Best Running Insoles Reviewed & Rated for Quality

There is a jolt of pain with every step as you run your mile, or your feet feel as if they might be on fire from standing and walking on the hard cement all day and you realize something needs to change. You buy the best shoes you can find for the tasks you plan on, and you talk to your doctor about how lately you just want one day where you don’t want to cut your legs off.

Featured Recommendations

PowerStep Pinnacle
  • PowerStep Pinnacle
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • ANTI-MICROBIAL TOP FABRIC
  • Price: See Here
Sof Sole Athletic Insert
  • Sof Sole Athletic Insert
  • 4.4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Neutral Arch design
  • Price: See Here
Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer
  • Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Eliminates 'Shin-splint' pains
  • Price: See Here

Your back used to feel fine, but with this new job you can’t seem to sit or lay down after and get the pain to quit in your lower back. It feels as if someone started at your ankles and worked their way up. The medicine your doctor recommended helped, but it just doesn’t seem to stop it before it starts. You’re fine every morning, but no matter how good the shoes, within a few hours your body tells you ‘no more’.

Maybe it is time to consider other things to help you stop the pain before it starts, and it may be as simple as adding an insert for your shoes, but how do you tell what to get? Which one is the best fit for you, and how can you possibly hope to tell when there are so many types, styles and brands out there? You’ve heard the wrong ones can make things worse, but if you can find the right ones, nothing can make quite as big of a difference in how your day goes as having that support where it is needed most. Well, we are here to help. While we cannot tell you exactly which ones are designed perfectly for you, we can give you the top ten brands of insoles and the ones they are most praised for to help you decide which ones to purchase after your doctor helps you pick out what it is you need them to do. So rather than hunt through hundreds of brands and spend untold amounts of money trying to find the best, we bring you the ten best for their brand that we could find. We hope that you find on our list the right insoles to help your day go that much better!

 

10 Best Running Insoles

 

1. PowerStep Pinnacle

1. PowerStep Pinnacle
For those of us that spend a lot of time on our feet either due to work or running we know just how sore they can get. Powerstep has done their best to help alleviate that issue by providing an insert to cushion out poor feet and help them get through the day.
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Anti-Microbial
All feet sweat it is the cause of that lovely funk that permeates out sneakers and causes the kids to go running for the hills when you take them off. These inserts provide an anti-microbial top layer, meaning it will help keep your foot sweat from making your shoes smelly. We appreciate this both for our shoes and our noses.

Durable
While most of us are hard on our shoes we think that only applies to the soles. Not so, it also applies to the inside of the shoe. By using these inserts you’re not only helping relieve foot pain you’re also extending the life of your shoes. These seem able to take the abuse and not even pause lasting much longer than you would think.

Cost and Value
This is a nice moderately priced product. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require trimming like a lot of others. It is a semi-rigid style meaning it is going to take time to get used to, but that’s a good thing in the long haul. That also means its providing true support to your instep meaning better alignment and less discomfort throughout your whole body. Based on what we have seen this could be a real back saver as well. Something to keep in mind when shopping for this style insert.
Pros

Anti-microbial

Long lasting under casual use

Fits different types of footwear

Great for size 9-12

Great price

Cons

Fits high arch better than low

2. Sof Sole Athletic Insert

2. Sof Sole Athletic Insert
Yes, we spelled that correctly. Sof Sole had made this nice arch support to prevent us from unintentionally abusing our feet and thus our bodies. They have several options to choose from, but we picked what we felt was the best option. Read below to see what we discovered.
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Neutral Arch
These implants have a neutrally positioned arch, meaning they aren’t overcorrected. Those of us with flat feet didn’t have the normal initial discomfort which was a nice change. You may need to trim down the font of these, so they fit your shoe easier, but it was worth it.

Not squishy
This product provided a feeling of padding without the squish. Sometimes when you put this kind of thing in your shoe it can give the feeling of sinking. These, however, took some of the shocks out of our day and we didn’t have the feeling of walking in the wet sand once.

