Has foot pain or fatigue been taking you out of the game before you’re ready to quit? A long day of work on the construction site, in the field or on board is hard enough as it is. There’s nothing worse than having to take a knee and watch your co-workers take on your duties because of pain in your soles, arches or ankles.
Work boots are necessary for foot protection and traction on tough jobs, but their insoles are not always made to last. Luckily, most work boots are made with removable insoles that can be replaced with something more comfortable and supportive. The best insoles for work boots provide not only comfort and support but also protect the legs and joints to keep you safe in the toughest conditions.
Our experts have tested the shock absorption, comfort, arch support, durability and many other aspects of the work boot insoles on our list. But before we jump in, you need to know how work boot inserts are going to affect your feet and your job.
How Do You Go About Choosing a Good Pair of Insoles for Your Boots?
Insoles for work boots come in many different varieties and offer a lot of benefits. They provide relief from pain and discomfort caused by flat feet, high arches, bunions, plantar fasciitis, bone spurs and the pressure that can come from long hours on your feet. But choosing any insole won’t guarantee relief from all of these problems. In order to get the relief you need, you have to know what you’re shopping for (don’t worry, we’ll make it easy!).
First off, there are two types of inserts for shoes and boots.
To determine which type of work boot insole is best for you, you need to list your symptoms. Do you suffer from muscle pain or blisters? Do you feel pressure on your arches? Are your feet often sweaty and uncomfortable? The list goes on and covers many pain and non-pain related problems. Let’s take a closer look at some of those issues.
Do You Really Need Insoles?
Knowing which problems you have and their causes will help you choose the right insoles for your work boots. Our definitive checklist will prepare you to choose the right pair for your feet.
Top Rated Insoles for Work Boots
Now that you know what insoles are and how they can benefit your feet, you’re ready to choose the right pair. Our picks for the best insoles for work boots were tested by real workers in a variety of different situations. We also consulted customer reviews to make sure each product stands the test of time. Read on for our top picks.
1. Keen Utility K-20 Cushion Insole
The Keen Utility K-20 Cushion Insole is a simple and affordable insole that provides extra comfort to aching feet. This is not an insole meant to support arches, though it has been said to provide adequate support to the sides of the feet.
Made from highly durable and soft synthetic materials, these insoles are designed to stand up to the harshest conditions. They are also quite thick, making them great for heavy people or for those who need more shock absorption.
If you need to be on your feet quickly or have to run or jump for your job, these insoles will provide a cloud-like landing. The Keen Utility insoles were designed for use with Keen work boots, but they can be used with any high-performance footwear. The only issue some have had is with the thickness. If your boots are already tight with the insoles currently in your boots, these insoles may render them a little more tighter.
2. Timberland PRO Men's Anti-Fatigue Technology Replacement Insole
The Timberland PRO Men’s Anti-Fatigue Technology Replacement Insole provides a good balance between support and comfort. If you have arch issues or already suffer from a medical condition related to muscles or ligaments in the foot, you’ll want a more supportive insole. But, if you are looking for preventative support and don’t want to sacrifice comfort, this sole is a great pick.
Using exclusive Anti-Fatigue Technology, Timberland has created a flexible synthetic insole that absorbs shock using supportive cones. They minimize shock by absorbing the energy from the impact and diffusing it throughout the foot. This excellent level of shock absorption combined with a soft mesh material allows you to stay up and active longer.
In terms of support, the Timberland Pro insoles feature dynamic arch design that form-fits to the wearer as well as key pressure point relief. If you’re looking for something more in an insole but don’t want to spend the money on an orthopedic design, the Timberland PRO insoles are what you’re after.
3. Superfeet Orange Premium Insole
For an increased level of support and scientifically-designed sole protection for the entire foot, look no further than the Superfeet Orange Premium Insole. This insole is made from differing densities of foam to provide each part of the foot with proper support and comfort. The Superfeet Orange insole is a bit denser than the more rubbery comfort insoles the precede it on this list, making it a more supportive option.
The high-arched design is optimal for those suffering from pain due to pressure or tension and those suffering from plantar fasciitis. They also feature a thick heel cup that absorbs pressure and keeps the foot in an active and healthy position.
As well as absorbing shock, the bio-mechanical design of this insole offers enhanced stability. A thick heel and thin front foot promote healthy posture for stability and proper spinal alignment. If arch support affects your comfort and performance at work (or if you just want to improve your posture), give these insoles a try.
