Footbeds, insoles, and feet aren’t the most exciting topics, but if they can eliminate pain, increase comfort, or even increase performance, then they are a worthwhile investment. Since I am a pronator, I’ve used many different insoles and custom footbeds. Some factory stock insoles are actually pretty decent (take Oboz footwear for example), but most of my running shoes and hiking boots have some type of aftermarket insoles or footbeds.
Superfeet and SOLE Insoles
The ones I use the most are from SOLE. The model I prefer is the Active Thin Custom Footbeds. These are heat-moldable (you can put them in the oven), or they will mold to your feet over time. That doesn’t mean you lose the support, it just means they become more comfortable. I like this brand because the arch tends to match well to my foot, and helps with my pronation. The insole is not overly bulky so it doesn’t take up much additional space in the shoe, and they last through multiple pairs of running shoes. I use these insoles in my running shoes and my nordic skate boots.
Superfeet also makes good insoles and there are many different models to choose from depending on your sport, arch height, etc. I have the “Hot Pink” in my backcountry nordic boots, and this pair is specifically designed to keep your feet warm. They’re not heated, but they have some insulating properties that do seem to help.
Get the Right Fit
Because everyone’s feet are totally unique, you may prefer one brand over another. For example, my daughter uses the Superfeet Run Comfort model in her running shoes and prefers them over SOLE. She feels they are less rigid. I, on the other hand, usually opt for SOLE. It doesn’t mean one brand is better than another, just a very different fit and feet!
That’s why it’s so important to try out footbeds in-store at Tahoe Mountain Sports and ask for help from their footwear experts. Whenever I’m looking for a new footbed, I bring my shoes or ski boots along and the folks at TMS help me find the best insole for my foot shape and the specific footwear. Sizing them properly can be tricky, but important for a great fit!
Custom insoles are at the top end of insoles and can really help for specific alignment issues. I have custom insoles in my alpine ski boots. Having a custom footbed can help with foot misalignment which can affect ski edging and other skiing issues. If you tend to have running injuries, like plantar fasciitis, a pair of custom insoles might help eliminate future problems. Custom insoles can be a great option for all your active footwear, but do come with a higher price tag. Here’s where you can make an appointment if you want to get one molded at Tahoe Mountain Sports.
If you tend to spend a lot of time on your feet (I think we all do), then over-the-counter or custom insoles are great options to increase comfort. Check them out at Tahoe Mountain Sports in-store or online! And don’t forget to ask about their rewards program!
Kim is an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoys playing in the mountains whenever she has the chance. You’ll find Kim trail running and mountain biking in the summer. In the winter months, Kim enjoys the nordic trails and downhill skiing. Her latest adventure is kite boarding, but she has yet to have much success with this new sport.