Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue connecting your heel bone to your toes.
The purpose of the plantar fascia is to absorb shock during forward motion and provide support to the arch of the foot. But if the load in the arch becomes too much, the plantar fascia can become injured.
The result is a stabbing pain that can be particularly bothersome after sitting still for any length of time. And it’s one that can seriously hamper your training!
Inflammation of the plantar fascia can be caused by many different things, which we discuss in our article Plantar Fasciitis For Runners.
But one of the best ways to prevent it is to invest in special inserts or insoles designed specifically to correct your form and provide support to your arch.
Plantar fasciitis inserts will also give you immediate relief from pain if you’re already experiencing symptoms.
Indeed, research has shown that pre-made insoles are just as effective in relieving pain and improving function in adults as expensive, custom-made orthotics.
A quick internet search will bring up heaps of different insoles designed to deal with foot pain. So which is right for you?
Read on to discover the best insoles for plantar fasciitis and the reasons we recommend them.
The 8 Best Insoles For Plantar Fasciitis In 2023
What to Look for in plantar fasciitis Inserts and Insoles
Here are some things to think about when choosing the best plantar fasciitis insoles or inserts for your foot shape and gait.
Heel Cup Inserts or Full-Length Insoles?
A heel cup is a small insert that you place in the back of your shoe to support the heel.
A full-length insole supports both the heel and the arches. It also absorbs shock and helps distribute stress evenly across your foot.
Whilst some people find heel cups effective at relieving plantar fasciitis pain, the majority prefer the additional support provided by full-length insoles.
Insoles are usually made from foam or memory foam. You may also come across gel or air-cushioned insoles.
Foam or memory foam tend to be the most popular because they absorb shock very effectively. They are often the most affordable too!
Gel inserts don’t mold to your foot shape quite as well, although some people prefer the firmer support they provide.
When it comes to the best insoles for plantar fasciitis, the material you should choose really comes down to personal preference.
Effective arch support distributes pressure across the feet, providing stability and reducing pain when running, walking, or standing for long periods. It can also help control excessive pronation.
Ensure that the arch height of the insole you pick matches the arch height of your feet.
If you have particularly high arches, the risk of developing plantar fasciitis increases. This makes firm support in this area even more important.
Make sure that the insole you buy fits your shoe properly and doesn’t slip at the heel.
You can usually buy full-length insoles according to your shoe size, then trim them down to help you achieve a custom fit. Avoid trimming off too much, as this may affect the integrity of the insole and the way it supports your foot.
The 8 Best Insoles For Plantar Fasciitis in 2023
– Flexible EVA material, built-in silicone for shock absorption, and 3.5 cm arch support
– Versatile insoles that fit well in most shoes
These are relatively slim insoles with firm arch support and a deep heel cup that keeps your foot correctly positioned. It’s a little on the wide side, though, so these will not be suitable for a very narrow foot.
The contoured footbed helps limit pronation, whilst the combination of silicone and high-density foam minimizes impact without feeling bulky.
The support shell is rigid, so these insoles are very easy to remove and transfer from one shoe to another. This makes them ideal for everyday use.
– Four different arch heights, interchangeable top covers, and a deep heel cup
– Best choice for medical-grade support
These podiatrist-recommended insoles do not come cheap. But if you need extra firm support and have a severe tendency to overpronate, they’re worth the investment!
The choice of arch heights makes them suitable whether you have flat feet, high arches, or something in between.
The top covers are replaceable, so you can easily refresh your insoles without needing to fork out for another pair. And at 5 mm thick, they are ideal for running shoes with full-length removable inserts.
– High-density foam, odor-control coating, and reliable for up to 12 months or 500 miles
– Ideal for high arches
With a high-profile shape that fits best into roomier running shoes, these lightweight insoles feature a stabilizer cap. This supports the rearfoot and gives the foam layer plenty of structure and stability.
The deep heel cup cradles your foot comfortably and prevents it from rolling, whilst the friction-control fabric top minimizes shifting and prevents blisters.
Just be aware that these insoles are built primarily for support, so they don’t have all the advanced cushioning and padding that you might see with other brands.
– Shock-absorbing gel, designed for all shoe types, and latex-free
– Budget-friendly pain relief
Made from a soft and moldable gel designed to contour your foot shape, these heel inserts help improve foot alignment and distribute weight evenly.
The difference is subtle, but it can be effective for some people in eliminating plantar fasciitis pain.
The simple heel cup design won’t work for everyone, but it does make these inserts very versatile. You can wear them with many types of open-toes footwear, for example, without them being seen – something you can’t do with full-length insoles.
The base is self-adhesive, so the inserts stay in place, although you may find the stickiness decreases over time.
– Rigid orthotic arch support, deep heel cup, and a low-friction antimicrobial top cover
– Best insoles for runners
Accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association, these insoles are most suited to neutral and high arches.
The perforations at the forefoot give them flexibility and promote airflow, whilst the custom EVA foam layer conforms to the shape of your foot.
The 3-POD cushioning system not only absorbs impact but prevents overpronation and supination too. This advanced motion control is key to preventing injuries to the plantar fascia and gives rapid relief from existing pain.
There’s also a crash pad at the forefoot for extra cushioning under the ball of the foot. This helps provide a smooth transition to toe-off.
– Gel heel cushion, dense foam footbed, and a breathable top cover
– Best three-quarter length insoles
If you’re looking for plantar fasciitis inserts that provide pain relief throughout the day, check out this pair from Sof Sol.
They are designed with a durable composite nylon arch plate that stretches the plantar fascia naturally. This – along with the defined heel cup and polymer gel heel pad – provides comfort and motion control for athletic or casual wear.
The 3/4 length footbed makes it easy to use these inserts with all types of shoes.
If you’re not keen on shorter insoles, Sof Sole makes a full-length version too.
– Semi-rigid support shell, deep heel cup for stability, and two layers of plush cushioning
– Designed for people with low arches
Powerstep makes a range of podiatrist-designed products that are clinically proven to prevent various foot conditions and alleviate symptoms.
These insoles for flat feet feature their signature PowerStep arch shape, designed to provide just the right level of support. Combined with premium cushioning, this helps prevent overpronation and the accompanying pressure on the big toe and inside the foot.
The antimicrobial outer fabric keeps perspiration to a minimum and reduces friction, protecting you from blisters.
– Reinforced arch, shock-absorbing heel cushion, and easy to cut for a custom fit
– Best plantar fasciitis insoles for everyday use
From a trusted name in foot care products, these insoles provide effective support at an unbeatable price.
They are among the most comfortable we’ve tried and really shine when it comes to shock absorption. This is thanks to the Shock Guard Technology protecting the vulnerable heel area, plus the further cushioning along the length of the foot.
The reinforced arch support provides stability to the plantar fascia, and the contoured heel cup gives additional control.
These insoles are fairly high-volume, however, so they’re not ideal for tight-fitting shoes.
The Best Insoles For Plantar Fasciitis: Key Takeaways
The pain from plantar fasciitis can have a real impact on your training and may even affect your day-to-day activities.
The right pair of insoles will not only provide effective relief but should also help prevent the problem from recurring in the future.
We hope this guide has helped you identify the best plantar fasciitis insoles to keep you walking – or running – in comfort.
How Often Should You Be Running?
Knowing how many days a week to run is helpful in choosing a training plan that suits your schedule.