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superfeet / insoles in trail runners?
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Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
superfeet / insoles in trail runners? on 06/15/2010 21:01:55 MDT Print View

I've been using 2lb 14 oz Vasque Breeze shoes so far.. great hiking boots. My pack weight is now down to 25 lbs or so for my planned thru hike of the Colorado Trail.. so I'm thinking of getting one of these lighter shoes that are popular here.


Can you use insoles like Superfeet in trail runners and other lightweight hiking shoes? Or would they further reduce the amount of ankle support you get from these low shoes?

I feel like I need these insoles because I get some pain at the bottom of my foot if I hike several days without arch support..

(Any suggestions of lightweight hiking shoes would be very welcome!)

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: superfeet / insoles in trail runners? on 06/15/2010 21:17:36 MDT Print View

I wore them in Salomon Comp 4s on the Wonderland with no probs.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: superfeet / insoles in trail runners? on 06/15/2010 21:23:47 MDT Print View

I use blue Superfeet insoles in my lightweight trail runners.

Ankle support in low shoes? Hmm... My insoles have virtually zero padding in the heel cup. I would think that would make the shoe more stable, although I wouldn't call that support since the ankle joint isn't wrapped.

I personally don't like arch support, at least not if I can feel it. It creates hot spots for me.

Edit: Oops, I meant "arch" support, not "ankle" support. I hate it when insoles dig into the middle of my feet. I get that with the green insoles.

Edited by leaftye on 06/16/2010 03:49:12 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: superfeet / insoles in trail runners? on 06/16/2010 02:56:19 MDT Print View

Hi Dont

Have a look at the review of New Balance MT876OR shoes published today.


Peter Longobardi
(paintplongo) - F

Locale: Hopefully on the Trail
Maybe I'm wrong... on 06/16/2010 08:18:52 MDT Print View

Aren't superfeet intended to help correct pronation? If so, you don't want to combine that with a pronation correcting shoe lest you put an overcorrect in place. I'd recommend finding out the specific way you walk and buy shoes based on that. Prior to me understanding that, my knees and ankles would hurt out hiking until I switched to a shoe that provided the correct support.

Sunny Waller
(dancer) - M

Locale: Southeast USA
superfeet/ insoles in trail runners on 06/16/2010 08:27:48 MDT Print View

I have the same high arch problem and lots of other issues with my feet. I have always bought my hiking boots/shoes from an outfitter. I needed some new tennis shoes so I went to the local running store to get fitted properly. The store I went to analyzes your stride and your foot. They also sold trail runners and fitted me with Lasportiva's. WOW...what a difference. You may want to check that option out.

Michael Haubert
(SoCalMike) - F

Locale: So Cal
I use them on 06/16/2010 08:37:20 MDT Print View

I have relatively flat feet and I use blue superfeet with trail running shoes for arch support. I love them. I also recommend having the running shoe store employees steering you in the right direction, if that option is available to you.

Mark Hume
(seattlesetters) - F

Locale: Pugetropolis
It depends ... on 06/16/2010 10:41:25 MDT Print View

It really depends on which type of trail running shoe you're looking at. For example, something really low-profile like some of the Inov-8 shoes or the New balance MT-100 would not benefit from insoles. You'd be defeating the purpose of being low to the ground (READ: Stable) by adding the extra support.

However, higher volume trail running shoes with thicker heels are essentially the same thing as other running shoes and if insoles help you there, they should help again.

Superfeet do control pronation, so if you're a neutral runner you may want to forego them and let nature provide you all the ankle support you need.

If you have higher arches, like I do, there are other options for support that don't interfere as much with pronation. I like Arch Molds, as they are more flexible than Superfeet and do less to interfere with my neutral gait. However, I do not use them in my Inov-8 shoes but do use them in more substantial shoes like the La Sportiva Wildcat and in my heavier boots (right now, Salomon Quest 4D). They mold to your feet after a couple of runs (or hikes) and provide just the right amount of arch support without being so stiff that you can't feel the trail.

Like was mentioned above, your best bet is to have your gait analyzed and let a pro fit you. Good fit and proper shoe design can really help eliminate many of the problems we encounter with our lower extremities.

Edited by seattlesetters on 06/16/2010 10:44:39 MDT.

