Aug 8, 2005 at 10:06 am #1216551
I’m inspired to try superfeet as so many people on this website love them. For ultralight backpacking (17lb total weight) with trail runners (Monotrail Hardrocks), do people find the more substantial green superfeet or the thinner blue superfeet work better?Aug 8, 2005 at 2:05 pm #1340070
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
I’ve used the green as i was lightening up (50lb down to 22lb). used them in Lowa Scout II and an inexpensive pair of LLBean Gore-Tex light hikers. found i preferred the Shock Doctor Ultra II insoles over the green Superfeet – very close; very, very close. I’ve never tried the blue. If I recall correctly, they’re primarily intended for street/dress footwear – but may prove serviceable for light hiking.
What I really prefer using with the above footwear is a full gel insole & a Spenco generic (“off the shelf”) arch support. Really appreciated the cushioning of the gel insole.
I haven’t seen any real compelling need for any of them with 15.5lb true pack wt (including 3d food and 2L water) and NB805 trail runners. Actually, the jury is still out. I’m still trying to decide b/t nothing or the full gel insoles. The diff, for me at least, is not that great – so it’s not easy to make up my mind.Aug 8, 2005 at 2:31 pm #1340072
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
I’ve only used the greens, and do like them a good deal because they help stabilize my trail shoes compared to the floppy foam things that come with them.
I suspect which Superfeet model to choose has a lot to do with whether you need to retain the shoe’s volume or not, as the thicker (green) insoles will reduce volume in comparison to the blue ones. To me, this is a larger issue than performance differences, which should be similar between the two. If your shoe fits correctly with the factory insoles and your favorite socks, you might prefer the blue Superfeet.Aug 8, 2005 at 9:05 pm #1340085
@mlarsonLocale: Southeast USA
I like the green models, which seem to have a bit more aggressive support and seems less fatiguing on long days. I also like the volume, which helps to keep a snug fit around the heel pad and lock in the rear/mid foot.
On a side note, be sure to by the insole that fits your foot, not just the shoe. I wear a shoe size 11-11.5, but the proper insole for my arch is in the 9-9.5 range. You can probably find a salesman to help you out with that.
-MarkAug 9, 2005 at 12:57 am #1340091
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Mark makes a good point about sizing the insole.
Years ago I learned this from a Red Wings Shoes store manager. The real way to measure your foot, in many cases, is from the back of the heel of the foot to the ball of the foot – NOT to the end of the toes. Many people have “short” toes. The placement of the ball of the foot is important for proper arch support and shoe flexion. It turned out that I would take from 1/2 to a full size larger than I was wearing when I walked into the store. Sure, if someone has long toes, then those must be accomodated, but the store manager gave me the impression that situation is less common than my situation.
If anyone has high arches, like I do, then an arch support may help as well. Under the constant loading/unloading of the foot with the additional weight of the pack (esp. a heavier one which might be req’d for a long trek, or anyone needing to carry heavy camera equipment, etc.), my feet would ache from the arch flattening a bit under load and then returning when unloaded – the arches act like springs and so flatten a bit with each step. This is a good thing. In a prev. post in this thread, I mentioned what I used and found to be quite satisfactory.
Also, this too can be important when sizing footwear. High arches tend to flatten a bit with each step, causing the foot to lengthen – don’t want to jam the end of the big toes into the toe box with each step. Lost two big toe nails this way when I was using some La Sportiva Mountaineering boots – talk about pain with every step. Wasn’t equipped to stay out in the weather which turned bad & HAD to descend. I was merely breaking in the boots in prepartation for a vacation trip. Boots were GREAT ascending, but descending was another story. Toes jammed forward with each step down. Ended up placing my feet sideways – at least the mountaineering boots kept me from “rolling” my ankle when I would step down this way. Result was the dreaded “Black Toe” (toes in my case; two to be precise) – actually mine even turned “red” from the blood – socks were soaked in blood also – prob. lost a couple of ounces of the precious red stuff. No exaggeration. It became quite “squishy” – not from sweat or water either, mind you. Blood never really clotted while descending since each step “broke” the forming clots (also the Ibuprofen I had been taking might have contributed somewhat to this “non-clotting”). Like I said, it was quite painful (like the old Scotsman says, “It’s better felt, than telt”) As a result, I was forced to miss the vacation trip with my co-workers. So, the moral of the story is proper shoe fitting is a must for self-preservation and oneness with the Dao of the trail/mountain.
If only I had known then about using lighter weight footwear. All of my foot problems have disappeared with light weight footwear used in conjuction with a lighter pack. [Note: Ray J mentions using trail runners even in the mtns – except for kicking steps in frozen snow, then light fabric hikers are sufficient. Too bad I hadn’t read his book earlier.]
Hope this info helps someone.Aug 10, 2005 at 10:35 am #1340140
For those with online access, the Wall Street Journal published an article on this yesterday and mentioned a few of the things to keep in mind when shopping for insoles and foot support. The number one being that you should see a doctor or shop at a place where they can recognize a serious problem before buying. The WSJ quoted a story of a lady that bought insoles to help with back ailments, only to later find that the arch support caused ligament tears in her feet. Extreme example I’m sure, but scary enough to consider regardless.
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