Cost and Value
Sof Sole manages to provide several options in their product meaning that the price varies. No matter what you are looking for you can probably find it. They have excellent size match options and even those of us with injured feet found one that worked. Overall, we liked everything we found involving this insole.
Pros

neutral arch

have excellent size matches

doesn't have a 'squishy' feeling

even helps with injured feet

long lasting

Cons

no arch support

3. Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer

3. Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer
The trick with cross training is endurance. You have to build your endurance to really make progress, whether running or walking. We checked out what Spenco had to offer and we think you will be interested in the results.
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Eliminates Shin-Splint Pain
Shin-splints are a potentially ongoing injury that can happen from repeated trauma to your shin. Things, like running and jumping, are particularly tough on your feet, legs, an,d knees. Usually, this kind of injury would require taping and ice at the least and bedrest at the worst. These inserts made it possible to walk without the extreme pain normally associated with the injury.

Easy to trim
Sometimes when we buy this sort of product we are forced to make adjustments. Often times that can be difficult or impossible but not with these. The lightweight foam these are made from make it easy to trim as needed for a better fit into your athletic shoe and a more comfortable fit on your foot.

Cost and Value
While these may not have the longevity of some other brands, they also don’t have the higher price tag. Knowing that we had no trouble with using these. They give nice support and made being on our feet all day much less of an issue. If you’re looking for a way to minimize foot and leg pain this might just do the trick.
Pros

Eliminates 'Shin-splint' pains

Good arch support

Good for flat feet

Good for plantar fasciitis

Trim easily

Cons

Shorter life span

Requires some size adjustment

4. Superfeet Berry

4. Superfeet Berry
This one is for the ladies. Most women spend the majority of their time on their feet. Going to work, running errands, going out or doing things around the house and yard. We are on our feet a lot and that much abuse tends to bring discomfort. Check out the next item on our list for a potential way to relieve that.
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Four types of arch support
Not all arches are created equal. Some of us have flat feet some have a high arch, most are somewhere in the middle. Regardless Superfeet should have something for you. Four different styles of arch support are available meaning you can take your time and figure out what works best for you.

Great for women
As a rule, the foot of a woman is shaped differently than that of a man and therefore has different requirements. Most of us have had the experience of getting an insole only for it not to fit our shoe but these are made for us. They are of course easily adjustable but as a rule, they seem to follow the rule of “If I fits I sits”. Meaning they will slide into most women’s shoes and lay just right.

Cost and Value
This insert seems to run at a nice mid-range. We found several that seemed to cost more but offer a lesser product than the one available from Superfeet. It seems like they knew what they were doing when they made this. Comfortable available in numerous sizes and with nice medium arch support, getting these could take you from oww to aww with a simple affordable purchase.
Pros

Great for women’s footwear

Berry supports a medium arch

Superfeet offers 4 types of arch support

Long lasting

Good for hips and plantar fasciitis

Cons

no returns

5. Envelop Gel

5. Envelop Gel
There are so many materials out there that it’s hard to say which is the best. Various types of gel seem to be a big option nowadays, which works fine with us. We did a lot of research into these and found the results interesting as well as helpful.
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Great for Ortho Sneakers
If you are the proud owner of an orthopedic sneaker then you know just how hard it can be to find an insole that works with it. Orthopedic sneakers tend to have more cushion initially but wear out. The Gel insole by Envelop helps to stop that issue with its honeycomb pattern and soft material. The gel somehow manages to cushion without the sinking of foam. Pretty cool.

Fast Delivery
We have said it before and we will say it again we do not like waiting. We just get bored to easily. Luckily with Envelop that isn’t an issue. We were pleasantly surprised when our product arrived in days instead of weeks. It was especially nice for those who couldn’t get out often and didn’t want to make multiple trips to check the mailbox.

Cost and Value
For those that find themselves in a job or just generally on their feet a lot this would be a good pick. It works well with orthopedic sneakers and was comfortable for long periods of standing. The fact that we could rock slightly on our foot and massage it was an added bonus, and if you add that to the low cost this would be a great addition to your shoes.
Pros

Great for ortho sneakers

Great for standing jobs

Fast delivery

Great price for comfort

Good for heeled shoes

Cons

Can slide in the shoe

6. Plantar Fasciitis by WalkHero

6. Plantar Fasciitis by WalkHero
If you’re looking for something to ease the burden of an overactive lifestyle on your tootsies this could work for you. WalkHero has really put heart and soul into their product. We made a list of the particulars below along with some observations we hope you find helpful.
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Risk-free trial
When we found out about this our first thought was to (insert rude noise here), but as it turns out its true. Not only will they replace your insoles if something goes wrong but they will work with you and offer a refund if all else fails. Don’t you just love it when things go your way?

