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Inserts for shoes

Artemis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2006, Camino Portuguese 2009
I wore Merrells shoes when I did Camino Frances in 2006. I loved them because they were comfortable from the minute I put them on. I didn't get blisters but the only problem was that the soles weren't thick enough to protect my feet from the stones. I would really like to wear them again but need some kind of inserts for them. I bought gel inserts in Spain and they helped some but I need some heavy duty inserts for all the stones. Any ideas or suggestions?

Thanks,
Melinda
 

30daystosantiago

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 solo and 2013 with wife and toddler
I also wore Merrill shoes on the Camino and avoided blisters. I had heal inserts from REI. They were kind of expensive (e.g., $20-$30+ I believe), but well worth it in the end.
 

viajero

Active Member
When I bought my boots, the super-sales-guy-hiking-expert, recommended superfeet inserts (the green ones). They worked very well.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I wore gel inserts from New Balance in my New Balance walkers and had no problems. Well worth the $30 cost.
 
I'm considering getting insert for my boots as well but am not sure what will be most effective in avoiding shin splints. Some people suggest full inserts and some just for the heel. Any thoughts? I'm also concerned that by adding inserts into my boots that they'll bee too tight.nhas anyone else found this?
 

breakintheclouds

New Member
I just have to sound a note of caution about inserts, as I've had bad experiences with them. last year I had a pair of boots that were hurting my feet on long walks. A sales assistant recommended green Superfeet and despite their being expensive, I couldn't tell any difference - my feet still hurt terribly at the end of the day.

By coincidence, just today I decided to do an experiment with my new boots. I put a green Superfeet (Superfoot?!) in one boot and left the original insole in the other. The foot with the Superfeet insert was giving me a curious ache in the ankle.

So overall I don't see any benefit from these inserts. Other people seem to swear by them, so perhaps it just that they don't suit my feet or something, but I'm certainly not convinced they can "fix" a pair of shoes that isn't right for you.
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
Hi there,
How about visiting a Podiatrist, having your feet assessed by a specialist before setting off? Apparently they can take a mould of you feet and make customised inserts. Has anyone tried this? Are the moulded inserts too stiff. What about blisters? Some Sports shops in the UK offer a similar service.
-Lovingkindness
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
I have walked twice with two different foot systems, and two different experiences - and now I am preparing for round three. I have the usual aging, flattening feet - nothing out of the ordinary.

Round one (2010 Le Puy to Cahors): Superfeet pink in my Vasque Wasatch boots. Mild arch pain.

Round two (2011 Cahors to SJPP): I used the neoprene layer from disassembled a Superfeet pink and a Doctor Scholls "custom" 440 arch support. Disastrous results - the foam just collapsed and provided no arch support whatsoever.

Round three (2012 Prague to Nuremburg): I visited a podiatrist in an effort to resolve the significant plantar fasciitis from the 2011 walk. So now have a set of custom carbon-fiber orthotics (with a neoprene liner). For the past three months I have been using these in training walks and they are a huge improvement.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I consider myself an "insert expert." I've been wearing one since the mid 1980s, and had varying amounts of discomfort/pain on every camino until 2008. A change in podiatrist, a change in orthotic, and presto! I've been pain free for the last three caminos, all ranging from 800-1200 kms. The secret for me is silicone. No more hard plastic orthotics for me.

If you need a custom made orthotic and are planning to walk a camino, I urge you to find something other than the hard plastic variety that is so common in the US. For a long walk, it is extremely hard on the feet. The silicone orthotics are heavy, and they are expensive, but for me they have made all the difference.

Buen camino. Laurie
 

gonedigginaz

New Member
If you have a Foot Solutions near you, the sales staff will evaluate your feet. they will evaluate your gait and body alignment. Take a look at the shoes you wear the most. Does one side have more wear than another? As stated in many of these posts-not all inserts are created equally! I have degenerative disc disease in my back and if I walked more than a half hour or did alot of standing my back would really bother me. Use to come home from hiking and take some Naproxen and use cold packs. Before being evaluated by the staff at Foot solutions,I had alot of back problems caused by ill fitting shoes for my gait. I tried several different inserts-Dr. Scholls, the gel pads, etc. My back would feel better with the new inserts but after about two weeks the comfort level really decreased. After being evaluated by the staff at Foot Solutions, my back problems have greatly decreased due to having the proper inserts. You may pay alittle more-I think mine were around $60 but it is well worth it to not have the back pain. I have had them for about a year now and have walked/hiked hundreds of miles with them.
 

Dave2013

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (09/2013)
I too have had some bad luck with inserts. I was attempting to gain a little more comfort for my feet and over about a months time I tried several different kinds from two brands. Non of them helped my feet. In fact they all made my feet hurt more than without inserts. Ended up taking a good easy walking week to get my feet back to "normal" and without pain.

Now that it's been awhile and I've been tracking how my feet do under different conditions; trail walks vs asphalt or cement, and duration of walks I will be seeing a pediatrist soon to see what might help.

My only advice is not to start messing with insets or starting with any to close to your Camino. It could cause you some real discomfort.
 

robertt

Active Member
My last Camino was done in Superfeet Green. Now, when jogging or walking, I'm inclined always to use Powersteps or Superfeet. Of course, it's a very personal, trial-and-error thing. All up, I'd say it's worth a trial, but, as Dave points out, trialling should be done well in advance. For me, even extended hiking at home doesn't reproduce Camino conditions.

Also, I buy shoes allowing for the possible extra bulk of inserts.

All the best

Rob
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português da Costa (Fall 2018)
breakintheclouds said:
I just have to sound a note of caution about inserts, as I've had bad experiences with them. ... A sales assistant recommended green Superfeet and despite their being expensive, I couldn't tell any difference - my feet still hurt terribly at the end of the day. ... I put a green Superfeet (Superfoot?!) in one boot and left the original insole in the other. The foot with the Superfeet insert was giving me a curious ache in the ankle.

So overall I don't see any benefit from these inserts. Other people seem to swear by them, so perhaps it just that they don't suit my feet or something, ...
There are at least a dozen different versions of the Superfeet inserts, and each model has different purposes. Is it possible that your sales assistant did not [know enough to] fit you with the correct model?
 

judytino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2013)
I have had orthotics custom made by a podiatrist years ago and now have been wearing the green Superfeet for about 5 years and they really work for me.

The podiatrist told me that you have to "train" your feet for any orthotics to get the muscles in your feet used to them. To do this, you wear them for an hour the first day, and keep adding an hour per day until you can wear them comfortably. And you experience pain after wearing them for, say, 3 hours, you don't add any more time until you have adjusted to the 3 hours.

So when people tell me that inserts or orthotics make their feet hurt I always wonder if they wore them on a long hike without any adjustment period and made the judgment based on that.
 

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