If you are working in a field that requires extensive physical activity, you might have noticed that the first thing to give away, even before the boots themselves, are the insoles. While the boots are the ones that offer traction, stability and protection, the insoles are the reason why your feet feel nice and comfortable after a long day on the construction site. Therefore, the importance of a good pair of insoles can’t be stressed enough.
If you are looking for a specific type or brand, make sure to check this for best insoles. But since there are many types and variants out there, the purpose of this article is to guide you and make your choice easier by presenting some general facts concerning their benefits and characteristics. Here a few things you have to take into consideration before picking up a pair of insoles.
Why Wear Insoles at All?
There are many reasons, ranging from medical to practical, for equipping your work boots with a pair of quality insoles:
- You will have an easier time buying shoes. More often than not, we are faced with the frustration of finding the perfect footwear, only to realize that they are either slightly bigger or smaller. Blisters and calluses will be a thing of the past because insoles prevent ill-fitted shoes from rubbing against the skin.
- They provide warmth and comfort by adding an extra layer of material between your feet and the shoe.
- Insoles prevent many foot related issues such as heel and arch pains and can also correct the posture.
There are a few reasons why wearing them can do wonders to your feet on the long run. Moreover, insoles can also solve a few common fit problems that many people encounter on a daily basis:
- People with collapsed or low arches will benefit from wearing insoles because they can stimulate the arch muscles. Insoles will distribute the pressure equally throughout the base of the foot instead of focusing it on the arch, giving the wearer an extra degree of mobility and flexibility.
- Issues with foot elongation can also be easily solved by insoles because users will not need to buy footwear twice their natural size
Another factor that you should take into account is the volume of the insole. The volume determines the amount of space the insole will occupy inside the workboot. So, obviously, you have the make sure the insole is designed for the respective boot. Here are a few variants that you can find on the market and what type of footwear they are designed for:
- Low volume insoles are designed for small sized footwear, such as in-line skate boots, ski skate boots, and cycling shoes
- Medium volume insoles are for average sized shoes. These are more versatile than other types as they can fit many varieties, including the boots that construction workers typically wear on the site.
- As for the high-volume insoles, they are designed for running shoes, ski boots, and running boots. The fact that they work best with high arches makes them the perfect insoles if you have to stay on your feet for the entire workday.
The materials used vary from producer to producer, but generally speaking, they all have a few similarities. One of the most common materials is foam. This cheap, reliable material is very good at absorbing repeated shocks – for example, loggers have to climb up and down from trees, so they need high-quality insoles with shock absorption quality to prevent any blisters and calluses from developing.
The only disadvantage that foam has is its low life expectancy – but they easily compensate this downside thanks to the comfort they offer. For example, some insoles contain pressurized air bubbles inside the foam, which not only makes it last longer but provide the user with cushioning and comfort.
Other common materials are leather and gel. Despite their sturdiness great arch support, they insoles made out of cowhide leather are usually rough and uncomfortable for the feet. On the other hand, gel insoles are the comfiest of the bunch, but they are rather expensive.
General Types of Insoles
Generally speaking, there are three broad types of insoles, each with their own perks and uses:
- Custom Orthopedics. These are specialized insoles recommended by podiatrists (foot doctors). They are recommended only if you suffer from chronic feet issues caused either by long stretches of sedentarism or hard labor.
- Comfort insoles. Like the name suggests, these insoles are design solely to provide comfort and relief to the feet. They are usually made out of gel or foam. If you hold a blue-collar job or are in the middle of extensive house renovations, you should avoid buying comfort insoles. As tempting as they might be, wearing these while working will only impede you.
- Finally, support insoles provide the wearer with an extra degree of support and stability, which makes them perfect for physical jobs.
Whether you are a construction worker, gardener, electrician or simply a person who is on their feet all day, picking up a good pair of insoles is generally a good idea both for practical and medical reasons. If you want to buy insoles but are unsure where to start or what exactly to look for, make sure to follow the tips presented in this article.