Can You Put Insoles on Top of Insoles?

Can You Put Insoles on Top of Insoles?

Most people who are experiencing mild pain or discomfort in the area of the feet seek to get rid of it by ‘upgrading’ their shoes with orthotic insoles. Now, most people who are not too familiar with how this technology works assume that they simply need to place their new orthotic insoles in their shoes and that pain/discomfort will subside. There’s much more to it than that. 

First of all, there are different types of insoles – some aim to reduce the pain, others are meant to provide additional comfort; there are massaging insoles, sport insoles, and so on.

Furthermore, insoles come in all shapes and sizes; some are elastic and flexible, some are quite rigid. Today we are going to speak about whether you can (and should) put insoles on top of other insoles, so without any further ado, let’s get straight to it.

Can you put insoles on top of insoles?

The shortest and simplest answer to this question would be that ‘it depends’ on a couple of factors. Generally speaking, there should be no obvious drawbacks to putting regular insoles atop of other regular insoles, but that is rarely the case. 

Orthotic insoles on top of built-in insoles

While the quality of the insoles that a certain pair of shoes comes supplied with largely depends on the quality of the shoes themselves, ‘average’ insoles are typically made of soft fabric material and are built in such a way that they fit perfectly.

They are typically affixed to the bottom of the shoe with strong glue and are meant to provide optimal comfort for day-to-day usage. 

However, the structure of ‘regular’ insoles is much different from orthotic insoles. Orthotic insoles are typically a bit more flexible and usually ‘bigger’ than average insoles of the same shoe size. On another hand, most orthotic insoles are made in such a way that they can easily be placed atop of existing ‘average’ insoles. 

The orthotic insoles ‘replace’ your shoes’ built-in insoles in that way, which means that you will experience a different ‘kind’ of comfort; the change might be drastic or mild, depending on how comfortable/uncomfortable your shoes initially were.

In this regard, you can easily put orthotic insoles atop regular insoles, which will grant you the benefits that ‘new’ insoles provide without pulling any drawbacks from the old insoles.

Orthotic insoles on top of orthotic insoles

Placing orthotic insoles atop of another set of orthotic insoles can be referred to as ‘insole stacking’, which is something that you can do, but you might not be able to benefit from one of the two pairs. 

Basically, orthotic insoles are meant to cushion the feet, provide additional support, strengthen certain areas of the feet or massage them. While the second pair of orthotic insoles might provide additional cushioning, it will also ‘choke’ the first set of insoles, eliminating certain ‘contact-based’ benefits, such as massaging, for instance.

In that regard, the second pair of orthotic insoles is not exactly needed, nothing really stops you from trying this approach. There are certain combinations of orthotics that might yield impressive results, but typically all you need is one pair.

Insoles with the universal fit on top of built-in insoles

The ‘one-size-fits-all’ insoles are typically referred to as ‘universal’ insoles. They are also unisex in that they can be used by women and men despite the fact that they have different feet biologically in terms of size. 

Universal insoles can also be put on top of regular insoles without a hitch, but the efficiency of this transition will depend on the quality of the new insoles as opposed to the quality of your shoes and insoles they are initially supplied with.

Namely, manufacturing ‘universal’ insoles is not as easy as it might sound; different shoes feature different designs, and one pair might feature bigger insoles than another pair with a different design and construction of the same size. 

In that regard, putting universal insoles atop of your shoes’ built-in insoles might lead to slight discomfort; in the worst-case scenario, if you were feeling pain and have acquired universal insoles to fight it off, the level of pain you are feeling might even raise up. 

Insoles that are sized to correspond to shoe size

On the opposite end of the spectrum are insoles that are sized in proportion to the regular shoe sizing. Ordering these insoles is much different from ordering shoes due to the reasons we’ve discussed a bit earlier – although the sizing is generalized, not all insole sizes correspond to shoe sizes, as certain models are exempted from this norm. 

Stacking these insoles is even harder and much less encouraged in the sense that you’re even more likely to experience extra unneeded discomfort, not to mention pain. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are insoles stackable?

In simple words, you can stack insoles, but there aren’t many reasons why you should. Typically, insoles provide most of the benefits by being in direct contact with the feet (cushioning them and massaging them), which means that one of the two pairs will be completely useless.

On top of that, stacking insoles is drastically harder if their size corresponds to the shoe size (if they are not universally sized).

Would you be able to reap the benefits of both insoles if you put them together or just one of them?

Generally speaking, two pairs of insoles might provide extra support, but you will not be able to reap the benefits of extra cushioning or ‘extra massaging’. 

Are there any reasons why you should not put insoles on top of existing insoles?

You really need a single insole pair, but there are no real reasons why you shouldn’t try putting insoles atop of other insoles.

There are a lot of combinations that might prove to be satisfactory, but that would require a lot of trial and error, which will ultimately hurt your wallet as much as it will hurt your feet, so in a nutshell, most professionals do not encourage this.

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