- XCD Guide
- Posts: 1220
- Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
- Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
- Favorite Skis: Fisher E99, Åsnes Ingstad & Cecilie, K2 Wayback 88
- Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour & Alfa Polar
I've been backcountry skiing since 2004 and I have been known to be somewhat of a gear nerd at times, so I have tried a MANY combinations of boots, insoles and socks.
These are it ladies and gentlemen. The very best. Handmade in New Brunswick, Canada of all places with 100% wool, biodegradable rubber and jute.
These are the WARMEST and DRIEST medium thickness insoles I have tried. They are quite supportive as well with a generic molded shape that does slowly adapt to your natural foot shape.
Last year, I got a pair of each of the three models offered by Chena Baree: the Ortho-Naturals, the PF Heel Comfort and the Winter warmers. I've been skiing with them and I tried them out hiking and running as well.
Chena Baree Ortho-Naturals, Chena Baree Winter Warmers, Lundhags Beta Insole, Sole Insulated Signature CD Thin (Chris Davenport) The Winter warmers are definitely very warm but IMO take up too much space in a medium volume leather/synthetic backcountry ski boot. Unless you happen to have low volume feet, they might not work for you in this application. The PF Heel Comforts are the same as the Ortho-Naturals but with added cushiness at the heel. I don't have heel pain, fortunately, so did not feel they were worth the extra 11$ (for me!). So yeah, those Ortho-Naturals are darn perfect. 44$CAD a pop for a handmade wool liner!
In the past, I had reallt appreciated the Lundhags Beta Insole, which is mostly wool. I enjoyed them thoroughly but felt they were relatively unsupportive and actually not THAT warm. Cost a fortune too, and had to be shipped out of Europe.
I got into the SOLE insoles for a while too. They used to make versions with Thinsulate insulation in the bottom that would quickly get wet and useless. Some of the plastic foam versions were quite nice and I THOUGHT I likds their rigidity and super shape, but in the end, I found them too rigid, painful and not warm enough for my needs. I tried a cork version too but it disintegrated in no time.
I tried a lot of insoles. Too many to tell you the truth.
I tell you guys, fill your boots, cupboards and Christmas stockings with Ortho-Natural Insoles. They are super sweet and cheap!
https://www.chennabaree.com/product/ort ... l-insoles/
To be honest, the only downside on mine is that the insole layers can pull apart a little. On mine, that has happened under the arch of the foot. It does not change their performance one bit. If it were to get any worse, I would simply seal them shut with a little contact cement. I bet I will use the same pair for years!
Oh, and while I am at it. I will share a little more of my foot gospel. The Chena BareeOrtho-Natural is but one of five parts of the most incredible nordic backcountry foot combo : a nice pair of leathers (support, comfort, style), waxed hockey laces (your shoes will never loosen again), Chena Baree Ortho-Naturals (for warmth and sweat absorption), Darn Tough Hiker Boot Socks Full Cushion (Warmth and Comfort) and your trusty feet of course, don't forget thm. Trust me. Every single stride will feel like ballet jazz in heaven from now on.
that's pretty funny, I had the same experience with the Sole inserts. They do have some of the best arch support of any insole out there - nearly the same as my orthodics from the podiatrist. I am going to try some of these Chena Baree, thanks for the review
-Will Lange (quoting Inuit chieftan)