Hiking is hard on feet. As a hiker, you walk for many miles at a time, sometimes on rocky terrain, and your feet endure a lot of abuse. Even with a great pair of hiking boots that fit properly, you can find yourself experiencing pain and fatigue that can ruin your favorite activity.
Inserting the right pair of hiking insoles inside your hiking shoes can make a world of difference in the support, stability, and comfort you feel when hiking. Your feet will feel amazing and you will be able to comfortably hike all day long without pain. At the end of your hikes, your feet won’t be sore and achy.
However, using the wrong insoles will only exacerbate the pain and fatigue. It is, therefore, extremely important to ensure you get the right insoles for your feet and walking style. By choosing from the top rated hiking insoles reviewed below and choosing with the factors outlined in our guide in mind, you are guaranteed to end up with the best insoles for hiking that will offer the support and comfort you need on the trails. To begin with, here’s a rundown of the top 10 hiking insoles.
If you've tried every insole available and just can't find the right one, it might be time to talk to a doctor about custom orthotics. Although they're expensive, these specialty insoles can be game-changers because they're custom-built to suit your feet, and can usually be trimmed to fit inside your hiking boots.
Not every insole is meant for correcting a foot condition. You can also buy soft insoles made of gel or foam to provide extra cushioning, or insoles made of felt, wool, and insulating foam to help keep your feet warm in the winter. There are even battery-powered insoles to warm your feet.
Depending on which insoles you use, you might need to shop for boots with more volume in the toebox and midfoot area. Also, make sure the boots you're shopping for are manufactured with removable insoles. A few models may have the insole stitched or glued into place.
How To Choose Insoles For Hiking – Buying Guide
Just as there are different types of feet, there are different types of insoles on the market. While choosing top rated hiking insoles is a step in the direction, you will still want to pay attention to some details in order to ensure that the pair of inserts you choose will fit inside your hiking boots or shoes, suit your unique foot shape and stride, suit the kind of terrain you will be walking on and offer the support and comfort you need on the trail. Here are the factors to consider in order to determine what hiking inserts will serve you well:
The best type of insoles for hiking are support insoles made of a rigid material, not the soft, thickly cushioned types. Hard, supportive insoles offer the structural support and stability you need when walking for many miles on rough terrain. Even without thick cushioning, they still manage to be comfortable thanks to the increased stability.
If you’ve been experiencing pain and discomfort in the feet, ankles, legs, back or even the head while hiking, you need orthotic insoles, as they help with plantar fasciitis and other aches and pains.
Support insoles are further classified according to their profile. A high profile insole suits people with flat feet. If your arches are good, low profile insoles will fit them best. Medium profile insoles suit most foot types.
The right type of insoles will also depend on how you walk. If you tend to pronate, your foot expands as you walk for natural shock absorption. You need insoles that provide support and rigid support insoles fit the bill.
With supination, your feet roll outwards providing support for the body naturally. What you need from insoles is shock absorption and cushioned insoles will mold to your feet, provide the custom cushioning your need and help reduce foot fatigue
Volume refers to how much space the insoles will take up inside your hiking boots or inserts. High volume insoles are the best hiking boot insoles. They occupy a lot of space but hiking boots have the room to accommodate them.
You can also remove the existing insole to create room for the new pair of inserts. Medium volume insoles also fit in some hiking shoes and are the best option if your hiking shoes came with fixed insoles.
The volume will also tell you what arch shape the insoles will suit best. High volume insoles work best for those with high arches, medium volume suits many arch profiles while low volume fit low arches best.
Hiking insoles endure a lot of beating and they should be sturdy enough to withstand the pressure and abuse without losing their shape or breaking down. Durable hiking insoles are made of rugged materials such as thick leather, athletic-grade foam or resilient gel that won’t flatten out quickly when you’re walking for extended durations over rough terrain.
Some manufacturers provide a lifespan for their insoles. Typically, the lifespan for insoles is 12 months or 300-500 miles. It can also be longer if you only wear them occasionally and take good care of your pair. To ensure you invest in long-lasting inserts suitable for hiking, check insoles for hiking reviews by hikers and backpackers and choose top rated hiking insoles for their ability to hold up.
When hiking, the shape of your feet changes with every step you take. The insoles should be flexible so they can adapt to the movement of your feet and provide the support, shock absorption, and comfort you need no matter what you’re stepping on. Flexible soles will also allow you freedom of movement on the trails. Flexible memory foam or gel shoe inserts that conform to your feet are the ultimate in flexibility.
