You’ve just bought a new pair of insoles, and you’re excited to finally get rid of foot pain for good. Your insoles will bring you a whole new level of comfort and support. Take care of them, and they’ll take care of your feet for a long time.
But how exactly do you take care of insoles?
How Long Do Insoles Last?
Insoles aren’t as heavy-duty as orthotics, so they won’t last quite as long. But here’s the good news: insoles are relatively inexpensive to replace. You can still prolong their life by taking care of them.
Generally, insoles will last about six months before needing to be replaced. That’s a pretty good amount of time considering the cost of the average insole. You’ll only need to replace them twice a year.
How to Clean Your Insoles
How and when should you clean your insoles? Timing will depend on your personal preference, but I generally recommend cleaning once per week if you use them daily. Of course, if you use them less-often, you may not need to clean them this often. Once every two or three weeks may suffice if you only use your insoles a few times a week.
What’s the safest way to clean your insoles?
- Create a solution of lukewarm water and mild detergent. Avoid using harsh cleaners, as they can erode or damage the insole material.
- You don’t want to soak the insoles in your cleaning solution. Instead, dip a sponge in the solution, and clean your insoles this way. Only apply as much pressure as needed to remove dirt and grime.
- For stubborn spots, you can use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the spot.
- Once you’re done cleaning, make sure that you get rid of all excess water.
- Allow the insoles to air-dry in a well-ventilated area. If you clean them at night, they should be dry and ready for use in the morning.
- Do not wear insoles that are still wet or damp. They won’t work as well, and you could potentially damage the material.
Can You Soak Insoles in Water?
For the most part, insoles really don’t like water. You may be able to wear them on a rainy day and allow them to dry overnight, but you don’t want to soak them in water if you’re cleaning them.
The amount of water your insoles can tolerate will really depend on their material. Most of the insoles sold on the market today have fabric or foam components. Water can easily damage both of these materials.
If your shoes get water-logged, you’ll want to remove your insoles as quickly as possible and use a clean cloth to soak up as much water as possible. And remember to avoid soaking your insoles when you clean them.
Can You Put Your Insoles in the Washing Machine and Dryer?
Having to take the time to clean your insoles by hand may seem tedious and time-consuming. It would be easier if you could just toss your insoles into the washing machine and dryer. But is it safe to do that?
That really depends on the insoles.
Some brands say that it’s okay to wash their insoles in a washing machine, while others recommend washing by hand. Fortunately, all insoles come with cleaning and care instructions, so you won’t be left guessing.
Even if the brand says that you can wash the insoles in a washing machine, I still recommend doing it by hand. Hand-washing is much gentler, and it will help prolong the life of your insoles.
How Do You Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Insoles?
Even with the best possible care, you’ll still need to replace your insoles eventually. How do you know when it’s time to finally toss your old insoles into the trash and buy new ones?
The first thing you need to consider is time. When did you buy the insoles? I highly recommend keeping track of your purchase date or setting a reminder on your phone for six months.
Second, you need to consider the feel of the insoles. Time is only one factor when deciding when to replace your insoles. If you’ve only had your insoles for a month but you’re starting to feel pain and discomfort again, it may be time to get new ones. If your insoles are wearing out prematurely, it may be time to try a new brand or insole type.
Should You Choose Customized Orthotics or Over-the-Counter Insoles?
If you find that your insoles wear out easily or don’t give you the level of support you need, you may be wondering whether it would be better to buy orthotics. The answer will ultimately depend on why you’re buying inserts in the first place.
If you have foot pain caused by a medical condition , custom orthotics may be a better solution for you.
Orthotics are also ideal for athletes who have unique needs.
If you want a more advanced insole, heat-molded ones are the best option. These insoles actually conform to the shape of your foot without having to worry about trimming or altering the size or shape.
But they’ll cost you quite a bit of money – up to $600.
On the plus side, heat-molded insoles will last about five years. They really do offer good value for the money.
Over-the-counter insoles don’t address any particular foot issue. They simply offer extra comfort and support to make your shoes more comfortable. On a bright note, they only cost $20-$50, and they’ll last about six months.
If you need to address a specific foot issue or improve your athletic performance, you may be better off getting a pair of custom orthotics. Custom orthotics will address the root cause of the problem. However, if you’re simply looking for something to alleviate general foot pain and discomfort, insoles are a great, cost-effective solution.
Taking care of your insoles will help them last longer and perform better. Take the time to clean them regularly, and make sure that you let them dry completely before wearing them again.
Link to article on why everyone needs insoles [RE1]
Link to article on medical conditions that insoles could help with [RE2]