TOP 10 Wading Boots Insole 2023
Wading boots often come with crappy insoles and shoe inserts. These insoles then need a replacement, and you have to be considerate while shopping for one. The best insoles for wading boots take the stress off your feet. They can be the difference between a fun or a flop day at fishing.
I tested tonnes of fly fishing boots insoles and found ten that performed best. Here I present honest reviews for each of the best insoles for wading boots with a helpful buying guide at the end.
Carhartt Footbed CMI9000 Insoles tops the list of best insoles for wading boots. And Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts as a runner-up. Both are best for painful feet and suited for both freshwater and saltwater conditions.
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Top Wading Boots Insole
Here are some of the best wading boots insoles I have tried.
1. Carhartt Insite Technology Footbed CMI9000 Insole – Best Value
Gotta say, I just did an 8 hour shift in the warehouse with them and my feet feel great. I'm wearing heavy composite boots (cold storage warehouse) and walking on concrete the entire time. These did the trick. Though I did leave the factory insoles in the boot, it did make for less room but didn't constrict to the point of discomfort. You may have to remove the old insoles depending on space in your footwear, but no big deal.
Lastly, the underside of this insole distributes the stress coming from the feet in all directions. So you get no sore spots on your feet when you take off your boots.
While I liked them a lot, I’ve heard some people complaining about the vast space they take up in your boots that could make your feet hurt. But I guess it all depends on how broad your feet are. If they aren’t too wide, these insoles will work great for you.
2. Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts – For Painful Feet
I've wasted so much money on different types of shoes and gel inserts and compression socks and biofreeze, all because if I'm walking all day at work, I eventually start experiencing pretty intense pain on the bottoms of my feet.
None of these products has ever helped even slightly. At most, the discomfort of some of them or the novelty (like Biofreeze keeping my feet cold...) of some of them would be distracting from the pain for a little while, but eventually the pain would flare up enough to override it. The pain would also only worsen over time. Taking longer and longer to go away each day. To where I'd have to sit down multiple extra times per day for 5 minutes or so just to get enough relief to keep doing my job for another 30 minutes to an hour or so, depending on how bad my pain was that day.
Even worse, it started getting to the point where I'd spend my entire weekend sitting down and walking as little as possible because my feet would still be in pretty serious pain, and just as it would start to wear off, the weekend was over and it'd return back to almost 100% of what it was on Friday... in my first hour of work on Monday. I'd often barely be able to walk straight at the end of the day. It was MISERABLE.
So I saw how much more expensive these insoles were than a lot of the others. I didn't see what about them would be so different. I've tried plenty of Dr. Scholl's products and they're all pretty much placebos as far as I'm concerned. But the reviews were really good, with a ton of people saying what I'm about to say:
This is the only thing I've ever used for foot pain that actually works.
I'm not saying 100% it will work for you, I'm sure there's a ton of factors. But it has for me, and I'm actually amazed.
I'm especially surprised since they're these strange half insoles, they don't go along the entire shoe, and they don't replace your insole, they go on top of it. So that was already way different than any insole I'd used before, though I'm sure there's similar ones out there that I skipped over in my many attempts to find relief for my poor feet. But I also assume that's probably one of the reasons they work, they seem designed in such a way that actually is designed to relieve foot pain, rather than to look comfortable or be eye-catching like the giant blue gel inserts that do absolutely nothing for me.
Don't get me wrong, these don't eliminate my foot pain 100%, that would be the most amazing product imaginable if they could. But they do make it so that for at least half my shift, my feet don't hurt at all, and while near the end of my shift the pain still starts to get up there, I don't need a bunch of little breaks, I can easily make it to the end of my day and comfortably walk around the house and go do errands after without feeling like I need to soak my feet and lie in bed all day until my feet stop throbbing.
More importantly, they don't just reduce the pain I experience throughout my work day, they pretty much cut the recovery time for my foot pain to zero after I get home. They're still a little, TINY bit sore for maybe a few hours, but just a tiny bit, as opposed to being so painful they're distracting for the entire weekend. After that, they feel good as new.
