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  1. #1
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    Insoles better than superfeet/sole?

    Been a fan of both for years, but need something more substantial for my hunting boots. Running a pair of Hoffman boots (nice and stiff) and the superfeet "trailblazers" in them just aren't cutting it. I need something that molds better. Cork most likely. Sole makes a nice looking cork bed but they look to be low volume for "casual or tight fitting shoes". I could use something thicker that will really mold to my feet and keep me from sliding at all on steep climbs/descents. My boots fit correctly and are fully broken it now with over 150 miles on them since September. Just need a legit insole.

    What's out there?

  2. #2
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    Not sure exactly what you mean by "insole."

    Sole, Superfeet, Sidas and Masterfit all make "trim-to-fit" insoles (not moldable, just trim them to fit in the shoe) and various levels of "moldable" insoles.

    The custom versions that are molded to a person's feet are usually Sidas or Masterfit (Instaprint) in a ski shop, and can be finished with either foam or cork posting for stability.

    The first variety usually runs $50-60 and the latter $150-250. If your arch matches the shape of an off-the-rack "trim-to-fit" well, you can save some money; if you want/need a custom molded one it will be more expensive. I'm not sure if anyone still does the old school thick Superfeet Cork customs.

  3. #3
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    If your feet are sliding around.....


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  4. #4
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    I went from custom made insoles to the Sole Performance Thin. So far really like them and they seem to perform just as well as the customs I have.

    https://yoursole.com/us/mens/footbeds/performance-thin/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdadour View Post
    I went from custom made insoles to the Sole Performance Thin. So far really like them and they seem to perform just as well as the customs I have.

    https://yoursole.com/us/mens/footbeds/performance-thin/
    same here, I have some customs but the sole work for me

    if a foot bed works for your feet you don 't need custom
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  6. #6
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    Vasyli Medical are super high quality as far as off the shelf products. Lots of different models for different applications, and most are able to be custom heat molded

  7. #7
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    I take my customs from my ski boots and throw them in my hunting boots for a month. Works great.

  8. #8
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    Kneed footbeds are worth a look. Good range of products from a small independent company.
    https://kneedfootwear.com/
    Sawatch is French for scratchy.

  9. #9
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    Take any recommendation of a specific off-the-shelf footbed/insole with a grain of salt. They don't have your feet. You can stand on some in the store and if they seem to match your arch shape/height well, it's only a $60 gamble.

    Your chances of getting a perfect match for your arch increase with customs, assuming you have a skilled person doing the casting. I use the Sidas HD Vac system, but the Masterfit battery powered vacuum system is fine as well. It's best to have someone with experience assess your arch/ankle stability and determine how to weight the foot while molding, some people are better at this than others.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch6364 View Post
    If your feet are sliding around.....


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    You're not going to lose all of your toenails putting in a 25 mile day? Hiking and hunting boots shouldn't fit anything like ski boots or climbing shoes.
    Set my compass North, I got Winter in my blood.

  11. #11
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    Greg speaks the truth. If off-the-shelf insoles work for ya, go for it and be thankful. IME, you'd need to be very lucky to find an OTS that will fit like a custom orthotic. Mine were made by an orthopedist using a laser 3D scanner that mapped my foot. I use them in some boots, mostly my mountaineering boots. I can get away with high arch Superfeet green for other shoes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteroom_Guardian View Post
    . . . keep me from sliding at all on steep climbs/descents.
    Yeah, this is an issue properly fitted orthotic can help. My custom orthotics really do the trick for my big boots. YMMV. Have you tried the high arch (green) Superfeet or other high arch OTS insole?

  12. #12
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    I don't think one brand is better than the other, either they work or they don't

    I just tried the Sole and found they work FOR ME

    If you got flat feet I wouldn't heat mold them and so i don't

    The sole work for me but super feet don't work as well,

    i can put a custom in one boot and a sole in the other, wear all day and I can't tell the difference

    My 1st set of custom insoles from 1982, buddy made them by taking plaster casts of my feet, the plastic is hard as fuck which kind of blows away the idea a footbed needs to be soft n cushy

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My latest foot guy sez the people who made these ^^ all got cancer, I don't know if my guy got the cancer
    Last edited by XXX-er; 11-20-2019 at 05:16 PM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  13. #13
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    and for the OP's question about different soles, they come in different thicknesses and there have been different offerings over the years

    the original red are the medium thick which i have always used, I have a wide forefoot/high arch so to deal with this I grind all the black foam off the bottom of the sole

