Heel pain is a common foot problem and is sometimes related to running. Most patients get better with no specific management but up to 40% report pain at 2 years so it can be quite debilitating as we are on our feet quite often!
There are quite a few ways to manage heel pain, e.g. with medication, manual therapy, specific exercises, taping, injection and… insoles! A high quality paper looked at the evidence of using insoles (foot orthoses) in the management of heel pain. They looked at all the studies that investigated this, pooled all the data available and synthesised this and made a conclusion based on all the available evidence. They found 20 studies of high quality (which is not common in healthcare research!) and basically there are no differences in clinical outcomes (e.g. pain) between custom insoles and placebo insoles, nor there were differences between custom insoles and over-the-counter ones!
There conclusion is that insoles (foot orthoses) are not superior for improving pain and function compared with placebo or other conservative treatment in patients with heel pain.
I was talking about useful exercises for plantar fasciitis in another post that you can find here