Relieve pain in the heel
We had a couple people here complaining about how nothing helped their heel pain, then they tried these. We found that although it does offer mid to frontal foot support it also eases the tightness in the heel. It didn’t slide around either so happiness all around for no heel discomfort.

Cost and Value
The inserts are true to size and helped with pretty much any issue we threw at it. Like anything you put in your shoes, it may take a few tries to get used to having them in there but once you do it’s great. Firm cushioning without pressure a risk-free trial and the price is nice. Well heck… you could beat it with a stick but why would you.
Pros

Risk-Free trial period

Helps with back and knee pain

True to size

Relieves pain in the heel

Great support

Cons

Arch is high

7. Copper Anti-Fatigue

7. Copper Anti-Fatigue
All through history various cultures have commended the healing properties of copper. You see it in everything from wristbands to knee braces and now it comes in an insole. We may not personally know much about the medical terms used for this, but we know results. Check out what we had to say.
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100% Money Back Guarantee
Copper Compression is so sure you will love the results of this invention that they will refund your money if you aren’t happy. No arguments no need for drawn out explanations just give them a call and they take it from there. Let’s hear it for great customer service.

Good long-term support
Peoplthannd to be harder on their feet than almost any other part of their body. That means we are harder on shoes as well. The nice thing about these is even if you’re on your feet for a job that includes long hours these will hold up. You don’t have to worry about foam that collapses or your feet sweating through them. Stick them in your shoe and off you go.

Cost and Value
Most copper based medical type products seem to run high price wise, but these do not. Affordable, durable, and good at what they do we were happy with our results. A loss of overall pain and a relief in the feet were more than enough to convince us this was a good buy.
Pros

100% money back guarantee

Great for joint pain

Great customer service

Helps with surgical pain

Good long-term support

Cons

Not for Steep arches

Thinner material

8. Physix Gear orthotic Insert

8. Physix Gear orthotic Insert
Coming in at number 8 on our list is the Physix Gear Sport full-length orthotic insert. We could keep adding titles and qualifications to this one, but we decided to stop it there. Physix is a brand some may have heard of through their friends, but if not, we have the down low for you.
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Anti-microbial
For those that don’t know that mean fewer germs. Germs come out of our bodies through our sweat, among other things, and are what cause that icky blah smell in your work boots or sneakers. These orthotics have that anti-microbial layer that helps reduce the germs and therefore the smell. Yay, you can take your sneakers into the house again.

Solid Arch Support
A lot of the products we checked out claimed arch support, but their idea was to add more padding to compensate. With Physix they took a different approach and molded the orthotic, so it helps the foot to arch naturally without having to buy new shoes, so they will stay on.

Cost and Value
Again, we managed to find a quality product that won’t break the bank. Physix offers a replacement or 100% money back guarantee, a well-molded fit, and a product that seems to help with our pain relief. When your job is based on your feet, it’s nice to know there is something you can use to help. Look out podiatrists we don’t need your expensive insoles.
Pros

100% risk-free money back or replacement

Antimicrobial fabric

Solid arch support

Immediate pain relief

Works very well with flat feet

Cons

Thin material

9. Dr. Scholl's athletic Series

9. Dr. Scholl's athletic Series
These are more specifically for running. Most of our list includes generalized footcare but that isn’t the case here. If you enjoy that brisk morning jog or are just health conscious read below to get the juicy details on these cushy inserts.
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Absorbs impact shock
Impact shock is basically how something reacts when force is applied to it. In the case of shoes that means your feet, and what affects the feet affects the rest of the body. The fact that these helps absorb impact shock means your ankles, knees, hips, basically, your skeletal system, in general, will take less pressure and thus less damage. Less damage means less pain.

Size adjustment
You know what they say about big feet, that’s right it means you wear big shoes. In some cases, though you may need to adjust, and these allow for that. There is a nifty pattern along the underside of the insole that shows you where to cut based on your foot or shoe. Wouldn’t it be great if everything was that easily adjustable?