Wayne Wagner
(wagnerw) - F

Locale: NorCal
Re: superfeet/ insoles in trail runners on 06/16/2010 19:51:30 MDT Print View

This is the way to go with your the GOOD running shoe store. Listen to the people who know. They may not get it right, mind you, but they have a much better chance than your just buying something you read about or heard about or think might work. Make sure to try all the options and only buy it if it does not bother you. Most of the shoe companies make many good products and lots of crappy ones; you need to find which of the good ones will work for you -> A guide helps in this process. Then you need to start pair shoes with inserts if you feel you need them. Do this with the shoe salesman. Otherwise, you might have the problem alluded to above: You doubly correct a problem or undo what you had corrected with the shoe or something weird.

Just my 2 cents.

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
I use Superfeet in ALL my shoes on 06/17/2010 14:33:31 MDT Print View

I have put the green Superfeet in any and all of my running shoes, trail runners, or hiking shoes. They have worked in every single pair. (Feet hurt less...I think the insoles help my plantar fasciitis and possibly my overpronation.)

The only caveat is that Superfeet insoles *may* have the effect of making some shoes feel smaller. They take up a bit more space than the shoe's regular insoles.

I never buy a pair of shoes unless I can remove the factory insole, stick in my Superfeet, and seeing how they feel.


Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: I don't use Superfeet in any of my shoes on 06/17/2010 16:30:56 MDT Print View

I use to use superfeet, I start using them because someone at REI said they would extend the life of my shoes (they were wearing out but I liked the shoe) so I bought them. I thought they were helping me.
I then would buy them with every shoe. I did this for a few years, but my feet didn't feel any better or worse.

I then bought a new pair of shoes and just wore them without the superfeet and my feet feel far better. I just need to replace my shoes when they start to wear out instead of trying to get every ounce of life out of them at the expense of my feet.

I now don't use anything then what comes with the shoes.
I trust the manufacturer that if support like superfeet were needed they would incorporate them into the design.

BTW, REI's second biggest dollar volume sales at some of their stores is superfeet, yes I have seen the paperwork that supports my claim. That is a lot of superfeet going out the door to beat more gross dollars then clothing, backpacks, skis etc.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: I don't use Superfeet in any of my shoes on 06/17/2010 17:04:25 MDT Print View



I bought a pair once, they are still in my closet, after I took them out and could not determine any kind of improvement. They are just a little bit of foam over a plastic bed.

The last few pair of shoes I bought at REI, I was asked to purchase the SuperFeet, but not a single salesperson could deliver a rational explanation of how they would benefit me. Seems like some snake-oil-supersizing to me.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: I don't use Superfeet in any of my shoes on 06/17/2010 17:08:33 MDT Print View

The thing I like about Superfeet, or really any aftermarket insole, is that they can help other shoes fit much better. Most insoles that come with shoes don't fit me very well, but since Superfeet blues fit my feet, they make ill-fitting shoes fit my feet too. That said, if the original insoles fit well enough, then I'll stick with that. It'd be great if I had the time and choices to find a shoe that fit perfectly right off the shelf, but sometimes I'd rather just throw in an insole to broaden my choice of shoes and shorten my shopping time.

As to an earlier comment about Superfeet making Inov-8's fit worse, I haven't found that to be the case for me. I actually find that my Superfeet blue insoles allow me heel to sit as low or lower than the original insoles, and that my heel stability is better with the Superfeet.

James D Buch
(rocketman) - F

Locale: Midwest
Superfeet High, Medium or Low Arch? on 06/17/2010 17:17:06 MDT Print View

I was excited to get superfeet (green - because backpackers "need the support") in 2007.

I bought a total of three pair since then. In 2009, I ended up with hellish blisters on the side of the heels of both feet at the exact point where the rim of the superfeet met the boot in the heel area.

In 2010, I stood on the Dr Scholl's computerized insole fitter. The machine told me that I had LOW ARCHES, and proceeded to make a recommendation.

I checked the Superfeet site. It said that the Green Superfeet are a HIGH ARCH support, and that the medium arch users should have the blue Superfeet. I forgot what it said for low arch, but I would guess that they had one.

So, if you are told by a sales associate that you need the GREEN Superfeet for Backpacking - run, do not walk, to the exit of the store.

I am breaking in two sets of hiking boots/trail runners for this summer's AT hike. Neither of them has GREEN superfeet in them, and they feel just fine, thank you.

The Superfeet GREEN for BACKPACKING is just foolish advice from someone who hasn't actually read what the Superfeet website says about what model gets sold to what people.

Edited by rocketman on 06/17/2010 17:18:35 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Superfeet on 06/17/2010 18:10:11 MDT Print View

I use Superfeet in many of my shoes. Some insoles are just cheap garbage. I look at the Superfeet as a poor man's orthotic. I do question the price.

