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Aftermarket insoles - necessary or only if you have pain?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hey guys

Just wondering if aftermarket insoles are something that you would recommend for everyone regardless, or only if people are experiencing pain/pressure/discomfort issues?

I know the stock liners that come with boots are pretty terrible but I haven't noticed any pain with my boots so far and was wondering whether it was purely a pain issue, or are there performance improvements that are possible as a result of having third party insoles?

I don't necessarily mean custom insoles, just the third party ones like superfeet etc that give more arch support for example.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Can't imagine you will see any performance improvement with either custom insoles or third party insoles unless you are having specific issues.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
The first pair of boots I had with custom moulded insoles made a huge difference to my skiing. Not necessarily a improvement in performance but the confidence the increased comfort gave me. I didn't have any pain or specific problems with the previous hire boots or purchased boots, it was just the better fit of the insoles and I could wear the boots all day without undoing them. I now wouldn't consider having another pair of boots without them. I'm talking about the heat moulded ones not the Superfeet that appear to just 'wear in' to the shape of your foot. I'll stop here because I think the beer is wearing off...
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@karansaraf, I’m with @davidof.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Insoles surely are about fit, with fit comes performance. It is conceivable that whilst std OEM insoles do not on the face of it cause pain, they may still not offer the best in fit and control. A competent boot fitter should be covering this when you purchase boots, and would help with the do I need in soles or not decision. Off the shelf Insoles I suspect are unlikely to make any difference in a ski boot.
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@Bob, I should have been clearer. I think that's also a possibility. Anyway, defo not off the shelf items.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Just to note this is the Snowboard section of the forum. I’m with Davidof though, I don’t think there’s a massive performance gain to be had from an off the shelf footbed.

I’m also confused by your ‘stock liners pretty terrible’ comment.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
My comments above only apply to ski boots, didn't notice this was in the snowboard section.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
In general yes, it's a strong recommendation - a good insole is only going to hurt in a tiny handful of cases.

If you've got issues though they're not automatically going to solve them. You're saying you don't have issues though - I reckon they're just nice and comfy and supportive and good to have. I can't see them making things worse.

With a layer of material under your foot, you'll be closer to the boot over the instep (the top of your foot - not the arch of your foot, that's called the arch). Sometimes with people with a high instep this can be uncomfortable, but it's quite rare.

If they fit well enough to help restrict pronation then there's the possibility they'll effectively make your foot smaller in the boot length and width-wise. If your boot was too big then you could notice this, but it's often counteracted by the reduced space over the top of the boot holding you better there.

Just talking about snowboard boot fitting in general, I tend to fit them to the correct size, rather than down a size which I'd generally do in ski boots for a good skier. In a snowboard boot you'll often be on the heel edge and driving your toes into the front of the boot - kinda similar to what happens when you ski back-seat. An extra cm at the front helps here. It's also really useful for splitboarding, when you're trying to slide and glide you can't focus on flexing the shin muscle and keeping the toes back 100% of the time.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Thanks for the useful information.

Had my boots heat molded today and the guy said he'd be happy for me to try out the "off-the-shelf" variety to demo the next time I go to the snowdome.

Having put a couple of different pairs in my boots today I could feel a difference, in that I noticed better heel-cup support and my arch felt more supported/secure on the medial aspect of my foot.

The guy said he didn't think it was necessary unless you had issues but that a lot of people found it quite comfortable, and he himself thought the arch support suited him. He felt that the arch support tends to collapse with the stock ones over time so he preferred the aftermarket.

I'm going to ride with the insoles next week (might even do one foot stock, one foot third party) and see how it feels. I'm not expecting performance changes, but I'll see if one feels more comfortable over the other. If not, then very happy to not have to spend more money on gear (though it's only £20).
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I do find it strange that you pay, say, £400 for a pair of boots in the expectation that you will ditch unused insoles. It's a bit like buying a new car and changing the seats before leaving the showroom. I don't in any way disagree that custom insoles will improve skiing but why don't the boot manufacturers make better insoles?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
The insoles included with most boots are little better than floppy cardboard whereas a proper custom insole is "posted" i.e. properly built up and solid under your arch etc.

The idea if to stop superfluous movement in your foot so that all movements are transmitted to the skis. A properly built footbed for you will also keep the foot from spreading which otherwise might see you in a boot which is bigger than it needs be.

So it might seem like a typically upselling scam ( do you want the special extra wax treatment on your new car, sir?) but it really isn't.

