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Choosing the Best Insoles - What's The Difference?

by Jessica Hegg December 27, 2018 0 Comments

best insoles and orthoticsFinding the best insole is crucial to maintain foot health and treat some of the most common foot conditions. Insoles can be the perfect option for everything from plantar fasciitis, to heel spurs, high arches, and more. However, it’s not always easy to find the right fit, especially when considering the range of variables like material, arch type, length, and footbed. Check out our selection of insoles below, and learn what features are available in each style. We will help you find the insole specifically tailored to your sole.

What to Consider When Choosing Your Pair


Getting the proper size is essential for the support and comfort you need. Our gel insoles are the easiest to fit, with two different sizes for men and women, while our EVA foam insoles come in a total of five sizes for proper arch alignment.


Getting the proper fit is simple, since our insole sizes pair with your shoe size. They can also be trimmed for additional customization. See our FAQ below for more information on trimming insoles.

Full Length Insoles vs. ¾ Insoles

You’ll notice that our selection of insoles are typically available in both full length and ¾ length. Depending on preference, customers usually prefer one style or the other. Here are the differences:

Full-Length Insoles

Full-length insoles offer support to the forefoot, as well as the arch and heel. This makes them good for those who are dong plenty of walking or running, or suffer from chronic sores on the front of their foot. Just replace your shoe’s factory insoles and enjoy all their benefits.

¾ Length Insoles

This option is ideal if you wear slim or short shoes, or plan on transferring between different pairs on a regular basis. Their compact size makes them easier to handle, and fit in smaller shoes. Put them right on top of your existing insoles for a perfect fit..


Choosing the right material for your next insole depends on your specific needs. Our EVA foam and Gel insoles each have their own strengths and weaknesses, so be sure to make the right choice for the result you are looking for.

EVA Foam

Eva foam insoles are tough, supportive, and flexible, making them ideal for those suffering from a foot condition like plantar fasciitis. Try our Plantar Plus series too--with an added plastic base, they deliver additional stability. Durable and antibacterial, it will keep you going for the long-haul.


Our shock-absorbing gel insoles are made with a honeycomb design to absorb the impact of each step and ease pressure points. For this reason gel is a good choice for added comfort, making it perfect for anyone spending long hours on their feet.

Your Arch Type

Knowing your arch type is an important factor when picking the right insole. To learn whether you have high, low, or neutral arches, you can start with the footprint test: simply wet the bottom of the foot and make an imprint on a piece of cardboard. If the middle section of your foot is completely filled in, you may have low arches. If it is missing completely, you may have high arches. It is common to fall somewhere in the middle.


When in doubt, keep in mind that our insoles are made to fit most types of arches. They’re a great place to start if you’re unsure of what you are looking for.

Neutral Arch

Neutral arches are the most biomechanically efficient, effectively absorbing shock and resisting over-pronation. Around 60% of people have neutral arches. Keep in mind that those with neutral arches can still suffer from common foot conditions like heel pain and metatarsalgia. If you have neutral arches, look for an insole that can provide a balance of arch support and cushioning for the heel and ball of the foot.

Low or Fallen Arches

Those with low or fallen arches will have feet that hug the floor, with little to no arch definition in the mid-sole. Low arches are more flexible, making them susceptible to rolling, overpronation, and plantar fasciitis. If you have fallen arches, make sure to find an orthotic with plenty of medial rearfoot support--our EVA foam insoles are a good bet.

High Arches

High arches are characterized as being very rigid, with a pronounced arch that rises high off the ground. This leads to excessive pressure being placed on the heel and ball of the foot, causing pain. The perfect orthotics will fill in your arch cavity, taking the pressure off of other parts of the foot. Give our full length Plantar Plus insoles a try, for reinforced arch support.

Footbed of Insole

Our insoles come in a variety of different footbed options, offering different levels of cushion and rigidity. Learn the pros and cons of each below.


A rigid footbed is constructed of hard plastic, and is most commonly prescribed by a podiatrist. While effective for the most serious foot conditions, they may not be ideal for first-time users.


Try a semi-rigid footbed to get the best of both worlds, combining the firm support of a rigid bed, with comfort. This option has some flexibility, while still supporting the arch and heel. Try this option to relieve arch pain or supination.


While cushioned footbeds offer mild support, their real benefit is in cushioning the impact of your steps. They’re a great option for those who do a lot of walking and running, or those who suffer from foot fatigue or shin splints.

Our Recommendations for... 

With so many different insoles to choose from, our customers often have questions about the best insole for their foot condition. If you’re suffering from a specific condition, or need an insole for a particular kind of shoe, try consulting the list below.

Full Length Insoles Plantar Plus

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that needs specialized care to overcome its sharp pain and swelling. That’s why we chose the Full-Length Plantar Plus design, as it offers reinforced arch support and a deep heel cup to make sure you get the relief you need while stabilizing your foot. It has a versatile design that can be work with all types of shoes, while staying durable after extended wear.

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Full Length Insoles Plantar Series

Flat Feet

Ignoring flat feet can have lasting consequences on your gait, posture, and personal comfort. Luckily, our Full-Length Plantar Series Insoles are perfectly suited to support your arches with soft material that can absorb the shock of each footstep. They prioritize heel support to ensure comprehensive foot comfort, making long walks more comfortable.

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Full Length Insoles Plantar Plus


Gait abnormalities, like pronation, can have a major impact on your feet, as well as posture and back health, so be sure to prioritize foot care with our Full-Length Plantar Plus insoles. Their shock absorbing gel and a non-slip material will ensure that each step is support exactly where you need it, without shifting inside your shoe over the course of the day.

