Do Your Feet a Favor

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For the amount of wear and tear we put on our feet in the mountains each year, it’s remarkable how frequently we fail to invest in the proper support needed to ensure maximum comfort and longevity for our most abused load bearing body parts. Purchasing quality boots is a definite step in the right direction toward happy feet, but for many of us, a well made aftermarket insole is the missing link that prevents us from achieving the utmost comfort. According to studies, an astounding 75% of the population has some sort of foot problem, with just 10% of those people using some sort of over-the-counter supportive device.

After locking in SCARPA as our boot to offer in 2015, Jason came up with the idea of adding a line of insoles to our Gear Shop and the hunt was on. I researched the top insole brands on the market and met with a number of them in Salt Lake City at Outdoor Retailer in January of 2015. After speaking with insole designers, meeting with reps, and testing an array of samples, Superfeet came out on top by a considerable margin. If you don’t want to take my word for it, Superfeet is the #1 insole worn and recommended by doctors.

Why Factory Insoles Fall Short

Boot companies specialize in the making of boots to “fit” a wide range of foot volumes and arch types. From a business and production standpoint, large scale boot manufacturers have enough on their plate in dealing with the accommodation of different foot lengths and widths. Trying to add a third dimension to the built-in fit by offering an array of arch support types would simply be unreasonable, so they slap in a cheap flat factory insole and call it good, assuming the buyer will upgrade depending on their specific needs. Whether or not the end user realizes this is not the boot makers problem. This is consistent among all boot companies, regardless of the quality of their product.

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Why Superfeet Make a Difference

Superfeet insoles today are a product of 40+ years worth of R&D in foot biomechanics and cutting edge materials. By leaving the footwear making to the footwear makers, Superfeet has been able to focus on the fine details that matter when it comes to quality foot support. The simple answer to “Why Superfeet make a difference” is that their distinct shape mildly manipulates the structure of the foot, transferring the weight of the body onto the most supportive portions of the foot’s arch.

To relate this back to improved comfort and boot performance in the backcountry, by upgrading from factory insoles to Superfeet users will experience:

  • Better alignment of the back, knees, and ankles while standing still.
  • Decreased ankle pronation and supination (side to side flex) while side-hilling.
  • Increased shock absorption while carrying a heavy pack.
  • Decreased pressure in toe box during steep descents.
  • Decreased risk of Plantar Fasciitis: inflammation of the connective tissue in the sole of the foot caused by heavy use on hard surfaces and uneven terrain. This is one of the most common foot ailments associated with improper support in the mountains.

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Below you can see the pronation of my knee and ankle while standing one-legged on a factory boot insole (Left). While standing one-legged on the Superfeet Green (Right), balancing was much easier and provided much better alignment in the knee and ankle. As shown in the diagram above, poor knee alignment has a direct affect on the rest of the body.

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Styles Offered by KUIU

Superfeet insoles are now available in the Gear Shop section of the KUIU online store! While Superfeet offers a wide variety of insole types, we have narrowed it down to what we feel are the two best options for the backcountry big game hunter: Superfeet Carbon and Superfeet Green. These are both top of the line styles, and each is designed to fit a different foot shape. Not only are these great options for use in hunting boots, but they work very well in athletic type shoes as well. Take a look below to find out which insole is best for you.

If you are still unsure about which insole is best for you, feel free to call KUIU Customer Service as they have received quality training from our regional Superfeet Rep.

Carbon

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Superfeet Carbon is designed for those with a flat foot or low arch. Furthermore, Carbon’s low profile allows extra room inside the toe box which can be a benefit for those with a higher volume foot looking for just a little more wiggle room than the factory insert provides. The structured cap on the bottom of this insole is a carbon-composite material that is incredibly light weight and durable, and also allows a small amount of flex during use (think shock absorber). A single Carbon insole for a size 11 foot weighs just 1.4 oz. Longevity for this product is rated at 12 months or 500 miles.

