View Full Version : How many have orthotic insole

03-07-2014, 09:59
Hello everyone.

Many people have heard me beef about hiking boots in the past and I apologize for that. My goal is to learn and not to share ala facebook, and also receive help from people who are more knowledgeable than I.

I have had problems getting any kind of good footwear for my feet. I have size 11 and 4e width.

I finally went to a podiatrist to get the real scoop as opposed to many poor fittings from other outfitters, including a very well known one. My feet are pretty messed up and I did not know it.

I have flat feet all my 47 years and for this I have a bunion on my left foot that makes it hard to find a good mid sized boot. I was prescribed and fitted for orthopedic insoles. The hope is to alleviate the pressure of having flat feet and to reduce the bunion.

I have keen targhees 2 and since the new insoles I have had to go from a 12 to a 13 to fit. This is still in a work of progress. The thing that stinks is my backpacking has been curtailed for a month or two until my feet get used to this. I plan on going GSMNP to Damascus beginning in early June. So you can see my concern.

My question is How many of you fine people have this? What has been your experience with this? Has it helped?

Any thoughts regarding this is greatly appreciated and welcomed.

Have a great day!

03-07-2014, 11:54
I was born with messed up feet and lower leg bones. Spent the first 10 years in special shoes (Not as bad as ol' Forrest Gump). I was then fine, except I was always hard on my feet. Axe strikes, massive cuts etc. Around when I turned 40 (I'm 55 now), I started waking up with aching feet. One day, while crawling to the bath room, my wife said "ENOUGH". I went to see a podiatrist. he took x-rays, watched me walk. then proceeded to TELL ME my bad feet history and issues! Anyway, it took around 3 weeks of twice a week "tape jobs", then plaster cast for the orthotics. Just the tape job, helped a lot with the pain. I was in the orthotics for just a few days and had massive relief. I have tried some OTC insoles and within a few days, I'm back in pain.
I have two set of orthotics, one is the 3/4 style and one is full length (well, the orthotic is still 3/4, but it has a leather thing to make it full length. I wear them all the time (in shoes) and take them with me when shoe shopping. I then strip the shoes of foot boards and insoles, stuff in my orthotics, and try the shoes on. I personally like either Merrill or have been using some Brooks Cascadia's also. Fine shoes. It takes experimentation.
It is also important to follow the "get used to them" procedure, which the doc will tell you about. My get-used to them, was like 1 or 2 weeks. then, wear them whenever you have shoes on. So, I would think if you already have the orthotics, by 4/1/2014, you should be used to them. You might want to go and try different shoes with them, once you are used to the orthotics. But the Keen's might still be the best shoe for you. Only you can tell that. Get to a few stores with several brands, so you can try on different shoes.

03-07-2014, 12:11
Ditto here, the orthotics I use have made all the difference in the world for my hiking/backpacking. No more knee, foot pains. I got mine from Good Feet store. I also use Keen Targees in a size larger than other boots.

03-07-2014, 13:34
I just returned from the podiatrist and ordered orthotics for my upcoming thru hike. I used a pair last year and I believe that it helped. I had no blisters and kept my feet in much better shape than the rest of my group. I also used Aquaphor pre and post hike each day as well as wearing camp socks at night to help my feet. Boots used were Keen Voyageur as I have wide feet and the outfitter at the NOC suggested it as a better fit than the Merrill's I had been using. Good luck on your upcoming hike.

03-07-2014, 14:05
Unless you know that your feet (and stance) are really screwed up, I suggest trying one of the orthotic insoles available through REI and running stores. Podiatrists may very well try to sell you on custom insoles that will run hundreds of dollars, when you can buy heat-moldable insoles for $35 that may actually prove more comfortable. Just make sure that your boots have sufficient space to fit a more voluminous insole; otherwise you will likely get blisters on your toes or heels. I typically size up my boots by a full size or more to accommodate my orthotics (an old pair of Spenco Backpacker insoles that need to be replaced), so make sure you try on new boots with your preferred insoles.

03-07-2014, 17:26
Thanks guys for your replies.,

Odd thing is I never had a problem with my feet until I replaced my old keens, and could not find anything. I would size up to accommodate this bunion, and that didn't work. I tried every brand, and they didn't feel good. It is bad enough
my right foot is a tad smaller than my left.

The ortho insoles were covered by my insurance so I had to pay nothing except my deductible for the visit. He is an outdoor type so I know pretty well he heard me loud and clear about my concerns.

I teach and I'm on my feet all day. I'm supposed to break them in slowly to my feet but I figure what the heck.

I hear you on saying on getting used to them before saying it doesn't work. I will see the doctor in 3 weeks.

The hardest thing is not being able to get out. I have cancelled many plans I had, and if I do not get out I drive everyone batty! That being said I will go out a do some low mileage overnight next weekend. I gotta get out

I would like to get a better boot than keens but I will wait until what the doctor tells me.

Thank you for your replies.

Have any of you had a boot stretched for a wider fit?
All the best