You just bought a pair of insoles and can’t wait to take those babies out for a road test. Good for you because you are about to experience a whole new world of comfort and arch support. But, they get dirty depending on how you use your shoes, and so they will need regular cleaning. How do you go about that? Sit tight and let us give you all the information you will need on insole care.
Insoles have shorter life when compared to their counterparts, orthotics. It makes sense too as they are much cheaper and so are quite reasonable to replace. Insoles usually last six months after which you have to replace them. If used after this time, they start feeling like your regular aftermarket insoles that are not very effective at supporting your feet.
Depending on the material they are made of, they are likely not to like water that much. Most insoles on the market are cloth covered or made of form and so water will ruin the interior part. If yours got water-logged, you can easily salvage them if you act fast. As soon as you can, remove them from the shoes and then pat them dry with some cloth to get rid of any moisture hovering. Then, place them flat in a well-ventilated place for air to dry them even further. Depending on their material, they could take as long as a week to air-dry or simply a few hours. You may not want to wear them until they are completely dry as this reduces the effectiveness of their performance.
When to clean your insoles is a personal choice – but usually once a week depending on level of activity is quite sufficient. Cleaning them is one of the easiest tasks as you only need to use lukewarm water and a mild detergent. You don’t want to use harsh detergents or silicone-based cleaners as they can damage the insoles. Being as you are not to soak them in water, you will use a sponge to clean them, applying as much pressure as needed.
If there are some hard to clean spots, just use a brush with soft bristles to get to them as you gently scrub that stained surface. After cleaning them, you want to get rid of all excess water, rinse them properly and then leave them to air-dry in a well-ventilated area. Most insoles will dry overnight and so you can wear them the morning after. Naturally, you never want to wear partially dried insoles as they will not perform the same way.
Some lazy days when you really couldn’t be bothered, you just want to pop your insoles in the machine and let it do the work for you. Is this really recommended? Quite frankly, it all depends on the brand. Some makes give a nod while others highly recommend hand washing.
Good thing all insoles come with instructions and so you will know what to do. But while at it, remember that hand-washing is gentler on your insoles and could lengthen their life. Alternating the two methods of washing is also a good idea.
When is it the right time to replace insoles? Well, it could be any time between 3 and 9 months, but that range should not limit you. You as the wearer of the shoes and beneficiary of insoles knows best what time they stop working as perfectly as they did before. If they are only a month old but not working as you hoped they would, then it is time to get a new pair, hopefully from a different maker altogether.
This question crosses the minds of those seeking the best shoe inserts and so we have to address it. The choice is determined by the reason why you need inserts on the first place. Those whose foot pain is a result of medical conditions will need more specialized care and so orthotics are more preferred. They are also ideal for sports persons as their needs are quite particular. Heat-molded insoles are the real deal as they conform to the shape of your foot without any need for trimming or alteration. They will cost you a pretty penny – between $400 and $600, but they last so long (five years) that you can’t compare that initial cost to the value they will deliver.
Off-the-shelf insoles are not made with a particular market in mind and so they are not problem-specific. They are ideal for those looking for extra support or to make their shoes more comfortable, but they are not custom-made for particular foot problems. They only cost between $20 and $50 and serve you for as long as six month before needing a change.
So, if you need to address a particular foot problem, you are better off investing in a pair of customizable orthotics. They will help you deal with the root of the problem and even improve your performance in sports. Insoles will alleviate pain and make standing for long hours bearable, but they will not solve underlying foot problems.
It goes without saying that taking care of your insoles makes them last longer. They will keep looking newer for longer and also perform better. Stains stick when they are neglected, and so cleaning them regularly will prevent those stains from forming and becoming permanent.
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