Best Insoles For Work Boots Reviewed & Rated
Being on the job can be rough on your feet. Operating machines and electrical tools might seem as though it only requires the strength of your arms, but in reality, a lot of stress is put on the rest of your body as well – particularly your feet. Among the main types of forces that can cause harm, workers walking and standing all day is subject to compressive stress, which relates to the way motion compacts a material and can damage the nerves and tendons in the long term. That’s where insoles become useful.
Shoe insoles are also known as inserts or footbeds and are located directly underneath your foot when wearing a pair of shoes. Their job is to provide shock absorption, structural support, and comfort throughout the day. Although nearly all shoes will come with a removable insole already within the shoe, they tend to be very thin and of fairly low quality. Because of this, even if you have a top-quality pair of expensive work boots, their insoles may not meet all your requirements.
- Superfeet Green Heritage
- Pinnacle Powerstep
- Dr. Scholls Massaging Gel
The insoles are also one of the easiest and quickest things to wear down in your shoe, even if they’re not exposed to the outside world. That’s because of the impact on your foot as it comes down to meet the ground will flatten the insole with every single step. Through time, your boots would lose their cushioning and stability, increasing the level of stress it puts on your joints and making it easier to get injured. Safety is crucial when working, and what may seem like a small problem with your insoles could easily cause a much larger one in the long term. But with a good pair of removable insoles, not only will you be able to say goodbye to blisters, discomfort, and foot fatigue, but it can also create a path to healthier feet and joints in the long term. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten best insoles for work boots so that you can easily find your perfect pair.
10 Best Insoles For Work Boots
1. Superfeet Green Heritage
These insoles feature a deep heel cup that is strategically positioned to increase natural shock absorption. It offers excellent and reliable support for long days on the job.
Designed to fit into many different types of footwear, you can wear these insoles in your work boots as well as in your everyday street shoes or your running shoes so that they can provide structural support wherever you go.
Cost and Value
The only downside about these insoles is that they are on the highest end of our price range. However, their durability ensures they'll last for a long time.
- Anti-odor coating
- Arch support
- Deep heel cup for cushioning
- High-density foam
2. Powerstep Pinnacle
With an EVA foam base surrounded by a luxe top layer, this durable insert is paired with Pinnacle’s Variable Cushioning Tech. This technology helps give a targeted cushioning, controlled and deliberately delivered to areas you need it most when on your feet. In addition, it features and anti-microbial fabric which can help your feet stay dry and cool, and help cut down on odor buildup during activities.
Arch support in the Pinnacle Powerstep is found in the semi-rigid construction, which still maintains a level of flexibility needed when walking or running. A deep heel cradle adds to the support and stability features, giving motion control and reducing foot fatigue. With its versatility to function in all types of shoes, the Powerstep is sure to fit and perform in work boots for those on their feet long hours on the job.
Cost and Value
With slight variations in priced based on sizes selected, the Powerstep Pinnacle is by no means expensive, and fall about average in price on our list. For it’s quality cushion and performance in support, it’s a great investment to add to your work boots, especially if you require some arch support, or need more than just a little bit of extra cushioning.
Deep Heel Cup
3. Sof Sole Athlete
Featuring a neutral arch contoured design and a flat cushion insole, these insoles can be suitable for people with different types of feet and arches. If you don't have time to do your research for insoles specifically designed for your foot type, then you can reach for a pair of these.
These insoles use a lightweight material for cushioning and feature gel drops in the heel and foot. This reduces the bulk of the insoles, keeping them nice and light so that you can walk around without dragging any additional weight with you.
Cost and Value
For their quality, Sof Sole Athlete Insoles are one of the cheapest insoles you can find. They are affordable for everyone so that you won't have to sacrifice your entire paycheck for comfortable feet.
- Suitable for all arch types
- Full length, trim-to-fit
- Gel drops in heel and forefoot
- Moisture wicking technology
- Not suitable for standing all day
- Thick heel
4. Timberland PRO Anti-Fatigue
Because these footbeds are anatomically-contoured, they are designed to fit the curves of your foot perfectly, providing structural support that would ensure healthy joints and comfortable walking.
Dynamic Arch Design
Even if your foot doesn't fit the footbed perfectly, it's no problem - its dynamic arch design will adapt to your foot shape to provide maximum support and comfort.