Click here to shop Superfeet Carbon

Green

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We chose to carry Superfeet Green as a solid option for users who have a high arch and need more support than what the Carbon provides. Green uses a larger polymer cap for support and does not offer the flex of Carbon (this is necessary in providing full support for a high arch). Because of it’s higher supportive profile, Green may require a short break-in process for some users. Lastly, Green has a higher profile toward the toe, offering a slight increase in insulation over Carbon. A single Green insole for a size 11 foot weighs 1.9 oz, and has an estimated longevity of 12 months or 500 miles.

Click here to shop Superfeet Green

60-Day Guarantee

Superfeet is so confident in their product, they offer a 60-day comfort guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the performance of your KUIU bought Superfeet, you may return them to KUIU within 60 days of the original purchase for a full refund.

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GIVEAWAY!

UPDATE: DEWEY PRATT, YOU WERE CHOSEN FOR THE FREE PAIR! I HAVE SENT YOU AN EMAIL. THANKS TO EVERYONE ELSE WHO COMMENTED!

Everyone who Subscribes and submits a comment to this post will be entered into a drawing to win a FREE pair of Superfeet. I will pull the winning name out of a hat this Friday, March 13th at 12pm PST. The winner will get to choose between the Green and Carbon models.

Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t appear right away. I have to approve them before they show up on the public page.

Lastly, I want to thank all of the new subscribers who joined The Hunt last week in response to the KUIU newsletter. We are over the 500 subscriber mark as of today (3/10/2015). Email me at toddh@kuiu.com if you have ideas for future posts.

-Todd Harney

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Determining Your Arch Type (Addition to Original Post)

There were a few questions that came up in the comments on how to determine your arch type before choosing an insole. One way to do this is by wetting the bottom of your bare foot and taking one normal step onto a piece of thick paper. A “flat” foot (little to no arch) will look like the print on the right. A “normal” arch will look like the print on the left. A print that lays down even less water in the arch area than the print on the left would be considered a “high” arch. Tim, who took the step on the left, is comfortable in both the Carbon and the Green insoles.

Arch

109 thoughts on “Do Your Feet a Favor

  1. I use SuperFeet insoles in some of my boots, and have tried other insoles as well. SuperFeet seems to be the best without going to an expensive custom orthotic insole.

  2. Great idea Todd. I basically have flat feet and would definitely benefit from the carbon inserts. I’ll be getting a pair or two.

  3. I use Superfeet Green in my boots and running shoes currently and they provide incredible support. Even with the minimal arch, it’s a large improvement from no support at all. However, I actually am flat footed and had no idea they had a carbon line and will give those a go for sure as they seem better suited for those with flat feet.

  4. Love it. These have been popular in hockey skates for year. Love them will be rocking them in my hunting boots this season for sure.

  5. It’s amazing what insoles do for my lower back pain, I’ll need to give these a shot. Great idea to offer them in your Gear Shop. One stop shopping.

  6. I use insoles right now. As I have back, knee, and ankle problems. I have tried cheap ones and they don’t work. The best I have found for now was Redwing. But working two jobs, they last two to three months and I start to hurt again. I must give these a try!! They sound like what I need.

    • John, I started with WalMart insoles and then went to Levelers which my chiropractor recommended. They have helped somewhat but still suffer from Plantar Fasciitis. I am considering trying these insoles also as I am on my feet 12 hours a day 6-7 days a week at work. Let me know how these insoles work out for you

  7. I have plantar facetious and super feet are the next best thing to my $350 a pair custom orthotics. Great insoles and recommended by my foot doctor. Insoles make all the difference.

  8. These look like they would be a great addition to my hunting and work boots. Another great addition for a well rounded offering in the gear shop.

  9. I’ve always used a different brand of insole and had good luck, but now I’m really interested in trying these Superfeet Green after reading this.

  10. Have had superfeet orange and green in multiple sets of boots and shoes. I have tried other brands but always come back to the Superfeet insoles. Great product for everyday use and backcountry hunting.

  11. Just bought a pair of Kenetreks and can’t believe how much of a difference they’ve made for feet comfort. Having a 60 day guarantee is the difference in why I will take the extra step and try insoles. I just hope I win a pair instead of having to buy a pair.

