5 Best Shoe Inserts and Heel Lifts for Orthopedic use

The human feet are one of the strongest and one of the ‘busiest’ parts of the body. They are not only used for locomotion but are also the supporting pillars of your entire body. It is because of your feet that you are able to move around with ease on different terrains. Also, when you are standing, your feet take up your body weight in gross and help you stand.

It is pretty natural that your shoes are not going in sync with your feet. In other words, your shoe is just a shoe without any special provision to take care of the characteristics of your feet. This is where shoe inserts and heel lifts come in. These are special inserts that are designed to be fitted onto the sole of your footwear and then conform to the natural contours of your feet. These shoe inserts are soft and are loaded with features that help to keep you feet in check and relieve them of pain, soreness and stress. Heel lifts are technically the same as shoe inserts and as the name suggests, there is an extra amount of thickness towards the heel region of the shoe insert that help in offering a good deal of softness and support to your heels.

The best part about shoe inserts (also known as insoles) is that literally anyone can use them. You do not need to have problems in your feet in order to get yourself this product. It is a simplistic and very effective product that helps you keep your feet happy!

Every shoe insert available out there is a good one. We found that all the shoe inserts do a fabulous job in fulfilling their purpose but there are a select few which do even better than their peers and we have accordingly come up with the 5 best shoe inserts and heel lifts which truly stand apart from the rest. These 5 shoe inserts boast of a plethora of features which cater to different aspects of your feet. We have covered these aspects in depth to help you pick the one which is the most convenient for your feet. Do bear in mind that there is no ‘best’ among these five. Each of them is amazing in their own right and it is all a matter of choosing the one which you feel would match your feet the most. So, brace yourselves for happy reading and happy feet!

5 Best Shoe Inserts and Heel Lifts for Orthopedic use

  1. Powerstep Pinnacle Shoe Insoles

Powerstep is a premier firm renowned for making some of the best professional grade foot supports and the Powerstep Pinnacle shoe insoles are reminiscent of this. This fabulous shoe insert is a double layered medical grade product that provides a wonderfully crafted arch support designed to conform to the contours of your feet. It is built with a uber soft cushioned padding which protects your feet against all sorts of forces and impacts. This lets you participate in all forms of outdoor activity which require a demanding use of your feet.

The shoe insert is lined with an anti-microbial fabric that reduces the generation of heat and friction between the surface of your feet and the insole, thus keeping your feet cool and free from the formation of odors. In addition, this fabric makes sure that your feet do no develop blisters and skin rashes.

The heel cradle or heel lift present towards the end of the insole is contoured to stabilize and merge along with your heel, and is backed with soft foam to provide ultimate comfort to your feet. It also helps to keep your feet in place when you are walking on uneven terrain.

The whole insole is made on an EVA foam base that not only supports your weight and provides comfort, but also doesn’t let impact from the ground render your feet unstable. So it is of no wonder that these shoe inserts are suitable for people suffering from plantar fasciitis and chronic pain of the heel and arch. This product does indeed fire on all cylinders!

Features of the Powerstep Pinnacle Shoe Insoles:

  • The durable EVA foam base and the top layer are designed with Powerstep’s patented Variable Cushioning Technology that provides a double-layered cushioning to your feet.
  • It has a semi-rigid arch support to increase stability to your feet and provide a firm level of support.
  • The insole boasts of a full length shell design for good accommodation.
  • The top fabric is made up of an antimicrobial lining that keeps your feet clean, odorless, dry and cool. 

Pros and Cons:

Pros of the Powerstep Pinnacle Shoe Insoles:
  • The heel cradle offers a great deal of cushioning to your feet, giving you excellent support and impact absorbing characteristics.
  • The antimicrobial lining present on the top fabric helps in keep the insole clean and odorless.
  • There is little to no accumulation of moisture and heat.
  • The full length shell design of the shoe insert makes its fitting a very easy affair. It is very easy to put on and this is facilitated with the low profile and thin built  of the insole.
  • It is ideal for pain eradication and relief.

Cons of the Mueller Green Fitted Wrist Brace:
  • They are not very durable.

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  1. Superfeet Orange Premium Insoles

These wonderfully crafted insoles from Superfeet are really intended to justify the usage of the term ‘super’ in their namesake. The signature shape of these insoles are crafted in their own unique way and are excellent for providing ample amounts of support and reducing stress on the feet, ankles and knees. This insole boasts of a amazingly resilient foam forefoot which can take significantly high magnitudes of impact. So you can shed all your worries while treading on rough terrain and hard surfaces. The design characteristics make this insole the ideal one for people suffering from plantar fasciitis. We can bet on the fact that your orthopedic doctor is going to give a thumbs-up to this product!

Features of the Superfeet Orange Premium Insoles:

  • It is made up of Aerospring Dual Comfort Foam.
  • It is 2 inches high and 4 inches wide.
  • There is a narrow heel cup of considerable depth to protect your feet over long distances.
  • The High-impact Foam Forefoot provides superb shock absorption during tedious and high-impact activities.
  • It is constructed with closed-cell foam supports to provide comfort over prolonged periods of time.
  • The Superfeet shape stabilizes the feet and reduces stress in the feet and legs. 

