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SORE FEET AFTER A LONG SHIFT? FIND THE BEST INSOLE FOR FOOT PAIN

sore feet

Teachers, nurses, construction workers, cashiers, servers, mothers, runners, and anyone else who has spent a great deal of time on their feet, know the toll standing for long periods of time can take on your body. If your job requires you to stand for lengthy periods without rest, it can lead to a wide variety of issues, especially if you have poor posture or your shoes provide inadequate support. These issues, over time, go far beyond foot soreness and can develop into chronic foot pain and other ailments like plantar fasciitis. People on their feet all day want relief and a way to prevent future problems. Getting a quality insole can help, and this post will show you the best insole for foot pain to meet your specific needs.

UNDERSTANDING FOOT PAIN

When you stand, the same muscles in your feet strain repeatedly, as the pressure on them remains constant. However, when you walk about, the pressure shifts to and from different areas of your foot because the same muscles aren’t working all the time. Tired, achy feet are normal after standing all day but if your feet hurt in one particular area after a long shift on your feet, you may have a more specific support need for your feet.

Often people who have localized foot pain require softer insoles to ease pressure on their feet. Having a high-quality insole footbed is key to reducing pressure and discomfort. A good pair of insoles can make a world of difference in how your feet feel after a long day of work. The simple act of replacing your shoe insoles with a good pair of premium insoles can yield increased comfort and even decrease your chance of injury.

The best insoles for foot pain provide both cushioning as your feet bear down into your shoes and support to lift your arches and ensure proper alignment of feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back. Look for cushioned arch support insoles that will help to keep the foot gently supported throughout the long day and release pressure off your feet.

Here are few of the best types of performance insoles to help relieve sore feet for people who stand for extended periods of time:

AIR GEL INSOLE

This insole type provides motion control and support, making it ideal for buyers with low to neutral arches. It aims to increase your comfort by reducing and absorbing the impact of your feet while walking, running or standing for long periods. A brand like SofSole features an encapsulated air chamber in the rear foot and polymeric gel in the forefoot for optimum shock absorption.

While these are a fairly common solution for people who stand all day, they might not be right for everyone.

Get foot support from selectFlex

RIGID AND SEMI-RIGID ARCH SUPPORT INSOLES

Semi-rigid orthotic arch support insoles feature a flexible footbed platform. It is ideal for providing excellent support for the whole foot without the arch support feeling too stiff. Rigid orthotic arch support insoles have a footbed platform that is almost entirely stiff, which make these a good option for people who require more solid arch support.

Super Feet Green is one brand of semi-rigid insoles and are good for providing comfort, stability, and support to your feet. They are also ideal for keeping your feet in check and avoid overburdening them with a shock absorption foam bed. However these types of insoles are not adjustable, and it may take purchasing a few different pairs before finding the fit that works best for you.

ADJUSTABLE LIFTING ARCH SUPPORT

People who are looking for arch support, cushioning, and relief from joint pain can benefit from an adjustable lifting arch support insole. SelectFlex is unique because it’s the first truly adjustable arch that molds to your individual arch shape. The result is an insole that constantly lifts your arch upwards all day long with every step.

No two feet are alike, but over-the-counter insoles are often designed for one foot type. The benefit of choosing SelectFlex is that it provides three adjustable arch height and comfort settings to dynamically realign the foot arch, ankle joint, knees, hips, and lower back into optimal position for maximum comfort and support all day long.

Proper foot alignment can be the key to relieving foot pain and preventing further issues for many people who are on their feet all day. SelectFlex ensures proper alignment with a deep cradling heel cup that provides 50% greater ankle stability with a soft cushioning heel cup for impact absorption that mimics walking on air.

For some people with certain medical conditions, SelectFlex still may not provide the support needed, in which case a visit with a podiatrist and a custom orthotic may be the right option. However, an adjustable lifting arch support does offer more long-term relief and lasts longer than other over-the-counter options.

Learn more about SelectFlex and how it helps relive foot pain for workers on their feet all day here.

