What Are The Best Insoles For Work Boots in 2017 ?
Considering how much damage and pain we put our feet through during a normal day, we still need to keep going. You may have spent a lot of time finding the perfect pair of work boots for you but even then they may still not be protecting your soles enough. Instead of buying a new pair of boots, consider getting some great replacement insoles and inserts for your boots.
Insoles must fit your foot type and be able to protect the parts of your feet that cause you the most pain. With that being said, we have put together this guide to show you our top picked best insoles for work boots and help you pick the one that is right for you.
Quick Picks For Common Foot Problems
Timberland PRO Series - Best For Concrete Floors
When it comes to concrete floors, our feet absorb the shock of each step thus making our feet very painful. This shoe insert uses specifically designed technology that helps absorb the extra shock that concrete floors induce.
- Removable insoles featuring anti-fatigue technology and OrthoLite top layer
- Anatomically contoured footbed cradles the foot to provide maximum comfort and suppor
- The dynamic arch design adapts to all foot shapes for maximum support and comfort
- Outlast top cover provides temperature regulation and antimicrobial odor control
- Made in China
Powerstep Pinnacle Orthotics - Best For High Arch or Instep
Often when someone has a high arch or instep, their weight is distributed to only the ball points of in their feet making it extremely painful to walk or stand. Since these insoles use a high arch support, we think that these may be the best insoles for high arches.
- Strong, Medical-Grade Foot Support: Encapsulated design and semi-rigid shell give you flexibility and full arch support for mild to moderate pronation.
- Deep Heel Cradle: The Pinnacle's deep heel cradle protects your heel during the heavy impact of landing during walking or running and stabilizes the foot.Semi-rigid foot arch support and heel cradle for increased support and stability in your shoes
- Double Layer Foam Cushioning: Many shoes do not have the proper amount of cushioning for your feet. The Pinnacle gives you maximum cushioning and enhanced comfort.
- Anti-Microbial Top Fabric: Reduces heat and friction while performing strenuous activity, keeping your feet healthier and more comfortable.
- An ideal orthotic for preventing and alleviating pain associated with plantar fasciitis and other common foot conditions.
Superfeet Green Heritage - Best For Plantar Fasciitis
Excruciating foot pain from Plantar Fasciitis can make it difficult to walk and requires gentle support of the tendons lying under your foot. Because of the care involved with this condition, we believe these insoles may help best because they have a soft, supportive and stable footbed construction.
- DEEP HEEL CUP - Superfeets widest and deepest heel cup that offers maximum support and positions the soft tissue to help with natural shock absorption
- BIOMECHANICAL SHAPE
- ODOR-CONTROL COATING - All natural coating that eliminates odor-causing bacteria Closed-cell foam supports and cushions the foot for long lasting comfort
- STABILIZER CAP - The base of the insole that supports the rear foot and provides structure and stability to the foam layer
- For common foot pain, arch pain, heel pain & plantar fasciitis
Sof Sole Airr Orthotic Insoles - Best For Flat Feet
Sometimes your feet will require gradual and gentle arch support that helps realign and adjust the arch of your foot to better support your weight. When your arches are not properly raised, your feet are not getting enough support to keep the delicate bones and tendons in your feet comfortable. Since these insoles help readjust your arch alignment, we have chosen these as the best insoles for flat feet.
- Nylon plate in the arch of the insole helps low arched flat feet stay in line
- Skydex air bubbles in the heel and arch absorbs impact, gel forefoot enhances shock absorption
- COOLMAX fabric top cover wicks away moisture so feet feel cool and dry
- Perfect shoe insert for athletic shoes
- Ideal for running, cross training, walking.SKYDEX air capsules in heel convert impact into kinetic energy
Determining Your Foot Type and Related Medical Conditions
The first thing you may be wondering before purchasing insoles for boots is whether or not you have any medical problems associated with your feet or which type of arch you have.
Without prior knowledge of which foot type you have you may not be able to find insoles that help your foot type.
To determine which foot type you have, use the wet foot test on a paper towel or concrete to get a good idea of your foot shape.
It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor in case if you have any serious foot problems that need to be addressed.
