Knee & Ankle Product reviews By Sophie Xie / August 2, 2016 The Ultimate Review: best in insoles/orthotics for plantar fasciitis pain Inserts. Insoles. Orthotics.All these fancy names, colorful designs, countless brands, and promises. And all you want is ONE what-ever-you-call-them to stuff into your shoes and finally experience relief from the nagging plantar fasciitis pain.The hard truth is that choosing the right fitting orthotics or insoles may take some researching, experimenting and quite a bit of luck. This is hardly a cookie-cutter situation.However, in this post, I will highlight some outstanding products that I have worked with in the past, hopefully, lead you down the right path.Difference between insoles and orthotics?Traditionally, insoles or inserts refer to the footwear accessories sold in department stores and drug store. Their purpose is to provide comfort and support for people who walks and stand a lot at their job.And orthotics refer to medical supplies and products designed for specific foot and ankle conditions. These are typically stiff and hard, intended to provide maximum support. Many doctors prefer custom-made orthotics to correct individual functional foot deformity with precision.Nowadays, these terms are used casually and interchangeably. People found that insoles or orthotics could be both comfortable and supportive. And most people will benefit from the same sets of features to make their pain to go away.Important features There are a few things you should look for when buying inserts, orthotics or insoles for plantar fasciitis pain relief. These features are what you are paying for. However, they are also the most tricky part of finding the best fit. Arch height or instep height: Most of us are aware that feet come with arches and arches come in different heights. Well, so does orthotics. Arch support is a crucial part of a good orthotics because our arches bear a significant portion of our body weight. Whether you have a high arch or collapsed arch, the best orthotics are those that fit your original and natural arch height.Heel cushionHeel cushion has two importance. It provides the optimum heel lift (about 1 - 1.5 inches) to relieve stress on the heel. It also absorbs a significant amount of impact force with every step you take.Heel supportHeel support function like a cup, hugging and holding your heel upright. By supporting your heel in proper alignment, your ankle joint and muscles around it can function properly. The more your feet overpronate, the more heel support you probably need.Some good orthotics, inserts or insoles, whatever you call themPROFOOT Plantar Fasciitis OrthoticsHighly popular and affordable half-length orthotics. In theory, people who suffer from plantar fasciitis does not need a full-length orthotics. However, half orthotics may shift around within your footwear without your permission, especially if you wear wide, flat or large shoes. Arch height Heel cushion Heel Support Over all comfort Price:$7.30Pros: Highly affordable. Provide good heel lift. Soft foam surface for comfortCons: may not be suitable for larger shoe size . Limited overall support. Recommendation: This popular and affordable half-lengthed orthotics is a great produce for those who experience minor yet recurring plantar fasciitis symptoms. Especially those who spend a significant amount of work day on foot. These orthotics comes in different sizes. Some people prefer to wear these inside their socks for extra stability and comfort.Superfeet Green Premium Insoles, GreenSuperfeet insoles are serious insole maker for people who have serious insole needs. They have been in this business for over 50 years and has been well respected and highly recommended by many podiatrists and physical therapists. Superfeet insoles come in many levels and shapes. The green insole shown in the picture here has the highest arch support. Other insoles in the original premium collection are slightly different. The blue insole has a medium arch profile, and black has the least. Super feet offer a broad range of well-made insoles with a different combination of features.Arch height Heel cushion Heel Support Over all comfort Price:Around $40.00Pros: Simple yet highly scientific shape. Most people can find a perfect pair of Superfeet insoles for performance, pain relief or just comfort. Good quality with trusted company.Cons: Very limited explanations to help people to choose the best insoles from their many options. Here is an article explaining how to pick your Superfeet insoles by color. And if you are still somewhat confused (like me), you can contact their help section here, and they can help you choose the best fit.Recommendation: Great product and trusted brand for active individiuls. Especially for those suffering from chronic plantar fasciitis pain, you will appreciate a pair of insoles made with precision that you can wear for a long long time.Orthotics for Flat Feet by Samurai Insoles® This comfortable and gentle insoles will lift your flat foot up to cloud heaven. The mild contour and generous cushioning make this a very comfortable insole.Arch height Heel cushion Heel Support Over all comfort Price:$39.99Pros: Gentle support for true flat foot (not collapsed arch) and sensitive feet. Soft material for comfort.Cons: Not good for collapsed arch or high arch people. Not very durable.Recommendation: Just like stated in the name, this insole is ideal for those with flat feet. People with true flat feet are prone to have sore and achy feet. For those who have sensitive feet might not be able to tolerate stiff and max-support insoles. This comfortable insole will provide just enough cushion and support, yet not overthrow your nature feet alignment.Podiatrist Grade Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis by Corefit® OrthoticsAre you up to do-it-yourself project? You can get yourself a custom made orthotics right in your own kitchen. A well-made custom made orthotics can cost anywhere from $100 to $80o. And these firm moldable orthotic kits are likely the same thing you bought at your podiatrist's office. Arch height Heel cushion Heel Support Over all comfort Price:$59.95Pro: These orthotics are really good priced for being moldable to the shape of your feet. The firm material offers very good support for heel and arch. Cons: In order to take full advantage of this orthotics, you or your family members are best off with some hand-and-craft genes. When in doubt, call your podiatrist or physical therapist office so that they may agree to fit this product to your feet in their office next time when you go in. In addition, the hard material may require a few days for your feet to get used to them. Recommendation: If your feet does not fit well with the prefabracated insoles, inserts or orthotics, you may wish to give this a try. Just remember to adapt to the orthotics slowly from no more than 2 hrs on the first day.Powerstep Full Length Orthotic Shoe Insoles OriginalThis company was founded by podiatrists in 1991. Their most popular design are the Original, Pinnacle and Pinnacle Maxx, which offer the most support for overpronation. These orthotics are often compared with the more expensive Superfeet insoles.Arch height Heel cushion Heel Support Over all comfort Price:$17-30Pros: Lots of cushion for comfort, will make more sensitive feet very happy. Good arch support for larger feet and larger shoes.Cons: Made with less precision and durability than Superfeet insoles. The rounded shape may not feet all shoes. Recommendation: Great option for less active individuals and office worker with recurring foot pain. These insoles are more affordable and easier to adapt to, especially for sensitive and flared-up feet.This is my list.Am I missing something? Let me know if you have additional products recommendation or any other information to share in the comments bellow.Thank you for reading, and I hope you find this post helpful.Recommended readings:Heel pain? Do this test before you buy any orthotics or insertsWhy heel pain? Do you have overpronated feet?6 worst shoes you can walk in for plantar fasciitisLike what you just read? Share this post via our social media buttons! They are everywhere on this page!Want to know more about treating your own pain with techniques from a physical therapist? Please subscribe to our newsletter!