Do Gel Insoles Really Work?

It wasn’t the shoemaker but the innkeeper who first realized a need for insoles. When people in the old days complained about their tired, aching feet it was usually to a sympathetic innkeeper over a tankard of ale.

Innkeepers learned there was a demand to make walking more comfortable, so they supplied what was needed by making mats of animal hair that could be used to line the sole of a shoe.

Modern insoles are made of thermoplastic, a plastic polymer that has been heated and molded into the shape of the foot. The polymers used to make gel insoles are made so that they are in a semi-liquid state, making them very squishy.

do gel insoles work

What Are Gel Insoles?

Insoles are slips of material that are put inside your shoes or boots to provide additional comfort, warmth, and perhaps even a better fit. They are occasionally referred to as ‘footbeds’ or ‘inner soles’. The first and foremost purpose of an insole is to make the shoes more comfortable to wear.

While insoles will not physically make a shoe smaller, they will fill out the empty spaces between the feet and the inside of the shoe. A gel insole increases grip and will stop slippage and relieve pain, this is particularly true for the balls of the feet.

What Are Gel Insoles Used For?

If your heel is slipping out of the shoe, or the heels of your shoes are rubbing, a gel heel grip may help. A lightweight gel insole reduces pain and minimizes fatigue in the legs, feet, and lower back. A layer of firmer gel cradles the heel and supports the arch in such a way as to deliver extra stability with no discomfort. The full-length insoles are used to relieve arch pain, heel pain, plantar fasciitis pain, and lessen foot fatigue.

What Do Gel Insoles Do?

People who use them may feel more energized due to the all-day comfort felt from wearing gel insoles. Reduction of muscle fatigue will help you stay on your feet longer. The forefoot, midsole, arch, and heel will get the extra support they really need. Multiple layers of gel waves can act as super springy shock absorbers.

What Are Gel Insoles Made Of?

The material used to make gel insoles has a low durometer, high durability, and is easily molded. Many people prefer to use Plastisol. This is especially true of custom inserts.

Gel Vs. Foam Insoles

For the most part, foam is the best choice if you are in need of cushioning, support, and pressure relief. However, the gel works best for shock absorption. Gel may be a bit heavier than foam but it is the preferred insole material of runners and other athletes. Foam also slides around less, making it a favorite with people looking for maximum comfort levels with some support.

Are Gel Insoles Good For Your Feet?

On the whole, inserts are not harmful to feet as long as they are being used properly and are of the right design. Gel inserts are designed for any type of physical activity with the purpose of reducing foot pain while simultaneously improving your performance.

Neutral runners may find that these inserts provide just the ideal amount of support. However, if you have serious foot issues, then perhaps gel insoles are not a good choice for you.

Do Gel Insoles Help Plantar Fasciitis?

They can, if you get something with a gel heel cup which will aid in controlling and stabilizing the rear foot. If you get a gel insole specifically for treating plantar fasciitis, the arch aid in supporting and stretching the plantar fascia. Such a specialty insole is a good option for anybody who spends a good deal of time on their feet.

Do Gel Insoles Help Flat Feet?

If you are looking for long term comfort, the best solution to flat feet is to put a pair of very firm arch support insoles in your footwear. Cushy soft foam or gel inserts simply will not offer your foot any sufficient arch support at all. As soft as they are, they will not relieve your pain. You will need something firmer.

Do Gel Insoles Make Your Feet Sweat?

You can get the shock absorption you need without the sticky, sweaty feet if you get a gel insole that is perforated with sweat vents. It is quite breathable while still providing ample cushioning.

Do Gel Insoles Prevent Blisters?

A common cause of foot blisters is the feet sliding around in the shoes. For this, you are likely better off with foam insert as they do not slide around as much.

Are Gel Insoles Good For Walking?

There are reasons for and against using these liquid gel bubbles. They are durable due to the fact that the gel resists compression. However, they can be rather heavy which would more weight of your boots.

They also aren’t very breathable. On the other hand, they do provide more than adequate shock absorption and can easily keep their shape. They are also very simple to clean.

Are Gel Insoles Good For Running?

