The Best Insoles for Hikers

When buying your new pair of hiking boots, you may realize that most of the manufacturer’s time and effort is put into constructing the boot, sole, and lacing system. It is very rare to find boots, even the most expensive ones, with quality insoles.

What does that mean for you? If you are serious about hiking or backpacking, you need to invest in a pair of high quality, supportive insoles.

For years I’ve worn the “blue” Superfeet insoles, which are a standard pair of enhanced insoles for people who don’t need or want extra arch support.

Now there are a lot of brands on the market, and each has particular strengths.

Hiking Insoles
Hiking Insoles: Superfeet Blue Premium Insoles, Cadence Insoles, and currexSole Active Pro


How these insoles stack up:

  • Best shock absorption and cushion: CADENCE INSOLES. In our testing, Cadence insoles seem to have the best shock absorption and feel the softest in hiking boots. These insoles are the easiest way to transition from wearing standard insoles to enhanced insoles because of their soft feel. You’ll also benefit from the orthotic support to help control pronation (Find out if you pronate or supinate).
  • Cadence Insoles
    Cadence Insoles – best shock absorption


  • Most Custom: CURREXSOLE EDGEPRO. The currexSole EdgePro’s come in a wide variety of profiles (hiking, running, etc.) as well as High, Medium, and Low profiles. Since I have medium arches, I tested the “Med Profile” version. However, if you have low arches, you can get more support with an insole specific for your arch profile. (Check out the Hiking Lady guide of how to determine if your foot type, and the currexSole website to find out which style is best for your feet and legs.
  • currexSole EdgePro Insoles
    currexSole EdgePro Insoles


  • Lowest Profile Insoles: SUPERFEET BLUE INSOLES. The Superfeet blue insoles are for low and medium volume feet (which means that the insoles don’t take up a lot of space in your boots). If you have wide feet, then Superfeet “blue” insoles are your best option.
  • Blue Superfeet Insoles
    Blue Superfeet Insoles



Hiking Lady special tip on insoles: Once you have a pair of hiking insoles you like, be sure to take them with you when you go shopping for hiking boots (or put them in the pair of boots you ordered online). Some insoles, i.e. currexSole EDGE Pro’s, take up more volume than Superfeet, and you want to make sure that the boots you buy fit your feet and your favorite insoles!

Happy trails!

10 comments

  1. John says:

    It’s worth mentioning that blue Superfeet insoles are not recommended for Gore-Tex lined shoes. The rigid heelcap can stress the lining.

  2. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Peter,
    Thank you for the update. I continue to find that it is best not to put good insoles on top of the already present insole, however, I’m one of those who hike 10+ miles a day 🙂
    Glad you had a fun trip and thank you again for your insight!
    Happy trails.

  3. Peter Ca says:

    I’m Back – after 1 week walking around Austria – including 3 days in Salzburg – & S Germany, & 1 week in Ireland. We didn’t really “hike” but lots of touristy walking. I used the Spenco & Cadence alternatively and found NO difference. So I would suggest folks go with the better Value (= benefit for less money).
    Also, against some suggestions I put the Insoles on top of already present insoles & found that to improve even more the benefit w/o side effects.
    Both of the above might be different if Hiking +/- 10 miles a day, but that is not likely most folks’ activity.
    I am not a neophyte on physiology or hiking – as am a F.P. M.D., & Ret Army.
    Blogging at http://www.medicalcareandinvesting.com

  4. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Peter,
    Great question. Spenco’s aren’t bad, and for the price those insoles may suit your needs. I don’t want to discourage you from trying them for that price! The main difference, however, is that the Cadence and higher priced insoles are stiffer and mold to your feet over time. I find I get much better long term support with Superfeet, Cadence, etc. After a lot of hiking/walking/full day on your feet, ironically the stiffer the insole, the better your feet will feel. Happy trails! Enjoy your European walk!

  5. Peter Ca says:

    Dear Lady – Do you have any experience / comment on the Cadence you recommend & Spenco Total Support Gel Insoles? The former are appear to be in the high-end sphere at $45 & the Spenco $14 at Amazon, so one may get their $s worth out of them but the Cadence would need to be a good bit better for the price.
    Both have Excellent Reviews on Amazon, but those aren’t head to head. Thank you . . . Going Walking in Europe

  6. Hiking Lady says:

    Most off the shelf insoles come in a range of sizes, so for example, if you wear men’s 10, the insoles might be for men’s 9-10, and you’d have to trim it down. If you happen to wear size 9, then you wouldn’t need to trim it. If you wear 10, then you’ll need to trim. It is pretty straightforward…just take out the “cheap” insole that came with your shoe/boot, trace it on to the Superfeet/other brand insole, and then trim. Hope that helps!

  7. Johnny says:

    Yes please I need a proper walking shoes long distance also must be working shoe now I only walk on my heals I need supination shoe or insole because I feel it on lower back if not wear the correct shoes insole I spend lot of money on shoes reason I walk on heals ( accident 1981 lower back injury I lost my power in front feet i walking I cant run nothing stop me I walking long distance with effort I love it) their is 1000 different shoes tekkies this and that ??????????

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