Speco Heel Cushion Insert Comparison
Spenco is a healthcare and lifestyle brand that sells orthotic inserts, blister treatments, compression socks, and shoes with the goal of helping people with foot conditions ranging from hammer toe to diabetic neuropathy improve their quality of life.
Spenco’s tagline, “The shape that feels great,” speaks to the brand’s mission of creating products that help ease symptoms of different foot ailments without sacrificing comfort or style.
Which Spenco products are your best bet? How do Heel Seats stack up to Spenco Inserts? And how effective are Spenco inserts at treating plantar fasciitis? Let’s find out!
Spenco Products and Inserts
Spenco specializes in footwear, blister treatments, orthotic inserts, and compression socks:
Spenco’s footwear is extremely popular for people with painful heels or feet. And because Spenco footwear is priced reasonably at between $25-$80 per pair on average, Spenco shoes are an affordable alternative to many brands of orthotic shoes. Keep in mind that some styles are far more popular than others: The Slide Mule Clogs for both men and women garner great reviews for their support and comfort, while sizing and stiffer fit seem to be a problem for the Siesta Leather Supportive Shoes.
Reading reviews online and getting feedback from online support forums for heel pain can help you make a good decision if you’re looking at buying a pair of Spenco shoes.
Spenco offers a wide variety of different inserts; however, the inserts can be generally grouped into two categories: firm and supportive, or cushioning. Firm-style inserts are made of fabric, rubber, and plastic, which customers struggled to form to their shoes and feet properly. Customers who were new to wearing orthotics or had sensitive feet likewise had a hard time tolerating the rigid plastic comfortably. Spenco’s cushioning inserts, made of gel or rubber, get great reviews for comfort–at first. While Spenco’s gel or foam inserts feel great at first and will provide temporary relief for painful heels, they do tend to lose their shape quickly and have been reported to bunch up in the shoe as they wear out.
One of Spenco’s most popular products is its blister kit–for good reason! Spenco’s blister pads stay firmly in place, and keep blisters from drying out with a unique gel piece. Be advised that some customers report that the blister pads fall off if the foot becomes very sweaty, and that larger blister pads can be cut into smaller pads as needed!
Reviews are usually glowing for Spenco’s compression socks–as long as you’re comfortable with a tighter fit. As far as compression socks go, Spenco falls on the “very tight” end of the spectrum; however, for users who don’t mind a tight fit, these socks get great reviews!
Are Spenco Insoles Helpful for Plantar Fasciitis?
Spenco inserts are effective at temporarily relieving some of the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Foam can provide soothing relief and an added layer of cushioning to your sore heels and feet! Likewise, Spenco’s harder plastic inserts can help lift a fallen arch to relieve some of the burden of weight distribution and impact absorption.
However, it’s important to understand that the relief provided by most cost-effective or mid-range inserts on the market is temporary. Foam deteriorates, compresses, and flattens quickly and, as some users have reported in their reviews, can begin to bunch up in the shoe. In other words, the temporary relief from cushioning can be extremely temporary.
Spenco’s hard plastic arch supports will keep their form longer and last longer than their foam counterparts, however the rigid plastic may be difficult for many users to tolerate and wear for long periods of time–crucial for healing! And while any degree of lift and support can help prop up a fallen arch, Spenco Inserts don’t have Fascia-Bar Technology. Orthotics with Fascia-Bar have been proven in clinical trials by the University of Iowa to be twice as effective as leading orthotic brands.
Heel Seats Vs. Spenco Orthotic Inserts
The biggest difference between Spenco Orthotic Inserts and Heel Seats is that Spenco is primarily designed to temporarily relieve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Heel Seats, on the other hand, were designed to help relieve painful symptoms while directly treating the cause of your foot pain.
Spenco orthotic inserts and Heel Seats differ in other ways, too:
Shoe Box Space
Many customers complain that Spenco inserts take up a great deal of space in the shoe box and make the shoe feel tight. Heel Seats were built with a deceptively thin profile that won’t make your shoes feel pinched.
Generic Lifting and Cushioning Vs. Proven Support
While Spenco inserts can provide temporary relief for some symptoms of plantar fasciitis, Heel Seats provide a direct treatment for heel pain symptoms. Patented Fascia Bar Technology has been proven to physically re-stretch the plantar fascia ligament, target painful hot spots with acupressure, and prompt the body to rebuild its own fat pad.
Slipping, Scrunching, Squeaking and Sliding Vs. Stay-Put Material
Some Spenco customers report frustration that their foam or gel inserts slip and slide in their shoes, lose shape quickly, and bunch up as they wear out. Spenco’s plastic inserts may emit a slight squeaking sound while a customer walks. Heel Seats, on the other hand, are made from a unique blend of rubber and gel that stays put, won’t slide around, and won’t ever squeak!
Another big difference between Heel Seats and Spenco insoles is that Heel Seats are backed by an unconditional, 100% money-back guarantee. Every pair of feet is different, and it can get expensive–and frustrating–to buy yet another pair of orthotic inserts. While we hope that Heel Seats are the last type of orthotic inserts you’ll ever buy, we want you to feel completely confident that there’s no risk in giving them a try!
While the Spenco brand makes a wide variety of quality products, our best bet (based on customer reviews and product features) is Spenco footwear or blister treatments. Spenco insoles can certainly provide some temporary relief, but if you have heel pain or plantar fasciitis, your best bet is an insole that can address those symptoms effectively while also helping you truly recover.