What are the best insoles for work boots on concrete? Is there anything actually out there that will take the edge off the pain?
I can tell you from my own personal experience that foot pain SUCKS!
15 years ago I worked for a very well known worldwide car manufacturer and had to walk and stand on concrete the whole shift.
It actually got to the point where I heavily considered changing my job because I hated going in to work every day.
I would walk on concrete from the minute I got there till the moment I came out and sat in my car. I can remember actually sighing a big relief.
There was no rest from it either when in work, apart from the one solitary mat outside the factory doors for a micro second of comfort, or when we sat down at break times for 10 minutes.
So, as a result of the miles of daily walking on hard floors, I actually ended up with knee pains constantly (due to fallen arches and being overweight at the time), so I tried a wide variety of orthotic insoles, comfort insoles and a few specialist high arch insoles, (but the specialist ones were very uncomfortable!).
There was an on-site medical centre there and I went there several times in my quest to be free from pain.
So what does this mean for you?
Well I’ve gained my own experience from trying out a good number of them, so thankfully I can actually recommend a good few.
(Talking of factory work, I found the whole place very depressing, never being able to see any outside light, and when I worked the night shift I often felt genuinely depressed. I actually got myself a special mood light that doubled up as an alarm clock – that actually helped quite a bit, and as I result of that I went and wrote about them here too – worth a read if you hate dark winter days and so on).
Can I just put a soft cushiony mattress inside my boots? (please……???)
It would be nice.
So, we now need to look at specific insoles.
Common sense dictates that the thicker the insole, the more comfortable they will be, but is that the case?
Surely if we go thicker, it will make your work boots feel tighter and perhaps actually make things more UNcomfortable?
That was the case for me. What it all came down to in the end was the quality of the insole I was buying.
Sure you can buy some insoles that are nothing more than a slice of padded material.
They look all fancy and all that, and will help out a bit but that effect won’t really last too long and you’ll soon be buying more.
So, what I’ve done is to look out for ones that others have bought (power in numbers and all that!), and purchased and road-tested a handful of them and picked out the ones that had the best feedback, and thus most likely to sort out your feet as well.
So, walk on in (a-haa..!) and take a look.
What sort of money are we looking at for insoles for work boots?
Thankfully we aren’t talking stupid money.
Prices range from around £4 at the super cheap end of things, then right up to around £30 at the high end. Most average somewhere between the two.
Andalis – a higher end insole (with a mid range price)
At the higher end the Andalis insoles (above in Orange) seem to get really good feedback scoring almost perfect.
I found that these offered:
- Good sizing description – fitted as expected
- Good results almost instantly
- A soothing of foot and knee pain in the coming days
There are Orange or Blue colours available and come in all sizes. They start from a smidge under a tenner in price
Talking about sizing. They are in American sizing so the chart below will give you the Uk equivalent
So if for example your normal shoe size is a size 7, the conversion to USA sizing is that a UK size 7 shoe = US size 9-9.5 .
So you would choose the size name of Mens 7-7.5/Womens 9 – 9.5 .
So in summary these Andalis insoles would offer you excellent support while you go about your day on concrete. The cost is just under £10 and currently they get a 100% positive feedback in 86% of users. 12% of users gave them 4 stars. Click here to go direct to them on Amazon UK.
(If you buy them be sure to remove your original insoles so things aren’t to tight!)
Just a final word on these insoles. Remember they aren’t a flat piece of sponge (which would give some comfort), but provide support for you if you’re get any sort of pains in your feet, ankles or knees (these will help).
To cut a long story short, the arch under your foot could have fallen a bit and this puts pressure on the knees as well as all manner of complications in the feet.
I’ve actually discussed this a bit elsewhere on my site if you wanted to read about over-pronation (the link will open in a new window or tab so you can come back to here after if you wanted to).
I also found these insoles, which were actually an “Amazon Choice” – and actually scored very very highly, and they worked out even cheaper than the Andalis ones (winner winner!).
These ones (as with all others) claim to help:
- Heel Pain, Plantar Fasciitis,
- Flat Feet, Painful Arches, Fallen Arches,Shin Splints,
- Over Pronation, Ankle Pain,
- Heel Spurs, Morton’s Neuroma, Bunions,
- Metatarsalgia, Aching Legs,
- Knee Pain and Lower Back problems.
Pretty much supposed to help all feet and knee issues that can come from walking on hard surfaces like concrete day in day out.
You can go get them here on Amazon priced at around £8, or I also found a much better option for 2 pairs for around £10 here on Amazon Uk – I reckon this makes so much more sense and saves swapping from shoes to shoes.
How to fit the insoles in your work boots
The main thing is to get the best size.
If you are unsure, go a tiny bit over the size you want. It’s better for the insoles to be a tiny bit too big and can be trimmed down to size.
You will need to remove the original insoles that are in your boots if possible, and these will also help you as a template to size up the new ones.
If slightly too big, trim just small pieces at a time until they slide in snugly, and you should be able to just tightly push the heel section down into place.
Spending as much time here as necessary will ensure you don’t end up ruining the insoles but cutting too much off.
What to expect when wearing insoles in your boots
It’s going to feel quite a bit strange for up to 2 weeks until things have bedded in a bit. You need to try and bear with it and see it through. If the new insoles cause a lot of pain then start off by using them for a couple of hours a day and increase that in the coming days.
If you persevere with new insoles you should start to notice a reduction in pain fairly quickly and an even greater improvement in the first week or two.
Remember you will have been walking for years and to suddenly make a change to something as fundamental as walking can seem very odd… just try to see it through, that’s the key here!
So, do you prefer to walk on grass?
I often find that if I’m out with the kids and dog at the weekend and we’ve gone for a walk, I tend to move over to the grass at the sides instead of walking on the pathways.
It’s just sort of stuck with me from my years working in the factory on the concrete floors.
I don’t actually suffer these days too much with my feet or knees, and I put it down to the weight loss and the change of career (thankfully), so I do know what you are going through. I know how it puts a downer on every single day, making it harder than it needs to be.
So, if there is anything I can do to help people I will. It’s been in my nature anyway for most of my life (and this site was born from it). So hence the help in finding you some insoles.
As a last note, I’ve also written extensively on some of the best safety boots currently available.