If you feel miserable every time you take a step, wearing insoles may help you solve your problem. Some people may not bother using a heel cushion because they don’t engage in sports and other demanding physical activities. However, athlete or not, wearing an insole can save you from a plethora of foot-related ailments that result from wear and tear injuries.
Based on a survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), 58% of the respondents reported that they experienced heel pain due to wearing ill-fitting shoes. Likewise, more people considered heel pain as troublesome as it interferes with their normal daily activities.
It’s high time that you take a proactive approach towards heel pain and prevent the condition while you can. Wearing insoles is extremely beneficial in this respect. Here are the reasons why you need to use one:
Insoles prevent heel pain. Heel pain is often caused by plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. The former results in a severe pain at the bottom of the heel while the latter is characterized by pain and inflammation at the back of the heel. Aside from participating in sports activities, taking long walks and standing for long periods can also lead to heel pain. Using insoles can reduce the stress and pressure on your heels, thereby preventing these health problems.
Insoles prevent blisters and skin chafing. Blisters and skin chafing occur when your skin rubs against the inner material of your shoe. You can use insoles to secure your heels in place, reduce sliding movements, and prevent unnecessary friction. Wearing comfortable shoes with proper fit is also important to avoid these injuries.
Insoles prevent ligament inflammation. Orthotic insoles provide great comfort and support to your feet. It reduces the impact on your heels whenever you walk or run on hard surfaces, preventing microtrauma and inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament. Some insoles are slightly elevated at the heels, adding an extra cushion to absorb impact.
Insoles prevent overpronation. Overpronation is commonly observed in people with flat arches. Instead of distributing the weight evenly throughout the foot, an overpronated foot tends to propel movement using the big toe and the second toe alone. This results in poor shock distribution and the ankle is forced to double its efforts in stabilizing the foot. Some orthotic insoles have an elevated arch especially designed for people with flat arches.
Insoles prevent stress fractures. A stress fracture is a hairline crack in the bone that commonly develops due to overuse. Osteoporosis and mineral deficiency are common risk factors for this injury. To prevent stress fractures, you need to avoid wearing worn out shoes as they are no longer efficient in absorbing shock. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) recommends wearing athletic shoes with a stiff outer sole but a soft inner sole. To add more cushion and support to your feet, you can also wear an orthotic insole.
Plantar fasciitis. This is a foot condition characterized by pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia, the ligament at the bottom of your foot.
Heel spur. This happens when calcium deposits solidify and form a bony protrusion at your heel, making walking excruciating.
Achilles tendinitis. This condition occurs due to the inflammation of your Achilles tendon, which is located at the back of your ankle, near your heel.
To choose the best insoles for your needs, there are two main steps on how to get the correct fit. Firstly, stand on the insoles without wearing your shoes. This helps you get a general feel of how much padding and cushion the insole provides. Take particular notice of how it cups and fits your heels and the curve of your arches. Finally, wear the insoles inside your shoes. It shouldn’t be too tight that it will prevent ventilation nor too loose that it will slip out of place.