Best Insoles For Running
Running is not exactly the easiest recreational activity in the world. Sure, it is not very complicated and does not require a lot of brain power. But, that does not insinuate it is simple in nature. 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.
- Aetrex Sports
- Cupped stable heel
- Metatarsal support
- Superfeet Green
- Biomechanical shape
- Stabilizer cap
- Sole Softec
- Very comfortable
- Integrated EVA foam
10 Best Insoles For Running
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Some versions are less comfortable than others
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- One of the thicker options out there
- Can be too stiff for some users
Sole Softec Insert
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Assists people who deal with plantar fasciitis
- Properly aligns your foot to a natural position
- Integrated EVA foam feels comfortable and provides support
- Maybe too firm of an insole for some
- Very thick
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Some users have taken issue with the wide fit
Vivesole Gel Inserts
Both your heel and your forefoot are provided cushioning support for all-day adventures. Any kind of pain that you deal with on a regular basis, this full-length insole will either relieve or prevent. Including, arch pain, general foot fatigue, and heel pain.
This is where gel insoles truly shine. Thanks to the VIVEsole massaging gel, each step you take the insole absorbs and throughout the day, it will significantly reduce the painful pressure points when you are running.
As this is designed with neutral arch support, this will contour to any type of foot arch. With that being said, those with a high arch may not feel this gives them enough support.
Besides being washable, the top layer of this insole is crafted with a breathable material that is also antimicrobial. In layman’s terms, this will prevent odors and sweat build-up.
Sizing and Fitting
There are two sizes available that will adapt to nearly any shoe size out there. If they are too big, however, you can trim the insoles for a custom and ideal fit.
Gel insoles are extremely beneficial in certain areas, such as shock absorption, and this specific version shows that off to a tie. Again, the thickness could be an issue but because they can be customized, the fit should still suffice for most users.
- The silicone gel retains its shape without flattening
- Backed by Vive’s 60-day unconditional guarantee
- If needed, the insole can be trimmed for a custom fit
- Some users have reported they have had issues with fitting due to the thickness
Not only does the extra-deep heel cup assist in ease of fitting, but it also adds additional support and comfort when running. In addition, there is separate forefoot and heel cushioning.
New Balance strategically placed their Abzorb cushioning in the heel and the forefoot for not only comfort but also maximum shock absorption for each step you take.
Again, the extra deep heel cup provides additional support for you when you are running. However, due to the high arch support provided from this insole, this may not be the best solution for those with a low arch.
With a top cover that is anti-microbial, your feet are kept cool, odor-free, and dry. What also assists in this is the special air flow channels which remove warm air and allow cold air to enter in.
Sizing and Fitting
For most casual, hiking, athletic, or any other type of shoes, this insole should fit accordingly. Nearly all foot sizes are available for both men and women, in addition.
This really is a no-brainer for those of you with high arches as it provides ample cushioning and shock absorption, with the bonus of excellent odor control. But, the arch simply may be too steep for low profiles.
- Help and alleviate pain caused by plantar fasciitis
- Does terrific for shin splits
- The Abzorb cushioning protects your feet from shocks
- Those with low profiles may have trouble getting used to the high arch
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
- 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
- Various users have claimed it did not have enough padding or support
- Maybe too narrow for some people’s preferences
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.
The cushioning and support will end up aiding in this section in the long run.
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.
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).
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.
- Provides a great blend of cushioning and foot control
- Relieves foot pain in the balls of your feet
- Features an anti-microbial top fabric
- A few reviewers have claimed the metatarsal support is non-existent
Spenco Total Support
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.
For both added comfort and support for those long runs in the brisk morning, the cushioning system also provides increases shock absorption.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Due to their rigidness, some may feel these insoles are not comfortable
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.
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.
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.
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.
Despite not being ideal for individuals with high arches, and some claims of questionable durability, this is still a competent insole from Spenco.
- 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
- Not ideal for high arches
- A few users have claimed the cushion does not last too long
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 into 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.
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 to 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.
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 a common place 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.
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.