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During a trek or a hike, your feet are constantly under pressure.
Hence the importance of having the right equipment: shoes and socks, of course, but also insoles.
So why, and how, do you choose an insole specially designed for your sporting activity?
We give you all our tips!
Do you want to enjoy more comfortable feet and reduce the likelihood of blisters?
Perhaps it's time to change your insoles!
Some people don't know it, but a good insole is the ultimate element in completing the winning trio of foot care when hiking, in addition to a good pair of socks and shoes.
Depending on your need for comfort, shock absorption or even warmth, you will choose one model over another.
We give you all our tips to make the right choice!
When hiking, your body tends to absorb impact and vibrations.
Hiking shoes offer extra cushioning that can be further enhanced by insoles.
There are some technical insoles designed specifically for better vibration and shock absorption.
Some insoles are designed using materials with cushioning and enveloping properties for enhanced flexibility, comfort, balance and improved foot position within the shoe.
Some insoles have a better distribution of plantar pressure. This is the case with memory foam insoles.
Some of them even have inserts made from technical materials that improve shock absorption in the heel strike: they are ideal for long, multi-day hikes or treks, providing optimal comfort.
If you already have a shoe insole that meets many of your expectations, there are also heel pads that can be placed under the sole to improve vibration absorption and walking comfort. To note: the heel pad is not suitable for 100% of shoes.
It’s important to make sure that it does not cause discomfort or a deterioration of the support of your foot in the shoe.
Are you setting off to conquer snow-capped peaks?
You'll need some good boots and a pair of warm socks.
For maximum comfort, you'll need good ground insulation.
So remember to opt for an insulating insole.
Some of them are made from a felt fabric which acts like a thermal barrier against the cold. Good insulation (boots and insole) can keep your feet up to 5°C warmer because there's nothing more unpleasant than having cold feet during a mountain hike! because, don't forget, we lose a lot of our body heat through our extremities (I mentioned the feet, the hands, but also the head). So, in winter, when you put on your gloves and hat, don't forget your feet!
Pamper them with Merino wool socks and insulating insoles.
Your toes will thank you!
Are you going hiking for a few days or even several weeks?
Are you planning on exploring new trails during a week-long trek?
If the answer is yes, you’ll need insoles that give you good support, to reduce your tiredness.
"During a long excursion, your feet begin to flatten. Gradually, you change your way of walking. This change can put too much strain on your muscles and joints," explains Julien Ettel, Quechua’s product manager for socks and insoles.
To compensate for this progressive collapse, some insoles offer you support solutions in the heel or instep for more stability and support, and thus promote a more upright posture.
Finally, the choice of insole may be influenced by the desire to avoid a problem experienced by numerous hikers: blisters.
Blisters generally appear when our skin is rubbed by chafing, whether it's caused by our socks, shoes or foreign bodies.
Humidity (caused by perspiration or external elements) may also play a role as it weakens our skin and therefore makes it more susceptible to this type of friction.
But we mustn't overlook the importance of insoles in helping to prevent the development of blisters.
"If there's any give inside your boots, your foot is going to move. These repeated micro-movements can cause rubbing and over-heating. In extreme cases, you can get a second-degree burn, called a phlyctaena, more commonly known as a blister.
An enveloping insole, designed to fit the shape of your foot will reduce this risk.” explains Julien Ettel.
Be aware of the material of your sole.
If you use a smooth leather city shoe insole, rather than a technical product specifically for hiking, you are bound to have some friction. Our hiking shoe insoles, like our shoes and socks, are designed specifically for hiking.
At Quechua, we have chosen to use open-cell foams to absorb moisture in the shoe.
Indeed, moisture in contact with the foot accelerates the drop in temperature in winter conditions and increases the risk of blisters.
Simply take the size of the insoles that include your shoe size.
Next, get a pair of scissors, a felt/pen, some insoles you already have (either old insoles or the insoles of the shoes you are going to add your new insole to, to make sure you have the right shape).
Then it's time for a 5 minute handiwork session!
Don't worry, we’ll explain the process:
- Use your "old" soles from your current shoes as a model.
- Place your new soles that you have just bought on top of them. The reference point is the back, with the heel. Be careful to line them up.
- Mark the outline with the felt pen.
- Finally, cut the excess on the front part following your line.
There you go, your insoles are adjusted to your feet, you can put them in your shoes and go on an adventure!
Finally, all our insoles are comfort solutions and not medical orthoses.
They can never replace orthopaedic insoles designed especially for you and your needs by care specialists.
In case of persistent pain during your hikes or treks, or if you have any doubts or questions, do not hesitate to consult a podiatrist.