4. Keen Utility K-10 Replacement Insole
If you’re at the worksite or on the move everyday, you know that insoles don’t last long. If you’ve never replaced yours, go ahead and take one out of your shoe. Let me guess; flat as a pancake? If so, it’s time to replace it. The Keen Utility K-10 Replacement Insole is the right pick for someone who doesn’t have many complaints regarding their work boots but knows that a good insole is important.
The Keen K-10 is a thinner and more basic version of the K-20 (which we saw earlier on this list). It’s made of synthetic material, offers minimal support and a bit of enhanced comfort and is ventilated for breathability. It has a little bit of everything in a small, easy-to-fit package.
If you’re dealing with pain or pressure, this is not the right insole for you. But, if you need a replacement that will fit inside your boots and keep your feet happy, the K-10 won’t disappoint. Did we mention it’s the cheapest option on this list?
5. PowerstepComfortlast Full Shoe Inserts
The PowerstepComfortlast Full Shoe Inserts aren’t just for work boots; they can be removed when you get home and placed in your favorite pair of lounging shoes. They are easily transferable, as they don’t need to be adjusted or cut to fit any shoe.
If you’re worried about the smell, you can put your concerns to rest. These insoles are made with anti-microbial fabric that reduces heat and prevents bacteria or fungus from growing. That also means bad smells don’t stick around.
Along with their anti-microbial properties, you can expect a decent level of shock absorption, arch support and cushioning. An extra gel pad in the heel is an added plus for comfort and impact protection. The Powerstep insoles shine especially well when it comes to traction. Cradled support provides excellent stability and controls the movement of the foot within the shoe. Those who work on uneven surfaces will appreciate this insole.
6. CarharttInsite Technology Footbed CMI9000 Insole
If you wear work boots then you know the name Carhartt. This brand has been producing rough and tough work attire for decades, and their quality hasn’t stopped here. The CarharttInsite Technology Footbed was designed after analyzing over 100,000 3D foot scans. The result is a flexible, comfortable and durable work boot insole.
Designed more for optimized work performance than support, this insole excels in three areas: grip, comfort and impact protection. The unique material used in these insoles is called Ax Suede. It sounds great, and it works even better. This material has been shown to increase grip by 30%. This slip protection is essential in preventing most foot-related injuries.
The CarharttInsite insoles are reinforced with two layers of foam. As well as providing comfort, this foam absorbs shock and provides a responsiveness that allows for quicker rebounds and greater agility. The final layer of the insole is a heavy-duty Tetrapod layer that disperses compression during tough jobs or heavy lifting.
7. Powerstep Pinnacle Shoe Insoles – Supportive, Professional-Grade Foot Support
Powerstep earns another position on our list with its supportive Powerstep Pinnacle Shoe Insoles. This semi-rigid insole definitely falls into the support insole category, meaning this insole is great for arch support, flat feet, plantar fasciitis and more intense muscle and joint pain.Along with the podiatrist-recommended support of Powerstep, these insoles deliver two layers of plush comfort foam and are topped with an anti-microbial fabric to prevent rashes, fungus and harmful bacteria.
As can be expected from Powerstep, these insoles are a one-size-fits-all option, meaning the support and comfort you experience as work can continue at home.
The Pinnacle Shoe Insoles are Powerstep’s most popular insole, and customers have let us know why. They support they provide has instantly recognizable effects. With the proper body alignment and arch support you gain from these insoles, pain and pressure melt away almost immediately.
8. Red Wing Heritage Comfort Force Footbed
Made from ultra-comfortable suede and polyurethane (the same material used in memory foam), the Red Wing Heritage Comfort Force Footbed is an insole that delivers comfort and impact protection regardless of the shoe you wear.
It’s true, these insoles aren’t just for work boots, but they made this list because they are durable enough for just about anything. If you don’t believe us, just ask the U.S. government. Red Wings Shoes produced footwear for our soldiers in both world wars.
The Heritage Comfort Force Footbed succeeds because of a mix of ruggedness and versatility. This comfort insole provides heel-to-toe foam coverage that absorbs impact at every angle. It features light arch support and a slight heel cup to improve stability. To top it off, the suede fabric covering helps to wick moisture and prevents slippage. Whether you’re serving our country or just servicing your truck on a Saturday afternoon, these insoles will go the distance.
