Insoles have gained popularity because of their ability to cushion and protect your feet.
Some runners can’t enjoy their favorite sport without them. But do insoles live up to the hype?
Should they be a runner’s first choice, as it often is?
Or should their physicians try other methods before turning to insoles?
We talked to several medical experts and podiatrists to see what they had to say when it comes to running without insoles. Keep reading to find out more.
What are Insoles?
Insoles are shoe inserts that can be removed. They’re designed to improve the fit and comfort of your shoes.
Podiatrists and chiropractic physicians often recommend custom-made insoles for anyone suffering from persistent aches and pains.
When insoles are designed and fitted correctly, they provide proper support. Most promise to correct problems concerned with the pressure exerted on your feet and your overall balance.
There’s a common myth that insoles are only for those suffering from chronic foot pain. The truth is insoles are for anyone who wishes to prevent, as well as treat, foot problems.
Insoles are also referred to as orthotic devices. They’re used to support muscles and relieve tight tendons and ligaments.
Some chiropractic physicians agree that orthotics help alleviate the pain. Yet, they don’t directly address the problem. All they do is mask the symptoms.
Pros of Running Without Insoles
With their cushioning material, heel support, and toe platforms, insoles become part of our daily lives. Nonetheless, many people are asking, ‘Can I run without insoles?’
Let’s look at the pros and cons of running without insoles so you can decide for yourself.
You Save Money
Custom insoles are expensive. Weigh in the fact that you need a pair for each of your shoes, and you’re looking at a financial mess. The good news is that they don’t need to be replaced often.
They’re made of more durable, high-quality material. Besides providing optimal support and comfort, this boosts their product life.
On the other hand, over-the-counter insoles are quite cost-effective. Yet, they don’t last very long.
That’s the number one complaint of insoles. The constant wear and tear take their toll, forcing you to replace them often.
Either way you look at it, you’re going to pay a hefty sum of money for insoles. So why not save your money and do away with insoles altogether?
Strengthen Your Feet
Another benefit of running without insoles is that your feet are given a chance to work harder. Every part will need to learn how to regain its balance and strength on its own. Starting from your feet’s tendons and ligaments, all the way to your ankles and toes.
When the balls of your feet, arches, and heels are no longer dependent on supporting insoles, they become stronger and more capable of managing your body weight. By activating your feet’s intrinsic muscles, your entire foot will be less likely to get injured or fatigued.
You Become Lighter
When you run without insoles, you feel lighter. There isn’t any added weight to pull you down.
You can run faster and stronger because your shoes feel lighter on your feet. It’ll show in the way you use your feet with fluidity and without any restrictions.
It’s also a great way to develop your movements as you’re getting a better feel of your limbs and joints. This improved sense of equilibrium is what the medical experts refer to as ‘proprioception.’
Cons of Running Without Insoles
As with anything, it’s essential to take a closer look at the negative aspects of insoles. By weighing the good and the bad, you can make an informed decision.
You Don’t Get Enough Support
As you’re running, your body has to absorb up to 8 times its body weight. Running without insoles means you’re not getting the proper amount of cushioning.
When there’s nothing to absorb some of that shock, this can lead to long-term injuries to your feet, ankles, legs, hips, and spine.
Most insoles are made of memory foam. This magical material adjusts itself to the shape of your feet. They work well at providing plush support, not just for your feet, but for your entire body.
Other materials are:
- Foam insoles
- Gel insoles
- Leather insoles
- Air-cushioned insoles
May Result in Long-Term Injuries
When you run without insoles, your feet could be on an uneven footing. This can lead to overuse injuries. Overuse injuries are caused by repetitive trauma to a specific body part. In this case, it’s your feet.
Can Cause Blisters
If your running shoes aren’t smooth on the inside, chances are they can cause your feet to rub on the inner stitching. This results in blisters appearing on your toes or instep, especially if you’re used to going on long runs.
Blisters can also occur when insoles slide as you’re running. The friction caused by both the top and the bottom parts sliding over your feet can also cause blisters.
Tips for Using Insoles
Follow these tips to get the most out of your insoles.
- Keep in mind that insoles aren’t magic, cure-alls.
- Get a proper diagnosis from a podiatrist before buying insoles.
- Always break in your running shoes first before inserting any type of insoles.
- After each use, take them out to dry.
- Wash them with mild detergent and cold water, rinse, then air dry.
A Final Note
If you decide to use insoles with your running shoes, make sure you’re using them for the right reasons.
Insoles can help you overcome some of the issues relating to comfort and fit as you’re running. They also work to improve your posture and prevent injuries.
However, if you choose to go running without insoles, make sure you’re getting the proper training and using the correct technique. This way, you can bring your foot back to its natural state without the need for any insoles.
Last update on 2020-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API