Insoles for Dressy Ballet Flats
January 18, 2013 9:00 AM   Subscribe

I own, and love, Naturalizer Maude flats for working as a bank teller, where I stand at least half the day and constantly hop off and on my stool. When they're new, the comfort insole is perfect for my feet. However, after a year of use, I've squashed any cushioning they have and they're killing me. What insoles will fit into a dressy ballet flat that does not have removable insoles?

-the leather outer is in perfect shape, and I feel weird about throwing them out for a whole new pair for enviromental reasons in additional to financial ones

-insoles made for sneakers/athletic shoes will be too thick and wide

-I have a pretty flexible budget, anything cheaper than a brand new pair of $70-$80 shoes saves me money

-My feet are 6.5 and average width, no crazy issues other than your standard achy tiredness

-I'm looking into buying an anti-fatigue mat as well

Cycling is pretty much my favorite thing in the world, and the fact that my feet and legs hurt constantly is really screwing me. Please help!
posted by Juliet Banana to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Those are cute shoes. Foot Petals have worked well for me. They have either separate pads for the ball of the foot and the heel, or ones that go most of the length of the shoe. If they are not supportive enough for you, they are easily removable and you can slip them into a pair of heels and try something more cushiony for work.
posted by chickenmagazine at 9:39 AM on January 18, 2013

Fleet Feet carries Super Feet and other insoles, and their staff is trained to make recommendations and fit them. I don't know if they are compatible with flats, but the staff will trim them to fit your shoes.

I wear Super Feet on the recommendation of my sports doctor; that I don't run didn't bother the folks at Fleet Feet at all.

Do you have good health insurance? I have ankle and knee issues from years of cycling and a job that keeps me on my feet a lot. My regular doctor said I had two options for a referral, sports medicine or an orthopedic surgeon. I choose sports medicine, who prescribed physical therapy (including a bike fit), and eventually the Super Feet inserts and then a referral to a foot and ankle specialist for custom orthotics.

It's been a long haul, and time spent at therapy and exercises at home have kept me off my bike a lot, but it's paid off. The physical therapy got me about 60% better and the Super Feet, with alterations from the foot doc, have eased most of my pain at work.

My insurance covered the physical therapy and, because it was prescribed, the bike fit. Custom orthotics aren't covered by my insurance but I'll be getting them soon. Memail me if you want recommendations.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:46 AM on January 18, 2013

Response by poster: Do you have good health insurance?

Zero health insurance.

posted by Juliet Banana at 9:58 AM on January 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

Powersteps are freakin' great and available at Amazon for under $30. They're formed, cushioned material that does NOT degrade like regular "gel" or "foam" insoles. And they sell them in "just heel" and "3/4" sizes, which may work for your type of shoes.

Also, could you see about an OSHA requirement for perhaps a standing floor mat for you to hop down on? Or bringing your own in? They're a bit more expensive, but the type you see in, say, hard-floored hair salons are really great and help people. Typically cashiers at groceries have them too, so I'd be surprised if your bank wouldn't accommodate you.
posted by disillusioned at 10:16 AM on January 18, 2013

That stinks! I'd go to Fleet Feet and describe your symptoms, though.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:19 AM on January 18, 2013

You should really really talk to your Teller Manager/Branch Manager. I used to be a Teller Manager, and I made sure all the stations had anti-fatigue mats. If for no other reason than preventing future Worker's Compensation claims, they should be doing that.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:56 AM on January 18, 2013

I like the Orthera orthotic inserts that I got at Costco. They come two pairs in a package; one is long like an insole you'd put in athletic shoes, and one is short so as not to show in dressy shoes. Neither kind should show when used in flats. What distinguishes them is that they provide real support, not only cushioning. You can easily move them from one pair of shoes to another, though I liked them so well that I've bought a second package. You can order from their web page if your local Costco doesn't have them.
posted by apartment dweller at 11:35 AM on January 18, 2013

Just as an aside -- if you can't make those feel comfortable again you don't have to throw them away -- they're so cute, keep them around as the pretty shoes you wear when you're going out with pals or just having fun.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:36 AM on January 18, 2013

I LOVE these orthaheel slim fit insoles. They last forever and are really comfy. They also come in a cute black-with-pink-flowers version.
posted by whalebreath at 12:02 PM on January 18, 2013

If you go to a shoe repair place, they will have dress shoe foam insoles and can recommend which ones would be the best for you.
For a few extra bucks, they can cut them to size and put them in the shoes for you.

Or the shoe person might recommend resoling or adding a rubber sole for more padding but not inside the shoe.
posted by rmless at 1:47 PM on January 18, 2013

I have bought whatever the super cheap ones are that they sell in the supermarket that you cut down to the right size. They were about $3-5, and while I'm sure they are not as good as fancy ones, they still make a lot of difference. I have put them into ballet flats with no problem.
posted by AnnaRat at 1:50 PM on January 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Why not contact the company that makes them? I thought that resoling was a regular thing in the ballet shoes world.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:02 AM on January 19, 2013

I buy Dr. Scholl's gel inserts for pretty much every pair of shoes I own, especially ballet flats. There's a line called "Dr. Scholl's For Her" that are specially made for women's shoes, though I often just get the regular gel ones and they fit in the shoes just fine. (I just slap them in on top of the insoles the shoe came with and haven't had a problem at all.)
posted by platinum at 11:50 PM on January 19, 2013

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