Everything you need to know about insoles

At MOTUS, the majority of our clients come from an athletic background. We’ve spent years working with athletes at all levels, so we understand the underlying passion between an athlete and their sport. We know that nothing is worse than an injury standing in the way of activity and training. That’s why we’ve built a library of advanced tools proven to help keep our clients in the game, like Zelus insoles.

What are insoles and what do they do?

Many people turn to over-the-counter inserts, sometimes without knowing much about them, to provide support. Shoe insoles are meant to make up for the poor design of most shoes. One study from 2004 showed that simple insoles can improve excessive foot pronation when walking, compared to those wearing regular shoes without insoles. However, insoles can be about much more than cushy comfort. Zelus shoe inserts are designed with the athlete in mind, and offer a shock-absorbing cushioning that helps prevent injury and enhance athletic performance.

We’ve chosen to offer Zelus insoles at MOTUS because of their outstanding quality and patented SmartCells design. SmartCells technology was invented in the late 1980s as a means of providing superior comfort, support and stability. This innovative cushioning technology was first applied to mats and flooring. Later, in 2015, SmarCells decided to partner with another brand, Fastech Labs. This company has an extensive background in custom orthotics. By combining Fastech’s knowledge of arch support with the cushioning technology of SmartCells, the two came up with the Zelus insoles. The final design was completed in 2017, and features patented SmartCells in high-impact areas along with advanced orthopedic design throughout the rest of the structure. These affordable shoe insoles are like no others on the market.

How do Zelus insoles work?

Zelus insoles use a combination of SmartCells foot cushion technology and custom orthotics design to create optimum, affordable support. Zelus insoles come in several different styles with SmartCells micro and nano cells offering different degrees of additional support depending on the style. For instance, the Olympus LITE style comes with SmartCells on the heel and across metatarsal bones, but the Olympus PRO features SmartCells on the heel and the entire forefoot area. Your therapist at MOTUS can help you decide which style is right for your lifestyle.

The patented SmartCells technology provides the foundation for these insoles. It’s part of what allows these particular over-the-counter inserts to be so effective at preventing injury and fatigue, while providing support that will enhance your performance. Their design looks simple, like rows of tiny, soft cylinders. However, these little surfaces have a big impact on an athlete’s potential.

Part of what makes SmartCells work is their compressibility. This makes the material soft and comfortable to stand on even while providing support and stability. The soft and stable design of SmartCells helps reduce fatigue so that you can stay energized and in the game.

The SmartCells portion of the Zelus insoles is also designed to absorb and rebound energy. Impact and sudden movements are cushioned by the structure reducing foot pain and maintaining the correct position of the entire foot. With each step or movement, the SmartCells in the Zelus insoles spring back energy to the body, enhancing your performance and working with your body’s movements.

What are the benefits of Zelus Insoles?

Having the SmartCells design centered around the areas with the highest impact is key to the Zelus insoles’ ability to energize and protect during play. This element is what makes these insoles so ideal for athletes. The SmartCells design can absorb up to 20% of an impact, and will return that energy back to the athlete. Shock absorption is also key in preventing overuse injuries for athletes. One study tested the effectiveness of shock absorbing insoles on military recruits starting a new training program. These recruits were at high risk of an overuse injury. The study found that the group who used insoles suffered significantly less overuse injuries. Another major benefit of Zelus insoles is their low price. These insoles are made with the same elements as custom orthotics, yet each pair costs well under $100. It’s an affordable fix to an important element of any sport. With orthotic-grade arch support, Zelus insoles help support proper alignment, so you can build a better, stronger posture for an overall enhanced performance. Zelus insoles are made with high-quality, durable materials. These insoles are crafted right here in the U.S., and are built to last much longer than normal insoles

Are Zelus Insoles Right for Me?

Are you a runner suffering from shin splints? An athlete who needs better support in their shoes? Someone who is constantly on their feet and at risk of an overuse injury? Then Zelus insoles might be key to improving your lifestyle. The massive benefits that can come from these affordable, ready-made insoles make Zelus products a valuable tool for athletes. If you’re an Orange County resident who would like to try out Zelus insoles for yourself, we invite you to stop by MOTUS Specialists Physical Therapy.

We all know that feeling: the end of a long day when our feet are tired and sore. We’ve all been there after a long day of work, standing in line at the grocery store, or hiking a new trail. But imagine if your feet felt that way all the time – no matter what you were doing. For many people, this is a reality. And for those people, finding the right insole can make a world of difference.

There are many different types of insoles on the market, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right insole:

What activities do you do?

  • Think about what activities you do most often. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, you’ll need an insole with good shock absorption.
  • If you’re an athlete, you’ll need an insole that can handle a lot of impact. Look for an insole with good shock absorption and energy rebound.

Flat Feet? Plantar Fasciitis? Consider your arch type.

  • If you have flat feet, you’ll need an insole with good arch support. If you have high arches, you may need an insole that is specifically designed to reduce pronation.
  • If you have a health condition, like plantar fasciitis, you’ll need an insole with good arch support and cushioning.

What type of shoes do you wear?

  • Think about the shape of your shoes, boots, or cleats. Not all insoles are made for every type of shoe. Make sure the insole you choose is the right size and shape for your shoes.

What is your budget?

  • You don’t need to spend a lot of money on an insole. In fact, many insoles cost less than $50. But be sure to buy an insole that is made with high-quality materials, so it will last. While custom orthotics will run you much more money.

If you are ever unsure about what type of insole to purchase or have other questions, please consult your MOTUS physical therapist.


  1. Helen R.Branthwaite et al – The effect of simple insoles on three-dimensional foot motion during normal walking
  2. Martin P. Schwellnus et al – Prevention of common overuse injuries by the use of shock absorbing insoles: A prospective study

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