Love your shoes but still dealing with discomfort or foot pain? Insoles may be the missing piece you need to take your comfort up a step.
Whether you’re new to insoles or have been wearing them for years, there’s a lot to learn about these life-changing inserts! Discover how to choose the right insole for your needs, when to replace insoles, how to clean insoles, and more below.
What Are Insoles?
Insoles are footbed-shaped inserts that can be added into your shoe to create additional support, increase comfort, and address foot health concerns. Insoles are most often added to athletic shoes, but they are often equally useful in boots, dress shoes, casual shoes, and flats.
Your shoes may come with removable inserts, but in many cases, these inserts don’t provide much cushioning or support for your feet. It’s often good to substitute an insole in its place in order to customize your shoe to your needs and preferred feel. If your shoe doesn’t have a removable insert, you can still add an insole on top of the existing footbed if there’s enough space.
Are Insoles Good For You?
Simply put, yes! As long as you invest in a quality pair of insoles, you should see improvements in your overall health and well-being, especially in your feet and lower limbs.
The first (and most well-known) benefit of insoles is increased arch support, which can help treat or prevent issues relating to flat feet, pronation and supination, plantar fasciitis, and more. Improved arch support can affect your whole body, not just your feet; it improves your posture, realigns your knees, hips, and spine, and reduces the shock of impact on your joints.
Insoles also provide extra cushioning, which increases comfort when walking and standing because the impact of your feet striking the ground is reduced. This protects your feet and joints and helps minimize fatigue on your feet. Depending on what you’re looking for, some insoles have a thin layer of cushioning while others have a thicker layer of memory foam.
Insoles are good for your wallet as well. By reducing the wear and tear caused by everyday movements, insoles extend the lives of your favorite shoes so you have to replace them less often.
While insoles are a great choice for most people, it’s always important to consult with one of our Certified Fit Specialists or Certified Pedorthists, or even talk with your doctor, as you decide whether they’re right for you. We’re here to help solve your foot pain, no matter what the solution is!
Which Insole Should I Get?
Important factors to consider when choosing an insole include how high your arches are, what foot health concerns you’re addressing (arch pain, plantar fasciitis, etc), what shoe(s) you’ll insert the insoles into, and more. Whether you’re looking to find support for high or low arches, full length or ¾ length size, maximally cushioned or thin and lightweight, Stan’s has an insole to suit your shoes. Discover two of our top brands, Aetrex and Superfeet, or learn how to get custom insoles below.
Aetrex Insoles & Albert 2 Scanner
Aetrex is best known for the signature arch support in both their inserts and their shoes. The arch placement aligns your body properly, which can prevent common injuries and pain in your feet, knees, and hips. The lining of Aetrex insoles is anti-microbial, so bacteria, fungi and odor in your shoes are lessened or prevented entirely.
Stan’s carries multiple Aetrex styles, including:
- The “Compete” collection, made for active lifestyles and overall health and fitness.
- The “Fashion” collection, made for dress or fashionable shoes that don’t have a lot of extra room for inserts.
- The “Premium Memory Foam” collection, made for fatigued feet that need more cushioning (43% more, in fact!).
The Compete and Premium Memory Foam lines come in both flat/low arch styles and medium/high arch styles.
So, with all these options, how do you choose? Luckily, you don’t have to if you let Albert give you a hand.
Installed in all Stan’s stores, Albert 2 is Aetrex’s all-in-one 3D foot scanner, giving you custom shoe and orthotic recommendations with easy-to-follow explanations. In just 12 seconds, Albert uses four 3D cameras to capture 3.5 million data points about your arches, foot size, and pressure points. Albert then recommends the best insoles for your feet – It’s as easy as that! Plus, our Certified Fit Specialists can help you use this information to match you with the perfect shoes for your new orthotics.
Appointments to scan your feet are available here, but aren’t necessary; walk-ins are also welcome!
Superfeet insoles provide support and stability for the entire foot, from the heel to the toe and everything in between. Superfeet boasts a patented Encapsulating Stabilizer System that molds to the contours of your entire foot, which guides your feet as you move, helps absorb the shock of hard surfaces, and redistributes stress away from your feet.
Stan’s carries over a dozen Superfeet styles. Here are three of our most popular options:
- Superfeet Green – One of Superfeet’s most famous insoles, Green offers a deep heel cup for maximum support, a thick layer of cushioning, and odor-controlled coating.
