Contributors to this thread:
I recently bought a new pair of Lowa Camino boots. Previously I wore a pair of Hanwags from Lathrop & Son's paired with their Synergy footbeds. I really liked the fit and feel, but they are heavy. I was curious what you all have been using and would recommend?
Cheesehead Mike's Link
My go to general hunting boot is a pair of Cabelas Meindl Perfekt boots. Most comfortable pair of boots I have ever owned. I just use the factory insole but I do have a pair of superfeet still in their box waiting for me to put them in there. Just haven't had the need since the boots are awesome straight out of the box.
I have tried several different kinds of insoles and I haven't found anything better than the Lathrop Synergy footbeds. I have one pair that I use in whatever boot I am wearing.
My second choice is the Spenco Total Support insoles (see my link).
A lot people like the Superfeet Green, but they're too hard and slippery for me and cause slippage.
I'm one of those that prefer Superfeet Green. However, we're all different, so as Mike points out, what works for one may, or may not, work for another.
Redwings makes a great insole... If you have a store close by, they can measure your feet and tell you which one is the best for you. they don't charge 400.00 like the good feet store does. I use them in all my boots and shoes and they won't break the bank.
If you are going to get insoles you should know WHY you are getting them. Do you need them for support or do you need them for cushion. I had foot problems and tried every kind of Superfeet made- they all sucked for me. I hated very last one of them. But, I had no idea why I was trying them or needing an insole. After a few years of messing with it I ended up getting a variety of different volume insoles that gave me great cushion and I've loved them and they've helped me tremendously.
Figure out why you need an insole, then pick the insole that provides your needs.
Do you have foot problems, knee problems, or back problems that you are trying to solve? I have trouble with foot and knee pain and have tried more insoles than I care to even think about. The only ones I've found that do any good are prescription ones. They are expensive, but worth it for me.
Like others have said, the best insole (and boot) is different for everyone. My feet do really well on an insole with stiff support, so I really like the Superfeet Greens.
I found Superfeet and Sole to be too hard and slick causing hot spots. I went to DR Scholes athletic and they worked well. From there I went to Lathrop's as they were less volume, which I needed in the hanwags.
Slap those synergy insoles in those Caminos and tell us how they feel.
Sole Ultra Softec or Sole Softec Responce custom footbeds
After several visits to Podiatrists and Orthopedic doctors over the years their suggestions have been to buy custom orthos or just buy Superfeet like they do. Both work the same.
The Good Feet store!! Not sure you have one in your area but they make custom insoles and they are not too pricey, actually with a doctors script a lot of insurance will pay for them! Scooby
Thanks all! My main reason for looking is develop the best fit/feel as possible. I'm pretty fortunate to not get hot spots or blisters much, but I have learned that a great fitting boot reduces foot and leg fatigue and that's important.
Superfeet were designed by an ortho (or podiatrist). You can't just blindly buy your size, you have to stand on them to make sure the arch is in line with yours, regardless of size marked on the box, then trim as needed. I think my insoles are cut down size 13 to 12. They're pretty affordable if you bypass the store and hit ebay. For $20-25 I'll have superfeets in most all my footware.
What Scoot said. All depends on the boot and what you want out of the insole to improve the boot. Just picked up a pair of non-insulated Lacross burly something. Because they pretty much suck as far as support, the hard green superfeet are a great pairing for them, made a good deal of improvement on the boot. I used the same insole with the schnees pack boots I had that finally died (told me they couldn't resole them any more.....) Rubber bottom boots seem to often lack support.
With my Russells I had good support, but they were hard as rocks, I forget the insole I had in them, you put it in an oven and heated them up, then put them in the boot, put the boot on, laced it up and cooked your feet.... or so it seemed.... while they added some arch and heel support they had a real nice cushion to them, made the improvement I was looking for.
I have the Caminos now as well...... Not sure if I will replace the insole or not..... it's pretty good for me right now. Plenty of support in the boot so if anything maybe some more cushion, we'll see. I'd love some input as to a "softer" insole, seems the older I get the less and less padding I have over my bones...... particularly my feet.
I have the green superfeet as well. I just got them though, so I don't have a full report on how much like them yet.
TravisK, for what you're looking for, here's what I would do-- I put on hunting socks (or sock combo; for me I need a thin poly liner and a merino wool sock) that you will hunt in. Then try use the info below to find an insole that fits and makes you fit perfectly.
This is my basic lineup. From left to right they go from medium cushion to tons of cushion. Also from left to right they go from medium volume to a lot of volume. The two on the right are not very different from each other in terms of volume and cushion in my experience. I prefer the Spenco option between the two, but both are good high volume, high cushion insoles. The blue Spencos in a Meindl Perfekt Hiker is the best pairing of boot and insole I've ever found. For a modest investment, you could get the three Spenco options in the pic above and likely find a perfect fit for you. For me, it's important to have my hunting sock combo on, the boot I want to wear, then fit the insole that works best with that combo. I want all the space filled, but definitely don't want my feet/toes feeling squished in there at all.
These options will do little for those who need support- those are primarily cushion options. If I needed more support, I'd be starting with a variety of Superfeet options, if that didn't work, I'd probably look into custom options.
I like Superfeet Green for hunting boots. I use other insoles for different activities like running. To find what I like I tried different insoles from The Insole Store until I found ones I like. You can waste a lot of $30-$40 insoles until you find the ones you like and still be a lot cheaper than buying one pair of custom orthodics.
Mike and Scoot, good info and links. Looks like what I'm looking for WRT cushion. Wow, that crosstrainer is a 1/2" thick!
IMO it's good to have a custom ortho just so you know what an insole that really fits your foot feels like. Then you can mess around with Scholls or Superfeet or whatever gives you the best fit for $30 or so. My foot carries the arch a ways forward, so using off-the-shelf footbeds, even the one that fits my feet the best, I have to buy a couple sizes larger and cut/shape the toe area and even the sides down a bit - a pain but definitely worth it to get my best DIY semi-custom fit. Foot support - another thing you barely if ever noticed when you were young, ten feet tall and bulletproof and now you are really glad to have, especially carrying serious loads.
Superfeet are way to hard for my feet. I use Spencos with good padding and change them out every 4 to 6 months (I wear them everyday at work). Another thing that has helped me is socks with additional padding in the bottom of the socks (Thorlos sell them). I also buy boots about 1/2 size larger so I can add thicker insoles.
And 5 1/2 years later my Lathrop synergy footbeds are still going strong, in fact they're in my Camino's right now...
Same for me Mike, I’ve got them in every boot I own. Still going strong years later.
Same Mike and Nick, I've had mine for 3 years and still going strong.
Some great posts above. Considerations are; Fit/contour, volume, cushion
I order a few different ones, lay them on a hard surface and see how they match my feet.
Sometimes the most cushion feel best at first but not the best choice for long treks.
Had been running superfeet for a couple years in my Lowa Tibets. Recently switched to SheepFeet for this season. Really like the "custom" nature of SheepFeet and the durability of them. They were a bit pricey but in my opinion well worth it.