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Stuff We Like: Footbalance Insoles

Stuff We Like: Footbalance Insoles

Custom footbeds that will make you a better skier
By Berne Broudy
posted: 10/01/2012

Misaligned feet and ankles affect your efficiency, stability, edging, control, and stamina when you’re skiing. 

It's impossible to have a balanced stance even when you’re walking if your feet don't form a stable platform beneath you. Skiing, your arches collapse under the force of your turn, wasting power. Your energy transfer is inefficient, and your feet, legs, and back tire more easily.

Many of us have tried to enhance our performance by sizing our boots uncomfortably tight. But jamming poorly supported feet into boots that pinch compounds the problem, increasing foot collapse, creating hot spots, and restricting blood flow so that your feet may even go numb. Needless to say, this cuts down on sensitivity and control.

Footbalance solves the problem with affordable, custom-formed insoles based on computerized foot analysis to ensure perfect arch support for you, based on your feet.

Here’s how it works: You stand on a glass platform at your local ski shop, where your arches are computer analyzed. You then step onto heated, unmolded insoles positioned on special molding pillows, and based on the computer analysis, the Footbalance tech molds each to fit the corresponding foot perfectly.

Footbalance insoles have a flexible, resilient core without excess rigidity. To stay healthy, foot muscles need to be engaged. Orthotics and arch supports are often hard and rigid—they don’t flex when you move, which means that over time you lose muscle strength and arch flexibility. Because Footbalance insoles are dynamic, they support your feet to prevent overpronation but flex and move so that your foot muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and proprioceptors are all still working, keeping your feet and arches active, healthy, and toned.

Footbalance makes two insoles just for skiers: the Race and the Race Heat. Developed with the Finnish Alpine Ski Team, both are super thin—low profile enough to comfortably fit inside tight boots and stiff enough for the most demanding conditions. The Race Heat adds a heating element inside the insole connected by flat wires that run up the inside of your boot to Thermic batteries (sold separately). It’s the first 100% custom footbed with a built-in heating element.

We’ve tested the Race and the Race Heat, as well as Footbalance’s other models (in fact, since last winter we’ve had the only pair of Race Heats in the U.S.). Footbalance is the only insole we wear inside our ski boots, and we see the difference on the slopes. $80, footbalanceusa.com 

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