Best Shoe Inserts for Standing All Day

Do any of these ring a bell?

  • Pain.
  • Swelling.
  • Throbbing in your heel or toes.
  • Tenderness on the ball.
  • An ache in your arch.

Even if only one of them does, you likely don’t have enough cushioning and/or enough foot support, especially for the arch.

Support is vital in your shoes, even if you’re sitting all day. Being on your feet all day without the right support should be illegal!

Even the most comfortable shoes don’t have a good enough insole to support you being on your feet all day.

So, you need inserts to add support and comfort.

We have 15 solutions for you and advice on how to pick what’s best for your situation.

The top 10 best shoe inserts for standing all day are:

 

Further down, we go into detail for each of these.

But first, let’s see if we can work out WHY your feet hurt first and what to look for in a pair of inserts, so you get the desired relief.

an infographic about shoe inserts

 

Why Do My Shoes Hurt My Feet?

You might think your feet hurt because you’ve been using them all day. This is partly true. Your feet deserve rest to prevent fatigue and ongoing pain.

But, it may not be overworking that has your feet throbbing. Your shoes could be the cause of your discomfort, and there are several reasons why.

They’re the Wrong Size

In a study, researchers discovered that 72% of adults between the ages of 64 and 93 were wearing the wrong shoe size.

How is this possible?

There were two possibilities reasons:

Many people end up wearing the wrong shoe size because, at first, the shoe feels comfortable. But, in time, pain points start creeping in, and it’s too late or too much effort to return the shoes.

Despite this pain, they continue to pick up pairs in the same size because of that initial correct feeling.

If this is you, here are a few tips to ensure you wear the appropriate shoe size:

Use Your Thumb

Ensure you have a thumb-width space in front of your longest toe. This gauges if you have the correct level of wiggle room.

You also need this space to allow for swelling, accommodate thicker socks and allow your feet to grow.

Be aware that you need some extra room when walking downhill. Do your feet slide forward in your shoes when doing this? Without that extra room, you could hurt your toes, so be sure to keep this in mind when using inserts.

Index Finger Check

See if you can slide your index finger behind your heel—if you struggle, the shoe is too small.

For boots, use a stick about the size of your index finger if you can’t reach in.

Wiggle the finger or stick, and if it can move freely back and forth, your heel isn’t locked in, and the shoe is too big. This may cause you to overwork your heel muscles, causing Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis.

Gauge Wiggle Room

When buying shoes, always make sure your toes are evenly spaced and can wiggle. It doesn’t matter if you pass the other size checks.

No wiggle room? No purchase! Not unless you want aching toes and possible muscle atrophy.

Never Settle

Don’t settle for shoes that pinch the widest part of your foot.

You might think, “Oh, it’s fine; this always happens; it’s just my wide feet!”

Then shop for them! Go a size up, or better yet, buy a wide size, and check out our guide on what shoe width letters mean.

Measure Frequently

Each year, be sure to measure your feet once.

Keep track of your measurements to use against general and brand-specific shoe size charts.

Since brands have unique sizing, consider our sizing guides for:

Bad Materials

There are two shoe areas where you need to focus on the material:

  • Sole.
  • Cushioning.

The Sole

The two best materials for the insole of shoe are leather and rubber.

Leather soles are more for dress shoes, with rubber for athletic and leisure shoes. Rubber has some give, but it’s supportive, and you won’t feel like you’re standing on concrete. This makes rubber insoles ideal for being on your feet all day.

Brands sometimes use synthetic soles to cut manufacturing costs. These are often rubber-based or rubber-like but aren’t necessarily good quality. If your shoes were cheap, the worse the synthetic soles are likely to be, leading to discomfort and foot strain.

Invest in a quality shoe with a rubber sole. Or, at worst, a synthetic sole that looks, feels and responds like rubber.

If this isn’t possible, a dense foam or gel insert can alleviate the discomfort of a bad sole.

However, try looking for a softer insert in the case of a hard sole. Adding another hard layer won’t do anything for your comfort.

Furthermore, a material too dense and harsh will do nothing to aid in shock absorption.

For Leather Soles

You’ll almost always need a shoe insert with leather soles since the soles are usually thin and lack arch support.

To ensure you’re comfortable and have fantastic foot health, consider a premium insert. If you attend formals or business meetings rarely, the insert could last years.

