If you’re like us you’ve probably put plenty of thought into the specific trainers you’re wearing while you run for the optimal experience.
However, this can also be taken one step further by ensuring you have the right insoles placed inside your running shoe.
Providing an extra layer of support and comfort they should be able help with your day to day running, as well as assist you through some tricky injuries.
Should you wear insoles while running?
Why are insoles useful for running? It’s a fair question, so here’s what biomechanics specialist and Enertor founder Bente Rewse-Smith has to say about it: “It’s simple: prevention of injury, reducing shockwaves going up through your lower limbs and ensuring an enjoyable time when pursuing triathlon.
“The standard insoles you find in most running shoes tend to be EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) or foam, which can bottom out quite quickly. The major manufacturers spend most of their money on the shoe soles and the uppers, and spend very little on the insoles. Pull out the insoles from your trainers and you will see.
“A premium insole will effectively upgrade the standard insole in running trainers that doesn’t really provide much protection. It is also possible to get bespoke insoles or orthotics. These are made specifically for your feet. Eighty per cent of people will only need a good quality insole, but if you have very particular needs then going down the bespoke root can ensure the perfect device for your particular biomechanical needs.”
Are there different types of running insoles?
“There are various different types of running insoles,” explains Rewse-Smith. “Some concentrate more on control and support, and tend to have a rigid shell in order to maximise support. Others concentrate more on shock absorption, possibly with a design to reduce the most common injuries.”
What makes a good running insole?
There are two key factors that make a good insole, says Rewse-Smith. “Firstly it’s the design and secondly the material. The design is important. Look out for features like a met dome (which helps to spread the load on your forefoot), a slight heel raise for Achilles problems and the correct arch support.
“For the material you need to pick one that has good shock absorbency properties to help protect against the ground forces. The best thing to do is take time to look for insoles that have specific studies backing their claims and people’s testimonials online to ensure you buy the insoles suitable for your needs. If you are testing insoles in a shop, try them in your trainers you use.”
Best running insoles to buy in 2022
In our list below we cover a broad collection of running insoles, including those that promise to spread the shock absorption to reduce knee pain, ones that have extra cushioning to keep your mind on the finish line and pairs that specialise in absorbing moisture to limit blisters. Choices have been made based on research and analysis of user reviews.
Enertor PX1 Running Insoles
The Enertor PX1 running insole have been designed to greatly reduce the shockwaves that travel through your legs when running. The brand says this is done by transmitting the impact horizontally through the insole rather than vertically.
Enertor says it offers 89% more shock absorption per mm than standard insoles, while also being a claimed 40% lighter and 90% softer. The idea is that this should help avoid injuries caused by the constant impact with the ground.
The PX1 insoles also feature a cushioned arch support and an anatomical contour known as a ‘Met Pad’ to help spread the load of your weight on the forefoot.
Fitting within a regular sized shoe, they also boast reduced muscle fatigue when worn, making them particularly worth considering for a training regimen that includes long runs.
FootActive Orthotic Sports Insoles
Not only does this insole claim to make your running easier day to day, but the brand also says that popping a pair in your shoes can prevent typical injuries that come with plenty of running such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints and knee pain.
These are said to be especially ideal for those who are prone to pronation and, thanks to their gel base, FootActive says they should provide plenty of shock absorption to make the repetitive impact less difficult on your feet and knees.
They’re even designed with moisture wicking properties to ensure your feet stay dry on those warmer and more intense running sessions.
Sidas 3Feet Run Sense High Arch Footbed
Specifically made for runners who have a high arch, Sidas has created an insole that aims to support the existing movement of your feet while boasting an improved gait.
It has EVA padding in both the heel and the forefoot to help cushion your strike and also help propel you for a potentially speedier finish.
Due to the perforated design, Sidas says this should also be a breathable choice for your shoe.
Superfeet Green Insoles
If you have specific concerns about the impact of your stride and you’re looking to reduce the shock absorption your legs are experiencing, these Superfeet Green insoles could be an option.
They’re said to boast a firm support, which they say reduces fatigue and preserves energy.
There’s also a natural coating that Superfeet has used to reduce any odour that may be caused by lingering bacteria after a long run.
Kalenji R300 Insoles
Designed to make sure your next long run or speedy sprint gives you the support and comfort you need, the R300 insoles from Kalenji are packed with features.
They have Poron inserts, which are said to give you additional cushioning to assist with the impact, and they’re also designed to absorb moisture in order to help keep your feet dry.
Sorbothane Single Strike Insoles
These insoles from Sorbothane aim to reduce the general impact throughout your feet as you run, although they specifically target the heel area.
The brand claims these insoles spread 94.7% of the shock waves so it’s not centred on one area, which is said to help reduce the risk of injury.
Promising plenty of stability thanks to their cushioning, they should also be easy to use and fit in your specific shoe as they can be cut to size. They’re also nice and lightweight at a claimed 38g.
Dr. Scholl’s Athletic Series Running Insoles for Women
Aiming to protect you from all sorts of maladies that could be caused by lots of running, Dr. Scholl’s Athletic Series insoles claim to prevent pain caused by ailments such as runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis and shin splints.
Especially designed for women, this set can be trimmed to fit your shoe size to ensure they sit snugly inside your trainers.
They feature SweatMax tech, which is said to help do away with any odours that could be caused by plenty of use, although they recommend you fully replace them after six months.