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WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS? INSOLES, STRETCHES, AND OTHER TREATMENTS

foot treatment

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain today. Runners and those who work on their feet are most often affected, but it can cause heel pain in a wide range of people for a number of reasons. If you are feeling the pain of plantar fasciitis, you should consult with a doctor. They are likely to prescribe stretching, over-the-counter medicines, or insoles designed for plantar fasciitis sufferers. Here’s what you need to know if you suspect you have plantar fasciitis.

WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS?

Plantar fasciitis is when the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot and connects your heel bone to your toes gets inflamed. This band, called the plantar fascia, acts like a shock-absorber, supporting the arch in your foot. But if the tension and stress become too great, it can cause small tears in the fascia. Although the cause in many cases is unclear, repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed.

People with plantar fasciitis often describe it as a stabbing pain felt during the first steps of the morning as they are getting out of bed. The pain then typically decreases, only to return later in the day, especially after standing for long periods of time or walking after sitting for a long time.

TREATMENT AND PAIN MANAGEMENT

There are a number of ways to treat plantar fasciitis pain, from adding a plantar fasciitis insole to your shoe to surgery. Here are some of the most common, non-invasive treatments.

STRETCHING AND STRENGTHENING

Exercises that stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and strengthen lower leg muscles will help stabilize the ankle and heel.

TAPING

Physical therapists also use athletic tape to support the bottom of the foot.

NIGHT SPLINTS

Your doctor or physical therapist may recommend a night splint that flexes the foot and stretches the calf and arches while you sleep, holding the plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendon in a lengthened position overnight.

PLANTAR FASCIITIS INSOLES

Orthotic insoles are specially designed to alleviate pain and tension away from the plantar fasciitis tendon with for fitting arch support that distributes pressure more evenly over the footbed throughout the day, providing added comfort.

OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN RELIEF

Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can ease the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis.

APPLY ICE

To reduce inflammation, especially after a long day at work or intense exercise, icing the heel of the foot can help manage pain.

SUPPORTIVE SHOES

Wearing shoes with a supportive heel and that stabilizes the foot is important if you want to manage your foot pain from plantar fasciitis. Footwear like flip flops and high heels are only going to aggravate the problem. According to Dr. Kenneth Jung, an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, California and featured in Prevention Magazine, adding a shoe insert or insole for plantar fasciitis can enhance the effectiveness of the shoes you already own.

Jung says that adding a shoe insert will externally support the arch, thus reducing the stress or load on the arch. Plantar fasciitis insoles also provide a cushy cup for your heel to relieve pressure, and together help make your foot more comfortable.

AT RISK FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS

People can develop plantar fasciitis without an obvious cause, however, there are factors that increase your risk.

WORKING ON YOUR FEET

Nurses, factory workers, teachers and others who spend most of the work day walking and standing on hard surfaces can damage their plantar fascia.

FOOT MECHANICS

The shape of your foot and how your foot makes contact with the ground can put added stress on the plantar fascia and cause irritation. This can include having flat feet, high arches, and overpronation of the foot.

AGE

People between 40-60 are most likely to be affected by plantar fasciitis. 

HIGH-IMPACT EXERCISE

Any activity that places a lot of stress on the heel can be a contributing factor to plantar fasciitis, including long-distance running, crossfit, and even ballet.

WEIGHT

Adding extra pounds can put stress on your plantar fascia.

Anyone who struggles with the pain of plantar fasciitis, whether it's first thing in the morning or after a long day at work, is looking for simple, affordable relief. If you are experiencing foot pain, your first move should be to see a doctor. You will find there are many treatments for plantar fasciitis that do not require a prescription.

HOW MUCH DO ORTHOTIC INSOLES COST?

feet

Orthotic insoles are a common way to give off-the-rack shoes more support and help you get relief from foot pain. But with so many products on the market, it can be hard to know which is the right product and if the cost of an orthotic insole is worth it.

HOW MUCH DO ORTHOTIC INSOLES COST?