  12. The problem I have found with buying insoles online is that I have no clue whether I am a “high” or “low” arch as Superfeet defines it. As such I think this will be a challenge for Kuiu and why I prefer to buy this particular item locally where I can try them on. I completely agree on the importance of aftermarket insoles and the ignorance thereof. I was always of the opinion that unless you have a problem, you didn’t need them, however after a recent foot surgery for a Lisfranc injury I replaced all of my insoles and it made a world of difference. I did however find that what fit me best were the even more expensive insoles that offer a big metatarsal pad, which Superfeet doesn’t seem to offer.

  13. The first thing I replace is the insoles with Superfeet Green and in some cases the Blue. They are absolutely important for support and it doesn’t matter what make of boots I use.

  14. I’ve been using the green superfeet for years! I have a pair in every boot…save for one. That will change if I win! Thanks for the opportunity!

  15. Again, thanks for the post, I have been looking for a good insoles for my work boots bit everything I have tried either wore out or were just terrible. I will go with your judgment and give them a shot

  16. In downhill skiing all good skiers put a lot of attention to getting the knee angle straight, it is very important as the power of fast carving is very high and put a hundreds of kilos of weight to the knee. And moving in mountain terrain with heavy back packs and uneven terrain is very similar.
    To perfect the angle, use duct tape under the sole

  17. Got my first pair of SuperFeet from a good friend who owns a triathlon store. He was trained by SuperFeet to measure WHERE your arch falls on the foot measuring device and then adjust the innersole to your show size. In other words, I am a 10 size, but my arch falls longer – measured 11 on his shoe/arch measurer. What a difference it made when I had my arch supported where it naturally fell versus where the size 10 shoe would have had it. Good line of products!

  18. I have used super feet and they are great. Many times I buy them with new boots and change them out right away. Thanks for the review.

  19. I was not aware of the carbon. I have a low arch and I am in the market for a low arch insole. I will have to give it a shot. Thanks for the great article

  20. I have used many different after market insoles for my hunting boots to ski boots…I currently use Synergy Foot Beds in my Lowa’s… It would be great to put a pair of these Superfeet insoles to a test against the Synergy footbeds…!

  21. I have used several different insole brands. Superfeet seem to work really well for me given their wide variety of volume, arch height, and type of padding or lack of. I find the blue seem to fit my feet best but may have to try out the carbons.

  22. Nearly 5 years ago this October I had a little ladder accident and ended up shattering both left and right heel bones. Needless to say, I had surgery and spent 4 months in a wheel chair. All the hard work and physical therapy got me back hunting the Hells Canyon a year later. SUPERFEET insoles are a standard replacement item like new laces every 6 months. I use green in all my shoes.

  23. I love the green superfeet, but have definitely put more than a year of wear into a pair. I have had a pair wear out on top, and another eventually come unglued. Why the 12 month/500 mile expiration? What is breaking down? Thanks, I hope I win a new pair!

    • It’s usually the foam that breaks down after that amount of time (on average). They will last much longer for some and shorter for others. Depends on the frequency and amount of abuse you’re putting on them.

  24. Good to see Kuiu is increasing their product line some more. I am totally interested in trying out some insoles for more comfort. Not sure which one to get cause I’ve never tried insoles. How do I know what kind of arch I have?

  25. I’ve used the Superfeet orange in both my hunting boots and every day shoes. You’ll need more than 1 pair once you start using them unless you want to keep switching them between shoes! Would like to try another shape to see what the difference might be.

  26. Once again, KUIU is looking out for there customers! Great article Todd, keep up the hard work. Maybe a pair of these will help my lower back pains.

  27. I’ve always wondered why you pay a few hundred dollars for top quality footwear and you get the same cheap insole as a $50 pair of hikers. I’ve always purchased insoles for my hunting boots but have not tried Superfeet. Will have to try them now.

  28. I’ve never found a pair of insoles that I loved. It will be great to try a pair. Thanks again for the great product reviews.

