Orthotic Insoles Explained: Understanding Their Importance on Foot Health

Are your feet or knees aching? Have you gone through several different shoes to find that perfect fit, but no matter what you try, you’re stuck with pains in your legs? The problem may not be the shoe, but rather the way your shoe and your body move together.

Try searching for something different: an insole to go inside the shoe. 

Orthotic insoles may be the key to alleviating your aches and pains by helping to correct the alignment of your feet and legs. Sound intimidating? Let’s break it down. 


The Role of Insoles in Foot Support and Alignment

If you’re asking what is the insole of a shoe, here’s your answer: Insoles, or removable inserts, are added inside the shoe to better support your feet. They play a predominant role in supporting and aligning your feet and ankles, which can support your joints and reduce pain.   

But what are orthotics? Orthotic insoles are custom-made shoe inserts prescribed by a podiatrist to help alleviate foot, back, knee, or leg discomfort.

Insoles play a large role in foot support, designed for many purposes such as:

  • Arch support
  • Daily comfort
  • Injury prevention
  • Pain relief
  • Leg alignment

With so many reasons to use orthotics, let’s dive into how insoles support your foot health. 


Benefits of Using Insoles for Foot Health

Orthotic insoles often focus on realigning the feet and legs, correcting the way you run and walk. Improper alignment, such as overpronation or underpronation, can cause pain and injury if not addressed. 

Orthotics address these many common foot issues and work to correct poor alignment, preventing joint pain and providing enhanced comfort to any wearer. 


How Insoles Contribute to Enhanced Comfort

Orthotics are for everyone. They are designed to make you comfortable, whether you have alignment problems, body pain, or are often on your feet. 

These inserts provide additional shoe cushioning to give you that added layer of comfort if you’re on your feet for long periods of time, like working in food service or warehouses. Orthotics may be soft and flexible to redistribute the pressure placed on the body with each footstep, or they can be rigid to correct your walking patterns and ease joint pain.

Whatever the reason, orthotics could be just what you need to make you feel comfortable on your feet for longer. 


Addressing Common Foot Issues with Insoles

There are countless reasons why you would want to invest in a personalized pair of shoe inserts, but here are some common foot issues orthotics can solve:

  • Overpronation – This is one of the most common reasons for wearing insoles. If you’re experiencing knee pain, you may have flat feet (or overpronation), which often require extra support under the arch to prevent your ankles from rolling inwards.
  • Underpronation – This is also called supination or high arches, and it can cause your ankles to roll outwards when you walk or run. Insoles designed to cushion and support highly arched feet can help prevent issues such as knee pain or shin splints. 
  • Knee or back pain – Back and knee pain can sometimes be caused by improper positioning of the feet. A few examples of misaligned joints are overpronation and supination.
  • Arthritis – Arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, is a medical condition that weakens the joints due to inflammation, aging, or both. It can cause pain and discomfort in the feet, which orthotic inserts can help soothe. 
  • Bunions – These are bumps that form at the base of the big toe, causing rubbing and pressure that can leave your feet in pain. Bunions can also develop due to certain medical conditions like arthritis. Wide or roomier insoles can relieve the extra pressure in your toe box area to increase comfort. 
  • Diabetes – Diabetes can cause complications in the feet like ulcers or the loss of sensation. Orthotics help take the pressure off these areas and prevent sores from developing. 
  • Plantar fasciitis – Also called policeman’s heel, plantar fasciitis is the inflammation along the bottom of your foot and is a predominant cause of heel pain. Insoles may also be able to support the feet and relieve pain from inflammation.
  • Heel spurs – Heel spurs are painful, excess bone growth at the base of or behind the heel, which can be caused by stress, poor arch support, and frequent athletics. Insoles for heel spurs work to support the heel and reduce rubbing. 

While these may be the most common issues that can be treated with insoles, the great thing about orthotics is that they are made for your unique foot needs. 


The Importance of Choosing the Right Insoles for Your Foot Type

Now that you know the many benefits insoles can have on your foot health, how do you know which ones to pick? With so many different types of orthotics out there, it’s important to keep in mind that each insert is designed differently, depending on what type of support your body may need. 

  • Flat feet (overpronation) – If you have flat feet and are interested in determining how to correct overpronation, you may benefit from insoles that focus on realignment. This includes designs with a dense arch that will prevent your ankles from rolling inward and an inflexible base to stabilize your feet. 
  • High arches (underpronation) – The insole that will best help underpronation may include higher arches to support the feet, in addition to a firm footbed that’s contoured around the heel so it helps relieve the pressure from the heel and balls of your feet.
  • Diabetes or arthritis – Insoles with plenty of cushioning may best benefit these needs, as they will help take the pressure off your feet and encourage circulation. You’ll want your inserts to be breathable and flexible to accommodate foot swelling. 

