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Thread: Insoles

  1. #1
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    Default Insoles

    There seem to be a lot of choices for insoles.

    1. Do you use them?

    2. If so, what kind and why?

    I recognize this is a HYOH issue. Right now planning on starting a 2021 (was 2020)SOBO thru with La Sportiva TX3ís, which walking around town seem fine out of the box.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Yes, you really need good insoles. They make a big difference. You'd think with the price of hiking boots or shoes, they would come with a decent insole, but no they cheapen out on you. Superfeet are popular, usually the "Green" ones, but it can depend on how much volume there is in the shoe and what you need for support. Visit an REI when they let you in again for help in fitting the best insole for your boot/feet.
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  3. #3

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    Montrail (now Columbia) Enduro Heat Moldable inserts. They have rigid arch support that works likes small rock plate under the arch.

    They last a long time far longer than the trail runners. They have a regular volume and a thinner volume (LP).

  4. #4

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    Superfeet myself. Be sure to find what is the best color for your type of foot. You can find out more online, and was actually tested once at REI.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
    Richard Ewell, CSA General


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    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    SOLE brand works well for me. One point I would like to make is that I use them in my every day shoes as well so my feet are completely accustomed to them. I actually use them in every shoe that I routinely wear.
    Lonehiker

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    Good Feet; bought them in 2010, was having persistent foot/knee problems. Within one month, they were fine and have been ever since. Kinda expensive though.

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    I also use them in all my shoes and being a big fan of New Balance I use there insoles as well. I imagine REI has a similar machine they have you stand on that measures your foots pressure points and then recommends a insole accordingly. Mine is an arch insole that sounds similar to one mentioned above. I went to NB looking for shoes to hike the trail with, the year before I hiked it and they recommended those insoles. I ended up buying 4 more pairs of the same exact trail runner/insoles that got me through the trail, now I can't find that shoe anymore.

    I got off the trail and started working in basements on concrete all day, at first I was using the standard insole. My feet were hurting by the end of the day and much worse by the end of the week. After a couple months I tried the insole I was using on the trail and was night and day - no more feet hurting. Now I don't use shoes without them for anything, they really do make a difference.
    NoDoz
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    You'd think with the price of hiking boots or shoes, they would come with a decent insole,


    yeah.....

    i never understood this as well....

    seems like the typical, stock insole feels like a sheet of plywood....

  9. #9
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    If you've ever dealt with plantar fascia issues, you appreciate a good insole with arch support. I use a variety of brands depending on fit, but superfeet are #1. Expensive, but durable.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    yeah.....

    i never understood this as well....

    seems like the typical, stock insole feels like a sheet of plywood....
    Other than their cost savings in design and raw materials, perhaps they know there are all different types of feet, and a lot of customers are going to get their own type of insole to add anyway. I know the former is more skeptical and the latter more optomistic, but like many things in life there is probably some truth in both.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
    Richard Ewell, CSA General


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    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    Other than their cost savings in design and raw materials, perhaps they know there are all different types of feet, and a lot of customers are going to get their own type of insole to add anyway. I know the former is more skeptical and the latter more optomistic, but like many things in life there is probably some truth in both.



    yeah..

    i see that side of the issue as well...

    but you would think they would at least put a standard stock insole that is more comfortable than what it typically in there...

    and make it removable so that if other insoles need to go in, it can be replaced....

  12. #12

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    Spenco . Used them for years. Lots of choices, specific to outdoor use.
    Originally, recommended by a physical therapist.

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    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
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    I think that you will find that most hikers who complete a thru ended up using a good after marker inner sole. Super
    feet worked well for me.
    Grampie-N->2001

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    yeah..

    i see that side of the issue as well...

    but you would think they would at least put a standard stock insole that is more comfortable than what it typically in there...

    and make it removable so that if other insoles need to go in, it can be replaced....
    Just curious as to your comment. I've never seen a pair of modern hiking shoes/boots where the insoles weren't removable. Some fit pretty snugly , but if you get under the edge at the side they can all be removed and replaced. If they're a real tight fit a butter knife might help. And if for some reason they are glued (I've never encountered this), even then, just peel them out and put in what you want.

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    Thanks for the input, I think I would have overlooked this.

    How many of you trial and errored a few different brands before settling on your favorite, vs those who hit he jackpot with your first ones?

  16. #16

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    Trial and error. Started with no insole, went to Blue Superfeet since that is what "most" had recommended. Then moved on to Green Superfeet since that is what was best for "my" feet.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
    Richard Ewell, CSA General


  17. #17

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    Okay, you buy a pair of well-fitting boots and they are great for backpacking---and the insoles which come with them are also nice.

    Then you decide to take out the brand insoles and replace with Superfeet---I made this mistake.

    Why is it a mistake? Because the dang superfeet insoles will make your excellent fitting backpacking boots now cramped and too small---so you'll have to get a larger pair of boots just to fit in your superfeet. Same mistake I made a couple years ago. What a waste of time and money.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Okay, you buy a pair of well-fitting boots and they are great for backpacking---and the insoles which come with them are also nice.

    Then you decide to take out the brand insoles and replace with Superfeet---I made this mistake.

    Why is it a mistake? Because the dang superfeet insoles will make your excellent fitting backpacking boots now cramped and too small---so you'll have to get a larger pair of boots just to fit in your superfeet. Same mistake I made a couple years ago. What a waste of time and money.
    Not trying to be smart alecy but did you get the bigger boots because the superfeet were worth it, or because you lost the original insoles and you couldn’t put them back in?

  19. #19

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    I like 3/4 length arch support inserts because they don't make the toe box smaller.I tried conventional insole replacements years ago,they didn't seem to have enough arch support in general.

  20. #20

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    Limmer Boots, had a different approach to insoles. After waiting the requisite 1 to 3 years for the custom boots to show up, the boots had no insole, rather there was just the bottom thick layer of leather of the boot. The user would then have to put up with a couple of months of painful break in while the feet slowly sunk into the leather forming to their feet. If someone survived the break in they would eventually end up with the leather custom contoured to their feet. Various methods to accelerate the break in were used, the big one was soaking the boots and wearing them dry. More than a few folks would not put up with the break in process and on occasion nearly new Limmers would show up at garage sales or on the resale rack at the store. If someone survived the break in, then they were in good shape and many folks have their original boots 20 to 30 years after they bought them (obviously resoled a few times).

    The heat moldable inserts I referred to previously accelerate the months long process to 5 minutes. They are also offered in two thicknesses.

    Limmer at one point did offer to compromise their boot if the customer insisted. They would either just adjust the custom measurements for an insole of have the hiker show up with an insole when hey had their fitting.

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