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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Insoles matter. Post your reviews!

I've always had a problem with numb, painful feet throughout my days of snowboarding. It's the same sick cycle every time. Go down the hill, feet go numb due to pinched nerve, feet start to hurt, feet get cold. Then you get to the bottom of the hill, loosen your bindings, wiggle your feet around trying to get some feeling back in them as you're riding lift back up. Rinse, repeat.

Then come the questions. Is it my boots? Are my bindings not set up correctly? Are my socks too thick? Does my insole suck? Are my legs and feet mangled beyond repair? Was I born disfigured? :P

Anyhow, It's a little bit of all of this of course. But I've heard this a million times, from the Angry Snowboarder to skiers to board shop dudes; "They go to the trouble of making an amazing boot, and they give you insoles that aren't worth the material they're made from."

And it's true. I was in a board shop just last week in New Hartford New York (Bikes and Boards, great guys). Anyhow, one of the dude who worked there was fitting on a pair of $720 ski boots for backcountry skiing. His insoles looked like they would fit in a size 8 boot, and his boots were size 11. Not only that, it had zero support. Instead they just scrunched up and he was better off without them.

Anyway, I had my boots heat molded, and we identified pressure points and adjusted the boots properly. I was also fitted for a pair of Aline insoles. The shop set me up on a little machine that ensured the best alignment for the insoles and I have to say, they feel right. I have a falling arch and although they do not mold to your feet like other insoles, for me, they seemed to support the structure of my foot and shape it the way it's supposed to be shaped. Very comfy, and sadly, better than my custom orthotics!

After all is said and done, my feet aren't numb anymore, so far. I only tried them once since, but to be fair I really need to ride a lot more on these insoles to give a good review. It's worth noting that I've never gone without numb, painful feet though, so once is a big achievement.

TLDR(Too Long Didn't Read); Insoles matter!

I would really like to try out a bunch and find the best one, but as I said above, it's more than just the insole. But honestly I think a good insole will make the most dramatic difference. Of all of your snowboarding equipment, don't cheap out on boots or insoles. I argue it's the most important part of your setup. They can make your day amazing or terrible, no matter if you're shredding on a piece of plywood with adjustable metal roller skates (sans wheels) or the sickest space-age board and bindings combo.
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