Best Shoe Inserts for Comfortable Shoes

Updated on November 2, 2018
drpennypincher profile image

Dr. Penny Pincher founded the popular personal finance blog Penny Pincher Journal in 2013 and has published two books about saving money.

How to Make Your Old Shoes Comfortable

Sometimes my feet hurt. Typically my feet ache a little bit, but sometimes it feels like someone has worked the bottoms of my feet over with a baseball bat. Today was one of those days.

Shoe Insert to Make Old Shoes Comfortable
Shoe Insert to Make Old Shoes Comfortable | Source

I don't know if I have bad feet or bad shoes. I have a pair of Fila tennis shoes with memory foam insoles that feel great. It's also great that I got them at Famous Footwear for only $25 using a coupon.

But the bad news is that I can't really wear tennis shoes to work. I need to wear either my black shoes or my brown shoes. Both are years old, and both are uncomfortable.

I have been able to make my shoes last for years, sometimes even repairing shoes to save money instead of buying new shoes. Over time, the shoe insole has worn down and is flat and hard.

I ended up with a $25 Walgreens gift card- how I ended up with this is a story for another day. For now, I will just mention the Walgreens Balance Rewards Program as a tip for saving money at Walgreens.

I decided to try to use my gift card to solve my immediate problem of sore feet. Since Walgreens doesn't sell shoes, my options were to get some ibuprofen or get some new insoles to make my old shoes more comfortable.

What Are Shoe Inserts?

Shoe inserts are also known as shoe insoles. They are made of foam or rubbery plastic materials and make a cushion for your feet in the bottom of your shoes. Some are simply cushions, and some provide arch support as well.

The packaging of the products describes the problem that specific insole is intended to solve. Some inserts are designed to relieve back pain or aching legs. Others specifically mention relieving foot pain.

You can find ones specifically for "work" and some for running. The inserts for work are intended to help people who are on their feet all day at work. The running insoles provide extra shock absorption for running on pavement.

How Much Do Shoe Inserts Cost?

I was surprised at the variety available at Walgreens. I also checked at another pharmacy and found a similar selection. The lowest cost for new insoles that I found was 99 cents for some generic foam inserts that you cut with scissors to the size of your shoe. Compared with the fancy molded foam inserts and plastic inserts with gel cushions, the simple flat foam pad seems entirely inadequate.

Most of the orthotics for sale were in the $5 to $15 price range. Some of these feature arch support and shock absorption. I think any of these would improve the comfort level of old shoes with worn-out insoles.

Some insoles are more expensive than others. It's about $40 or more for custom fit shoe inserts. Some stores have "foot mapping" machines that measure the pressure on the bottom of your feet as you stand. After measurement, the machine recommends a specific type of shoe insert based on the measurements. This may be worth the money if the "off the shelf" inserts in the $5 to $15 price range don't solve your issues.

Which Is the Best Shoe Insert?

I found some cool-looking inserts with gel in the heel that looked promising and cost about $15. However, these inserts were intended to help with back pain according to the description on the package. I decided to go ones that specifically help with foot pain.

I picked out some Dr. Scholl's Tri-Comfort inserts. These have features that help with foot comfort in three areas of the foot- the ball, the arch, and the heel. The Tri-Comfort inserts are foam inserts with arch support, but no gel.

The inserts I selected were 3/4 length inserts. This means that the insert does not go all the way to the toe of the shoe. This makes it easier to insert and remove them. Easy removal and insertion of the inserts are important to me since I plan to move the inserts between my black shoes and my brown shoes frequently.

I Selected the "tri-comfort" 3/4 Length Insert to Make My Old Shoes Comfortable
I Selected the "tri-comfort" 3/4 Length Insert to Make My Old Shoes Comfortable | Source

How Long Do Shoe Inserts Last?

Before spending money, I was interested in knowing how long shoe inserts typically last. According to the packaging, they last for six months. I would assume that the six-month life expectancy would be for daily wear. If you don't use your inserts every day, I would expect them to last longer than six months. I suspect the the foam and elastic materials lose their springiness and get flattened down over time.

Do Shoe Inserts Make Shoes Comfortable?

So far, my feet feel a lot better with the new insoles. I installed the shoe inserts immediately after I got back to my office. The first thing I noticed is that they seem to make me a little bit taller. I am pretty tall already, but I am fine with a 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch extra height. Of course, you can buy shoe inserts that are designed to make you taller if that is your goal.

After putting the inserts in my shoes, my feet felt better the more I walked. I think the bottoms of my feet had become bruised from walking with the very hard soles of my old shoes. Also, the lack of arch support was not helping. I think spending $12.50 for something that will work in both pairs of my work shoes was money well spent. I guess since I had a gift card, I didn't actually spend any money, but even if I really paid $12.50, this seems like a good value.

Someone recently suggested that I should invest in buying better shoes. The thought was that I could save money by getting good shoes that last longer. Perhaps next time I buy shoes, I will get higher quality shoes. For now, it is sure nice to have comfortable shoes without spending a lot of money!

Questions & Answers

    © 2014 Dr Penny Pincher

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • drpennypincher profile imageAUTHOR

        Dr Penny Pincher 

        4 years ago from Iowa, USA

        Thanks, kidscrafts! For some reason, it didn't even occur to me to get shoe inserts until I ended up with a gift card and started thinking about what I could get at Walgreens. It sure makes sense to me now: I don't need to get new shoes and my feet don't hurt anymore.

      • kidscrafts profile image

        kidscrafts 

        4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

        Shoe inserts can be a great solution to have more comfortable shoes. I know all about it because I have plantar fasciitis to my left foot and I need all the comfort I can get! Great hub! Thank you for sharing! This article will definitely help a few people :-)

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, bellatory.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://bellatory.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)