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Insoles?


RJ-PS
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I got a pair of superfeet Korks done a few weeks ago. They seem to do the trick pretty well as I needed molding on the front part of my foot as well as the full arch/heel. I am curious to see how much life I can expect to get out of a pair like this.

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Originally posted by RJ-PS

What insoles are y'all using?

Any thoughts?

Thanks.

I just got Surefoot Insoles and have been riding with them for 1 day so far and they are very nice. The benefits I liked about surefoot were:

- the careful foot measurements they did for the shape of my foot with the knee bent and semi-weight bearing - seems to me like a better way to do it than just vacuuming squeezing the insole to the smushed botton of your foot. But I really haven't done a comparison

- they mill the insoles from a single piece of rubber-stuff, so it look much more durable than the standard two-piece insoles, especially if you want to move the insole from boot to boot or something.

- the free bootfitting for the lifetime of the insoles, I got two sets of liners molded, which would have cost me $80. Will also go back to refit if I pack out the liners any with my skinny ankles.

- several locations across the US, makes it easier to find a place to get some more bootfitting later on.

- automatic reorder... if you ever want another set of insoles, thay have your specifications in the system and can mill/mail you another pair without you having to drive back to the shop!

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I asked about this a while back, too...and got the same answers

I found a company called SOLE that sells home moldable footbeds, and asked about those, but the only response I got was "theyre crap" (thanks kent!;)) but no explanation as to why.

I might try em just to be obstinate

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Guest Randy S.

My comments mirror loneriders. Especially the part about them being more durable than the cork superfeet ones. I have both the surefoot and the cork superfeet ones. I have to take my insoles out almost every day to dry (I sweat a lot). Doing that with the superfeet ones makes them come apart after a while (I had to glue them back together).

I also bought a pair of surefoots for my son. I loved the offer that they'd replace them free until his feet stop growing.

Randy

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Originally posted by D-Sub

I asked about this a while back, too...and got the same answers

I found a company called SOLE that sells home moldable footbeds, and asked about those, but the only response I got was "theyre crap" (thanks kent!;)) but no explanation as to why.

I might try em just to be obstinate

You're welcome! Did you need more info?

I'll try to answer both questions....

You NEED an insole that is customized to your foot AND provides adequate posting (on the bottom). W/o the proper posting, you're not gaining the support benefits....only the comfy benefits. In addition, your custom insole will be shaped for your specific boot. So...no swapping them in/out of different boots.

In general, any "ski shop" that does custom insoles should be able to do a good job, but it's depends on the fitter, not always the machine. Superfeet (REI) customs are nice, Peterson's work very well, and Surefoot does a great job in most of their locations.....

But, I want to make it clear...any home remedy isn't going to do the trick!

K

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Originally posted by D-Sub

shock doctor?

got a link?

RJ-PS, The REI and Helmsports.com locations here are decent, but anything you can get in the Bay Area, you probably can get done locally (i.e. like Superfeet Korc). In Tahoe, I reiterate the coolnest of Surefoot in Squaw Village - but there are $180 a pair, and you need to ask yourself do you really need $180 footbeds. I tried the cheaper route with Superfeet and they were better... but still I would end up with severe, chronic, arch pain by lunch time that really was kind of taking the fun out of snowboarding. After seasons of pain and trying several cheaper alternative, I went ahead and go the footbeds. I've only used them once so far, but the initial reaction is very good, they are very comfortable and very responsive. I might slip them into my hockey skates and try them out as well sometime as the Surefoot rep said the hard ones go well with them as well.

In addition to a few pairs of Superfeet, which I like. I have a pair of Shock Doctor hockey footbeds, they are nicer than the stock footbeds. They have the little thing that supposedly helps with prio-preception and power control. I think they give more "control" than the superfeet, maybe, but the superfeet give better support (although the hockey shock doctors aren't as supportive as like the Ultra 2s or whatever). Of course neither am possibly come close to the type of fit that a custom made footbed will give. That's the key thing, it's custom shaped to your foot - and so it will fit you a close as possible.

However, if you feet are somewhat normal and you don't get severe foot pain than are just looking for something a little better that the "nothing" stock footbeds... superfeet or shock doctor would be a great affordable alternative - I say try them out first.

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Just another 2 cents....

"Athletic" insoles and rigid insoles (for hardshell ski/snowboard boots) serve two totally different purposes....

In a running shoe..the insole's function is to properly align the foot upon it's striking path..

In a hardshell boot, the goal is proper foundation, support and balance.

There are other differences, but trying to make this simple....

You simply can not compare a $180 Surefoot insole to a $30 grocery store custom....it's not apples to apples.

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Originally posted by bola

REALLY! Experience boot fitters will recommend custom insole if needed. Depending on the state of one's feet custom insoles may not be needed.

In fact, most people in Themoflex liners do not need custom insoles.

100% bologna!!!!!!

There is literally NO SITUATION in which a standard footbed provides the same or better performance as a custom insole...NONE.

100% of Thermoflex liners should be fitted with an insole, 100%.

