I dare you to say shin splints quickly 10 times. Quite the tongue twister, right? As fun as it is to say the word, actually experiencing one is not as enjoyable. Without using too much jargon, let me try to explain what a shin splint actually is with the caveat that I am not a doctor that can diagnose this affliction.
The long bone in the lower part of our legs, below the knee to the ankle, has many muscles around it that get inflamed due to constant stress. Some common symptoms include swelling and pain in the lower leg.
People more likely to get shin splints include joggers, dancers, or just those who frequently walk on hard surfaces. The lesson here is, obviously joking, to just lie around all day, as I do. But, if you insist on exercising, make sure you stretch beforehand and invest in insoles to prevent shin splints.
Whether you have shin splints or just want to avoid getting them, here are the best insoles for shin splints.
Best Insoles for Shin Splints
If you enjoy running up hills, I admire your tenacity. The only reason I would run is if someone was chasing after me with a knife. Anyway, Currex RunPro insoles, as the name suggests, are specifically designed for running.
They come in three variants: red for low, yellow for medium, and blue for high profile runners. Profiles here refer to arch support, size, height, and flexibility being provided.
Other benefits within the insole include a heel cup for stability, charcoal lining to absorb odors, and the ability to absorb shocks. So, if you are looking to solve your flat feet problem, relieve heel pain, or just want support while running from life’s problems, these would be a good fit.
Dr. Scholl’s SPORT Insoles
As I previously mentioned, I am not a doctor, and neither is Dr. Scholl. Nonetheless, keeping active people in mind, a massaging gel insole was created. No, the gel does not have tiny hands that will massage your feet. I wish the technology was that advanced.
Rather, a ripple wave is created for added cushioning. These waves push back on the area behind your toes, akin to giving you the energy to bounce around.
These Sport insoles have a flexible arch, which aids in greater control over balancing. If you suddenly need to come to a halt while running, these will make sure you do not pull a muscle. These insoles will also ease recurring joint pains and prevent tendons from feeling weary.
Powerstep Pinnacle Insole
These are actually orthotics, which are medical-grade insoles. They work for all kinds of arches, may it be natural, high, or low. They envelop your foot to give it stability and are slightly rigid to provide extra support. This does not equate them to being hard as a rock, it just means that they just hold their shape.
Other features of the Powerstep Pinnacle insoles include having a deep heel cradle. Like a baby’s cradle is meant to protect it, this performs a similar function by shielding your feet from heavy impacts.
The foam cushion is also double-layered, so you do not feel like you are walking barefoot on the ground. There is also a layer that minimizes any friction caused, hence your feet will not heat up and cause discomfort.
Dr. Scholl’s RUNNING Insoles
And we are back to the doctor. This time though, these insoles are particularly for running. I have not tried recently, but the last time I tried running, my knee gave up on me for a week. I am assuming you do not want to end up like me and would want to prevent any injuries from occurring.
These insoles are full length and have three zones to protect the three problem areas where hurt occurs. Your heel, arch, and ball-of-foot area are reinforced. There is padding in the ball-of-foot area, which helps in reducing pressure. Arch support is present to distribute weight, and a heel cup defends against consistent shocks.
Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer Athletic Cushioning Arch Support Shoe Insoles
Saying the name of these insoles is a mouthful, but it does completely describe the features present. They are made from a polyester material, which is also stretchable.
This prevents any slippage from occurring, as well as curtailing blister formation. Slipping here refers to your foot being unstable inside the shoe, not falling flat on your back if you step on a banana peel.
There is a thick layer of foam at for the upper half of your foot. Since Spenco Polysorb insoles are for high-intensity athletic activities, you can easily train with cushioning at your feet. A heel plug is also built into the insert for impact absorption and this foam will not weigh down your shoes while you exercise.
Sof Sole Insoles Women’s AIRR Performance
Do not be offended that these are made only for women. That usually means that the sizes are relatively smaller, and they easily mold narrower feet. If you fit into those two categories, you can buy these too.
The AIRR here means there are bubbles present in the heel, meant to shield against any harsh movements. Unfortunately, these are not bubble wrap bubbles. As tempting as it sounds, do not try to pop them.
At the forefront, there is gel cushioning to provide a maximum pillowing effect. These are great if you ever want to enter a marathon. Not only that, but they can also be used for everyday walking.
Spenco Total Support Max Shoe Insoles
There is an effect that occurs while running, called overpronation. It is when you place your foot to the ground and completely flatten it. This can cause various problems and aches in your foot. To prevent this from happening, Spenco has come up with total support insoles. Be warned, the arch in these insoles is quite rigid, to keep your feet from flattening.