It's so effective that I did something I haven't been able to do in a longtime: I just went on a walk. On my weekend. Because I felt like walking, because my feet don't hurt. At all. I normally get about 30,000-40,000 steps per day at my job. So when I don't walk on the weekend, it feels like I have a bunch of pent up, unspent energy in my legs that, if my feet didn't hurt, I'd fix by taking a walk around the block a few times. Needless to say, I popped in my earbuds and took a quick 30 minute walk for 5,000ish steps around the block this morning. Not even the slightest bit of pain the entire time. I know that doesn't sound like anything to someone who doesn't experience foot pain, but walking because I want to and because my feet don't hurt is a BIG DEAL to someone like me who normally just spends their free time avoiding walking because their feet are so friggin' sore all the time.
I didn't really mean to write a novel, but every time I've gotten home from work and thought about how cool it is that I don't immediately want to just sit down and soak or massage my feet, I get this itch to write up a review for this, because reviews are why I bought these and I don't normally write them, so if I could let someone else out there know that this one might be the one that actually, really works for them, then it's worth it, because I know how awful and detrimental foot pain is once it gets bad enough.
One final bit: The foot relief wasn't instant. Like most of these kinds of insoles, the first day actually hurt a little more than usual for a few hours, I assume as my foot adjusted. The second day was when I started noticing relief, and after the first week I was blown away that something actually, FINALLY worked.
3. Sport Athletic Shoe Insoles Men Women – For Sporty Souls
Wading requires quite a lot of excursion. You need to jump over rocks and walk in knee-deep water. All of this excursion puts pressure on the angler’s feet. The right insoles for wading boots will provide support and stability to avoid leg and back pain.
It is soft and supportive as advertised--Unfortunately we could not get one that would adapt to my wife's foot. The size we ordered had the support in the correct placement but, the front was not long enough. The support on a longer product would be in a place that would hurt her foot. Her feet are difficult to fit so the product is not to blame. We really wanted it to work. We had to return the product.
But my recommendation isn’t complete without one warning. These insoles are not for someone with Plantar Fasciitis. The arch support is for ordinary footed people. However, for flat feet, it is considerably low.
I have had many running insoles promising support, comfort, stability etc, most of them very expensive, but non of them lived up to their promises.
I typically don’t write reviews, but Scholl’s Performance insoles are fantastic. I run 20-40 miles a week and those insoles actually make a big difference. Lots of cushion and support, feet and legs don’t feel too tired even after a long run and it feels almost like you are running a new pair of shoes.
But they are not that great for plus-sized people. I recommended these insoles for wading boots to a 250+ lbs runner, and they complained of their calves hurting after running with these.
5. KEEN Utility Men’s K-30 Gel Insole for Neutral Arches – Best For Medium Arches
Summary: I have had Keen or Timberland Pro boots for the past 12 years. Previously tried the Timberland inserts, so thought I would go the Keen route this time. I wear them all day for work (industrial environment). Most days, I walk or stand for more than half the day, so my inserts get a good amount of wear (the black/orange ones in the pictures are the old ones).
Trimming the inserts will be the key to getting a good fit. Too large (not enough removed) and the insert might not sit flat. These are size 8.5 to 10, and I am a 8.5. I put them in without cutting any, but could not get them to sit flat as they were too long (expected). Next I cut them to 9.0, then tried again. It does take a little bit of work and patience to get them in, but once fitted, they fit perfectly. I would say cut less, because cutting too much could lead to the insert moving around.
After walking around them for a day, they are firmer than the ones I took out, and they are also slightly thinner, because I had to lace up my shoes tighter. Good, firm support (not mushy).
Good fit & finish. Size cut-marks are labeled; so getting a good fit, while a trial and error process, is easily attainable.
At $50, these are on the higher end for inserts.
First few days have been comfortable, but it usually takes a few weeks to get a good feel. I will update this
6. Timberland PRO Men’s Anti-Fatigue Technology Replacement Insole – For Tired Feet
I had to write a review on these after my normally cranky/complainy over insoles hub nearly drove me to madness with the constant whining! Yes I understand long days on your feet suck and it's important to care for your feet / back etc (and have a lot of compassion for that stamina, as I can't do more than 3 minutes of "labor" :) but I literally bought TONS AND TONS of high end insoles and changed them out constantly with zero success. Not only does that get expensive, but handling sweaty/stinky inserts all the time takes a little bit of your soul one sole at a time (groan!) We tried Sof Sole, Air Plus, Spenco Work, and a handful of other "work insoles" - the Spenco ones were not terrible, but he still had foot pain after long days and never really said anything great about them.
