Back pain is by and large the most common cause of chronic pain in the world. In the United States alone, nearly 16 million people, roughly 8% of all adults, experience persistent or chronic back pain at some point in their lives. Furthermore, nearly half of all working adults in the U.S., which equates to almost 80 million, experience symptoms of back pain each year. One of the most common ways that many people deal with chronic back pain is by using shoe insoles. But, with so many insoles to choose from, it can be difficult to find the right ones for you. In this article, we’ll take a look at the five best shoe insoles for back pain, all of which have been evaluated for their price, fit, comfort, and support.
Picking the Right Insoles: What to Look For
When looking for the best shoe insoles for back pain, it can be a bit daunting to understand what exactly you need. Below, we’ll cover the three major things you should consider when finding the best shoe insoles. First, let’s take a look at the difference between insoles and another similar product: orthotics.
Insoles vs. Orthotics
When talking about shoe insoles, the words ‘insole’ and ‘orthotic’ are often used interchangeably. However, while the two solve very similar problems, they are not the same thing.
Orthotics are a form of braces, supports, or other types of padding that are made to help chronic foot, ankle, and lower back conditions. Shoe inserts, on the other hand, are pieces of padded material that are placed inside your shoes or boots for extra comfort, warmth, and a better fit. What makes orthotics different from insoles is that they are always custom-made for your foot shape whereas insoles are more generalized and not an exact custom fit.
While orthotics can be a great solution for all sorts of ailments and conditions, they can oftentimes be expensive and are often used for long periods, for more serious conditions, or corrective measures.
While there are plenty of exceptions, insoles are relatively inexpensive and are a great way to both alleviate and prevent symptoms related to back pain. They are also a common first step for people who are struggling with back pain, oftentimes before moving on to more permanent solutions like orthotics or surgery.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when looking for insoles is the cushioning and support they offer. When you walk, you put the force of as much as five times your body weight on each foot. If your feet aren’t properly absorbing that shock, you can develop issues that span from your soles to your spine.
If your goal is to alleviate back pain, your best option is to look for insoles that offer good arch support. Insoles can relieve back pain by giving your body a stable base to walk on. With the right cushioning and support, they can evenly distribute pressure, support the arch of your feet, and prevent excess lateral movement. The result is that your body’s natural biomechanics are optimized, preventing excess strain on your knees, hips, and back
When looking for the best shoe insoles for back pain, one of the most important factors to keep in mind is money. Insoles can range from $20-30, to well over $100 in some cases. It can be very easy to end up spending hundreds of dollars on shoe insoles, especially if you are unsure as to what you need. When shopping for insoles, try to examine what exactly each brand is offering, and compare prices. Oftentimes, you’ll find that you’re only paying for the brand name, not anything extra.
Keeping costs down is also important for those who may not know if insoles are right for them. There’s nothing worse than spending hundreds of dollars on insoles, only to later find out that your feet are not to blame for your back pain.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that the right insoles for you are the ones that fit your budget. You should never feel pressured to buy any product, especially when it comes to your health. If you are unsure as to what product you need, or if you’re concerned about money, talk with your doctor, as they may be able to help find cheaper or no-cost alternatives.
Five Best Shoe Insoles for Back Pain
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what to look for when choosing shoe inserts, it’s time to dive into our list of the five best shoe insoles for back pain. Our list was made by closely examining the most common needs. These include things like support, customization, cushioning, and price. Using those factors, here are our top five picks.
Best Shoe Insole for Back Pain: Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts
The insoles that come in at number one on our list of the five best shoe insoles for back pain are Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts. These insoles come out on top for several reasons, the first of which is their ability to be customizable. These insoles are available in 43 different variations, including 29 full-length and 14 three quarter length options. This makes finding the perfect fit easy, simple, and most importantly accurate.
To find the perfect length and fit for you, you can talk with an expert or visit a Dr. Scholl’s kiosk. These kiosks can be found in many locations, including grocery stores, pharmacies, and footwear stores. By simply standing on the kiosk’s platform, the machine measures your foot pressure pattern, arch type, and foot length. These measurements correspond to a specific type of custom orthotic insole that is perfect for your feet.
