Runners often complain about pains, strain and other discomforts and injuries. The reason behind this pain and discomfort is that running is a high intensity workout that gives your legs and feet a lot of stress and pressure. If a runner is not following a proper running technique and is not careful, serious problems can occur. One solution to these pains and discomfort could be use of a proper running shoe insert. Adding a proper insert to your running shoe would not only keep your feet comfortable while running but would also offer complete support. Different types of inserts are available and one could find a right pair while considering their individual needs.
What is a Running Shoe Insert?
A running shoe insert is a strip that is placed in your shoes. The material of this strip should be such that it gives you additional support and comfort while running. Apart from comfort, it saves you from a lot of pains and injuries that may occur as a result of excessive pressure on your joints and muscles from running. Some of the inserts are designed to serve some specific purpose such as shock absorption, aid in over-pronation, anti-bacterial etc.
Types of Running Shoe Inserts:
There exists a wide range of different types of shoe inserts and thus a runner can choose a specific type serving well for all his needs and conditions. Each of these types of running shoes inserts have varied attributes:
- Cushioned Inserts: These are the simplest forms of inserts that runners use for shock absorption. These inserts are made up of thick material so that your feet can enjoy some additional cushioning reducing pain and inflammation in your feet. A good quality cushionedinsert should give you flexibility and shock absorption along with a light weight, thus saving from injuries related especially to your knees and feet. Moreover, material of these inserts should be durable so that they don’t break or wear after running of a few miles. Arch pain, plantar fasciitis and over-worked feet muscles can be addressed with these inserts.
- Stability Inserts: Stability running shoes inserts are designed to specifically address over-pronation. As the name suggests, these inserts offer stability while running and this is why they are usually made of semi-rigid or rigid Stability of these shoes keep you safe from over-pronating and flat feet problems such as plantar fasciitis. You can even get some cushioned- stability inserts that gives you best of comfort and stability together.
- Custom Orthotic Inserts: These inserts are recommended for people suffering from varied biomechanical issues such as bunions, feet ulcers, fallen arches and other conditions. These rigid inserts are designed to keep feet in its proper place without much flexibility. Usually they are more expensive than other types and are custom-made with recommendation of a podiatrist.
- Supportive Orthotics Inserts: These inserts are suitable to support and address plantar arch related problems. Designed for flexibility and comfort along with rigid feet support with plastic material.
- Heat Moldable Inserts: Another customized option for your meet that is less expensive from custom orthotic inserts are heat moldable inserts. These can be heated at a low temperature usually in an oven to conform to the shape of your feet. Just warm it up and stand straight on these plastic inserts. Just make sure that the inserts are not too hot to burn your feet. Thus these inserts would bit best for each individual’s feet. These inserts typically addresses minor feet problems.
- Heel Lift Inserts: Calf injuries and Achilles strained muscles are best relieved with these running shoe inserts. Heel lift takes off pressure from these muscles by raising your feet slightly and offers more stability to your legs. Although you would need to continue with your recovery workout and stretching but using these inserts in both feet (even if only one has problem) is important.
- Toe Splaying Insert: This type of insert may not be normal for you to wear as it is kind of a more barefoot kind of insert. Your running shoes for use of toe splaying should have enough room to allow this material to sit inside.
- Metatarsal Pads: These are cushioned lumps that can be placed behind the ball of your feet. These are designed to distribute pressure and weight of your body so that your toes spread. It keeps your feet from over-pronating and thus offers them a support medium to let them splay naturally. Placing these pads on right places is most important if you really want to keep yourself from strains, fractures and other injuries. If not placed properly, these pads can be harmful. These pads are recommended for uphill running.
Essential Features of a Running Shoe Insert:
A running shoe insert is arbitrated on the basis of some features that a buyer would consider before making his choice:
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- Inserts should be
- They should fit properly in your shoes or else they can do more harm to your feet.
- Inserts should be of high quality so that you can run over a longer time period with them and you don’t need to replace them quickly.
- Materials can be plastic, foam/cushioned or gel. Plastic inserts are usually recommended forkeeping feet in correct position. Foam and gel are ideal for added cushioning and comfort along with shock absorption for meet. Make sure that the insert you choose gives you ample amount of support and cushioning.
- Inserts should be from a reliable brand so that you are sure of durability, quality and efficient performance.
Running shoes inserts comes in a wide variety and thus one can make a selection depending upon different factors that we have discussed here. Each runner would have individual needs and thus a particular insert type should be purchased depending upon those needs. If you can select a proper type of insert suitable for solving problems related to your feet and you place it properly, it could prevent you from further problems and would offer you more stability and comfort while running.