After researching over 50 pairs of insoles, our expert gear testers rounded up 10 of the best available today to give you an extensive look at what each pair has to offer. These small inserts for your shoes can make a big difference, and for runners, athletes, people with jobs that require them to be on their feet all day, or those who suffer from common injuries like plantar fasciitis or overpronation, we're sure to help you find a pair of insoles to suit your unique needs and budget. The way that insoles fit and feel can be a very subjective experience dependent on foot shape, size, needs, and medical conditions, so let this review serve as more of a guideline to the best features of each brand.No matter the type of footwear, we can all benefit from the added support of a high-quality insole. Whether you're lacing up the best women's running shoes or the top trail running shoes, setting out on a long-distance trek in your hiking boots, or just donning approach shoes to walk to your favorite crag, we have you covered with in-depth reviews of the best shoes & boots on the market.
The 5 Best Insoles of 2023
Our Top Picks
You might not think that the Superfeet Green insoles will impress at first glance. You won't find the advanced padding and appearances of some support insoles; however, this classic style will work with most shoes and provide superior daily support. If you spend long hours on your feet working in a restaurant or hospital, need extra arch support to keep plantar fasciitis at bay, or simply want better supportive foot care than your built-in insoles, the Superfeet Green is our recommendation. We love that the narrow shape fits well into running shoes, casual shoes, and hiking boots while leaving enough room for a good fit, and since they're not overly padded, they're almost unnoticeable. They are designed with a classic foam forefoot and a strong plastic arch and heel support that keeps our feet feeling well-supported and pleasant.
Our main gripe with these great insoles are the cost. Since they are only good for 500 miles or around 12 months, whichever milestone is crossed first, the need to replace them will increase costs down the line. They don't come with the same amount of cushion as some others we tested, but the Superfeet Green aren't created to just be comfy; they are built for support, and they succeed in that endeavor quite well. This model is designed specifically to help with high arches, but they also come in other styles for various foot support needs.
The Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer insoles are specially constructed for athletic users. However, they are also a great option for budget-minded folks seeking additional comfort and who want to reduce impact for their feet in day-to-day scenarios. The forefoot and heel both feature extra built-in padding, allowing them to take on additional shock in the area of the foot most impacted when running and doing other sports.
The Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer features lightweight polyurethane foam, which only provides moderate arch support. Folks who have a condition requiring extra arch support might want to consider a more suitable model in the lineup. They don't offer any rigid components, and the lightweight design means they are more prone to wearing away over time. Also, they aren't as durable as some of the competition, and their flimsy nature makes it rather tricky to get them into your shoe. That said, their super-thin profile and high level of cushioning make them an excellent option for those who don't have extra room to spare but want extra comfort. We recommend the Spenco Cross Trainer for individuals seeking comfort on a budget.
The Dr. Scholl's Plantar Fasciitis pain relief orthotics are designed to specifically target the areas affected by plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the plantar fascia — a fibrous tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. This inflammation causes intense heel pain and is common for runners, athletes, or those who spend a lot of time on their feet for work or other activities. A highly cushioned heel cup absorbs shock to the sensitive heel area, and semi-rigid arch support helps stabilize and prevent further stretching in the plantar fascia.
While we enjoyed the high cushion and comfort of these Dr. Scholl's insoles, they're also higher-volume, taking up more space in our shoes. They are also much wider and larger than other insoles we tested, making them better for boots or work shoes and not as much for tight-fitting casual or athletic shoes. Someone who suffers from plantar fasciitis might want extra support in all the shoes they wear to help prevent pain, but these are not easy to switch in and out of shoes because of their size, volume, and lack of rigidity.
The Superfeet Carbon are a low-volume, low-profile pair of insoles made for performance athletic shoes and tight-fitting casual shoes. With thin, lightweight yet high-density foam and a hard, carbon fiber stabilizer cap, these insoles are high-quality and help give your feet extra comfort and support. With moderate arch support, these are excellent for those with flat feet and can slip easily into any shoe. The perforated forefoot is also a unique touch that enhances breathability and also makes these insoles even more lightweight.
If you are looking for a lot of extra cushion, the Superfeet Carbon is not our top choice for pure plush comfort. But since the structured heel cup helps to naturally absorb impact, they are actually very comfortable in the long run, and their bonus low profile won't take up a lot of space in your shoes as other more cushioned insoles will.
The Currex RunPro are German-designed insoles made specifically for running. Runners who often suffer from foot and knee injuries such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, runner's knee, and other issues due to participating in the high-impact activity require extra support to alleviate their pain. The Currex insoles have triple support for the areas impacted the most by running with rigid arch support, a cushion for the ball of the foot, as well as one for the heel for shock absorption. Made of high-quality materials, they also have a bamboo and charcoal mid-layer for help with moisture-wicking and odor control.
