They’re often billed as part of the shoe-fit system, and many claim to alleviate common foot ailments like plantar fasciitis and metatarsalagia. Are they worth you money?

If you walk into a mega sports retailer to buy a pair of athletic shoes, chances are the sales rep will try to convince you to buy insoles. They’re often billed as part of the shoe-fit system, and sometimes they’re mentioned before you even select a shoe.

“From a pure business point of view, the stores are seeing value in it,” says Mark Sullivan, director of The Running Event, the running industry’s trade show. “It’s good business, so they are more aggressively selling them.” According to the National Sporting Goods Association, sales of over-the-counter sporting inserts increased 18 percent from 2010 to 2014, an average increase of 4.5 percent per year, generating $398 million. Athletic footwear rose by just 2 percent in 2014.

Read the full story at Outside Online.

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