It’s not always possible to get perfect-fitting shoes for hiking and running. However, choosing the right pair of insoles helps promote proper foot movement, can help relieve discomfort, and lets you enjoy your time on the trail even more. Here are some of the top hiking and running insoles in 2021 that’ll help keep your feet happy no matter where you are.
Made with a dual-layer of gel cushioning, the Envelop Gel Insoles provide the right amount of cushioning and support where needed. Not to mention that regardless of your shoe type, they can be easily trimmed to fit.
The Superfeet Trailblazers are a great choice for adding extra comfort to your hiking boots. They’re designed with a carbon fiber stabilizer and dual comfort foam to reduce fatigue and increase stability while on rough terrain.
Too much shock absorption can actually make trail running and hiking more difficult. These Stasole Insoles have just the right combination of shock-absorbing gel and high-rebound foam to reduce fatigue while keeping you comfortable on the trail.
Hiking is a very common leisure activity, and as any long-distance walker knows, it can be hard on your feet. Wearing your hiking boots for too long, especially on uneven terrain, can result in you having foot aches, blisters, or hotspots which can be extremely uncomfortable and painful, and can ruin your entire hiking experience.
So it follows that comfortable footwear is a necessity to make the hiking experience as enjoyable as it should be.
What Are Hiking Insoles?
Hiking Insoles are materials that fit inside your hiking shoes and provide stability and support for the arches of your feet. Hiking Insoles function like the shock-absorber in a vehicle, they absorb the shock that comes from walking and reduce the impact on your feet.
Hiking Insoles are subtle. They fit on the inside of your shoe without altering it in any way. So it increases support without compromising aesthetics.
Why Should I Get Hiking Insoles?
Long-distance walking, for those that engage in it, is supposed to be a pleasurable experience. And having on the correct footwear is necessary for an optimal experience.
With Hiking Insoles, due to the extra comfort and support it provides, the risk of injury to your feet, such as foot aches, blisters, and hotspots, is minimized. And with the extra stability it offers, the risk of over-pronation is reduced as it helps you maintain a natural walking posture even when moving over uneven terrain.
Also, for people with footwear fit problems, such as heel slippage, foot elongation, and low or collapsed arches, insoles may help.
What Factors Should I Consider Before Getting Hiking Insoles?
Deciding what insole works best for every scenario can be a tricky prospect. And with so many of those on the market, it is important that you know what features to look out for, those characteristics that make one insole better for you than the others.
Factors such as shock absorption, the depth of the heel cups, the fitting, and durability are important, and determine how comfortable and stable your shoes are. Earlier, we gave you a list of the best Hiking Insoles on the market, now, we will guide you on making the right choice for you.
Comfort Insoles vs Sport Insoles
Hiking insoles fall into two categories: comfort insoles and sports insoles.
The comfort insoles are typically made of foam or gel, and are very comfortable and have lower profiles. They are appropriate for less strenuous activities.
If what you want is more support and stability under more strenuous conditions, sport or support insoles are better for you. These are made from more rigid materials and offer better stability.
They are suited to feet that need more structural support than cushioning. And as such, are more appropriate for hikers that travel across more challenging terrains for prolonged periods.
Supportive insoles are best for people with the following conditions:
Structural misalignment that can cause foot pain, and discomfort in the ankles, knees, hip, back, neck or head.
Those who have Plantar fasciitis.
Supination or over-pronation as the extra support reduces the tendency for the feet to either supinate or overpronate when walking or running.
The ability to cushion impact one of the most important properties of an insole. Many insoles have shock absorption technology that converts impacts into kinetic energy and minimizes discomfort or pain on impact.
The insoles should be able to fit inside your shoes and leave enough space for your foot. You should look for appropriately sized insoles. Some insoles can be trimmed to get a better fit.
Your choice for an insole profile should depend on the shape of your arches and the support you’re after.
Low Profile insoles are for feet that require only little support. So if you have very low arches, this is the best option for you.
Medium profile insoles are ideal for most foot types, while high profile insoles are best for feet that need extra arch and heel support, or those that have a tendency to overpronate.
Insoles come in different volumes, as so, they take up different amounts of space inside your footwear. For most insoles, the volume is correlated to the arch shape that the insole is designed to fit. Insoles can be high volume, low volume or medium volume.
High volume insoles are best suited for high volume shoes such as hiking boots, ski boots, and running shoes. Typically, they work best with high arches.
Medium volume insoles are suited to average volume shoes like casual shoes and some athletic shoes. They are more versatile where arch profiles are concerned.
While low volume insoles work better for low volume shoes and function optimally for people with very low arches.
Insoles can be made with many different materials - Air, Foam, and Gel insoles are the most common and each of these having different characteristics and advantages.
Foam insoles are made from memory foam that deform and take the shape of your feet. These are very comfortable, light and inexpensive but not as durable as the air or gel options and have poor breathability.
Air insoles contain pressurized air bubbles trapped in foam. It is very comfortable, breathable, and resists compression better than foam insoles. They are the most expensive of the 3 options.
Gel insoles contain liquid gel bubbles within the foam and are very resistant to compression. Although they are a comfortable option, they are heavy and so, are great if you’re already wearing heavy shoes.
How Much Do Hiking Insoles Cost?
You can purchase a hiking insole for as little as $11, or as much as $50 depending on the material, thickness, and other factors.
Hiking Insole FAQs
Do I Need Insoles For Hiking?
No, you do not. But it is advisable that you purchase one especially if you walk frequently especially over rugged terrains.
How long can insoles last?
This depends on the build material. Typically, with regular use, you can expect one to last for about 12 months. You should periodically remove and inspect your insoles for signs of deterioration to know when they need replacement.
How do I clean my insoles?
You can take it out and air it to rid it of the trapped moisture. You can also wash your insoles by hand with a mild detergent and air dry before re-inserting.
Olivia has seen every up and down that a runner can, and knows how important the right training and the right equipment can be. She loves to share the outdoors with her golden retriever, Rocky, traveling through trails both on and off the beaten path. Olivia will often be providing her reviews from where ever she is at the time: the track, the road, or the woods.