Why Your New Boots Need Better Insoles

If you’ve spent any time shopping for footwear online or in a store, chances are you have come across a shoe or boot boasting about having a great insole.  Many boot manufacturers brag about the insole they put into the boot and it’s really easy to buy into what they’re saying.

Our new comfort insoles…”

Check out our memory foam insole,”

This comfort insole is like walking on a cloud!”

Have your ever pulled out these “comfort insoles” and actually looked at them? This is a practice that I started doing years ago as an associate at Harry’s Army Surplus and have since added to my own shopping routine. Nine out of ten times, these cushioned insoles are more or less just thin pieces of memory foam that might feel nice for a week or two but will soon break down. On top of that, for a lot of people, a supportive insole is a better way to go.

Comfort Insoles Are Important!

Comfort Insoles

Cushioned Insole (left), Supportive Insole (right)

You get a new pair of boots that feel great on your first day out but after a couple weeks (or months), gradually your feet start to hurt, your back or knees start to feel a little worse at the end of the day (or during) or you just start feeling the ground a little too much when you walk.

Now believe me, I AM NOT trying to bash our footwear brands who put out some durable, high quality footwear but sometimes the reason for a less than adequate insole is actually pretty understandable when you think about it.  Often, the insole is the last part of the boot that designers really think about and other times, companies sacrifice this part of the boot to lower the price a little.  Boot companies usually put most of their time and money into things like safety toes, waterproofing, quality leathers, lightweight materials and other more noticeable parts of the boot. Some brands like Timberland do offer better, well cushioned insoles in some of their boots, but even then, you can’t expect an insole to have the same life as the rest of the boot. On top of that, our special supportive insoles can often help correct back, knee or ankle problems that you just shouldn’t have to live with. This is why I suggest aftermarket insoles when someone’s buying a new pair of boots or shoes.

At Harry’s, we have extensive training that helps us to identify common issues that might require a better insole than the one provided with a new boot. When we fit you, we watch for a variety of issues including pronation and supination that could lead to either mild discomfort or long-term health concerns that could follow you into old age. We also know about the benefits of simple, well cushioned or supportive insoles and that’s why most of us wear them every single day.

So when we recommend a comfort insole for your boot and you say, “But I am buying an expensive new boot, I shouldn’t need that,” we say “You may not need it now, but you will once you start wearing them every day.” I have even had the situation where a gentleman came in with a pair of boots he had bought from us two months prior and said he was ready for a new pair. These boots looked like they were in pretty good shape, so I asked what the problem was with his current boots. He said they just weren’t comfortable. I had him take off the boots and pull out his insole. It was flat as a pancake. I had him try a new supportive insole and that made a world of difference! His feet were happy, he extended the life of his boot, and he saved himself $150!

Our better insoles come in two basic types, highly cushioned or supportive. If you just need more comfort and padding, nothing beats our Spenco polysorb insoles. If you want more support so that your whole body feels better at the end of the day, our FIT System insoles are tailored for people with low, high, or normal arches. If you are still skeptical about buying comfort insoles, I would love for you to take a look at your insole right now. Then think about whether you have had any foot, back or knee pain after a long day on the job. If the answer is yes, then it’s probably time to explore comfort insoles. I will say that if you want the right comfort insoles, avoid going to your drugstore or self help big box store. Go to where you buy your work footwear, so that they can help to identify the insoles that are best for you. If you live in metro Detroit, stop on in and visit us. We will definitely be able to help you out. Remember: insoles do not last forever!

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