If you have trouble identifying your needs, to find what is an insole that works for you, you may want to book an appointment with a podiatrist, or foot doctor, to get a more personalized treatment plan. 


Identifying Your Foot Type

Try dipping your foot in water and then stepping onto a piece of paper or cardboard—or anywhere you can see your footprint. If your footprint lacks that inward curve, you may have high arches. If it looks more like a complete foot, you may have flatter feet. 


Tips for Properly Using and Maintaining Insoles

So you’ve gotten your insoles and are loving the results. How do you make them last? Proper care and maintenance can help prolong the life of your orthotics while maximizing their effects.

  1. Regularly remove your orthotics from your shoes after usage. This allows them to air dry after excess sweating and will also help maintain their shape and stability. 
  2. When it comes down to how to wash orthotics, the first step is to not put them in the washing machine! This can damage their shape. If necessary, hand wash them and make sure they’re completely dry before use. 
  3. Limit their usage if you can. Wearing them all day, every day will cause them to lose their form much faster than if you rotate them out with a second pair of shoes or insoles. 

Now that you have everything you need to know about orthotic insoles, you’re ready to jump right in and take control of your foot health. 


Find Quality Orthotic Insoles From Vionic

With so many options, picking the insole that’s right for you can seem overwhelming. But don’t worry, you don’t have to book an appointment with a podiatrist just yet—Vionic has you covered. 

At Vionic, we design shoes and insoles with your utmost comfort and foot health in mind. That’s why we provide orthotic-grade insoles podiatrists approve of, at affordable prices. (Not to mention they’re trimmable, antibacterial, odor-absorbing, and come in a wide variety to suit your needs.)


Women’s Relief Insole

Slip them into your work shoes, workout sneakers, or boots, because this orthotic is for your everyday use. This insert is clinically proven to reduce excess pronation, with a molded base and deep heel cup for correct foot positioning and support. This insert can be trimmed so you get the perfect fit inside your shoe. 


Women’s Active Insole

If you’re an athlete, this orthotic is for you. Designed for fast-moving sports like tennis, running, or power walking, this insert is contoured around the heel and arch areas for 100% foot contact. This orthotic also includes a cushioned shock dot at the heel for shock absorption and is reinforced with a hardened, plastic shell that is ideal for stability and motion control. 


Women’s Slim Fit Insole

You’ll no longer have to choose between fashion and comfort with this orthotic because it’s specially designed for dressy heels or casual shoes. This fits all types of women’s heeled shoes while working to align the foot to provide relief from ball-of-foot pain, bunions, calluses, and more. 


Unisex Relief 3QTR Insole

Don’t worry, Vionic has unisex orthotic options as well. This insert is designed for everyday support whether it be for work or a casual hike. Its deep heel cup aids with rear-foot stability and correct foot positioning, with a heel pad for shock absorption. 

These orthotics offer a comfortable, pain-free, “natural healing” solution to the many pains you may suffer from incorrect foot alignment. 


Boost Your Foot Health With Vionic

So, what are insoles for shoes? An added slice of cushion, comfort, and support for all your foot health needs. With unique designs catered to all feet shapes and conditions, whether it be overpronation, underpronation, health conditions, or general foot care, orthotics are your next step forward. 

With Vionic, you can begin your foot health journey and take the steps to alleviate those aches and pains with a cost-effective alternative to podiatrist-prescribed inserts. 

Take control of your foot health with Vionic today. 




WebMD. Do I Need Shoe Orthotics? https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/what-are-shoe-orthotics#1

Healthline. Orthotics: Are They the Answer to Your Leg, Foot, or Back Pain? https://www.healthline.com/health/bone-health/orthotics#diagnosis

NeuHaus Foot & Ankle. What are orthotics and how do they benefit you. https://www.neufoot.com/blog/what-are-orthotics-and-why-should-you-use-them

NeuHaus Foot & Ankle. What are orthotics and how do they benefit you. https://www.neufoot.com/blog/what-are-orthotics-and-why-should-you-use-them

MedicalNewsToday. What is overpronation? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320383#treatment-options

CARE-MED. How to Choose Diabetic Footwear. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320383#treatment-options

The Shoe Doctor. How Do I Maintain My Custom Orthotics? 6 Do’s and Don’ts You Need to Know. https://www.theshoedoctor.biz/how-do-i-maintain-my-custom-orthoti

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