    I also have the black which are thicker which is why i am using them to take up room in the footwear so I don't grind any foam

    no experiance with the super thin but i would probably just use my customs which are 3/4 length
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    My 1st set of custom insoles from 1982, buddy made them by taking plaster casts of my feet, the plastic is hard as fuck which kind of blows away the idea a footbed needs to be soft n cushy

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My latest foot guy sez the people who made these ^^ all got cancer, I don't know if my guy got the cancer
    I don't know any ski bootfitters who make hard acrylic 3/4 length orthotics, it is pretty much limited to old-school podiatrists and pedorthists (most add a flexible forebody of leather or vinyl to stabilize it in the fore/aft plane). Unweighted plaster molds are pretty much out of fashion for skiing as well, most people feel that either fully or partially-weighted support is more appropriate for skiing. When they mixed the two-part acrylic by hand and breathed the fumes while laying up the orthotic they probably weren't doing themselves any favors health-wise.

    These days the custom ski footbed market is dominated by Sidas and Masterfit (Instaprint), and the footbeds themselves have some flexibility by design (studies done since 1982 indicate you can better use the small muscles in your foot to maintain balance if the footbed has some give). Both use heat moldable blanks and vacuum molding systems and offer a range of posting materials, heel stabilizers, and shell modification tools. Most shops pick one or the other, you don't breathe noxious fumes while building them except maybe when gluing the posting material down.

  15. #15
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    yeah it was 1982 so old school for sure footbeds were not really a thing yet, that pict is some history, sure there were other footbed types out there that were marketed as more ski boot specific but these stabilize the foot/take up space in a ski boot/ in any boot/ in most shoes/runners and on extended HC it only cost ... zero.

    So i'm not forking out mo money to buy special foot beds that have the word "ski" in the nomenclature when I can get free or really cheap off-the-rack footbeds cuz IME every foot guy you meet all use different ways to take an impression of my foot and they all claim their method is the shit, some are real medical pro's and some might just be giving you a line ?

    So that 1st guy ( a real podiatrist ) did an unweighted plaster cast with me sitting in a chair

    The last guy ( also a real podiatrist ) whom has molded 2 sets for me would take a mold by pressing my foot into a styrafoam filled cardboard box to leave an impression

    For the sole I just pick the right size off a wall rack and trim them to fit myself

    they ^^ all worked
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennettc14 View Post
    10-4 that. og ski tech sold me superfeet when i purchase new ski boots. not satisfied with the sf. after multiple boot fitters over time and getting work done on the fly, i got a little educated by them on footbeds and 'feet' in general.

    those downunders have a fabric on them where your sock stays in place better and they semi-mold to your feet. got a pair of the blues and they worked great in the ski boots. so much now they are in all my boots. i have a set of the purples, but i like the blues the best (i think, not sure if i can tell). used them the last 2-3 years and have covered some country with them.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    So that 1st guy ( a real podiatrist ) did an unweighted plaster cast with me sitting in a chair. The last guy ( also a real podiatrist ) whom has molded 2 sets for me would take a mold by pressing my foot into a styrafoam filled cardboard box to leave an impression
    How much of your skiing do you do sitting in a chair with no weight on your feet? Lots of footbeds were made in the day like this (Superfeet done with the vacuum bag fall into this category) and some people loved them. Many others threw them away or claimed they were good after a few painful weeks of acclimatization.

    How much of your skiing is done with some guy pushing your foot down in the boot? This can be a more accurate way of making a mold, depending on where the guy puts his hands and how hard he pushes, but still open to "interpretation" and skill level. A good podiatrist or pedorthist who actually skis at a high level and has thought the process of making a turn through can be golden (especially if your insurance covers it), but YMMV.

    Most of if not all of your skiing is done with all or some of your body weight on your feet, and your arch changes shape as you load it. Most bootfitters I know tend to mold this way, assuming the foot and ankle are stable enough.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    How much of your skiing do you do sitting in a chair with no weight on your feet? Lots of footbeds were made in the day like this (Superfeet done with the vacuum bag fall into this category) and some people loved them. Many others threw them away or claimed they were good after a few painful weeks of acclimatization.

    How much of your skiing is done with some guy pushing your foot down in the boot? This can be a more accurate way of making a mold, depending on where the guy puts his hands and how hard he pushes, but still open to "interpretation" and skill level. A good podiatrist or pedorthist who actually skis at a high level and has thought the process of making a turn through can be golden (especially if your insurance covers it), but YMMV.

