11 Most Effective And Best Insoles For Work Boots (Review)
For men and women who spend countless hours on their feet for work, finding the right insoles to relieve pain in feet, knees, hips or even the lower back, is not a question of convenience but absolute necessity. In this article, I am going to focus on the 11 best insoles for work boots. Once you have found an excellent pair of work boots and the best work socks, nothing is more important for a comfortable day on your feet than finding the best work boot inserts available for your needs.
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Best Insoles for Work Boots
How The Reviews Are Organized
I have divided the following reviews into two sections. In the first section, I discuss the best work boot insoles that focus primarily on superior cushion and shock absorption. Most of these have some extra support in the arch and heel, but that support is not the primary purpose of the insole.
In the second section, I highlight the best inserts for work boots that have some cushion and shock absorption, but more importantly, have other important attributes for which you may be looking. That includes insoles that address low or high arches, back pain, flat feet, overpronation, or plantar fasciitis. In these insoles, cushion and shock absorption may or may not be included in the insoles.
Best Work Boot Inserts For Superior Cushion And Shock Absorption
Timberland PRO Anti-Fatigue Insoles
Timberland PRO Anti-Fatigue Replacement Insoles are one of the best work boot liners on the market. They are light with "Anti-Fatigue Technology" delivered through an inverted cone foam, all of which creates support, absorbs shock & returns energy to the feet. There is some arch support through its "Contoured FCX technology™" and a top layer of foam for cushioning. The insoles have antimicrobial mesh linings to combat odour.
Timberland PRO Anti-Fatigue Replacement Insoles start at x-small (men's 5-6) and go up to xx-large (men's 14-15). Accordingly, depending on sizing, these insoles could naturally fit into a women's work boot, or could be trimmed down to fit. For both men and women, these are one of the best insoles for work boots when facing a long day on your feet.
Keen Utility K-20 With Extra Cushion For Neutral Arches
Keen Utility K20 Insoles are one of the best work boot insoles on the market. They supply full length thick cushioning through responsive rebound foam that ensures high shock absorption on every step. The heel is stabilized with its heel cup and with the neutral arch support, helps to guide the feet and the legs through a natural walking motion. This should remove extra stress from the knees.
The anti-odor control technology includes a quick drying lining to reduce sweat and combat any odor as a result. Consequently, your feet resist blistering and bacterial infections.
Keen Utility Insoles are available from x-small to x-large. They are designed to fit Keen work boots so depending on your work boots, your inserts may fit perfectly upon arrival or you may need to trim them down to fit. For both men and women, Keen produces some of the best work boot insoles on the market.
Dr. Scholl's WORK Massaging Gel Advanced Insoles
Dr. Scholl's WORK Gel Advanced Insoles are budget friendly and some of the best liners for work boots for those who work on hard surfaces and experience discomfort and fatigue in their feet and legs.
They are built with "Massaging Gel Advanced Technology" and extra cushioning to provide all-day shock absorption, comfort and energy rebound. More specifically, there is "Responsive Wave Cushioning" in the ball of the foot and multi-layered waves in the heel and arch. In fact, in a recent clinical study (*Bayer Study 20311, 2018), participants moved over 10% more with these insoles.
Dr. Scholl's WORK Gel Advanced Insoles provide firm columns which provide contoured and side support to help reinforce arches. In addition, they have cooling vents to keep feet cool and dry.
These insoles are designed for men from shoe sizes 8-14 and are easy to fit and glue down into your work boots. However, some women find these insoles to be better than Dr. Scholl insoles intended for women. According to them, these women prefer to purchase these insoles and trim them down to fit their own work boots. Therefore, for both men and women, these are some of the best insoles for work boots for comfort and shock absorption.
Spenco Polysorb Heavy Duty Comfort Insoles
Spenco Polysorb Heavy Duty Comfort Insoles are one of the best insoles for work boots. They are well priced and offer excellent comfort. It supplies a 5/32" (4mm) layer of cushion throughout the length of the insole with extra cushion at the forefoot and heel, all of which absorbs shock and impact and provides intense comfort and cushioning. Thickness at the heel is 0.5 inches.
