Life, Running, & Medicine.
Notes on life as I see it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Review: Sof Sole premium inserts

Recently I had the opportunity to try out two different Sof Sole insert products: The Adapt and Stability.  I used them in place of my factory insoles in my Nike Air Equalion +2's and Saucony Hurricanes.
"Adapt" overall: 4.5 / 5 stars
The Adapt is a heat-moldable insert (225-degrees in oven for 2 minutes then wear in shoe for several minutes while cools) that provides a lot of cushion and support in the heel.  I really liked this one because it kept the toebox wide while really hugging my heel.  This really felt like a custom insert.  After doing a few 10K training runs with it I was very pleased to note that I never "noticed" my feet - exactly what we should be shooting for.  Impossible to say whether this heal support and cushion will pay off in the long run but it sure seems like it.  These inserts also good for just walking and standing a lot - I wore them several days to work and in the operating room.  Again, I did notice how they really support the heel, but absolutely no complaints.  Will plan on keeping these in until shoes are dead, and will likely buy them again after my next factory insoles start getting a bit flat.
"Stability" overall: 4 / 5 stars
These are ready-to-use out of box with no heat-moldable action.  I did notice they give a lot of medial foot/heel support to prevent pronation, and they work quite well to that end.  Similar to the Adapt, after running/walking/standing on these for several days I have no complaints.  They most certainly brought new life back to my 14-month old Saucony's.  When running I do tend to notice that anti-pronation support a bit more than the Adapt but this did not cause any problems during my 2-week trial.  I think these inserts are excellent premium replacements but personally I favored the Adapt a bit more.
For sizing both of these they come in a range of shoe sizes that then require trimming.  I simply used my factory insoles as a template to cut the Sof Sole inserts with heavy scissors.  I can see how messing up the trimming could botch these as they would either be too big and crowd in areas or too small and slip around. 
It is important to note that I wasn't really considering buying insoles, but was given these on a promotion to try.  I had thought of getting some for my older shoes to get more mileage out of them, but had gotten no further than the grocery store foot pharmacy in my quest.  At $30 a pair these are probably most valuable to the person with slightly worn shoes, rather than brand-new.  Of course for specific problems like over pronatation (despite a stability-class shoe) or heel issues these may be worth a look earlier.

Available at these retailers, among others:
Sports Authority
Rack Room Shoes
DSW Shoe Warehouse
Athlete's Foot
City Sports
Finish Line

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