Which insoles

Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by PhilHo, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    I'm thinking of getting some new insoles for trail shoes and hiking boots. I currently have some X-Line ones prescribed by a podiatrist. These improve support and have a mid foot saddle that supports the arch and takes some pressure off the toes but they have very little/no cushioning. They are low volume so maintain the space in the toe box.

    What I'm looking for is something with a deep cup heel and arch support, low volume so they don't fill up my shoes and decent fore foot cushioning.

    I'm interested in what other insole users have found to be good and why as a starting point to trying to narrow down choice. Each manufacturer seems to have a range of insoles each with marginal differences between them.
  2. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    Orthosole max cushion are my current favourites, as I'm stuggling with Forefoot pain from overuse. Superfeet blue and Red are good for me, but I'm still trying to tune my pairs with Met pads and the heel cup could be deeper.

    The Orthosoles come with different thickness instep and met pads that velcro on. The heel cup isn't deep, but it has a big gel pad. Despite looking a bit flat in the heel, they have been better than my other pairs for fixing the heel in.
    PhilHo likes this.
  3. Munro277

    Munro277 Thru Hiker

    SUPERFEET insoles for me blue in walking trainers green in my big manta boots for darkest winter
  4. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    Curex runpro - full support outlast the shoe soles
  5. Charlie83

    Charlie83 Section Hiker

    i got a few superfeet (blue and green ones) for free from somewhere, i've pretty much used the green ones ever since without any issues, although i did melt one pair trying to dry them on an old fashioned radiator in a bunk house, after i had ramped the heat right up to try and dry everything else out :(:D

    Ive worn boots everyday with work for just on 30 years (and often have to move a bit to fast in them for my liking), In the years BS (Before Superfeet) I always took the insoles out of my running shoes and put them in my boots, never had a problem and a lot comfier than a lot of the crap boot insoles that came in the boots, a lot of lads also swear that Sorbothane insoles are the best things going, but ive never used them myself.
  6. shetland_breeder

    shetland_breeder Ultralighter

    I prefer ordinary EVA insoles like the ones Inov-8 used to sell.

    Unless you've got a structural problem in your feet they don't need support - at least they won't if you walk in the most flexible shoes you can find (try Freet Connect) and get them stronger. All you need is a bit of protection, and not much of that. If you really feel you must have some cushioning then buy a sheet of 3.2mm Poron on eBay (NOT the precut insoles as they only fit narrow point dress shoes) and cut some for yourself.
  7. el manana

    el manana Thru Hiker

    The Superfeet green have the most supportive arch support of the ones I tried but they're not low volume in my experience. Might even need to go up a half size to accommodate.
    PhilHo likes this.
  8. shetland_breeder

    shetland_breeder Ultralighter

    But why do you need arch support? Even the military long ago came to the conclusion that flat feet were just cosmetic. Ofcourse if you always wear rigid or very stiff shoes your arches will be weak because the muscles and ligaments are not used enough, but supporting them won't help that.

    It's surprising how quickly those deteriorate (well, it surprised me after my bilateral quadriceps tendon rupture a year ago which kept me in bed for 12 weeks), but they have recovered now. When I started walking again I found my feet had 'stretched' and I needed at least a 1/2 size larger shoe. Back to a small 11 now, but I did deliberately choose shoes with no or very little support to make my feet work when I got back on them
  9. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    Osteoarthritis in toe joints. I don't know the biomechanics but somehow the arch support reduces the weight you put through your toes a bit, I think that's how it works anyway.

    "Orthotics redistribute weight and relieve pressure on sensitive areas of the feet, provide cushioning that reduces stress, or biomechanical load, on the lower body, and correct gait and structural abnormalities, says Marian Hannan, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-director of Musculoskeletal Research at the Harvard-affiliated Institute for Aging in Boston."

    “It’s not entirely clear how orthotics work to cause these positive changes, but data suggests the inserts affect the foot’s very fine, or micro-, control of gait, subtly altering muscle activity and reducing stress on the lower extremity,”
  10. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    Thanks to everyone who has provided information above. There are one or two gems that will help me to narrow down what to try. I think that the volume of Superfeet insoles might rule them out because I need a big toe box and I don't want to have to buy new shoes and boots as well as new insoles. I recently bought a pair of Altberg Tethera XW boots and I've tried them with both my X-Line insoles and the Altberg ones that they came with and prefer the Altberg ones but I think I can get better. The X-Lines are good in Brooks Cascadia trail shoes for walking and running but I think that is because those shoes have a bit of cushioning in them.
  11. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Section Hiker

    Superfeet sadly don't fit my feet, I got some Sidas custom insoles from Ellis Brigham which I like very much.
  12. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    Over the last 18-24 months I've tried many types and makes.