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Full Length Insoles Plantar Plus


Keeping your foot aligned is key to avoiding the painful effects of supination. We recommend the Full-Length Plantar Plus insole for lightweight support you can count on. See how their targeted relief and pronounced arch support can make the difference. They fit with all styles of shoe, so you can take advantage of their benefits wherever you go.

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Full Length Gel Insoles - Envelop

Metatarsalgia & Ball of Foot Pain

The key to treating metatarsalgia is choosing an insole that focuses on support in the ball of the foot, relieving chronic pain. Our Full-Length Gel Insoles are a great choice for cushioned and cooling support that will last throughout the day. See for yourself how they absorb the shock of each step, with a honeycomb design made for your comfort.

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Full Length Gel Insoles Envelop

Heel Spurs & Heel Pain

If you suffer from chronic heel pain, looking for an orthotic with a deep heel cup is essential. Try Envelop’s Full-Length Foam Insoles with reinforced plastic and soft padding. They will be sure to keep pain and inflammation at bay while supporting your stride as you enjoy your daily activities. EVA padding will help retain its shape over extended use, and antibacterial material that can be machine washed to keep it fresh for months of use.

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Full Length Insoles Gel


Those with diabetes need to be especially careful about sores, as the lack of blood flow and nerve damage can make them even more dangerous than usual. Vivesole’s Full-Length Gel Insoles are the perfect choice for diabetic feet, with soft gel padding to protect against sores, and relieve the stress on pressure points. They can be easily slipped in and out of shoes, so you won’t have to buy multiple insoles for different footwear.

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Full Length Insoles Plantar Plus

High Arches

The best insoles for high arches feature a multilayer design that contour to the shape of your arch. Check out our Full-Length Plantar Plus insole which keeps your plantar fascia ligament fully supported without flattening over time. It features a breathable material which will ensure your feet stay cool and sweat-free, no matter what kind of shoes you wear them with.

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Full Length Insoles Gel

Back Pain

The fact is that every part of our body is connected, and problems with your feet will inevitably impact back health. To ensure full body health, give Vivesole’s Full-Length Gel Insoles a try. Their durable cushioning can absorb the shock of each step as you enjoy your everyday activities. Best of all, they shape to your foot and offer full support to reduce the impact on your back.

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Full Length Insoles Plantar Plus

Walking & Running

The ideal insoles for running are ones that can offer maximum support while standing up to the regular stress and strain of your feet. Our Full-Length Plantar Plus Insole is perfect for this, as it can keep your soles padded without flattening for months. The material it uses is lightweight, meaning it won’t slow down your stride, and stays contoured to your arch and heel to prevent rolled ankles and other injuries.

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Full Length Gel Insoles Envelop


Finding the best insole for working or standing all day in boots is about prioritizing full foot coverage that can protect against all the most common types of foot pain. Envelop’s Full-Length Gel Insoles offer a lightweight design that can be trimmed to different boot sizes and relieve pressure on the ball of the foot, arch, and heel simultaneously. They’re also washable, so you can keep them fresh day in and day out.

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3/4 Length Insoles Plantar Series


Bulkier insoles are not ideal for flats and other lightweight footwear, so look for an orthotic that can fit in your shoe while still leaving plenty of room. Vivesole’s ¾ Length Insoles are a podiatrist-designed option will be able to pair a slim design with adequate support that covers the heel, forefoot, and arch. A quality insole will also be able to treat a range of conditions, from plantar fasciitis, to flat feel or chronic heel pain.

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High Heel Gel Insoles by Envelop

High Heel

If the pain of high heels is too much, an insole designed specifically for high heels is the answer. That’s why we chose Envelop’s High Heel Insoles, which offer targeted support to the forefoot, relieving the area where most of your weight is placed. It also features non-slip silicone gel, which will ensure that it stays in place, even after long days, while a reusable adhesive backing means you can still swap them out when needed.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the best insoles for standing on concrete or hard surfaces all day?

A: The best insoles for standing on concrete or hard surfaces tend to provide a good balance of both cushion and arch support. We recommend the Plantar Plus Full Length Orthotics, especially if you have problems with flat feet or weak arches.

Q: What are the most comfortable insoles?

A: The most comfortable insoles are typically constructed of gel. While everyone has different preferences, insoles with less of an arch tend to provide more cushion and comfort rather than arch support. If that's what you're looking for I would recommend the Full Length Gel Insoles by Envelop. If you need more arch support, but are still focused on comfort, go for the Full Length Gel Insoles by Vive.

Q: How long do insoles last?

A: With normal wear and tear, insoles last six to nine months. For those who spend the majority of time on their feet, you will need to replace your insoles more frequently around every three to six months of use.

Q: Can I wear my insoles on top of existing shoe insoles?

A: Full length orthotics and insoles can be worn on top of an existing shoe insole, but if shoes becomes too tight and uncomfortable we recommend removing the original shoe insole. 3/4 insoles or other inserts are typically always worn with existing shoe insoles.

Can I clean my insoles?

A: To clean your insoles, use warm water and mild detergent to wipe clean then lightly rinse, avoid soaking the insoles. To reduce the smell of stinky insoles, try using baking soda, dryer sheets or shoe spray to keep them fresh and kill bacteria.

Q: How do I trim my insoles?

A: To trim your full length insoles, remove original shoe insole and use as sizing guide. Place the old insole on top of your new one and make line or correct size.

Need More Help?

If you have additional questions or comments on our foot support products, make sure to contact our product specialists today. Give them a call by phone from 8:30am and 9pm EST daily at 1-800-487-3808 or email at

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Jessica Hegg
Jessica Hegg

Jessica Hegg is the content manager and at With vast product knowledge and understanding of individual needs, she aims to share valuable information on making smart buying choices, overcoming obstacles and overall improving the quality of life for others. Avid gym-rat and nutrition enthusiast, she’s interested in all things related to staying active and living healthy lifestyle.

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