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These $15 insoles allow me hours of pain-free and comfortable walking time

I thought "pain is beauty" when it came to footwear. Not anymore.
Split image of a Woman putting Dr. Scholl's insoles in her shoes and her walking around in them
Courtesy Jannely Espinal

I have always underestimated the power of shoe insoles. I've tried them in the past, but they only made my footwear feel extra bulky, tight and uncomfortable. So, I always though of them as an unnecessary accessory — that is, until I realized I just wasn't using the right pair.

Since I moved to New York City, my walks have been longer, tedious and, therefore, painful — which made me consider other solutions to sooth my aching feet. So, I decided to actually do my research and find insoles that wouldn't do more harm than good. They not only had to keep my feet comfortable, but they also had to work with all my footwear (and I have a penchant for stylish shoes ...)

Recently, I started testing Dr. Scholl's Prevent Pain Protective Insoles in my boots and sneakers — and it's been love at first step.

Dr. Scholl's Prevent Pain Lower Body Protective Insoles

Great cushioning and arch support

Even though my job doesn't require me to stand for long hours, I still need comfortable and supportive shoes. (Like I said, I'm a New Yorker now, so you can find me walking to the gym or running to catch a taxi any day.) These insoles work with my active, always on-the-go lifestyle by offering extra arch support. The heel part of the insole is also shock-absorbing and feels sturdy, so I don't feel like the cushioning will disappear after a few wears. According to Dr. Scholl's, you should replace them every six months, but depending on how active you are, you can wait for the first signs of wear to show.

The full-size insoles are unisex and fit anyone between sizes 6 to 10 for women and 8 to 14 for men. To customize them even more, you can adjust the sizing of the insoles by trimming the cushioning to fit your foot length. The toe area of the insole has line indentations to show where you should cut, depending on your size. (Thankfully, they fit perfectly in all my shoes and didn't require any DIY adjustments.)

My joints are in less pain

Aside from providing extra support and cushioning to my feet, wearing the insoles has prevented reoccuring pain. According to the brand, the insoles are scientifically engineered to stop the cause of pain and stiffness, and they also help in distributing pressure across the foot. Usually, my feet get pretty tired after a long day, but while wearing these insoles for eight hours, I have actually felt less soreness in my joints.

Woman posing in sneakers outside
Courtesy Jannely Espinal

For the past year as a city dweller, I've struggled with rigid shoes that offer little to no support whatsoever. But, you know what they say, "Pain is beauty." Well, even I have my limits, so I tried wearing these Dr. Scholl's insoles with my chicer, but naturally uncomfortable shoes, including boots that have 2-3 inches of heel, trainers and stilettos. Surprisingly, I stopped feeling that burning sensation in my calves hours into wearing them, and they even prevented pain from traveling to areas in my lower body.

Another thing I noticed after wearing the insoles for a week is how good my knees felt; I could easily climb subway stairs (no matter what shoes I was wearing) without complaining. Now, I feel less pressure in my muscles.

The insoles fit inside all kinds of footwear

Although Dr. Scholl's offers many types of insoles, one of the reasons I prefer these Prevent Pain versions is because they easily fit into tighter shoes. I've inserted them into sneakers, boots and other everyday shoes without a problem. And an added bonus: The insoles also give me a slight lift since they are on the thicker side.

I especially love wearing these insoles with boots and sneakers that feel more spacious in the heel area, since they provide a more true-to-size fit. Overall, they conform well to my favorite footwear options in my closet.

If you are looking for an alternative to orthopedic shoes and want to avoid future foot ailments, I highly recommend that you start adding shoe insoles to your footwear collection. These Dr. Scholl's insoles are super comfortable and have become an essential part of my wardrobe. They definitely hold the key to pain prevention and have improved my walking, running and commuting.

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