There are gel-padded insoles for running available on the market. They tend to be a bit lighter than the foam insoles meant for running and are often engineered for both pain relief and protection from damage due to impact stress. The ones marketed as “massaging gel insoles” are made more with therapeutic padding, providing the most effective pain relief available in the majority of cases.

Do Gel Insoles Make You Taller?

While there are insoles that can make you taller, get insoles are generally too soft for the job. You can use them with lifts to make them feel more comfortable.

Can You Cut Gel Insoles?

Yes, and it is advised that you use very sharp scissors for a clean cut. The insoles will not be damaged if the cutting is done carefully. Cut along the outline that you will find on the outside of the line first. This will keep the insole from being too small. Keep in mind that some shoes may vary somewhat from their stated size. The insole can then be trimmed further to achieve a custom fit.

How To Put Gel Insoles In Shoes?

If your shoes’ inserts are removable, take them out first. Put the insole into the shoe in order to test it for size. If it is required, trim the insole along the outline (it will be on top of the insole and near the toes) that is the same as your shoe size.

The insole can now be inserted into the shoe with the gel side down. You will need to replace the insoles every six months or at the first signs of becoming worn out.

How To Keep Gel Insoles In Place?

You can make use of double-sided carpet tape to place the insert permanently in the shoe. Just remember to make sure that you get the insert right where you want it before you set the tape in place as it is very strong. Velcro can do the same thing only more adjustable.

Can You Put Gel Insoles In Any Shoe?

You can put them in pretty much any shoe. They are customizable and can be cut to the proper shape to fit any shoe. Some brands will make designs better suited for certain types of shoes.

Can You Place Gel Insoles On Top Of Existing Shoe Insoles?

If it is at all possible, you are encouraged to remove the existing insoles. However, many insoles and orthotics can be easily placed on top of a shoe’s already existing insole just as long as the shoe still feels comfortable and does not make the shoe fit too tightly. Any insole or orthotic that is not full-length must be put on top of your shoe’s already existing insole.

Do Gel Insoles Work For High Heels?

Gel insoles can solve a lot of problems with wearing high heels. To begin with, they can keep the toes from scrunching together and thus prevent blisters. Some companies that make gel inserts even make some specifically for high heeled shoes that feature arch shaping in order to keep pressure off the foot.

Should your toes always be constantly sliding forward in your shoes, many inserts have a cushion with the purpose to hold the ball of your foot in one place. These gel inserts stick to the insoles of the shoes very well but they are also quite simple to swap among your shoes.

How To Put Gel Insoles In Heels?

Put the insole in the front and the back. This will keep the shoe from slipping around as you walk.

Do Gel Insoles Make Shoes Smaller?

While inserts won’t physically make your shoes any smaller, they can make them fit better if they are a little too roomy. The insole will fill the extra space in the shoe. This way, you can wear shoes without and rubbing or discomfort. Better contact is made with the shoe and your weight is more evenly distributed. Some people like a little wiggle room, but too much can cause foot fatigue.

Can You Wash Gel Insoles?

It is advised that you do this by hand with liquid detergent and warm water. You can use a soft brush to scrub them. Rinse them with a damp sponge. Allow them to air-dry overnight. If they need to be disinfected, soak them in diluted vinegar for three hours and rinse them under running water and let them air-dry overnight.

Can You Wear Gel Insoles On A Plane?

The TSA does not allow gel insoles on a plane. However, shoes that are made with gel heels are allowed but need to be removed and screened.

Do Gel Insoles Wear Out?

All things manmade must. If they are discolored, damaged, compressed, or emit a bad odor it is time for new insoles.

How Long Do Gel Insoles Last?

With ordinary use, your insoles can be expected to last about six months. However, this varies depending on such factors like the intensity of use and foot structure. Serious runners may have to replace them every three or four months.

Are Gel Insoles Worth It?

They are a viable alternative to rigid insoles and can be more comfortable. It shifts and moves according to pressure, like a little water bed for your feet. They don’t have much arch support but if you do not have collapsed arches, they can be very comfortable.


Whether you run, walk or stand, wearing comfortable footwear is crucial to keeping foot pain at bay. Gel inserts conform to the shape of your feet and use soft, gel-filled cushions to deliver extra comfort. If you want comfort and shock absorption, gel inserts may be the thing for you.

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