The Cushioning

Some shoes have no cushioning, which could be your issue. Instead, there could be a single, flat line of “insole” that does nothing to support or comfort your foot.

Other times, you’ll have foam padding that’s too hard to sink into or too soft to get support from.

The best materials for cushioning are gel or some kind of dense yet malleable foam. Even a soft rubber sole is better than nothing.

If your shoe lacks cushioning or the foam is immovable, they may be causing you foot pain.

You can easily fix this pain with an insert. Whether it adds support or only cushioning, it’ll stop pain/discomfort from the low-quality shoe’s padding.

Pronation Issues and Your Foot Type

There are three types of feet, determined by your arch:

  • Flat feet.
  • Neutral arches.
  • High arches.

Depending on your foot type, you may have pronation issues caused by the arch. These issues can impact your calves, hips and spine, as well as your feet.

Overpronation

If you have little to no arch, you may overpronate. This is when your ankles tilt towards each other when you walk.

You need shoes with adequate arch support to correct this—they raise your arch to where it should be. Without this, you get an ache that runs from your feet and up your body.

Many shoes aren’t equipped to handle fallen arches, so you probably need inserts. In more extreme cases, you’ll need custom orthotics.

Some athletic stability shoes can help fix overpronation. But, understandably, those shoes aren’t always an option.

Along with inserts, consider looking into the common, temporary causes of fallen arches. Some you can treat; others, you can balance out with cheaper insoles:

  • Pregnancy.
  • Obesity.
  • Injuries.

How to Tell if You Overpronate

Film yourself walking barefoot, preferably with your pants raised above your ankles.

Observe the recording, and see if your ankles tilt in with your soles tilted out. That’s a clear sign of overpronation.

If you can’t figure it out from the footage, inspect your shoes. Are the footprints or indents in your shoes more to the inside? That’s a sign you overpronate—and possibly a reason you feel so much pain wearing those well-worn-in shoes.

You can also perform the previous visual examination while wearing shoes and inserts. Keep a close eye on your ankles and the soles. Which way do they slant? If there’s no slanting, there’s no issue.

Underpronation

Underpronation is similar to overpronation but in the opposite direction. With this problem, your ankles tilt away from each other.

Unfortunately, this opposing tilt causes the same problems as overpronation. Whatever your feet do, the rest of your skeletal system will usually follow.

Many shoes are better at handling high arches than low ones, so can correct pronation issues.

If you’re still having trouble, shoe inserts for high arches are the way to go. And, you may need to consider custom orthotics if the issue persists.

We have a few recommendations of shoe inserts best for high arches later on.

How to Tell if You Underpronate

The methods are the same for detecting underpronation. Record yourself, and watch your feet and ankles.

If your ankles bulge out and your soles face each other, you’re underpronating.

Once again, check on this with shoes and/or inserts on, too. You’ll need to put more focus on your ankles and soles, but if you detect anything, it’s a sign your inserts aren’t working as they should.

Alternatively, check your shoes if you don’t wear inserts. A heavy imprint on the outer footbed’s edge points to underpronation. This trick won’t work with inserts if they’re new or working correctly, though.

And, if no over-the-counter inserts work for you, you may need to take it up a notch.

 

Inserts vs. Custom Orthotics

While some inserts/insoles are also classified as “orthotics,” custom orthotics are podiatrist-prescribed, whereas regular inserts and orthotics are available online.

Which one you need depends on the severity of your issue.

Insoles

Insoles are widely available over the counter, online and in shoe stores. They don’t need to have special features to be insoles, and most shoes come with standard removable ones.

However, some insoles really stand out, particularly the ones we’ve reviewed below.

Insoles are inexpensive compared to custom orthotics and an excellent solution to an uncomfortable shoe.

They’re not a long-term solution to pain, but can be one for the discomfort caused by a cheap shoe. They can also be preventative for someone who engages in vigorous activities that might cause injuries without proper alignment and support. Such activities could include sports but also non-stop standing and walking.

Custom Orthotics

Being custom-made, that doesn’t mean anyone can call up a company and order a pair. They’re designed by a podiatrist and are not only made as a custom fit for your feet but for the resulting symptoms.

It’s one thing to buy insoles for plantar fasciitis. It’s another to have custom orthotics made to address how your plantar fasciitis makes you walk.

