Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our big gel insole test 2019. Here we present all the gel insoles we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

With this, we want to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best gel insoles for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy insoles.




The most important facts

  • Gel insoles help you increase the comfort of shoes. Their main effects are to make the shoe comfortable, pressure-free, odourless and non-slip.
  • Whether you are wearing everyday shoes, safety shoes, sandals, high heels or sports shoes, gel insoles are compatible with any shoe due to different designs.
  • Insoles can be purchased either in fixed sizes or in customisable versions to ensure a proper fit.

The Best Gel Insoles: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying gel insoles

When are gel insoles useful?

We wear shoes almost all day long. Standing for long periods of time puts extreme stress on our feet and joints. The right footwear is a must. But what should we do if our favourite shoes cause unpleasant pressure marks or blisters?

Gel insoles are available for all types of shoes and in various designs. This gives you the opportunity to buy an insole that is specially adapted to your needs. (Image source: Unsplash.com / Jakob Owens)

Gel insoles distribute the body weight evenly over the sole, provide optimal support and absorb up to 98% of shock waves with their resistant material.

Damage to joints, ligaments and the spine is effectively prevented. In addition, negative odours are counteracted by using antibacterial materials with a skin-friendly surface. So even after a long, tiring day, your feet feel relatively fresh and not worn out.

Gel insoles are particularly good for pressure reduction and shock absorption, as they support and cushion your gait thanks to their soft material.

Whether for oppressive work shoes, blister-inducing running shoes or aching high heels: gel insoles are available in different designs to increase the feeling of comfort in various areas of use.

In which size should I buy gel insoles?

The size of the insoles should correspond to your normal shoe size. Most insoles are available in "from xx to xx". You can then easily adjust to the correct size by cutting along the specially marked lines.

How much do gel insoles cost?

All products range in price from about €5 to €30. Gel insoles are available at relatively low prices. It basically depends on which shoes you want to buy the insoles for and whether they are whole soles or half soles or gel pads. The various shoe insoles differ both in price and functionality. Gel insoles are inexpensive compared to other insoles.

What are the alternatives to gel insoles?

As an alternative to gel insoles, you can also buy insoles made of other materials that also have positive effects. The following table gives you an overview:
Material effect
Felt shock absorption, moisture regulation, temperature balance
Memory Foam shock absorption, comfort
Active carbon against foot odour
Cedar wood against foot odour
Lambskin cushioning, warmth
Velour/microfibres breathable

There are also insoles filled with the scent of cinnamon or other herbs.

Cinnamon is beneficial to our health and is also said to have a positive effect on our body in shoe soles. Above all, cinnamon reduces the smell of sweat.

Decision: What types of gel insoles are there and which are right for you?

When deciding which type of insoles are best for you, it basically depends on which shoes you want to use the insoles for. The biggest difference lies in the area of use. A distinction can be made between the following types:

  • Standard gel insoles
  • Gel pads or gel soles for high heels
  • Gel insoles for work and safety shoes
  • Gel insoles for sports activities
  • Special gel insoles for heel spurs
  • Warming gel insoles

In the following section, we would like to describe the differences between the various types of insoles in more detail and help you with your purchase decision.

What are the characteristics of standard gel insoles?

Standard insoles are mass-produced in one size and are therefore characterised by their low price. To ensure that the insoles fit everyone, they can be individually cut to size. The lines with the corresponding size information in the toe area will help you.

Advantages
  • Can be cut to size
  • Cheap

Despite the low price, you can assume that the standard gel soles are of good quality. Mass production ensures that only material that is well tolerated by everyone is used.

What are gel pads or soles for high heels?

If you are looking for aids that considerably increase the wearing comfort of high heels or pumps, this is the right category for you: For high heels, there are either complete soles that completely cushion the foot, or gel pads that can be used for the respective pressure or problem areas, depending on the complaint.

Gel pads help you to make your favourite shoes pain-free. Even those aching high heels can be made more comfortable with gel insoles. (Image source: Unsplash.com / Andrew Tanglao)

Pads are divided into ball, heel and simple, small gel pads that can be individually glued into the shoe depending on the pressure point. We would like to briefly describe all the variants below:

Type Description
Forefoot or bunion pads These pads are shaped to fit perfectly on the front part of the shoe. They mainly serve as an anti-slip aid and ensure that the shoe does not slip off the foot. They are very practical to use on shoes that are too big, as they can lift the fit up to one size.
Heel pads These pads are usually elongated or oval shaped, so they provide optimal cushioning for the heels and prevent blisters from developing. If you slip out the back of your shoes, these pads are an ideal aid for this.
Gel pads for individual use These small pads can be stuck anywhere the shoe presses. They help to distribute the pressure evenly over the foot and ideally make unpleasant pressure points disappear altogether.

