After a long hike and your feet are killing you, inevitably, you’re dealing with soreness and blisters later on.What if a simple upgrade to your hiking insoles could make those concerns a thing of the past? Hiking insoles are one of the easiest ways to increase the comfort of your hikes practically instantly.
I’m going to cover five of what I consider to be the best insoles out there for hiking. The main criteria for these insoles will be their price, comfort, stability, and durability. Whether you’re a more casual hiker or a seasoned one, there is a pair of insoles that will fit your needs!
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The best best of the best: The Superfeet Trailblazer
The Superfeet Trailblazer has to be the first choice if your budget is high enough. As a result, it’s hard to beat an insole that is specifically designed for hiking, with plenty of cushion as well. The other advantage of this one over a standard insole that might have come with your boot is the moisture-wicking it offers.
It’s a total game-changer for long hikes. Superfeet also have a variety of insoles for people with different needs (arch support, general-purpose etc.) For the sake of these reviews, it only made sense to list the hiking specific ones. Additionally, the only con that I can see is that if you trim it incorrectly, it can cause blisters due to the fit.
I see this as a potential issue with any insole, though, not unique to this one in particular.
Need high arch support? The Powerstep Journey
The Powerstep Journey insoles have to be a close runner up to the Superfeet. They are a bit less expensive but still offer most of the benefits of the Trailblazer. The design of these is supportive for people with high arches and absorbs shock like a champ. Also, the most significant difference between these and the Superfeet is that they are more firm.
The overall support is there, and many people have reported that they help alleviate pain from plantar fasciitis. Bottom line? Great insole for support at a reasonable price. If you’re looking for a lot of cushioning, they fall a little short in this department.
On a budget? Physix Gear Sport
If you’re looking for a lower-cost alternative to more premium insoles, the Physix Gear Sport is a great place to start. And at around half the cost of the above insoles, it is more than serviceable for all types of shoes. One of the stand out features is the excellent arch support they offer. Like the Powersteps, people have had a lot of success alleviating pain from common foot issues.
However, the only downside is that it is designed more for foot support than comfort. That’s common with the lower-priced insoles and not a dig at these.Also, the cushioning is minimal and they do tend to run a bit wide in comparison to other insoles.
Looking for neutral arch support? The Sof Sole ATHLETE Insoles
If you’re looking for the perfect mix of performance and price, the Sof Sole ATHLETE insoles are the way to go. They are designed to fit in a wide range of shoes with lightweight cushioning and have neutral arch support. Also, since they don’t lean hard into any one category, they’re likely to work well for most people.
The shape of these lends well to fitting most shoes and boots – a lot of folks have had a great experience using them for everything from walking, running, and of course, hiking. Keep in mind that’s not a guarantee that they’ll be perfect for yours, but it’s a great sign.
Not to mention they have an outstanding reputation for durability, you’d be hard-pressed to go wrong with these.
Looking for a gel insole? The Dr. Scholl’s Athletic Sport
Don’t sleep on Dr. Scholl’s Athletic Sport Insoles! They are the most affordable option on the list by a wide margin and not sacrificing much at the same time. The gel ups the comfort levels of these beyond other insoles that are primarily EVA foam. However, that also means that in terms of shock absorption, they won’t do the job as well.
They wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice as shock absorption is nice to have going over uneven terrain. This is partially my personal preference speaking though, and these insoles are capable of hiking.
The difference between hiking and general-purpose insoles
Regarding the insoles reviewed here, I think they mostly fall under two camps: hiking specific and general-purpose insoles that tend to be thinner. The main difference being the size and shock absorption capabilities of both types. The boot insoles will typically be thicker. Also, the thickness helps them absorb the shock that uneven terrain can produce when you’re walking.
In contrast, you can use the general-purpose athletic insoles in a variety of shoe types. I think these are the best choice when you are on a tight budget as they tend to be much more affordable. Additionally, the only thing you tend to miss out on with the general purpose is a bit of extra cushioning. The other factors can still come surprisingly close to the expensive insoles!
If you’re looking for a hiking boot specific insole, I recommend the Superfeet Trailblazer and Powerstep Journey. However, if you’re looking for a more versatile insole, I can recommend the Physix Gear Sport, Sof Sole Athlete, or Dr. Scholl’s Athletic Sport Insoles. I hope that this review helps you to choose the right insole for your needs to start making strides in your hiking adventures!