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Insole question

rickyt

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning for sometime in 2020
#1
Hello all,

As I prepare for my camino, I have developed plantar fasciitis. I know I have low arches and in need of some arch support. All of the insole supports that I have seen require you to remove the current insoles of the shoes and replace with the new supports. I am hesitant to rip out the insoles of my shoes that I spent a lot of money on to replace them with something that may or may not work. Has anyone had a similar experience that could offer some advice? My shoes are Altra trail runners, which I really love. I just don't want to risk ruining them by ripping out the insoles. Thanks in advance!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
#2
Sorry if this is a stupid question but are you CERTAIN that the current insoles of your shoes are not simply removeable (without any need to rip anything off)?
Most hiking/trail shoes (or even running shoes) have a cheap insole that they almost expect you to replace by something better.
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
#3
Leibniz got it right! Do buy new other ones, easy in easy out. Walking all day your insoles absorb so much sweat, water from rain and puddles and sliding off slippery bridges in Galicia will after a short time cause them to become nasty and smelly. Pull them out and let everything dry - boots and insoles - in the evening, put them back in next morning. You may have to shop around try this brand or that, silicone or not until you find something which helps. Expensive? Yes but I always have a spare set in my bag, don't weigh anything but after washing the nasty ones good to have something else until those dry..
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#4
I developed a problem with a knee early on during my camino that I figured was due to pronation because I didn't have enough support for my arch. To correct the problem I did have to remove an insole but then I wadded up some toilet paper, put it in my boot and put the insole back. Not only did it solve the problem for the rest of the Camino but it is still in the boot more than three years later because it worked so well.

Maybe you could experiment with a wad like that duct-taped to the top of the insole and if it works just somewhat go to the trouble and expense of the real solution. But try it out before the Camino.
 

rickyt

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning for sometime in 2020
#5
Sorry if this is a stupid question but are you CERTAIN that the current insoles of your shoes are not simply removeable (without any need to rip anything off)?
Most hiking/trail shoes (or even running shoes) have a cheap insole that they almost expect you to replace by something better.
Not a stupid question at all as I was actually hoping this would be the case. But, no, the current insoles are glued in there pretty good. It will definitely take some effort to remove them and once this is done, I am pretty certain they would be rendered useless.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
#6
So I have another suggestion. I know that Superfeet have some insoles specifically designed to be used with shoes that do not have removable insoles (I guess they’re less bulky). Perhaps other brands do too. Maybe look into that sort of insoles?
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17, 09/18 SJPdP - Fisterra
Portuguese ~05/19
#7
@rickyt there are other options besides removing the insoles. I have tried them all with varying degrees of success. I notice that when I switch my insole, I have a tendency (no pun intended) to wear a hole in the inside back of my trail runners. I lock lace my shoes, so maybe I am just tightening them too much.

Felt arch supports
Arch wrap

Don't forget to stretch! I also have been practicing some scraping to relieve the tension and break down the scar tissue in the plantar fascia. I got back just before Thanksgiving and my plantar fasciitis is just starting to let up.

Buen Suerte!:D:cool:
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 Le Puy-St Jean. 2014&16 Volunteer St JP
2016 Portuguese
2017 Porto-Santiago
2018
#8
Hello all,

As I prepare for my camino, I have developed plantar fasciitis. I know I have low arches and in need of some arch support. All of the insole supports that I have seen require you to remove the current insoles of the shoes and replace with the new supports. I am hesitant to rip out the insoles of my shoes that I spent a lot of money on to replace them with something that may or may not work. Has anyone had a similar experience that could offer some advice? My shoes are Altra trail runners, which I really love. I just don't want to risk ruining them by ripping out the insoles. Thanks in advance!
Hi
I went to a podiatrist and had my insoles custom made to offset two issues I have. One flat feet and the other loss of natural padding behind the toes, due to my age. The latter causes the toes to claw. The insoles have a raised section or bump to offset this. Need to have them sized for your footwear. I can swap between trail walking low cut footwear and boots.
Took them back several times for final adjustments and now have walked 2000+Km without problems.
In my opinion well worth the money.
After all we “travel on out soles”
Happymark
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#9
Hello all,

