What insoles to buy?

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Don’t know what insoles to buy?

In buying new insoles, it is necessary to pick the insole that you can comfortably use and can serve your purpose. Therefore, you should assess first what kind of insoles you need.

There are many factors to consider upon buying insoles. We list them for your convenience in hopes that you will know what insoles to buy.

Thing to keep in mind when buying new insoles

Insole sizing

Naturally, the first thing you should consider is the size of the insole you ought to buy. Insole sizes normally correspond to shoe sizes. Unfortunately, as simple as it may seem, this can actually be a relatively complicated process in some cases.

First of all, the shape of shoes can vary, and the insoles might not fit well. Furthermore, most insole sizes do not factor in the foot width. Due to this, an insole that would normally be for 8”-9” sizes might not fit your 8.5” shoes.

Fortunately, there are things that can help. For people who want to use insoles for the first time, full-sized insoles that you can trim may be ideal. These kinds of insoles are designed so that the users can cut them down to the size that fits one’s shoes.

The ¾-sized insoles are much more inflexible since you are not supposed to cut them. However, if you are experienced or perhaps confident about the size of your shoes, they are great options and involve less hassle.


The materials used for the creation of the insoles should also be considered. This is even more important if the reason for use is medical. Most foot conditions have specific insole types needed to treat them efficiently. This should be a necessary factor to consider in deciding what insoles to buy.

For instance, if you are suffering from over-pronation, you may consider using cork insoles since they are rigid and can support your feet well. On the other hand, if you are suffering plantar fasciitis, you may want to use foam instead for better cushioning and tension relief.

If you are not using insoles for medical reasons, the materials are then subject to the person’s preferences. In which case, foam is very popular since it is comfortable.

The others such as leather or gel insoles have their own advantages too. Gel works really well in absorbing any impact or shock. Leather, on the hand, offers a great balance between cushioning and support.

Foot arch type

Aside from the materials used and the sizes, your foot arch type should also be considered in assessing what insoles to buy.

Generally, foot arches are divided into three different types: low, medium, and high arches. You should assess first what type of arch does yours belong to and consequently buy the insole that corresponds to it.

Buying an insole that fits your arch type is very necessary because wearing inappropriately-designed insoles can be very uncomfortable. In the worst case scenario, it can even be painful.

Construction type

The hardness of an insole should largely be considered in assessing what insoles to buy. Even though the materials used are largely correlated to the rigidness of the insole, the way it is designed or constructed also plays a big part in it.

The insole types can be classified into flat, cushioned, semi-rigid, and rigid. A rigid insole is used to support your feet and keep them straight and flat inside your shoes. On the other hand, cushioned insoles are largely for comfort.

Flat insoles have no cushions and do not have many benefits. Semi-rigid is the middle between rigid and cushioned. It offers some form of shock absorption but still steady enough to act as a support.


Depending on the size of the insole, its placement inside the shoes can also vary. If the new insole is too large, you may be forced to remove the original one and replace it with the new.

Most of the insoles are used on top of the pre-existing ones. Others are even inserted below the original. Before buying, you should decide where you want to place your insoles so you can choose based on your preferences.


There are many factors to think about in deciding what insoles to buy. Fortunately, if you carefully consider and do proper research, you can surely buy the best insoles suited for you.

Pamela Couch

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