Best Insoles For Work Boots Reviewed & Rated
Being on the job can be rough on 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.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 8 hrs of research
OrthoLite Open-Cell Foam
Dynamic Arch Design
- Timberland PRO High Rebound
- Powerstep Pinnacle
- Sof Sole Athlete
- Footminders Comfort
- Timberland PRO Anti-Fatigue
- Sof Sole AIRR
- Ariat ATS Footbed
- Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel
- Superfeet Green
- ViveSole Plantar Series
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Timberland PRO High Rebound
OrthoLite Open-Cell Foam
Dynamic Arch Design
Timberland is a brand famous for its extremely comfortable outdoor footwear and the fact that they have not one, but two products on this list shouldn’t be surprising at all. They are all about quality and support for the wearer, and the High Rebound insert is no different. It is engineered to provide both performance and comfort, with the OrthoLite foam technology that you simply have to experience to believe.Read more
This OrthoLite system is actually an open-cell foam material that is amazingly resilient against high impact. It provides breathability, moisture-wicking as well as antimicrobial properties for fighting unpleasant odors. The High Rebound is contoured to fit the lines of the foot for maximum support, and there is a dynamic arch design which fits all foot shapes. Finally, an Outlast top layer of the insert delivers not only odor control that we mentioned, but also temperature regulation, so that your feet don’t get overheated in your footwear.
With high-tech, reliable features like these, the Timberland PRO High Rebound is built specifically to handle the tough environment you might be working in. Whether it is a construction site or a factory floor, you can be sure that you will be supported and comfortable to the fullest as you take on the challenges of your day.
2. Powerstep Pinnacle
Deep Heel Cup
Powerstep Pinnacle inserts are perfect for athletics, but can also be great for hard jobs and giving that extra cushioning for long days on your feet. It keeps a semi-rigid arch support for firm support where you need it most. And it’s suitable for all types of arches, flat, neutral, or high, and can be used in dress shoes as well. With its superior foam base cushion, you’ll feel a noticeable difference the first day you try these out.Read more
With an EVA foam base surrounded by a luxe top layer, this durable insert is paired with Pinnacle’s Variable Cushioning Tech. This technology gives a targeted cushioning, controlled and deliberately delivered to areas you need it most when on your feet. Also, it features an antimicrobial fabric helps your feet stay dry and cool, and cuts down on odor buildup during activities. Arch support in the Pinnacle Powerstep is of the semi-rigid variety, 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 Pinnacle is sure to fit and perform for those on their feet long during hours on the job.
With slight variations in price based on sizes selected, the Powerstep Pinnacle is by no means expensive and falls about average in price on our list. For its quality cushion and support, it’s a great investment to add to your footwear, especially if you require some arch support, or need more than just a little bit of extra cushioning.
3. Sof Sole Athlete
Suitable for All Arch Types
Gel Drops in Heel & Forefoot
Not Suitable for Standing All Day
Now, this pair of inserts may have 'athlete' in their title, but they are great for working as well. Because they are designed to maximize athlete performance, they provide superior shock absorption while staying light. They are full-length footbeds and are trim-to-fit, which means easy sizing. Their contoured design and flat cushioned insole allow them to be worn with all arch types. What's more, a moisture-wicking technology prevents the accumulation of sweat and will keep the feet dry and comfortable for long hours.Read more
Featuring a neutral arch contoured design and a flat cushion insole, these inserts can be suitable for people with different types of feet and arches. If you don't have time to do your research for inserts specifically designed for your foot type, then you can reach for a pair of these. They use a lightweight material for cushioning and feature gel drops in the heel and foot. This reduces the bulk of the inserts, keeping them nice and light so that you can walk around without dragging any additional weight with you.
For their quality, Sof Sole Athlete inserts are one of the cheapest you can find. They are affordable for everyone so that you won't have to sacrifice your entire paycheck for comfortable feet.
