Almost 90 percent of women wear painful footwear at least some of the time, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. And high heels are high fashion. But the pain they can cause isn't pretty. Makers of shoe insoles claim their product can help "prevent foot aches and pains, guaranteed" or provide "all-day comfort" and "cushion the entire foot area." So Consumer Reports ShopSmart put shoe insoles to the test, checking out four that cost $8 to $13.
To test them, 14 women tried each of the insoles in a pair of her shoes that had at least 2½-inch heels, with some as high as 4 inches. The women did a lot of walking—a total of almost 5½ miles.
So what were the results? Not great for Dr. Scholl's For Her High Heel Insoles and Insolia High Heel Inserts. Most panelists said that they didn't feel any more comfortable with the insoles than without them.
Foot Pedals Killer Kushionz did make shoes feel a little more comfortable. But the package says they're "not recommended to remove and reuse." If you do so, the adhesive can damage some shoes.
As for Fab Feet Three-Quarter Insoles from Target, they also made shoes a little more comfortable and were easier to remove. But most of the women thought that none of the insoles were worth the money.
When it comes to comfortable shoes, Consumer Reports ShopSmart says a big problem is that people often buy shoes that are too small, selecting the size they've always worn. But your feet change, so it's important to get measured each time you shop for shoes. A good-fitting pair should have a pinkie's width between the end of your toes and the tip of your shoe.
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