When we have a problem with our feet we can’t often just rest them for a few days until they heal.
We’re constantly on our feet, and they bear our entire body weight. It’s no wonder things like heel spurs can be so painful and cause swelling and inflammation.
Not all shoes are helpful for heel spurs either. Some have too little cushioning, and some put too much pressure on sore spots. But you don’t need to throw away your existing shoes just to buy “heel spur shoes”.
All you need are some of the best heel spur insoles. Just remove the ones in your shoes currently, and replace them with one of these on this list.
We chose the Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer as our winner, as they have a lightweight footbed that offers arch and heel support, their SpenCore cushioning gives you enhanced impact absorption, and the heels are extra cushioned.
But we have many other options that may better suit your needs. Read on to see our favorites…
Top 4 Best And Favorites
Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer
Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for Heel Pain
Vionic Women’s Slimfit Orthotic
1. Spenco Polysorb Cross Trainer
These insoles are made from polyester and are a 4-way stretch material that helps to reduce the chances of getting blisters. They also feature Silpure antimicrobial technology which will keep your feet cool and dry and smelling fresh.
These are great for individuals with heel spurs thanks to their cushioning. If you look at the insoles, you’ll notice that the heel is thicker than the forefoot to provide you with extra support and soft cushioning where you need it most.
The polyurethane PolySorb footbed is lightweight and provides support in both the heels and the arches. The EVA forefoot layer is thinner but springy and provides good energy return. The SpenCore material top layer offers increased impact absorption for intense activities that may take a toll on the feet.
They have a SpenCore heel pad for added cushioning right in the area that could be a problem for individuals with heel spurs. It eases shock in the heel with every step, reducing pain while walking or running, and the chances of pain flaring up once you get home and rest your feet.
The insoles come in a variety of women’s and men’s sizes, but some may find that the insoles are too wide for their shoes.
- SpenCore material top layer
- PolySorb PU foam
- Silpure antimicrobial material
- SpenCore heel plug
- These insoles may be too wide for certain types of shoes
Best Value Insole
2. Dr Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for Heel Pain
These orthotic insoles are three-quarter size, which means they will end on the ball of the foot just under the toes.
You won’t need to trim them down and they work well in a variety of shoes. You can also use them in shoes with removable insoles, or you can place them on top of the existing insoles that are already in your shoe.
They are perfect for heel spurs as they really only provide extra cushioning and support for the heel. There’s no forefoot cushioning, and they can fit into any type of shoe from running shoes, sports shoes, work shoes, to smart dress shoes. They’re easy to move from one shoe to another to add some extra softness.
These insoles come with a contoured heel cup to allow your heel to sit more naturally on them. Their Shock Guard technology features a separate piece of foam padding embedded into the heel to absorb shock that would normally cause pain.
They will fit inside most shoes, however, they may slide forward in some shoes and become uncomfortable on the feet. You may need to readjust them if this happens.
- Shock Guard technology
- Contoured heel cup
- 3/4 foot length design
- Will fit most shoes
- Depending on the shoe you’re wearing, you may find that these will slide forward inside the shoe
Best for Men
3. Powerstep ComfortLast
Men who suffer from heel pain when running or during daily tasks would benefit from the Powerstep ComfortLast. They are available in sizes from 3 to 14.5, and work best for those who also need good arch support.
They are made from polyester and have an antimicrobial fabric covering them, so even after a long run or a tiring day at work your feet should be dry and smelling fresh. They are made from slow-recovery foam, so even if you do wear them for an extended period of time, they shouldn’t flatten.
Your feet will be well-supported, with firm arch support and a heel cradle to keep your foot in place. The heels also feature gel inserts that offer extra padding and bounce. They are also quite textured underneath, which assists in holding the insole in place when you place it inside your shoe.
These insoles could take some getting used to, as they’re high-volume and take up a bit of space inside the shoe. It could lead to a snug fit in some shoes, which may be uncomfortable.
- ComfortLast full length cushioned
- Slow-recovery foam
- Arch support and heel cradle
- Anti-microbial fabric
- These are a high volume insole and could lead to a snug fit in certain shoes
Best for Women
4. Vionic Women’s Slimfit Orthotic
These insoles have been designed by a podiatrist and have an APMA Seal of Acceptance.
They are helpful for women who pronate, and are good for many types of foot pain, including heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and Morton’s neuroma.