  29. Most footwear companies use an insole that feels great out of the box but breaks down relatively quickly. An aftermarket insole is worth the investment. I’ll have to try these.

  30. This article was inlightening, I never thought about insoles this way in comparison to the money paid for good running shoes or hiking boots. I constantly have knee, hip, and lower back pain after long days on my feet. I will definently be looking into a pair of Superfeet.

  31. When my Meindl boots of 9 years gave out right before my stone sheep hunt my only option was to try new insoles. I bought the Superfeet greens and I made it through my 14 day hunt. I bought Kenetreks after that hunt and when the blue pads on the bottom of the factory insoles came unglued, I put my Superfeet in them and haven’t had any issues since. Cool to see KUIU offering them.

  32. I have used Sole products and several custom styles. Never tried SuperFeet… I will give them a whril, insoles absolutely necessary for a 58 yr old with flat feet & misaligned Knee, if you don’t use them missing out on real enhancement to foot travel!!!

  33. I have not tried these insoles . But plan to.
    Having good foot wear is key to a successful hunt. If you are uncomfortable or in pain you can not enjoy the outdoors!
    Lawrence
    Alberta Canada

  34. these are the best insoles by far!!! i use the orange model as they are designed to provide more padding and i have actually bruised my feet before. your feet can ruin a hunt so i try to take great care of mine in the backcountry and these superfeet help and them are fairly durable and long lasting. i will warn sizing is a little funny so get a pair and fit/experiment with them to make sure you have the right ones.

  35. Since 2000 I had been using meindl boots ( Ibex, Alaska Hunter, Canada, perfect, etc) with acceptable tolerance. My only compliant is the insole. Without question I will be glad to use the Green Superfeet to solve how thin and fragile is the factory insole.

  36. I have extremely flat feet and use custom orthodic inserts. However the heal is very hard and not very comfortable for running. I think I will try a pair of the Carbon. Do they come in size 15? Thanks….

  37. Have looked at the SuperFeet insoles a few times. Just haven’t pulled the trigger to get a pair. I have read good things about them on many different sites. If I’m lucky, maybe Kuiu will pull the trigger for me……

  38. I’m a firm believer that even the best boots can be improved upon by adding a quality insole. I’m looking forward to this product.

  39. I have been looking for new insoles. Might have to give these a try.
    Although, looking into superfeet, I think the orange would best suit me.

  40. I have been using the arch supports purchased at Academy with “OK” results, but looking for a more appropriate solution for my hunting boots . I will be giving these a try and if they work as advertised, I will most likely use then in all of my day to day footwear as well.

  41. Orthotics will make your day in the mountains or standing in a river attached to a fly in the mouth of a brown trout, even more enjoyable than being uncomfortable or in pain all day. Thank you KUIU for doing the research and offering the best products available at reasonable prices…

  42. This is timely information. The issues described are exactly what I’m experiencing in both my running shoes and my mountain boots.
    I come by my flat feet honestly and the Carbons look to be just the ticket for alleviating the pain I’m experiencing in my ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.

  43. Have been shopping for a new pair of hunting boots for this season. If I choose a pair of Scarpa boots can I order a set of the Green insoles that are cut for the boot?

    • Bobby, your Superfeet will arrive slightly oversized. Simply trace the boot’s factory insole onto the Superfeet and trim it down to the perfect size with scissors.

  44. I’ve had reconstructive foot surgery and wear custom orthotics. Its very inconvenient moving them from one pair of shoes/boots to another. It would be interesting to determine whether these have similar properties as custom orthotics.

  45. I run super feet in my boots and they make all the difference. Without a doubt I can tell a huge difference at the end of the day in my hips, knees, and back if I have super feet in my boots!

  46. At 65, I am now “fully” aware of the real value of comfortable and well-made footwear. I am an upland and waterfowl hunter. Several years ago I had Russell Moccasin build me a pair of upland bird hunting boots. The difference between those and everything else I had ever worn was night and day. I will try the SuperFeet insoles and let you know the outcome. Thanks for doing the research for us.

