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Choosing the best orthopedic shoe inserts depends on the shape of your foot, gait, and the shoe's purpose. A basic insole may improve the feel of the shoes, but will not accommodate your specific needs to the maximum degree possible. It is even possible to get custom orthopedic shoe inserts at a fairly reasonable price, but many people find that pre-made inserts are perfectly adequate when chosen well. Which brands are the best is largely a matter of preference, and trying out several different brands may yield the best results.
The shape of your foot is the first thing to consider when choosing orthopedic shoe inserts. A good place to start is with size, as orthopedic shoe inserts are often sold to correspond to a specific shoes size. Some inserts need to be trimmed by cutting them with scissors at home to achieve a better fit. Inserts for children are often not as readily available, but may be found in some shoe stores and can always be ordered specially.
Your gait also has an effect on which inserts will be best. Some people tend to roll the foot either inward or outward, and there are many insoles designed specifically to compensate for this tendency. Other abnormal gaits can be remedied with insoles as well. Depending on the specific activity, you may or may not be able to find orthopedic shoe inserts that adequately meet your requirements.
In most cases, the deciding factor when choosing the best orthopedic shoe inserts is the activity for which the inserts will be used. The human body places weight in different places when standing, walking, or running. As such, a different insert is needed in order to best fit each of these activities. Usually, the inserts will be labeled according to what activity they are for. Some inserts are made for specific sports, such as golf or basketball.
On the one hand, it may be better to invest in a high-quality shoe rather than try to improve a shoe with inserts. The counter argument is that inserts are more customizable and less expensive, not to mention replaceable. Shoe inserts often get dirty and destroyed fairly quickly with regular use, so the cost of the insert should also be a factor when deciding which to purchase. If possible, it may be a good idea to consult with a professional if pain in the knees or feet is one of the reasons you want to get insoles, because a professional will likely be able to suggest the best possible solution.
Good article. There are many medical issues and daily living needs that require a good quality shoe insert to be used along with one's existing shoe. --Tyler
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