SOLE Heat Moldable Custom Footbed-Regular Softec
January 13, 2008
Name: Jennifer Koles
Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Email address: jennksnowy at yahoo dot com
City, State, and Country: Salt Lake City, Utah, United
I started taking overnight backpacking trips
four years ago in the Uinta Mountain Range in Utah. I
found myself taking entirely too much gear. I am finding out
slowly how to minimize my needs and not require extra luxuries.
My previous outdoor experiences consisted of 4-wheel-drive
camping in primitive areas and day hiking. I use a four
season convertible tent or a three season tent for my
shelter. I plan to take more trips, increase my duration,
and reduce my two to three day backpack base weight from 17
lb (8 kg).
Manufacturer: SOLE Custom Footbeds
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.yoursole.com/
MSRP: USD $44.95
Listed Weight: not indicated on manufacturer's website
Measured Weight Each: 1.80 oz (51 g)
Size: women's size 9
Sizes Available: US men's size 3/women's size 5 through US men's 17
Thickness: 1.6 mm
Color: red top sheet, black bottom, and red cushioning
Colors Available: no other colors are available in this model
Other details: SOLE Custom Footbeds offer a few different product lines. The SOFTEC Series offers cushioning and support. The Slim Series offers pure support. Each of these product lines offer footbeds for various footbed volumes, varying degrees of cushioning, and various top sheet options.
Warranty: If the purchaser is unsatisfied with the
footbeds for any reason, they are to return them within 90
days for a replacement or a refund. No questions asked. "Guaranteed
to be the best you have ever owned."
Top of SOLE Regular footbed
Bottom of the SOLE Regular footbed
The SOLE Regular SOFTEC footbed is made for medium to tightly
fitting footwear. These are designed per the manufacturer
to provide shock absorption in footwear with reduced volume.
The SOLE Regular SOFTEC is constructed of 1.6 mm of proprietary
cushioning material, SOFTEC. They are indicated to provide
excellent support and a heat moldable, custom fit.
The arch of the footbed is aggressive and can be heat custom
molded for additional support and comfort. The heel cup of
the footbed is deep. I noticed that it cradles my heel in
place and does not allow heel sliding. The top sheet fabric
is constructed of a moisture wicking material.
The manufacturer's instructions note that: "Diabetics and
people with poor circulation or lack of sensation in their
feet should consult their health care professional before
using this product to ensure appropriate treatment and care.
The manufacturer also warns not to heat them in the microwave
and not to trim them too short.
The footbeds come with fitting
instructions and the SOLE website has a nifty video to watch
that walked me through the custom molding process step by
There are seven easy steps to custom molding
- Pre-heat the oven on bake to exactly 200 F (93 C).
- Remove the original insole from the footwear.
- Use the old insole as a guide to trim the footbeds to fit the shoe.
- Place the footbeds on the oven rack for two minutes.
- Immediately put the footbeds into the shoes.
- Then it is time to put the shoes on. The
heels must be placed against the back of the shoes and have
them laced up during this process. The knee cap should be
aligned (when the knees are bent) over the top of the second
toe during the fitting process.
- To complete the fitting process the person being fitted needs to stand with their feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed forward for two minutes.
I have a few different types
of SOLE footbeds (Ultra Softec and the Slim Sport Series)
so I am not new to the fitting process. I wear the Ultra Softec
footbeds in my backpacking boots and the Slim Series in my
two pair of cycling shoes. After taking them out of the packaging
and comparing them with the original footbed from my Vasque
trail runners, I realized that no trimming was needed and
I was ready to mold the footbed. They were a perfect match.
I originally tried the SOLE Ultra Softec in these shoes prior
to obtaining these and I found that the footbed took up too
much volume for my liking. The manufacturer recommended the
SOLE Regular Softec. I still had the original footbed from
Vasque and I compared it with the SOLE footbed. The SOLE footbed
was definitely more rigid than the Vasque footbed. The SOLE
footbed was not foldable like the Vasque one was.
I was ready to mold the footbeds.
It was easy as pie. I pre-heated my small oven to 200 F (93
C). I followed the enclosed directions and placed the footbeds
in the pre-heated oven for 2 minutes. I then checked the footbeds
to see if they were properly heated. I did this by looking
at a sticker on the bottom of the footbed. This sticker is
called the Opti-therm Molding Indicator by the manufacturer.
