In Motion Running sells a range of Superfeet, Powerstep, Spenco and Hocker-Nauman over-the-counter insoles that offer varying degrees of stability and cushioning. We’ll help you find the right product for your needs and preferences. Physical therapist Mark Plaatjes can also modify over-the-counter insole products for semi-custom solutions to your running needs.
Why should runners consider using over-the-counter insoles?
Mark Plaatjes, RPT, In Motion Running Founder:
“There are several reasons. First, some runners need more stability than a shoe can provide. I always start runners in over-the-counter insoles versus going to a custom orthotic because a lot of people can do just fine with that. I can also make modifications to over-the-counter insoles to meet their needs. I always start people there and if they’re happy with it and it’s working for them, then that’s all they need. If they don’t have any issues and don’t need any specific corrections with a custom orthotic, then an over-the-counter insole is fine.”
“Also, typically, the standard insoles that come in running shoes are very flimsy and really wear out within a month or two because the foam materials pack down. An over-the-counter insole will typically last through two or three pairs of shoes and provide a lot of support and/or cushion, depending on what kind of insole they buy, and it just makes the shoe function better based on their mechanics and also allows a shoe to last longer.”
“I’d say 60 percent of people do just fine with an over-the-counter insole. Maybe 40 percent need to have greater corrections in which they’ll need a custom orthotic. Let’s say someone has posterior tibial tendonitis and they’re already running in a stability shoe but they need more support. If I put that runner in an over-the-counter insole and it helps, but it doesn’t take them all the way to the support they need, that’s one example where I would either make the over-the-counter insert more supportive or I’d recommend them going to a custom orthotic.”
“It’s not a guessing game. With most over-the-counter insoles, it’s about putting them in your shoes and walking around in them. They have to feel comfortable. It doesn’t matter that it corrects whatever the mechanics issue is, if it isn’t comfortable first and foremost. I always tell runners to take every option available at a store and try them out by walking around for 10 minutes and make a decision based on which one feels the most comfortable. If it’s not comfortable like that, it’s not going to be comfortable running.”