As with most products, the cost of an orthotic insole depends on the materials and the quality of the product. Cheaply made insoles using poor quality or cheap materials may be tempting, but they are likely to wear out quickly or fail to deliver on their promises. This post will give you an overview of the various kinds of orthotic insoles and cover what each type costs.

CUSTOM ORTHOTICS: HIGHEST COST OPTION

Custom orthotic insoles are often the most rigid (and uncomfortable) insoles. They are custom created to address a person’s specific foot issues and provide the most rigid support for proper alignment for people who have complications due to diabetes, severe pain due to flat feet, or other issues. Custom designed orthotic insoles will give you a perfect fit, but at a price. 

medical orthotic insoles

Custom orthotic insoles are often prescribed by a podiatrist and requires doctor visits and fittings in addition to the cost of the actual orthotic. The cost can run $300 or more. Some health insurance companies will cover a portion of the cost, but not all insurance plans cover orthotic insoles.

The upside to the cost is that custom orthotics can last for years before wearing out, making them a good investment for those who truly need the customized support.

GEL INSOLES: CHEAPEST OPTION

Gel insoles are a common choice for people seeking relief from foot and joint pain because they are affordable, easy to find in the store, and are a relatively effective non-prescription way to provide comfort—at least in the short term.

Gel insoles cost between $10-$20 for a pair, such as the Dr Scholls brands. While they are affordable and feel good on the feet once added to the shoe, they do not last long. Gel insoles begin to break down after a few weeks of wear and may not even last a few months. While the cost is enticing, the cost of continually buying insoles can quickly exceed the cost of buying a higher-quality product.

FOAM INSOLES: A WIDE RANGE OF PRICES AND COST

There are many, many foam insoles on the market today, many of them promising long-lasting comfort for an affordable price. Foam insoles can vary in price from $25 to $55. They tend to cost more than a gel insole and are more likely to provide short-term stabilizing support and low arch support for people with foot and joint pain. 

foam insoles

However, the quality of these insoles can vary greatly. Some are simply made of memory foam, while others have a thin base beneath the foam to provide a bit more stability. Buying an insole that is of a higher quality will get you better results and more relief at a reasonable price, providing cushioning for people who stand long periods, and stability for those who need more support.

Unfortunately, the amount of time a foam insole will last in an everyday shoe isn’t much longer than a gel insole. Plastic foam will break down in about four to six weeks, lessening the cushioning and the effectiveness of the insole. Although a foam insole may be effective, the cost compared to how long they will last should be a consideration for consumers.

learn more about adjustable insoles

SEMI-RIGID ORTHOTIC INSOLES: MODERATE PRICE FOR LONGER-LASTING RESULTS

Semi-rigid orthotic insoles cost anywhere from $50 to $100, and while this is a higher price point, they are made of firmer material that tends to last longer than foam alone. Semi-rigid orthotic insoles also provide the most benefit for the money. For example, the dynamic arch support and energy return of SelectFlex (shown here) costs one quarter the price of medical orthotics. It also features a medical grade footbed for maximum comfort. We recommend a medical grade footbed not only for comfort, but because this material is durable enough to last and not break down within a few months of wear. 

If you are concerned about cushioning and comfort, there are some semi-rigid orthotics that also include a foam top cover that provides cushioning, while also giving firm arch support and stability to relieve chronic foot pain.

semi-rigid insoles

For those who have issues caused by overpronation of the foot, look for an insole with a medical-grade shell and a deep heel cup to ensure proper alignment of the foot as you walk. For people with flat feet, high arches, or foot pain issues like plantar fasciitis, look for a semi-rigid insole that has an adjustable arch so you can customize your level of comfort. An adjustable arch, also known as a dynamic arch, provides an added value to anyone who needs different levels of support depending on the activity, or has struggled to find an insole that gives enough arch support.

 For the cost, a semi-rigid insole can provide the best of both worlds, cushioning comfort, arch support, and high-tech materials that return energy to your foot with every step, reducing pain and allowing you to be on your feet longer.

learn more about customizable insoles