Support is the most important quality insoles for hiking should have. Where you need support most and the level of support you need will depend on the shape of your arches and how you move your feet when hiking. Determine whether you need support in the front, heel or arch and choose insoles that offer support in these areas.
Rigid insoles are the most supportive when hiking with a heavy backpack on your back. Supportive insoles are especially important if you have high arches, flat feet or tend to pronate.
Hiking insoles have to fit well to offer the support and comfort you need. The heel should be cupped and supported nicely in the insole. They should cover your feet from heel to toe, stay securely in place without shifting around, and feel comfortable throughout the hike.
Make sure you order the right shoe size, foot length, width, arch length, and volume. If your insoles are oversize, you will need to trim them down so they are the right fit for your feet and shoes.
The insoles should also fit well inside your hiking shoes or boots. High and medium volume insoles are ideal for hiking. You might find that you have to remove the existing insole in order for the new insoles to fit well.
Insoles that manage to strike the right balance between support and cushioning (such as the Superfeet Green) are the most versatile and they suit different types of shoes, gaits, arch shapes and activities.
The high level of support, comfort, and durability the best hiking insoles offer make them great insoles for other activities such as running, jogging and skiing. If you engage in these activities or are on your feet for hours at work, choose insoles that are easy to slip in and out of shoes and that suit other activities and shoe types.
Comfort and support are the point of hiking inserts. Support insoles are ideal for hiking but cushioning is not a priority with them. Their comfort comes from the stability they offer. Some of them also have a layer of cushioning that absorb shocks from impacts and helps keep the feet comfortable.
Hiking is a strenuous activity and your feet will definitely get sweaty. The insoles should be able to let perspiration escape. Insoles made from leather and cork are moisture-wicking. They should also be breathable to prevent heat build-up. Look for perforations or a porous top layer. Anti-microbial and moisture-wicking properties also essential to keep bad odor at bay.
Hiking insoles should be made using tough and high-quality materials that can withstand the rigors of hiking. Good materials for hiking and backpacking insoles include leather, cork, form and tough gel. Leather is tough and moisture-wicking. Cork is lightweight, soft and moisture-wicking yet sturdy, supportive and durable. Foam is rigid and long-lasting yet flexible and molds to the shape of your feet and provide cushioning, shock absorption, support, and comfort.
Q: Why Do My Hiking Boots Need Insoles?
Your hiking boots probably came with factory insoles already inserted but the insoles may not be supportive enough. If your hiking boots fit great but you’re still experiencing soreness, pain, discomfort, and fatigue while hiking, your hiking boots probably need good insoles for hiking.
A good pair of insoles will improve the way your shoes fit, offer the support and cushioning that your hiking boots are missing and save you from having to spend money on a new pair of hiking boots.
If your feet initially felt amazing in your boots both during and after hikes but you’re now experiencing soreness and other issues, this is a sign that the insoles are worn down and you need a pair of replacement insoles for hiking boots.
Q: When Is the Time to Change Hiking Boots Insoles?
If after walking many miles with your hiking boots you notice that your feet now get sore, tired and painful during and after a long hike, this is a sign that your hiking boots insoles are worn down and it is time to replace the factory insoles with a good pair of replacement insoles for hiking boots.
If you already replaced the original insoles your boot insoles came with, replacement insoles usually have a lifespan of about 300-500 miles or 12 months. They can last longer if you only go on hikes occasionally.
Your feet will let you when it is time to change them. When the insoles stop being as supportive, stabilizing and cushioning as they used to be when they were brand new, it is time to switch them out.
Q: How to Know What Type I Need?
The type of hiking insoles that will serve you best on the trail will depend on the kind of arch shape your feet have and also on whether your feet tend to pronate or supinate as you hike. You might also prefer more cushioning over hard support or vice versa.
Globo Surf Overview
Insoles play a huge role in the way hiking shoes feel and perform. It is worth it taking the time to choose the right insoles for hiking. The best hiking insoles are supportive, have a layer of cushioning to reduce impacts and are built to withstand the constant pressure they are subjected to when hiking. The right insoles for you will depend on your arch shape and walking style.
One of the above best hiking insoles reviewed above will give you the support, stability, and comfort you need. Go through our insoles for hiking reviews and choose with the factors outlined in the buying guide in mind and you will end up with the best insoles for hiking that will suit your feet shape and the way you move your feet when hiking. You will be able to get the most out of your hikes and won’t find yourself suffering at the end of a long day on the trails