Memory Foam Vs Gel Insoles
Insoles are made from many different kinds of materials, such as foam, gel, leather, and air cushions. However, this battle is only between memory foam and gel. While both have their pros and cons, whichever you purchase should be dependent on your needs.
There are several reasons why you would require insoles. Your shoes might be too big, and you need to fill the extra room. Your feet slip inside your shoes and need something to hold onto. You might even be experiencing various aches and pains from continually wearing uncomfortable shoes. This is where insoles come in.
This article will first discuss the pros and cons of memory foam insoles, followed by a few examples, and then the same will be done for gel insoles. Read on to know the complete details.
Memory Foam Vs Gel Insoles
If you want the main points of this article, all of them are summed up in a comparison style within this paragraph. If your daily activities consist of moderate walking, and you want soft, semi-rigid, as well as lightweight insoles, memory foam should be your choice.
If your activities involve high-intensity and you want durable, shock-absorbing insoles, you should opt for gel.
Should You Buy Memory Foam or Gel Insoles?
Memory Foam Insoles
Firstly, there is a difference between the standard foam and memory foam inserts. Memory foam insoles mold themselves according to the curves of your foot and retain that shape, while the normal foam is generally semi-rigid in nature. The standard foam also wears down more quickly as compared to memory foam.
Let us start with the benefits of memory foam. It is very lightweight, and even a thin insert can provide adequate cushioning. They will not feel very bulky inside your shoes, rather, like a soft pillow under your feet. Even if you opt for a thicker foam, it will remain lightweight.
Memory foam inserts will take the shape of your foot. Not only will that provide support to trouble areas such as your heel or forefoot, but it also helps in maintaining stability. Once the foam has molded itself, it is also improbable that your foot would slip inside your shoe.
You might think that these insoles will be flimsy, but don’t worry; most have a reliable yet flexible base that keeps the structure of the insert. You can use them for up to moderate levels of daily activity.
For some of the downsides, memory foam is one of the materials that will wear out quickly and may need to be replaced every few months. Depending on your usage, and the quality of foam you buy, their lifespan can increase or decrease.
Due to its high density, foam tends to retain heat. If your insoles do not have a proper ventilation system, your feet will get very sweaty. This can lead to bacterial infections and your feet emitting foul smells.
The following are our top two picks for memory foam insoles:
These Powerstep insoles come with a double layer of foam to provide you with maximum comfort while walking. They are of a medical-grade, hence can be used to treat symptoms of foot ailments. You will have complete support in your arch as the insole is semi-rigid.
This sturdiness helps in maintaining movement control. There is also a heel cradle that will shield your heel against forceful impacts.
MEGAComfort Anti-Fatigue Mat
These MegaComfort insoles are also designed by a doctor in order to target potential problem areas. In these, the arch support is soft, while still providing balance.
These inserts also have silver ions infused in their top layer. These ions will help repel bacteria as well as keep your feet moisture-free.
Gel is the most frequently bought type of insole. The main reason for their popularity is their function of shock absorption. While walking, you usually do not notice these shocks. Various joints are absorbing them in your legs. But with time, that strain will build and will likely cause an injury.
Experiencing shocks is more common in athletes or people who do high-intensity workouts. When your foot comes down on the ground with a significant amount of force, you feel a shock in return. Gel insoles absorb that shock to prevent severe problems from occurring. They also work to redistribute your weight throughout your shoe, so the pressure is not just concentrated on a few points.
Another benefit of gel insoles is that they are widely available. No matter your foot shape or size, you will find one that fits seamlessly. You also will not have to worry about the price as many different price points are available. You can buy according to your needs and budget.
Finally, another important aspect is the durability of gel insoles. These are one of the materials that last the longest and can suffer through the most strain. You can wear them throughout the day, jump around with them, and they will still retain their shape.
It is a point to note that while some insoles are made purely of gel, most are a gel-foam hybrid. A downside to this hybrid is that they can weight down your shoes. If they are not aerated, it can also cause the inside of your shoe to get humid. This moisture can, in turn, make your foot slip inside your shoes.
Our top two picks for gel insoles are the following:
Dr. Scholl’s WORK Massaging Gel Advanced Insoles
If the title didn’t already convince you, I do not know what will. These insoles will massage your feet while you walk while absorbing any harmful impacts. They even have advanced arch support that will prevent you from getting fatigued.
Sof Sole ATHLETE Performance Gel Shoe Insert
Despite the fact that gel insoles are considered to be weighty, these are surprisingly light. They have additional gel padding in the heel and forefoot area for extra reinforcement. They also have a moisture-wicking treatment applied to them to keep your feet dry and odorless.