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Insoles or Anti-Fatigue Mats?

Written by
Richard Ward
Published on
December 20, 2022 8:15:00 AM PST December 20, 2022 8:15:00 AM PSTth, December 20, 2022 8:15:00 AM PST

Insoles or anti-fatigue mats? It's an important question to answer for an industry like manufacturing, where companies are trending toward 10-12 hour shifts and often have workers who are required to stand for much of this time. 


Both insoles and anti-fatigue mats have proven to support the well-being of your workforce. But which is better? As a safety manager, how do you know which product will improve the health and safety of your teams while providing long-term return on investment? 


Three factors can help you make informed buying decisions – cost, quality, and value. We explore each below along with a couple specific examples.


1. Cost – Insoles vs. Anti-Fatigue Mats 

An average pair of generic and non-customized orthotic insoles costs $40 (custom insoles are often over $100). Consider a distribution center, clean room, or medical technology lab with 100 workers. 


100 x $40 per pair of insoles = $4,000 


Most insoles last 6 months. Higher-quality insoles can last up to 2 years depending on use. For workers who stand on hard surfaces at least 6 hours a day, podiatrists recommend replacing insoles every 4 months or roughly 650-700 working hours. 


Yearly cost for insoles: $12,000 


AcroMat 100-1 Series

Premium anti-fatigue mats like the AcroMat 100-1 Series, our most popular and highly used mat, costs approximately $15 per square foot. A 4-foot by 20-foot mat (80 square feet) would cost around $1200.

The mat comes with a 2-year full replacement warranty, has a life expectancy of 3-8 years, and can be cleaned without breaking down. 


10 mats for 100 people = $12,000 


If the mat lasted 3 years: $4,000/year 

If the mat lasted 5 years: $2,400/year 

If the mat lasted 8 years: $1,500/year 


Cost Winner: Anti-Fatigue Mats 

Based purely on costs and life expectancy, in this instance the edge goes to anti-fatigue mats. Insoles are easy to order, durable, and can be cost-effective for workforces that aren’t required to stand for long periods. They also make sense for safety managers and teams who are highly mobile, having to travel across work environments throughout a given day.

But given how quickly the ergonomic benefits of insoles fade from prolonged standing, especially for workers who work mostly in a particular area day after day, anti-fatigue mats offer better return on investment. 

Anti-fatigue mats are also turnover-proof. In an industry where workers leave often, mats stay with you and don't need to be replaced with departures.


Related: 8 Care and Cleaning Tips to Extend the Life of Your Mats 


2. Quality and Value – Insoles vs. Anti-Fatigue Mats 

Insoles have been proven to reduce pressure on a worker’s feet, legs, back and neck. They promote healthy blood flow which reduces risks of cardiovascular diseases and varicose veins. They are exponentially more comfortable than strictly shoe to cement, tile or metal grating. 


Similarly, premium mats like the AcroMat 100-1 Series reduce pressure on a worker’s feet, legs, back, and neck. The mat reduces worker fatigue by up to 50% and provides overall comfort for individuals who stand for extended periods of time. Like insoles, they promote healthy blood flow and the benefits that follow. In addition, this premium anti-fatigue mat includes: 


  • Made from 100% nitrile rubber foam (doesn’t lose anti-fatigue qualities during life expectancy) 
  • Anti-slip properties to reduce slipping and tripping 
  • Antimicrobial, non-allergenic 
  • Latex free, silicone free 
  • Chemical resistant (acids, oil, fuel) 
  • Can be cleaned with acid-based cleaners without breaking down 
  • Can be repaired without being fully replaced 

Watch: How to Repair Rips, Tears and Other Damage to Your Anti-Fatigue Mats 

Quality and Value Winner: Anti-Fatigue Mats 

Depending on the size of your workforce, work being done, and layout of the work environment, insoles offer a valuable solution. Yet, anti-fatigue mats last years longer than most insoles. They can be designed and customized to cover an entire workspace, eliminating work on hard flooring and trip hazards. They reduce risks of bacteria build up and exposure to potentially harmful particles. 


Based purely on quality and value, the edge again goes to anti-fatigue mats. Insoles and anti-fatigue mats can serve the purpose you need. The key is uncovering which solution answers your needs.


Regardless of Approach, Focus on Your People 

More than 35 million adults in the workforce with a musculoskeletal condition (e.g., tendonitis, arthritis, past bone injures like a fracture) reported lost workdays over the past year – totaling nearly 364 million days.

In an industry that relies on workers being present and productive, the risk of not having an anti-fatigue solution in place is far greater than the cost. Both insoles and anti-fatigue mats provide valuable benefits. The key is uncovering which solution answers the most pressing needs of your workforce.




Design the custom anti-fatigue mat you need in minutes with AcroSketch – the only tool of its kind. Any length, shape, or size. Zero added costs for customization. Receive an immediate quote. Your order ships in 10 days or shipping is free!  


Book a brief consultation with our team to learn more!