AND THEN THESE CAME INTO OUR LIVES! I have not stopped hearing the glowing praise for how amazing they are - we are on the 5th discussion about this, I think, which is amusing if not slightly weird/repetitive. Last night I heard a 3 minute speech how "I'm exhausted, but my feet feel great! No leg pain!" Wohoooo - the spell has been broken. What else can I say but the report is that these give much needed all day (sometimes 12-18 hours) support without being overly bulky (they are somewhat thick, may need to go up a half a size unless your normal shoes are roomy, and especially if you wear thick socks.) He wears these with pretty thick thorlos in a roomy work shoe, and they are great.
They are really easy to cut to fit (NOTE - to all the people complaining they don't fit, these, and all insoles in the universe ARE FOR MULTIPLE SIZES - a 10-11 is going to be too big for a 10, and will need a bit of trimming. That's how this works :)
It gives a bit of an arch support but is not too thick in that area, so should work with most people's feet.
They also don't get as gross/stinky/grimy as many others, I do take them out to wash now and then and they have held up extremely well. A little bit of foot powder helps but dont go overboard, and it's more important to wear a good quality non cotton sock!
Kind of ridiculous and amazing that something like an insole has made us so happy, but it's the little things, right? I would pay $25 for a pair any day, but got the last batch from a popular shoe online site with a code and paid under $20 - but they are worth EVERY PENNY of whatever you have to pay for them, and will last longer than cheapie ones.
+1 for Timberland! Attached a few pictures - hope they help...buy these now - throw all the others away :)
Continue to love these and have bought 2 more pairs! A few notes after reading some complaints on these:
They are NOT sports insoles - not meant for sharp and sudden movements/activity, which I think some people said they used them for and they didn't hold up - I'd stick with a sports insole for those activity for sure.
I saw a photo of someone's very worn out ones apparently after afew months and couldn't believe it - DH goes through 18 hour work days and they never look even half that bad after a long time. Of course if you do wear them every day and do hard, long, hours and/or handle very heavy things they would wear quicker. In that case 3-4 months isn't too bad of a life span for insoles...and with custom orthotics being $500-$800, $25 3-4 times a year is still really inexpensive for the relief they give...
For Plantar Fasciitis, you need a very suppportive/firm higher arch (I've been through this and it sucks, I feel your pain!) I'd recommend the "Powerstep Pinnacle Premium Orthotic Shoe Insoles, Flexible Cushioning, Perfect For Alleviating Foot Pain" ones - they have helped my PF SO much and are very comfortable (there is an original version but those don't have the layer of cushion on top and I felt they were very hard.) The Timberland Pro ones do not have enough arch support for PF though, so wouldn't really help for that issue.
7. Happystep Plantar Fasciitis Orthotics Memory Foam Insoles – Most Affordable
I bought these as insoles for winter sneakers, (yes they make waterproof outdoorsman sneakers,) which were a tad loose.
They now are my favorite shoes. These inserts really are like a bit of tempurpedic mattress material. The question is how well will they stand up in a month or two??
So far fantastic! Inexpensive, super comfortable and great support. I had tried everything from prescription, to most brands- these take the cake. After a decade of jumping out of helicopters, in my earlier days…, I felt like I had done enough damage to my feet for one lifetime. They healed up over the years and are in good shape now. These insoles just make it more comfortable all the way around.
8. Superfeet merinoGREY Winter Shoe Insoles – For Temperature Regulation
Obviously, if you have foot pain, etc., go see a podiatrist. I am only sharing my experience which may not be suitable for you.
First, note that most people with flat feet have a natural arch when there is no weight on the foot but it "squishes" out when you stand on it. There are several foot problems that develop as a result of this. The ideal solution is to have a podiatrist make a mold of your unweighted foot and have arch supports custom made to match. I did this once and learned a lot in the process. The only downside for me was the cost: about $500 for one set of custom arch supports plus the cost of the initial office visit to evaluate my feet.