    Most of if not all of your skiing is done with all or some of your body weight on your feet, and your arch changes shape as you load it. Most bootfitters I know tend to mold this way, assuming the foot and ankle are stable enough.
    FWIW. Our feet “deform” under weighting, and our bio-mechanical chain (feet - back in a dynamic relationship) is altered accordingly. The premise of orthotics is that a podiatrist can assess and appropriately modify that foot deformation with a customized foot-bed to optimize health, performance and comfort. All common methodologies (weighted or not) mold the foot and support the arch, it’s the personalization that a (hopefully) skilled professional provides that makes all the difference. Retail skiing footbed systems attempt to do the same thing, but in format that minimizes the potential for harm / customer dissatisfaction from a range of (usually) less skilled operators.

  20. #20
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    Downunders look like they take a lot of volume up


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  21. #21
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    Gellin like Magellan

  22. #22
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    feet that are flatter than piss on a plate have probably done all the deforming they are going to do so the podiatrist will attempt to support them, but ask yerself if you want to believe a guy who has gone to school for feet or some guy who hasnt ?

    here is the foot bed quiver top to bottom, these all work all have been in ski boots/work boots/ hiking boots/ runners ect

    the clear one is 82 so I googled his name and it looks like buddy is still alive ( use your PPE kids! ) and he got good on-line ratings , i think back then all that was available in a footbed was either custom or those cork superfeet

    the next 2 were made by the same guy 95-2005 circa (an xc skier, sports med type been to the olympics and I have skied with him ) the bases are layers of thick hard expanded foam, the black 3/4 is suposed to have an improved more bomber sockliner than the tan colored above it but they both seem to hold up fine

    Then that black Sole is their high volume model which I use it for taking up up room in a boot and so its better to just buy the right fitting boot to begin with and I havent used it much

    the red Soles are my go-to ( L & R ) is their medium volume, they have been in my touring ski boots for many years you can see how the black foam is sanded off the underside of toe area (to fit in ski boots or hiking boots) until the neoprene sock liner is showing but they are still holding up pretty good, only 40-50 $off the rack instead of 300$ for any of the customs so I buy these now days

    and the green superfeet at the bottom I normaly don't buy cuz (I think they were pre-owned )they don't have enough arch support for my foot and they work the least well so they live in a rubber boot

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    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  23. #23
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    https://treadlabs.com/

    Ive been using these with great results. From the guy who started Chaco sandals which I always loved... still do.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    How much of your skiing do you do sitting in a chair with no weight on your feet? Lots of footbeds were made in the day like this (Superfeet done with the vacuum bag fall into this category) and some people loved them. Many others threw them away or claimed they were good after a few painful weeks of acclimatization.

    How much of your skiing is done with some guy pushing your foot down in the boot? This can be a more accurate way of making a mold, depending on where the guy puts his hands and how hard he pushes, but still open to "interpretation" and skill level. A good podiatrist or pedorthist who actually skis at a high level and has thought the process of making a turn through can be golden (especially if your insurance covers it), but YMMV.

    Most of if not all of your skiing is done with all or some of your body weight on your feet, and your arch changes shape as you load it. Most bootfitters I know tend to mold this way, assuming the foot and ankle are stable enough.
    I hear ya, and that was my thinking until a few years ago when a podiatrist (Dr. Douglas Hale) cured my chronic case of plantar fasciitis. He fitted me with orthotics using a laser 3D scanner, unweighted. In response to my questioning the unweighted fitting, he answered, "Try it, and if it doesn't work we will fit you weighted." Well, it worked -- the 3D scan resulted in better fit, better PF protection and better performance (e.g., edging and fore-aft stability) than prior weighted-fit orthotics. (And, yeah, Dr. Hale's dry needling and cortisone shot helped.)

    YMMV, of course. AFAICT, there is ongoing debate and discussion among fitting among podiatrists re weighted vs. unweighted vs. in between orthotic fitting and it seems the general consensus is that the best method varies with the individual.

    Qualification: My experience is not directly related to ski boot footbeds (nor is the OP re hunting boots). Off-the-shelf footbeds work for me in ski boots.

  25. #25
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    Great info from everyone. I do think I have pretty high arches. I have a pair of the green high arch superfeets so maybe I will try those. Maybe I just wear through them too fast? Most of them feel pretty amazing for like a month or two, but then the foam gets packed down/thin and then the bottom of my toes really start to hurt after a long day.

    Really like the look of those Tread Labs since the tops are replaceable. That's exactly my problem with the superfeets. The heel/arch area stays good, but the toe area gets thin and hard. I'm only 140# so I don't think I should be tearing through these things that fast.

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