Are insoles, those little shoe inserts designed for comfort and support, really necessary for hiking and backpackers?
You’ve heard some swear by insoles, while others say they can do without them. It’s a debate that’s raged on for years among outdoor enthusiasts.
In this post, we’re going to explore whether insoles are essential companions on your journey.
Insoles act like hidden superheroes for your feet in hiking gear. Though not as flashy as a tent or GPS watch, they play a crucial role. Let’s take a closer look:
It’s crucial to note that not all insoles are the same. They come in various types, crafted for specific needs and foot shapes. In this guide, we’re focusing on “support,” also known as “sport,” insoles.
Support insoles are crafted from a firmer material, providing structural support and stability. Unlike the softer, cushiony insoles commonly found in supermarkets.
Support insoles are typically divided by the thickness of their footbed into three main types:
In the end, for most, we suggest choosing medium-volume or low-volume insoles. Consider high-volume insoles if you have prior experience and prefer hiking boots.
Personally, we lean towards medium-volume insoles, especially when rocking trail runners. If you’re still uncertain, click here to discover how to determine your arch height.
Now that you have an idea of which type of insole to go for, there are features to consider.
Hikers, backpackers, and those with shin splints often need insoles for flexible support and shock absorption. Opt for cushioned or semi-rigid arch supports with gel padding at the heel and forefoot. Other features to consider include:
Now that you have a pair, taking care of your insoles is essential to ensure they provide the support and comfort you need throughout your adventures. Here are some maintenance tips:
Insoles, often overlooked yet essential, quietly enhance the comfort and well-being of hikers. They are your secret weapon to customize those factory-made hiking shoes for a better fit.
Understanding the variety of insoles, each designed for specific needs, is vital for hikers and backpackers looking for adaptable support and shock absorption – it’s the key to enhancing your walking experience for many miles.
We trust that our guidance has brought you closer to finding your ideal pair. Happy hiking!
Insole volume refers to the amount of space an insole occupies inside your footwear. This measurement is crucial for achieving a proper fit, as there is often a correlation between insole volume and the arch shape they are designed to accommodate. For example, Sole Insole footbeds come in different volumes with varying cushioning layer thicknesses. High Volume insoles have a 3.2mm cushioning layer, Medium Volume insoles feature a 1.6mm cushioning layer, and Low Volume insoles have a cushioning layer of under 1mm. Understanding insole volume is key to selecting the right fit for your shoes, ensuring optimal comfort and support tailored to your foot’s needs.
he best material for hiking insoles varies by individual needs, but commonly used materials include EVA foam, memory foam, cork, and Merino wool. The ideal choice depends on your foot shape and the type of support and cushioning you require.