Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to the Wellness Guide! Today we are going to talk about an essential item for your feet: orthopaedic insoles.

The use of orthopedic insoles helps to prevent and treat pain and injuries that affect our feet. There are so many advantages that nowadays there are models for all kinds of needs.

In this article, we will show you what you should know and take into account before buying the most suitable orthopaedic insoles.




First, the most important thing

  • Orthopaedic insoles are essential for you to have a better quality of life, pain-free and injury-free.
  • There are insoles of different shapes and manufacturing materials, suitable for different types of problems and needs.
  • In this article, you will discover what you should observe before purchasing the ideal orthopaedic insoles.

Orthopedic Insoles: Our Selection

Orthopaedic insoles address problems that differ from person to person. Knowing this, manufacturers are increasingly investing in models for all types of needs.

Therefore, we will present below the four best models of insoles available on the market.

Buying Guide

It may seem simple to choose the right orthopaedic insoles, but it takes a lot of attention. This is because we are dealing with the health of your feet which can also affect other parts of your body.

That is why we have created this Buying Guide with everything you need to know about orthopaedic insoles.

Pé sobre palmilha ortopédica.

Orthopedic insoles treat and prevent injuries and pain. (Source: angelikasmile/123rf)

What are orthopaedic insoles?

Orthopaedic insoles are rigid soles which, placed inside shoes, help prevent and/or treat orthopaedic problems, as well as providing comfort when walking.

Because of their structure, the insoles stimulate the plantar region and end up having a positive influence on the whole body.

Thus, orthopaedic insoles are capable of

  • Correcting posture;
  • Reduce pain in the lower limbs and other parts of the body;
  • Reduce impact on joints and tensions between muscles in the steps;
  • Treat foot, leg, knee and ankle pathologies.

Orthopaedic insoles are therefore special and different from the insoles that come from the factory already included in the shoes.

The latter serve only as a finish for the shoe. The orthopaedic or therapeutic insole has specific shapes and materials to stimulate the feet.

For example, orthopaedic insoles have specific curves and elevations, which increase the contact area of the foot with the ground and also reduce the pressure on the soles of the feet.

Três palmilhas uma ao lado da outra.

Orthopaedic insoles are different from regular shoe insoles in terms of shape and manufacturing material.
(Source: Hans/Pixabay)

Orthopaedic insoles can be found ready-made or custom-made and have a relative lifespan, which varies according to the intensity of use.

For athletes, for example, insoles can last up to a year. For people who are not very active, orthopaedic insoles can last up to two years.

What can be treated with orthopaedic insoles?

Some types of orthopaedic insoles are indicated to prevent injuries, other models are indicated for the treatment of pathologies already installed.

One way or another, the use of orthopaedic insoles must be done together with the monitoring of a specialist.

Thus, it is possible to treat people who feel pain, mainly in the feet, legs, knee, hip and spine. The insoles are also recommended for the treatment of postural changes such as: flat foot, flat foot, leg shorter than the other, scoliosis and so on.

Below, we have gathered the main injuries that, according to specialists, should be treated with the help of orthopedic insoles:

  • Heel spur
  • Knee
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Lymphedema
  • Metatarsalgia
  • Morton neuroma
  • Water retention
  • Tallonitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Clubfoot
  • Flatfoot
  • Congenital clubfoot

If you have or suspect you have any of these problems, it is essential that you consult an orthopaedist to have an accurate evaluation and diagnosis.

What are the causes of foot pain and injuries?

There are many factors that can lead you to feel pain or get a foot problem and then need the help of orthopaedic insoles.

In many cases, a foot problem can even have negative effects on other parts of the body.

People who suffer from back pain, for example, rarely know that it can be related to the way they walk.

To give you an overview, we list below the main factors that can cause pain and injury to your feet.

Foot Type

The type of foot is determined by the portion of the sole of the foot that touches the ground when you step.

In normal foot, half of the plantar arch touches the ground. In the clubfoot, only a small part of it touches the ground, while the flatfoot touches almost the entire arch.

The fact is that people with round or flat feet are more likely to develop pain in the feet, ankles and knees. Hence the importance of using orthopaedic insoles.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhAPBrUHR1x/

Shoes

Depending on the type of shoe you wear, it can cause foot pain, especially those with high heels, thin beaks or hard soles.

Because they are made with straight soles, ordinary shoes lack plantar arch support, which can affect weight distribution when walking.

Age

Older people have more pain in the feet due to muscle atrophy, stiffening of joints and natural wear and tear of the body. Orthopaedic insoles can help, giving more comfort and stability.

Time standing

Many people report that pain in the foot increases when they spend a lot of time standing. This happens because of the constant overload of the body weight on the feet. With the use of the right orthopaedic insoles, pain can be minimised.

