Insoles for Sports

insoles for sports

The Benefits of Using Insoles for Running and Golf

While most sports enthusiasts go out of their way to protect every part of their body, the feet can easily go unnoticed. The feet are your foundation and can affect your overall health and well-­being. Most people aren’t constantly aware of the motions feet go through with each step. Without a good insole, bad habits can develop and cause bigger issues in the long run. Whether you’re running a marathon or enjoying a casual game of golf, foot support will help to make things more comfortable and help you avoid injuries.

Many sports shoes include great amounts of cushion and support. Unfortunately, shoe manufacturers tend to design soles with a common foot shape in mind. Because not every foot is the same, you may find that many shoes don’t provide enough support in the areas that you need it most. This can lead to significant pain in the feet and legs that will only worsen with time. Luckily, insoles are available to bridge the gap and provide a comfortable fit for better performance.

Different Types of Insoles

Insoles are removable shoe bottoms that improve the position and movement of the foot inside the shoe. They can be made from a number of different materials and are designed to achieve a number of different results, allowing you to easily create a custom fit. Generally, insoles are categorized as either comfort insoles or support insoles.

Comfort Insoles

These insoles aren’t used to correct existing foot problems, but rather to provide comfort with prolonged use. They are often made from gel or foam to absorb the shock and impact of a hard surface. If you are running on a paved road, comfortable running shoe inserts made from a soft material will lessen the impact of the pavement and reduce the stress placed on heels, ankles, and legs. Alternatively, a comfortable golf insole will make the long hours of standing more comfortable.

Support Insoles

Supportive insoles are the most effective in providing long­term comfort, but they are superior to soft, gel insoles because they can also enhance your performance. They do this by helping the foot and ankle move properly. They provide comfort and relief by altering the way the foot sits in the shoe. These insoles, made from a rigid material, support the feet in many different ways. Insoles are chosen based on the shape and movement of the foot. You can get insoles to support your heel, arch, and virtually any other part of the foot. The support is achieved by stabilizing the foot. This will make slight improvements on the way the foot moves with every step, ultimately leading to enhanced performance, more comfort, and less pain. Support insoles are used to treat the following issues:

● Misalignment
● Over­pronation
● Excessive supination
● Plantar Fasciitis
● Irregular arches

Misalignment

This common issue can come from past injuries, congenital defects, and much more. Improper alignment is usually recognizable due to a slant present within the ankle’s structure. While they may be evident by appearance alone, many people with misaligned feet and ankles aren’t aware of the problem. Without improvement, the issue will worsen with time. Nonaligned ankles spread the force of an impact ineffectively, leading to pain and longitudinal alignment issues throughout the body. Insoles for running shoes can stabilize the foot and restore alignment over time while golf insoles will align the body for a better stance and improved swings.

Over­pronation

Pronation refers to the motion feet go through to absorb the shock of an impact. With each step, the arches of the feet move downward, making the foot roll slightly inward to spread the shock evenly. It is a normal and vital motion that allows your foot to function like it is supposed to. However, issuescan arise when this motion becomes excessive.

Over­pronation is when the feet roll inward. This excessive inward roll will eventually cause alignment issues. With each step, the leg, thigh, and hips rotate inward. This causes the pelvis to tilt unnaturally, leading to pain throughout the body. If you’ve ever experienced pain in the hips or back after running, extreme pronation may be the cause. Insoles can be used to relieve foot pain and further issues by correcting the excessive roll. A support on the inner arch will control the rolling motion to reduce pain.

Excessive Supination

Often referred to as under­pronation, supination is a complementary motion that helps the feet propel the body forward. It is the opposite of pronation. With supination, the feet roll outward subtly, allowing the balls of the feet to push forward off the ground. Much like over­pronation, excessive supination is a cause for concern.

Too much of a roll outward leads to a number of issues. Like too much pronation, it results in misalignment of the body. The leg, thigh, and hip will roll outward to produce a posterior tilt in the pelvis. Not only that, but excessive supination can also lead to fractures. The ankles experience more stress, increasing the impact with each step. Ankle issues, fractures, and back problems are very common. An insole can be used to support the outer arch, regulating supination.

Plantar Fasciitis

This condition can have a debilitating effect on people of all ages. It occurs from the swelling of the tissue that connects the heel to the foot, called the plantar fascia. This tissue usually supports the arch of the foot and absorbs the shock of every step. However, poor support will lead to swelling and pain. This inflammation of the tissue will cause a shooting pain in the heel and can lead to knee, hip, or back issues. It is incredibly common among runners. Insoles for running shoes will support the heel and arch, helping you avoid damage to the plantar fascia. Insoles can even alleviate existing issues and help treat the condition.

Irregular Arches

While you can be born with irregular arches, lifestyle choices and habits can affect them as well. There are two arches on the foot. The medial arch is the main arch that extends from the ball of the foot to the heel. It helps to evenly spread the weight of the body throughout the foot and adds stability. It also absorbs shock. Issues with the medial arch can lead to over­pronation, excessive supination, and inadequate shock absorption. The transverse arch is lesser­known, but equally important. This arch is located in the middle of the foot and crosses perpendicular to the medial arch. Because many nerves and blood vessels are located in the middle of the foot, issues with this arch can be especially painful. Bunions and numbness are common issues. Both foot arches can be affected by poor support. Some people have normal arches, but other situations can occur with your arches. They can be:

● Too high
● Too low
● Completely collapsed and flat

Proper running shoe inserts will support the heel and prevent collapse. They’ll also support existing arch issues and prevent pain by increasing blood flow and spreading the shock of the impact. The right golf shoe inserts will give you more stability for your swing. If you have flat feet, insoles will improve your posture and body alignment for both running and golfing, while also enhancing your performance.

The Benefits of Using Insoles

All in all, insoles are an effective way to relieve foot pain and protect the feet during a run or game of golf. Sports enthusiasts can benefit from quality insoles. When compared to standard sports shoes, the addition of insoles provide the following benefits:

● Increased stability
● Improved foot mobility
● Decreased chances of long­-term injuries throughout the body
● Reduced strain on plantar fascia
● Regulation of pronation and supination
● Improvement on overall body alignment
● Support and improvement of arch issues
● Improvement on overall comfort and performance

When it comes to sports like running or golf, nothing is more important than a solid foundation you can rely on. Proper support and stability in the feet will ensure that every step you take on your run is better than your last. Effective insoles will also provide you with the balance and control to make every swing of the golf club count. But regardless of what sport you are playing, insoles are there to provide you with the comfort and support to push yourself to the limit.