Cost and Value
If you ignore the fact that this is a well-known brand, they are very affordable. Although these specific ones by Dr. Scholl’s are meant more for running than anything there are other versions of these based off your need. Sweat reduction, and a money back guarantee also add consumer value to something we feel safe in saying is an item well worth the cost.
Pros

Sweat reduction

Money back guarantee

Different types for different activities

Can be cut to size

Good at absorbing impact shock

Cons

Arches may not conform well

10. CurrexSole Runpro

10. CurrexSole Runpro
Ok so last but not least are the Runpro Insoles by CurrexSole. The idea behind this is to replace the standard sock-liner in your running or walking shoes with the insole. This seems to make a bigger difference than you would think. We will tell you why below.
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Rated #1 in Running Fitness Magazine
We know that you weren’t necessarily thinking you would find an article about these types of things with us. However, when we did our research we found that not only did we pick this product out, but it was also rated number one in Running Fitness magazine. Bet you didn’t expect that.

Supports injured Feet
A lot of people that run or even walk a lot come up with injuries. Sometimes they are minor like a stubbed toe and sometimes they are more serious like a broken heel or toes. These will help with that by spreading your weight more evenly and allowing the shock of your foot striking the cement not to abuse you quite so much.

Cost and Value
One of the higher points on our cost list this insert was still of great quality. It may not have the durability of some brands, but it makes up for that with sheer usefulness. Yes, this particular version is for the runners and walkers but there are other versions of this brand that cover more area. Good moisture management, reduced fatigue in joints and supportive of even damaged feet are just some of the qualities this brand was able to offer. We give this one a thumb up.
Pros

Moisture management

Rated #1 in Running Fitness Magazine

Supports injured feet

Great for high arches

Reduced fatigue in joints and muscles

Cons

Must remove original shoe liner

Wears under Heavy use

We hope our list helped you at least get an idea as to which insoles work for you. Whether for running, working, or just going about your normal day, having the right support for your feet is extremely important. Having the best in that support can help you save money and time scouring for that perfect insole for your activities. We here at Gearhunt aim to provide you with the most information we can with a single read so that you can get what you need fast. If you want to know how we chose these top ten check out our criteria section to decide if we looked at the right areas to help you. If you need more information either in the product or it’s health benefits, feel free to read over our additional facts section. If you still aren’t satisfied or have a question we did not cover in the rest, check our FAQ to see if we answered it there, otherwise feel free to scour our sources for it. From all of us here at Gearunt, we wish you happy walking and days free of pain!

 

Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Running Insoles

Duration

As a product meant to aide with worn shoes and new alike, durability comes with great importance. No one wants to either wear the shoe or their foot out with a product that doesn’t last, not to mention the fact that some shoe inserts require you to completely replace the insoles of the shoe itself with them. So durability is of the utmost importance. There is one on our lists that lasts a shorter period than most, but there are factors in its design that make how long it lasts still show durability. The rest exceeded the expected limit for most shoe insoles and continued to work as intended when used properly.

Cost and Value

Every product we choose to show you is met with this particular scrutinization. Does the value of the product outweigh the cost? We don’t want to share with you, nor rate something, on a top ten list one that does not hold to expectations and exceed them.

As mentioned above, one product on this list does not outlast most, and yet we feel it passed this test with flying colors- why? Some types of feed and foot problems are harder to find a good insole for- especially when considering that all feet have a different shape and arch. Most brands can’t support flat feet, and finding one that not only can, but supports the foot properly is extremely difficult. That being said, the product lasts a shorter life-span period, yes, but it does something most fail at- it can comfortably support a flat foot. This is what we mean when we say the value outweighs the cost.

Comfort

As stated earlier in this article, not all feet are the same, and because of this deciding on what is the best can be difficult. For this list we wanted to not just bring the best for a single type of foot, rather offer the best we can find that either supports multiple types or does the best at the type of foot it is specifically designed for. With that in mind, when looking over our list to decide which might be most comfortable for your foot. Do you have a high arch? A mid-level? Or maybe you have flat feet? Some are great for wider feet, while others are best for smaller or thinner feet. Make sure when you go for your purchase that the one you choose is designed to aid with your foot so as to provide the best support and comfort for you.

