Types of Boot Soles : Do You Really Know Them ?

There seems to be some confusion about the different classifications of boot soles, so we are going to clarify them here. Since these are integral parts of a boot, you have to be familiar with their features and know how they work.

3 Common Categories of Boot Soles

1. Insoles 

2. Midsoles

3. Outsoles

What is the Insole?

The insole is the part of the boot that is connected to the boot’s outer sole. The insole is responsible for absorbing the impact of running and walking. It is also acts as a sweat absorber and provides arch support. Insoles are also designed to make your feet more comfortable. But you have to choose them wisely.

This Insoles come in different styles, and most of them have an absorbent cellulose element. They made for running shoes and boots also have extra absorbent material to keep your feet from sweating.

Insoles are removable and come in various designs to suit diverse needs such as arch support, orthotics, massaging insoles and so on. You can put insoles in boots and shoes for extra comfort.

Memory foam shoe insoles are most comfortable among all the types of insoles.

What is the Midsole?

The midsole is the portion of the sole that is between the insole and the visible sole. The purpose of the midsole is to minimize the shock caused by running, walking and jumping. Some boots however, don’t come with midsoles.

Boots and shoes with midsoles often come with thickly padded midsoles. These are placed between the outside and the insole, usually around the heel. The heel is where majority of the shock occurs, hence the placement.

There are different types of midsoles, but all of them have to be flexible to be effective. If the midsole are flexible, you will be able to move freely.

What is the Outsole?

The outsole is the visible part of the boot. Located at the bottom of the boot, this is the part that makes contact with the surface. The outsole comes in a wide range of styles, and many are made of synthetic materials for better grip. Many also have grooves so you’re more comfortable. Outsoles are made of nonslip materials so you can walk and run with confidence.

Other Kinds of Boot Soles


Also known as the lugged sole, these soles are often found on hiking and work boots. The commando sole is rubberized and have a thick tread. These soles are weather resistant and have excellent traction. These soles however, tend to be clunky.

Christy Wedge

The Christy Wedge sole are often found on Red Wing boots, and these are usually lightweight, stable and have good traction.


The Dainite is similar to the Commando, but it has a lower profile. This sole is often seen in the UK, but they’re making their presence felt in other countries.

Rubber Camp

Rubber camp soles are layered with small dots. These dots are there to give the boots extra traction. These boots are also light, keeping the material flexible and easy on the feet.

Cork Nitrile

This is a work boot sole made of composite rubber. It is low profile, and the rubber and cork combo makes it more durable and flexible. There are usually no treads on cork soles, and they let you walk on different surfaces such as ice and snow.


Leather soles are the first, and for many the one they depend on. They were used 5,000 years ago and still popular today. These are often found on dress shoes and have a very low profile. These are also weather resistant, but you cannot use them in snow.

​Crepe Soles

Crepe soles have a yellow hue, heavy and a rough texture. The British Army was the first ones to use these, but you can still find these on some soles.

​Frequently Asked Questions

Question: The soles on my boots came off. Can I replace them?

AnswerThere are shoe and boot soles you can purchase online. It is also possible to glue the sole back in place.

Question: Can I remove the insoles on my boots and replace them?

Answer: Most insoles are removable. You may have to use a sharp tool to lift the sole and remove it. Remove the glue residue and replace it.

Question: The insoles I bought are too long. Is it safe to trim them?

AnswerYes, it is safe to trim insoles.

Question: Can soles really provide relief considering how thin they are?

AnswerSoles come in varying thickness so you can find one that you’re comfortable with.  

Question: Can I use any type of sole on my boots?

Answer: You should use the same material that is on your boots.


As you can see, there is a lot more to boot soles than what people think. If you’re not comfortable with the boots you’re wearing, it could be due to the soles. If so, you may use the information in this guide to help you buy a pair that fits with your boots.

Related Post :

1. Best Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Pain

2. Best Insoles for High and Medium Arches