I use the green Superfeet in trail shoes and their Web site specifically recommends them. To quote the Superfeet Web site on the green model:

"Designed primarily for footwear with a removable insole, Superfeet GREEN provides maximum support and shock absorption. Featuring AgionĀ® antimicrobial top cover treatment to reduce bacteria and help prevent foot odor.

Ideal for feet with medium to high arches.

Recommended footwear: Running, walking, hiking, alpine and industrial footwear."

Some models are made for wider shoes and those with more volume. Others provide mode forefoot shock protection.

For the orange model:

"Specifically designed to address the unique qualities of men's feet and footwear, ORANGE is ideal for men who run, walk or stand for extended periods of time. Provides maximum support with a new forefoot shock pad for added comfort. Features AgionĀ® antimicrobial top cover treatment to reduce bacteria and help prevent foot odor.

Ideal for men's feet with medium to high arches.

Recommended footwear: Industrial and athletic footwear with a removable insole and more volume."

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Superfeet faq (from website) on 06/17/2010 18:35:41 MDT Print View

Q: Does the Green have a lower arch than the Blue?

A: The Green does not have a lower arch than the Blue. The arch on the Superfeet Green is higher because it's made from a thicker foam sheet.

Q: What is the difference between the Blue and the Green?

A: All of the Superfeet products are based on proven biomechanical principles to help the foot function in its ideal position. The differences between the Superfeet models are not in the biomechanical shape. They are in the thickness of the materials used in each of the products. The foam top sheet of the Blue product before it is molded into shape is 1/4" thick. The Green foam thickness is 3/8" thick. This makes the Green product 1/8 inch thicker than the Blue.

Because the Blue product is produced from a thinner sheet of foam, there is less foam volume in the arch area on the product. As a result, some flat feet may feel the Blue product is more comfortable than the Green.

The Green product is thicker in volume, therefore it will fit into shoes that offer more room. The Blue product is thinner in volume, therefore it will fit into shoes with less room.

The blue version is also recommended for hiking shoes, but so is orange, green, custom green and berry (for women).

Mitchell Murphy
(Texico) - F

Locale: North Georgia
Superfeet for Me on 06/17/2010 20:44:27 MDT Print View

I wear the green superfeet and I wear them in all of my shoes. I wear them because they are a high-volume model and I have very low volume feet. I will admit: I work for REI, but I can't wear any of our shoes without filling the extra space with my superfeet(salomon are pretty low volume and I still can't wear them alone). So, there are different reasons for needing superfeet. Until I bought mine I was unable to get ANY boots or "hiking shoes" from any retailer to fit. Now that the green superfeet are taking up the extra space my salomons fit like freakin' gloves. I have yet to get a blister with them (they are gore-tex) even when they are completely soaked after rain.

So, superfeet aren't just for support. They can also take up extra space in a shoe and make it fit better. I like my superfeet and I probably won't stop hiking/walking with them until they make some shoes that fit me or my feet grow in size (unlikely since I'm 21).

BTW, green and orange superfeet provide more support but also take up more space. Blue superfeet are a lower volume model which also have a lower arch. Talk to your REI salesperson to make sure they know what they are talking about. There are many different reasons for going with each different version of superfeet.

Peter Rattenbury
(MountainMule) - F

Locale: Australia
Sole Inserts on 06/17/2010 20:59:40 MDT Print View

Has anyone used the Sole brand footbeds? I believe they are a Canadian brand? Their feature is a heat moldable foot bed.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
super feet, but watch the fit on 06/18/2010 11:40:23 MDT Print View

I use the green superfeet. However, be sure you get your foot size, not the shoe size. For example my feet measure 9.5, but the trail runners are 11. After several 100 miles the superfeet do wear out and can cause blisters just in back of where the toes join the foot. Check the plastic for cracks or white spot breaks along the edges. Space is recommended between the end of the superfeet and the toe of the shoe (1/8 ") An outfitter filed down the outer edges, too. (Mt. Rogers Outfitters, Damascus, VA, right on the AT. They see a lot of hikers' feet!)

Jillian Napen
( - F
Heat moldable insoles on 06/23/2011 17:51:52 MDT Print View

Does anyone use heat mold-able insoles? They seem like they would be an even better feet than superfeet. (pop them in the oven stick your feet in and boom!) Any good experiences or bad? Why is superfeet the only brand that anyone talks about?

I don't need support really, but I would love a insole that could keep my heel fitting snugly so my poor toes don't get squashed. I feel like heat molding would work better for that than a sole that worry's about arch support.