Although I’ve always been a rather injury-prone runner, over the last five years I’ve really struggled with my feet. Back in 2014 I fractured one of the metatarsals in my left foot and since the beginning of the year I’ve been struggling with plantar fasciitis. As an added bonus I recently discovered that I have weak arches.
I’ve worn customised insoles in my trainers for a number of years, so I was over the moon when I was offered the opportunity to review a pair of SOLE Active Medium footbeds.
Now that I’ve been wearing the SOLE footbeds for over a month, I feel that I am in a position to write a hopefully useful review.
What is the SOLE Active Medium footbed?
Performance footbed specialist SOLE has been giving runners an edge since 2001. Last November, SOLE reinvigorated its product line with the new and improved Active Footbed range. The new footbeds have a moisture wicking top sheet and Polygiene anti-odour coating for improved hygiene and added comfort and are ideally suited to both runners and walkers. The luxury mouldable footbeds adapt through the heat of your feet and through general wear to fit perfectly.
What can the Active Medium footbed be used for?
- To avoid aching arches and heel pain.
- To reduce plantar fascia strain.
- To improve balance.
- To distribute weight and pressure equally.
- To provide natural heel support to encourage good alignment of your feet and lower legs.
As a runner with plantar fasciitis the SOLE Active Medium footbeds sounded perfect, and after reading about the potential benefits of the footbeds I couldn’t wait to put them to the test.
The review process
When the SOLE Active Medium footbeds arrived they looked huge and I was initially worried I’d somehow managed to order the wrong size. I then placed the SOLE footbeds next to the insoles provided with the trainers and realised they were the right size; I’d temporarily forgotten that my size 9 trainers are like boats!
The SOLE footbeds came with limited instructions so I looked online and found more detailed moulding instructions here. I was given two options; to either wear mould or to heat mould my footbeds. Although heat moulding provides the highest level of customisation in the shortest amount of time, I decided to go with the simpler wear moulding approach for two reasons; (1) my oven tends to burn food and I didn’t want to burn my footbeds, and (2) I’m not very brave and tend to take the easier and safer option.
I loosened the laces a little, removed the customised footbeds I’d been using and then really struggled to push the SOLE footbeds inside my trainers. Top tip: don’t be lazy like I was and make sure you thoroughly loosen your laces, you may even need to remove the laces to fit the SOLE footbeds. Once I’d managed to
wedge place the SOLE footbeds inside my trainers I was ready to go.
In order to customise and mould my new footbeds, I started off by wearing the SOLE footbeds around the house for several days. This hopefully gave the footbeds plenty of time to adapt to my feet, giving a fit unique to my feet and dodgy arches. I then progressed to walking and after a couple of weeks running with the SOLE footbeds in my trainers. Although I couldn’t really feel the footbeds – always a positive sign with customised footbeds – both of my arches felt well supported. My running friend said that my form had improved; apparently I wasn’t doing my usual wonky runner impression.
It will be interesting to see if the SOLE footbeds are equally as effective when I’m fatigued as this is when my running form tends to go to pieces. I’ll find out soon and report back.
The SOLE Active Medium footbeds have definitely helped to reduce the pain in my right heel. I would be happy to recommend these footbeds to anyone struggling with plantar fasciitis, your feet will be grateful for additional, customised support.
So thanks again to SOLE for sending me a pair of Active Medium footbeds and for letting me thoroughly test them out! For more information on the footbeds please visit.
**Full disclosure: I was sent a pair of SOLE Active Medium footbeds for free in return for an honest review. I did not receive any payment for this review and as always all opinions and photographs are my own**