Just like the foundation of a house, your feet are the foundation of your body and work in concert with bones, muscles and tendons to support your skeletal frame. When your feet are out of whack, it not only affects the alignment of your spine, but can cause a myriad of injuries from plantar fasciitis and shin splints to overpronation and knee and ankle strain. Many people overlook the importance of foot care and suffer from chronic foot pain and other conditions. In fact, 75% of Americans will experience foot problems at one time or another in their lives. Furthermore, about 6% of U.S. population (19,860,259 million people) has foot injuries, bunions, flat feet or fallen arches each year (Foot Facts).
Insoles or custom orthotics are one of the most popular, easiest and cost-effective remedies to foot pain. Insoles have proven over the years to ease many foot problems and to be a benefit to your overall foot health. Insoles can also improve the comfort of your everyday shoes, reduce the likelihood of suffering injuries while playing sports, and prevent the agonizing pain in the ball of your foot when wearing high heels. So, if you’re not wearing some kind of insole, custom or drop-in, you’re not reaping the benefits they provide. While insoles relieve many ailments, here are five common pains they help alleviate.
- Insoles help relieve the pain and swelling caused by planter fasciitis. Planter fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs from heel to toe at bottom of the foot and it affects about 10% of the U.S. population. Planter fasciitis affects people with flat feet, high arches or those whose feet are mis-aligned. It’s most common for runners and people who are overweight and do not have the proper foot support. Insoles help temper planter fasciitis flare-ups by absorbing the impact and foot pressure when running, walking, or standing. They provide a sturdy base and an added cushion for support, comfort and pain relief.
- Insoles can help relieve common ankle and knee pain. Most forms of ankle and knee pain is caused by injury like a sprain, arthritis or poor motion of the joints. Insoles can help relieve ankle and knee pain by stabilizing and supporting the feet, thus reducing stress on the ankles and knees. Insoles also support the heel and arches, which ensures the ankle and joints are aligned, reducing pronation and supination.
- Insoles can help reduce pain caused by shin splints. Shin splints are caused when the muscles, tendons and shin bones are overloaded and overused. Shin splints are a common injury for runners, dancers, gymnasts, and military recruits. Insoles with deep heel pockets provide cushioning and absorb the shock caused when the foot strikes the ground. Insoles with deep heel cups also add stability and help with your balance.
- Insoles can help your everyday shoes fit better. Sometimes a shoe doesn’t always fit as snug as you would like, causing your feet to slide around inside the shoe. This can not only lead to corns, calluses and blisters, but over time can lead to ingrown toenails and the development of bunions. Insoles can help eliminate some of these problems by taking up the empty space between your foot and your shoe, making it fit more snugly. Insoles can also help keep your shoes fresher by simply removing the insole and cleaning it when not wearing the shoes.
- Insoles can help keep your feet warm. Whether you’re a skier or snowboarder, a cold-weather worker, or you simply suffer from poor circulation, insoles can help keep your feet toasty when it’s cold outside. Many insoles have a thermal barrier that keeps your feet warmer on cold days by trapping heat inside your shoe, while sheltering it from the cold outside.
While insoles don’t cure common foot problems and other injuries, they do help relieve some of the excruciating pain and distress associated with them. Insoles have a variety of uses for an array of problems, so whether you spend $300 – $400 for custom orthotics, or $50 – $150 on moldable do-it-yourself insoles, evidence proves that a small investment in insoles can provide comfort and support and pay off in the long run.