Insole analysis paralysis!
March 30, 2015 12:57 PM   Subscribe

When I go hiking, the arches of my feet get pretty tired about four or five miles in. How do I select the right insoles to stop this from happening?

I bought two pairs of insoles to try (these Sole ones, and these Superfeet). I've tried them out in my hiking boots with a walk around the block, but I'm not sure how they're supposed to feel when they're right. The plan is to return one set or the other; I'm also willing to return both and try a totally different pair.

There's no lingering tendinitis-y feeling or soreness in my feet the next day. They just get tired and somewhat painful during the hike, like the connective tissue in the arches has hit its limit. The hikes I've been going on are typically around six miles, once a week. I walk a couple miles a day otherwise with no issues. I've had this arch-tiredness problem most of my life and in all kinds of shoes if I go on longer walks than that.
posted by Blue Jello Elf to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This exact same thing happened to me. After a hike it would feel like someone was pounding the bottom of my arches with a hammer. I went to a Walking Company store in a mall where they scan your feet and select proper insoles for you. After they made a world of difference I eventually bought the same insoles for all my shoes.

I'm sure the best thing to do would be to go to a podiatrist, but this seems to be working for me.
posted by bondcliff at 1:06 PM on March 30, 2015

Most good hiking boots have removable insoles. Sounds to me like you need arch supports, start low then add a higher one until you get into your comfort zone. A whole liner raises your whole foot bed, takes up room in your shoe too. Best to your feet, and the rest of you.
posted by Oyéah at 1:43 PM on March 30, 2015

The insoles you linked - at least the Superfeet one - is a high volume one. Do you have high arches? If not, those are likely to be uncomfortable I'd guess. Did you remove the original one from your shoe or boot? Are you walking in the same shoes you hike in? You could take both insoles and your boots in to REI and talk to someone about what's going on - their shoe people are often very knowledgeable and can help you find the right fit. Did you do the heat in oven and mold to fit your foot bit?

Given your last sentence about arch tiredness a podiatrist or a scan does sound like a good idea.
posted by leslies at 2:07 PM on March 30, 2015

My all-time favorite insoles are these Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx inserts. They are amazing! They last twice as long as superfeet before they start to bottom out, and they provide way better support. I have pretty flat feet and I'm a moderate pronator, for what that's worth. I swear by these - they even solved my plantar fasciitis problems.
posted by dialetheia at 2:35 PM on March 30, 2015

Response by poster: Just to answer a couple of questions, I have a highish arch, and I did pull out the insoles that came with the boots before trying these new ones (well, technically, I thought they were glued in at first, so I didn't, and then I realized they were not glued in and felt silly).
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 2:58 PM on March 30, 2015

Response by poster: I ended up keeping the superfeet, and went for a 10-mile hike this weekend. My feet felt much better at the end of 10 miles than they had at the end of 6 miles with the default insoles.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:49 PM on April 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

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