Although, in our experience, it’s usually pronation problems that custom orthotics fix.

However, custom orthotics can be for comfort, perhaps if you have highly sensitive feet due to diabetes. The cushioning and support level you’ll get will be better from custom orthotics.

You’ll have the support for years from one pair of orthotics—far longer than insoles. But, they’ll also be far more expensive.

Don’t worry too much—most insurance plans cover custom orthotics, and they’re a long-term solution to a legitimate medical need.

 

How to Determine Your Arch Type

So you can decide if you can buy inserts online—and which types to buy—or need to visit a podiatrist, you should determine if your arch type is one of these:

  • Fallen.
  • Neutral.
  • High.

Short of stepping on a big, expensive foot scanner, there are two ways to work this out:

Visual Examination

  • Fallen arches: More of your foot connects with the floor. You won’t see a gap between the arch and the floor.
  • Neutral arches: You should see a slight rise on the inside of your foot. The slope will be gradual and even.
  • High arches: High arches may be difficult to spot, but a sign is if your arch has a sharp point. Your foot may also look different from your family’s, as neutral arches are most common in people over 10 years old.

The Wet Test

If you couldn’t determine your arch type from how your foot looks, it’s time to grab a bucket and go outside.

You’ll need a vessel full of water and a surface that stains when wet for this—dragging a bucket to a light-colored sidewalk is effective.

Basically, get your feet drenched, then step directly onto the surface.

Fallen Arches

If your arches have fallen, you’ll see an imprint of your entire foot. It will be almost unbroken side to side, and there’ll be a limited gap between the ball and toes.

Neutral Arches

With neutral arches, your footprint will be just that—a footprint. It should resemble a generic footprint you see depicted in cartoons and drawings, with thee features visible:

  • Whole heel.
  • Foot’s center will resemble the Apple logo, like someone took a bite out of it.
  • Entire ball.
  • There may be a small gap between the ball and the first few toes.

High Arches

Here’s where you can definitely tell you’ve got high arches. Your footprint will look more like a “traditional” print than with fallen arches, but with some discernible differences:

  • Your entire heel imprint appears on the concrete.
  • Rather than a single bite like the Apple logo, you’ll see two or three bites.
  • In some cases, all you’ll see is a thin strip of imprint where the outside of your foot touched the ground.
  • The entire ball is visible.
  • You may see a very large gap between the ball and your first few toes.
  • In some cases, you will only see the tips of your toes imprinted.

 

What To Avoid in a Shoe Insert

Before guiding you on what you need in a shoe insert, you should know what to avoid.

Have you ever been in a grocery store, like Walmart or Target, and seen those hanging packs of shoe inserts?

They’re usually thin, foamy, flimsy, easy to tear and have no shape. They’re there to add some cushioning to a hard shoe, but they don’t do much.

You’ll find the same useless insoles in dollar stores and sometimes even in cheap pharmacies.

Don’t buy these. They don’t hold shape, have no arch support, and many won’t help you when standing all day.

 

What You Need in A Shoe Insert

High-quality shoe inserts online, in a shoe store or higher-end pharmacy will be a better option than the cheap ones you find elsewhere.

Here’s what to look for:

The Visual

If the insert you’re considering is flat, stop! Put it down. Walk away.

A flat insert is as good as useless. If you have foot issues, you need one with shape and support.

Those flat insoles may be okay to add a little extra padding to already-supportive shoes. Gel ones work especially well to boost your comfort, especially when standing all day.

But for flat feet, high arches or unhelpful shoes, you need better than a pancake in your shoes. An arched insole doesn’t automatically mean a quality insole, but it does mean it’s worth trying.

The Material’s Feel

If the insole is rock hard, avoid it.

Material that turns to mush under minimal pressure? Avoid it.

The best shoe inserts’ construction features dense foam or gel. These materials are malleable but firm enough to hold shape and support your foot. You’ll break them in without removing their effectiveness.

When you’re inspecting the material, ask yourself:

  1. Can I step on it without it flattening?
  2. Does it feel like I’m standing on a rock? If so, look elsewhere.

Traction

Look for traction on the bottom—a tread pattern like on your shoes. This will stop them shifting around the footwear.

But, traction on the upper surface is important, too. You don’t want your feet sliding around on slick gel or nylon shoe inserts; it’ll render them ineffective.