Cost and Value
These shoes are towards the high end of our price range. However, they've received over a thousand 5-star reviews from satisfied customers. We think they're definitely worth checking out!
- Absorbs and returns energy
- Anatomically-contoured footbed
- Adaptable arch design
- Thick heel
- Somewhat spongy
5. Sof Sole AIRR
The Sof Sole AIRR incorporates Coolmax technology in the fabric top, to help wick away moisture from the foot, keeping you dry yet cool when wearing. Lightweight and airy, this little insole will feel like part of your work boots, all while maintaining an even temperature for your feet, even when outside in the heat.
Gel Cushioned Support
Along with cooling technology, the Sof Sole AIRR helps keep you cushioned with a gel cushioned forefoot, padding your metatarsals with a springy, soft, feeling. Skydex air bubbles are located in the arch and heel to help absorb impact, and offer a soothing feeling to the foot.
Cost and Value
Definitely one of the more budget friendly options on our list, it’s worth consideration if you’ve tired other supportive insoles without relief. Although made for athletics, it will do well in work boots to help keep you cool, cushioned with gel and Skydex air bubbles, and keeping a spring in your step. Well worth the investment to try out!
Skydex Air Bubbles
Slide Inside Shoe
6. Samurai Orthotics for Flat Feet
Samurai insoles include a springy molded orthotic core that ensures adequate structural support is given to all areas of the foot to prevent exhaustion and increase comfort.
Excellent cushioning is provided by their springy polypropylene orthotic shell and their dense padded case. Because of this, they are sure to provide the proper protection against high-impact when in the workplace.
Cost and Value
These insoles are quite expensive compared to the others on our list, but they're extremely cheap compared to some other high-quality orthotics. They have received excellent reviews from satisfied customers, and are definitely worth the consideration for those struggling to find the proper insoles for flat feet.
- Arch support for low arches
- Specific sizes
- Suitable for high impact confitions
- Not very durable
- Very thin
7. Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel
Thanks to their Massaging Gel technology, extra cushioning is provided, which will protect the feet and joints when walking on hard surfaces and working with power tools.
The 'massaging' is meant to stimulate blood flow and therefore relieve any tension or knots in the muscles, which prevents discomfort and makes them especially suitable for those who have frequent foot cramps.
Cost and Value
These insoles are an incredibly good bargain for their versatility. One pair will serve you well for work, sports, or running errands.
- Excellent cushioning
- Massages the foot
- Allows airflow
- Minimal arch support
- Not suitable for wide feet
8. Nazaroo Orthotic Insoles
Many times, some insoles can simply add a layer of cushioning to help boost comfort in shoes that have little padding. With Nazaroo’s Orthotic Insoles, not only are the materials and specs met to medical grade standards, you can be certain of the quality with their money back guarantee. It makes them a smart choice to try out for your next pair of insoles for work!
Support and Cushion
Found in the Nazaroo Orthotic Insole is structural arch support as well as a deep heel cradle, which helps stabilize the foot and heel, as well as alleviate foot fatigue. A latex pad is built into the insole to help absorb impact and reduce stress upon the foot during walking. EVA anti-microbial treatment helps keep odors at bay, and wards of mildew.
Cost and Value
One of the most budget friendly options, the Nazaroo Orthotic Insole is a smart purchase if you’re in search of new insoles for your work boots. Not only will this fit a variety of shoes, it offers the support and cushioning you would fine in premium orthotics, and all with a money back guarantee. This one is a no-brainer to consider, if you haven’t tried them out before!
Medical Grade Materials
Latex Pad Insole
Deep Heel Cradle
Break In Required
9. Tread Labs Pure Stride
These insoles come in four different arch heights, making sure that you can find your perfect fit for maximum support according to your arch size and foot type.
An open cell polyurethane foam combined with a low friction polyester fabric means that no matter if you're running or using power tools, shock can be absorbed. In addition, the materials are long-lasting, and one pair will last you a good long time.
Cost and Value
Stride insoles are quite pricey compared to many other insoles on our list, but keep in mind that their durability justifies their high price and renders them a worthy investment.