    For me Superfeet green or bronze work well but are expensive when you need a pair for various footwear. I tried using the same pair for multiple shoes but with all shoes footbeds it didn't work.

    I then found the Pro Wellbeing insoles after chatting with @Mole and a chap on Facebook and have found them just as comfortable and they last a similar amount of time to the Superfeet but are allot less expensive.
  13. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    I need insoles with basically no shape/support. Any more than a minimal amount on the inside of the makes me sure after a long day. Inov8 insoles work perfectly for me. Unfortunately the new insoles that come with their shoes, although very comfortable, are highly absorbent and take forever to dry. So long in fact that even without getting my feet wet a couple hours before camp and taking them out overnight, they still aren't dry in the morning.
    Anyone know of any insoles with similar shape that are made of closed cell/non absorbant/quick drying material that isn't too thick?
  14. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    I've just ordered a pair of these cheapies. I'll let you know what they are like when they arrive.

    The X-line ones that I currently use ones fit your quick drying and low volume requirements exactly but they have very little padding in the toe and heal area. I think that some shoes are built to work, in terms of comfort and padding, with the insoles they come with. This makes it difficult to find a replacement that does not remove some comfort whilst at the same time making the corrections you are searching for. Which Is where I am now.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  15. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    @craige The PRO 11 WELLBEING Full Length Orthotic Insoles have arrived today. I'd say they would be worth a try for £4.95 delivered. They are closed cell and have a heel and ball softer foam pad that is also closed cell. I recon that they would be very quick drying. Take out wipe down and leave out to dry, nothing held in the sponge.
    Nigelp and el manana like this.
  16. sherpa

    sherpa Summit Camper

    I also have osteoarthritis in both feet. I have found the best solution by far are hoka one one products - their super plush cushioning has meant i can walk many miles pain free; i have been using them for a few years now.

    However they are not perfect as i found earlier models not to have particularly robust uppers and their sole units were not particularly good in challenging conditions. But the situation is improving as hoka have introduced outdoor specific models recently which have been very well received.

    i buy mine from sports shoes whenever they are heavily discounted - but of course we have the membership discount available at all times.

    Seriously treat yourself to a pair of hoka’s - you will not regret it (they will make a much bigger improvement to your comfort than any footbed can...)
  17. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    Unfortunately they are way too narrow for me in the toe box otherwise I would have some already. I went to try some on at Up and Running in Harrogate but couldn't find any that fitted. I ended up buying Brooks Cascadia 14 wide fit. I like these but I need a bit more support in the arch and heel.
  18. Robert P

    Robert P Ultralighter

    If you are interested in somthing a bit different Svartz® Anatomic Absorber Footbeds are worth a look. Available from Altberg. I've used Superfeet, Sole and similar insoles, personally I prefer the slightly softer arch support with the Svartz, and the heel cup provides good cushioning. I suspect they won't suit everybody and are fairly high volume (and maybe a bit heavy) but I've liked the move away from the harder insoles in recent years.
    PhilHo likes this.
  19. sherpa

    sherpa Summit Camper

    wide feet then... might be an idea to check out the arkali as that seems to have a wider last than hoka’s running shoes
  20. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    The volume would be an issue I think. I saw them when I bought my Tethera boots.
  21. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    What I think I'm going to try in my new Brookes Cascadia 14s is to put the unused original insoles back into them and try those. When I got them I immediately put my X-line insoles into them maybe that was a mistake.
  22. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Problem with originals is they ruck up when wet, losing all form, especially on downhills.
    PhilHo likes this.
  23. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    Thanks for the tip. I tried the cheapies in my Cascadias the weekend before last on an 8 mile run/fast hike and my feet were slipping about in the shoe so I didn't have a stable platrorm. I think that there may be enough volume in the toe box for me to try some Superfeet Orange or as @sherpa suggested the Svartz® Anatomic Absorber Footbeds

Share This Page