This may also help you determine what type of insole you need;
How To Choose Insoles and What To Look For When Buying
When it comes to purchasing a new pair of insoles or orthotics there are a few things you should look for and keep in mind:
Insole Size: The size of an insole is usually about the same as your shoe or boot size. Although insole sizes may vary from one manufacturer to another, you may still get a general idea of the size you need. Often insoles can be cut to help them fit better in your shoe or boot.
Your Existing Boot/Shoe Insole: Most boots and shoes come with an existing insole that is removable so you can easily take them out and replace them with the new insole. Often people will choose to use inserts over the existing insole as long as there is no type of interference between the two. However, you may choose to remove the existing insole when there is not enough room for the new insoles.
Insole Arch Type/Accommodation: Your feet will normally be one of three different types: Normal Arch, Flat Arch, and High Arch. Most often, insoles help work with each of these foot types and all insoles are different so determine your foot type if you want a better idea of your needs.
Footbed Type: The best boot insoles use one of four different construction types: A rigid arch support, semi-rigid arch support, cushioned arch support and no arch support padding.
Depending on your arch type and severity of any medical issues, we recommend that you choose a footbed type that feels most comfortable to you.
Materials Used: Most often the best work boot insoles are made of the following materials: cork, leather, gel, and foam. Although they're very different, you may consider choosing one as a personal preference, whether it's for comfort, support or a medical condition.
What Are The Advantages/Benefits of Using Insoles
Using insoles for boots may provide many benefits and advantages for several different reasons such as:
• Keeping your feet comfortable
• Make it less painful to stand, walk, and move
• Provides arch supports that are needed for healthy feet
• Supports good posture and prevents back problems
• Helps correct disfigurement in your feet that cause medical problems
Additionally, you don’t have to buy a new pair of boots or shoes every time the existing insoles wear out saving you time and money. For work environments they are especially helpful, allowing you to stand on concrete all day and not have to call into work when the pain is unbearable.
Types of Insoles
In general, people may purchase a certain type of insole for their own needs be it comfort, support or medical conditions. Since insoles come in many different footbed shapes, materials and arch support levels, it’s important that you know how each of these insoles help your feet.
Insole Material Types
Gel Inserts: Generally these types of inserts might not provide a great deal of arch support. However, some of the best insoles for work boots on concrete are made of gel because they absorb the shock from each of your footsteps better than other materials. Instead of the shock reverberating into the bones of your feet and legs, the shock is dampened by using a gel insert for boots.
Foam Inserts: These types of inserts are normally the most comfortable insoles because they provide a great deal of cushioning, general support and pressure relief. Since these provide a great deal of pressure relief, they may be used in insoles for plantar fasciitis or other medical conditions.
Cork Inserts: Often, cork inserts do a pretty good job of absorbing shock from hard floors like concrete while also providing a decent amount of arch support. Cork may tend to require a bit of breaking in before it feels comfortable but once it does it will conform to the natural shape of your foot.
Leather Inserts: Normally leather inserts are chosen for their moderate comfort and feel inside of shoes or boots. Some may provide a decent amount of arch support but offer only a slight amount of cushion.
Insole Arch Support Types
Rigid Arch Support: Typically this type of footbed consists of one solid and single piece that does not give or bend much but provides needed arch support. Often there is only a slight to no amount of cushion in the area of your arch.
Semi-Rigid Arch Support: With semi-rigid arch supports you will get a decent amount of cushioning while providing the needed arch support. These are better at flexing than a fully rigid arch support and often are moderately soft in the area of your arch.
Cushioned Arch Support: Often with this type of arch support, the padding underneath the arch is very cushioned and soft which helps make the arch of your foot less painful. Although not as supportive as a semi-rigid or rigid arch support, these provide a minimal amount of arch correction for your feet.
No Arch Support: These types of insoles are usually one straight piece of padding with no apparent arch support that may or may not conform to the natural shape of your feet over time. Since there is no additional arch support these insoles focus mostly on providing padding or cushion to the entire bottom of your feet.
When you find a pair of insoles that interest you the next step is to determine what size you need. Since most insoles allow you to trim and cut off areas that aren’t needed, you can often choose the same size as your boot or shoe size.
