Do your feet ache after walking in your boots? Do you find your walking socks move inside your boots? Well, this might be the answer…
Why you need comfortable boots
As you do more and more activities outdoors with your kids you’ll find that your walking boots are something you wear a lot of the time.
You need a pair that’s waterproof yet breathable, and comfortable. There’s no fun in being out with your kids all day only to have aching feet at the end of it.
After time, most people find their walking boots adapt to their feet (or their feet get used to them). But that’s not always the case. And as you put the miles under your feet, the boots can start to wear and feel a little less comfortable.
Badly fitting boots can cause blisters…even cause injury
You can also end up with worse than just aching feet. Badly fitting boots can cause blisters, and in some cases, even cause injury if you don’t address the problem.
But don’t throw out your boots just yet…
Why walking socks move in your boots
An annoying problem you might encounter is your walking socks sliding down your ankles and into your boot.
Now the first thing to check is the elastic in your socks. If it’s worn out, the socks won’t stay in place.
However, even with good socks, you may find this happening to you. One cause could be your walking boots.
Put your boots on, grab hold of the heel, and move the boot up and down. Does it wiggle? Yes? Then it could be that as you walk, this movement in your boots is pulling your socks down. A better fit to your boot may solve this annoying problem.
this movement in your boots is pulling your socks down
But don’t throw out your boots just yet…
Insoles for Hiking and Walking Boots
You will have come across insoles before, and typically for your kids to help their feet fit into a shoe that’s a little too big (until their foot grows in about a fortnight’s time…but that’s a whole other problem!).
Insoles designed for walking boots are different, and are a perfect way to revive an old boot, and make your current boots fit better.
a good insole can turn a pair of boots from OK to Excellent
Even if you don’t have ‘bad boots’, a good insole can turn a pair of boots from OK to Excellent.
Fitting Insoles to your Walking Boots
Most walking boots don’t have the insole glued in place (if your’s is glued in place, don’t bother pulling it out).
The reason the insole can be easily removed from most walking boots is that the manufacturer expects to you to replace or upgrade the insole supplied with the boot at some point.
the manufacturer expects to you to replace or upgrade the insole
Fitting a new insole is just a matter of sliding it in.
Getting the right size insole
For example, some would say 9.5, others would say 10 for the same size. However, what I did notice was that the EU sizes did appear to be consistent. I can’t guarantee this will always be the case but it’s best to find insoles that match your shoe size and use both UK and EU sizes to find the right fit.
You may also be concerned that the hiking insoles are very thick and thicker than what you already have.
better shock absorption
Well look at your boots and you should see that they are lot a deeper than shoes, and should accommodate that extra depth.
The deep insole will provide you with better shock absorption and could make your boot fit better.
Insoles to correct walking and foot shape
‘Pronation‘ is the proper word, and refers to how we roll our foot while walking or running.
If you have a Neutral Pronation then all is good, however to be different is human, and we all will tend to have an overpronation or under pronation as we walk or run. This means that one or both of our feet are not hitting the ground properly, which can cause stress on muscles and joints, and if prolonged, can cause injury.
can cause stress on muscles and joints, and if prolonged, can cause injury
You can get insoles that not only improve comfort and shock absorption in your walking boots but also correct pronation. This may be something you want to consider if you know you have a problem or are intending to do any long distances.
However, diagnosing yourself is not easy.
I am lucky that I am almost a Neutral Pronation, but with a slight Overpronation. I found this out when I got fitted for proper running shoes.
They videoed my feet running on a treadmill and then analysed my gait on a computer, in slow motion, frame by frame.
This is not something you can do easily yourself with just your eye. So go to a specialised or a shop that has the equipment to properly diagnose. If you do it yourself and get it wrong, you could introduce a problem that didn’t really need addressing in the first place.
Finally, I was reading that research done at the University of Duisburg-Essen found that using all the eyelets in a shoe and lacing it tightly, pronation is significantly decreased, reducing the risk of “lower limb injury”. So lace up your boots well, and improve the fit with an insole, even if it isn’t one designed to correct pronation.
lace up your boots well, and improve the fit with an insole
Granger ‘s Trek Insole
Some are really expensive; others quite affordable.
I chose the Trek G20 Insole from Granger’s (see here on Amazon).
- Granger’s are well known for providing good gear for hiking boots.
- They provide comfort and shock absorption.
- There’s a breathable wicking layer to help make your foot more comfortable (who likes sweaty feet!?!)
- And they were only around £10 😉
If you’ve watched the video above you will have seen how much thicker they are than the insoles supplied with my walking boots, and they’ve made such a difference.
My boots now fit a lot better and feel much more comfortable.
I’ve not had these long and so I can’t tell you how well they wear over time, but so far they are great and can recommend that you give them a try.
My boots now fit a lot better and feel much more comfortable
As I said, there are lots of insoles available, so have a look around and do this simple upgrade to your walking boots and make them more comfortable.
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