Pain Relief

Obviously, we were focused on something with this one, pain relief. Not all pain is in the same area, and so not all of these products will relieve all conditions. Each one was specifically designed to tackle certain causes of pain that start at the feet. When choosing which is best it is good to keep this also in mind, because choosing a product that is designed to take pressure off of the heel of the foot, it is likely shifting that pressure elsewhere. As with any product, if not paying attention to its intended applications may leave you dissatisfied on how well it works on your particular pain.

Additional information:

Surprisingly to most, shoe insoles are a necessity for the average person. This is because much of the pain born onto out joints from the foot all the way to the lower back starts with how well our feet are supported. Since most of us wear shoes all day, insoles are made to provide the correct support to help keep us from unwittingly injuring ourselves by stepping wrong.

Generally, shoes are all built with cheap and easily placed insides, which means even at the highest costing pairs, they aren’t giving proper support on their own to prevent harm to foot, ankles, knees, shins, hips and even the lower back. What many believe is caused by too much or too little exercise or a bad bed may actually find that their problems stem from their feet. Talking to your physician may help you decide if indeed it is your feet, and by retrospect, your shoes, which are causing the issues.

Inserts can not only relieve pain caused by stressing the muscles, they can help with absorbing shock caused by walking around on hard surfaces, help with planter’s fasciitis, aid in reducing hip pain, support feet that have been through surgeries, eliminate bacteria caused by sweat, and even aide in correcting improper standing and walking habits. With all the things that they can help to improve, it is no shock that those who have used them in the past continue to use them.

Some inserts are best used on top of the built-in insole of the shoe to aid in support, while others require you to entirely remove the original upper layer. This is important to pay attention to, because if not followed correctly the insole could cause more damage to you than it would if used correctly. If it is a replacement and not just a typical insert it can be too much and the shoe itself may not fit right. It can cause tightness around the toes or even the entire foot when wearing them, or it could slide around and not stay where it is placed causing blisters and placing the supports at the wrong positions.

Another key thing to consider is that some brands size their inserts according to the shoe sizes and are not intended to be cut in order to be used. By cutting them the alignment of support is shifted and may not work right. When going to use an insert, check the instructions to see if they are meant to be resized after purchase, or if they are only intended to be used exactly as they are packaged. Another problem with resizing brands that are not meant to be resized is that the materials can be weakened, and it could cause the product to fall apart more rapidly than it would under the proper use.

If you are looking for a specific style of aid from this type of product, another key importance is to make sure what you are buying is meant to aid with what you are after. There are many types to look over, but some are better for certain types of use or pain than others. We listed many types on our top ten, but each brand has multiple versions of inserts, so if you find a brand you like on this list, but the insert you found is not intended for what you need, try looking to see if they offer something that does.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I tell what type of arch I have?

A: There are a couple ways to tell how to get your arch type. The arch of your foot is what causes your foot print to look different however and a fun way to test this for you or, if you have any, your kids to test this is to fill the very bottom of something with paint, lightly step into the paint and then onto a piece of paper. Many parents and kids do this at a young age, but don’t realize it is a good way to see your arch type.

When you remove your foot, without rolling it either in the pan or on the paper, look at the ‘missing’ section on the inside of your foot. The larger the arch is in the middle (the missing section) the higher your arch is.

This can also be done with water, a link in our sources explains how and what it means.

Q: What are all the types of inserts?

A: There are four main types of product: arch supports, insoles, heel liners and foot cushions. Depending on what you need the product for is which kind you are looking to purchase.

Q: How do I choose which one works for me?

A: When choosing one of the products there are a few things to consider: your arch type, your size shoe, health, and your intended activity level with them. If you buy them in a store and can actually test them, try seeing if they will fit your shoe. If your purchasing online make sure you check the shoe sizes intended, and if they can be resized when you get them. Some offer money back, but only if uncut.

Sources

  1. APMA, Orthopedics and different types of inserts
  2. Arthritis Foundation, Types of pain that inserts help with
  3. Tread Labs, types of foot pain and treatment
  4. Verywellhealth, Types of foot pain and causes
  5. WebMD, Foot pain
  6. Podiatry Center, How feet can cause leg and back pain

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