Spenco Polysorb Heavy Duty Comfort Insoles are made from four way stretch fabric with a low friction topcloth to help prevent blisters. In addition, its silpure antimicrobial elements controls odour. There is some arch and heel support from a lightweight polysorb polyurethane foam but this is limited.
The manufacturer recommends purchasing the next size down for half sizes.
TREK Support Work Gel Inserts
Trek Support Work Gel Insoles are budget friendly insoles that are designed to be worn in closed-toe shoes, work boots and trainers for those who need support for 12 hours of standing. These include construction workers, teachers, chefs and commercial kitchen staff, or most hospital positions. Their "Honeycomb gel technology" absorbs shock and supplies cushion for hard surfaces. They help prevent leg and foot fatigue allowing individuals to stand longer and focus on their job.
The top layer of these liners are made of lightweight, shock absorbing, polyurethane foam. Below that, the honeycomb gel layer is added to cushion against hard surfaces. Lastly, a medium firm arch support is supplied for some added support. For extra comfort, a velvety soft top cloth lines the insoles and ventilation holes throughout help keep your feet cool and dry. Overall, there is significant padding for shock absorption to make these one of the best insoles for work boots.
Best Insoles For Work Boots for Large People, High Or Low Arches, Or Plantar Fasciitis
Powerstep Orthotic With Arch Support
Powerstep Orthotic Shoe Arch Support liners for men and women are a moderately priced insoles with excellent reviews. They provide dual-layer targeted cushioning while also keeping the insoles thin and flexible so they fit easily into most shoe and boot designs. Its responsive polypropylene support shell helps reduce fatigue and dense foam EVA base provides durable shock absorption. Arch support is firm but flexible and its heel cradle adds extra support on impact.
Powerstep Orthotic Shoe Arch Support liners are covered with a 100% anti-microbial polyester fabric to help control odour. Buyer's are not required to trim to fit the insoles and can easily swap them between shoes and boots. I believe that the advantage of being able to use one set of insoles among all your shoes and boots offsets the fact that the insoles are more expensive than other low cost or budget ones. Nevertheless, they are still well priced and one of the best work boot insoles on the market.
Dr. Scholl's Heavy Duty Support For Men Over 200 lbs
Dr. Scholl's HEAVY DUTY SUPPORT Pain Relief Orthotics is designed for men or women who weigh between 200lb-300 lbs and suffer from lower back pain and foot & leg fatigue from standing for long hours. The "Arch Guard" technology adds extra support to the foot with the "Shock Guard" technology distributing weight over and reducing impact on the foot. The insoles are designed so as not to crowd toes.
The insole's primary focus is to redistribute weight and firm up arch support, not provide excessive cushion, so people who are looking for superior cushion are disappointed by the hard plastic under the arch and thinness of the insole. This is one of the best insoles for work boots for those who are on the bigger side and who have to stand or walk for long hours.
Superfeet Green Professional Grade Inserts For Maximum Support
Superfeet GREEN Professional-Grade Inserts for Maximum Support for men and women are highly regarded and some of the best work boot inserts. They have a high density foam layer which provides support and cushion for long lasting comfort. In addition, its stabilizer cap at the base of the insole supports the rear foot and offers structure and stability to the foam layer.
Superfeet GREEN Professional-Grade Inserts for Maximum Support has a deep heel cup which supports high arches and offers natural shock absorption. The high volume shape (the amount of shape that you can feel under your foot) and high profile shape (the amount of arch support) of the insole also helps to stabilize and support the foot, which can help reduce stress on feet, ankles and knees.
They are durable in that they are expected to easily last for one year or 500 miles. They offer all natural coating to eliminate odour causing bacteria.
Walk Hero Plantar Fasciitis Liners
Work-Hero Plantar Fasciitis Insoles for men and women are one of the most popular insoles available on the market and easily one of the best liners for work boots.
The Work-Hero insert offers pain relief through firm, resilient arch support and provides all day comfort. They supply pronation control to relieve pain, and mobility to allow for free and easy movement to the foot, without locking it in place. In addition, the top fabric reduces friction and keeps the feet cool.
When arch support improves, foot and leg alignment occur, thus enhancing comfort, easing stress and pain caused by flat feet, and providing relief from Plantar Fasciitis (heel pain & heel spurs).