A great product comes with a price, and the Currex RunPro are among the most expensive insoles we tested. These may be better suited to serious runners who log a lot of miles and need high-quality, reliable support, and seek the customization of a brand that makes different models for your specific arch type. If this sounds like you, then the Currex RunPro will not disappoint.
The EasyFeet Plantar Fasciitis Arch Support Insoles boast a unique, hard arch design made of thermoplastic polyurethane. Unlike other insoles made with regular polyurethane, which tends to lose its shape over time, the EasyFeet arches are sturdy and durable, providing support and pain relief directly to the heel and the plantar fascia. They also include a thin yet very comfortable layer of memory foam cushion for comfort and an odor-neutralizing top layer. By providing direct support to the arch, these insoles are designed to help relieve pain associated with plantar fasciitis and other foot-related issues, as well as keep the feet in proper alignment for reduced foot pressure and muscle fatigue for hard activity or long days on your feet.
The hard backing provides noticeable pressure on your arches and takes some time to get used to. After a couple of days of continuous wear, our testers found the targeted support to be quite comfortable and supportive. But this could be different depending on your arch type and foot size, and the pronounced arch support could be too much for some. Our testers were impressed by the quality of the EasyFeet Arch Support insoles, and for the price, they seem like they will provide great comfort and support over the long run.
The Dr. Scholl's Running Insoles offer excellent shock absorption and arch support with their triple-zone design. Like the ones from Currex RunPro, these running insoles have padding for the ball of the foot and the heel as well as hard plastic reinforced arch support. The extra padded zones help absorb the shock associated with pounding pavement or trails, and Dr. Scholl's claims that these insoles reduce shock up to 40%. This reduced shock combined with the thin plastic arch can help relieve pain associated with runner's injuries like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and runner's knee.
These slipped easily into our tester's running shoes, who noticed their stride feeling lighter and easier due to their great shock absorption. But our testers found that these insoles took up valuable real estate in their running shoes, which made them feel snugger than they would prefer. There is also pronounced extra padding directly under the metatarsal, which could be great for someone suffering from metatarsalgia, but since our testers do not, this extra padding just puts unwanted pressure on that part of the foot. Though they may sacrifice some room in your running shoes, these insoles provide great shock absorption and support for a low price.
The Powerstep Pinnacle are the best insoles we tested for helping remedy foot pain due to pronation. The most common pronation issues are overpronation and underpronation, whereby the natural inward rolling of the foot on impact either rolls too much (overpronation) or too little (underpronation), putting pressure on specific areas instead of distributing force evenly throughout the foot. This can lead to many issues down the line, including the common plantar fasciitis. The Powerstep Pinnacle insoles help keep the feet from over or under pronating with their deep heel cup that aids with natural alignment, and a semi-rigid shell with arch support that provides stability. They're stiff and slip easily into your shoes, allowing you to put them into multiple pairs of shoes without hassle, and are low-profile enough not to take up too much room.
Although the manufacturer advertises these for all arch types, folks who don't have high arches might experience problems with the pronounced arch support. Furthermore, the thin, low cushion offers little in the way of plush comfort. Still, the rigid support of the Powerstep Pinnacle may be an attribute for those requiring more structure due to regular over or under pronation, leading to healthier feet over time.
The Walk-Hero Comfort and Support are low-profile, rigid insoles that provide support for all arch types and are made to help alleviate symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Firm and pronounced arch support help provide stability to the plantar fascia, and a thin mid-layer of silicone gives a slight cushion to the entire insole. Their rigid support shell makes them easy to insert into any shoe, be it casual, athletic, or work footwear. Because of their ability to support all arch types and their ease of fitting into multiple different shoes, these insoles are an excellent choice for everyday use.
While the advertiser claims these help with plantar fasciitis, our testing team found the cushion to be rather low in the heel — the area that experiences the most pain due to the injury. There is a bit of give in the heel area that is most likely due to a little extra silicone padding, but there are no shock-absorbing pads like on the Dr. Scholl's models to really help cushion and support the heel. Additionally, the heel cup is wider than the other options we reviewed, and we felt our heel slide around and hit the edges of the insole instead of feeling supported and secured. Though it might not be our top recommendation for plantar fasciitis relief due to the low cushion, the Walk-Hero Comfort and Support are a good pick for everyday wear in multiple footwear options and provide okay support for the plantar fascia.
The slightly gimmicky design of the Dr. Scholl's UltraCool insoles is due to the thick, honeycomb foam bottom that is supposed to enhance airflow, which ends up taking up a lot of space in your shoe. They were designed for those who want better ventilation and odor control, with built-in activated charcoal and baking soda and the supposed cooling action the holes in the foam provide.