It’s a good idea to take into account how much space you have in your boot to better fit the inserts. If your boot has a removable insole consider taking it out to accommodate the new insoles or simply place the new insole on top of the existing one, so long as there is plenty of room in your boot and there are no abnormal humps.
Some specific inserts require breaking in and can be quite rigid or uncomfortable at first.
They are usually made this way so that they will more naturally form to the shape of your feet.
Consider wearing these types of boot inserts while gradually building up to a point to where they have conformed to your foot shape.
What Are The Best Ways Of Using Inserts & How To Put Them In Your Shoes
• You should use inserts that are the right size for your feet or else the placement of the arch support may be incorrect, causing more discomfort than there originally was.
• Flexible and cushioned insoles are better to use when you want to keep your existing insoles inside as well.
• Allow your new insoles time to adjust to the natural form of your feet. Most inserts will not be perfectly shaped for your feet.
One of the more preferred methods of wearing inserts is to first remove the existing insoles of your boots first before installing the new insoles. This helps create fewer bumps and abnormalities that would otherwise be felt if you left the old liner in.
If you do not want to immediately adjust to the new insoles and like the shape of your existing insoles, you may consider placing the new liner over top of the old ones.
To Install Inserts Into Your Boots or Shoes:
• Remove or adjust the existing insoles.
• Clean any debris or damaged pieces from the old insoles.
• Try to slide the insole inside your shoe or boot. If there are any spots the insole folds, trim off the foldings and be careful not to take off too much.
• Place the insoles inside of your shoes or boots.
• Step into your boots or shoes and determine if the insoles are comfortably placed.
• If there is anything that feels off, make adjustments or small trimmings until it feels comfortable.
How To Measure The Insole Of A Shoe
Simply placing an insert inside of your shoe or boot may not always work because some inserts may not be wide or thin enough so the arch may be out of place.
To get an accurate measurement of the insole of your boot or shoe:
Take a measurement of the entire length of your foot from heel to toes. By doing this you will be able to determine how much from the end of the new insole near the toes you will need to trim. It will also help you determine if the size indicated for the brand match up to your foot size.
Measure the width of your heel:
Most insoles for boots have some sort of cup shape in the heel area with ridges protruding from the edges upward. If the width of the heel cup is not wide enough, it may cause discomfort and pain on your heels from standing on top of the ridges. If the heel cup is too wide, there may be too much space within the heel area of your boot or shoe.
Measure from the heel of your foot to the ball of your feet (the joints that your toes meet):
The support cap and beginning of the arch support should meet just after the ball of your feet. If you don’t take this measurement the arch support and other intentionally harder parts of the insoles will be improperly placed and cause discomfort.
How Long Do Insoles Last?
Due to normal wear and tear, all insoles will eventually wear out and require a replacement, even inserts that you choose to replace old ones with. Typically, inserts should be replaced around six to nine months with the average amount of use. However, since this article is covering work boots we will assume you are using them more than an average user so we will cut that time in half as a rough estimate, so three to six months for work settings.
Other Replacement Considerations:
• Material quality
• Frequency of use
• Your weight
• Insole Type
• What kind of activities you perform
Most name brand insoles are created using better quality materials and come with replacement warranties so they may be worth investing in for the continued health of your feet, back and your comfort.
How To Remove/Replace Insoles
While some boots have removable insoles that are easy to remove, some shoes and boots have insoles that are glued down. Often this can make it difficult for you to place a new set of insoles inside your boot or shoe.
For Removable Insoles: Simply wedge a finger between the side of your shoe and boot. With a little effort, you should be able to get your finger underneath the insole. Once this is done, gently grip the insole between your fingers and wiggle it until it comes out.
For Glued Down Insoles: It will be much more difficult to remove a glued down insole. If a lot of glue was used in the construction, you could run the problem of ripping most the insole out and leaving chunks of the insole remaining in your shoe or boot. When you place an insert over these chunks, it will make your new insoles uncomfortable.
To remove these types of insoles:
Quick Tip: Continue using a hairdryer to heat the glue on the inside if needed.
• Try heating the shoes or boots up for a few minutes with a hairdryer. The glue will become softer when it is heated up making it easier to lift.