If you are looking to correct your flat feet, or just want support while working out, these inserts will provide you with control over your movements. This will further prevent any serious injuries.
Wernies Running Shoes Inserts
These inserts are meant for practical uses. They will contour themselves according to the curves of your feet and can be placed inside any close-toed shoe. Whether you want to place them in sneakers for going to college, or boots for your office job, they will fit into every casual or formal shoe.
Since they are made from a durable foam, which can also be used for medical treatments, they are meant to reduce pressure on your feet, by distributing it throughout. This consequently also reduces stress on the rest of your legs. Now, instead of taking your car to the grocery store, you can run there.
Sof Sole Insoles Women’s ATHLETE Performance
I think I did not mention in the previous review, how Sof sounds like a softer version of soft. I really like that. An advantage of getting these Athlete Performance insoles is that they have extra gel padding for heel and forefoot support. You can go for a peaceful walk along the beach without having to worry about a strained muscle.
Let me ask you a question. Do you enjoy sweaty feet? I think I can safely assume that no one does. These insoles have an in-built moisture entrapment system. It will keep your feet dry and odor-free from that pesky feet sweat.
SmartSole Exercise Insoles
A point to note about these insoles is that they are not full-length. They will only provide coverage for your arch and heel, not the forefront of your foot. Nonetheless, they also have shock-absorbing capabilities that not only reduce harmful forces but redistribute the pressure throughout your feet. This helps in maintaining correct alignment.
Another advantage of this is keeping your posture straight. My posture is permanently hunched because of sitting in a chair all day, but when you have a better balance while walking, there will also be less strain on your back. You will be able to safely achieve that toned body you only see on Instagram models.
Insoles for Shin Splints – Buying Guide
There are several factors you need to consider before running off to buy insoles for your shoes.
Requirement – Ask yourself why you are buying these insoles. Consider whether they are meant for preventative use, or to correct an already present injury. If they are just for protection, pinpoint the areas that cause you pain while you are exercising.
Constant strain on feet can lead to severe damage. Hence, find insoles that provide extra support for heels, arches, or the forefront of your foot, depending on your needs.
If you need insoles for an injury, consult an orthopedic before taking any corrective action yourself. You might think you have diagnosed your condition but could end up making it worse with the wrong kind of insoles. Also, make sure your real doctor is prescribing medical-grade inserts. Do not listen to only Dr. Scholl, get a second opinion too.
Fit – If you are looking to correct a flat foot, or just require support for your arch, it is imperative that the insole perfectly molds your foot. This also means that it should be the correct size, in accordance with your feet’s length. You can trim them if necessary, as long as no extra material is getting in your way.
Material – As mentioned in some of the insoles before, you should have an antimicrobial kind of material. The advantage of this is when your feet rub against the insole, it will not create friction. No friction means no heat. No heat means your feet will not get sweaty. The material should also be able to absorb moisture for minimum slipping.
Support – Support does not only refer to comfort. If you purchase insoles with extra cushioning, they will provide that pillow effect, but will also wear down quicker. You need insoles that are slightly firmer, yet still being supple, for them to last longer along with providing support.
Another aspect you need to consider within support are additional features. This could be a heel cup or plug that is providing motion control. It can be air bubbles for comfort. It can even be gel placements inside a foam insole for maximum relief. These additional features can help soothe problem areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to remove original insoles to put in external ones?
This depends on the kind of shoes you are inserting the insole into. If they already have a thick insole, adding another one on top might cause your feet to become too snug. In that case, you should remove it. Try and put it in. If it feels more comfortable, no need to remove the original insole.
How often do insoles need to be replaced?
One average, a good quality insole should last about half a year. If your usage is less, they can last longer. But, if you are using them for intense workouts, they might need to be replaced every four months. You will be able to tell when their effect has lessened.
How would you know you need insoles?
Let’s say you already exercise 4-5 times a week. Recently you have started to notice that you have constant pain in your joints, back, hips, or ankles. It does not get better with stretching or ice/heat compressions. Your first goal should be to provide padding for your feet, so you do not feel discomfort while exercising.
Will you need separate insoles for different shoes?
If the make of the shoes is similar, and you frequently wear the same kinds of shoes, like sneakers or running boots, one pair can be used in all of them. But an insole made for joggers will be different for one made for heels.
Do you need to wear insoles 24/7?
Obviously, not while you are in bed. But if your daily life involves a lot of walking around, you should wear them for that duration. They should especially be worn for high impact activities.