They are three-quarter length, coming to an end just under the ball of the foot. Orthaheel technology helps to keep the foot in a neutral position, reducing pressure on the inside of the heel. They are also constructed from shock-absorbing materials, so the impact on your heel won’t be as severe as it would without them.
Luckily, these insoles are designed to fit most women’s dress shoes, including heels under 3 inches high. An adhesive pad on the bottom allows you to stick them to the bottom of your shoe, so they won’t slide forward.
You can use them in every pair of shoes you have, and wear them wherever you are, whether you’re at work or a fancy dinner event.
Some may find that the end of the insole rubs against the ball of the foot and causes discomfort.
- APMA Seal of Acceptance
- EcoFresh earth-friendly microbe shield technology
- Orthaheel technology
- Shock-absorbing polyurethane materials
- The 3/4 foot length design may not work for all dress shoes as it may cause chafing on the ball of the foot
Best for Kids
5. Powerstep Pinnacle Junior
Not all kids will need insoles, but if your kid has flat feet or struggles with foot problems, getting them a pair of kids’ insoles could help manage any foot problems from an early age and prevent them from getting worse with age.
These junior insoles have firm arch support to keep the foot from rolling over. There’s a double layer of foam cushioning that is thinner in the forefoot and more robust in the arch and heel.
Powerstep uses Variable Cushioning Technology to make sure all the right parts of the foot are padded. This and the heel cradle make these insoles good for kids who have heel pain.
- Dual-layer cushioning
- Semi-rigid foot arch support
- Heel cradle
- VCT (Variable Cushioning Technology)
- These are firm, but some may find that they’re not as firm in the toe area
Best for Wide Feet
6. Sole Lifestyle Medium
If you have wide feet it can be difficult to find footwear as well as insoles that fit properly and provide the comfort and support you need.
The Sole Lifestyle Medium Footbed is our choice as the best heel spur insole for individuals with wide feet. They also have the APMA Seal of Acceptance so their quality is high.
The footbed is made from low-density EVA which offers softness and flexibility while still providing support. You’ll find a deep padded heel cup that aligns the foot properly and utilizes the foot’s own natural heel padding to relieve pain.
It molds to the shape of your foot over time, while promoting natural foot alignment and offering all the support necessary. The low-density foam also helps distribute pressure and weight equally across the surface area of the shoe, so there are no “hot spots” for foot pain.
- APMA Seal of Acceptance
- Polygiene stays fresh technology
- Lower-density EVA
- Promotes natural foot alignment
- There are fewer sizes available for women than for men
Best for Athletic Shoes
7. Superfeet EVERYDAY Pain Relief
If you spend time playing sports or running, you may find that your heel spurs become aggravated and you have pain during or after these activities.
This professional insole is designed for relief in everyday activities, but it’s great for very active individuals and those who are athletic.
These are good for sports people for a few reasons. They’re made from Vibram Diflex therapeutic foam, which is impact-absorbing and molds to your feet to provide as close to a custom fit as you can get. The material is also antimicrobial and antifungal, so your feet will remain as healthy as possible as well as pain-free.
A horseshoe-shaped heel stabilizer reduces heel movement while you’re running, jumping, or moving quickly on the sports or athletic field. As well as having good heel support, they feature an EVOLyte carbon fiber stabilizer cap in the midfoot to offer stability and responsiveness.
They provide subtle support for the arch, but are best for those with a neutral foot. These insoles are high-volume, so you may not be able to fit them comfortably into a shoe that doesn’t have a removable insole.
- Vibram Diflex therapeutic foam
- EVOLyte carbon fiber stabilizer cap
- Heel stabilizer
- Biomechanical shape
- You may not be able to use these in shoes that don’t have removable insoles due to their high volume
Best for Dress Shoes
8. Pedag Ultra Heel
Dress shoes can be tricky to fit an orthotic into, but this insole is perfect for wearing to any occasion. It’s simply a heel supporting cushion that you insert into the heel of the shoe, and you can wear it for as long as you like to support your heel.
The heel cup is gel, which provides firm but spongy cushioning that’s not too firm. It’s designed to anatomically match the heel and provide the most comfortable experience. Cushioning the heel in this way also reduces pressure on the ankles and knees.
