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Choosing the Right Shoe Inserts

If you’ve found yourself standing in the store staring at a wall of shoe inserts and feeling completely confused, you’re not alone. Because there are so many choices when it comes to shoe inserts, it’s hard to know which one will help you with your specific problem. The activities you take part in, and the current status of your foot health, play important roles in selecting your inserts.

We’ve outlined ways to figure out the right insert for your feet, and if you have further questions or would like more information, feel free to contact our foot specialists.

Choosing Shoe Inserts for Comfort
Inserts for comfort are usually the first type of insert most people buy. If you work on your feet all day or are constantly walking around, an extra layer of cushion can make your feet feel less fatigued after a long day. Comfort-oriented inserts provide extra padding around the foot to cushion and absorb the shock from walking.

The right cushioned inserts for your feet depend on the target area of pain. Look for inserts advertised to relieve heel pain, arch pain, or ball of foot pain. If you are not experiencing any relief from comfort inserts, then your foot will need firmer supports.

Choosing Shoe Inserts for Support
Support inserts feature a harder material to structurally support the affected areas. Rather than adding extra cushion, they Increase the stability of the feet. Supportive inserts are often used to combat:

Over-Pronation and Supination
Your feet may roll inward or outward depending on past injuries and overall ankle/foot strength. When your feet are slanted inward or outward, you are causing the sides of your feet to bear the load of your weight. The sides of the feet are not properly designed to solely handle all the weight, which is why it is important to correct this off-centering and realign your feet.

Plantar Fasciitis
This condition affects the heel and arches resulting in pain that is prevalent in the mornings and after extended use. Support inserts act to balance the foot in its steps, so the arch and heel are supported by a thick gel or foam to absorb the shock.

Overall Structural Misalignment
If you are experiencing problems in your hips, back, knees, shins, or ankles, then you might consider support inserts. These inserts promote structural integrity and serve to balance out the amount of shock your body takes when walking, running, and performing activities. If you walk with your feet rolled inwards/outwards, then your knees and hips could be taking a larger impact to compensate.

Choosing the Right Insert Volume
The inside of the shoe can vary greatly depending on the activity you’re taking part in. The style of insert will need to adequately reflect the amount of shock you will endure. The two main styles inserts are:

Low-Volume Inserts
Low-volume inserts are for everyday use and can fit in most casual shoes. The main objective for low-volume inserts is to provide added cushion or structural support to your feet without cramming up the already limited room in your shoes.

High-Volume Inserts
High-volume inserts best support high-intensity footwear that will be absorbing frequent bouts of shock and awkward movements. These inserts are found in hiking boots, skiing and snowboarding boots, running shoes, and rollerblades. High-volume inserts allow the wearer to perform their activities without fear of losing support and withering away their inserts.

The right inserts vary from person to person. If you are having trouble finding the perfect inserts, or want to try customizing your inserts, then Kansas City Foot Specialists can help. We can successfully mold high and low volume inserts to your feet to provide adequate and long-term protection.

Call us at (913) 338-4440 or contact us to set up an appointment so that we can find the best fit for your needs.