Our testers made it a point to get their feet nice and sweaty on runs to assess the validity of manufacturer claims. Before we could even work up a sweat, we ran into an issue with the Dr. Scholl's UltraCool. The wide insoles did not fit, even when trimmed down. The flexible soft foam didn't help either. We did notice a slight decrease in odor. However, this was quickly overshadowed by the tight fit caused by the lofty foam, thus arguably making less room for ventilation. While the foam provides a high level of cushion, the same caliber of durable support seen in the competition is lacking, which means you'll have to replace them often. With that in mind, if you're looking for some insoles with cushion and odor control at a low price, these could be a viable option.
Why You Should Trust Us
To figure out which insoles we should test, we delved into the market, doing hours of research on the styles, brands, and features offered. Once we settled on a diverse selection, we purchased each pair for side-by-side testing. Each pair of insoles was tested independently for over 10 days. Our test team experimented by putting each insole into all different types of footwear, and went on hikes, walks, and runs on both pavement and trail to adequately assess the feel of each pair. This review comes to you from someone with a medium arch and currently healthy, pain-free feet. Therefore, your experience with each insole may differ depending on the size and shape of your foot, the position of your arch, and whether or not you suffer from any current or chronic foot conditions.
The main tester for this review, Miya Tsudome, has relied on insoles for over a decade to help provide comfort and support. From her early days playing soccer to her later years of working in the restaurant industry spending 10+ hours on her feet, and now to her long days hiking out into the backcountry, Miya has walked through many pairs of insoles over the years. The built-in insoles in most shoes usually just don't cut it, and adding extra support is key for keeping pain and muscle fatigue at bay, as well as stopping any more chronic injuries in the knees, hips, back, and even head and neck from occurring. Miya brings her own experience with foot and knee pain, as well as her rigorous experimentation with many brands of insoles, to provide you with this honest review.
Analysis and Test Results
Insoles come in all shapes and sizes, with some being geared toward providing more comfort, while others are geared towards providing more support or relief for foot-related pain. While this review can serve as a guideline for what the best insoles are like, if you suffer from foot pain, it should not be a replacement for medical advice from an expert in foot care. If you are not used to arch support, it is recommended that you give your feet time to adjust to your new insoles by wearing them for longer and longer each day before you decide they are not for you.
Some insoles can be ordered in your size, while others are of a "trim-to-fit" variety. Many of the "trim-to-fit" will have sizing guidelines directly on the insole so you can make an accurate cut with your scissors. Others you'll have to trim yourself, and we suggest taking out the built-in insole of your shoe and tracing it onto your new insoles for precise sizing. You should always remember to take out the built-in insoles of your shoes before using your new insoles.
Each pair of insoles was rated and analyzed according to four different metrics: fit, feel, construction, and cushion. Read on below for our in-depth review of how the 10 insoles we tested measured up in each category.
We tested the fit of each pair of insoles by assessing first how well they fit into different shoes and then by judging how much space they take up. Some insoles came in our size, while others we had to trim to fit into our shoes. Some were thin and kept the fit of our shoes the same, while others were thicker, making for a tighter fit in our shoes, which can be undesirable.
Most insoles come in a size range that you can then trim to fit your correct shoe size. The Walk-Hero Comfort and Support and the Powerstep Pinnacle are the only insoles we tested that you can order specifically for your individual foot size with a half-size up margin. For those who would like to avoid the hassle of trimming your insoles, these are the best choices. But for those who don't mind trimming their insoles to fit their shoes exactly, all of the other insoles we tested can be trimmed. All except the Superfeet Green and Superfeet Carbon have trimming guidelines on them for quick customization. With the Superfeet brand, you'll have to trace your shoes' original insole to get a precise fit.
The Superfeet brand shines in their low profile fit, however, with the Superfeet Carbon being the lightest, thinnest insoles we tested. The Powerstep Pinnacle comes in at a close second for their low-volume insole, although both sacrifice some cushion for being thin and light.
Dr. Scholl's makes the thickest insoles we tested, with the Dr. Scholl's UltraCool insoles provide a high level of cushion and comfort but take up the most space in our shoes. The EasyFeet Arch Support insoles with their hard, TPU arch support also take up a good amount of space in our shoes, making both of these models more suitable for work shoes or other higher-volume footwear.
Our reviewers judged the "feel" of each pair of insoles as objectively as possible, noting the specific features of each insole that can be felt no matter your arch type or size. However, what the longer-term "feel" of each insole will be is sure to be different for different users. We were partial to insoles that provided good support with a light amount of cushion for comfort and assessed which insoles performed the best in both categories for this portion of our review.
