Need a little extra cushioning? These ready-to-wear orthotic insoles will keep your feet comfortable and supported.
It's a good idea to consider arch support when purchasing a new pair of shoes, but sometimes you need a little extra cushioning, especially if you suffer from foot pain. To the rescue: orthotic insoles, which can be slipped into less-than-comfortable shoes for added support. Custom-designed orthotic insoles will give you a truly perfect fit, but they can be pricey. For that reason, many podiatrists recommend trying off-the-shelf insoles first. "An over-the-counter device is sometimes used as a trial prior to using a prescription insole, similar to using readers before getting prescription glasses," says Grace Torres-Hodges, DPM, a podiatrist based in Penascola, Florida.
Luckily, the latest off-the-shelf insoles are available in a variety of lengths and styles, so it's easier than ever to find the perfect one for your feet. "The benefit of off-the-shelf insoles is that they provide the ability to take a shoe that doesn't fit quite right and make it more custom," explains Howard Osterman, DPM, a podiatrist based in the Washington, D.C. area. "Many ready-to-wear insoles now come full-length to replace removable liners in shoes, as well as shorter versions that can be worn in ballet flats and lower profile shoe types."
We asked podiatrists to share the orthotic insoles they recommend to clients looking for ready-to-wear options. Read on for their most popular picks.
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Redi-Thotics Flex Orthotic Insoles
"Redi-Thotics has an athletic line, but not everyone can wear athletic shoes to work or social functions. So they also have a line of OTC dress orthotics to relieve pain even while wearing men’s dress shoes or women’s high heels. Redi-Thotics KIDS orthotics are a wonderful solution for children whose feet are continually growing out of custom orthotics."
—Jeffrey DeSantis, DPM, a podiatrist in Anaheim, California
Powerstep Original Full Length Orthotic Shoe Insoles
"The next best thing next to custom orthotics. They have great arch support and provide great shock absorption. On top of that, they are extremely comfortable."
—Hillary Brenner, DPM, a podiatrist in New York City
SuperFeet CARBON Full Length Insoles
"Although there are many excellent choices on the market today for off-the-shelf insoles, my favorite are SuperFeet. The variety of options has increased dramatically in the last few years, and they are both supportive and adjustable. The ability to adjust them is paramount in providing the best fit, and the plastic shells can be thinned and narrowed without sacrificing too much support."
"SuperFeet orthotics have multiple shapes and sizes. Thus, many foot types can be accommodated, as long as the patient's foot type is not too unusual or atypical. I have used these over-the-counter orthotics for [patients with] plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, neuroma, capsulitis, and tendonitis."
—Alex Kor, DPM, a podiatrist in Baltimore
SOLE Signature EV Ultra Footbeds
"I have worn these myself and find them durable and comfortable. They come in a wide variety of styles based on gender, activity, degree of cushioning, and metatarsal support, as well as factors such as anti-odor, latex free, and vegan construction. For my patients who have sizes that are hard to find in the stores, they offer a wide variety of sizes!”