• Pry up a piece on the back of the insole that you can easily and firmly grip.
• Gently and consistently lift up on the insole until it slowly starts coming up. Continue pulling upward on the insole until eventually, the entire insole is out.
• Scrape out any remaining pieces of insole if there are any. Glue will normally not interfere with your new insoles unless the chunks are very big so your focus should be on any remaining insole scraps. A thin plaster knife may work well.
How To Clean and Maintain Insoles
Some insole materials are not recommended to be completely submerged in water as they can hold extra moisture which can damage the padding. Since you still need to clean and maintain your insoles, there are other ways and secrets of maintaining them.
For water-logged insoles:
• Remove the insole from your shoe or boot as soon as possible
• Gently pat them dry with a towel to remove moisture on their surface
• Place the insoles in a dry area with good ventilation, laying them flat
• Allow the insoles to dry out completely. This process could take several days depending on the severity of the saturation and type of insole.
For dirty or smelly insoles:
• Using lukewarm water and a mild soap, gently scrub the insoles with a washcloth removing as much dirt as possible.
• Do not soak the insoles completely in water or let them absorb too much water as this can damage the insoles.
• Use a clean washcloth and rinse the insoles once more with clear water.
• Take a dry towel and pat as much moisture from the insoles as possible and set them to dry on a flat and well-circulated area.
For tough stains, try using a soft bristle brush such as a toothbrush to spot-treat soiled areas. Carefully use circular motions to lift any caked on residue.
Never machine wash or machine dry your insoles. If in doubt, read any instructions provided with your insoles to find the best methods of cleaning or maintaining them.
Additional Maintenance Methods:
A great way to maintain the level of support and function of your insoles is to consider buying a few extra pairs. When any insoles need to be replaced or cleaned you will always have another set ready to be used. Additionally, each insole will take a longer time to wear out and won’t need to be replaced as soon.
Our Top 7 Picks For Best Work Boot Insoles
1. Timberland PRO Unisex Anti-Fatigue Technology Replacement Insole
- Extensive shock absorption
- Moisture management
- Adaptable Arch
- Temperature Regulation
- Odor Control
- Cradled Footbed
- Very Thick
- Wide Heels
- High Arch
- Fall Apart Quickly
Being ¾ of an inch at the heel, the Timberland PRO Anti-Fatigue Insoles may provide a great amount of padding on your heels that might make standing on concrete all day less of a pain.
The Anti-Fatigue technology used in these inserts use the same idea of Timberland's signature floor mats that are used in industrial factories and facilities in many places which the main purpose is to absorb the shock from stepping on concrete floors.
Because it is thick, you might need to completely remove any existing insoles in your boots for it to fit properly. Since the heel area is considerably wide, you may have problems fitting these in a boot with a wide heel so take measurements of the heel space you need in your boot.
2. Superfeet Green Heritage Insoles
- Natural Shock Absorption
- Stabilizing Shape
- Vegan, Latex Free
- Organic Odor Control
- Deep Heel Cup
- Far Back Arch Support
- Minimal Cushion
- Heel Cup Position Far Back
In a vegan, latex-free, preservative-free build comes the Superfeet Green Heritage Insoles. The construction of the footbed in this insole seems to be the main focus which provides a stabilizing posture in a deep, shock absorbing heel cup. Most of the padding that is included in this insert is towards the back of the heel to the balls of your feet.
Since the placement of the entire footbed is a little far back to your heel, some people may not fit in these correctly. To determine whether or not these are right for you, consider carefully measuring your feet and insole requirements. The padding may not be ideal for those seeking extra cushioning in the front and mid area of your feet.
3. Powerstep Pinnacle Orthotics
- Medical-Grade Support
- Stable Design
- Reduces Heat and Friction
- Double Layered Cushion
- Soft Arch Support
- Poor Quality
At first glance, these insoles seem to be moderately well made with a soft texture to boot. While these inserts are medical grade, they don't seem to provide a lot of cushioning and have a minimal amount of arch support to adjust for an arch drop or provide adequate cushioning.
