Do Boot Inserts Work?

Are you switching your shifts with your co-workers because of pain in your soles, arches or ankles?

This is a very common scene at various construction sites, in the field or on boards mainly because of damaged inserts.

Do Boot Inserts WorkWhile we all know that work boots are important for foot protection and traction, we often see that their inserts don’t last long.

That is why most boots nowadays come with removable inserts so that you can replace them from time to time. But are these inserts really effective?

Inserts, popularly known as boot insoles are the removable part of your boots that provide cushioning and assistance to your feet. These inserts are known to provide relief from pain and discomfort caused by pressure that comes from hours of standing on your feet.

Made of materials like gel, plastic or foam, the insert runs underneath and supports the bottom of the foot. You can find them easily in pharmacies and other healthcare shops.

While boot inserts may provide short term relief, they actually do not address the root cause of the problem. In reality, they do not guarantee the relief that you desire for.

Today, we will read about the importance of insoles, their different types and whether you should really invest in insoles or not. Stick with us till the end to know about the best insoles which are best in the market.

What are Different Types of Inserts?

Basically, inserts are classified on the basis of comfort, support and their volume for shoes and boots. 

Comfort Insoles

This variety of insoles are made to offer ample support to your foot. If you are facing problems like bunions, minor pain, fatigue and blisters then comfort insoles can be a right choice for you. These are usually made of materials like gel or foam.

Support Insoles

These soles are especially designed to provide support to the arch, ankle and sides of the foot. When compared to comfort insoles, these are harder than comfort insoles since they are meant to keep your foot aligned correctly.

These are recommended for people suffering from arch problems, poor joints, back pain, plantar fasciitis and other problems which occur due to structural problems in the foot.

Insoles according to their volume

Insoles come in different volumes and hence they occupy different volumes spaces inside your footwear. Various types are:

High Volume Insoles which are meant for high volume shoes like hiking boots, ski boots or running shoes. These are best with high arches.

Medium Volume Insoles are meant for average volume shoes, for example athletic footwears. Medium volume insoles go well with a variety of arch profiles.

Low Volume Insoles are those which are used in low-volume boots like skate boots or ski skate boots. These work best for people with very low arches.

Advantages of wearing boot inserts

Boot inserts provide you with a wide range of benefits. Here is a breakdown of some of the benefits of inserts which wearers can enjoy.

      • Enhances the comfort level of your shoes
      • Prevents blisters, irritation and discomfort
      • Improves your posture
      • Realigns your feet if you overpronate (roll in) or supinate (roll out)
      • Provides arch support
      • Reduces muscle fatigue
      • Improves heel cushioning
      • Eases back, knee and hip pain

How are Insoles Different from Orthotics

Features Inserts Orthotics
Composition  Usually made of a soft gel material, foam or plastic. These are generally custom made.
Use Provide cushioning support to your foot.

Helps in reducing pain

Designed to address specific problems like plantar fasciitis.

Provide better cushioning and arch support to your foot.

Helps in correcting the way you stand and walk.

Designed to address not only specific but many foot problems.

Type of relief provided Short term relief provided Yields more noticeable results and provides long term relief.
Durability  Insoles can last for a period of six months. Orthotics go for upto a period of five years.
Pressure Distribution Does not help in distributing the pressure. Equally redistributes pressure and enhances the normal functioning of feet. 

How to Choose the Right Insert?

Choosing the right kind of insole truly depends on the specific issue you want to deal with. Therefore we have got a few suggestions for you on how to choose the right insert!

1.) If you wear high heels or if the ball of your feet is burning or aching then a ball or foot cushion insole is the right choice for you since it provides the required comfort to your feet. These inserts are usually smaller and fit accurately in tight fitted boots with heels.

2.) People with flat feet are recommended to use a foot insole that can control heel pronation while providing proper arch support.

3.) If you have got high arches then look for a softer insole which can provide support and flexibility.

4.) Try considering the ¾ length insole if you are suffering from bunions. Doing so can give you more room in the box of the boot.

5.) Lastly, if you have got heel spurs then look for an insert which comes with a cupped heel and arch support.

Once you have identified your problem, it is important to get an insert which fits well. Below are some tips on how to get a good fit from an insole.

      • Check if your heel fits inside the heel cup, and doesn’t spill over the edge.
      • If the insole is too narrow, choose one size bigger.
      • If your toes go beyond the end of the foam forefoot, try upgrading to one size bigger.

Best Boot Inserts in the Market

1. KEEN Utility Men’s K-20 Insole

Made from highly durable and soft synthetic materials, the Keen Utility K-20 insole is designed to provide adequate support and comfort to aching feet.

These inserts are designed to bear the harshest conditions without any dent. 

The inserts are quite thick and that is why these are simply great for people who need more shock absorption.

These are best suited for jobs where you need to be quick or which demand more of physical activities like running or jumping.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2. Timberland PRO Men’s Anti-Fatigue Technology Replacement Insole

As the name suggests, the Timberland PRO Anti-Fatigue Technology Inserts provide your feet the best of both worlds that is comfort and support.

If you are looking for a preventative support along with a snug fit then this could be a great pick for you.

The insert uses exclusive Anti Fatigue Technology which makes it flexible and shock absorbing using supportive cones.

The insole allows you to stay up and active for a longer duration with its excellent level of shock absorption along with soft mesh material. It also features dynamic arch design that form-fits the wearer.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. Carhartt Insite Technology Footbed CMI9000 Insole

These insoles are designed for optimized work performance rather than support. The insole has mastered three areas mainly, grip, comfort and impact.

Moreover, these use a unique material called Ax Suede which works even better by increasing the grip by 30%.

These insoles are reinforced with two layers of foam. This helps in providing ample comfort. The foam absorbs shock and offers quicker rebounds and greater agility.

The final layer of insole is a heavy duty Tetrapod layer which disperses compression while you indulge in tough jobs or heavy lifting.  

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Final Thoughts

Inserts or insoles are a great option for people who cannot tolerate foot pain and still experience it from time to time. They are good at absorbing shock while cushioning your feet.

While these may provide short term relief, it is always advisable to address the root cause. If your feet still continue to hurt maybe it’s time to see a doctor?

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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