As I prepare for my camino, I have developed plantar fasciitis. I know I have low arches and in need of some arch support. All of the insole supports that I have seen require you to remove the current insoles of the shoes and replace with the new supports. I am hesitant to rip out the insoles of my shoes that I spent a lot of money on to replace them with something that may or may not work. Has anyone had a similar experience that could offer some advice? My shoes are Altra trail runners, which I really love. I just don't want to risk ruining them by ripping out the insoles. Thanks in advance!
Here is a repost of what I have previously written and posted for those concerned with Plantars Fasciitis:


Top Exercises to Help Avoid Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common type of chronic heel pain. It seems to affect young male athletes and middle-aged obese women more than any other group, but that does not mean other groups are immune to it. The inflamed tissue around the heel seems to cause a stabbing-like sensation, which is worse in the morning. This condition may be prevented, and the following exercises will help you do that.

Arch Stretching
Stretching your arch muscles is not too difficult, but the exercise is a little peculiar. The first thing you need to do is take off your shoes and get barefoot, and then place a towel on the floor. Now, simply place your foot on the towel, and curl your toes to clench the towel. Pull the towel toward you, and that is it. Place the towel in front of you again, and repeat. Be sure to do the same for your other foot.

This exercise is typically suggested by professionals for those who actually have plantar fasciitis already, but it can definitely be helpful to everyone. You should try and do this several times a week, but make sure to not overstretch your feet while you’re doing it.

Calf Strengthening
The calf and the tendons surrounding your heel need to be strengthened. A simple exercise that may help you do this is calf raises. What you want to do is stand straight on level ground. You should be barefooted for best traction, but it is not absolutely necessary. Now, all you have to do is lift your heels off the ground so that you are standing on your toes. Stay in this position as long as you can before returning your heels to the ground, and just repeat this at least nine more times.

Another way to do this exercise that works great is to stand at the edge of a stair or curb. You want your toes to be what keeps you on the stair or curb. Then, raise your heels up so that you are on your “tippy toes” and then back down again, but allow your heels to go lower than your toes past the edge of the stair or curb. This exercise allows for a fuller stretch.

Alleviate Pronation
Pronation is a natural part of your foot’s movement. This refers to how the foot rolls and applies pressure when the heel finally hits the ground. Pronation may be normal, but that does not mean the constant shock it receives when you walk or run does not have an effect on it. One way you can alleviate the pressure is to try doming. To do this, just place your foot flat on the ground, and then press your toes on the ground while keeping your heels firmly on the floor. This should create a dome between your heel and toes. Maintain this position for 10 seconds, straighten your foot, and then just start again.

Work the Interossei
The Interossei muscles help support your arch muscles thus preventing this issue. All you have to do is place a large rubber band around your toes for resistance. Then, stretch your toes and hold for 10 seconds. Squeeze your toes for another 10 seconds, and repeat these steps about five to 10 times.

What to Do When Your Feet Are Hurting?
Whether or not you’re at risk of getting Plantar Fasciitis, you’re going to come across a time where you’re feet are going to hurt. Maybe you were standing all day at work, ran a marathon, or whatever. If your feet are hurting, take a break and rest, stretch, and recover. Get off your feet for a little bit and either ice or heat your feet. If you notice any swelling or severe pain, then ice it. If it’s just sore, then apply heat with a hot bath. Then, make sure to rub out the tension and to do some basic exercises. You can try the ones above or do some other types. One popular one is to roll a tennis ball underneath the feet. This helps to preserve the arch and massage it at the same time
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Catalan, Aragones, part of Frances, Ruta del Salavador, Primitivo, and Finisterre (2012);
Cammino San Pellegrino, Italy (2013);
Lebaniego, Vadiniense, and Invierno (July 2014)
#10
I'll echo Leibniz on removal of the original insoles. I wear Altras also, and first thing I did after buying them was replace the stock insoles with Superfeet. They should lift right out. If they don't, check with the store where you bought them.

