If you asked someone what the most important function of a work boot is, they would likely say that it is to protect the feet from harm. However, there is another function of work boots that is often overlooked—to provide comfort and support. The midsole is one of the key players in this.
The midsole is a layer of material that sits underneath the foot sandwiched between the outsole (bottom of the shoe that touches the ground) and the insole (layer of the shoe that touches the bottom of the foot). It runs along the entire length of the foot, including the area beneath the toes. It has two main purposes, both of which are vital to ensuring a work boot’s effectiveness and lifespan.
1. Durability and longevity
Work boots are put to the test under harsh working conditions. They accompany workers over rugged terrains, around heavy machinery, and through hazardous environments. Having to withstand these challenges, the midsole must be solid and durable so that the work boots can last. A robust midsole prevents boots from wearing out too quickly and losing its protective qualities.
In footwear, including work boots, the most common material used to make midsoles is ethylene vinyl acetate or EVA. It is a lightweight foam that is exceptionally compressible and, therefore, is a great cushioning material.
2. Shock absorption
The other equally important of the midsole is to reduce the amount of force transmitted from the ground up into the feet, knees, and back. On hard surfaces, repetitive impacts can have a hard toll on the body. Over time, discomfort, fatigue, and musculoskeletal problems can develop. The shock absorbing properties of the midsole allow it to cushion the brunt of each step, acting as a buffer between the feet and the ground. It facilitates a smoother transition which puts less strain on the muscles, joints, and ligaments of the legs.
They should be firm but not too firm
The performance of a midsole is affected by its firmness. Therefore, it is crucial to find the perfect balance between firmness and flexibility. We want it to protect without compromising mobility. As mentioned above, a midsole plays a large part in prolonging the life of your shoes. While firmer midsoles will be more long-lasting, they may also be heavier and offer less cushioning. So, when you’re on the hunt for your next pair of work boots, take the time to find a midsole that fits the bill.
Feel free to comment below with questions about midsoles, work boots, and preventing foot pain. For more information on orthotic insoles, common foot problems, and taking care of your feet, you can also visit ergonx.com.au. Our team is ready to help!