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Decent insoles

Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by Veracocha, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. Veracocha

    Veracocha Member

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    No matter what boots I use I suffer with sore heels and Achilles tendon. Never gave insoles a second thought until I realised my brogue shoes never bothered me this way and they came with a very well cushioned insert. Can anyone recommend some cushioned insoles for my new boots? The search function isn't working for me atm.
     
  2. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    There are several types of cushioning inserts.
    Personally, during the cold season, my feet love insoles made from sheepskin.
    In the warmer season I use a type they call ´Gel insoles’
    Several brands.
    Some are quite thick, which can be a problem if the shoe/boot is quite low in the foot area.
    I always take the shoes or boots I intend to put them in with me and try.

    There is also a thinnish, cork based insole. Those are excellent ( for me) in shoes type trainers.

    Aching Achilles’ tendon usually indicate that the heel of the shoe or boot is of a different height from your normal footwear.
    Too low, or too high.

    Shoe shops have the insoles, but not all stock a good variety.
    Scholl is one manufacturer.
    Good luck!
     
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  3. Paulm

    Paulm Full Member

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    Superfeet insoles are expensive but work very well with keeping your feet aligned and supported.
     
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  4. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    You have not given much information about your boots or the type of walking you do but here goes.

    New insoles might solve the problem but feet and ankles are complicated things and there are lots of variables (boots fit the ankle differently from normal shoes, the type if walking is likely to be different, are the boots a good fit and suitable for the type of walking you are doing etc. etc.) and it is a bit simplistic to decide that the cushioned insole in a pair of brogues (which, especially if they are leather soled will have very little other cushioning) and a pair of walking boots which will have much thicker (and possibly much stiffer) sole with more inbuilt cushioning.

    If you wear your brogues 5 days a week and your boots once every few months for a long walk then your feet and other joints may struggle to adjust.

    By all means experiment with different insoles but some of them are expensive and IMHO, You would be better off starting out by working out whether the boots you have been using are the correct fit and are suitable fo your feet and the type of walking you are doing.

    If you are in Brum then Snow & Rock always used to have knowledgable staff who care about what they do and ( (esp if you avoid the busy times) are very happy to take the time and effort to make sure boots fit. They also sell insoles and volume adjusters. Take your existing boots along, explain the problem and see what they have to say - IME they give good advice and are not just trying to flog stuff to you.

    https://www.snowandrock.com/about-us/expert-boot-fitting-service.html

    As I said earlier, a new insole might solve your problems but hands on expert advice is always better than the opinions of random folks on the internet.

    Good luck and hope there us a cheap and easy solution to your problem.

    Random bloke from internet! :)
     
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  5. Veracocha

    Veracocha Member

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    Thanks all. I guess taking the boots in-store would be a good idea. My current boots (lowa renegade) are about to be tried for the first time this-morning with a 5-mile dog walk around Clent. Previous boots are Merrell, Danner & possibly the most comfortable of all a cheap pair from Decathlon (quechea?). I have very skinny feet and I often feel the boot is only held on by the laces around my shin with the boot "hanging" if you know what I mean. I think insoles would take up some of the slack and provide a better fit and cushion against the hard floor of the boot. I need to get some miles in on these as I intend to go up Place Fell in the lakes in two weeks time and I don't want that to be spoiled by sore feet. Money no object, I'll try some insoles and report back.

    Thanks again everyone for the help.
     
  6. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    It sounds like volume adjusters rather than insoles is what you need - S&R can help with those.

    If the root cause of your problems is “non-standard” feet and money is no object then while you are up North, you could do worse than take a detour to Altberg and get your feet measured for their custom boot fitting/making service.

    https://www.altberg.co.uk/fitting/

    I went to a wedding reception at the foot of the Clent Hills last weekend - a younger, fitter version of me used to run round the orienteering course there! :)
     
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  7. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    PS at around £1500, the cost of Altberg’s custom made boots might put a dent in even a “money no object” budget but boots in their off the peg range do come in five width fittings inc extra narrow.

    https://www.altberg.co.uk/product/the-tethera-mens-boot-mto/
     
  8. Veracocha

    Veracocha Member

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    For £1500 I'll hire a litter and 4 blokes to carry me up the hill. I just returned from my walk and as expected, no change with the Lowa's. I did notice more feedback at the heel with these boots, very little cushioning at all. Foot still loose in the boot so a decent insole will be my starting point.
     