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Originally posted by Kent

100% bologna!!!!!!

There is literally NO SITUATION in which a standard footbed provides the same or better performance as a custom insole...NONE.

100% of Thermoflex liners should be fitted with an insole, 100%.

I think he means... if you don't have a spare $100+ bucks and you have normal arches with a medium width foot, you can make due with replacing the stock footbed with a store footbed. Of course customized everything is probably going to be better... but will it be *worth* the money? For me it was, but I'm not going to demand every single person shell out even more money for it.

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Guest AlpentalRider

Kent, you totally missed the point of what he was saying. No one has made any claims that aftermarket insoles are on par with customs, everyone agrees with you on that point

The point he was making is that aftermarket insoles are better then standard insoles and will provide enough of a benefit for the average Joe to make his riding fun and pain free.

Not everyone needs $200 custom insoles to be able to ride a snowboard well and without discomfort. Hell, i've been riding/skiing for 12 years without any foot pain and havn't used any aftermarket footbed until this summer at hood.

So the simple point is if you have $200 to blow, a custom footbed is a good investment. But if you don't have that much cash, at least spend $35 and chances are your feet will be happy and you'll have a great day of riding comfortably.

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I skied for more than 30yrs before trying custom insoles. Only got them because my wife had been told she should get some and there was a 2 for 1 deal available. I got the second pair. Wouldn't be without them now.

If you want performance an orthotic insole from your own foot mold provides enhanced support beyond stock insoles and any over the counter insole available. My insurance covers orthotics for my whole family and we all have them and replace them every two years or as needed. The benefits of health insurance. I wear them in ski boots, board boots, work boots, cycling shoes, everything except sandals.

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Originally posted by AlpentalRider

Kent, you totally missed the point of what he was saying. No one has made any claims that aftermarket insoles are on par with customs, everyone agrees with you on that point

The point he was making is that aftermarket insoles are better then standard insoles and will provide enough of a benefit for the average Joe to make his riding fun and pain free.

Not everyone needs $200 custom insoles to be able to ride a snowboard well and without discomfort. Hell, i've been riding/skiing for 12 years without any foot pain and havn't used any aftermarket footbed until this summer at hood.

So the simple point is if you have $200 to blow, a custom footbed is a good investment. But if you don't have that much cash, at least spend $35 and chances are your feet will be happy and you'll have a great day of riding comfortably.

I'd disagree. That $35 is almost 20% of nirvana....

No offense to you and Lonerider, but I'll hold out if Bola wants to clarify. It appears he runs a snowboard shop and I'll make a wild assumption doesn't offer custom insoles. This IS NOT a personal attack, but it's important to provide clarity. In the case of Thermoflex, it's a shame this came up. You MUST wear insoles with Thermoflex. 99% of the time, it should be a rigid custom. Don't believe me? Call any boot fitter that has over 10 years experience. (myself included)

As mentioned....our freestyle counterparts don't need the same stability and support as us hardbooters. Then again, 75% of hardbooters are in boots too big, which robs of performance as well.

What iexactly is "enough" and "make due"? Is having 15 PSI in your car tires "enough" to get you to work? Is not waxing your board "enough" to get you down the hill? Can you "make due" with ski boots or using Sorels?

In the case of "over the counter" custom insoles, it's a BOOMING business the past few years. At the same time, the custom business is booming because they are repairing all the bad foot problems the over the counter are causing (try a google search) These insoles are generally "comfy" and do provide marginal benefit over OEM insoles, but ARE NOT high tech devices that should be used either for stability, support or fit related issues with HARD BOOTS.

1) Not fitted properly. Stpping on the carpet at home isn't rocket science. You DON'T KNOW how much your pronating or subinating in your to correct it. Over 25% of the bones in your body are in your foot and they must be aligned/support properly.

2) Flat. The bottoms are NOT flat. Seems easy enough, but (as mentioned) the "posting" on the bottom of the insole create the foundation. You could post the bottom of your home made insoles, but re read #1.

As for cost, I hear your pain. But, if you are looking for the best performance and best fitting boots, $200 is chump change as they should last for years.

You'll then be able to get that extra $$$ worth of performance in which you spent on getting a custom deck over a standard model.

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funny though..the best riders in the world used to ride without all this high tech crap and they did just fine.

it truly does seem that there is a small core of you who think that unless you go into debt to get into alpine riding, youre not even gonna have any fun or make good turns.

no surprise that only limited numbers are dedicated to this facet of snowboarding.

Kent...if its so utterly imperative...you wanna buy me some customs?:)

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Guest boogieman

i think custom footbeds are only good for people who have foot problems i got myself a pair insoles and my feet hurt if i use them becouse i gues im not used to get support everywhere i really cant bear it, it really really hurts me and i did mold them (heatted them in the oven and put my foot on it .... )

so i got rid of them and i use the regular ones again and they are just fine to me i just wanted to try and see for myself but i dont need them and i dont like them eather waste of money if you dont have any problems with the regular foot beds if you want my opinion

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Originally posted by D-Sub

Kent...if its so utterly imperative...you wanna buy me some customs? :)

If heat moldable liners conform to the countours of your foot then why are custom beds so important?

