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  • Writer's pictureHenry

How to Find a Footbed for You

Updated: Feb 21


Building on my last post, where I discussed the why of why I wear footbeds almost all the time, in this post I talk about the two kinds of footbeds you can find, and how to go about getting them fitted.


The two kinds of footbed are pre-moulded and custom moulded. Whilst the former can be useful in ski boots and offer greater versatility, the comfort benefits from custom moulded insoles far outweigh pre-moulded for skiing.


 
Pre-Moulded

There are two major benefits to pre-moulded insoles; their cost and their versatility.


Pre-moulded insoles, if suitable, can be taken out of your ski boots and use elsewhere. My first pair, for example, were Superfeet Orange, a high volume cushioned insole that worked really well in other high volume shoes, especially hiking boots. Some skiing-specific pre-moulded insoles are now available, too, which does limit this versatility somewhat, but that idea still remains.


Anther major benefit of pre-moulded insoles is cost - they will be around half the price of custom moulded insoles. Add in the versatility and suddenly the price of comfort is really quite accessible.


Finally, pre-moulded insoles are really easy to order and fit. Many major retailers sell them, such as Ellis Brigham or Snow+Rock, and they can be ordered online too. When fitting them, it is as simple as taking out the insoles already in your boots, tracing the outline, and cutting to size. A quick step on test will ensure you have the right support, and if its not right, many manufacturers offer a guarantee which will provide a no-questions-asked refund if they aren't right.


 
Custom Moulded

Contrast this to custom moulded insoles, where you will need to spend half an hour in the shop getting them fitted, often specifically to ski boots or one pair of shoes, at twice the price, often non-refundable too.


So why, I hear you cry dear reader, should you spend the money on custom moulded insoles for your ski boots?


Because they are amazing.


In particular, the comfort factor of custom moulded over pre-moulded is significant. I often say that the level of comfort increase you feel when going from no insole to pre-moulded, happens again when you move from pre-moulded to custom moulded; it is one of the few occasions when you spend douvle the money and get double the product in return.


For the technical aspects of the support - holding the foot in the right place, reducing foot expansion - that I touched on in my previous blog, custom moulded are also second-to-none. In every day shoes, I alternate between three or four pairs of pre-moulded insoles and a pair of customs, but in ski boots I only use a pair of dedicated custom moulded insoles. Having previously stepped up from high volume pre-moulded, there is no way I would ever look back.

This is especially true when you begint o look at more performance-focused boots. These give you a stiffer plastic and less space inside the boot, so stopping that foot expansion and managing the power you drive through the foot becomes even more critical. The second you step above a 100-flex ski boot, a custom mouled footbed becomes critical.



 
A (Very Unscientific) Comparison

Pre-Moulded

Custom Moulded

Cost

£30-45

£75+ (often offered with discount when buying boots)

Veratility

Some crossover with high volume footwear such as walking boots

None - ski boot custom moulded are far too stiff to be used elsewhere

Comfort

Double what you currently feel

Quadruple what you currently feel

Performance

Good

Excellent

Do I really need it?

Yes

Yes, but like, more so.


I regularly use Superfeet as my pre-moulded insoles, and have a variety including Superfeet Blue, Trailblazer, Active Cushion, and Easyfit Heel Lifts. I have two pairs of custom moulded, one for regular shoes and one for ski boots; both of these are provided by Superfeet and fitted by Ellis Brigham






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