9. Servus Puncture-Resistant Midsoles with Flexible Steel Inserts
Anyone who works in the service, manufacturing or construction knows that life can be dangerous on the job. Sometimes, padded synthetic insoles just don’t give your work boots the extra protection yourequire. For that, you need the Servus Puncture-Resistant Midsoles with Flexible Steel Inserts.
That’s right, you heard us. These are genuine steel insoles for boots. They offer puncture resistance from shrapnel, rusty nails and broken glass that can easily slip through the rubber soles of even the toughest boots.
The safety shoe inserts by Servus don’t just offer the shielding of solid steel. They are also cushioned and flexible, so they move with you and actually increase your comfort with every step. These thin insoles can be worn as insoles or midsoles, meaning you can put them on top of another insole if you need support as well as puncture protection. The steel inserts are also removable, so you can lighten your load when you reach home without sacrificing comfort.
Our list of the best insoles for work boots has something for every working man or woman. It’s important, however, to remember that if you suffer from chronic foot pain, the first step you need to take is to contact a doctor. A podiatrist can help you save money and protect your health by recommending the right pair of insoles for you.
Different Types of Insoles for Work Boots
Carbon or Activated Charcoal Insoles
This is arguably one of the most popular and widely used types of insoles for sweaty feet. The insoles contain activated charcoal particles, just like charcoal socks. As you all know, charcoal has been an ancient filtering material and deodorizer for decades. Activated charcoal is just an improved version. In carbon insoles, the charcoal is temperature treated and to expand and form millions of micro-pockets. Normally, activated charcoal works like a sponge that absorbs water; but aside from this, coal also absorbs gas particles and odor causing components. Aside from plain charcoal, some of these insoles use baking soda for moisture and odor absorption.
Ultra Absorbent Insoles
Since your foot will be enclosed in an almost airtight environment, it pays to have great absorption. The main culprit of smelly feet is build up of sweat. As such, ultra absorbent insoles work twice as hard to soak up and eliminate all the moisture instantly. On the surface, absorbent soles contain tiny felted cotton fibers that closely resemble a towel. The only difference here is that it’s done on a micro scale for more efficiency. If you want the most effective absorption for extremely sweaty feet, this is it right here.
Cedar Wood Insoles
That’s right; wood for insoles. Just like charcoal, Cedar has also carved out a reputation as an effective household deodorizer. In addition to just soaking up your sweat, Cedar has a one-up over most other insoles. Thanks to its natural, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, it’s perfect for inhibiting the growth of odor-causing microorganisms. As you all know, sweat itself is harmless and odorless. The problem comes in when you allow it to build up and create a conducive environment for certain bacteria. Cedar insoles ensure that you never have this problem again. On the plus side, Cedar insoles are extremely thin and highly flexible; making them very comfortable to wear inside insulated and heavy duty work boots.
Biocide Treated Wool Insoles
Simply put, these are insoles that are chemically treated to kill all bacteria and fungus while inhibiting the growth of additional organisms. To add to the absorbent nature of the insoles, wool is utilized generously. The wool fibers grab each other and leave plenty of air spaces that allow moisture, sweat, and air to pass through. From there, the sweat is guided from your feet into the crevices in between the wool fibers, and finally, it is absorbed in the insole. To compound the absorption ability of wool insoles, compressed fibers are incorporated to firm but extremely thin fabric straps.
In today’s highly evolving market, Ionization technology is gaining a ton of popularity. Maybe you’ve actually heard of Ionized water, air conditioners, diffusers, refrigerators, filters and many more. Now, insoles are using this technology too. Simply put, ionization means changing the electric charge of an item. Typically, it is done to make items behave like magnets that attract desirable materials while repelling the undesirable components. Conversely, silver treated insoles are ionized to inhibit the growth of odor causing bacteria in your work boots.
These are just the all natural alternatives to biocide insoles. As opposed to chemicals, aromatherapy insoles all filled with natural deodorizers such as tea tree and lavender. Tea tree oil is popular for its potent antibacterial properties that make for a promising insole. While these insoles work miracles for exterminating the smell, they don’t really do much for the sweating.
Going sockless tends to make feet sweat a lot, so an insole meant for bare feet should definitely be super effective. These types of insoles prevent excessive sweating directly and do not rely on any socks to do their job. On the plus side, it’s a great thing that the sockless insoles are washable to keep them fresh and clean.