Work-Hero Plantar Fasciitis Insoles offer a deep heel cup to maintain correct foot positioning, protect your heels during heavy impacts, and stabilize the feet.
Superfeet Orange Insoles With High Arch Support
Superfeet ORANGE Insoles With High Arch Support for men and women are one of the best inserts for work boots. They are high profile (they provide a lot of support for high arches) and high volume (they take up a lot of space in your shoe). They offer AEROSPRING dual comfort foam which supplies cushion and great shock absorption on the forefoot, and cushion through to the heel. The base supports the rearfoot and provides structure and stability to the foam layer.
The signature shape of the arch support of the Superfeet ORANGE Insoles With High Arch Support helps stabilize and support the foot which can help reduce stress on feet, ankles and knees. Its all natural coating eliminates odour causing bacteria. They are intended to replace existing insoles and will require trimming before using.
Sof Sole High Arch Support Inserts
Sof Sole High Arch Performance Inserts are a moderately priced insole that offers cushion, stability and high arch support, and is one of the best insoles for work boots. The deep heel cup ensures that the heel is stabilized to improve pressure on knees and feet, and lowers the risk of slippage. Targeted gel drops add extra cushion in all the required places.
Hydologix is included in Sof Sole High Arch Performance Inserts which is a topical moisture management treatment that helps keep your feet cooler and drier. To deter odour-causing bacteria, microban is added to the materials.
Buyer's Guide To The Best Work Boot Insoles
Why Change Your Work Boot Insoles?
Work boots come with their own insoles. However, most are removable and are meant to give the buyer the opportunity to swap the manufacturer's insoles for something that works better for the buyer.
There are many reasons why someone would want to do this. You might have a condition, such as plantar fasciitis, which requires additional support or cushion for your feet. However, it might be a lot simpler - you have a job that requires you to spend long hours on your feet and you need more cushion to relieve fatigue or foot/lower back pain.
How To Know Which Is The Best Insoles For Your Work Boots?
This is both a simple and difficult question. If you spend hours on your feet and within a few hours, your feet are tired or your lower back aches, then you might only need insoles that give extra cushion and shock absorption. On the other hand, this might not solve the problem. If your feet (or other parts of your body) continue to ache even after the insoles are replaced, you might have high arches or fallen arches (flat feet), overpronation (your foot rolls inward as you walk), plantar fasciitis (inflammation that causes heel pain), or something else.
To assess what type of insole you require for your specific problem, you first have to determine what the problem is. There are literally hundreds of orthotic inserts on the market, and selecting just one can be overwhelming without knowing what exactly you need to address. If you pick the wrong insoles for your feet, not only will it not help your sore feet, but it might actually make them feel worst.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of insoles - those that are designed for comfort, and those that are designed for support (to address certain specific problems related to your feet).
Cushion and Shock Absorption: The Best Insoles For Work Boots
As discussed earlier, a "comfort" insole is one that provides additional cushioning to your feet to give you relief from standing or walking for long hours on hard surfaces. These insoles can either be simple padding, or gel or foam in specific spots, such as the heel and the forefoot, places which see high impact activity.
Support: The Best Work Boot Insoles
Support insoles are different. They focus more on the actual support of the foot to address specific issues and less on overall cushion. They often feature a harder, less flexible material that is structured in such a way so as to support certain areas in the foot, including the heel and arch. Some may also try to incorporate support for the metatarsals, plus assist in the realignment of the joints.
Those with plantar fasciitis or flat feet require additional arch support that forces the foot into a more natural position, and in the case of plantar fasciitis, removes pressure from the heel.
The same goes for those with high arches because without that additional support under the arch, the foot (the toes and the heels) is being asked to support the full weight of your body.
Some people have overpronation, which means that the foot naturally rolls in or out while stepping. Without the proper support, the foot may rub against the shoe in abnormal spots, thus causing blisters on the feet and unusual wear on the shoe, not to mention stress on your knees and hips. A support insole can help with stabilizing the foot to avoid these problems.
How Do You Figure Out What You Need?
The most efficient way to find out why your feet are hurting is to go to a Podiatrist, a person that specializes in feet. However, if you don't have insurance coverage, this could be expensive and not something that is within your budget.