Ah.. the age old conflict of interest question. Like why don't doctors sell medicine at cost if it saves lives. Hey, Kent still has to make a living, right? You can't expect him to just offer the custom footbeds at cost to prove his convictions.

I think custom footbeds are more than just "conforming" to your foot. They have to compensate for deficiencies in your foot. If you have a flat foot, molding the bottom of the liner to match your flatten foot isn't going to help you. You need to have the footbed support your arch so that it maintains its proper shape and I think that requires a bit more work (with the Surefoot method, how this is done is obvious, I'm less sure on how they do it with the vacuum press Superfeet style footbeds). Kent already mentioned that the aftermarket do-it-yourself footbeds that boogieman tried aren't going to work either because of this.

I don't question that custom footbeds are really really worth it and that 90% of the people on BOL are silly for buying 2-3 boards and custom models while not getting custom footbeds because they have the money. However, there are a fair number of people in the "real world" who have limited budgets - say $300. With that kind of spending limit, it is hard to find the money to allocate $200 to footbeds - don't you agree Kent? As such, as I mentioned before... going with a $30 aftermarket footbed is better than nothing (i.e. stock). And perhaps getting custom footbeds being the #1 first thing to upgrade.

For me... I started out with...

$50 SB224 boots M26 (brand new)

$30 Superfeet footbeds

$200 TD1 bindings (brand new)

$100 Burton UP (used 2 seasons).

-------------------------------------------

$380

Since then I've upgraded to AF600TS M24 boots and Surefoot custom footbeds. But I don't think I made that much of a mistake spending my $400 budget limit that way I did even though I eventually essentially followed what Kent is demanding. Maybe... I could have gotten a Burton Speed 158 with Burton race bindings for like $150, $50 for boots, and snuck in the custom footbeds, but that's a hard sell to most people starting out in alpine.

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Originally posted by D-Sub

funny though..the best riders in the world used to ride without all this high tech crap and they did just fine.

it truly does seem that there is a small core of you who think that unless you go into debt to get into alpine riding, youre not even gonna have any fun or make good turns.

no surprise that only limited numbers are dedicated to this facet of snowboarding.

Kent...if its so utterly imperative...you wanna buy me some customs?:)

Well...the best riders in the world DO ride with custom insoles...and always have. Come out to Breck in Dec and take a survey!

It has nothing to do with debt, it's about customization. Heck, if you have the materials and knowledge, do it yourself! Actually...here's some advise to save you $$$. If you EVER need to go to a Podiatrist, get a CUSTOM Superfeet (REI) and take that to a Dr. 80% of the time, they can make adjustments to the Superfeet beyond what they could build themself. Unfortunate, but true...custom Superfeet are better the product available for podatrists to use.

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Kent

always have?

nonsense, man. Im not buyin it. Racers maybe, but the best all around riders in general? no, I dont think so.

sure...come to SES and see...OF COURSE because its pretty damn obvious that 90% of the people at bomber are upper middle class with pretty large amounts of disposable income.

youre really not explaining yourself at all. Its cool though..Im not worthy of an explanation.

I can see where someone with fcked up feet, or someone wanting to shave milliseconds off their times in the gates would certainly do this sort of thing

but to be honest, the way you come off its as if youre saying that if one doesnt have $200 custom footbeds then they cant ride well, and are just wasting their time.

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Originally posted by D-Sub

I just thought of something

If heat moldable liners conform to the countours of your foot then why are custom beds so important?

serious question. no one is allowed to get indignant and huffy, ok?

Two different purposes. It would be a good concept if it worked, but it doesn't. ThermoFlex was never meant to form to your foot, it was meant to form to everything but the bottom of your foot. The marketing and ads are misleading, aren't they? Although, the directions clearly state to mold the liners with your insole.

The bones in your feet require different support than your lower leg. In addition, the walls of the boot are not load-bearing, but use side-bearing force. Your foot pronates, your leg doesn't.

Nice post Lonerider. It depends what you're going after. If you're a weekend warrier who has a life outside hardbooting (which I hope you do), it sounds reasonable. If you want the best possible gear and set-up, perhaps you need to invest a little more. In your situation, I would have ditched the Bombers, gone with SnowPro or Phoikka and bought a FP. Then again, you won't have to worry about bindings again.

Seriously folks...we need to take a step back. You get what you pay for. I'm not saying you can't have fun and rip on OEM or OTS insoles. But, I am saying that CUSTOM insoles will cure 75% of boot fitting problems and increase your performance (warmth, balance, pressure, edging, etc). Some people use mediocre equipment and that's fine as long as they are having fun.

I don't work in a ski shop anymore, but still enjoy lending a hand whereever I can. I'm stepping down off my soapbox now and consider this case closed.

However, I do really feel the need to write up an article on properly fitting boots/insoles for people who are truly concerned about performance. I'll put that on the pile I have now and start taking a few pix.....

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