Review - Superfeet Premium Green Insoles

3/19/2010 09:29:00 AM

So I decided to go to the local running store after completing the 12 hour race last weekend to have my feet looked at for proper shoe fit and style. It has been eight years since I last got a professional opinion on my running shoe needs and at that time, I was not logging the type of weekly mileage I am working on now. I figured, now was a great time to get updated professional advice on proper running shoes matching my activities and running style or gait. Until now, I had been told that I did neither over nor under-pronate and that a cushioning shoe would be sufficient for my running needs. First, the sales associate made me take off my shoes and socks to measure my feet properly, sitting down and standing up. I found out that my left foot was about half a size larger than my right foot, which would explain the constant stubbing and purple or black color of my second and third toes on my left foot. Further, both of my feet went up a full size when standing up compared to sitting down. The associate confirmed that this was the result of very high arches in my feet. Afterwards, I stepped on the dreadmill...eh, treadmill to have my gait videotaped and analyzed. After about 20 to 30 seconds, they had enough footage...get it, to provide me with additional feetback...oops, feedback. Sorry, I just can't help myself this morning. Anyway, I was told that while I could be ok continuing to use my shoes with cushioning, I should definitely consider shoes with light stability due to my toe swing they showed me on the video recording. This toes swing could also explain the blisters I usually get on the inside of the balls of my feet during long distance races. Final analysis, I should get insoles for high arched feet and a light stability running shoe. After trying on different running shoes and two types of insoles, I opted to wait on purchasing new running shoes (since I still had a couple of boxes of brand new shoes at home) and instead bought a pair of new Superfeet Premium Green insoles size E and shoe size 9.5-11 for about $35 USD plus tax. I was informed that they would last long enough for two pairs of running shoes which, considering the cost, was a relief. I plan to buy an additional pair of insoles once I have broken this pair in.
The manufacturer boasts the following features for these insoles: This particular model is meant to provide maximum support and shock absorption, while featuring Agion® antimicrobial top cover treatment to reduce bacteria and help prevent foot odor. Obviously, my feet never smell, but it's a nice to have feature;-)  The insoles are perfect for medium to high arches, which is exactly why they were recommended to me. They are recommended for the following activities: running, walking, hiking, alpine and industrial wear.
So far, I have worn these insoles in a pair of Brooks Radius 7, which is a cushioned shoe with about 290 miles on it. They were easy enough to place inside the shoe and fit fairly well. After comparing them in size to the insoles that came with the shoe and they were meant to replace, I decided not to trim them at all. Since they replace the existing insoles, they did not decrease the room inside the shoe, which is definitely a plus. However, the initial wear test inside my house revealed a significant amount of squeaking as I was walking around, squeak..squeak..squeak. After checking the manufacturer's website, I found out that there can be two reasons for this. First, the insoles are larger than they should be and need to be trimmed. That was not the case with mine. Second, they need a couple of weeks to form to natural fit of the shoe. The squeaking should disappear after that break in period. By process of elimination, this had to be the reason. The first run (5 miles) at an easy pace went rather well and I did not notice any discomfort as a result of the insoles. However, recovering from a 50 miler possibly covered up any discomfort due to significant pain in other areas of the body. Between the first and second test run, I noticed some stiffening up of my left calf muscle, which could also be the result favoring my right leg due to some issues with my right knee. However, the insoles did not create any discomfort during the second run (7 miles) either.
So far, I have been pleased with the insoles. The real tests come this weekend during a 10 mile road race and next weekend during a trail half marathon. If these runs reveal different issues with the insoles, I will add the info right here.

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