Do You Remove Insoles When Using Orthotics- Why?

Foot or heel pain is no joke. Initially, many of us tend to avoid it thinking it won’t get serious… until it does. It is one of the most unbearable pain that a person can get through. Do you have any foot disorders at this moment? If you have any of these problems— heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, shin splints, and tendonitis, you need non-prescribed/prescribed orthotics.

But how do you use orthotics? Do you remove the insoles when using orthotics or do you place them on top of your existing insoles?

The answern is yes, you do remove the insoles. Podiatrists and Pedorthists advise patients to remove the regular footbeds before placing the orthotics. If you don’t remove the existing ones first, the orthotics will take up a lot of space in the shoes and the shoes will fit much tighter which isn’t healthy. Even if orthotics don’t make your shoes feel tighter, having two types of footbeds are completely unnecessary. Therefore, we’d recommend removing the insoles before you place the orthotics in.

Why Do You Remove insoles When using Orthotics?

To simplify, orthotics are special inserts that are designed to place inside your shoes to support your feet and heel. Besides heel and feet support, orthotics provide ample cushioning and contribute to preventing or relieving various symptoms due to foot injuries and internal pains like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, heel spurs, knee pain, and tendonitis.

Generally, when people need to use orthotics, they just insert the slip-in orthotics instead of wearing orthotic shoes. As you may know, orthotic shoes are pretty expensive, so not everyone can afford them. On top of that, they don’t come in many styles and they aren’t even lightweight. For those who cannot wear bulky or heavy footwear, the orthotic shoe isn’t really an option for them. Hence the good old slip-in orthotics. All you need to do is insert them in your regular trainers or walking or running shoes, and forget the trouble you were going through.

The shoes you find in the market, not all of them are compatible with your foot orthotics. The chances of being compatible are lower if it is your customized orthotics. You may have some shoes that have plenty of room inside even after putting them on. However, there are shoes where the volume of the interior is just too shallow to make room for your orthotics. It is much harder when you are planning to accommodate your usual insoles and then your orthotics on top. Those who have more volume to their feet or have wide feet can hardly fit their orthotics in if they are a little thicker than their shoe insoles. Think of dress shoes for example. You might have noticed dress shoes are the shallowest shoes from your footwear collection. Shoes like these are not exactly designed to support orthotics. Some other shoes that are incompatible with orthotics are pumps, ballet flats, or other low-volume footwear. If you’re on your treatment using orthotics, avoid wearing these kinds of shoes temporarily after you discuss the matter with your Pedorthist.

So how do you insert your orthotics in the shoes that are compatible? Do you think you have to remove the insoles first? Or just slip them in on your regular insoles? In most cases, Pedorthists will recommend that you remove the insoles or footbeds from your shoes. After you make room by removing your insoles/footbeds, replace them with your personalized or store-bought foot orthotics. But how do you identify shoes that can support orthotics? Well, these shoes will have removable footbeds/insoles. If they aren’t removable, you cannot fit your orthotics inside comfortably. Hence, we will advise you to remove the existing footbeds or insoles from your daily walking or running shoes replace them with your suitable or customized orthotics.

It would be smart to not put your orthotics on top of the existing insoles. What will happen if you still do? Well, it will eat up a lot of space from your comfy shoes. The shoes will feel tighter as the upper will be putting more pressure on the top of your feet. Even your toes won’t be at ease. Let’s not forget how bulky your shoes will feel. Your steps will be heavier and for that, it may alter your walking and running style which will eventually lead to more damage to your feet than good. So why take the risks, right? Just get a pair of orthotics that work best for you. Place them inside and make sure they rest directly on the interior (midsoles) of your shoes and stay secured inside as you make movements.

You can make some exceptions on a few special occasions. Some manufacturers don’t make their brand insoles removable. As a result, you can’t remove them. However, they leave room for foot orthotics in case some consumers need to use them. That space allows you to insert your custom foot orthotics and still move and walk with comfort. Do check if the midsoles of the shoes are secure and flat, and after the insertion of your orthotics, your feet are comfortable.

Do orthotics act as same as insoles?

Simply put, all orthotics are insoles, but not all insoles are orthotics. Makes sense? Every shoe comes with removable or non-removable insoles. They are installed for the comfort of your underfoot. They absorb shocks and add cushioning and comfort. Orthotics too do these to help the users. But they have greater purposes— healing any foot disorders, relieving the pain, acting as an aid for health issues, etc.

Custom orthotics are also used for motion and alignment correction. They also reduce pressure points and distribute them evenly instead of just one place. Orthotics also help you correct your posture and that minimizes any foot pain to a certain degree. Are you suffering from overpronation or oversupination? Don’t worry you you don’t have to invest in a pair of gait-correcting shoes right away. There are insoles that help you in these cases as well.


Are you thinking about getting orthotics for your foot injury and pain? Then you shouldn’t wait any longer. Once you get them, make sure you use them properly. One of the common mistakes is placing your orthotics on top of the insoles. Don’t make that mistake. Just take the insoles out and then insert the orthotics. Once you’re healed, you can replace your orthotics with the usual insoles the shoes come with. Good luck!

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