Hiking Boot Insoles

If you hike regularly, you may have taken the step to buy boots made just for hiking, but not all hiking boots are the same, and they come in a range of price points. However, even expensive hiking boots might not give you the support you need to have good body mechanics when hiking and avoid chronic pain or injury. Hiking boot insoles can be part of the solution to this common issue.

Do you need insoles for hiking?

Any hiking boots you buy will come with insoles from the factory, but if they are just a thin layer of fabric or are mostly flat and don’t have a heel cup, they likely won’t provide much support. Support is important so that you have a stable and secure step when you are hiking over uneven ground. Ill-fitting boots can cause other issues such as blisters, bunions, and hammer toes. You can address many of these problems by adding after-factory insoles to your hiking boots that have alignment technology, arch support, and help distribute pressure.

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What are the best insoles for hiking boots?

We know that some insoles can affect how we walk and can help to prevent injury 1, even on even terrain. But not all insoles provide the same benefits. Hiking is an activity that has a high incidence of injury partially due to the uneven terrain and potential for fatigue. An insole that helps to keep your ankle in a neutral position as you navigate over changing terrain, while simultaneously providing arch support and distributing downward pressure will provide some of the basic conditions for injury prevention by allowing your feet to operate without misalignment or pressure adding to the problem. Look for insoles with alignment technology, some cushion, arch support, and pressure distribution, not just added cushion.

For Boots We Recommend:

The M-Series offers the greatest degree of cushion and arch support, can help redistribute pressure, and allow for better overall alignment. It is ideal for daily wear in regular volume shoes such as walking shoes, athletic trainers, and work boots. The M-Series incorporates Protalus's patented alignment technology to provide the stability and comfort you need.

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Can you put insoles on top of existing insoles?

Yes, there are insoles that are made to fit over existing insoles but you must be sure they are made with this in mind. Adding a full-length insole that was meant to replace a factory insole over the top of a factory insole will likely cause issues with fit and function. Instead, look for an insole that is specifically made to fit over factory insoles, such as the Protalus M-75.

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How long do hiking boot insoles last?

This is dependent on a number of factors such as the frequency of use, the way the insoles are manufactured, and how much heat and pressure they sustain during hiking. If the insole manufacturer states that the insoles will last for three months, that typically refers to regular, daily use. If you only hike once in a while they will likely last much longer. The best way to gauge their need for replacement is not to measure days on the calendar but to look for changes in the insole such as compressed padding or changes in insole shape. For more information about when to change Protalus insoles, read the article found here.

1. Bonanno, D., Landorf, K., Munteanu, S., Murley, G., & Menz, H. (2017, January 01). Effectiveness of foot orthoses and shock-absorbing insoles for the prevention of injury: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Retrieved January 28, 2021, from https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/51/2/86.short

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