Pros and Cons:

Pros of the Superfeet Orange Premium Insoles:
  • They are the best insoles for plantar fasciitis.
  • The Foam Forefoot is amazingly resilient and can take up high impact with ease.
  • They are considerably durable.
  • The Superfeet shape helps in reducing stress not just in the feet but the legs as a whole.
  • You can use it on rough terrain and go long distances with it.

  • The heel part can be a bit hard for those with narrow feet.

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  1. Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer Insole

The Spenco Polysorb insoles comes with a highly efficient 4-way stretch fabric that makes using your feet a matter of sheer joy. It accommodates supremely well with your feet and is also lined with fine silpure antimicrobial finish that keeps your feet free from odors and blisters. The insoles come with great shock absorbing and comfort providing characteristics that make this product all the more attractive. The foam is light in weight and this makes moving around easier and faster. As these insoles facilitate the usage of feet in a remarkably efficient way, they are the best insoles for people with flat feet.

Features of the Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer Insole:

  • It is made up of nylon.
  • They come with a 4-way stretch fabric that helps in movement and keeps blisters away.
  • The EVA forefoot cushion provides great cushioning during high impact activities.
  • The lightweight polysorb polyurethane foam provides supreme support to the arch and the heel.
  • You get extra cushioning and shock absorption in the heel by the heel plug. 

Pros and Cons:

Pros of the Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer Insole:
  • They are the best insoles for flat feet.
  • There is an additional amount of cushioning and shock absorption.
  • They are light in weight.
  • You can wear them during high impact activities.

Cons of the Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer Insole:
  • The are pretty thick and this might make your shoes feel a bit tighter than you would want.

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  1. New Balance Supportive Cushioning Insole

If you are looking for a shoe insert that aids you in keeping your feet running and doing so in a ruthlessly efficient way, then look no further than the New Balance Supportive Cushioning Insole. True to its name, these shoe inserts offer great balancing and also provide you with ample amounts of support and cushioning. The best part is that you get the most optimal support derivable from a shoe insert when it comes to different angles of maneuvering of your feet. It also comes with a metatarsal pad that helps in conforming the insole to your feet and distributing the stresses on your feet uniformly. It almost feels like the insole has locked itself firmly and comfortably to your feet. Trust us when we say, you can actually participate in a running race or marathon, and count on winning it with this marvelous shoe insert!

Features of the New Balance Supportive Cushioning Insole:

  • It has a deep heel cup.
  • The sole is made up of synthetic fabric.
  • There us a molded arch support to facilitate the conforming of the insole to your feet.
  • It comes with a metatarsal pad.
  • There is separate cushioning for your heel and the forefoot. 

Pros and Cons:

Pros of the New Balance Supportive Cushioning Insole:
  • They are ideal for running.
  • They can accommodate different angles of your feet.
  • It comes with a metatarsal pad which helps in distributing the stresses being impressed on your feet in a uniform manner.
  • You get different cushioning characteristics for your heel and forefoot.
  • They fit very easily and stay put.

Cons of the Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer Insoles:
  • The are extremely good for healthy feet but not so much for people with plantar fasciitis and other related problems in their feet.

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  1. Sof Sole Athlete Performance Insole

These shoe inserts boast of one of the best foam supports and performances of all shoe inserts. The foam is extremely soft and comfortable to wear, and has excellent moisture dissipation characteristics. They are pretty light in weight and fits very well into all kinds of shoes, making it super feasible for you to participate in strenuous outdoor activities. No wonder, they are used by many athletes. You can almost feel your feet sinking into the remarkable softness of the foam supports. This is one of the most unique features of this product. You feel such levels of softness that would be great for resting your feet and then you can wear them to a run or sports. You are going to love this versatility!

Features of the Sof Sole Athlete Performance Insole:

  • It is made up of 100% Implus foam.
  • The Hydrologix system keeps the insole dry, cool and odor free.
  • The arch is designed to conform to the natural contours of your feet and this ensures a very fine fit.
  • The gel pads in the heel and forefoot offer great comfort to your feet.
  • It boasts of the Hydrologix moisture-wicking treatment helps to keep feet dry, managing temperature and odor. [/wpsm_box]

Pros and Cons:

Pros of the Sof Sole Athlete Performance Insole:
  • The cushioning coupled with the gel pads are very light in weight, soft and comfortable.
  • The performance orthotic insoles enhance the comfort and fit of your feet.
  • The cushioning is light in weight.
  • The arch is designed to conform to the natural contours of your feet and this ensures a very fine fit.
  • It is suitable for many types of feet.
  • They are quite durable.

Cons of the Sof Sole Athlete Performance Insole:
  • The arch seems to be a bit too high.

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Shoe inserts or insoles round up to be a very useful addition to your footwear. You can employ them for regular usage and since most of them are designed to thrive even on rough terrain, you can wear them to running, sports and other such outdoor activities.


All of these shoe inserts contribute towards healthy feet with each scoring higher points in one parameter over the other. While one shoe insert is ideal for flat feet, the other is great for running. In a nutshell, we have specifically highlighted what each shoe insert is relatively better for. In that regard, you can pick the one which suits your needs the most.

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