Another option is to try and find vending-like machines in drugstores or large grocery stores that will do an assessment of your foot before suggesting the type of insole that you may need. Not all stores offer this, so you would have to look around to find one.
The least efficient, but a reasonable approach when the other two options are unavailable is trial and error. In this case, I would try a simple cushion insole first to see whether that provides relief. If it does not, then I would look at your shoes or boots to see whether you can see unusual wear and tear. If it does, maybe they will give you an indication of how you walk. If it does not, then at least try to figure out if you have a high or low arch. After that, you will have to identify insoles that provide what you think you need and try them, swapping them out until you find one that works.
Sizing and Fitting For The Best Work Boot Insoles
In order to determine the proper fit of an insole, you should place the insole on the ground and then, place your foot on it. Lift your other foot off the ground and balance on the insole. Then ask yourself these questions:
- How stable does your foot feel?
- Is your heel cupped properly?
- How much pressure do you feel in the arch?
- Is there any pressure on the front of the foot?
- Is there any pinching?
- Is there cushion in places that you think that you need it?
Next, remove the old insole in your work boots and replace them with the new ones. Put on your boots and assess the fit. Walk around. How does it feel?
If something doesn't feel right, then these insoles don't work. There really isn't a "breaking in" period for insoles. The whole idea is provide support and/or cushion to your feet right away so that you can walk or stand for long periods of time.
You may have found the right type of insole but maybe it is the wrong fit, or this might be the wrong insole altogether. Unfortunately, without a proper assessment, you won't really know. You will just have to try another.
How To Replace Work Boot Insoles?
- Remove the existing insoles. Normally, they are meant to be replaced and they slip out easily. Put these aside. You may need them.
- If the insole is supposed to automatically fit the size of your work boot, then fold the insole in half and slide it into the work boot toe first. Unfold it and press it so it is positioned properly without any lumps or creases. Most insoles are full length, so make sure that the insole lies flat from toe to heel. If they are only a half size or something else, make sure they are lying flat in the position in which they are meant to be.
- If the insole is oversized, then you will have to trim the excess material. Most new insoles come with instructions for sizing your insoles to fit the size of your work boots. If they do not, then use your old insole as a template. Cut your new insole to match the size of the original insole.
How Often Should You Change Your Inserts For The Best Work Boot Insoles?
There are several ways to figure out when your work boot insoles are no longer effective and need to be replaced.
- Time - If you wear your boots every day or for long hours every week, then you should change them between 3-6 months, depending on how they feel, or when the manufacturer has specifically set out a recommended amount of time.
- Comfort - If you start to feel fatigue in your feet or legs that was not there before, or other parts of your foot begin to hurt when they didn't hurt before, then odds are its time to replace the insoles.
- Smell - If the insoles begin to smell when there is anti-bacterial odour control in the insole, then it may be time to replace them. If everything else is fine - they feel otherwise comfortable - you may wish to remove them and hand wash them with a light soap and warm water so that you can continue to use them longer. However, this will not be possible if they are glued into the work boot.
Other Important Considerations For Comfortable Feet
The Best Work Boots For Walking Or Standing On Concrete
Finding the best insoles for work boots is just one step that you can take to make sure that your feet feel comfortable after a long day on your feet. However, you also have to make sure that your work boots offer comfort and support.
Accordingly, in two previous blogs, I highlight the 10 best men's shoes to stand or walk on concrete all day, and the 10 best women's shoes for standing or walking on concrete for long hours. I identify work boots, but also dress shoes, trainers and clogs that offer exceptional comfort, cushion, stability, durability, support, and wear and tear. I would highly recommend taking a look at those articles to see whether your work boots make the list.
In addition, in my article A Buyer's Guide To The Best Shoes For Standing On Concrete, I discuss exactly what you should be looking for before you purchase any shoe for walking or standing on concrete, including work boots, so that you can make an informed choice.
The Best Socks For Comfort
In addition to finding the best work boots to keep your feet comfortable, you also need to understand the importance of socks for your overall well being.
A good pair of socks keeps your feet warm and dry when its cold, and cool and dry when its hot. They also provide support, padding and stability. If you suffer from sweaty feet, a good pair of socks will not only wick the sweat and moisture away, but also reduce or even eliminate bad odours. For more information about the best socks for your work boots, please take a look at the following articles: