REVIEW: SOLE Custom Footbeds

Update: This blog post was revised on 29th October to reflect the mistake made when heating the custom footbeds. UK ovens are measured in Celsius (C) not Fahrenheit (F). Looks like Sir Jog A Lot overheated the footbeds by a full 110°C!

SOLE Custom Footbeds

If Paula Radcliffe has one bit of advice for runners, it’s don’t scrimp on shoes. Getting your gait analysed can mean a pair of trainers could last you a year, instead of a few months. You’re also far less likely to pick up an injury.

However, this isn’t always an option. You might not live anywhere near a sports shop that provides such a specialist service (I know, can you believe that not every trainer store is equipped with a treadmill, a 3D foot scanner and a gait analysis expert these days? It’s scandalous!). If money and specialist athletics shops are a problem, then a possible solution is a pair of SOLE Custom Footbeds.

SOLE contacted me a few months back (we actually gave away a pair of their Platinum Sandals in our recovery competition) and offered me a set of their footbeds to test out for myself. The idea is simple. Most good trainers these days have removable insoles. You simply replace the standard insole with SOLE’s version and viola! The trainers that previously gave you blisters or an awkward running style, are now custom designed for the shape of your foot.

The Custom Footbeds are moulded to the shape of your feet in one of two ways. You can either wear them for a few days and bed them in, or you can use the oven in your kitchen to heat the new insole and mould them to fit in a few minutes. Once heated, you just slide them in your trainers, slip them on and stand up straight for two minutes while they set.

It’s a great idea. For £35 a pop, you could turn your old trainers into the most comfortable shoes you have ever worn. But, if your oven is anything like mine (a UK oven, measured in Celsius, not Fahrenheit) you can accidentally overheat the footbeds and ruin them. Which is exactly what I did.

Softec Ultra

It’s a real shame because if I’d checked the instructions correctly (I’d only had a few months to read them!) I’d have noticed that the footbeds need to be heated to 200°F (90°C). I’d overheated them by a full 110°C. The softer black rubber underneath contracted, meaning that the top layer curled around at the toe end, becoming too narrow for the shoe.

Luckily, the kind people at SOLE have provided the SJAL blog with another pair. But instead of me foolishly ruining this set, we’ll be giving them away to one lucky reader to test them out for themselves!

You can enter in one of two ways…

Sir Win A Lot

  1. Post a message on Twitter by clicking this link and follow @sirjogalot (so we can message you if you win) or…
  2. Answer the following question:

Click here for a hint!

A. 90°C

B. 80°C

C. 70°C


*Winners will be contacted either by email or Twitter and announced on 4th November. Your email address will in no way be distributed to third parties. Entry to UK residents only.

3 Responses to “REVIEW: SOLE Custom Footbeds”

  • Sal:

    Doh! Silly Sir Jog A Lot… I think the fact that you rarely use an oven probably doesn’t help ;-) Maybe SOLE could develop a microwave alternative

  • I like your post. No women I know would ever scrimp on her shoes, if we talking about fashion shoes. I can’t explain this phenomenon, I guess me as a women just suck it up and pay the price.
    However something I can’t get over is the price for real running shoes!! I actually unwillingly paid £100 for pair of shoes which I don’t even like. And that is for every women the biggest weirdest thing to get over with.
    So yes, I guess good pair of shoes as Paula Radcliffe recommends is a worth investment (once you get over the painful fact that they are practical, but not necessary like them. ;-)

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