Insoles are often overlooked, whether your shoes are brand new or their interior is already tearing apart. Most people consider them when it is already too late – their shoes are already wrecked on the inside or their medical condition is already painful. Ideally, you should have insoles as soon as you get new shoes, whether you want to protect them or to ensure a more comfortable walk. If somehow you develop a painful condition, pay attention to little signs and react before it is too late. Sure, even if you wait, chances are you will not need surgery anyway, but why cure a painful heel when you can prevent it?
All in all, insoles come in different types and styles. Some of them are designed for comfort only, while others are all about treating medical issues. While they are all advertised to be insoles, inserts and orthotics are slightly different things due to the reasons wherefore they are made. Orthotics are more common among doctors – they are bought at a doctor’s recommendation and can even be customized based on the patient’s needs. Knowing the differences between different types of insoles will help you make a more informed decision.
Carbon insoles are not so common in commerce for some simple reasons. First of all, they are more expensive than average insoles. It is easy to tell why – they are made of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is likely to last for ages, so you can swap them from one pair of shoes to another with no problems at all. Besides, carbon fiber is extremely lightweight as well.
Other than that, they are mostly recommended against more severe conditions, such as arch collapse, heel spurs or flat feet. They are usually purchased at a specialist doctor’s recommendation.
Cork insoles are self-explanatory – they are made of cork. It may sound a little unusual at first, since cork is not as comfortable as silicone or other similar materials. It is less likely to provide too much extra comfort. So, why are these insoles for? Just like carbon insoles, they are usually taken at a doctor’s recommendation. They are mostly indicated to diabetics – regardless of the type.
Diabetics are not allowed to step on plastic materials, not to mention other synthetic materials. From this point of view, cork makes a good choice because it is quite efficient at absorbing perspiration.
Silicone insoles represent the most common type on the market. You can purchase them in most pharmacies as well. They are not specifically made against one affection or another. Instead, they are general. For this reason, they are also quite inexpensive. Some people purchase them for the extra cushioning, which means more comfort. Some others buy it to prevent or handle general pains in the heel as long as they are not too severe.
Silicone is extremely efficient at absorbing shocks, but it also maintains its density throughout the entire insole. Such insoles come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
Dynamic insoles represent the more expensive segment of this industry. They are meant to be dynamic, so they are usually recommended to sports people. However, no matter what type of sport you are into, it does not mean that you can choose a random set and go along with it. Instead, a sports doctor should recommend the right type based on the sport. This is because different sports put a different amount of tension on different parts of the foot.
Most manufacturers rely on dynamic polymers to create such insoles. As for the actual shape and design, it depends on the sport – each sport has a specific layering method.
Biomechanical insoles are quite sophisticated and hard to find so easily in commerce. You cannot just go to the nearest pharmacy and order a pair. They are often customized and designed to treat particular conditions – the more severe ones. At the same time, materials may vary slightly.
From this point of view, some biomechanical insoles come with rigid based, while others are semi-rigid. Some models are made of plastic, while others are made of aluminum. Graphite is another common material. It is not unusual to find a mix of materials, as they are often combined with cork. As if all these were not enough, there might be a top layer of leather too.
Height increasing insoles do not have too much to do with the medical industry or medical conditions. Instead, they are often referred to as shoe lifts or height inserts. Their main role is to add to your height – simple as that. They are often made of rubber, so they can resist for ages without too much maintenance.
Height increasing insoles come with a thick portion. They can increase the height of both feet. They may also be used with cosmetic or medical purposes if you only need to increase the height of one foot. Therefore, apart from improving your appearance, they may also be used as a treatment.
Sports insoles are designed to help during intense sports activities. They are often made of inexpensive materials, so their price is not that high. Elastic rubber is by far the most common material, yet other options are available in high end products. They come with not one, but more shock absorbers to take over all the tension and pressure targeting the heels.
Since sports involve lots of physical activity, these insoles also feature perspiration absorbing systems and materials. They aim to keep feet dry. You can find them in sports equipment stores, as well as over the Internet. Professional sports people rely on high end products that may cost a fortune.
As a short final conclusion, being familiar with the most common types of insoles will work wonders in the long run, as you will know precisely what you need and what to look for. When it comes to medical conditions, it might be wise to have a conversation with your specialist doctor for a recommendation.
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