Feet hurt after a long day’s work? Maybe you need some good old fashioned sole food. When you’re on your feet all day, shoe insoles can mean the difference between working in relative comfort or enduring excruciating pain. Work sucks enough as it is. Whip foot torture and enhance your kicks with a cushiony insole. It just may change your outlook on life.

According to experts, the average person walks between 5000 and 7000 steps per day. I usually hit 10,000 steps before lunch time. Walking like that is hell on feet and wreaks havoc on shoes and boots. By the end of the day my feet are tired, achy, and sometimes feel like they’ve been beaten with a baseball bat. When work starts to feel like Chinese foot torture and I fantasize about taking my shoes off all day, I know it’s time for a new insole.

With all the shoe insoles on the market today, how do you know which one to pick? The answer to that question depends on the type of activity you do all day and your feet. If you stand on hard surfaces or walk all day you may really benefit from comfort insoles. If your job is a little more intense or you have foot problems, you may want to go with a support or sport insole. These are less about padding and more stability.

It’s important to keep in mind that no matter what type of shoe insole you buy it’s going to take up space in your shoe. If you can barely shove your feet into your shoes now it may be next to impossible with an insole. If this is the case you’ll probably be better off saving your money and buying a new pair of shoes. When you’re trying them on keep this in mind so that when your stock insole wears out you’re not stuck in the same predicament.

Before you buy an insole throw one on the floor and stand on it. If you are coordinated enough lift up one leg so that you’re balancing on the new insole. If you’re not all that coordinated support yourself on the shoe rack or wall then balance for a few seconds. While you’re balancing ask yourself: Does it feel stable? Does my foot feel supported? If the answer is yes cram that baby into your shoe and do and repeat the balancing act. All this may seem silly but testing out insoles before you buy can save you a lot of time, money, and foot pain.