  9. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    You write that your feet have loads of space in the boots.
    What about trying to put on several socks?
     
  10. Hodge

    Hodge Tenderfoot

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    I have used Sorbethane inserts in my mountaineering boots in yesteryear to good effect. Might be an option for you. I used to run over clent with trainers with sorbethane insoles!
     
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  11. Veracocha

    Veracocha Member

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    Possibility, I think insoles with some good cushioning will sort it so will give it some thought. Cheers.
     
  12. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Putting several socks on is a cheap way to determine if the ‘thick insole’ method will work.

    The sole on your boots, is it very hard?
     
  13. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    I use Scholl Orthosoles to lift my arches a bit. They’re good in that they breathe, all the gel ones make my feet sweat badly. It’s well worth taking that into account IMO.
     
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  14. Veracocha

    Veracocha Member

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    I wouldn't say hard, it's "gum" like rather than the hard Vibram that I have on others. The insoles of the boot though are quite hard though as standard.
     
  15. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I have had 3 Vibram soles ( o4iginal plus 2 resolings) on my Redwing Irish Setter boots ( bought -79)

    I find them hard. Hence my own experiments with soft insoles.
    For me, the best summer combo was a cork backed insole, cotton or silk inner sock, then a thick wool sock.
    For winter a sheepskin insole, thin wool inner sock, then a thick outer sock.

    I had to quit using the Redwings 2 years ago, too heavy for by buggered knee. Now I use plastic shoes aka trainers.
     
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  16. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Volume adjusters as said upthread. Wedges that lift your heel up into the heel cup more and in the process allows more lace adjustment.

    I have narrow heel but average insole. This means laces need to be tied tight and not all footwear work because they don't tighten enough.

    I'm wary of just lifting the whole foot up as this does affect stability more than people realise. My best advice is to look for boot brands that might fit you better. For example, Italian brand or Italian made boots tend to be narrower and less volume. I used to fit scarpa but they changed their last 15 years ago. Zamberlan used to work with my narrow / low volume foot.

    Another idea is to strengthen your feet.

    That's not a daft idea btw because most footwear locks your feet into rigid soles and your foot can't flex naturally. It really does weaken your foot.

    Back in the day I got into backpacking and challenge walking. I started to use trail or fell shoes. I started off with a thicker sole version with a 6mm+ lift from forefoot to heel (less than in shoes and boots) then eventually went for thinner soles and less lift as my foot became stronger.

    I remember the early days of that process. My feet ached in the arch really bad after a 24 mile walk. I also walked barefoot about the house more too.

    Anyway, my arches lifted, my foot size dropped at least a half size and I tended to walk more naturally with my heel off the ground more. I noticed my balance improved, I became fast and agile. But even better was fewer injuries. I used to turn and sprain my ankles a lot. Plus the improved walking posture helped my back issues too. It's all connected afterall.

    Anyway, if the above doesn't help then altberg have the stock size range to fit you better. If that doesn't work then I suggest looking at super feet but above that SIDAS. SIDAS are a kendal based gait specialist clinic. They also make foot beds like superfeet but better. Also consider a boot specialist. There are people who know how to modify a leather boot to fit better using shaped metal bars to break boots into fitting you.

    Hope this gives you ideas. All based on my experience.
     
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  17. Veracocha

    Veracocha Member

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    Tonight I did a five mile walk with Sorbothane Double Strike insoles in my boots; a huge difference. Now my boots seems snug against my feet and the heel strike was very soft, no more resonance coming back from the strike. Tomorrow morning will be the true test, that's when the problem of sore heel manifests itself mostly.
     
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  18. Billy-o

    Billy-o Settler

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    When any of my many pairs of Converse trainers get to the point of near no return, I put a Birkenstock insole in. Works great ... in fact makes them much better than new :)
     
  19. Veracocha

    Veracocha Member

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    Simply brilliant result. Zero pain in the soles or achilles. Went out for three hours this-morning and delighted with these boots/insoles. Thanks to everyone who offered advice. Happy days.
     
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