It’s easy to fit into any shoe, and is also washable. In some shoes it may not fit snugly which could lead to it moving around, which may be uncomfortable and need to be adjusted.
- Can be used in all shoes
- Soft-X gel cushion
- Responsibly sourced materials
- Made from skin-friendly materials
- It may move around in some shoes which could be uncomfortable
Best for Casual Shoes
9. SofSole FIT Series Neutral Arch Insole
These insoles promote the natural biomechanics of your stride, keeping your walking in the most natural way to prevent pain and discomfort. Although this is the neutral arch shoe, they are available in variations for high and low arches too, so there’s something for every kind of foot.
An anatomically-shaped nylon plate on the underside of the shoe provides a subtle support from below, as well as providing a deep molded heel cup. High-rebound EVA foam is layered on top of the nylon plate to allow for a comfortable walking or running experience.
You can use these insoles in almost any shoe, and they will offer some support in many situations, such as shopping, running, hiking, going to the gym, or a fitness class like jazzercise.
- Reinforced nylon plate
- High-rebound EVA foam
- Deep heel cup
- Comes in variations for every type of arch
- Once the insole has been inserted they may squeak as you walk
Best Insole with Gel Cushioning
10. Spenco Total Support Gel
Gel cushioning is one of the best for heel spurs as it’s soft but flexible, and offers a massage-like feel. They use a stability cradle to support the arch and heel, which has a deep and foot-hugging heel cup.
The cushioning is laid out in a 3-pod system across the heel and the arch, which helps to absorb most of the shock upon the heel strike. The pods and soles are made from thermoplastic rubber (TPR) comfort gel, which not only absorbs impact but bounces back nicely afterwards.
It also has metatarsal support to relieve pressure from the ball of the foot. This might not sound like it helps the heel, but it avoids rocking back on the heel when there’s extra pressure or pain in the forefoot.
- Silpure antimicrobial material
- Thermoplastic rubber (TPR) comfort gel
- Deep heel cup
- 3 Pod modulation system in heel and arch
- Depending on the shoe you use, these could make for a snug fit
What should I look for when shopping for inserts for heel spurs?
When you’re looking at inserts to help alleviate the pain that comes with heel spurs, you want to make sure that they offer plenty of firm arch support. This will stop your arches from flattening and will help relieve pain.
You want a deep heel cup as this will help to distribute your body weight evenly, improve your balance and stability. There should also be cushioning in the heel that will reduce the impact and absorb the shock of your foot strikes.
Make sure that the inserts fit properly and that it molds to the contours of your foot as this will provide a firm fit. Look at inserts that have a foam layer of support or added cushioning in the arch as this will make for a more comfortable shoe.
How long do inserts last?
We may expect inserts to last for years, but unfortunately, they don’t. There are a number of things that need to be considered, such as:
- Is it used daily for hours or once or twice a week for an hour?
- Foot structure
- Quality of the insert
- The material they’re made of
- Are the prescribed orthotics or “over the counter”
If you’re using them frequently they could be last for 6 – 12 months. If they’re used every day for a number of hours, they may have to be replaced every 3 to 4 months.
Should I remove my shoe’s original insole before putting in a heel spur insert?
In most cases, the original sole of the shoe should be removed before inserting the heel spur insert. However, some people do prefer to put the insert on top of the original insole.
It’s also best to read what it says on the packaging, as some inserts recommend that you remove the insole so that the insert can fit snugly against the shoe. This will help prevent pressure points that could be caused by the upper of the shoe when you’re wearing it if there’s not a lot of space.
You may want to take the thickness of the heel spur insert into consideration before you place them on top of the shoe’s original insert. Your feet will become swollen during the course of the day. Even if you have plenty of room now, you may find your shoe becomes uncomfortable as your feet swell.
How do I ensure a good fit for my inserts?
Use the size chart when buying the inserts as you want to make sure that you get the right size. Check if the inserts run small or large as this would require you to get a size bigger or smaller for a comfortable fit, especially if the inserts can’t be trimmed.
Most inserts are meant to be trimmed by the toes. You can always place the original insole of the shoe on top of the new insole and then trace the outline of it. Once you’ve got the outline you can then trim the insert.
You can also see if using just a heel cup or a ¾ quarter insert wouldn’t be a better fit for you. Sometimes to get the best fit for you, you need to experiment with different styles and brands, until you find what’s right for you.