Here we list all the advantages of gel pads for high heels at a glance:

Advantages
  • Pain relief
  • Protection
  • Anti-slip aid

What are gel pads for work and safety shoes?

Standing and walking for hours at work often causes pain in the foot, knee or back area. The shock absorption and stabilisation of gel soles optimally counteracts these complaints.

Do something good for your feet and use gel soles for your work or safety shoes during working hours. Excessive pressure is reduced and the soles have an effective shock-absorbing effect to relieve the strain on your feet. The anti-bacterial fabric layer is also breathable and absorbs perspiration to prevent strong foot odour.

Advantages
  • Reduces excessive pressure
  • Breathable

Of course, you can also use these gel insoles for your normal casual shoes. This way, you can benefit from the increased wearing comfort even during the most everyday activities, such as shopping.

What are gel insoles for sports activities?

For sporting activities, it is especially important that the shoe feels good, does not cause pressure points and cushions well. Models that are specialised for this area of use therefore guarantee above all enormous cushioning and stability.

The soles that are already standard in running shoes often wear out over time and do not have optimal shock absorption. (Image source: Pixabay.com / Hans Braxmeier)

Sports insoles cushion the entire area of the foot so that stability and cushioning of the foot is ensured on hard floors or uneven forest paths.

Advantages
  • Shock absorption
  • Breathable

In the heel and forefoot area, the soles are often equipped with additional cushioning to reduce shock waves and stress on the ankle and knee joints.

What distinguishes special gel insoles for heel spurs?

Those who have a diagnosed heel spur can be happy to know that there are many insole models that have been designed for these complaints.

Advantages
  • Additional padding in the heel area
  • Reduces pain

Gel insoles for heel spurs provide biomechanical functionality and feature a stabilising heel cup to support the arch of the foot. The soft padding in the heel area reduces shock when stepping and allows for pain-free walking.

What are warming gel insoles?

This special development allows the soles to heat up to about 35 degrees for a short period of time (usually one hour) through a chemical reaction.

By pressing the integrated clip, you can activate the insoles. You can repeat this harmless chemical reaction up to 100 times. Before the next activation, however, the insole must be reactivated in boiling water for about 10 minutes.

Advantages
  • Up to 35 degrees
  • warms for approx. one hour

The ideal warmer for outdoor activities in winter or workers who spend all day in a cold room!

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate gel insoles

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to choose the right gel insoles. The criteria you can use to compare the insoles with each other include:

  • Suitable size
  • Range of application
  • Can be cut to size
  • Effect

In the following paragraphs, we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria.

The right size

The most important purchase criterion is, of course, the right size so that you can benefit from the positive aspects of the insoles. Insoles are gender-neutral, suitable for men and women and are usually available from size 35 to size 50.

Basically, the size of the insole corresponds to your normal shoe size. However, to guarantee that they fit you, it is advisable to try them on in your shoes in a shop. If you buy them online, read customer reviews for size recommendations. Sometimes customers tell you that you should buy the soles one size larger or smaller.

Range of use

As mentioned above, it is important to know which shoes you want to buy the insoles for. Gel insoles are available for all kinds of shoes and applications.

Depending on the area of use, different criteria are emphasised: For sports shoes, for example, it is important that the focus is on optimal shock absorption, whereas for sandals or high-heels, in addition to avoiding pressure points, it is also important that the soles are transparent so as not to be seen by others.

So before you buy, make sure you choose the right product for your shoes so that all these factors are met.

Customisable

Some gel insoles can be cut to size to ensure a perfect fit. To ensure that the quality of the insoles is not compromised, there are drawn-in markings to indicate exactly where the insoles should be cut.

It is helpful to use the normal soles from the shoe as templates, as this guarantees that you get the right size and fit.

The correct fit is essential for the gel insoles to work properly.

Effect

A very important criterion is the effect of the gel insoles. Before you choose a product, you should be clear about which complaints you want to eliminate with it.

Depending on whether it should help to reduce pressure, absorb shocks, relieve pain, eliminate foot odour, provide warmth, etc. - check whether the product is equipped to deal with your problems.

Facts worth knowing about gel insoles

How often should you wear gel insoles?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Basically, you are free to use the insoles as often as you want and as often as you feel comfortable.

The use of insoles leads to a change in the position of the foot, which is why the gel insoles should definitely be replaced if they become too worn.

If you buy insoles that are slightly raised in the heel area, it is advisable not to wear them for several hours at the beginning. The change in the usual position of the foot can lead to pain in the flexion area. Slowly getting the foot used to the new natural position is therefore highly recommended.

Image source: pixabay.com / Hans Braxmeier

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