Contributors to this thread:
Hard Lowas or soft feet.... insoles?
Went on my first elk hunt this year with my old man and although I had no issues with my boots causing blisters, hot spots, etc......I did notice my feet were getting sore from just being on them and hiking many miles daily.
I know my feet could have been in a little better shape, but I wonder about adding different insoles in my Lowa Caminos? The boots fit great and feel great.....just fatigued I think.
Seems like L&S gets pushed alot.....is that the answer? Would this help my soft feet survive the abuse better?
I have not used the L&S synergy insoles. However I am a firm believer in swapping insoles as soon as I open the new box of boots! But honestly I think conditioning your feet would be by far the biggest improvement you can make.
They could work great....or no at all. I went through several makes and models of insoles before I finally found the ones my feet like best. You may get lucky out of the gate or it may take several tries. Definitely upgrade your insoles and keep trying until you find the ones your feet like.
No input on insoles but, man, I love those Caminos!
I definitely need a set of insoles for a pair of Vasques a good friend gave me.
It's disappointing but most boots, even high end brands like Lowa have pitiful insoles. I replace them immediately. I've tried the L&S synergy and Superfeet style of insoles and the firmer Superfeet style works better for me. Heel That Pain full insoles are also good if you ever suffer from plantar fasciitis.
For those that have tried super feet insoles and your feet hated them like mine did. Give the super feet flex a look. My feet love them in my crispi Nevada's.
To the OP's question, I'm with other that have suggested conditioning your feet will make the biggest difference.
I think people who pay $400 for a pair of boots are considered an "educated consumer" and the companies know you will be replacing their insoles. Hence the fairly cheapos put in the boot.
Some like a firmer Superfeet style, others want that spongy Sketcher type feel.
Check out Gravitus insoles. Adriano Rosa is a friend of mine that started the company. He is a hunter and an athlete. I have used a set for a year now in my Lowas. Very nice!
Did you wear liner socks when hiking or just a single pair? Liners help prevent blistering.
Blisters were a non-issue.
Keep in mind that insoles will change boot fit.
Buy the Lathrop Synergy insoles.
Ahhhh..... the peek into a man's insole........
Insoles are purpose built. You want more support or more cushion? High arches? etc. etc. And each boot needs something different too. The Superfeet I know are mostly support and hard. Maybe not what you are looking for, but perfect for my rubber boots, Shnees, Lacrosse Aloha's etc. The right insole can make decent boots into good boots.
Doctor told me once as you get older you tend to lose your cushion around your bones, knees, foot soles, etc. That was a couple years ago and looking at it, I haven't gotten any younger as was the goal.... Seems to be a center of gravity thing as the missing cushion tries to build up around the middle...... always a fight....
My Caminos I used a Spenco Total Support if I recall and liked them, a good combo I think, of soft and support. But I had this guy open up his (in)sole to me and showed me his Lathrop..... they are a bit heavy if you are weight conscious (and weight ON your foot is compounded, a multiplier) but soooo cushiony (is that a word? speel chek doesn't think so) Next boots I want to give em a try. Thanks Matt.... =D
Conditioning helps. I like to wear my Five Fingers if there are no thorns or packing involved. Great for stalking and give your feet a good workout. You can feel it in your whole leg quite a while after a day in them.
I do love my L&S insoles. The soles of my feet are the last things that hurt.
L&S is the best money I have ever spent. I went the custom route due to a foot injury from when I was a kid. My only regret is I didn't do it +10 years ago.
Your feet sound similar to mine that need addional padding. I gut every insole that comes with my boots. My particular feet need LOTS of padding. None of the super feet offer enough padding....I've tried them all. I 've had good luck with $30 spencos that I replace every few months of hard, everyday use. I also wear thorlo and other socks that offer more padding in the bottom of the socks Everyone's feet are different so it may be trial and error.
Craig, glad to hear you went on your first elk hunt. If the bottoms of your feet hurt there are 3 factors:
insole - the insole has to support your foot where it needs the support. The older we get the more support we generally need. You may want to see a pediatrist to see where you need the support.
stiffness of the boot- the stiffer boots seem to make your foot work less. Conversely, a softer boot with more flex requires your foot muscles to work harder.
the sock - some socks have better cushioning than others. The best socks I've found with a lot of cushion (and moisture wicking) are the Darn Tough Cushion socks.
I have flat feet. L&S insoles have saved many hunts for me.
Another vote for the L&S High Country Synergy footbeds. I have them in my Camino's and HanWag Alaskans and I like them better than anything I've tried.