Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Something New

I will update my training log tomorrow morning as I've yet to ride tonight, I'll be doing a couple of hours in about 15 minutes, but for now I'm going to do something new - a product review. This is something that I've decided to add to my blog on a regular basis to spice things up a bit, because, well, porn would just be weird. So here is my first product review, nothing too exciting but they are my most recent purchase so that's where I'll start. I wasn't all that happy with the support of the standard Sidi insoles that came with my Ergo 2s that I purchased at this time last year but have kept them in the shoes just because it hasn't been a priority to look for insoles this year and I'd rather spend the money on something else. I got a gift card for x-mas this year and with all my components pretty much up to date I decided it was time for some new insoles. I went out and looked at a few different varieties last week and ended up getting the Sole Heat Moldable custom insoles. Here is the description off of their website:

SOLE Custom Footbeds are heat moldable, so they fit your unique foot perfectly. The generic insoles that are supplied with your footwear are designed to fit the lowest common denominator foot shape. They simply cannot offer the same level of arch support, control and comfort that heat moldable SOLE Custom Footbeds do.

Out of the package the insoles were very rigid from the heel to the arch support and the toe area was a flexible foam. The instructions said to heat the soles up to 200 degrees and then put them in your shoe and stand on them for 2 minutes. I wanted to make sure I'd feel the difference before and after, so before heating the Soles I put them in my cycling shoe to see how they would feel before they were "custom molded" to my foot. They were very supportive in the arch area as I expected but my right arch must be a little on the flat side because there was a bit of pain there from the arch support pushing upward on it. So, I had my baseline and was ready to heat and install the insoles. After letting them sit in the oven for approximately 5 minutes to reach the desired temp (as designated by the color-changing sticker on the sole) I was ready to put them in my shoes. I did feel the right arch give a little bit after a few minutes of standing in the shoes and it was noticeably more comfortable than my test before heating the insole. I took the insoles out after about 5 minutes and did notice the change in shape from before they were molded to my foot shape. Now, the big test was riding for an extended period of time with them and I did that this weekend, riding about 7 and a half hours between Saturday and Sunday. My first thought was that they were definitely more comfortable than my original Sidi insoles except that the right insole was a little tight in the toe box. The arch support was fantastic, the heel cup supported my heel quite a bit more than the Sidis and my foot as a whole was better aligned in the shoe. After the long rides of the weekend I'd have to say that for the price, $49.95, that these insoles were definitely worth the benefit of the comfort that they provided. I think we all would just tend to stick with whatever comes in our shoes because it's something most of us don't think about, but if you are having any trouble at all with foot comfort I would recommend the Sole insoles. The only change I did make to them is the aforementioned toe box issue with the right shoe. I must have a fatter right foot or something but I had to take a bench grinder and take off some of the padding on the base of the insole and then trim off a very small amount of the length of the insole. Other than that I had no problems. So, that's it for my first product review, I'll have at least one a week, if not more. I've included some pictures of the insoles below. Until next time.....

Sole Heat Moldable Footbeds

High arch support and great heel cup

Had to use the grinder to thin down the toe and heel areas a bit

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