What is the difference between orthopaedic insoles and silicone insoles?

In general, orthopaedic insoles and silicone insoles are treated as the same by the market. But it is important that you know that there are big differences between them.

Silicon insoles are generally indicated to prevent more serious diseases and injuries. Orthopaedic insoles, on the other hand, are recommended for people who already have a diagnosed injury.

Thus, the silicone insoles offer comfort on a daily basis, as they cushion the impact on joints and feet.

Therefore, this type of insole is ideal for those who spend a lot of time on their feet.

Pés sobre uma rocha.

Silicon insoles provide comfort to the feet.(Source: Jan Romero/Unsplash)

However, if you already feel pain or have been diagnosed with some pathology in the foot or legs, the indication of the specialists is to use orthopedic insoles.

This type of insole has corrective capacity and is custom-made, taking into account the type of injury, the shape of the foot, the type of step, among other factors.

Therefore, it is essential to seek the assessment of a specialized professional, since the orthopedic option requires medical follow-up.

What are the advantages of orthopaedic insoles?

As we have seen, insoles are useful to prevent and treat pain and injuries in the feet, legs and spine.

A great advantage is that orthopaedic insoles absorb impact and protect the joints from serious problems.

thus, with the use of an orthopaedic insole there is a redistribution of plantar pressures and alignment of the feet, ankles and knees.

Therefore, pain in the lower limbs is reduced and you still correct your posture.

On the other hand, the great disadvantage of the insoles sold on the market today is that they are made to fit all types of feet.

In other words, they are not customised as in the case of those that are made to measure.

Below are the advantages and disadvantages of orthopaedic insoles:

Advantages
  • Corrects posture
  • Prevents injuries and pain
  • Treats orthopaedic problems
  • Reduces impact on joints
  • Generates comfort
Disadvantages
  • Prefabricated insoles are not customised
  • To treat serious injuries, insoles have to be made to measure

Purchase Criteria: Factors to note before choosing orthopaedic insoles

The ideal orthopaedic insoles are those that fit your feet well, providing support, comfort and correcting posture. But amidst so many different types it is difficult to know what differentiates one insole from another.

Therefore, we have listed below the factors you should take into account before buying orthopaedic insoles.

Below, we will detail each of these factors for you to make the best decision.

Model

It is the model of the insoles that will define the result in the health of your feet. Nowadays there are orthopaedic insoles of the flat type, with arch, with specific lowered parts, among other models.

Each one will work specifically on a part of the foot. In general, this information is highlighted on the packaging. There are, for example, insoles for heel pain, for the front of the foot, for pain in the sole and for height adjustment.

There are orthopaedic insoles that go from the heel to the toe, called anterior posterior insoles, and those that start at the big toe and end at the last toe, known as transverse insoles.

  • Smooth orthopaedic insoles: These are recommended for foot comfort and impact reduction.
  • Orthopaedic Insoles with arch: These have a raised plantar arch to improve weight distribution and relieve pressure points.
  • Orthopaedic insoles with heel lift: These are recommended to relieve impact and pressure.

Format

Not all orthopaedic insoles are the same shape, so you need to check that the insoles you choose will fit your shoe.

Shoes such as social shoes, trainers and boots, are usually suitable for most insoles.

But there are shoes, such as slim-toed shoes and high-heeled shoes, that will not always accommodate any shape of orthopaedic insole.

Par de tênis com palmilhas.

You need to check that the insoles fit your shoes perfectly. (Source: Hans/Pixabay)

So today there are insoles for thinner shoes, for high-heeled shoes, insoles with better heel definition and others that are thicker.

The choice will depend on your type of shoe. When in doubt, opt for insoles with a wider base, as this makes them easier to accommodate in different types of shoes.

Size

Besides the shape, although it seems obvious, it is important that you choose the right size of orthopaedic insoles, according to the size of your foot. Using the wrong size insole can hurt rather than solve your problem.

The correct size will ensure the necessary comfort. Give priority to an insole that has a wide base.

Pés femininos sobre palmilhas ortopédicas com fundo branco

You need to buy the right size, consult your doctor.(Source: angelikasmile/123RF)

Material of construction

The manufacturing material of orthopaedic insoles varies widely. You will find insoles made of polyester, with magnetic fabric, foam, and even with Nasa viscoelastic foam.

As we have seen, the silicone one, one of the most common, is ideal for cushioning and comfort.

The magnetic insoles provide pain relief and increase blood circulation.

The most indicated for the treatment of injuries, however, are the ones made of polyester or viscoelastic foam, with extra layers of cushioning, especially in the heel.

You should choose the material of manufacture of your insoles according to your orthopaedic problem.

(Featured image source: Yelizaveta Tomashevska/ 123rf)

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