Look for some kind of pattern or a shape that screams, “your foot won’t move!”

Insoles with deep, wide heel cups are a sure way to keep your foot in place.

Help With Your Issues

Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles Tendonitis

Do you have plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis? Look for an insert with a heel cup. It’ll grip your heel nicely and reduce muscle strain.

Pronation Issues

Admittedly, some custom orthotics are better at handling pronation issues. They might have a raised side to push your foot to the center when it naturally migrates left or right.

Some over-the-counter inserts have got this covered, though. The heel cup holds your heel in place so your foot can’t migrate. But, if the inserts lack a deep cup, the heel may still move around.

Look for light grooves in the insert to properly align the foot’s muscles and tissues. When everything is in correct alignment, your problem should disappear.

Neutral arches typically have a neutral, problem-free gait, but for fallen arches, you may not need the heel cup or alignment grooves at all. Once your arch gets pushed up into a neutral position, your pronation issues may disappear.

There’s no guarantee here, though, so test for pronation issues as described above to see if the insert has fixed the problem.

Reviews of the Top 15 Best Shoe Inserts for Standing All Day in 2020

Our Overview

Podiatrists designed Powerstep insoles to combat pain and supply comfort. They cradle your feet, adding support without feeling unpleasantly hard. They’re not too soft, either, so you won’t be walking on mush all day.

These are the best shoe inserts for standing, walking or running all day because they’re preventative. The foot-molded shape is there to supply what some shoes can’t:

  • A spot to cradle your heel.
  • Excellent arch support.

It achieves this while remaining thin so it can fit in almost any shoe—including those lacking removable footbeds.

Being thin, it’s also flexible. Its fabric and foam construction adds to this. But keep in mind that fabric and foam are harder to clean than gel inserts.

Despite this, it’s a sturdy insole that supplies light cushioning and won’t squish. This is thanks to the EVA foam layers on the bottom.

The upper fabric layers give the insert another boost above some gel or rubbery insoles: the antimicrobial material keeps feet cool and dry.

Antimicrobial material kills bacteria, and the material wicks away sweat. It’s a combination best for well-worked feet, prone to overheating and perspiring when standing all day.

Unfortunately, some customers experienced that the odor-reduction technique didn’t work. But, on the bright side, there were no complaints about damp toes.

Pros:
  • Combination of pain relief and prevention.
  • Makes hard shoes more comfortable.
  • Cradles your heel and supports your arch—regardless of arch type.
Cons:
  • Fabric/foam inserts are more difficult to clean.
  • Users report that the inserts start to smell bad after a while.
Our Overview

From oil for leather boots to insoles, Sof Sole makes it all. Despite only going into business in 1991, Sof Sole has skyrocketed to become a leading brand in footwear accessories.

No matter if you’re on your feet all day exercising or are a nurse rushing around a hospital, these athletic insoles can be an excellent choice.

These effective insoles contain gel pads in the heel and forefoot to keep your feet comfortable. Many athletic footwear brands, like ASICS, place gel in these areas, turning any regular shoe into a premium garment for a professional sports player or someone standing all day.

Foam encases the gel, which adds cushioning and is firm enough to add arch. Though, admittedly, the arch support isn’t as well-rounded or intense as the Powerstep above.

Still, the insoles make up for it in other areas. They, too, have an antibacterial surface to keep your shoes clean and odor-free—customer consensus is that this works! It should also wick away moisture from sweat to keep your feet comfortable and stable.

The insoles’ underneath have a small tread pattern to keep them stable in your shoes, too. This is an excellent inclusion in case the shoe inserts are narrower or shorter than your shoes.

Note that you may have a sizing issue on your hands here, narrow or not. The insoles run small and often take some time to break in. So, be aware of this when you buy.

Pros:
  • Won’t move around in your shoes.
  • Gel cushioning in the necessary areas.
  • Designed to keep your feet cool.
Cons:
  • Run small.
  • Customers found they take some time to break-in, which they disliked.
Our Overview

If breathability is what you favor, then these Sof Sole insoles’ focus on cooling your feet may appeal.

There’s a version for women and men who require a shoe insert for sweaty feet. It’s an excellent insole to consider if you find yourself replacing shoes frequently due to odor.

COOLMAX is the tech used to ensure breathability, remove moisture and cool down your feet. In contrast, the Skydex tech maximizes shock absorption—little bubbles in the heels, alongside the main gel material.

