The comfort of the feet at work depends not only on the appropriate boots or safety shoes, but also on the insoles we use.
Templates are essential. These should correspond to your type of foot and work needs.
If the insoles are used correctly, they protect you and prevent foot, back, knee, ankle, hip and shoulder pain, as well as cramps. They can even help fix other ailments like plantar fasciitis and Morton's neuroma.
For very little cost, one of the best decisions you can make for the comfort of your feet and lower back is to purchase a pair of inserts for your safety shoes or work boots.
The insole size should be the same as your safety boot or foot size. Although the size varies according to the brand, you must be clear about the size you are looking for.
If necessary, the insoles can be trimmed so that they fit perfectly in the boot or shoe that you are going to use. So it is preferable to buy it larger than necessary than to buy it smaller.
Almost all insoles are designed to replace the insoles that come standard with safety boots. So it is recommended to remove and replace them. Also some templates are designed to be used with the original, either below or on top. This is the case of thin insoles or 3/4 orthopedic insoles that go over the original ones.
foot arch type
It is essential that the insole of your work boot fits your type of foot. When looking for which insole to buy, take into account if your foot is cavus (high arch), foot with normal arch or flat foot.
You only buy insoles that are designed for your foot type. If you wear insoles that are designed for a different foot type than yours, you are going to feel very uncomfortable wearing them.
It is also recommended that they include these two technologies:
With this technology, the insole absorbs shock and returns energy to the feet. Very useful if you walk, run or lift heavy objects at work. If you are going to work standing up, these types of insoles are highly recommended.
It is important that they include technologies that prevent unwanted odors.
Best Work Boot Insole Brands: Recommended Brands
The following brands may be hard to find in your country directly from the manufacturer. But, they can be easily purchased through platforms such as Amazon, Mercado Libre or Linio.
These brands are more focused on security shoes
and work boots and not so much sports or fashion shoes.
Also surely there are local brands in your country that make quality insoles. It is only to search for “insoles for + city boots”. Check reviews and the materials they use.
Finally, usually the brands that make quality boots also make quality insoles.
It is an American company with 100 years since its foundation. It sells unisex insoles with anti-fatigue technology and has great reviews.
He specializes in gel insoles. They are usually cheap and very comfortable, they fulfill very well what they promise. However, they are not of high quality and can easily get dirty.
Produce high-quality templates. While they can be hard to come by in Latin America, they are worth it. It is common for their insoles to include anti-odour technologies, dynamic support and special foam.
Advantages/benefits of using the appropriate insoles for safety and work footwear
- Shock absorption.
- Reduction of moisture in the boots, preventing odors and other derived problems.
- Greater comfort in the footstep, thanks to the additional padding.
- Reduced fatigue when standing, walking, running or lifting heavy objects.
- Support to the arch of the foot that helps to avoid pain and pathologies.
Types of insoles for boots and work shoes
Custom orthotics or therapeutic insoles
They are insoles designed in orthopedic laboratories based on the structure of the patient's foot. Usually the insoles are made of silicone and are manufactured from 3D printing.
Therapeutic insoles have rigid or semi-rigid support plates designed to keep the foot in a healthy shape during the day's activities.
Wearing orthotics helps eliminate stress on the plantar fascia, the connective tissue that runs from the heel to the bottom of the toes, and reduces pain in the arch of the foot.
Finally, its use must be progressive. Normally they are used a couple of hours a day during the first week, to then weekly increase the number of hours of daily use. To buy this type of insoles it is highly recommended to seek advice from a podiatrist.
Insoles with cushioned arch support
These types of insoles feature flexible, cushioned arch support, rather than being rigid.
Cushioned arch support insoles are designed to provide some support to the foot, but mostly cushioning. They are very useful when you want some support, but the main need is comfort and relief from foot fatigue.
They are preferred by athletes and workers who spend most of their time standing at work and do not have any pathology or special pain in their feet.
Flat (normal) or replacement insoles
These types of insoles are thinner and do not provide support to the arch of the foot, or of any kind. They are a replacement for the insoles that come with the shoe from the factory.
Flat stencils come in many shapes and colors. Some, for example, offer a padded layer, while others offer a softer surface.
They are useful for people looking to replace the insoles of their boots or shoes due to wear or taste in colors or textures, but who do not want any additional support for the foot.
Insole materials for boots and work shoes
Each material has advantages and disadvantages. Your choice should be based on your priorities and needs.
The foam is very useful in the cushioning and support of the foot. They are also very helpful in relieving pressure. For many they are the most comfortable to use.
This type of insole adjusts to the curvatures of the foot and provides a personalized fit. When removing the foot from the shoe, the insole recovers its original shape.
Gel insoles to work
They are exceptional at cushioning impacts. It especially favors athletes, waiters, workers, delivery men, etc. in high-impact activities like running or walking. Gel insoles are highly recommended for jobs that require standing.
Gel insoles for work are usually heavier than insoles made of other materials. They are very easy to use, just make sure you buy a large insole for your feet and then adjust it to the size of your foot with scissors. Initially and up to several minutes later they may feel uncomfortable, but over time the gel settles slightly and they become very comfortable to wear.
You also have to be careful because they get dirty easily with the threads of the socks and dirt that remain stuck to it.
Cork offers very good support, light cushioning and good flexibility. Cork insoles are also an excellent thermal insulator.
At first they may feel hard to wear, but over time they take the shape of the foot.
They are very good at cushioning and feel comfortable, especially when worn with thin socks or tights. They are durable and allow the foot to breathe, preventing fungus and bad odours.
How to change the insoles of your work boots
- Remove or adjust the original template. If the stencil is adhered with some glue, it can be heated with a hair dryer to separate it more easily. If the new template is flat, you can leave the original.
- Clean the inside of the boot of debris or parts of the old insole.
- Insert the new insole into the boot. If at any point it is bent, the edges must be carefully trimmed until it fits correctly.
- Wear the boots with the new insoles and see if they feel comfortable. It is normal for them to feel hard at first, especially depending on the material, but over time they loosen up.
- If necessary, trim further until the template fits correctly.
How to clean the insoles of your work boots
- Carefully remove the insole from the boot.
- Rub it with a damp towel or piece of cloth.
- Put the insoles to dry in a place with good ventilation. It may take several days to fully dry.
If they are very dirty or have unpleasant odors, wash them carefully with warm soapy water. But do not submerge them in water or get them too wet as they can be damaged. Then dry them carefully with a dry washcloth.
Do not use a washing machine to clean the insoles of boots or similar footwear.