All of us here at Outdoor Sports Center are huge fans of Superfeet, so much so that a majority of us have one kind or another in every pair of shoes we own. They aren't just great for shoes either, all of us have them in our ski boots and recommend them to countless numbers of people everyday for theirs. They work just as well in cycling shoes and dress shoes, pretty much anything that goes on your feet will benefit from a pair of Superfeet. All it takes is one pair and some time on your feet and we are confident you will feel the difference in comfort. Seem to good to be true? Read on to find out what makes Superfeet such a truly awesome product, we think you'll love them as much as we do!
The Truth About Insoles
The insoles that are provided in typical shoes really amount to what are usually the least expensive options for the manufacturer to use. It's an unfortunate truth that hasn't changed in many years and probably won't for years to come. The same is true with ski boots, hiking boots, and others; the insoles that come with the boots are put there as a placeholder, since the manufacturer assumes that you will use an aftermarket insole to get the correct fit. Many people never change their insole, and therefore never achieve a proper fit.
It simply wouldn't make sense for a footwear or ski boot manufacturer to provide performance insoles. Every foot is different, so to address every different foot shape they would have to send out multiple insoles with every one of their products. Can you imagine how much a pair of running shoes would end up costing?
The Basis of Superfeet is Science
Based on the principles of podiatric medicine, Superfeet's shape, design and manufacture have set the standard, and earned over 40 U.S. and International patents along the way. Superfeet insoles help adapt the flat, 2-dimensional midsoles of your footwear to your 3-dimensional foot. The distinct Superfeet shape helps to stabilize the foot, while the deep, structured heel cup and full-length foam provide support and comfort.
The foundation of Superfeet is built from biomechanics. Biomechanics is the study of how muscles, bone, tendons and ligaments work to produce movement. Most of what Superfeet focus on is supporting the rearfoot because it is where the majority of foot motion (standing, walking and running) originates.
Because the feet are the foundation of the body's biomechanical support system, foot misalignment can manifest as not only foot pain, but also discomfort in the ankles, knees, hip, back, neck or head.
Facts About Our Feet
- 80% of feet are unstable and 20% are stable.
- A very small percentage of the population is born with foot problems.
- On average an active person takes 8,000 to 13,000 steps per day.
- The heel hits the ground at approximately 3 to 5 times the body weight when walking and up to 10 times when running.
- Women suffer four times as many foot problems as men.
- There are approximately 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of feet, the third most concentrated place on the body
The Different Types of Feet
The foot has two primary motions:
Pronation: The body's natural way of absorbing shock. During pronation, the foot expands as it absorbs your body weight and adapts to the surface underneath. Because of the hard, flat surfaces we walk on, our feet tend to stay in a pronated position too long during the gait cycle.
Supination: The foot's natural way of providing a strong, supportive foundation for the body. During supination, the foot rebounds from pronating to become a rigid lever, helping the body stand upright and propel itself forward.
Unstable feet are usually pronated and have a low arch. Over pronation can cause flattening of the arch and foot elongation. This results in plantar fasciitis, bunions, blisters, knee, hip and back pain, and shin splints. The end result is compensated posture and inefficient motion, which causes weakness and loss of power during toe-off. A supinated foot can be predisposed to ankle sprains, ligament strains and tears, tendonitis and poor shock absorption.
Plantar fasciitis is a common and painful condition resulting from tears in the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue, which connects the heel to the forefoot. Medical professionals routinely recommend the use of a supportive insole as part of the treatment protocol for this condition.
Three Keys to Every Superfeet Product
1. Structured heel cup: Encapsulates and positions the soft tissue under the heel, maximizing natural shock absorption.
2. Rearfoot support: The support you feel towards the back of your arch and the front of your heel is the distinct Superfeet shape stabilizing the rearfoot.
3. Firm stabilization: A firm foam layer and a stabilizer cap combine to create the supportive shape that Superfeet are famous for.
What Superfeet Insoles Do
Most of what Superfeet focus on is supporting the rearfoot because it is where the majority of foot motion (standing, walking and running) originates. If the feet aren't supported correctly, unstable movement can lead a whole host of foot health issues. Superfeet help stabilize your feet so they can work more efficiently.
1. The forefoot
2. The midfoot
3. The rearfoot
Each joint must maximize its work capacity in order for your foot to work efficiently. Superfeet help the Midtarsal Joint stabilize your foot, so the Subtalar Joint can act as an effective shock absorber, while restoring full function to your 1st Metatarsal Phalangeal Joint, helping you propel forward.
1. The 1st Metatarsal Phalangeal Joint (propulsion)
2. The Midtarsal Joint (stabilization)
3. The Subtalar Joint (shock absorption)
Without good support, collapsing feet will increase movement inside the shoe. This causes a less efficient stride, and intensifies stress on feet, ankles and knees. All that additional stress can cause foot pain, fatigue and risk of injury.
With Superfeet the feet are supported and stabilized, reducing stress on feet, ankles and knees. Your stride also becomes more efficient, reducing fatigue and risk of injury. Superfeet can even help prevent and treat heel pain, runner's knee and plantar fasciitis.
Photos and information courtesy of Superfeet Worldwide Inc.