Gel is in the heel and forefoot again for classic cushioning right where you need it. That’s fantastic for walking or standing all day but works best in shoes containing built-in arch support.

Another excellent feature for standing all day is the design’s intention to reduce pain by aligning your feet and correcting your balance. Part of this should come from the arch support, but customers think it could be better.

Regardless of the arch’s mediocrity, once you place these as your shoe insoles, any issues you once had should disappear or seriously reduce. That’s as long as your feet don’t slide on the insoles—some users had trouble with this as they’re quite slick.

Pros:
  • Align your feet to ensure a healthy gait.
  • Specifically designed to keep feet cool.
  • Incredible shock absorption.
Cons:
  • Customers think that the arch support could be better.
  • Users found them too slick for their liking.
Our Overview

As the manufacturers of some incredible athletic footwear, New Balance knows how to handle feet, and these inserts for shoes do this really well.

New Balance designed these casual inserts for anyone with heel or arch pain. The designers intend to remedy this through a deep heel cup to cradle and stabilize the back of the foot.

Even so, note that the heel cup is wide, which can be good for wider feet but too wide for certain shoes.

With your heel lower than the insole’s center, plenty of arch support is implemented. This is great for all arch types but especially fallen arches, which need the most support.

As you reach the toe area, the insole thins out to keep that arched center shape. But, despite being thin, the padding is firm.

Overall, the inserts provide solid support, cushioning and boast a self-proclaimed orthotic design. The orthotic design is great, as it’s there to deal with issues rather than just add comfort.

They’re also designed to help your heels absorb shock naturally, rather than doing it for you. The fact that the insoles don’t absorb shock keeps them thin enough to wear in any shoes or boots.

Having your feet absorb shock correctly is vital, especially while standing all day, although it’s best if your shoes or inserts do it for you. Absorbing shock with your body makes it shoot up your legs, even into your back—you may end up with more than foot pain and fatigue at the day’s end.

Pros:
  • Hold their shape well.
  • Fantastic for low arches.
  • Adds great heel stability.
Cons:
  • Shock absorption isn’t the best.
  • Heel cup may be too wide for some shoes.
Our Overview

Birkenstock is another brand that knows a thing or two about comfortable shoes. People have praised the Birkenstock’s comfortable sandals for years, so naturally, its insoles receive similar positive comments.

These shoe inserts are excellent for wide feet and don’t look like most typical shoe inserts due to their un-foot-like appearance. But, rest assured, they work just as well.

A silky top layer absorbs moisture from sweat, while a thicker bottom provides shock absorption. In between, you have supportive cushioning forming arch support. Although, for some, this supportive cushioning is too much.

There’s copious cushioning throughout the insert for people who enjoy cozy and cloud-like shoes. This type of padding is one of the best for standing all day, as it allows your feet to relax into their shape.

Instead of straining your feet while standing, it’s almost like you’re sitting down. Your feet only engage when you’re walking. Even then, the design intends to stabilize your heel so you can walk more healthily and less painfully.

It may be difficult to believe such an oddly-shaped insert could work so well, but the contours to cradle your feet are subtle and maximize comfort.

The result is an insole that feels more like you’re walking barefoot on a thick, springy carpet. It’s not desirable for everyone, but it’s the best if you like your comfort.

Note that such excellent padding comes at a price—the inserts might be a tad too stiff for some people.

Pros:
  • Fantastic shock absorption.
  • Great for wide feet.
  • Natural feel.
Cons:
  • Too cushioned for some people.
  • Some customers found the shoes inserts inflexible.
Our Overview

The Dr. Scholl’s brand has been around for over a century, so you know these insoles come with experience. The company was initially started by a genuine doctor, William Scholl, who was a pioneer of podiatry, which is reflected in these inserts.

Being gel insoles, these aren’t only fantastic for standing all day but also excellent for hard floors. Perhaps these could be the best insoles in shoes for nurses or construction workers due to the natural hard floor in these environments.

As you walk, the gel cushions your feet, which the floor would otherwise flatten. Not only that, but it massages them.

According to users, this function works better for lighter people, though—they’re the ones who feel the massage more. Heavier people—around 180 pounds—will benefit more from the comfort instead.