While the construction of the Superfeet Green is simple, being made of closed-cell, high-density foam, the deep heel cup, and sturdy stabilizer cap give these insoles a great combination of comfort and support. These insoles are unique in that they seem to provide comfort through support instead of having a high level of cushion that could wear down over time.
The EasyFeet Arch Support insoles are also superior in their levels of comfort and support, with their hard arch being beneficial for those who suffer from flat feet as well as those with high arches, and their cushioned, memory-foam mid-layer providing a great level of comfort with every step. The Currex RunPro are excellent running insoles that seem to have support wherever you need it, while also remaining thin enough to not take up too much space in your running shoes. They provide support and shock absorption to the ball of the foot, arch, and heel, making the idea of logging long miles much easier.
While we loved the silicone layer of cushion in the Dr. Scholl's Running Insoles, the pronounced padding under our metatarsal felt strange. We preferred the Currex RunPro for their shock absorption and lack of protruding padding for specific parts of the foot. The Walk-Hero Comfort and Support's heel cup is too wide for our reviewer's heels, causing our foot to rub against the edge of the insole, which causes discomfort.
The insoles we tested had unique constructions that were specific to what they aimed to provide. Some had many features, with targeted areas of padding, the use of multiple different materials, and claims to cure all foot pain, while others were simpler in design and function.
Dr. Scholl's are the most specific and feature-rich of all the insoles we tested. You can purchase a Dr. Scholl's insole for a wide variety of foot issues and activities, and their construction is specific to what they claim to provide their users. We tested the Dr. Scholl's Plantar Fasciitis orthotics and the Dr. Scholl's Running Insoles, which each had its own features. Dr. Scholl's starts with a basic, flexible base layer, and in the case of their running insoles, makes them narrower for running shoes and adds layers of padding or hard support for comfort, proper alignment, and shock absorption. Dr. Scholl's is accessible, widely available, and inexpensive, making them a great choice, but their quality isn't exactly up to the standards of other insoles we tested.
The quality of the Superfeet insoles is undeniable, and they are a reputable brand that also makes insoles for a wide variety of people and needs. The Superfeet Green and Superfeet Carbon are both sleek and simple, made of high-quality materials, and give welcome support to many different pairs of our shoes. We were also impressed with the construction and quality of the EasyFeet Arch Support insoles, with their plush yet thin memory foam layer that covers their supportive hard arch, and their thoughtful heel plug for additional comfort and shock absorption.
While our reviewers loved the Spenco Cross Trainer insoles for their price, they do feel a bit flimsy in their construction. They have a nice level of cushion out-of-the-box, but lacking any firmer support, they are likely to wear down quickly. The Powerstep Pinnacle and Walk-Hero Comfort and Support insoles were the most simple designs we tested, with no additional features besides heel cups, arch support, and a light cushion.
While some might be looking for support from their insoles to help with proper foot alignment or common injuries such as plantar fasciitis, others will be looking for insoles that provide a higher level of comfort in the form of a nicely cushioned layer between their feet and the hard floor or long trail.
The Dr. Scholl's UltraCool insoles are undeniably the most cushioned insoles we tested. In addition to their layer of charcoal and baking soda for odor control, they also have a high-loft, honeycombed foam base layer. These insoles are plush and therefore high in volume, and are better suited for work boots or hiking shoes, and will not fit easily into casual footwear or tighter-fitting running shoes, making them less versatile overall. For overall comfort, these insoles are high on the list.
The Spenco Cross Trainer insoles, on the other hand, are much thinner in profile while still having an impressive level of cushioning with their stretchy, nylon fabric construction. For those who want comfort without sacrificing space, these are a good choice. The Dr. Scholl's Plantar Fasciitis insoles are comfortable and have slight support in the arch and heel for those who suffer from the common plantar fasciitis, which can be very painful. The cushion in these orthotics is designed to help ease the pain associated with this injury and to provide simple support to the plantar fascia.
The insoles lowest in cushioning in our review include the Powerstep Pinnacle, Superfeet Carbon, and the Superfeet Green. The Powerstep Pinnacle provides good support for the heel and arch and helps with pronation but doesn't provide any cushion for additional comfort. The Superfeet Carbon has a lightweight and low-volume design that can fit into tighter-fitting shoes, but cushioning is sacrificed as a result. The Superfeet Green are simple, everyday insoles that help support the foot and keep it naturally aligned, but do not have the pure comfort of memory foam or silicone built-in. When considering comfort, it is important to consider how much space you would like to sacrifice in your shoe for extra cushion.
Whether you are on your feet for long days at work, logging miles running or hiking on trails, suffering from foot-related pain, or simply want better support in your shoes, there is an insole out there for you. We hope you find a pair from our diverse round-up of insoles for different activities and needs, and look forward to a future of healthier, happier feet.
— Miya Tsudome
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More