Do you need customized insoles? If you’re one of those lucky runners with a neutral arch and neutral gait, then probably not. But, for most runners who overpronate or supinate, customized insoles may provide the support, stability, cushioning, and propulsion that the sockliner (the one that comes with the shoe) doesn’t offer.
I’m a flat footed, overpronating runner. And, I swear by my Spenco insoles. Last year, I had custom orthotics made (it cost me a hefty P4,000 plus huge blisters on my foot after Buddy Run 2008) but it’s weight and thickness made it uncomfortable for me to run. I think the pair I got wasn’t made for runners. What a waste.
Last night, I passed by Runnr store on the way home from dinner and spotted Toby, owner of Runnr, inside his store. I wished him good luck for Runnr’s grand opening on Friday and, before I knew it, I had been invited to try out his new customized insole machine called FLASHFIT.
The FLASHFIT basically follows the shape of your foot and molds the insole accordingly. It looks like a miniature xerox machine for the foot and, truth be told, it practically performs like one as the customized insole is ready in as little as 10 seconds.
The insoles are called CONFORM-ABLE. These are 75% pre-molded so that when one steps on the machine, the insole is quickly customized to your foot by 25%. According to the packaging, the insole provides cushioning and anti-vibration, stability, and propulsion. It is thinner than my Spenco orthotic insoles, but it feels like there’s more arch support.
As the rest of the Runnr staff watched, Toby began to demonstrate how the flashfit worked. Should you decide to get insoles (which I highly recommend), here are the steps we took to get the insoles customized for my foot:
1. Check my arch. I was asked to stand on a contraption to determine if am low-, neutral-, or high-arched. I stood on it for several seconds, took a step back, and saw an imprint of my foot. With my very low arches, Toby said that I was the perfect runner for this job. Great! It was obvious my left had a very low arch while the right was slightly better. Toby asked if I was left-handed (yes, I am) and explained that as a lefty, the left leg is more dominant hence the lower arch on the left. Now I know why it’s my left leg that’s always beset by injuries.
2. Measure the insole for my foot. I was asked to step on the insole to ensure that I got the correct size.
3. Step on the Flashfit platform. Position your feet properly by aligning your foot with the arrows. Put your weight in the middle.
4. Practice neutral position of foot. Toby asked me to position my foot properly by lifting my arch upward so that the two notches near my ankles were out. (See photo below) This would put my foot in neutral position, the way it should be. And, that would be the same position I had to use when I stepped on the insole later on.
5. Insole is heated for a few seconds right before my eyes.
6. Insole is placed under the foot. Step on the insole in neutral position (as mentioned in no. 6) Wait a few seconds.
6. Voila, it’s done! Allow the insole to rest for 2 hours before using.
7. At home, you may cut insoles to fit your shoe or follow shape of your old insoles.
UNIVERSAL COMFORT (1/2) – For low arches – 1,350.00
UNIVERSAL COMFORT – For low arches – 1,750.00
UNIVERSAL CUSHION – For neutral to high – 1,850.00
UNIVERSAL ENERGY – For flat/no arches – 1,950.00
UNIVERSAL GEL PAD – 950.00
MULTI PLUS – 3,450.00
BIKE PLUS – 3,950.00
RUN PLUS – 3,950.00
Now available at Runnr, Bonifacio High Street
For more info, visit conform-able insoles website here.