While lacking in other departments these insoles do have a flexible and supportive shell and seem to have a heel cradle that provides a good deal of ankle support. Since the arch support seems to be quite soft and flexible, it seems to be good for use in people with a high or a slightly painful arch that requires minimal adjustment or support.
4. Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel Work Insoles
- Conforms To Foot Shape
- All Day Comfort
- Ample Cushioning
- Gel Only In Heels
- Not Good For Arch Problems
- Poor Quality
- No Odor Reduction
The Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel inserts seem to be an all around good pair of insoles for replacing an old or worn out insole. While the gel is only in the heel, I can imagine that these insoles would work well to absorb shock from concrete at the heels but doesn't do well in other areas. These insoles generally don't seem to need special fitting accommodation.
I can see these insoles not working out for people that have a high arch or a need for any type of arch support as there is little to no amount of arch support included in the design. The textured area near the ball of the feet and toes has a rather strange wave texture that some people may find an unusual feeling.
5. Spenco Polysorb Insole
- Full Foot Cushioning
- Forefoot Pressure Reduction
- Heel Impact Reduction
- Blister and Odor Control
- Low Arch Support
- Difficult Arch Placement
- Hard Arch
These Spenco Polysorb insoles are presented in a smart and thoughtful style. On both the heels and forefoot there are pads to help absorb shock and provide extra cushioning with each step. The stretch fabric covering the entire footbed uses a 4-way stretch material that helps prevent blistering and controls odor.
On the other hand, the arch support is minimal at best and may be placed in a strange part of the footbed. While having a low profile arch, these insoles seem to have a more rigid approach on their arches and a soft profile in other parts, which could spell major arch discomfort if these insoles don't fit your foot type.
6. Orthotics for Flat Feet by Samurai Insoles
- Designed By Podiatrists
- Slim design
- Designed For Flat Feet
- Minimal Trimming Needed
- All-Day Comfort
- May Break Easily
- Minimal Cushion
- Weak Arch Support
These insoles that were designed by a podiatrist that was looking to create a gentle solution to overpronation that is often seen with flat feet or fallen arches. The slim and lightweight design uses a small to a little amount of cushioning so it may be painful for people with feet types that are not suitable for this insole.
While being designed specifically for flat feet, these insoles have a weak amount of arch support and the materials used in them may break easily. The footbed of the entire insole seems to use a minimal amount of cushioning and may not be recommended for casual use or normal to high arch types.
7. Sof Sole Airr Orthotic Insoles
- Actively Adjusts Fallen Arch
- Good Arch Support
- Impact Gel At Heel
- Good Quality
- Moisture Control
- May Require Trimming
- Pushes Feet Upward
- May Cause Painful Heels
- Narrow At Heels
- Needs Breaking In
For people with flat feet, these soles seem to do a good job of adjusting the fallen arch. The shape and materials used in the arch area help push the arch up where they have fallen. After breaking these in you might experience a more healthy arch and require less insole accommodation.
The main area of these insoles that could use improvement are the heels that have a noticeable gel insert at on the bottoms. Additionally, the heel area may be too narrow out of the box. At first, these insoles might not be comfortable for people with fallen arches although after breaking in more, your feet might be able to support themselves easier.
Since the topic for this article was the best insoles for work boots, I am naming the Timberland PRO Series the clear winner of the roundup. All around these insoles provide on every level you’d want in foot orthotics, even using their own special technology in the materials.
Starting from the top, the Timberland PRO Series insoles provide a great amount of shock absorption using their special anti-fatigue technology along the entire footbed bottom that is also used within floor mats of facilities with concrete floors. Since most work environments have some form of concrete or hard flooring, these inserts will perform better than all other insoles listed because the entire footbed is covered with shock absorbers.
These insoles also have a little bit to offer for everyone in terms of cushioning, adjustable arch support to accommodate most foot types, a cradled footbed for extra posture and foot stability, and a maintenance-minded design that controls moisture or odor. By accommodating and giving added stability, your overall posture, leg, and foot health will be much better off over time.
Each insole that was reviewed was aimed to provide a little bit of functionality for any foot type. Whether you are looking for the best insoles for work boots or the best insoles for standing all day on concrete, we hope that you may find value in this review to better help you decide which insole to choose. If the insole fits and feels good, then wear it.