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Hello, fellow flat-footed and pronated friends.
Anybody with plantar fasciitis knows that when one’s foot is painful and inflamed, it’s a challenge to even get to the bathroom. I’ve personally have had to resort to using my grandma’s old walker. That is, before I discovered orthotic shoes and insoles that worked best for me. Thanks to these little helpers, I was able to dodge corticosteroid injections and even get back to my regular shifts.
Do you know that on average, a nurse walks about over 4 miles on a 12-hour shift? Of course, it depends on where you’re assigned and how long your shifts are but even as an approximate, it’s quite mind-boggling. So if you have foot issues like pronation, please do check out our list below so you can get the proper foot support you need.
Pro-Tip: If you are buying for the first time, I highly recommend buying your first pair of insoles from an actual store so you can make sure that the arch support is in the right place and the right height. Once you know which brand and model fits you best, you can make subsequent purchases online from the comfort of your home.
We love these BLUE Orthotic Shoe Inserts by Superfeet. They come in medium thickness and medium arch insole so you get excellent support without the soles taking up too much space in your regular shoes.
These insoles are practically indestructible. Superfeet recommends changing out your insoles every year but the arch support on these can last years. Happy buyers have a lot of great anecdotal stories ranging from losing their foot pain to actually eliminating their plantar fasciitis.
Many have started out with one blue pair, then gradually bought more and more insoles for their other shoes. These will fit your nursing shoes, trainers, tennis shoes, hiking boots, and so on.
While we can’t say anything bad about these Blue Superfeet, we do caution you about the sizing. Make sure that the insole matches your natural arch. What others do is buying a bigger size then cutting it up to your actual size. This works very well especially for those with wide feet.
- Excellent arch support for medium pronation
- Deep heel cup provides stability
- Very, very durable; lasts a long time
- Doesn’t take up too much space in your shoe
- Helps in lessening foot pain or alleviating foot problems
- A fraction of the price of custom orthotic inserts
- Some prefer the insoles to be more cushioned
- The first sizing is tricky
Powerstep’s Pinnacle Pink offer full length insoles with neutral arch support and maximum cushioning. They are recommended for those suffering from plantar fasciitis, mild to moderate pronation, tendonitis, shin splints, and foot pain.
If you are not happy with the layer of cushioning from the Blue Superfeet, you can try out these pink Pinnacles.
- Provides increased support and stability
- Neutral arch support and heel cradle for heel stability
- Dual layer cushioning with EVA foam base
- Top fabric reduces heat, perspiration, and friction
- Made in the USA from 100% polyester
- A fraction of the price of custom orthotic inserts
- Trimming not recommended; make sure to get the right size
Spenco is another well-known brand when it comes to quality insoles. These are known as “replacement insoles” as they are often used to replace the original insoles of shoes.
These insoles come with a 3-pod cushioning system to absorb shock and a stability cradle for arch support and deep heel cupping. They also have a forefoot crash pad for extra cushioning under the ball of the foot.
Because of the arch support and performance components built into the underside, Spenco insoles have a moderately high volume design. They fill up a good amount of space in your shoes so we don’t recommend these for close-fitting flats.
These original insoles are considered neutral so they are good for those with medium to high arches. Nurses with flat feet may find them too much.
- Offers protection on the lateral, medial and metatarsal area of the foot
- Good for supinators and overpronators who require more arch stability
- Comes with a metatarsal support pad, a deep heel cup, and the trademark 3-POD modulation system
- Odor control and anti-blister
- Tricky sizing
- Other users want more plush cushioning
The Powerstep Slimtech Pinnacle insoles are not full-length insoles unlike those we’ve listed above. Instead, they are 3/4 insoles. These are recommended for when your shoes don’t have a removable footbed thus their ultra-slim and tapered shape.
These insoles are made in the USA.
- Great for shoes that do not have a removable insole
- Semi-rigid with arch support
- Heel cradle provides added support and stability
- Moderate cushioning
- The non-slip pad on the heel keeps the insole (mostly) in place
- The 3/4 design makes them easy to slip into any shoe
- For some people, these insoles have a tendency to slip so they opt to glue them onto their shoes
I have several pairs of Vionics shoes and slippers in my shoe closet and the oldest pair is going on to 5 years old. There was a pair of rubber shoes whose arch support ultimately failed but that was after using them nonstop for several years. If you’ve ever bought Vionics shoes, you’d know they have a rather limited design so the next best thing was to buy their insoles.
These are 3/4 inserts just like the Powerstep Slimtech Pinnacle. These insoles have a high arch.
Heel Thickness: 7mm
Arch at Highest Point: 20mm
Forefoot Thickness: 2mm
- Good for nurses who need high arch support
- Work great for shoes that do not have a removable insole
- For nurses suffering from plantar fasciitis, heel pain, arch pain, strain, overpronation, and other foot issues where you need extra support
- Recommended for people with flat feet
- Makes walking and standing for a long time more bearable and comfortable
- Vionics products last for years
- Nothing to say except the insoles are a 2nd choice to their actual shoe line
Spenco’s Rx Orthotic Arch Support are full length shoe insoles. They come in 7 sizes so you can choose the best fit. They are made of patented SpenCore® material – a cushioning layer that absorbs shock and impact.
Just like other insoles, the arch insert is moldable flexible plastic. The top fabric also helps against blister-formation and odor.
If you’ve tried Spenco’s Total Support before, please note that these Orthotics version have a less pronounced heel cup and a lower arch.
- Provides firm arch support and stability
- Recommended for the treatment of arch pain, reduction of pronation and supination
- Can be used in work shoes, athletic shoes, or boots
- Very durable and lasts years
- Can be trimmed for a better fit
- Easy to clean; just use warm water and air dry (not as odorous as other insoles)
- Not recommended for close-fitting shoes
- Run a size too big; tricky sizing
The CURREX RunPRO insole is a full-length insole. Primarily used by runners and triathletes, they can also be used by nurses who are on their feet and walking for the duration of their shift.
We’ve linked to the medium arch CURREX RunPRO but they’re actually available in 3 arch profiles — low, medium, or high. CURREX also boasts that each insole boasts a different shape and flex so the likelihood of finding the perfect mold and fit for you is high. The Medium, for example, provides gentle arch support with a bit of cushioning to pressure points on your feet.
These insoles are rather thin and don’t take up too much space in your shoe. They’ll probably be the same height as the original insoles you remove from your shoe to make room for these replacement insoles.
- Low volume; they don’t take up too much space inside your shoe
- Come in three arch profiles – low, medium, and high
- Can be trimmed
- Not as durable as others on this list
- Not enough cushioning for other users so they call them shoe liners rather than actual insoles