The Importance of Customised Footwear for Hiking -
hiking boots

Long-distance walking, whether it’s thru-hiking on iconic trails like the Appalachian Trail or a family walking holiday in Cornwall, is an adventure that draws outdoor enthusiasts from all walks of life.

Whether you’re self-navigating through rugged terrain or strolling along well-marked paths, the cumulative effect of walking every day can present unique challenges requiring special attention to foot care.

Tackling trails, day in, day out

Multi-day backpacking trips can cover hundreds or thousands of miles, demanding sustained endurance and mental fortitude as you navigate varying terrain and weather conditions.

Thru-hiking refers to a really long backpacking trip that often takes months to complete, but this may be completed one section at a time. On the bucket-list for many ardent thru-hikers is the famous Appalachian Trail (the A.T.) in the United States, that covers just under 2,200 miles.

Photo Appalachian Trail: Kirk Thornton on Unsplash

One of Profeet’s advisors, thru-hiking enthusiast Gavin Griffiths, tries to fit in at least one 7-day trek every year, believing it to be the perfect holiday. So far, he’s completed the West Highland Way, Hadrians Wall, The Grand Union Canal and is currently tackling sections of the rugged South West Coast Path!

“From my experience, the right footwear actually makes the holiday and the wrong footwear can destroy a holiday within the first day. You need to have footwear that accommodates your expanding feet and the ability to be able to stomp out 20 miles a day for seven consecutive days,” says Gavin.


Foot care: a vital aspect

Foot care is of paramount importance for any hiker, but it’s especially crucial for long-distance hikers. When you’re on your feet day after day, covering extensive distances, even minor foot issues can quickly escalate into major problems. Common issues faced by hikers include swelling feet, blisters, and toenail injuries. These can not only cause discomfort but also hamper your ability to continue your journey.

When it comes to hiking, your shoes are perhaps the most critical piece of equipment you’ll own. Unlike running shoes, which are designed for short, high-impact activities with recovery afterward, hiking shoes need to provide comfort and support over long distances and varying terrains, day after day.

“If you want to take hiking seriously, actually one of the most important items of clothing isn’t your backpack or your raincoat or your poles, it’s actually what you put on your feet because that can’t be replaced when you’re out and about,” says Gavin.

hiking boots
hiking boots



Avoid common hiking injuries with custom insoles

Choosing the right footwear is crucial for long-distance hiking, as the foundation of your journey and for protection against the elements. But even the best and highest quality hiking shoes may not provide the customised support that your feet need.

Ill-fitting shoes can lead to a host of problems, most commonly blisters. On the West Highland Way, Gavin witnessed a girl having to abandon her trip halfway because of blisters.

“They were like a shrapnel wound – almost ambulance territory! She probably wouldn’t have been able to walk for two weeks!”

Custom Insoles

Staying blister-free is about ensuring the right fit of your hiking boots. As well as the heel of the boot fitting snugly, you should ensure that they also fit well around your toes, forefoot and ankle, to minimise excessive movement. Custom insoles are designed to support the unique shape of your feet, offering comfort, personalised cushioning and stability, reducing the risk of common foot injuries. For multi-day hiking, or trekking over a long distance, custom insoles can make a world of difference!

Of course, walking-specific socks are another essential piece of kit for feet protection when hiking. It’s worth bearing in mind friction and moisture are your two worst enemies when it comes to blister prevention. Socks made from merino wool are a great choice, for keeping feet warm and drawing moisture away from the skin.

Profeet custom fitting: for your hiking comfort

We understand the importance of proper foot care, especially for long-distance hikers. In our Outdoor Lab, our team of expert shoe technicians specialises in custom fitting for walking shoes and custom insoles tailored to your specific needs.

During a Profeet custom fitting, we take the time to assess your feet and walking gait to determine the ideal footwear and insole solution for you. We consider factors such as arch height, foot width, and pronation to ensure a perfect fit. They can help alleviate pressure points, distribute weight evenly, and reduce strain on your feet and ankles, thereby minimising the risk of injuries.

Visit Profeet today for a custom fitting and start your adventure on the right foot! Contact us to schedule your appointment and experience the difference custom insoles can make. Call 020 7736 0046



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