some insoles will work efficiently for a wide range of arch types. But, you need to ensure that you understand what that is before you invest your money in one. Also, understand your own arch type as choosing a wrong arch type can completely diminish the effectiveness.

But, besides that, also pay attention to the different types of support provided by the footbed. For example, semi-rigid, rigid, or cushioned. This is entirely up to you and once again, make sure you know what you are looking for. As you may guess, a semi-rigid footbed is going to be more flexible and less stiff than a rigid version. What the latter is recommended for is those looking for aggressive arch support.

Odor Protection

You may not be aware of this, but your feet have more sweat glands than any other part of your body. Given this, when you put them to work, they are going to sweat and sweat a lot. Hence, odor protection and moisture control are two factors that could go overlooked in the long run. But, they should not. A lot of times, specifically with most of the insoles on this list, the manufacturer will ensure that the top layer is made to be anti-microbial. For those who fell asleep in science class, this is an agent that kills microorganisms and prevents them from growing. Killing off these bacteria is essential in preventing odor.

However, it certainly does not end there as moisture control is also vital. An excess amount of moisture build-up will increase the chances of a stench forming. So, integrating a material that wicks away moisture and that is breathable is also important for the quality of a running insole. Unless you have figured out how to prevent your feet from sweating, do not overlook this.

The Sizing and Fitting of the Insole

When you glance at the size options for an insole, they will remind you a lot of shoe sizes. As such, you should be fairly familiar with them and understanding of your size. Now, some insoles are actually designed to be trimmed or can be if they do not properly fit inside of your shoes. But, there is no way to add-on so in a time of indecisiveness, you may want to order a size up and not down.

Past the size, you will also need to take note of how it fits. More specifically, if it is tailored to be used as a “solo” insole. In other words, do you need to have a shoe with a removable insole? Granted it is not too thick or bulky, you will find that most full-length insoles work better without an existing insole in the shoe, and is not too tight, you can get away with simply placing it on top of the other insole.

 

FAQs

Q:   What to Do When Insoles Squeak?

Have you ever had the insanely annoying problem of your shoes squeaking? Well, have you ever stopped to think if that was actually your insoles? Chances are, it is and there is a way to prevent it. First off, it is most likely that the insole is simply not fitting in your shoe correctly. Here is how you can tell, simply look down in your shoe and see if there are creases anywhere on the insole. If so, you are going to need to trim the portions of the insole that are riding the sides of your shoe.

As a point of reference, ensure that there is around a width of a nickel of visibility from the edge of the insole to the edge of the shoe. Then, see if the squeaking noise is still present. If so, it may be a deeper problem and you may need to apply baby powder to the bottom of the insole.

Q:   How Do You Wash Insoles?

Even if an insole has anti-microbial material or manages to wick away moisture, does not insinuate that it will not need to be washed now and again. It is not as if you need to wash them each time you use them, but just monitor them and you should be able to determine if it needs a good ol’ cleaning. If they do, you should always do so by hand. Insoles and washing machines do not mix and if you want to find out the result of what one looks like, test it out. But, do not do so with your new insole as that will, most likely, ruin them.

Instead, stick to hand-washing insoles with mild soap and lukewarm water. They should not be too tricky to clean but if need be, you can use a brush with soft bristles. When concluded, rinse off the excess solution and allow them to air dry away from a direct heat source.

Q:   Will Insoles Stop Blisters?

Chances are, you have gotten a blister or two in your day. Whether on your heel, which is commonplace when wearing shoes for long periods of time, or any other portion of your feet they can happen and are not pleasant. To answer if an insole will stop blisters requires knowing what blisters are caused by. Most commonly, they are caused by friction. So, when the heel of the shoe consistency rubs against the skin on your heel, a blister will result.

If you invest in an insole that adapts for your arch, then yes, they can help to stop blisters. Because, if the arch is too high on your insole this can actually make you more prone to blisters. Again, this is just another reason why being knowledgeable of your arch is so vital.

Q:   How Can You Determine Your Arch Type?

The last question leads right into this one as it has been vigorously stated how important it is to understand your arch type. But, how exactly do you do that? It is fair to assume that the average Joe is not going to know this information. Well, you have two choices. One is to go to a retailer that will determine it for you. Two is to attempt to do it yourself. Clearly, for the first method, you will need to have access to an appropriate retailer that will do this for you; which will be easier in the long run.

But, if you do not have these resources, you can try the ultra-popular wet test. To start, get the bottom of your feet wet (do not completely submerge your feet as the splattering water will affect the result). Then, simply step onto a blank piece of paper, preferably something heavy. Your imprint is what will determine your arch. From there, search online and enter “wet test” so you can see photos and illustrations.

Q:   How Long Do Running Insoles Last?

Would it not be nice if everything lasted forever? Unfortunately, this is a very naïve though and it just does not work that way. Insoles, much like anything else, have a limited lifespan and will eventually be rendered ineffective and useless. Question is, when does that occur? It is impossible to answer as it will vary from insole to insole and person to person. However, as an example, both Dr. Scholl’s and Superfeet have answered this question about their own insoles.

Superfeet claim that their insoles will last around 500 miles or up to 12 months of use (whichever one happens to come first). Dr. Scholl’s, on the other hand, reports that most of their insoles will last up to six months of regular use. The bottom line, do not expect them to last too long and be prepared to buy new ones once or twice a year.

Q:   Can Insoles Be Transferred from One Shoe to the Next?

Funny how things work out as this question plays off the previous, as well. You may be in love with your new insoles so much that you want to transfer them from your running shoes to your everyday shoes. Can you? The short answer is yes but it gets a bit more complicated when you analyze it. Perhaps the only reason you could not is if you have a full-length insole that you are trying to swap. Remember, these versions will most likely need to be used with a shoe that has a removable insole. If you are attempting to transfer the full-length insole to your standard shoes which do not have a removable insole, it may be too uncomfortable for you.

Either way, you should probably avoid this as it is wise to extend the lifespan as much as you can.

Final Thoughts

Before you even think about your next pair of running shoes, be sure to address the insole first. As you now know, a proper insole can truly make all the difference in the world.

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