It all started with a big ole package of goodies that arrived at my doorstep courtesy of Sofsole. I knew a package was coming but had no idea there would be so many great things to try out!
The mission was to review the products. I was overjoyed when I opened the box! Tons of socks and two different inserts to try out. My orthopedic inserts sounded like they were enjoying their last few miles based on the amount of squeaking so the timing of the new inserts could not have been better!
The first insert I tried was the Airr. The Airr is billed as a performance insole with maximum air cushioning for high-impact activities. It also has a coolmax cover to help wick away moisture. I tried this for tennis first and it made the shoe a little too tight. I have since tried it in my running shoe which is a half size larger and LOVE it. I may trim the toe area of the insert and give it another try in my tennis shoes. I want to say it is slightly thicker than the custom insert which is why it may feel like a tighter fit in the shoe. The insert fits up to a size 11 so there is definitely ability to trim to fit. So back to the insert... In the running shoe, I could tell that it made a difference. It had a cushioned feel from the toes to the heels. In some inserts you predominantly feel the support in the arch. This one feels cushiony throughout the foot area which is nice.
In addition to the inserts I was given four different types of socks. I was given Coolmax Liner, Coolmax runner, Anti friction and multi sport liner. All are low cut socks, the coolmax runner has a cushion sole and the rest are thin socks.For those of you who aren't into having cotton in your socks, the multi sport liner and anti friction will be your new best friends. I have heard that staying away from cotton can help prevent blisters no the ends of your toes so I am anxious to try out that theory with these in my half marathon next week. Before trying these socks I was a fan of a more thick cushioned sock. After trying the thin socks, I might be a convert. They just felt lighter and more breathable on my feet. Maybe that is just because any less fabric in Atlanta in August is a good thing :)
The second insert I tried was a craft project of sorts. It only took about 3 minutes tops but well worth it. The Custom insert is heat moldable to your foot. If I had to choose one insert over the other, I think I would go with this one. Granted, it may be purely psychological but there is something about having it molded to my foot that made it seem like a better fit. Those of you who were with me through the stress fracture last year know that I had custom orthotics made by the doctor at that time. He did say that I could try an over the counter one to see if it worked but I went with the custom just because I was in a time crunch getting ready for Disney. So my little disclaimer would be if you are under medical care, you might want to ask first. I'm just sayin...
So these are the custom inserts aginst the lovely background of what appear to be filthy tennis shoes. I promise you they are not as filthy as they look. It might be time for a new pair anyhow.
I mentioned these were heat moldable, right? That step involves the oven. I know, it seems odd as visions of melting plastic dripping down your oven racks enters your mind. Trust me. It will be fine. You preheat the oven to a low temperature, I think it was either 225 or 250. Whiel you are doing that, trim the edges of the insert to fit your shoe. Pop the inserts in the oven for a couple of minutes (again, going from memory, check the directions obviously...). It looks like something like this. Weird, huh? Ignore the bits of burnt food in the bottom of the oven. Oven cleaning is not a high priority for me. Who has time when you are busy making inserts in your oven?
Grab some mitts and put the inserts in your shoes. Make sure you have thin socks on your feet and you stand there for 2 minutes to allow them to mold. I put off doing this for a bit because it seemed kind of involved (I did not really read the directions, just envisioned work). I could not have been more wrong. Easy Peasy.
After I "made" my inserts, I took them for a test run at Stone Mountain. My feet felt really good during the run. My legs were tired from a week of boot camp as per usual but - and this is the truth - my feet really felt good. Not tired or achy at all. All in all a miracle seeing as that day my IPOD battery was dead and I was running in silence which seems to exaggerate every ache and pain because you have not much else to pay attention to during the run. My feet felt great. I cna honestly say I would recommend either insert. I think for my training and the next few races, I am going to stick with the custom as it really felt good on my feet. Bonus - they don't squeak either!
Have a great Friday! Rick is having his surgery tomorrow. I think he is both excited and nervous. Glad to get the hardware out of his leg but nervous to go through the pain and rehab again.