Hiking Insoles – Cushion Your Feet

Your Hiking Insoles can make a big difference, here is why;

Just like you need the right boots and socks, you also need the correct Hiking Insoles.

Do You Have “Sole”?

Insoles are the part of the boot that your foot rests on.  It provides extra cushioning, above and beyond what your socks give.  A good insole will provide extra shock absorption and support at the heel, ball and arch of the foot.  That extra cushion reduces the stress and force on the rest of your body.

When purchasing a new pair of hiking boots, you should pay attention to the type of insole that comes with it.  Make sure that it can be taken out.  This way you can take care of them and clean them in between hikes.

Does Your “Sole” Need To Go To Confession?

Most boots today have insoles that will provide adequate cushioning, but after months or miles of use, they may not function as designed.  You may notice that your feet, legs or frame are aching a bit more after hiking than when you first purchased your boots.  If this is the case, it could be your insole breaking down.  An easy solution is to replace the insole.

Wicking capabilities have been added to some newer hiking insoles.  This feature helps to pull the moisture away from your feet.  Moisture around your feet can hasten blister development.

Varieties of Hiking Insoles (The “Sole”ful truth):

There are a variety of hiking insoles available today. Let’s review some:

  • Customized Fit – These are designed to “fit your foot”.  They have a substance that will conform or change shape to meet your foot.  In order for the hiking insole to change shape, you must soak them in hot water so that they can be flexible.  These can be great if you have an “odd” shaped foot.
  • Flat – These are the off-the-shelf boot insole replacements.  These will provide good shock absorption and in some cases are better than what was inside the hiking boot when you bought them.
  • 3/4 Length – Just like the name implies, these are not a full length insole.  They are designed to provide extra support at the heel and arch areas.  The original insole is left inside the boot.  (This can be a problem if your foot is too cramped inside your boot.  If this is the case, a full insole replacement is going to be a better option.  If your foot cannot move at all inside your boot, you will develop more blisters.)
  • Gel Filled Full Cushion Insole Replacement –These are produced to replace your boot insole and give you a lot of cushioned support.  Extra cushioning is provided at the front and heel locations. Shock absorption is great, as well.
  • Heel Cups – Similar to the ¾ length, these are not supposed to replace your insole.  They are designed for extra support at your heel.  (The same warning about blisters holds true as with the ¾ length hiking insole).

Hiking Insole Tip:

Insole Cleaning:  Take your insoles out and wash them in a mild detergent, rinse thoroughly.  Make sure to get all of the detergent out.  Set them out and make sure they dry completely.

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