Do you love to cycle, run, hike, ski, or backpacking, but foot blisters, aches, discomforts, or hot spots hamper the fun you get from your activities? Then you should consider investing in Protalus insoles for extra support and comfort.
Insoles that come with performance shoes and boots are generally low-cost fillers. However, Powerstep insoles can be tailored to conform to your level of comfort, support, and fitting to the feet.
The Types of Insoles
The types of insoles you will find at REI are categorized under two groups; ‘sport’ or ‘support’ insoles. Nonetheless of the classification, all insoles feature a harder material designed to offer stability and structural support. Research shows that comfort is delivered from increased stability rather than direct cushioning. As such, the insoles are different from those cushy, soft insoles that you may find at your local store.
Supportive insoles come with many benefits, but they are recommended for those with the following conditions:
Plantar Fasciitis: –
According to medical professionals, they recommend routine use of supportive insoles as a part of the treatment regimen for this painful condition. As we all know, this condition is caused by tears in the plantar fascia (connective tissues that connect the forefoot to the heel).
Structural Misalignment: –
This condition does not only manifest as foot pain, but a discomfort of the knees, ankles, head, neck, back, and hip.
Over-pronation or Supination: –
Supportive insole plays a huge role in moderating the tendency for the feet to either over-pronate (excessive rolling in) or supinates (rolling out) while walking or running.
NOTE: Although these insoles are not customized to a specific person’s foot, they come in various profiles and models that suit most footwear types and shapes.
It is quite clear that insoles come in various different volumes, which simply means that they leave out different amounts of space in footwear. As such, there is a link or connection between arch support and volume in most insoles.
Low-Volume Insole: –
These have been designed for low-volume shoes like that of ski skate boots, in-line skate boots, or cycling shoes. Also, a low-volume insole is perfect for people with very low arches.
Medium-Volume Insoles: –
These insoles are perfect for average volume shoes such as athletic footwear and casual shoes. They also work very well with various arch profiles.
High-Volume Insoles: –
This type of insole is perfect for high-volume shoes like running shoes, ski boots, or hiking boots. They also work well with high arches as well.
NOTE: Keep in mind that sock thickness does also play a role or have an influence on footwear fit.
Common Footwear Fit Problems
There are many common footwear fit problems, which can easily be fixed with an insole. Remember, insoles are different in heel and arch dimensions. With the help of an REI footwear expert, you will surely get the best that works well for you.
Collapsed or Low Arches: –
A majority of people with a collapsed or low arch often seek for ‘arch support’ insoles. However, in reality, what they really need is a ‘foot support, because it helps stimulate the arch muscles. Furthermore, it stabilizes the heal and distributes pressure across the whole foot rather than concentrating the pressure in specific areas. Let’s not forget that direct arch support is actually uncomfortable for many.
Heel Slippage: –
A supportive insole helps prevent heel slippage. It does not matter if the forefoot part is well fitted or the middle part, it will help prevent slippage. As such, to prevent slippage, consider investing in high or mid-volume insoles.
Foot Elongation: –
A supportive insole does help those with significant foot elongation in either one or both feet. This occurs when they are standing rather when sited. Investing in a supportive insole will help reduce foot elongation when weight is applied to the foot.
Shoe Insert Fitting Tips
Start by narrowing down a few models, after which you should start testing them. With the help of an REI footwear specialist, you will get guidance throughout the whole process.
First, it is wise to stand on the insole while it is outside the shoe. Lift the other leg and balance on the insole. As you are doing this, check how stable you feel, the pressure you are feeling, and whether it is offering the support, you need.
The next step is trying the insole while it is inside the shoe. As you are doing this, do not forget to remove the stock insoles. Assess how well it fits, its feel, and comfort. Make sure you feel stable and have the right volume.
Insole Care Tips
When used regularly or daily, aftermarket insoles will last about a year (12 months). If used occasionally, then they can last up to 7 years. Nonetheless, below are general care tips:
hand washing is highly recommended when there is a need. Remember to use a mild detergent or consider buying sports detergent. After washing, allow them to dry very well before re-inserting them.
sweating is part of life, and as such, it is important to remove the insole and allow the trapped moisture to dry.
It is wise to inspect your aftermarket insoles regularly for signs of wear or deterioration. Replace them when needed.