Not every athlete needs an insert, but if you are prone to overuse injuries, or have foot, knee or back pain or instability, you may benefit from one.
Superfeet are a top selling sports shoe insert for a variety of conditions. They help reduce pronation and increase arch support. They are not cheap, but are very sturdy and many runners love them. They are designed to hold the heel in alignment and therefore reduce strain on knees, ankles, hips and lower back.
Spenco makes a variety of arch supports and shoe inserts that can help reduce pronation and provide extra support for those with high arches or flat feet. They help reduce foot pain, and may help the foot stay in a nuetral position to some degree. Spenco has an extensive line of supports and are most reasonably priced products.
Metatarsal pads fit under the ball of the foot and decrease pressure on the metatarsal bones. This is helpful for athletes who are often running or hiking uphill and have pain in the midfoot.
I love Dr. Scholls Insoles because there are so many varieties and sizes that they work for every shoe and activities. The gel insoles are a favorite of mine for cycling, and running when the goal is simple comfort.
5. Gel Heel Cup
Heel cups are often prescribed by physical therapists to reduce symptoms of foot pain, heel pain and plantar fasciitis. They cushion the heel and raise it slightly which helps decrease the stress on the plantar fascia.
New Balance started making replacement inserts for their shoes, but those inserts are great for all your running footwear. Decide if you need motion control, cushioning or stability first, and then select your replacement insert.