- Firm arch supports
- Different arch heights available
- Cushioning is durable
- Low friction fabric
- Antimicrobial fabric treatment
10. ViveSole Plantar Series
Not only does its antimicrobial lining prevent odor, it will also prevent the growth of bacteria in your work shoes or boots and ensure your feet stay healthy and comfortable.
As mentioned before, the design features a deep heel cup and a firm arch. This increases stability and ensures that less strain is put on your heels and arches with each step you take.
Cost and Value
As the second cheapest pair of insoles on our list, these are definitely affordable. They're great if you're still hesitant about using insoles - and will definitely convince you of their practicality.
- Antimicrobial lining
- Great for low arches or overpronation
- High arches
- Not very durable
If you find yourself on your feet for more hours of the day than not, and require work boots for construction, safety work, tactical work or other career related needs, consider one of these great insoles to help your feet. Not only will the added cushion and padding help give a better foot feel to your boots, the design of some can help with flat feet, arch support, and in general alleviate foot fatigue. With some very budget friendly options included in our list, you are certain to find a pair you can try out to see if they work for you!
Criteria For Evaluating the Best Insoles For Work Boots
Most insoles are marked with a size range rather than a single size, as in shoes. (An example would be a pair of insoles labeled ‘Men’s 9-12.’) This is because most full-length insoles are meant to be trimmed down in order to fit your shoe, and will be labeled as ‘trim-to-fit.’ Before using them, you would simply have to trim off the excess length of the insole in order for it to fit comfortably in your shoe. This makes it convenient to find what best suits your foot and shoe, and prevents the unnecessary hassle of double-checking and triple-checking your foot size.
However, if you prefer specific sizes when it comes to insoles, they can also be found. Some find it more convenient to get a specific size because they can be taken out of the package and worn straight away. But we suggest checking the customer reviews of the product before making your purchase, in case the insoles are sized slightly larger or smaller.
The volume of an insole refers to the amount of space it will take inside the shoe, and will generally correlate with the size of the shoe with which you plan on wearing your insoles. Low volume insoles, for instance, can be worn in low-volume shoes like cycling shoes, and are suitable for low-arched feet. Medium volume insoles are better for more average shoes like street shoes and can be suitable for many different types of arches. High volume insoles are better suited for higher-volume shoes such and hiking boots and running shoes and are great for high-arch feet.
When looking for insoles for work boots, in particular, high volume insoles are therefore suitable. They also tend to provide more cushioning and support, which are needed in the workplace. But if you’d like to use your insoles in other shoes as well, or if you have very low-arched feet, a good pair of low-volume insoles can be just as good. Volume is sometimes mentioned in the name of the insoles or can be found on its packaging.
Like any item of clothing, the material of shoe insoles can make a huge difference to their level of support and comfort. The most common materials are foam, cork, leather, and gel.
Foam is perhaps the most widely-used material, as it is the most inexpensive option. However, don’t let that lower your expectations. Foam is naturally shock absorbent and rigid, meaning they are durable and will not wear down easily no matter how frequently you wear them. There are also two categories of foam: closed cell and open cell. The former means that all the bubbles in the foam are completely separated from each other by cell walls. This allows the air trapped inside to give the foam its desirable features such as cushioning because when the material is compressed, it will bounce back thanks to the decompression of the air. However, the biggest flaw about closed-cell foam is that the air inside it will eventually escape, leaving the material flat, dense, and less comfortable and protective when used as an insole.
The second type, open cell foam, have their own pros and cons. They can be made extremely light, as the wall between the bubbles is very thin. They are breathable and soft while being able to maintain their shape for longer periods of time. They are also more resistant to water compared to closed cell foam. However, this type of foam is also stiffer because the air bubbles inside it do not decompress and return the force as well, and therefore provide less shock absorption.
A gel is also very popularly used in insoles. The material is soft and flexible, and are great at providing comfort. They can also increase the durability of your shoes, but keep in mind that they tend to be more pricey than insoles made of foam. Leather is another option, but are not commonly found among insoles intended for work. They are usually of tough cowhide leather and can provide excellent arch support.
Type of Insole
Just like shoes and socks, there are many different types of insoles that will be more suitable for different people. Taking the time to learn about these different types will give you a higher chance of choosing what works for you.