You can also complete an online questionnaire if you’d like to find your insoles from home, which adds another level of convenience to your selection process. Other perks include a 90-day refund policy, great arch support, and a relatively modest price of around $50.
Best Shoe Insole for Women’s Shoes: Superfeet Women’s Berry Insoles
Back pain doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone, at any age, at any time. While most insoles available today are unisex one-size-fits-all, shoe manufacturers still make men’s and women’s shoes very differently, which can make finding the right insoles difficult. It is for these reasons that we’ve included the best shoe insoles for both women’s and men’s shoes in our top five list.
For women’s branded shoes, the Superfeet Women’s Berry Insoles are your best bet. These insoles are designed specifically for women’s shoes. This means that they have narrower heels and more arch support, which can help those who frequently wear heels, wedges, or platforms.
Beyond their support, these insoles offer a classic fit with a bouncy foam forefoot, a stabilizing heel cup, and an anti-odor cloth top coating to keep your feet feeling fresh. These insoles are also trimmable, which makes them customizable for any shoe size.
There are a couple of drawbacks to these insoles, however. First, since these insoles were made specifically for women’s shoes, they aren’t a good choice for people with flat feet or low arches. They are also only made for shoe sizes between 4.5 and 12, so if you have larger feet these may not be right for you.
Best Men’s Shoe Insoles: Superfeet Orange Premium Insoles
For men’s-branded shoes, our top pick is the Superfeet Orange Premium Insoles. These insoles are ideal for men’s shoes, as they offer a wide toe box, wider heels, and a longer arch length. While they are designed to fit the entire shoe length, these insoles are also trimmable, which means they can be customized to any shoe size.
The front portion of these insoles is padded with foam, which helps cushion the ball of your foot with each step. The back features a very generous heel cup, which is designed to stabilize your foot and keep your insoles in place as you walk. The entire insole is also coated in an anti-odor fabric, which helps them stay fresh longer.
Another great feature of these insoles is their sizing. These insoles come in four different sizes that range from size 5.5 to 17. This, combined with the option for trimming, makes them available for nearly all foot sizes.
Best Insoles for Flat Feet: ProFoot Flat Fix Orthotic
According to the National Foot Health Assessment, nearly 8% of U.S. adults ages 21 and over have flat feet. Flat feet are one of the most common causes of back pain that results from issues with the feet or ankles.
For flat feet, the best insole is the ProFoot Flat Fix Insole. These insoles are shorter than typical shoe inserts, as they are designed specifically for your arches and heels. Made with plush foam, these insoles contour to your feet and give you very custom-feeling support while you walk. Since these insoles are only designed for your arches and heels, they don’t take up your entire shoe, which for many people with flat feel is a plus.
These insoles also offer a flexible heel cup that is designed to give you a “trampoline effect” as you walk. Helping cut down on pronation, the cup stabilizes the heel while cushioning your feet and absorbing shock.
Best Budget Insoles: NAZAROO Shoe Insoles
When you think of ‘budget’ anything, it’s easy to assume that it also means poor quality. That is simply not the case for our last option on our list of the five best shoe insoles for back pain. Coming in at just $15, the Nazaroo’s Shoe Insoles are the perfect choice for those shopping on a budget.
Made from EVA foam, these insoles are designed to cushion your feet with each step, and offer a deep heel cup, great arch support, and plenty of cushioning. The support given by these insoles is great for those with plantar fasciitis, flat feet, or other common foot problems.
Budget does mean that these insoles do have some drawbacks, however. The main downside of these insoles is that they are not customizable, and only come in a limited number of sizes. They also are not designed for different arch types, which means they only come with generic support. Nonetheless, for just $15 these insoles are pretty hard to beat.
What Do You Think the Best Shoe Insoles for Back Pain Are?
Share your recommendations in the comments section below!
What topics related to back pain would you like us to cover next?
Email us your ideas at email@example.com
Want even more Pain Resource content?