46 forum posts
I'm huge fan of aftermarket insoles. Used to be that a lot of hiking boots didn't even come with insoles, so they were pretty brutal if you didn't put something in them. Later, they started putting insoles in, but they weren't very good. This was true of trail runners too. Now, some of the insoles that come in boots and running shoes are pretty good, but I still replace them. As soon as I get them home (or they show up at the door) I take out the original insoles and put some better aftermarket insoles in them. Sometimes I use insoles to fix a poor fitting boot or shoe. A thick insole, or even double insoles, can fix a loose fitting pair.
I got a real lesson, on the importance of cushioning, when I tried a pair of minimalist running shoes. I ended up getting Plantar Fasciitis. No fun at all. Really, really painful. Once you get it, it's hard to get rid of and is always hiding in the wings, ready to flair up at the least provocation, so preventing it, in the first place, is the way to go.
You don't need to spend a lot of money on insoles. You can find great insoles for under $25. Years ago, a podiatrist recommended Spenco insoles to me and they are very good. I believe they make runner and hiker models. I have mostly Dr. Scholl's in my many, many shoes and boots. Fairly cheap and easy to find at any Walmart or Walgreens, and most large grocery stores. I like the runner model pretty well. I bought a pair of Sofsole athlete's and they are really thick and cushy. I have them in some LaSportiva Ultra Raptors. If you take the insole out of Raptors, what you find underneath is hard plastic. Even with Dr. Scholl's, I found them a little hard on the feet. The Sofsoles fixed that.