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on February 18, 2013
An ex-football player past his prime (6'3", 360 lbs, size 13D, medium arch), I was recently diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. My orthopedist recommended daily stretching exercises and Orthoheel slippers to wear indoors (no more walking around in socks). What a difference! The slippers and exercises lessened my symptoms from the start and, over time, eliminated most of my discomfort, so I decided to find some orthotic inserts to improve my street shoes.

So far, I've tested:
1. Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel Extra Support
2. Aetrex Copper Medium Arch
3. Spenco Polysorb Total Support
4. Superfeet Copper DMP
5. Powerstep Pinnacle
6. Powerstep Pinnacle Pro

each for two hours' total walking time over a few days in two pairs of my favorite shoes: New Balance 606 hikers and Cole Haan loafers with Nike Air.

Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel Extra Support: Advertised for big & tall men, they didn't do much for me. While the extra cushioning helped at first, it helped less and less the longer I walked on them. I mentioned this to my orthopod and he told me the key to managing PF is not cushioning, it's support. Grade: D

Spenco Polysorb Total Support: Remembering my doc's advice, I chose these for the rigid heel cup and arch support. Though quite comfortable overall, the arch support was a bit too low for my medium-high arches and the heel cup was insufficient support for weight. While they worked reasonably well for me, I believe they would a be better choice for lighter individuals with lower arches. Grade: B

Aetrex Copper Medium Arch: Promising better arch support, these felt very similar to the Spenco insoles even after walking around the block. I then swapped one of the Aetrex insoles for one of the Spenco insoles and walked around again. Only then could I tell them apart. The Spenco offered a little better support for the mid- and fore-parts of my foot, the Aetrex offered a little better support for my arch. Grade: B

Superfeet: I was in an Allen Edmonds store and noticed the Superfeet insoles. The clerk said many men my size have good success with them. I tried the Orange and the Copper DMP versions in the store. Finding the Orange too high for my arches, I got a pair of the Copper DMP. These are easily the most rigid of the insoles I've tried...and easily the best. Superfeet arch support sits farther back on the insole than other brands. This made a real difference in the support and comfort I felt walking long distances. I also found the medial post support in the heel did a better job than other insoles in combatting over-pronation. Grade: A [Update: I have since tried Superfeet Black in dress shoes that couldn't accommodate the Orange insole. They work well but are not as supportive as the Copper.]

Powerstep Pinnacle: While it seems well-made and offered good support, it simply did not work for me. The gel-based arch support sits too far forward and in the middle of the insole. The insoles felt like I had lumps of clay underfoot. After a few blocks of brisk walking, my feet began to fatigue as if I were walking barefoot in sand. Again, these may work for some people but they didn't for me. Grade: C

Powerstep Pinnacle Pro: Other wearers commented that the Pinnacle Pro differs markedly from the Pinnacle, so I tried a pair. I barely made it a block before heading back home. Though more rigid than the Pinnacle and with a better heel cup, the Pinnacle Pro was too inflexible through the arch and ball of my foot. These were the only insoles I tried that truly caused me pain. Of course, it could just be the contours of my feet, and for others the Pinnacle Pro might be great. Grade: F
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on November 28, 2009
This is the newest version of Dr. Scholl's "Extra Support" insoles. The old ones were dark green, and did not have the gel - this new version has a massaging gel portion in the heel. That is the main difference.

I've been using these for around a year now (not the same pair, multiple pairs).

- Good heel cushion, and good "cupping" of the heel.
- Decent support. Easily better than many other insoles, especially those in a lower price bracket.

- Not enough forefoot cushion! The forefoot will wear out LONG before the heel does. Why don't they put a gel forefoot as well? This insole would be fantastic!
- Price, especially when compared to how long the insole will last you.

Overall, it's not a bad insole. You could do MUCH worse. However, the cushioning in the forefoot is a huge complaint. These are designed for "bigger men"... so why ignore the forefoot by only offering the signature gel cushioning in the heel? Give us the full treatment for our money!

Take a look at what Sof Sole has to offer. The Sof Sole Athlete Insole is a better choice, you can actually see that there's a gel cushion especially for the forefoot. I liked these better, and they're not too much more expensive than these Dr. Scholl's. I have found that Sof Sole makes an insert called "Airr" (with two "R's") which don't seem to be available on Amazon. They're more expensive, but the forefoot gel is even larger than on the "Athlete" and they are the best I've tried so far.

