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Author Topic: Insoles and new boots  (Read 10190 times)
Posts: 3

« on: May 29, 2008, 01:30:13 pm »

I noticed some people talking about Alan's boots in his post about his trip that was in May (have you gone yet Alan??)

I'm currently on week 3 of breaking my boots in and have 2.5 more weeks to do so. They are hard leather Asolo Gore-Tex boots and fitted extremely well in the store: both up and down inclines kept my foot in place. The first week I wore them they were awesome and my feet are finally getting used to them. I always bring boots, sneakers and for camp/tent thin flip flops so I can change up depending on the weather. I have two concerns though:

1. I've read that you shouldn't keep the insoles of your boots as sold. What should you replace them with?

2. After about 1 week of walking in my boots, there is a bend in the front half that pushes down on the top of my toe. It makes sense since it's hard leather, so it bends a bit. It's not causing blisters and putting blister pads there would only make the pressure worse. I thought perhaps after wearing them the leather would soften and it would no longer hurt. It is a bit painful right after putting them on then it seems that the leather warms up and it's no longer painful. Will this eventually go away? Is there something I can do to soften the leather in that area faster? (I'm wearing them to work right now! So at 9 hours a day + 6 mile walks every other day).

Any advice would be great!

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Posts: 225

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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 10:22:27 pm »

The thin polystyrene insoles that come with most boots are fit only for the bin (or if you are keen to keep them, use them in a pair of slippers around the house, not for hiking).  What walkers need is a quality insole (or "footbed") and your outdoor shop probably carries a range from off-the-peg to custom fit with price tags to match.  At minimum, sorbothane will give much more cushioning and may be treated to combat smells and moisture.  Some people swear by "Superfeet" which are rigid but deeply sculptured to combat "pronating" (excessive flattening of the feet) and cost twice as much.  Custom fit footbeds are vacuum-moulded to your feet individually, and as you would expect their price reflects it.

I'd suggest starting with a pair of sorbothane insoles (you may need to trim these to fit: ordinary scissors work fine) and going custom only if you still have a problem.

Be aware also of the importance of the right socks, and (if your feet are soft) drying them out a bit before setting off, either with surgical spirit (rubbing alcohol on your side of the pond) or a soak in water to which you add a crystal or two of potassium permanganate (just enough to make it pale pink).  This will prevent problems while hiking. 

See also http://rucsacs.com/nov_boots.php for general advice.  In the photograph there, the red insoles are sorbothane, the green/grey ones are Superfeet, both worked well in the battered fabric boots (all mine). 

Good luck with your preparations.  Don't your work colleagues look at you strangely in your hiking boots? Smiley


Jacquetta Megarry, publisher of Rucksack Readers and forum moderator
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