I’m guilty of falling in love with uncomfortable shoes. Despite footwear brands like Vionic and Børn closing the gap between style and support, plenty of other shoe companies still ignore comfort in the name of fashion—and their chic designs can be responsible for sore arches, toe cramps, and blisters.
While I knew the potential negative effects of wearing shoes without arch support or cushioning, I still caved on some trendy-yet-painful styles. I considered discomfort the price I had to pay to keep up with the latest fashion-forward footwear—until I started using Dr. Scholl’s Gel Massaging Insoles ($11, was $15; amazon.com).
Designed for sneakers, dress shoes, and boots, the trim-to-fit gel inserts add both cushioning and arch support to your shoes for all-day comfort. The sole of the insert is soft and flexible, made with a patented wave technology that absorbs shock, while the heel has a firmer construction for added support. They also feature a 3-part gel arch that provides the ideal level of support for someone with medium arches.
Easy to install into any shoe with removable soles, the inserts make even my least comfortable footwear feel like walking on a cloud. Instead of always wearing sneakers, I can finally comfortably walk for miles in other shoe styles like booties or loafers. That means I have more variety in my wardrobe and spend less time massaging sore arches at the end of the day.
In fact, I’m disappointed that I spent far too long thinking orthotic insoles were unnecessary unless you had serious foot issues like plantar fasciitis. In reality, the upgrade is simply an easy way to make every pair of shoes you own equally enjoyable to wear. And you don’t even need multiple inserts—I swap the same ones into whatever footwear I’m wearing that day.
Also available with even more gel support or with a sport-focused construction, these inserts have been a game-changer for me over the past month. And I’m not the only one that’s obsessed: They have more than 700 positive reviews from shoppers who say they’ve “changed their lives.” Reviewers say the inserts have banished foot and back pain and put an end to foot fatigue, even during 8-hour work shifts. They also discovered the inserts are an inexpensive way to revive old shoes with destroyed soles.
And although the massaging gel insoles typically retail for $15, they’re currently on sale for just $11. That means you can give your entire footwear collection a comfortable makeover for the price of 2 fancy coffee drinks. Just don’t hold me responsible when you also become completely obsessed.
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