Thursday, August 5, 2021

Gear: Upgrading My Hiking Boot Inserts


Super happy with my new hiking boot inserts, Superfeet Trailblazer Comfort.

After traveling 300+ miles in my KEEN Targhee IIIs, I was starting to feel the rocks through the bottom of my boots on rough terrain. The boot's original soles had compressed and had no cushion left.

I stopped by REI in Tualatin but was a bit daunted by the wall of shoe inserts, some for arch support, some for comfort, some for insulation/warmth, and a range of widths. Fortunately a salesperson was quick to help me find the right option.

I went out to the Hamilton Mountain to test them on some tough sections of the trail. And, wow! So much better. Such an improvement.

  • Superfeet insoles keep their shape, delivering reliable support and comfort for up to 12 months or 500 miles, whichever comes first

Update: As of Feb 17, 2022, I've got 235 miles on these insoles. They do seem to be compressing as I can see the imprints of my big toe and ball. Hopefully, they will last another 5 months and/or 265 miles.

Another Update - Feb 27, 2022: I bought another set of the Superfeet Trailblazer Comfort (Size E). I went to REI to get a look at the Sof Sole Insoles ($21.95) because of the low price point but they seemed too narrow. I also looked at the SOLE Performance Thick Footbeds ($59.00) but, in the $50-60 price range, I just liked the Superfeet ones best: (1) wider esp for the front/toes, (2) reinforced molded heel, and (3) overall cushioning.

I'd venture to say that Superfeets would have offered diminishing returns during the 2nd 250+ miles. Better to incur the cost now rather than experience discomfort & problems with my feet.


Here are some photos from the Hamilton Mountain Trail, showcasing the variety of surfaces.

1-2" rocks + roots, firmly embedded in trail (mud/dirt)

1-3" rocks, somewhat loose on the trail

2-4" rocks, firmly embedded in trail (mud/dirt)

A smooth section, just a from 2-3" rocks but avoidable