Just be careful when you choose these insoles, experimenting can get expensive very quickly.
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on July 17, 2012
I'm a big guy, both tall and overweight. My feet are size 12EEEE with low arches. Basically, I'm Fred Flintstone. With those kind of feet and that amount of pressure bearing down, I destroy most insoles. Within minutes, they've been crushed into a useless pancake that provides neither cushion, nor support.

But not these. Yes, the arch is made of hard plastic. Yes, that does take some getting used to (especially if you've become accustomed to insoles that go flat quickly). Putting in a pair of these is very much like putting on a new pair of shoes. Expect a full day of discomfort and adjustment.

I'm glad I stuck it out, though, because the results are great. My ankles roll less. My posture is better. The pressure and wear on my feet is much more evenly distributed, with far fewer hot spots and blisters at the end of the day. For years, I had thought that the problems with my feet could only be solved by finding the right shoes... a mythical creature that I had yet to stumble upon. I was wrong. All it took was a $13 insole.
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on March 10, 2011
I used these inserts for my issued uniform boots and they are amazing! I went through 4 weeks of training under pretty rough conditions and these things held up amazingly! I never had any football problems, even after being on my feet all day for a month in the same pair of boots. They offer great cushion and support on all types of surfaces and while marching, walking, and running. If you're a big guy and have trouble with your shoes, I would definitely suggest looking into using these inserts. They are well worth the money spent and I use them in all of my boots.
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on January 22, 2014
I got these for my work boots and unfortunately the orange plastic is to long and sits under the balls of my feet. If the plastic was a little shorter it would be a perfect fit.
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on May 23, 2012
These things are comfortable but you have to have the right shoes to put them in. You need room. In the wrong shoe they make your foot really tight in the shoe. However they do what they are supposed to. Cut them a size bigger than your foot size and they fit perfectly in the shoe.
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on May 13, 2012
I have been using this product for about a week now, and I have to admit when I read some of the reviews, I was sort of skeptical that these insoles would work for me. Prior to their use, I was having severe pain in my feet from walking all day on worn out insoles which had no support to begin with. I can now say with great confidence that they are actually pretty incredible.

At work, I wear size 10.5 Wide Thoroughgood boots, and am on my feet for up to 16 hours a day. These insoles fit PERFECTLY after being trimmed just a little bit in the front. I did not have the issues others mentioned about them being too wide for my boot since I do indeed wear a wide. The plastic Arch Guard peices are my favourite part of these, as thats where my feet hurt the most. The pain is now gone, and I will be back for more when these get worn out!

The only bit of improvement I might have to offer on these at all is that there is no gel in the frot of the insole, which I know other reviews have mentioned. I am still giving these 5 stars though because they did exactly what they said they would do. Great purchase!
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on July 20, 2011
i wear size 9 1/2 to 10 usually. the instep is very elevated, but since this insole is designed to work with a size 14 foot the instep is way too far forward on my foot's instep and it hurts more than helps.

i would imagine if it was in the right position it would feel wonderful, but i cant give it more than 3 stars from my personal experience.
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on August 18, 2012
I work as a student assistant/shelver at my local library and am on my feet for up to 6 hours a day during the summer. Before I purchased this product, my foot pain was so severe that I would come home and have to sit for at least an hour before being able to stand again. As soon as I purchased these gels and trimmed them to fit my size 9 shoe, I was amazed that I can stand for extremely long periods of time and not feel any pain at all!! I am continually surprised that I can shelve or shift books without feeling the need to sit down. It honestly was the best $13.99 I've ever spent and hope that other prospective buyers will find encouragement from reading my review.
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on December 4, 2011
These insoles are enormous. You can customize the length by cutting off the front end, but the heel portion is hard plastic and is so wide that it doesn't even come close to fitting in my size 10.5 work shoes, and just barely fits in my boots. Not only this, but the hard plastic makes it sit awkwardly in any shoe that has any natural arch support built into it.

These might be great if you're size 13/14, but otherwise I would say to avoid this product.
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