Now comes the snowboard caveat. I'm pretty sure that the same logic holds in general for snowboarding particularly re boot size but I've bever found my corked ski insoles particularly comfortable in snowboard boots so generally reverted to superfeet stock or the Buton semi posted jobbie that came with my boots. That said my ability to snowboard is now very restricted due to crippling nerve pain I get in my front foot so if it was my only option I'd probably be looing at the best footbed I could get in the best boot ( or even considering going hardboot)
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I have an insole for my right boot after having been diagnosed with a shorter femur on the right side. This went undiagnosed until I was in my mid-30s and learnt to ski, when I seem to get more than usual levels of back ache. The actual difference in bone length was hard to pick up as the body naturally adjusts, but once a doctor measured the femur length, it was obvious. I went to a sports lab and body analysis combined with a gait analysis was really valuable and worth the cost: they then made me a couple of right insoles specific to my needs. They're actually only 2mm or so thick (the overall difference is 4-5mm) but they make all the difference, especially for running and particularly for skiing.

So I think, yes, an insole can be very useful but it needs to be for a specific condition or body characteristics as determined by medical investigation and/or sports lab analysis.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Remind insoles FTW!

Stock insoles suck big time. I have custom insoles made at TSA in London but the remind ones work better and are more comfortable and at a third of the cost. So to summarise, performance = minimum, comfort = maximum.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@karansaraf,

Peoples feet are different, so stock insoles are no good for some people.
off the shelf insoles should offer better support, but someone who does have support issue, really should get custom liners.
As for snowboarding, a good fitting insole can help in keeping your foot in place better. You have already noticed better support in the heel cup, which should help you on the heel edge &/or combat any heel lift issues.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
karansaraf ....... sorry but it's easy to overthink this, or maybe see it as yet another possible short cut to being a better rider more quickly, when combined with the tone your other posts ......

Quote:
or are there performance improvements that are possible as a result of having third party insoles


Sometimes you just have to ride and within reason all the fine tuning in the world won't overcome that ......

The truth is unless you've specific issues that need remedies, I'd ride the boots you've got and go from there so I side with the more sober opinions expressed here ...... wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Insoles if they are the correct fit in either types ie, custom made or superfeet they will help stabilise the foot in the boot .
They can do alot more... but stabilising the foot in the boot counts for alot ..
You need to value bootfit at £130 for customs which many dont and wont but superfeet are like £35 so I use both this is key in my opinion .
Myself I failed with 3-4 custom insole purchases worldwide then finally got S4F to make some and advise on superfeet type sizing and exact fit .
I binned the past customs then used superfeet for two 12 week seasons and was convinced so next had s4f customs made then used them for 12 weeks .
Personally my outcome was very positive with both .

If your sizing superfeet up 3 or 4 important points too consider even if the salesman/monkey doesnt are .

Heelcup width...the heel has to sit in it and not overlap like a fat gut
Arch lenght ...often not considered and more differcult to see by sales gumbys (that dont even know what it is .)
Arch height ...ie black is low ,blue is medium,green is higher in general ...others exist now .

Volume change from inserting a insole is also to be considered and then boot sizing comes into it as most are in oversized boots so insoles are often sold on this false fix of the oversized boots ....basis .

Sometimes (like boots sizing numbers are just a guide ) to get all these important fitting points correct you may need to use bigger superfeet cut down in lenght at the toe. .
I took a F size about a 10-11uk on the box and cut about 20mm off it because F size had the needed arch lenght and fitted my feet optimally .

All this is part of bootfit so as with boots you really need a expert fitters advice.... this is where most fail..... as with bootsfit .

Alot of the people making custom insoles just do a course (possibly with the certified real fitters) it doesnt mean these kids have any experience .
This fact is why superfeet are a cost effective place to start and also use over summer .
Some people need time too get used to them as they feel weird so I believe its best to use them all summer putting time on them .
This brings on experience in different shoes over lots of milage and terrain .
Only a greater time frame of "practise and testing" brings on results in sport .....you cannot buy a shortcut no matter what anyone says .


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sun 8-09-19 15:51; edited 2 times in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
muddewater wrote:
I do find it strange that you pay, say, £400 for a pair of boots in the expectation that you will ditch unused insoles. It's a bit like buying a new car and changing the seats before leaving the showroom. I don't in any way disagree that custom insoles will improve skiing but why don't the boot manufacturers make better insoles?


Cost
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Mosha Marc wrote:
muddewater wrote:
I do find it strange that you pay, say, £400 for a pair of boots in the expectation that you will ditch unused insoles. It's a bit like buying a new car and changing the seats before leaving the showroom. I don't in any way disagree that custom insoles will improve skiing but why don't the boot manufacturers make better insoles?


Cost


Margin, for manufacturer, and additionsal margin for retailer/fitter ..
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I Have custom footbeds in my snowboard boots, my ski boots and my cycling shoes. They were a big improvement over the standard snowboard ones and made a massive difference in my cycling shoes. When I bought my ski boots, I had them made in the shop at the time of fitting the liners.
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