- Superfeet Berry – Similar in features to the Green, this insole is popular in its own right because it’s made specifically for the shape of a female foot. The stabilizer cap & foam is shaped with a slimmer heel and women-specific arch length.
- Superfeet Carbon – The opposite of the Green, the Carbon is Superfeet’s thinnest insole. This thinness, combined with a beveled edge and wider forefoot, makes Carbon versatile, able to fit into even tight-fitting footwear without losing any support.
To see all of our Superfeet options, click here. If you need help choosing the one for you, stop by any Stan’s store to talk to a Certified Fit Specialist about your unique foot health concerns.
Stan’s Custom Insoles
In addition to recommending which Aetrex insole option is best for you, the Albert 2 foot scanner can use your measurements to model a pair of insoles custom to you. We send this information away to create 3D-printed insoles that match the geometry and pressure pattern of each of your feet, providing truly personalized support.
Make an appointment to get your custom insoles here.
Should I Wear Insoles While Running?
It depends on what problems you’re facing while running, if any. Not every runner necessarily needs insoles, but there are many scenarios in which insoles can improve your comfort level while running and relieve pain in the feet, knees, and lower limbs.
For runners who are dealing with pain from flat feet, plantar fasciitis, overpronation, or similar concerns, insoles can be the solution. Insoles replace the flat “sock liner” that comes in your running shoe and in its place provide stability, proper foot positioning, and support for your arches and heels. If you’re still experiencing significant pain, you should discuss your options with a podiatrist. You could also consider talking to a coach or running professional about errors that may exist within your running form.
Insoles are also a good choice for runners looking for extra cushioning. Your feet absorb a lot of shock as they strike the ground while running, so insoles help absorb that extra shock to lessen the impact on your feet and joints. In the long run, this can make a notable difference in preserving your foot health and function.
Not every insole is made for athletic needs, so choosing the right insole for your activity level is key. A variety of running-specific inserts can be found at both of our New Balance Milwaukee stores, one in Brookfield and one in Greenfield. Our Certified Fit Specialists can walk you through a gait analysis and foot scan using our Volumental scanner, and then they can help you choose the right insole for you. New Balance shaped by Superfeet insoles include options for running, sports, or casual wear, and styles include memory foam, arch support, metatarsal support, and more!
How Do I Clean Insoles?
A widespread misconception is that you can’t clean your insoles, when in reality it’s very possible to do so! It’s important to clean your insoles properly in order to preserve their functionality and longevity.
First, NEVER put insoles in the washer or dryer. Insoles shouldn’t be fully submerged in water or exposed to extreme heat, so a regular washing/drying cycle would ruin your insoles.
Instead, use soap and warm water to spot-clean any dirty areas of the insole. Let dry in an area away from direct sunlight. Only reinsert into your shoes when completely dry.
If you’re concerned about odor, washing is a great first step. Additionally, this Odor Remover will remove (not mask!) sweat odors in your shoes. It contains no perfume and is safe to use on canvas, leather, and denim shoes.
How Long Do Insoles Last?
As a general rule of thumb, insoles should be replaced every 6-12 months or 500 miles, whichever comes first. Insoles often last through two pairs of shoes, but this varies based on the frequency and intensity of the activities during which they’re usually worn. It’s likely that running or athletic insoles will need to be replaced with every new pair of shoes, while insoles worn infrequently or only for low-impact daily activities like standing and walking can last longer.
Some signs to look for are visual wear on the insoles, including a worn-away logo, discoloration, and tears in the fabric. It’s also a good indicator that it’s time for a new pair if the insole has become compressed; less cushioning indicates that you’re not getting the same level of support as when the insoles were brand new.
And, of course, you’re always welcome to stop in store for us to evaluate your insoles for you! We’re happy to take a look at what you’re wearing, determine its condition, and recommend your next steps.
Where Can I Buy Insoles Near Me?
All three Stan’s Fit For Your Feet locations carry insoles for athletic shoes, insoles for dress shoes, and insoles for pain relief. You can get your feet scanned before choosing your insoles at Stan’s in Brookfield, Greenfield, and Glendale. You can also visit New Balance Milwaukee in Brookfield and Greenfield to get New Balance Shaped by Superfeet insoles for running, and get a complimentary gait analysis and foot scan by our Certified Fit Specialists.