  47. My wife and I have been walking 3-6 miles everyday and packing weight with regular insoles is killing my feet. I hope SuperFeet is the answer. Love the 60 guarantee.

  48. I’ve been looking for an insole to use in my shoes for hunting and adventure racing. I’ve tried just about everything else with very little performance. Hopefully SuperFeet fit the bill.

  49. I have heard so many good things about Superfeet but have yet to try them out for myself. Now that KUIU recommends them, I guess it’s time! This article provided all the information that I needed.

    CK

  50. Interesting product and the article makes a lot of sense for adding comfort and support into my hunting boots. Might be time for an upgrade for my boots.

  51. I have tried both the carbon and orange. The carbon work much better for me. I suffer from plantar fasciitis and it has improved while wearing super feet. I would highly recommend them to anyone.

  52. I’ve been happily using Superfeet for a number of years in my hunting boots. I’ve got low arches. I often backpack for my hunts and put on a lot of miles and they’ve been great. The first purchase I make whenever I buy a new pair of boots is a set of Superfeet insoles.

  53. I have been looking for a good pair of insoles for my boots With everything else exceeding my status i have purchased from KUIU I am sure these will also.

  54. I spent $350 on custom orthotics that dont allow my feet to fit in to too many shoes. At $50+ bucks, this could be an excellent solution. Thanks!

  55. Been looking for a good pair of hunting shoes. I didn’t really think about insoles. Guess its time to try them and see what its all about.
    Aloha

  56. I already use sure fit soles in my ski boots , golf shoes… I’m looking forward adding one paire in my next Scarpa gran dru GTX !

  57. Went for a 7 mile hike here in the Pacific Northwest looking for sheds on Tuesday. My feet were begging me to sit down by the end of the hike. My boots are still in great shape so I think it’s time for some new insoles. Definitely going to be getting a pair of these whether I’m drawn or not.

  58. I have the Green Superfeet in my Kenetreks for hunting, and a set of Green in my work boots. Comfort and support, I can’t say enough about them.

  59. I have not made a bad selection with KUIU clothing to this point.
    If these work well in boots, I may add them to my running shoes!

  60. I’ve always added insoles to my running shoes but have never given it a thought to put after market insoles in my hunting boots. I’m heading to Colorado this fall for the first time and wouldn’t want sore feet holding me back. I’ll have to give them a try.

  61. I have always added insoles to my running shoes but have never given it a thought to put them in my hunting boots. I’ll be heading to Colorado this fall for elk and mule deer and wouldn’t want sore feet holding me back. I’ll have to give them a try.

  62. I’ve been using smart feet in my work boots for a year or so now and they have proven to be a major asset. Its crazy that I’m not running a pair in my hanwags!

  63. Can’t wait to get my feet on some of those insoles, I’d hate to have long toed flippers like the poor guy whose foot is on the right side of the paper in the comparison picture above..

  64. I have a fairly low arch but use the green super feet insoles. Mine are worn out now and I can tell they need replaced. Plan to replace my green ones but sounds like I need to try the carbon ones. Can’t go wrong with super feet.

  65. Just bought some new Asolo boots that need a new insole, sounds like these might be the ones. I can’t wait to put some miles in the hills on them.

  66. Just wanted to say that because of this “Post”, I became a believer in quality insoles in hunting boots. Coincidentally, several weeks later I was contacted by Superfeet and sent two pairs of insoles; the Green and Merino Grey to test and review. If it weren’t for KUIU, I wouldn’t have known anything about them and wouldn’t have known after I conducted my own foot test that I suffer from high arches. Wore the Green insoles during early turkey season and they work. The real test will be this coming fall (month) hunting doves and prairie chickens and walking up and down and across the Flint Hills and Breaks of Kansas as well as hunting desert quail and pheasants. Glad to see that KUIU although primarily geared towards Big Game hunting and Mountain Hunting, that ALL hunters and outdoorsmen can benefit from such a company. Thanks,

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