My feet are sore - I need extra cushioning.
Insoles and shoes promoting extra cushioning for your feet are popular products these days. They range from water insoles to all kinds of cushy materials that claim to "protect" your feet and put extra spring in your step. Correcting your foot mechanics makes you feel like you have better cushioning.
If your feet supinate (roll out) when you walk, you are likely to feel a harder more jarring impact each time your heels strike the ground and your shoes, especially your heels will wear faster. Ask a friend to observe your ankles when you walk or check the wear pattern on your shoe soles. If the wear is heavier along the middle to outside, you supinate. Heel cushions can be helpful in reducing the impact, but they won't improve your gait mechanics. Other musculoskeletal problems originating from your feet will remain.
Loss of fat pad
Many people, especially people in their fifties complain about losing the fat pad underneath the balls of their feet. This problem is made seriously worse if your foot mechanics is off because the middle of your feet often support most of your weight. All the pressure lands in one place and because over pronation makes your feet twist inside your shoes, thickened skin and calluses may form right behind the second and sometimes third toes. Correcting your foot mechanics and distributing your weight across the full width of your feet will in most cases end the discomfort.
If you need cushioning be conservative
Do you remember using your bed as a trampoline as a kid? Remember how wobbly your feet were walking on that mattress? You might remember how tired your feet felt after walking a mile on a sandy beach - not at water's edge but in dry sand. Both these examples are obvious exaggerations but point out what too much cushioning will do. Too much cushion will destabilize your feet, making them and the rest of your body feel more tired and prone to injury.
It's easy to cross the line with cushioning your feet. So be careful about what you put in your shoes. Start with correcting your foot mechanics - then determine how much cushioning you really need. It may not be as much as you think.
Checking your foot mechanics is fast and easy.