Dr. Scholl’s manufacturers also claim the insoles are clinically proven to help you move up to 10% more. This is likely from the massaging sensation, the subtle support the insoles provide or a combination of both. Although, the claim’s validity is questionable—it’s on one pair of insoles, and the study isn’t peer-reviewed.

Regardless of the study’s accuracy, these insoles’ best feature is the massaging gel since the support and breathability aren’t the best.

On the other hand, the quality is ahead of the game—these are extremely durable inserts that customers say may last up to a year. This is because they’re fully gel and not foam, making them resistant to rips.

Pros:
  • Extremely durable.
  • May allow you to walk more when wearing them.
  • Massage your feet.
Cons:
  • Basic support, as the focus is on comfort and shock absorption.
  • Customers found they’re less effective for slightly heavier people—180-pound people found them mediocre.
Our Overview

Spenco is a maker of footwear and shoe inserts alike, so the company knows a thing or two about foot comfort.

Comfort is the main factor in these insoles, and they’re made for athletes in training. Athletes’ feet take a ton of abuse, just like feet that spend the day standing and walking.

One issue Spenco honed in on with these shoe inserts is blisters. You can do everything in your power to stop shoes rubbing the back of your ankle, but standing all day, getting a blister once in a while, is almost guaranteed.

The nylon material is smooth, letting your sock glide along it with no friction, helping prevent dreaded blisters.

Another perk of the nylon is that Spenco has treated it with antimicrobial properties. This kills the bacteria in sweat and wicks away the moisture, hopefully resulting in fresh-smelling, dry feet.

But, despite the thin and basic surface material, the insoles have a raised center, which adds a lot of height for people with low arches. For normal arches, it’s a basic level of support.

For cushioning under a low-or-no arch, these shoe inserts are among the best—but the arch doesn’t ascend enough to support higher arches.

They also aren’t optimized for wide feet, despite running large.

Pros:
  • Great for flat feet.
  • Help prevent blisters.
  • Lots of cushioning under the arch.
Cons:
  • They run large, but customers found them unfitting for wide feet.
  • Arch too low to support high arches.
8
4.2/5
Our Overview

Superfeet sells a range of insoles for different needs and occasions, with these green inserts being basic ones for everyday wear but well-suited if you’re on your feet for extended periods.

They feature a deep heel cup for stability and comfort, which is very high and arches gradually. This provides a gentle arch support level to ease any foot pain you may have but isn’t the best for flat feet.

After the arch, the insole flattens back out for the forefoot and toes. Superfeet’s rollercoaster of appropriate curves is foam, so it’s firm enough to give you the support its shape provides. Yet, it’s cushioned enough to provide relief when standing all day.

You get a stable fit and an appropriate foot shape, paired with something to make hard surfaces less tortuous. And, despite the heel cup’s stability, which some customers found too deep, these shoe inserts are flexible. Not only is this healthy for your naturally moving feet, but it’s convenient for travel.

The flexibility means you can also pop them in a bag or roomy pocket, as you can discreetly transport them without burden.

You can cram these insoles into your pocket wherever you go. When you need them, take them out, and they spring back into shape. This is thanks to the rubbery bottom, which refuses to let the foam stay folded.

There are also rubber stoppers on the insoles’ underneath. These keep the insert stable in your footwear, which is vital, especially if you wear wider shoes.

Pros:
  • Stabilizing for feet.
  • Easily portable.
  • Wide toe area provides plenty of wiggle room.
Cons:
  • The heel cup’s back rises too high for some customers.
  • Users found these aren’t great shoe inserts for flat feet.
Our Overview

If you’re a plantar fasciitis sufferer, this is a shoe insert to check out. It supports your heel and the sides for minimal movement. And, as plantar fasciitis’ cause is muscle strain, you need as little movement as possible when you walk.

For more foot stability, the insoles feature a high level of support for all arches. This should remove any arch-related pain, leaving you in more comfort than ever before.

The area under the arch is hard, though, which some people won’t like. It’s incredibly beneficial in terms of support, but the comfort is questionable.

And, for low arches, the support may be too much. These are best for higher arches or fallen ones, not for flat feet in need of a boost.

Pros:
  • Fantastic support for high arches.
  • Solid insole with no chance of collapse under weight.
  • Adds stability for plantar fasciitis sufferers.
Cons:
  • Lack of cushioning beneath the arch.
  • Not great for flat feet.
Our Overview

These Physix shoe inserts are designed to survive robust activities, like rock climbing, but are also effective at comforting your feet while standing all day.