There are three basic types of insoles, the first of which are comfort insoles, which are designed to maximize comfort. The second type, molded insoles, are made to provide extra assistance and can help with minor foot problems. The last type is custom orthotics, which are even more specialized – they are typically recommended by a doctor and are built by a specialist specifically for your foot in order to provide assistance for chronic foot issues. However, many of the best insoles for work shoes out there are orthotics, so don’t be afraid to purchase them if you don’t have any severe foot issues.
Molded insoles are generally the best choice for work, as they provide good overall stability, cushioning, and support that is suitable for the work environment. Although comfort insoles might be, well, comfortable in the short term, they won’t be for long if you spend long hours walking or standing, as they are not designed to offer the structural support and shock absorption that is needed. As a result, you might end the day with sore and aching feet!
In terms of half- or full-length insoles, in order to determine which type you need, first, consider what bothers you about your shoes during a typical day. If you experience slipping or rubbing of the heels in your shoes, a half insole will do the trick, as it supports the heel without affecting the other parts of your foot. Another common problem is when a shoe is too large and leaves too much room for your foot, which often causes foot fatigue as you struggle to have your shoes keep up with the movement of your feet. In this case, reaching for a full-length insole can fix the problem, as it will take up some room and give you a more snug fit, providing more comfort, arch support, and cushioning.
Throughout our list, you might have noticed that the term ‘antimicrobial’ is mentioned very frequently as an advantage to the insoles. Antimicrobial protection is an incredibly important aspect of an insole or a shoe, as our shoes are more susceptible to the spread of bacteria and odor than any other type of clothing item. This is because while we frequently change and wash our clothes, our shoes don’t rotate as much and are used much more often for longer periods of time.
The word ‘antimicrobial’ itself refers to anything that acts against the existence or the spread of microbial organisms. such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. Antimicrobial substances are either synthetic or semisynthetic, or they can come from plants and animals.
Antimicrobial fabric treatments or lining can do marvels at preventing the spread of bacteria and fungus. Footwear and other products that have been treated properly will have a significantly reduced level of contamination compared to untreated items. This means they have less discoloration and are more durable. It will also prevent odor, which is essentially caused by specific types of bacteria that get nice and cozy in your footwear after weeks or months of use.
When looking for a pair of insoles, it’s, therefore, a good idea to check the label and see if they have been treated with antimicrobial substances. This could greatly improve your foot health – and your family will surely thank you for reduced odor as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I use an insole?
A. As mentioned previously, almost all shoes come with some type of built-in insole, but they are often of poor quality. A lot of stress can be put on your body and on your feet when in the workplace, so a good pair of removable insoles will ensure that you stay protected and comfortable. They can also make your shoes seem smaller if you wear a size too large, and prevent blisters by providing a more snug fit. In addition, they are often used to correct foot problems such as overpronation or low arches, which will prevent discomfort in the long term.
Q: How can I take care of my insoles?
A. Handling your insoles properly could increase their lifespan by a landslide. If you wear them daily in the summer, moisture will be trapped in even the most high-quality, moisture-wicking insoles. To prevent this, it’s best to take them out of your shoes and let them take a breather once a week or so, or hand wash them with some mild detergent, taking care to let them dry completely before putting them back in your shoes.
Q: How can I find out my arch type?
A. An easy way to know if you have low, medium, or high arches requires only a shallow pan, some water, and some heavy paper. Put the water in the pan and wet the bottom on your foot. Then, step onto the paper and look at your footprint. If the inner part of your footprint is completely filled in, your foot most likely has a low arch. Likewise, if the inner part is partially filled in, you might have medium arches, and if there is little to no contact on the inner part of the foot, you might have high arches. Note that this method is only intended to give you a general idea of your arch type and may not be completely accurate. However, the information you acquire can help you in choosing your next pair of insoles.
Q: How do I know which insoles to buy?
A. With so many options out there, it can definitely be overwhelming to make a choice. We suggest finding your arch type with the method mentioned above and look for insoles designed especially for your arch type. In addition, take into consideration the size of your shoes and the situations you encounter at work. For example, if you’ve got room to spare in your boots and are often walking or using power tools, then a thick, high-volume insole is worth considering. It can also be good to check out other customers’ reviews of the product to find out about the sizing, durability, and overall quality of the product. However, we recommend taking others’ opinions with a grain of salt, as what suits one person’s foot might not fit the other, and vice versa.