Do Your Feet Hurt?
- January 17, 2018 |
Ask any builder. They will tell you how important it is to have a good foundation on which to build your house. That’s exactly what your feet are for the rest of your body, so it is important to make sure your foundation is as sturdy and healthy as it can be. Superfeet helps maintain healthy feet and may mitigate some maladies to make everyday life more enjoyable. Making your feet “super” is quite easy.
Superfeet insoles were developed through work in the ski industry. One of their early ads says, “For years, you’ve tried to make your FEET fit your BOOTS…. NOW! We can make your BOOTS fit your FEET!” Alpine shops found that an insole that properly supports your foot can (and did) improve skiers’ experiences on the slopes. Several years later, that same idea is being used to help runners, hikers, and people who suffer with plantar fasciitis, and other foot problems.
You may wonder why Mast Store employees may ask you a number of questions when you are shopping in the footwear department. It is important to know how and where you will be using your footwear. Your answers to our questions may influence the footwear our associates recommend. For instance, if you are looking for a pair of hiking boots that you’ll be using mostly for day hikes carrying a light pack, our recommendations would be different than if you are going to do a multi-day hike (or thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail) because of the extra load your body will be carrying.
After the questions, the fun part starts. An associate will ask to measure your feet and will assess four areas:
- The length of your foot heel to toe.
- The length of your foot from heel to ball (this measures your arch length).
- The width of your foot.
- The volume of your foot.
The first three will be measured in both a seated and standing position because your foot reacts differently when weight is applied. The associate may also ask you to walk a few steps to see what your pronation looks like (Take a look at the bottom of your shoe – do you notice a big difference in the wear of the outside of your soles? You could be over pronating, which means your heel strike is on the outside of the foot and then rolls to the inside. A Superfeet insole can help in correcting that by moving your foot into a more neutral position, which will in turn extend the life of your shoe.)
Amazingly, you may learn that you’ve been wearing the wrong size shoes all these years. Elongation is the culprit. When your foot isn’t properly supported, it can elongate sometimes several sizes. Elongation can lead to such foot problems as plantar fasciitis, a migrating fat pad, neuropathy (tingling or loss of feeling in the foot), etc.
Superfeet insoles can help in three areas:
- Stability – they help reduce or stop elongation, which makes the foot more stable and able to support your body. By increasing the foot’s stability, you may also see a reduction in corns and heavy calluses.
- Proper Alignment – by aligning the foot correctly, some of the stress is taken away from the hips and knees. With everything in the right place, you will carry weight better.
- Over Pronation – the insole puts the foot in a more neutral position and keeps it from wanting to splay.
Jim has spent 33 years fitting customers in all manners of shoes at the Original Mast Store. He’s seen styles and trends come and go, but he says, “Superfeet is my favorite item to sell. I enjoy educating and showing the customer the difference these insoles can make.”
Mast Store has six different Superfeet insoles, which serve different needs.
- Green is the most popular and is used in hiking boots. It is the most heavy duty and high profile.
- Blue has a low profile. This style is used more in casual shoes, boat shoes, sneakers or running shoes. The arch is not as high, and it’s a little thinner.
- Copper is thicker. It works well for someone who has a narrow foot or for someone who doesn’t need as much arch support. It also has memory foam in it. A word of caution, this insole should not be used in footwear with a waterproof membrane. It may puncture it because of its sharper edges.
- Carbon is really thin. The back frame on this option is very stiff and is used by people with high volume feet. It is great in running shoes.
- Me ¾ Insole is a short shank. These insoles are used in shoes where the factory insole can’t be removed.
- The Trailblazer has a shock pad in the forefoot to help with absorption and a gel plug in the heel to help with over pronation.
Judy, who works at the Mast Store in Boone, enjoys working with footwear customers and helping them find a shoe that is just right for them. “We have people come in with some hard-to-fit feet like high volume and a high instep or a wide toe box and narrow heel. I try to try on all the shoes on the wall to know what will work best for people with different types of feet.”
She is also an advocate for Superfeet. “Even if you have healthy feet now, don’t wait for a problem. If you give them the support they need, you may never have to deal with some of the more common issues,” says Judy. “For some people, it takes a while to get used to Superfeet. They may feel uncomfortable because their feet aren’t used to the support. We recommend that customers wear them a couple hours at a time to give their feet time to adjust and work up to wearing them all day.”
If after wearing Superfeet for 60 days, you don’t see a difference in the way your feet and body feel, it’s OK. You can return them for a full refund. Who knows, your feet – and your body - may end up feeling truly super.