4. Footminders Comfort
Dual Layer Footbed Technology
Shock-Absorbing Heel Pad
Deep Heel Cup for Stability
Great Metatarsal and Arch Support
Soft Antimicrobial Top Layer
Not for Heavy Weights
Designed by podiatrists to relieve pain and provide outstanding arch support, the Footminders Comfort is an insert that works equally well in athletic footwear and work boots. It is suitable for sports such as golf, tennis, soccer, hiking and more, as well as for jobs which require you to be on your feet for long periods of time. The Footminders Comfort comes with a heel area which absorbs shock and is great for biomechanically aligning your lower body and preventing overpronation.Read more
The Footminders Comfort is outfitted with a Dual Layer footbed technology. This consists of EVA foam and a 2mm thick cushioning by the name of Durapontex. The heel pad of the insert is large and absorbs impact to minimize long-term damage to your joints, and the heel cup is also extra deep for stability. As we mentioned before, the arch support controls overpronation, and there is also metatarsal support to alleviate pain in the front of the foot.
Finally, this insert is layered with an antimicrobial soft fabric on top to keep your feet dry, cool and odor-free.
If you’re serious about your inserts and about comfort in the workplace, then you will definitely consider the Footminders Comfort. It is everything a good product needs to be and more, providing stability, cushioning and a healthy climate for your feet all in one. What an amazing deal!
5. Timberland PRO Anti-Fatigue
Absorbs & Returns Energy
Adaptable Arch Design
Meticulously designed to provide the best of comfort and performance to its wearers, the Timberland PRO Anti-Fatigue will guarantee satisfaction like no other. Featuring a unique and exclusive inverted cone foam, they are made to absorb shock and release it in specific zones of the foot to provide energy to your next step. This means excellent cushioning for less material and less bulk. Also, the top layer of the inserts provides moisture management and comfort, while a contoured form will adapt to your foot shape if needed to ensure stability. Though they're not the cheapest, they're sure to bring a spring to your steps.Read more
Because these footbeds are anatomically-contoured, they are designed to fit the curves of your foot perfectly, providing structural support that ensures healthy joints and comfortable walking. 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.
These inserts 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!
6. Sof Sole AIRR
Skydex Air Bubbles
Slides Inside Shoe
Who says that athletic inserts can’t also be worn in work boots? Sometimes the best cushioning and support out on the market are designed for athletic performance! The Sof Sole AIRR was designed for athletic shoes, for running, walking, or cross-training activities, but, it can be worn inside work boots as well. With its Coolmax technology and gel cushioning, this inserts will keep you cool and ready in heated situations!Read more
The Sof Sole AIRR incorporates Coolmax technology in the fabric top, to wick away moisture from the foot, keeping you dry yet cool when wearing. Lightweight and airy, this little insert will feel like part of your footwear, all while maintaining an even temperature for your feet, even when outside in the heat. 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 absorb impact and offer a soothing feeling to the foot.
Definitely one of the more budget-friendly options on our list, it’s worth considering if you’ve tried other supportive inserts without relief. Although made for athletics, the AIRR will do well on the job to help keep you cool, cushioned with gel and Skydex air bubbles, and to add a spring in your step. Well worth the investment to try out!
7. Ariat ATS Footbed
Promotes Good Posture
Stabilizing Heel Cup
Not Enough Cushioning
What happens if you have a shoe which has a square toe front? Do you purchase a larger insert and then painstakingly cut it to fit the shape of the design? Or, perhaps, you could save yourself the trouble and simply get a pair of Ariat’s ATS Footbed inserts, which are created specifically for square-toe footwear. This type of insert also comes in a regular, round-toe version, and with it, you can enjoy all the benefits of Ariat’s ATS technology in a shoe that maybe doesn’t come with it.Read more
ATS stands for Advanced Torque Stability, which is a comfort system that supports your foot as you move, provides cushioning and reduces fatigue so that you can stay on your feet for as long as you need to. Additionally, this technology also promotes good posture and reduces knee and back pain. The footbed is moisture-wicking for a cool, dry environment, cushioned with gel and with a stabilizer in the heel which delivers rebound and essential stability as you move around.