If you require a thicker insole for deep shoes or extra comfort, these are ideal. They’re not so thick that they clutter up your shoes, but they provide plenty of cushioning.

They’re made from medical-grade EVA foam, with PU material covering them. EVA foam is often used in high-end shoes to craft classic shoe tech. So, if your shoes are cheaper or getting old, these can add some quality and life back in.

On the surface, they have everything your feet need: a low-friction material cover, semi-rigid arch support, a wide fit and an adequate heel cup.

Despite this, please note: sometimes they’re too wide for shoes, and for some, the semi-rigid support is too rigid.

However, on the bottom, they feature a non-slip design and dense foam that supports but doesn’t squish.

Admittedly, they’re nothing to rave about when it comes to function. They’re made to add comfort and prevent pain, not cure aches and fix high or low arches. But, for quality insoles with incredible foam, they’re worth a try.

Pros:
  • High-quality EVA foam.
  • Excellent traction, so they don’t move in your shoes.
  • Semi-rigid arch support that won’t falter.
Cons:
  • The inserts are quite wide and don’t suit all shoes.
  • Some customers found them to be too firm under the arch.
Our Overview

Spenco’s Total Support shoe inserts are best-suited for heavier people—and as a result, are heavier inserts. Their main purpose is to absorb shock and small amounts of pressure.

Of course, they’re excellent for average and lighter people, too. The gel is great for your feet and works to align the muscles in your underfoot.

It’s a thick gel, too, which cushions against uneven surfaces. This makes them great for outdoorsy people who spend all day hiking. Equally, they’re incredible for construction workers on sites strewn with debris. Either way, they’re excellent if you’re on your feet all the time.

They should also last a while since the thermoplastic rubber exterior is more durable than flimsy fabric coatings. As a result, you get a durable, effective and protective insert.

In particular, the gel protects your heel from shock. It’ll work particularly well in thin shoes, where standing on a pebble feels like standing on a knife.

But, bear in mind, there’s so much focus on shock absorption and alignment, they fall flat on stability and arch support. You’d better have supportive shoes to put these in!

Pros:
  • Excellent protection for fragile foot tissue.
  • Highly flexible to fit any shoe and walk style.
  • Durable due to thermoplastic rubber instead of fabric.
Cons:
  • Heavier than many shoe inserts.
  • Lack of support due to the focus on shock absorption and alignment.
Our Overview

These podiatrist-designed Samurai insoles provide arch support but with some benefits of custom orthotics. In fact, Samurai’s designer is a flat-footed podiatrist, so you know you’re getting excellent arch support with this pair.

One benefit the insoles provide is responsiveness. In this case, it’s done using springy material. The material bounces back, putting a spring into your step. Despite this, they’re not too springy but still provide arch support, especially for flat feet.

That said, there are better insoles out there with more rigid support and a deeper heel cup to help with being on your feet all day. But, if you like lots of cushioning, great support for flat feet paired with lightweight insoles, these are best, while they last.

Also, note that some customers found that the arch support doesn’t last long, so these may need replacing often.

Pros:
  • Incredibly lightweight.
  • Amazing cushioning for flat feet.
  • Suitable for wide feet.
Cons:
  • Customers say the arch support doesn’t last long.
  • Users found them unhelpful for plantar fasciitis.
13
3.5/5
Our Overview

For comfort insoles on a budget, these are an excellent option.

The manufacturers claim they have arch support, but they’re completely flat, visually. You’d be better off buying them for shoes with decent arch support built-in.

Instead, Envelop’s shoe inserts’ main purpose is comfort and cushioning when on your feet all day.

The gel inserts will help cushion your feet and absorb shock that may cause pain and fatigue after a long day.

But, there’s an issue with gel: it’s incredibly hard to cut, and these insoles can be too large for some, making them difficult to customize to your size.

Consider buying multiple pairs to try. You’re sure to get the right size this way.

It’s no secret that these are among the lower-end insoles on the market—but to some, they may still have their comfort uses.

Pros:
  • Absorb shock well.
  • Ultra-flexible and easy to transport.
  • Great traction, and don’t move in your shoes.
Cons:
  • Not true to size.
  • Gel makes it difficult to cut them down to size.
Our Overview

These ViveSole orthotic inserts are another budget pick, but with extreme flexibility and excellent comfort.