Plantar fasciitis is no fun (been there). There are some excellent stretches which really help to check it and prevent its return. Often a brief but heavy course of ibuprofen is needed to really knock out the inflammation. But you should of course check with your doc before going down that road.

Good luck with your Camino training.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPP to Finesterre April (2018) Via Francigena Italy Sept (2018)
#13
I have used Altras on two Caminos and used the Dr Schools arch support for both. They are the ones that you have to stand on the machine to get the right fit. I have found that Altras are difficult to fit with new insoles due to the shape of the toebox but the Dr Schools fit over the current insole.
 

rickyt

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning for sometime in 2020
#16
I have used Altras on two Caminos and used the Dr Schools arch support for both. They are the ones that you have to stand on the machine to get the right fit. I have found that Altras are difficult to fit with new insoles due to the shape of the toebox but the Dr Schools fit over the current insole.
That is good to know. The toe box shape is what I love about the Altras. Thanks
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018
#17
I took out the insoles that came with my Meindl boots and replaced them with Superfeet insoles recomended by Cotswold Outdoor in the UK to resolve my pronation. Superfeet have a 30 day return policy, so you can get a full refund and there is no ripping involved. Why not try them, or something similar in your lovation, and see what works best for you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPP to Finesterre April (2018) Via Francigena Italy Sept (2018)
#18
I took out the insoles that came with my Meindl boots and replaced them with Superfeet insoles recomended by Cotswold Outdoor in the UK to resolve my pronation. Superfeet have a 30 day return policy, so you can get a full refund and there is no ripping involved. Why not try them, or something similar in your lovation, and see what works best for you.
I use Superfeet in my Solomens but find that the Superfeet are to small for the Altra toebox. When I put them in my Lone Peak 4s I feel the edge of the Superfeet when I walk.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#19
Hello all,

As I prepare for my camino, I have developed plantar fasciitis. I know I have low arches and in need of some arch support. All of the insole supports that I have seen require you to remove the current insoles of the shoes and replace with the new supports. I am hesitant to rip out the insoles of my shoes that I spent a lot of money on to replace them with something that may or may not work. Has anyone had a similar experience that could offer some advice? My shoes are Altra trail runners, which I really love. I just don't want to risk ruining them by ripping out the insoles. Thanks in advance!
Hi, ricky....

As far as I know, all of the Altras should have removable insoles. The insoles do not fit loosely in the shoe; they are generally a snug fit so it may take some leveraged prying to take them out. If they fit too loosely, then they would slip around inside the shoe during use.

If they truly are glued or otherwise fastened to the shoe's bottom, they might not be a genuine Altra, but a knock-off. I am aware of some stand alone retail stores who have been fooled by gray market items, thinking that they have stumbled onto a bargain outside of authorized distribution channels. I am not saying that this is definitely the case, just something to check on if the insoles are not removable.

Third party insoles work best when they are a replacement to, not added on top of, the factory insole. Thinner third party insoles, as in the case of a manufacturer like Superfeet, are designed to better accommodate a "high volume" foot which some individuals have, especially those with high arches. Always try to completely replace an insole, rather than to add onto the one already in the shoe.

It can be as challenging to find a workable insole as it is to find a shoe that works for you. Do not be in a hurry. As a general rule, regardless of what some retailers may try to insist is the case, if you try out a pair of insoles and they feel uncomfortable, most of the time 'getting used to them' will not work. If an insole is not creating discomfort, but is just sort of weird feeling while still feeling pretty good, then that is when your feet will 'get used' to the different 'feel' of the new insole.

In any case, be sure to try on the insoles toward the end of the day, and while wearing the same amount of weight in a pack that you will be carrying, and while wearing the same socks you will be walking in. If you find that a pair of insoles really work well for you, make sure that your shoes are still within the needed size for a proper fit. Be prepared, if necessary, to get a larger and wider size of the shoe you plan to use should the new insoles take up too much volume.

Yeah, it is a dance to find a great shoe and match it to a good insole, but if you take the needed time to get a good fit with both, you will not regret it. :)
 
Last edited:

rickyt

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning for sometime in 2020
#20
Hi, ricky....

