5 Best Insoles for Running 2021 | Choosing the Top Shoe Inserts

Since it can be so hard to choose from the wide range of products, our guide will focus on the best insoles for running to help simplify everything for you.

There are numerous reasons to have a pair of quality insoles at your disposal, especially if you regularly engage in activities that put stress on your joints. They can reduce over pronation, provide support and make you a faster runner.

Related Post: Most Comfortable Running Shoes

InsoleMain FeaturesOur Score 
Top pickSuperfeet GreenSuperfeet Green
  • Shock absorbing
  • Deep heel cup
  • Runner-tested
4.5/5 StarsMore..
Dr Scholl's Running insoleDr. Scholl’s Running Insoles
  • Highest Rated
  • Sweatmax Technology
  • Trim to Fit
4.5/5 StarsMore..
Superfeet Pain ReliefSuperfeet Run Pain Relief Insoles
  • 500 Mile guarantee
  • Carbon Fibre
  • Easy “break-in”
4.4/5 StarsMore..
Shock DoctorShock Doctor Active Ultra Insole
  • Durable
  • Light
  • Breathable
3.8/5 StarsMore..
SofsoleSof Sole Insoles
  • Low Price
  • Walking and Running
  • Pain relief
4.5/5 StarsMore..

With Gel pads in the heel and forefoot these insoles are ideal for a mix of running, walking and standing. Many jobs these days include significant walking such as working as a order picker or fulfillment center job at a warehouse. Make sure you can get home each evening without foot pain.

For long distance runners or runners looking for enhanced arch support this is not our recommendation. It’s an option that reviews well in a multi-use shoe.

Reviewers of the shoe do mention the shoe does not perform as well in an athletic footwear application such as soccer cleats. For smaller footwear such as football, soccer, and baseball cleats look for a thinner insole.

The first feature you might notice is the 12 month or 500 mile guarantee. This is a starting point, and you’ll see runners making the pain relief insole last years.

Reviews for this insole state a benefit you’ll enjoy, which is a shorter “breaking-in” period. For you this means less time with aches and pains as your foot is adjusting to the new support.

Carbon fiber construction will maintain the custom heel shape with an independent heel stabilizer. At Superfeet they put their heart and “sole” into everything they do. You can’t avoid them after a stellar pun like that.

The Superfeet green insole is highly regarded and our favorite pick for a mid-range priced shock absorbing insole.

It includes a wide and deep heel cup, high density closed cell foam, and a rigid arch support for those with overpronation.

As standard on a Superfeet insole, we love the fact they put a odor control coating. Any long distance runner will appreciate their shoes smelling just a little bit better.

Some things you should consider are it will take a week or so to get used to the inserts, as the rigid arch support may be more than you’re used to. Also you need to consider the shoes you’re buying. The ideal shoe will have extra space in the toe box for your new insole.

What we love about it is that it’s cheap, but still provides some relief from the top injuries most runners deal with including runners knee, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis

Choose your size carefully, but also you can trim the insole to fit your shoe perfectly. This can be a little tricky but with some patience you’ll trim it just right.

Our research shows there are two main factors you should consider when looking at a low price model insole. Length of time you expect the insole to last and the comfort for long periods on your feet. Look closer at the superfeet options for a runner who logs more miles.

The Research

Should I buy insoles for running shoes?

We realize that there is a wide range of insoles, from inserts that can make running a bit more comfortable, to something that can totally change the way you land.

While running shoes have come a long way, there is still a case to be made for using insoles. In fact a study on insoles found “The average comfort ratings for all shoe inserts were significantly higher” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11689747

For this reason our answer is a yes – most runners can benefit from an aftermarket insole.

Should I choose Comfort or Performance?

Comfortable insoles can provide relief during a run due to their shock-absorbing properties, but the more cushion, the heavier your shoe will be. A cushioned insole is usually made of gel or foam.

As this research is more aimed at runners, the priority will be on performance, as performance does not mean it will make you run faster, it means you will be able to run with better form, with less pain, and without the long term injuries that can hinder the fun you have as a runner.

There is, however, still a case to be made for comfort. The more days you wake up without knee or back pain, the more days you’ll be motivated to get out the door for a run!

How do I choose running insoles?

You’re taking the first (ahem) step by doing your research. You’ll want to start by identifying if there are any specific conditions you need to account for.

If a doctor is needed, don’t take internet advice in place of hands-on medical advice. A professional will help you narrow your choice and guide you in the right direction.

If you’re not in need of medical guidance, just trying to choose an insole for long term comfort and prevention, there may be some trial and error in your future.

The great part about shopping online is many vendors have amazing return policies, and want you to get the best experience possible.

We recommend investing as much as you’re comfortable with, understanding a high quality insole will last much longer than your runners.