They provide up to 7 centimeters of arch support, making them excellent for raising and flat arches and cushioning high arches. In fact, they’re the best insoles for high arches we’ve reviewed, but note that some customers found the arch support to be not long enough.

They’re also designed to relieve plantar fasciitis pain by keeping the arch adequately held up, relieving stress on your heel.

Even so, you might find the arch support doesn’t extend the entire arch length. Customers with longer arches had this unfortunate experience, but the inserts do have other saving factors.

One of these is the padding absorbing shock rather than the heel taking the brunt. Having it distributed through the shoe inserts keep your feet free of pressure. Also, podiatrists are behind the design, so the effectiveness is up there.

Despite this, the heel cup doesn’t allow the heel to sink into it. Instead, it sits on it. Sure, the cushioning is plentiful in the area, but without slotting your heel into place, there’s little stability. You’d need shoes that offer the stability the shoe inserts lack.

Note that these lack a heel cup with sides and a back, which stop your heel moving and further reduce pain from plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and being on your feet all day.

Pros:
  • Best support for high arches.
  • Highly affordable.
  • Effective shock absorption.
Cons:

 

  • Basic heel cup that doesn’t add much stability.
  • Customers found the arch support is high enough but not long enough.
15
3.2/5
Our Overview

The Timberland Pro’s design is to combat fatigue and keep you powering on—just like the Dr. Scholl’s from earlier.

But, unlike Dr.Scholl’s insoles, it’s hard to pinpoint where the anti-fatigue properties come from. There’s no gel to massage your feet, so for all intents and purposes, these are just basic foam insoles with decent arch support and an average heel cup.

Despite the uncertainty, these shoe inserts are more sloped than others, almost like running shoes. The slope pushes you forward onto your toes, encouraging you to walk—but for some, the slope is too steep and the heel too thick.

Timberland also says the insoles “return energy” when they absorb shock. Maybe the slope is behind it, but it’s a vague statement. They really just seem like basic, but effective, foam insoles.

The foam itself is impressive since it wicks away moisture well, keeping your feet dry. It’s also an adequate cushion between you and the hard ground.

A nylon coating covers the foam to protect it, though it doesn’t do the best job. It separates easily, so be gentle with these shoe inserts.

Overall, they’re basic insoles with big claims that aren’t explained well.

Pros:
  • Moisture-wicking foam.
  • Decent heel cup.
  • Sloped shape that may return energy to your feet.
Cons:
  • Customers found the nylon covering the foam separates easily.
  • Some people find the heels to be too tall and thick.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to Buy Insoles?

You can buy insoles from any reputable shoe store or online. Avoid insoles sold in supermarkets and discount stores, as they aren’t optimal for foot support. At most, you’ll get a thin piece of foam, so if you want quality insoles, you have to be willing to shop around and pay more.

Do Dr Scholls Inserts Work?

Dr. Scholl’s insoles are allegedly “clinically proven” to work. They’re supposed to relieve pain in your back, knees and feet. A solitary study serves as this clinical proof that proves the insoles might be an effective solution to pain. So, they work, but whether they’re better than other brands is questionable.

How Often Should You Replace Your Shoe Insoles?

You should replace your shoe insoles every 6–9 months. The heavier you are, and the more you use them, the more you should replace them. If you stand all day, you may want to replace them every 3–6 months. If you use custom orthotics, your podiatrist will decide the date for a new prescription.

What Are the Best Insoles for Standing on Concrete?

The best insoles for standing on concrete should be soft and well-cushioned. Consider:

What’s Better Gel or Memory Foam Insoles?

Memory foam is fantastic, but gel is superior for insoles. Gel can provide cushioning, shock absorption and support. Meanwhile, memory foam can offer immaculate cushioning while remaining thin but isn’t the best for support or taking shock.

Standing In Comfort

Having the right support for your feet is essential when standing all day. With these 15 best shoe inserts for standing all day, foot pain should be a thing of the past.

Regardless of your problem, you should find a pair to suit your needs from our list. There are insoles for cushioning, helping your alignment or eradicating pain from plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.

If you know anyone who’s on their feet all day, send this their way. You may save them from a world of pain and foot problems to come!

 

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