The custom supports made by a podiatrist will last a long time and have all but cured the variety of foot pain I was experiencing. It is a hassle, however, to constantly switch the supports between shoes and I wanted several pair but the cost was prohibitive.
The key to a good insole for this purpose is a solid arch support, like that of Superfeet Blue. The arch support is hard plastic and I've used several pair for years successfully. Note that Superfeet suggest replacement after a year, but in my experience only the cushion part wears out. The arch support, which is important to me, lasts longer.
So, I highly recommend these but with one caveat, which is why I am giving them 4 stars instead of 5: sizing.
You should not rely on Superfeet's sizing recommendations exclusively. Start there, but the most important part is how the arch support fits your unweighted foot. Sit down, cross one leg over the other and hold the insoles gently against your feet to observe how closely the insole matches your natural arch. I, for example, wear shoe size 8.5 but Supperfeet's size E (for men's size 9.5 to 11) match my arch better than that of size D (for men's sizes 7.5 to 9). I buy the larger insoles and trim the toe portion as necessary.
I now own several pair of Superfeet Blue plus my custom supports and all work equally well.
9. Protalus M100 Max Series – For Ankle Alignment
I had extreme pain in the sole and heel of my right foot from a six year old treadmill injury. Plantar fasciitis is a killer-did not want injections, did not want surgery! I went four years with no relief (gained weight, felt awful, close to depression syndrome). I looked on-line, bought a pair of M 100's, one size larger than my shoe size, trimmed per instructions. Put them in my shoes and within one week--dramatic pain decrease!
Afterward, since I already scheduled a doctors appointment, I went. Very well trained doctor convinced me to purchase 2 custom pairs-one for sport, one for dress. ($750 plus three doctors appointments). Took out the Protalus M100, put in the customs, my feet hurt until I put "the good ones" back in. After about two weeks, no pain-really, no pain!
I purchase new inserts for every new pair of shoes (not necessary). Have been doing this for two years. I love these! The designed is intricate. They don't slip around, they have good arch support (and what ever else makes them work!)
10. Danner Men’s DXT Comfort Footbed – For Feet Fungus
I want to like Danner boots, but: I spend $600+ for two pairs of your boots and then have to shell out an additional $60 for the inserts that should have been in them to begin with. "Airthotics"? Code for cheap, flimsy, plastic, half-length inserts that hurt my feet more than your boots do. What a joke! What was that? A marketing think-tank replacement for actual insoles? Food for thought Danner: Thorogood has good insoles. They're boots are made in the USA, cost less, and are way easier to break in. Without airthotics.
Buying Guide For Best Shoe Inserts:
1. Feet Relaxation
The best insoles for wading boots have an emphasis on the following features:
The best insoles for fishing boots have the comfort of feet as their utmost priority. The soles need to be soft enough to keep your feet relaxed and also rigid to support them. This combination of softness and hardness is the key to preventing sore feet. Orthotic insoles are a good option for ankle support.
2. Arch Support
People with flat feet need to take a good look at the arch type an insole is providing. Even neutral arches need proper support. Flat feet or not, look carefully at what kind of arch your insole can support before purchasing.
3. Compatibility With Sports
Some insoles have a design that can only support regular daily movements, while some can withstand high-energy sports. Check before buying if your insole can survive your jumps and sprints while wading.
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Q. What is the best budget insole for boots?
While the market is full of cheap options, I think the Carharrt Insite Technology Footbed won’t dig a hole in your pocket and will also be the best value for your money and the best shoe insert for wading boots in the market.
Q. How often do the fishing boots’ insoles need a replacement?
An average insole for wading boots can last almost six months. But replace it sooner if the sole starts to show signs of wear.
The Wadersfishing provides the best fishing gear reviews, and after using tons of insoles for wading I think Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts takes the crown among these ten best insoles for wading boots. They are comfortable, support medium arches well, and give relief to aching legs and back.
Do try them for your next wading trip, and let me know if you agree.