As far as I know, all of the Altras should have removable insoles. The insoles do not fit loosely in the shoe; they are generally a snug fit so it may take some leveraged prying to take them out. If they fit too loosely, then they would slip around inside the shoe during use.

If they truly are glued or otherwise fastened to the shoe's bottom, they might not be a genuine Altra, but a knock-off. I am aware of some stand alone retail stores who have been fooled by gray market items, thinking that they have stumbled onto a bargain outside of authorized distribution channels. I am not saying that this is definitely the case, just something to check on if the insoles are not removable.

Third party insoles work best when they are a replacement to, not added on top of, the factory insole. Thinner third party insoles, as in the case of a manufacturer like Superfeet, are designed to better accommodate a "high volume" foot which some individuals have, especially those with high arches. Always try to completely replace an insole, rather than to add onto the one already in the shoe.

It can be as challenging to find a workable insole as it is to find a shoe that works for you. Do not be in a hurry. As a general rule, regardless of what some retailers may try to insist is the case, if you try out a pair of insoles and they feel uncomfortable, most of the time 'getting used to them' will not work. If an insole is not creating discomfort, but is just sort of weird feeling while still feeling pretty good, then that is when your feet will 'get used' to the different 'feel' of the new insole.

In any case, be sure to try on the insoles toward the end of the day, and while wearing the same amount of weight in a pack that you will be carrying, and while wearing the same socks you will be walking in. If you find that a pair of insoles really work well for you, make sure that your shoes are still within the needed size for a proper fit. Be prepared, if necessary, to get a larger and wider size of the shoe you plan to use should the new insoles take up too much volume.

Yeah, it is a dance to find a great shoe and match it to a good insole, but if you take the needed time to get a good fit with both, you will not regret it. :)
Thanks, I will definitely take another stab at trying to remove the insoles on my Altras. I don't know for sure that they are glued; I just made that assumption when I couldn't get them out easily. I just didn't want to force the issue, so to speak, and then risk damaging them. I do not believe they are a knock off, I bought them at REI which, as far as I can tell, is an authorized distributor.
I appreciate the suggestions and will definitely give them a go.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#21
Thanks, I will definitely take another stab at trying to remove the insoles on my Altras. I don't know for sure that they are glued; I just made that assumption when I couldn't get them out easily. I just didn't want to force the issue, so to speak, and then risk damaging them. I do not believe they are a knock off, I bought them at REI which, as far as I can tell, is an authorized distributor.
I appreciate the suggestions and will definitely give them a go.
Here's another thought: are what you are seeing inside the shoe actually an insole and not just the undersole which IS glued to the bottom. Sometimes it can appear like an insole.

I mention this because you said that you purchased the shoes from REI.

In my experience it is not unknown for a purchased pair of shoes from a large outlet to have had the insoles removed and accidentally left out when a previous customer tried on those shoes in the store. This occurs when a customer wants to try out a third party insole when they are trying on the shoes, and remove the insoles in order to accomplish this. Then, the insoles are overlooked and the shoes re-boxed and placed on the shelf if the customer wants to then try a different size or model of shoe.

Just a thought.
 

rickyt

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning for sometime in 2020
#22
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I got home and, based on your advice, I took another look at the insoles on my shoes. Like many of you said, they were just in there snugly. With a bit more effort than I had given before I was able to remove them. Now, I feel pretty foolish for posing the question. Oh well, had I not asked, I would never have tried again to get them out. Thank you all also for the suggestions on what types of insoles I should replace them with. You all are a wealth of information and I always learn a lot every time I log on.
 
