Looking for a way to extend the life of your shoes while upping the comfort factor? Try a pair of replacement insoles.
Since many insoles found in today’s footwear are made of EVA, which can break down or compress over time, the comfort and fit of the shoe can be affected. So an investment in an insole early on can be cost-effective in the long run.
Easy to find online as well as in shoe and drug stores, insoles are available in a wide range of styles tailored to fit everything from dress shoes and work boots to athletic shoes in categories from golf to running.
While most aftermarket insoles offer the wearer enhanced comfort through cushioning, insoles also address specific foot issues, from plantar faciitis to low arches and even neuropathy (nerve damage) from diabetes. For those with medical conditions, however, it’s recommended that they consult their physician before deciding on a replacement insole.
If you’re a first-time shopper for insoles, here are some guidelines to follow:
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1. First, make sure the current insole can be easily removed. Insoles layered over one another will make the fit too snug.
2. Next, check your shoe size. Many insoles come in one large size that needs to be trimmed down to match those already in your shoes for a more precise fit.
3. Find an insole designed to fit the type of shoe you have. While casuals and sneakers can accommodate a thicker insole, dress shoes typically have a slimmer profile and call for a thinner replacement insole. Here, three-quarter-length styles are typically the rule since they stop short of the toe area, where there’s less depth.
Some comfort-shoe brands, such as Birkenstock and Vionic, offer over-the-counter replacement insoles that give customers the same comfort level their shoes had originally.
Prices are as varied as the insoles, with the average ranging from about $18 to more than $50. But remember, price here often equates with performance, so don’t bother replacing the original insole with one of lesser quality.
With so many options available, it might take a few attempts to find just the right level of comfort. Retailers can help match an insole to your shoe. When ordering online, insoles can be exchanged until the perfect fit is achieved.