How do insoles work?

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Insoles are everywhere.

You probably are planning on getting a pair. But something inside you asks, how do insoles work? Well, the answer is here.

Countless people consider insoles, particularly orthotics, as a form of miracle. They are simple yet highly important pieces of materials that make our lives better.

What are Insoles in the first place?

An insole can be an orthotic device that improves the function of your foot. Insoles are placed inside your shoe to attain the desired fit, warmth, and most importantly, comfort.

Other terms for insoles include inner soles and footbeds. Insoles don’t necessarily come with your shoe purchase – they are often separately bought.

To avoid confusion, it is a fact that the soles embedded or fixed inside an existing shoe are also called insoles – because they basically have the same purpose.

The beauty of insoles is the fact they are not built-in. This means you can always take them out of the shoes whenever necessary; for occasional clean-ups or when you transfer them to another pair.

Types of insole materials

There are many kinds of insoles which also means there could be a lot of materials from which it can be made of. Here are some common insole materials:


The most inexpensive option, insoles made of foam are generally good in terms of shock absorption. The foam material is considered dependable and rigid. The most popular ones are probably the memory foam insoles. These are known to be highly comfortable to wear and can mold to the shape of your foot.

The only downside of foam materials is life expectancy – they don’t usually last that long. However, it doesn’t mean they can’t meet the user’s expectations. At the very least, it can perform as expected.


Another popular insole material is gel. Many of our insole reviews are made of a gel material. This type is basically a gel encapsulated in bubbles and crafted into a foam footbed.

The beauty of gel is it’s actually the newest material used in making modern insoles. It’s highly comfortable, flexible (but tough), and soft.

Using this type can effectively extend the life of your shoes and its corresponding built-in soles. It’s also hard to go wrong with the gel type as they can provide ample support and comfort.

The only downside of gel material is it’s relatively more expensive than the other types.

How do insoles work? Benefits of using insoles

The question of how do insoles work can easily be answered just by knowing the benefits of using such. Well, here are some of the reason why you should use an insole.

Give personal satisfaction

First thing’s first, each individual differ in feet conditions. And it’s impossible for shoemakers, no matter how big the brand is, to create a universal shoe that perfectly fits all. This is where insoles come into the picture – to satisfy your personal needs.

Are you flat footed? Or do you over-pronate? Regardless of your foot shape, there is an insole for you. The insole will serve as the bridge connecting you and the shoes which equates to the best experience.

Decrease shoe size

So you’ve bought a pair online that is actually bigger than you expect. Instead of going the hassle of returning the item, why not try to insert an insole? That way, you’ll effectively make the shoe tighter or feel smaller.

This is also applicable for people who have a hard time looking for half sizes. A good technique is to simply buy shoes that are slightly too big, then simply insert an insole inside to achieve that fit.

Correct feet problems

It’s already been mentioned just above. In case you have problems in your foot or in your posture, an insole can greatly help. There are specialized insoles called orthotic insoles or simply orthotics.

Orthotic insoles can be prescribed or custom-made to provide treatments. If you are a nurse for instance who spends the day standing and walking, there are some special insoles you can use to ease your movement and to make standing, walking, even running less stressful than it should.

Eases your pain

An orthotic insole is the recommended treatment for foot-related issues such as heel pain, arch pain, and even pain in the ball of your foot. With the right insoles, you can actually say goodbye to problems like Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis.


It’s hard to disagree – insoles are a miracle. You can’t imagine a world without these important pieces of feet materials. So how do insoles work? Well, you already know. Now it all boils down to finally buying your first pair.

Pamela Couch

I am a designer, shoe-obsessed lifestyle expert, and founder of, a shoe boutique located in Downtown Atlanta. I love shoes and I love being able to share my passion for them with others.