I’ve got some of the flattest feet around. Combine that with a low volume foot and I end up being an odd fit for many shoes. Often times, I have to cinch the laces up so tight that the eyelets on either side are nearly touching. I also have gone the custom orthotic route by going to a podiatrist and shelling out several hundred bucks for a pair of custom orthotics that are gathering dust in my closet.
Over time, I’d settled for a pair of Dr Scholls 3/4 arch supports and thought they did a decent job providing me the arch support that my feet, ankles, knees, hips and back so desperately need. And, they were super easy to swap out from shoe-to-shoe.
Introducing SOLE Heat-moldable Footbeds
I had heard about SOLE in the past, but hadn’t tried their products. As a flat-footed bi-ped, I’m a perfect candidate for having supportive footbeds in every pair of shoes. But, these footbeds are not just for those with flat feet. Any shape and size foot will benefit from a proper-fitting shoe and properly-aligned foot.
Think about it… if your foot is properly supported, that means that your ankles, knees, hips, back and neck are properly aligned for maximum comfort and long-term health. With all the pavement and hard surfaces we walk or run on every single day, a lifetime of joint and spine abuse will certainly take its toll.
SOLE offers three lines of heat-molded footbeds: 1) SOLE Signature Series, 2) SOLE Softec Series and 3) SOLE Slim Series. Each line then has three variations within it to cover a variety of needs. The magic sauce for these awesome products is that the insoles come molded direct from the factory with a natural, supportive design built to support many feet. But, the intent is for you to custom-mold them to your own foot in the comfort of your own home.
Unlike many products costing much more or those requiring a “trained technician” make them for you, all SOLE custom footbeds are easily heat-molded by you, in your home. All you need is 200-degree oven (yeah, I thought you had one of those) and about 5 minutes and you’ve got yourself a set of custom footbeds. They even have a foolproof “Opti-therm Molding Indicator”, which changes color from silver to black when ready (see fit and molding instructions).
How do SOLE Footbeds Fit?
While at Outdoor Retailer in January, I was finally properly introduced to SOLE footbeds. I got the quick rundown of their products, then about 5 minutes later, I was stepping back into my Vasque trail runners with a ready-to-be molded pair of SOLE Dean Karnazes Signature-Edition footbeds. All it took was a quick 3-4 minute wait for the footbeds to warm up in a run-of-the-mill toaster oven next to me, then pop them into my shoes and stand still on a firm surface for about a minute. That’s it!
Once molded, I walked several miles on the hard show floor at the Salt Palace Convention Center with happier tradeshow feet than I’d ever had.
I’m a firm believer in taking care of your feet. I’m very particular about the types of socks I wear and also very particular about the type of arch support my shoes have. After wearing the SOLE custom footbeds for a few weeks now, I’m completely sold. If you are going to spend money on a good pair of shoes, why settle for the cheap, foam insole that comes with them? SOLE footbeds are easy to mold and they feel great on my feet.
The footbeds can be re-molded several times, so if you accidentally squish them down too far, try, try again. I think I may re-mold mine to get just a bit more arch support.
The Bottom Line on SOLE Footbeds
These things are a great way to properly align your feet and body for more efficient walking, running or lounging. With a variety of insole types, you can definitely find a pair to fit in nearly any shoe on the rack (well, maybe not your stiletto pumps). Whether you have flat feet (like me), high arches or relatively normal feet, you will benefit from the support that SOLE footbeds provide. I’ve used several other products on the market all the way up to custom orthotics and I’d take the SOLE Dean Karnazes footbeds over all those options for their all-day comfort and light weight design. They are also much less expensive than orthotics at $49.95.
Your running shoes, hiking boots, cycling shoes or even ski boots will be more comfortable and your body will be properly aligned for better balance and skeletal support. For more information, visit www.yoursole.com.
Buy Now: Visit REI.com to Buy SOLE Footbeds