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Sometimes your favorite sneakers and dress shoes that look oh-so-cute aren't exactly oh-so-comfortable, and your feet end up suffering. If you've ever tried foot insoles to alleviate the pain, you know how much more comfortable your footwear can feel when you're using them. But while insoles can help, some of them come with a pretty hefty price tag.
So, when Shop TODAY stumbled upon the Walk Hero shoe inserts and saw that they have over 41,000 verified five-star ratings on Amazon — and only cost $19 — we had to know: What makes them so special?
We tapped two podiatrists to find out whether the affordable pair (which are also the No. 1 bestsellers in shoe insoles on Amazon) are worth the hype. They also shared some general tips for how to make the most of your insoles.
These shoe inserts are designed to alleviate foot pain
Even when you're wearing a supportive pair of kicks, an insole can help keep your feet extra happy when you're moving around for long periods of time. According to the brand, the Walk Hero Arch Support Insoles are designed to support neutral and low arch feet, as well as offer comfort to those who have flat feet, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, bunions, supination and overpronation. The brand also says that the inserts can help address general foot, arch and heel pain.
The foam runs the full length of the insole, which allows for the built-in shock absorption to better reduce pressure and relieve pain. This can be helpful for those who spend most of their days standing on hard surfaces (like construction workers, nurses and restaurant staff), since the extra cushioning is said to help reduce muscle fatigue. According to Walk Hero, the inserts are also compatible with a range of shoes, including work boots, dress shoes, casual shoes and running shoes.
Podiatrists approve of their structure
A good pair of inserts should check a few boxes in terms of fit, form and feel — and luckily, according to podiatrists Shop TODAY spoke to, the Walk Hero inserts do.
"They look like a good combination of structure [and] shape and are soft enough to be comfortable," said Stephen Pribut, an assistant clinical professor of surgery at George Washington University School of Medicine.
Dr. Jacqueline Sutera, a New York-based podiatrist and member of Vionic's Innovation Lab, noted that the insoles come in several different sizes and are thinner than many other pairs, two desirable traits that shoppers often seek out.
"This helps to ensure that it fits well and also looks to appeal to the average size arch and foot type, which most people have," Sutera said. "They look to be durable and have a good combination of support and cushion." She added that the insole's deep-seated heel cup is ideal for those dealing with heel pain, overpronation and plantar fasciitis.
As with any other pair of insoles, you should try to change these out every six to 10 months depending on how much walking you do — and don't forget to switch out your shoes every so often as well.
"Wearing shoes that are old and worn out will not allow the insert to work the way it is supposed to because it will tilt your foot as you strike the ground with every step," Sutera said.
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