Insoles - an opinion/ review

30 years since I last had a blister…
In an effort to make the Jim Green Razor backs super comfortable I brought a pair of Silicon padded (Heel and Ball) insoles - cut to size and fitted in my boots - felt squidgy and comfortable - and then departed for the Kgalagadi and onto the Kruger. 2 weeks later to start the hike.
Boots polished and special leather treatment applied they were put away safe from Kgalagadi dust sand smoke damage etc.

Started the Trail and after a few KM could feel something was wrong - must be laces -re adjusted several times at 10km a lunch break

I changed back to the original insoles and saw the white formation deep under my skin (Im pissed off and happy that I packed the original insoles as well)

I should point out that were were starting each morning with 5litres of water and the temperatures on day 1 and 2 were low- mid 30s.
With over 90km to go this was beginning to really irritate me - Yes I know dont change something not broken, dont try a new product on a big hike etc etc. But 30 years Ive never had a blister (on my feet caused by shoes)

Day 3 (I think), I succumbed to Merthiolate - Whatever sadist invented this stuff deserves a rogering with a pineapple - I hadn’t expected that exact sensation I knew it was sore but…it brought a flood of scorpion sting memories back.

So the remainder of the next morning was with the Merthiolate leaking into the blister below the blister each step searching for a way to wriggle or place your foot for least pain and trying to land on ridges of hummocks with my arch. destroyed my focus a touch. Blister plaster and tape to spread the contact area and reduce the tearing for the remainder of the hike, (Im still 2 weeks later trying to toughen the new skin having lost the flap.

No its not even close to as bad as the shark attack victims I saw in the Fish river canyon, just an absolute beat your forehead frustration that these insoles are allowed to be sold.

So my conclusion - do not buy the “Comfort insoles” especially those with silicon in them.
If you feel tempted to - grab needle and syringe fill it with Merthiolate and stab your foot, or ask a Hyena to chew it off

Learn from my mistake.


A very entertaining word of warning! :rofl::ok_hand: Thanks for sharing. Hope your feet have recovered.


The problem is not the silicon insoles. I am a serious hiker and find them the best of all insoles. The size of your shoes/boots is the problem. Just buy bigger shoes to make space for the silicon insoles. There you go!

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I havent had a blister since 1991 in the army
Guess I have been very lucky so far

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Hloooooooooo chucky :rofl:

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Hi Ian - I guess they sell them to some people - The Jim Green Razorbacks are about the roomiest boot going, so its not that.

What it is is that theres a lot of movement between the foot sole and the rigid part of the boot encompassed in the silicon in its vertical squidginess - this leads to horizontal movement underfoot and thus onto blisters as the dermis is constantly being pulled and pushed with each step.

Caveat emptor - glad they work for you.


Hi Graham,
I’m using the same brand of insoles (yet not the same model as you), and had no problem with trail running, even using them in my Altra shoes, which they’ll never fit 100% due to the wide foot box.

An old army trick, and also as I found out in the UK, is that rubbing good old vaseline on one’s feet, between toes, etc. stops any friction, and keeps them drier, even if your feet should get wet.

Happy tours,