Where can I buy running insoles?

There are many places to buy running insoles. If you’re looking to support your local running store, make sure to read reviews on Amazon and make a good choice, then go buy it locally. Supporting local stores is more important than ever now!

If you’re looking online, check prices on Amazon, we recommend shopping with Amazon for speed and selection.

How to reduce noise with insoles?

Sometimes shoe inserts squeak depending on what type of shoes you are wearing. Some runners put dryer sheets in between the inserts and the shoe and to help reduce the squeaking.

If that doesn’t work, take the insoles out of your shoes and make sure they are dry. Rub the exposed plastic with dry bar of soap, let it “set” for a couple hours and put the insoles back in your shoes. The soap reduces the friction and should quiet the squeaking.

Best insoles for running on concrete

Running on concrete will have the greatest impact on your joints. There are a few ways to treat this.

The first is a cushioned insole, where added gel or foam reduces the shock created by a heel-strike. The force reduction will reduce strain on your joints, but isn’t necessarily the final solution.

A long term plan might be to work towards a mid-foot neutral style of running.

Insoles for flat feet running

If you have flat feet or are affected by plantar fasciitis a well supported insole might be right for you.

If you feel that you have flat feet, the first step would be to get a professional opinion. If the doctor recommends arch support and you are not getting custom orthidic insoles, I would recommend testing the insoles on the higher price end of the spectrum.

Risking further injury and pain from running is not worth it. make the investment in your health before it’s too late.

What is a sock liner?

A sock liner is the basic insole that comes in your running shoe. Though some can have a little cushioning and support, usually it is only a barrier between your foot and the stitching in the shoe.

The actual support in any runner comes from the midsole of the shoe, and this is what can be augmented by an aftermarket insert.

Which material is best for a running insole?

Choose the right material. There are many different types of insoles on the market, but the most common ones are made of gel, foam or plastic. You can get different levels of shock absorption, comfort, and support depending on the material you choose. For example, gel and foam insoles are softer and more flexible than plastic ones.

Carbon fiber is the premium material providing the breathability, lightweight, shock absorption, and rigid arch a serious runner will love.

Which Size is right for a running shoe insert

Most products will indicate the size of the insole on the packaging or on the online listing. It’s important to understand your shoe size as well as whether or not the insole is re-sizable or not.

Many have the ability to be trimmed to fit, but don’t assume they can all be trimmed!

How to choose a comfortable insole

Comfort Is the Most Important Factor: There are many different moving pieces that go into finding the right insoles for running, but comfort is vital. The math is simple: the more comfortable you feel, the more you can run. And, the more you can run, the faster you can achieve your goals. Look for insoles that can prevent injuries and feel good during and after the run.

Do I need custom orthotic insoles?

Buying an Orthotic insole can be the right solution to help reduce foot pain and your chance of future foot injury, but there are some features you should consider:

1) Cost – this is the biggest factor in my opinion. Orthotic shoe inserts can be 10x the price of an aftermarket insole, BUT – if your insurance covers it, that is a great option to try.

2) Material – Make sure to ask your physiotherapist if you’re getting an orthotic insert for running or for walking. The two differences as explained by orthoticshop.com include type of cushioning and heel height.

plastic is ideal for custom-built orthotic insoles that need to maintain their shape to ensure that your feet are always in the right position.

Special considerations for plantar fasciitis running insoles

If you are feeling pain in your heel, it’s possible you have the common and annoying foot condition called plantar fasciitis. Always look further into these symptoms yourself, and talk to a qualified doctor.

If, you know this is your current condition, or you’re looking to avoid plantar fasciitis inthe first place, consider this when buying running insoles.

1) Look for high quality EVA Medical Grade foam for maximum shock absorbtion

2) Look for a semi-rigid arch support and heel cup for added stability and less foot movement.

Extra Support Shoe Insoles

When it comes to this type of insoles, they provide comfort through the support and stability they offer during your run. Harder than comfort insoles, they are perfect for runners with supination or overpronation .Make Sure They Fit Right. One of the main things you need to pay attention to is the fit. Make sure the insoles you purchase fit properly into the shoes.

Otherwise, they won’t be as effective as they should. In fact, a shoe insole that does not fit properly can lead to injuries including shin splints, plantar fascia, and other foot pain.Not for the Long Term.

Not that running shoe insoles come with an expiration date, but it is important to replace them once in a while because they will not serve their purpose if they are overused. If you overuse them, the risk of getting injured increases since they cannot provide the same level of protection and support that your feet need during a run. Most experts recommend replacing your running shoe insoles once in every 500 miles.

Our top pick again


An experienced runner and an active mom, Kelly is the research expert behind runninggearlab.com When you don't find Kelly training for her next 10k or 5k race you'll find her reading reviews and testing the latest running watch.

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