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Insolia is a patented design of insole created by podiatrist Dr. Howard Dananberg, who wanted to provide a more comfortable way to wear high-heeled shoes. Dananberg studied the issue, and saw many clients with feet problems from wearing high heels. Though many high heels now feature padding, Dananberg realized this was insufficient to treat the problem. As long as most of the weight of the body rested on the balls of the feet and the toes, people would continue to be pained by wearing high heels. To this end, Dananberg designed Insolia, which are now available in some shoes, or can be purchased as separate insoles at stores like CVS® pharmacies.
The traditional high-heeled shoe rests a portion of the heel at the top of the shoe, and then drops into a straight incline downward, before leveling off at the balls of the foot. This straight incline means that people wearing a high-heeled shoe bear the majority of their weight on the balls of the feet, instead of in an evenly distributed fashion. Padding under the balls of the feet can only accomplish so much, since they were never meant to carry all our weight.
Insolia differs by offering an incline that actually curves a bit upward underneath the arch of the foot before descending downward. This redistributes weight more evenly, allowing women to stand more fully on both the heel and the toe. While the initial design was meant to be fitted in shoes, Insolia liners that could go into shoes women already owned were an even more profitable venture. Women did not want to give up the shoes they already owned, and the pads helped make them more comfortable.
It is clear that Insolia shoes and pads have been tremendously successful. In the US, the first brand of shoes launched with the Insolia design was Nordstrom’s Amalfi shoe line. Soon Donna Karen New York (DKNY) began producing shoes with the Insolia feature. In other countries, the Insolia design is showcased in shoes produced by Marks & Spencer in England. In Eastern Europe you can find the Insolia design in Bata Shoes.
Qantas airlines was so impressed with the Insolia insoles that they changed their uniforms for flight attendants to feature only shoes with Insolia. This made the feet of over 7000 flight attendants much more comfortable. The Insolia design continues to grow more popular and is licensed by shoe manufacturers who wish to use it. It’s estimated that over a million pairs of Insolia shoes have been sold.
Many of the companies that currently feature the Insolia design are designer companies, and the shoes may be expensive or hard to find. If you want to try out the features before you buy, consider buying insoles made by Insolia to see how they feel in a pair of shoes you already own. This is a less expensive investment, with the insoles costing about 10 US dollars (USD).
Insolia inserts are in the heel of the shoe only. They are made of a firm polyurethane. The surface material is not slippery. They are not under the forefoot, therefore they don't take up any room in the toe box of the shoe. In fact, by shifting weight back to the heel, they relieve pressure on the forefoot, and reduce the feeling of your toes being jammed into the toe box.
Are Insolia inserts the full length of the shoe? Are these inserts made of silicone, if not what are they made of? Is the material slippery? When these inserts cause your feet to rise, will they make the bottom of your toes rub against the bottom of the shoe?