This can be an easy task once you know your shoes and needs.
The first thing is to check the toe room of your shoes, some shoes have minimum or no room at all to accommodate insoles with extra padding specially at the toes area.
Also you need to know if the current insoles, if any, can be removed or not from the footwear, some sneakers have a removable insole with a small cup at the heel area, others are glued and can be pull it out from the shoe.
Once you have check up the bed of the shoe and room at the toe box, you can decide what insole thickness can fit properly into the shoes without being tight.
If your shoes have plenty of room to accommodate ” full length insoles”, it is the best choice since you can have cushioning from the heel to the toes, providing some comfort or excellent comfort depending on the materials and thickness on the insoles.
If the shoes have limited room at the toes area, you might choose insoles in a length called “Sulcus or 3/4 of total length insoles” it means that the insoles have trimmed the material at the toes so there is no pressure at the toes. This type of insoles will give cushioning to the heel area, arch area and very important – the area of the ball of the foot, most of the weight and pressure falls in the heel, arch and ball on the foot.
If the shoes are tight with no room at the toes area and no room at the ball of the foot (this is the area that you can flex to go almost on your tippy toes) very common on dressy shoes and female pumps, Then you can use short insoles also known as ” met length or metatarsal length insoles”. This insoles will give cushioning mainly to the heel area and arch of the foot.
Also you need to have in mind your activity level, will you use your insoles for walking a lot or running? if so, try using thicker insoles that can absorb shock better than the thin ones.
Persons with extra weight or heavy should try insoles that have a bit stiffer materials so they do not compress too soon.
Another approach to better cushioning is to know if you have arch, there is flat foot – with no arch at all, some arch, and very high arch foot (Cavus foot). You might add an extra cushioning at the arch of the foot or add a dome padding at the ball of the foot to give some relief of burning sensation at the end of the day after standing or walking for long periods of time.
Check our other post about materials used on our flat insoles and how to make an insole template for making custom size insoles.