Thanks to a comment I left on Ray’s blog entry on Sof Sole Energy Footbeds, I was contacted by a Sof Sole representative and asked if I’d like to give them a try and review them. Of course!
I won’t rehash the baking/shaping portion of the foot beds that Ray discussed, even though it was an interesting process. Instead, now that I have just over 100 miles in them, I’ll talk about their durability and effectiveness.
Unlike Ray, I have a very high arch. But before this I had never used any specific foot bed, instead just using the foot beds that come with my New Balance shoes. They’ve served me well. The company sent me their Mediums, which cover men’s shoe sizes 9-10.5 and are trimmed to fit. I wear size 9.5 4E’s (extra, extra wide), so surprisingly no trimming was required. They set snugly in the shoe, with no gap anywhere along the edges from heel to toe.
Once I had “baked” and shaped the Adapt foot beds, I was pretty impressed with the amount of arch support I was getting compared to the standard NB foot beds. But that was just standing in them. I wasn’t sure how they would feel while running. One thing that I had to get used to was the more crowded feel of my shoes, mainly because these beds are a bit thicker than the NB beds.
Out on the road and trails, these foot beds have been excellent for these first 100 miles. The amount of cushioning is just perfect. Not too much, not too little. I have had absolutely no issues with these beds. But of interest are some possible benefits:
– Since putting these foot beds in, I’ve had less issue with plantar fasciitis in my right foot. I had been teetering on the edge of having a serious case of it all through last year. But continual rolling on the foot on golf balls and keeping the bottom stretched kept me from going over the edge. Then the break from running during November-December helped it get a bit better, but it still nagged me. During the past month, I have not done any stretching or rolling. But I can now barely feel any issues with my plantar fascia.
Now, do the foot beds have anything to do with it? I don’t know. But I do know that I have not had to do anything with my foot to keep it from flaring up. The only difference is that I have been using these foot beds.
– Since putting these foot beds in, I’ve had even less of an issue with my left iliotibial band. Like with the plantar fascia, my left ITB has been a frequent nuisance over the past couple of years. Nothing debilitating and never tight enough to cause significant knee pain, but typically just a dull ache through the length of the band itself. I’ve had to attack the thing frequently with my massage stick and foam roller. But like with the plantar fascia, I’ve done little to “maintain” the ITB over the past 100 miles; I just haven’t needed to.
Perhaps it’s the additional arch support of these foot beds. But then again, perhaps not. But it boils down to the fact that the only thing different are these foot beds.
As far as the beds themselves, they are holding up very well. Since I continually rotate amongst three pairs of running shoes, I am constantly swapping out the beds. There’s only minimal fraying along the edges; certainly nothing to be concerned about and actually a testament to the construction, considering they’ve been moved in and out of shoes for 20 of the past 22 days.
I’ll keep posting reviews every hundred miles or so. So far I’m quite impressed, realizing that these are definitely a bargain for the $30 list price that they go for.
Also, a few future reviews will include the other insoles that they included, as well as socks and (weather cooperating) Yaktraxs.