The sticker turns from a silver color to a black color when
the footbeds are heated to the proper temperature. I noticed
that the indicator was black. This indicated that the heating
process was complete. I immediately placed the footbeds into
my shoes and placed my feet into the shoes with my heels against
the back of them. I then laced them up and stood with my feet
shoulder width apart and my toes pointed forward for two minutes.
My feet were comfortably warm during the fitting process.
It felt like I was at a spa getting one of those fancy pedicures
with warm towels on my feet.
I really did not have a break
in period after molding the footbeds as I have been used to
the SOLE footbeds from wearing them in my hiking boots and
my cycling shoes. However, the manufacturer does recommend
breaking in the footbeds over a three-day period. The fitting
process can be repeated after three days if needed.
I have worn these footbeds for the past five months in my Vasque
trail runners the following locations: Can I say just about everywhere
I have been?
Day hikes and backpacking in the Wasatch
and Uinta Mountain Range in Utah: Multiple locations. The trail
conditions varied from mud, traces of snow, rock scrambling, stream
crossings, wet leaves, and dry trail. Elevations were from 6,000
ft (1,829 m) to over 10,000 ft (3,048 m). The temperatures ranged
from below freezing to above 90 F (50 C).
Southern Utah (Canyonlands and Zion National
Park): Backpacking and day hikes. The temperatures ranged from 60-mid
80 F (27-16 C)
Hawaii (Big Island): Day
hikes on the west and east side of the island. Daytime temperatures
were in the low to mid 80 F (27 C) with rainy and dry conditions.
Southern California: The
footbeds were worn in my shoes for walks on the beach path. The
elevation was sea level and the temperatures averaged 75-80 F (42-44
I travel to many states with my work and
my trail runners went on my feet or in the suitcase when I traveled.
I have worn these in Tennessee, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Arizona, and
Texas. During my work weeks I wore the trail runners to walk on
park trails for general exercise. They have also been worn almost
daily when I am home in Utah to run quick errands or going on local
These footbeds are super comfortable and
are very durable. I have worn these footbeds in my shoes almost
every day for the past five months. My shoes have actually worn
out before the footbeds did. That is impressive! The shoes are ready
for the trash! The footbeds are just as comfortable now as the first
day I put them in the shoes. There are no significant signs of wear.
The top sheet is fully intact and the foam has not compressed, that
I can tell. I picked up an almost identical pair of shoes in the
same size and I will be using these footbeds in them. I was happy
with my SOLE Ultra Softec before in these shoes. But, now I am ecstatic.
I can not believe how much more comfortable my shoes are with the
correct volume footbed. I love these footbeds! I am glad the manufacturer
suggested I wear the Regular Softec instead of the Ultra Softec
footbeds in my trail runners.
When I was in Southern Utah on a biking
trip I wore my trail runners when I was not riding. Let me say that
my shoes were filled with red dirt and sand. The footbeds were filthy
dirty. I used a cloth with some soap and water and wiped the dirt
away on the top and the bottom. They came out pretty clean and I
was surprised. They actually look pretty new.
After using these footbeds for four straight
months I figured they would stink. No stench at all. That was also
Once in a while they would get wet while
hiking. I would just take them out and set them on a sunny rock
to dry. They were dry by evening and ready to be placed back into
my shoes. Even after wiping them clean with a wet cloth they dried
Oh and the comfort ...These footbeds are
so comfortable. After long miles on the trail my feet do not get
cramped and sore. I have no pain from wearing the footbeds and they
provide me with excellent foot and ankle stability. In the past
I have worn orthotics (due to fallen arches) with my trail runners,
well no more. I have not experienced any pressure areas from the
footbeds. With the SOLE Regular footbeds I have stability and comfort.
With my foot aligned correctly in my shoe
I did not encounter knee and hip pain while hiking or walking. Even
with days that mentally I felt I was hiking forever my feet were
Things That Rock:
- The amount of support the footbeds
- They are very comfortable.
- No pressure areas or arch fatigue
- No stench
- Easy to custom mold
- I really love these footbeds
for my trail runners
- They are not rigid like a custom
- They are easy to clean even in
Things That Are So So:
- They are somewhat pricey for
a store purchased footbed. However, they are not nearly as expensive
as a custom orthotic.
I have used these footbeds for the past five months. They have
provided me comfort and pleasure while wearing my trail runners
while hiking, backpacking, and walking for exercise. They
offer excellent support and foot stability without the need for
my custom orthotics. The SOLE Regular Softec footbeds are the perfect
companion for my trail runners.