There are many reasons why you might consider buying an arch support insole. Whether you are experiencing chronic lower body or back pain, have foot-related medical conditions, or you simply find your shoe’s stock insole to be uncomfortable, a well-chosen arch support insole can be the perfect solution to your problem.
Many people don’t realize just how important making the proper choice can be when choosing an arch support insert for their footwear. While making the right choice can be the end of the problem you set out to fix, making the wrong choice could make the problem worse or even lead to further issues with your footwear’s comfort.
So, how do you make the right decisions to avoid those problems? Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the right arch support insole for your needs.
While there are many categories of insole inserts for your shoes, we are going to be focusing specifically on arch support insoles, which break down into two broad categories: orthotic arch supports and cushioned arch supports.
These insoles are designed to provide arch support using flexible materials that provide cushioning for the arch without the use of rigid or semi-rigid materials. Unlike orthotics, these devices focus mainly on cushioning and less on support and are mainly used to provide additional comfort, not address specific medical issues related to your feet.
These insoles are best for people looking to get some relief from general foot fatigue or to replace less comfortable factory insoles for their shoes. They are best for runners or people who spend large portions of their day on their feet but do not otherwise suffer from foot-related medical conditions.
In general, cushioned arch support insoles provide far less arch support than an orthotic device, but are still useful for people who suffer from foot fatigue, shin splints, or simply dislike the feel of rigid or semi-rigid orthotic devices
Orthotic arch supports, more commonly known as “orthotics“, are rigid or semi-rigid arch supports designed to address specific foot-related medical conditions, correct improper gait, or simply provide comfortable support throughout the day.
These devices are often custom-fitted by a chiropodist or podiatrist to provide maximum support and comfort while relieving or even correcting the source of the discomfort. These devices differ from cushioned arch supports in that they are custom made by medical professionals using advanced techniques to address your specific needs.
Now that we understand the broad strokes of arch support inserts, let’s take a closer look at which problems are best addressed by each. Please note that these are just general guidelines and it is best to speak with a qualified medical professional to address your individual needs most effectively.
As we mentioned earlier, cushioned arch supports are best for people suffering general foot fatigue, shin splints, or to provide added cushioning for runners, but they are also useful for addressing a number of other issues.
If you are experiencing any of the following issues, cushioned arch supports might be just the thing you need:
Bunions are caused by pressure from the big toe being exerted on the second toe, causing a bulge on the inside of the foot near the ball. This condition often results from tight shoes, arthritis, or improperly fitting footwear.
While cushioned arch supports are useful for relieving minor problems associated with bunions, more severe cases will likely require the use of an orthotic device.
Proper foot care is a vital part of diabetes patient care. The two main issues being hypersensitivity and lack of sensation, problems that can lead to grave consequences if not properly attended to. Cushioned insoles are a great choice for diabetics suffering from the pain or fatigue that result from their condition.
Just as tight shoes can cause bunions, loose shoes can cause blisters and pain, especially on the bottoms of your feet. Cushioned supports are a great way to give your shoes a little added snugness that can go a long way toward alleviating these issues.
If you are suffering from more serious foot-related conditions that cannot be addressed by simple cushioned arch supports, chances are you will be better served by an orthotic device. If you are experiencing any of the following problems, you will definitely want to consider being fitted for an orthotic arch support insole:
Your foot has evolved to roll slightly inward when you take a step. Various issues can lead to your foot rolling too far inward (over-pronation) or even outward (over-supination) when walking which can cause pain and discomfort throughout your lower body and back.
A custom orthotic device can correct the irregularities that cause these conditions by providing support in such a way as to correct the way your foot rolls. This often leads to a marked improvement in the overall health of your lower body and alleviates the pain that comes with these conditions.
This condition results from the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs from your heel to your toes across the bottom of your foot which results in intense, stabbing pain. It is commonly found in people who are overweight and among runners- It can also result from wearing shoes with improper arch support.
If you are suffering from this painful condition, you will want to find an arch support that provides a good balance between cushioning and solid arch support to see the maximum relief.
Having one leg that is pronouncedly longer than the other can cause irregularities in your gait that can result in pain throughout the body. A custom orthotic device works to correct this condition by closing the gap in length between your legs and correcting any habitual changes to your gait that have developed as a result of the issue.
These are a few of the most common problems that can benefit from the use of an orthotic device but it is just a small sampling. Generally, there is a custom orthotic device to remedy just about any problem you might be experiencing with your feet, but they are too numerous to list here.
Ultimately, if you are experiencing pain in your lower body or feet as a result of diabetes, arthritis, or a foot-related medical condition, you should speak with a qualified medical professional to assess your specific needs. They will be able to offer advice on how to choose the correct arch support device to address them.
If you are experiencing a condition that can’t be remedied by an off-the-shelf arch support insole, we highly recommend making an appointment with us to get down to the root of your problem and address it immediately. We want to help you live your life to the fullest, free of pain and walking with your head held high. Contact us today to make an appointment and get started on the path to a happier, pain-free day!
The Foot Clinic Brampton - J. K. Takhar, Jagdeep completed her Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto in Human Anatomy and Biology. She then proceeded to complete a graduate program in chiropody at the Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences.
Jagdeep is a Chiropodist licensed by the College of Chiropodists of Ontario. In addition, she is a member of the Ontario Society of Chiropodists (OSC) and Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine (CFPM). Her participation in these organizations has allowed her to expand her chiropodial/podiatric medicine knowledge through continuing education courses and forming community partnerships with health professionals.
Jagdeep offers a full range of chiropodial/podiatric treatments with areas of expertise in diabetic foot care, biomechanics including custom foot orthotics, and soft tissue surgery at The Foot Clinic in Brampton, Ontario.
You can also visit her website here.