Insoles for hiking: why you should add support to your hiking boots.

In hiking boots or shoes, the right supportive insole makes a huge difference.

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Last year I completed my first ever multi-day hike along the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Over stony beaches, through muddy ravines, across streams and through dense bush I walked for four days of happy solitude. 

On the evening of the second day, two young guys emerged from the dense bush close by camp. They’d been searching for an exit trail to get from the camp at the coast up to the road a few kilometers beyond. Their friend had suffered a knee injury the day before that had gradually worsened and he was in too much pain to continue. 

This unlucky hiker’s predicament was a stark reminder that the best experiences can quickly turn bad when you don’t take care of your body. One of the best ways to prevent injury and avoid fatigue on the trail is to wear good supportive insoles in your hiking boots or shoes.              

Hiking insoles help reduce strain and fight fatigue.

Climbing up and down mountains, or even just putting in a high number of steps in a single day, puts a lot of strain on your feet. The best hiking insoles will give plenty of arch support to help your feet manage the exertion you put them through. 

The SOLE Signature Shape offers unmatched support that’s clinically proven to reduce strain by up to a third. This allows you to hike for longer without fatigue, while also avoiding overuse injuries.

SOLE’s unique density mapped bases also flex with your foot’s natural motion while still giving you the support you need. This means your insoles aren’t stopping your feet from moving and working as nature intended. Instead, they’re helping your feet do the work you’re asking of them, naturally.             

Insoles for hiking boots protect your body beyond your feet.

The body is an intricate, connected system that starts at the feet. With the right inserts in your hiking boots you can promote efficient biomechanics to avoid pain and injury in your ankles, hips, knees and back.

SOLE’s Signature Shape combines a deep heel cup with superior arch support to promote neutral alignment in your body while you hike. This improves posture, prevents issues like overpronation and supination and prevents excess strain on your joints. 

SOLE footbeds are also heat or wear moldable, so your feet get individualized support for their unique contours and shape. This means you can hike with confidence that your feet are getting the premium care of customized support, without the cost of a prescription orthotic. 

Wearing insoles while hiking makes for a more comfortable, confident hike.

Once your SOLE footbeds have molded to your unique feet they work as a dynamic second skin, giving you the support you need while also distributing pressure evenly across your feet. This even distribution of pressure helps prevent hotspots and pain as you clock up the miles on longer hikes.

Having the support of SOLE insoles while you hike also helps improve your balance and stability. This makes a big difference to your confidence as you cross stony beaches, wobbly stream crossings and other uneven terrain.

Which insole is best for my hiking boots or shoes?

The best SOLE footbed for your hiking really depends on your preferences and type of footwear. For those who carry heavier weights on their back we recommend a footbed with some cushioning. 

The Active Thick and Performance Thick offer our most luxurious layer of cushioning and are usually recommended for hiking boots, or shoes with some wiggle room.

The Active Medium and Performance Medium offer a slimmer layer of cushioning that does a great job in most hiking boots and shoes. The Active Medium is our most commonly recommended footbed. If you're looking for something for day hikes in a light hiking boot or a trail runner, this might be your best bet.

The Active Thin and Performance Thin will be best suited to those wearing more snug fitting hiking boots or shoes. They don’t have any cushioning, just the bulk-free essential support of the SOLE signature shape. 

If you wear wide footwear not to worry, we make Wide hiking insoles too, specifically designed to fit seamlessly in hiking boots and shoes with a wider forefoot.