If you’re constantly on the go, if you have square-shaped footwear (and even if you don’t), then the Ariat ATS Footbed is perfect for you. It moves along with you, it makes sure that you are comfortable and supported every step of the way, and on top of it all, it can easily be washed by hand! There’s really nothing more that we need from a solid insert such as this one.
8. Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel
Massages the Foot
Minimal Arch Support
Not Suitable for Wide Feet
The most unique aspect of these inserts is that the gel on the footbed will gently rub against your foot, simulating something like a massage. The massaging gel isn't, however, just there for the fun of it, but will actually soothe foot pain or discomfort, rendering them great for all those who are on their feet all day. Also, the gel waves act like tiny springs that absorb shock and cushion the feet. Cooling vents also allow sweat to dissipate, and their low-key design means they can fit into work boots, casual shoes, or sneakers alike.Read more
Thanks to the 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.
These inserts are an incredibly good bargain for their versatility. One pair will serve you well for work, sports, or running errands.
9. Superfeet Green
Deep Heel Cup for Cushioning
This is one of the most well-known, well-loved pair of inserts ever. Superfeet has been around for over forty years, and their products have only gotten better with time. The Superfeet Green are designed to be versatile, shock absorbent, and comfortable. Their dense foam material and stabilizer cap support the foot, while a natural coating helps control odor and bacteria. Overall, these are great for work, exercise, and shopping alike. And if you have a particularly low or high arch, or are looking for additional shock absorption, Superfeet inserts also come in other colors designed to fulfill every individual's need.Read more
These feature a deep heel cup that is strategically positioned to increase natural shock absorption. They offer excellent and reliable support for long days on the job. Designed to fit into many different types of footwear, you can wear these 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.
The only downside about these inserts is that they are on the highest end of our price range. However, their durability ensures they'll last for a long time.
10. ViveSole Plantar Series
Great for Low Arches or Overpronation
Not very Durable
The Plantar Series insert by VIVEsole is a podiatrist-designed insert made to relieve pain in the foot, heel, leg, and even the back by providing support to the foot's natural shape. Its biomechanical design includes a deep heel cup and a firm arch that supports and lifts the arches. Additional cushioning at the heel and forefoot ensure shock is evenly distributed and absorbed, which lessens the strain on certain zones of the foot and lessens foot fatigue. What's more, its foam material keeps it nice and light so that you won't have to worry about having bulky feet when walking around. They are also excellent for relieving pain caused by plantar fasciitis, flat feet, or overpronation (ankles rolling inward).Read more
Not only does its antimicrobial lining prevent bad odor, but it will also prevent the growth of bacteria in your work footwear and will 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.
As the second cheapest pair of inserts 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.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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. 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.
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.
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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Many work boots go through tough days on the job site, and a lot of times, the cushion can start to get thin. Insoles are a great option to keep those boots going for the long haul, so you don't need to purchase a new pair.
Insoles can come in a variety of functions, some for athletics, some for the style of shoe, such as high heels. When looking for a pair for work boots, check for cushion to keep you comfortable, but also insoles that have antimicrobial or wicking properties to keep your boots dry and odor free!
Other Factors to Consider
If you find yourself on your feet for more hours of the day than not and if require sturdy footwear 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 give a better foot feel to your boots, but the design of some of these 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!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why should I use an insert like this?
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 inserts?
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?
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 option to buy?
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.
q: How long can I expect these to last?
This entirely depends on the manufacturer and the quality of the product of course, but overall, inserts of this type aren't meant to last for extremely long periods of time; up to a year, maximum. If you're engaging in hard work, if you are lifting heavy weights and your feet - and consequently inserts - are under constant pressure, sooner or later they will compress and lose their cushioning abilities.
Fortunately, most of these are not that expensive, so it should be no problem to replace them once a year or so!