Camino(s) past & future
French, North, Original and from Andorra through the Pyrenees.
All With mi Burro
#23
Nothing to add concerning insoles but back in august I met a German guy in Laredo on the north way who had been walking barefoot from Boardeux in France then carried along the way of lighthouses after reaching Santiago.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#24
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I got home and, based on your advice, I took another look at the insoles on my shoes. Like many of you said, they were just in there snugly. With a bit more effort than I had given before I was able to remove them. Now, I feel pretty foolish for posing the question. Oh well, had I not asked, I would never have tried again to get them out. Thank you all also for the suggestions on what types of insoles I should replace them with. You all are a wealth of information and I always learn a lot every time I log on.
There is nothing to feel foolish about, ricky.... Really!!! You had a legitimate concern about removing an insole that you thought might end up damaging a pair of good shoes. The fact that you were cautious is good. The ability for Forum members to answer your questions is exactly what we are here to do.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#27
I too suffer from plantar faciitis, and have used both Superfeet and Sole brands inserts, and find both accomplish the same goals IF properly sized. Don't just go by the size on the box, take them out and stand on them to ensure their arch reinforcement actually matches your arch location. All the over-the-counter inserts a made to match a range of sizes--you just cut them down to your actual foot length with a pair of heavy scissors. One advantage of the Sole brand is that you can place them in an oven at a low temperature until a dot on the side changes color, then slip them into your shoe or boot and walk around on them until they cool. They will then conform better to your foot. This is similar to how some of the custom ski boots are fitted.

Of course if you have a more serious issue with your feet, you should see a podiatrist and have custom insoles made. But for run-of-the mill foot issues, you can buy a half-dozen or so OTC insoles for the cost of one custom pair and not have to switch between your footwear. Whatever you decide, do it during your training hikes before the Camino so you can confirm the fit and identify any other foot-related issues.
 
Last edited:

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
#28
Hi
I went to a podiatrist and had my insoles custom made to offset two issues I have. One flat feet and the other loss of natural padding behind the toes, due to my age. The latter causes the toes to claw. The insoles have a raised section or bump to offset this. Need to have them sized for your footwear. I can swap between trail walking low cut footwear and boots.
Took them back several times for final adjustments and now have walked 2000+Km without problems.
In my opinion well worth the money.
After all we “travel on out soles”
Happymark
I also had my custom made which I paid 180 Euro for but they solved all my problem, well worth the money.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra May/ June 2017
Le Puy en Velay - Ales May 2018
#29
I use NeatFeat Wellness inner soles , without them I doubt if I could walk the distances I do . They are relatively inexpensive at Aus $30 and available from large chemist shops . The inner soles are made from a very resilient self moulding foam with good arch support and a non slip upper cover . They are so comfortable and add to the general shock absorbing action of the shoe's sole and bed . They are the perfect solution to neutral type shoes that come with paper thin and useless original inner soles like the Merrill Moab .
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lisbon
#30
Regarding pronation I quickly developed ankle pain with my Moabs when I began training for the CP and thought it was due to pronation so added a few mm under the side of the insole. Instant cure of the pronation and the pain and I did the CP from Lisbon without any recurrence. The cost, about 1 cent.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Arles Route (2013/2014 onwards)
#31
As others have said I'd be amazed if your insoles don't simply slide out. I've just bought a new pair of shoes and my next stop was the running shop for a pair of Double Strike Sorbothane insoles, these provide good instep support and cushioning under the heel and ball of the foot. I find this an excellent combination.
 

robertt

Active Member
#32
A long term plantar problem went away after I walked the Great North track from Sydney to Newcastle in an old-fashioned pair of heavy Blundstones with stiff soles (no inserts at all). I put the cure down to irregular clambering on rigid soles, since exercise in soft runners on regular surfaces had only exacerbated the problem prior to the big trek.

Now, since a trouble-free CF in oversize Columbia mids bulked out with green Superfeet, I use some grade of Superfeet just about all the time to stiffen whatever I am wearing. I'm wary of too much activity in thin soft runners, since that's where the problem started all those years ago.

It's all very personal, of course, but I think plantar sufferers should at least consider a stiffer base underfoot, whether it be sole or insert or both.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May 2017
#33
I’m on my 4th pair of Columbia Ventrailia trail shoes and the first thing I do is take out the original inside inserts and replace with Dr. Scholls heavy duty inserts. Works a charm and creates added comfort for my high arched feet.
 

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