Best Safety Workboot+ Insoles for 200+ Pound Guy

Hello Ozbargainers

Currently I'm working in Coles in two departments (bakery+online & sometimes produce too) which involves long hours of standing (5-6 hrs at a time) and a lot of walking in a 9 hr shift.

Workplace requires black safety workboot to wear at all times. I purchased New Balance 627 with additional insoles from The Athlete's Foot. It's just been 5 months and now I feel like I'm walking on plain concrete without any cushioning.

I weigh around 91kg/200 pound (edited) and work 5 days a week. Lately, I've incurred heel pain for this workboot problem. I spent over 200$ on a pair of workboots and they've given up within 5 months.

Is there any better alternative? I believe I'm not the only person with this problem. Please help me out.


  • 200 lbs, not that much. most of the mining industry is 200lbs.

    Do you need a steel cap? or is composite ok? have you considered boots?

    I'd also ask around at work, see what others are wearing.

    Do you have flat feet or arched? were these shoes suited for the opposite - therefore causing the pain?

    • I have arched feet, steel cap or composite both are fine as long as it's toe-capped

      The sales rep at The Athletes foot recommended me this workboot. I made a formal complaint about this boot last week, waiting to see if I could get any refund

      It'd be immensely helpful for your input.

      • ok, well composite shoes "should" be lighter, so look at those. (unpopular in the mining industry as very few sites allow them).

        I just thought if it's a "shoe weight" issue, lace up boots might provide better support.

        Stay away from oliver boots, quality is fine, but they're better for people with flat feet.

        Not sure if I can help more than that.

  • I recommend Superfeet insoles, much better than cheap gel inserts. I have them in every pair of work shoes I've owned. Life saver during retail days.

  • I work in fast food, similar situation where there are long periods of standing and walking around on hard surfaces.

    First up. If you were happy with how the shoes have been before you feet started hurting, and the quality of the shoes themselves are OK, go back to where you got the inserts you use and compare your used ones with the new ones by hand feel and see if they are different. Buy a new set if they seem very different because it's the cheapest option.

    Now, I weigh 140 kg. I have had terrible foot pain before (although not heel). I ended up buying Blue Steel Hobart shoes combined with sole inserts from target. I also use thick socks.

    My father is similar size to me and works as an electrician, I copied the setup from him.

    • The shoes felt really good for long hours. It started wearing out couple of months ago.

      However, I was doing 5 hr shift at the beginning, now doing 9hr. It might be a reason too.

      I'll try changing the insoles first. Thank you

  • I’ve tried many different insoles, but these are by far the best. They’re sold at many different retailers, but Kmart is easiest to find. They have great heel/ arch support and are very comfy. The only time they’ve ever made my feet sore is when they wear out after a couple of years. I am not a heavy person though, so results may vary. But I highly recommend them.

    Boots you might want to pick a brand like Hard yakka, redback, mongrel etc. I’d never heard of new balance making safety boots until you mentioned it.
    I’m wearing mongrels at the moment. 1 year in and holding together well, soles haven’t worn down much. They’re pretty good.

  • I have heel spurs and plantar fasciitis on both feet, so doing a 10 hour shift with mostly standing up can really get to me. My combo is Oliver AT boots, and custom orthotics. But that is costly.

    • Do you have flat feet/ arched feet? Someone mentioned earlier that Oliver is better for people with flat feet

      • I roll in a lot and flatten my arch out as I walk, so whichever that is.

        Regarding which one Oliver is better for, I wouldn't know, I take the factory insoles out and fit my own.

  • 200lbs
    Got this few days ago, thanks to prime with Amex.

  • WTF is 200 pound?

    Blue Steel with composite caps for me. I don't stand but walk many km and climb lots of ladders.

    • It's an imperial measurements. 2.2 pounds to a kilogram.
      So 200/2.2=90.9kg

      • I realise that but we are in Australia which has used si units since 1970. Even back then, weight would have been measured in Stones and Ounces.

        I really don't want to have to go back to that archaic and confusing system. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt (42")

  • I'm not much lighter and when I'm in the workshop for the whole day, I wear my hiking boots. It doesn't have the same "floaty" feeling of a sports shoe cushioning is more for repetitive impact such as running. It's pointless for slow walking and standing.

    A firm sole with a well shaped arch plate is what you want. Most hiking boots fit this category.

  • Is 5 months of 9 hour days an unreasonable length of time for a pair of shoes to last? I don't think so. You're spending 40 hours a week in these shoes so you've managed to get roughly 800-900 hours of wear? I think it's likely that these shoes were fit for purpose and have just worn out from use.

    Whilst I can't help with shoe recommendations, I can offer a couple of pieces of advice I was given when I used to work on my feet all day: .

    Firstly, when you do find a pair of shoes you like, buy two and alternate them. Never wear the same shoes two days in a row if you can. You'll get longer wear out of the cushioning this way. It's more expensive upfront yes, but you'll by happy when you don't have to replace them again in 5 months. The other benefit is that you'll always have a backup pair.

    Secondly, you probably don't need a lot of arch support in your shoes. Unless you're ankles are rolling in or out a lot and affecting your gait, then a neutral shoe will be fine. I used to think I needed arch support because I have really high arches. Turns out high arches generally mean your feet do their job pretty well without support. YMMV though - a good way to check is to look at the wear pattern on your shoes. If it's wearing fairly evenly then great, if not then you might need someone to take a look at your feet and you walking to recommend a shoe.

    And lastly, your feet swell during the day, especially if you're on your feet all day. On breaks, take your shoes off, loosen the laces and pop them back on. For added luxury, change your socks.

    Good luck finding new shoes, it can be a real minefield

    • Thanks for a detailed view on this. Appreciate it

    • Holy crap, I get 2 years at least from a pair of my Oliver boots. That's with my 130kg in them, and wearing them about 45-50 hours a week. Granted I had custome insoles in the, but I know Oliver sell replacement factory insoles for about $20 I think.

      When I used to wear Colorado shoes, I used to get 1 year AT BEST out of them. But I find the boots more comfy and harder wearing. The boots are only about $130 a pair, colorados were about the same.

      • At heart the New Balance shoes are a running shoe. I agree that work boots would have a longer wear thanks to a more durable sole. It's probably a trade-off between longevity and cushioning here.

  • And don't forget that job specific PPE is, by law, supposed to be provided by the employer. Coles should be (at a minimum) subsidising the purchase by at least $100.

    Any out of pocket expenses are a 100% tax deduction

    • Are you serious? I didn't know about that.

      • Which bit? Yes to both.

        Your employer can put a price limit on your safety boots (everywhere I've worked it's been $100) and if you don't want the "default shoe" and want something better then you can pay the difference. That extra amount is a tax deduction as an out of pocket work expense.

  • What the hell does 200 pounds even mean? I didn't realise we lived in third world USA where they can't be bothered using real measurements…

  • i got a bit over 2 years of wear out of my boots doing security till they tore on the side from jumping a fence, which means walking around for anywhere from 8 to 12 hours a shift for about 40 hours a week. Can't remember the exact name but they were 5.11 Tactical boots, best i have ever owned and if i was still working in the industry i would get another pair. Not exactly cheap though.

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