Hiking can be a lot of fun and many people enjoy it, but choosing the right footwear is very important. Unlike regular walking around the city, hikes often cover uneven and rough terrain.
The hiking shoes needed for this job need to be tough, durable, supportive, and comfortable. In fact, hiking boots and shoes really do need to tick a lot of boxes!
But what about insoles? Should you bother wearing insoles with your hiking shoes?
Taking Care of Your Weary Feet
The truth is that there are two kinds of insoles: those for comfort and those for support. There is going to be some level of crossover between the two, but in general, insoles are made for these two purposes.
When it comes to hiking, the chances are that you’re going to be covering a lot of miles and a lot of uneven and potentially rocky terrain. You need good hiking shoes, but you also need them to be comfortable on your feet.
Even the best hiking shoes can become uncomfortable after 50 odd miles of walking over rough terrain, and insoles can really help under these circumstances.
Support or Comfort?
Supportive insoles are great, and necessary, when you have back or walking problems. Maybe you pronate when you walk and you need supportive insoles to help keep your feet stable. Maybe those back problems are due to the way you walk and you need some extra support under your heels to help with any discomfort in your back and hips. In this scenario, supportive insoles are a great help and are best prescribed and fitted by a qualified podiatrist.
Insoles made specifically for comfort are usually made from very soft materials, such as memory foam. These types of insoles are intended to cushion the foot, provide extra comfort, and give hiking shoes or boots a nice snug fit. A hike with comfortable insoles like this can be a lot more comfortable.
What If You Have No Insoles?
Some hiking shoes come with insoles, but some don’t. Some people even take the insoles out. The problem is that this can be very uncomfortable when you’re walking a long way. In fact, hiking shoes without insoles may even be less durable because the inner seams and stitching is exposed. This can even cause blisters.
Choosing the Right Insoles for Hiking
Your hiking shoes may already have insoles, but if your feet are hurting or sore on a regular basis when wearing them, it’s time to look for some new insoles. It may also be time to get some new insoles if the ones you currently have in your hiking shoes are worn or just not providing the comfort you need on hikes.
Rigid insoles often need to be broken in before they can be comfortable, but after this, they may provide all the support you need. It’s also wise to see a podiatrist if you suffer from foot injuries or other problems that affect your hiking.
In these cases, the podiatrist may recommend a certain type of insole or have some specifically molded for your feet.
Insoles are often an essential part of hiking because they can support the feet and also provide comfort. Finding the right insole sometimes involves seeing a specialist, but at the very least one should always be wearing comfortable insoles in hiking shoes.