Note: Blog post subject matter is discussed in more detail on the Athalonz Podcast.
It’s hard to make a discussion on insoles exciting. I don’t have any interesting insole stories; no inspirational antidotes; just facts. So, I’ll do my best to make the facts interesting.
Human beings have been wearing “shoes” for at least 9,000 years. There is archeological evidence of shoes, more like foot bags, dating back to 7,000 to 8,000 BC. There is also archeological evidence that the size of human toes decreased about 26,000 to 40,000 years ago suggesting that humans were wearing shoes then.
So, we’ve been wearing shoes for a long time. It is unclear, however, when shoes began including insoles. The first insoles were creating by innkeepers in response to their customers complaining of sore feet. The innkeepers created little mattresses filled with animal hair.
Insoles have evolved significantly since then. The sale of insoles is now a five billion dollar per year industry and is divided into two primary segments: medical (which compensates for a foot ailment) and sports. But, for the most part, the purpose is still the same as the animal hair insoles: to make shoes more comfortable.
When you buy a pair of shoes today, they come with insoles. Typically, the insoles are easily removable and inexpensive (e.g., just a layer of padding). This is done to reduce the cost of manufacturing shoes and to allow for aftermarket insoles to be used.
Most aftermarket insoles include a heel cup, arch support, and padding. The quality and customization of the heel cup, arch support, and/or padding dictate the cost, which can range from about $20 a pair to hundreds of dollars a pair. For instance, a custom pair of orthotics can cost $200 to $300.
There has been a good bit of research regarding insoles for medical conditions and for sport applications. From this research, a good insole functions to help the body align properly for movement, including sports activities, and to help keep the body aligned. With the body being aligned and staying aligned, the risk of injury and discomfort are reduced. Hence, real comfort comes from a well-designed insole working together with the shoe.
There is, however, a common misconception that soft insoles equate to more comfort. While a soft insole may feel comfortable when first use, the softness often throws off the body alignment. Thus, consistent use of a soft insole may increase the risk of injury and lead to long term discomfort due to body misalignment.
At Athalonz, our shoes come with an aftermarket quality insole. Our insoles are antimicrobial and function, in combination with our shoes, to promote proper body alignment. We do this so you get the quality, comfort, and performance you deserve.
We also offer additional insole options. The insole options are also antimicrobial and function to promote body alignment, but they also allow you to customize shifting your ground reaction force. As a quick reminder, our shoes include our patented EnVe TechnologyTM that shifts ground reaction force more towards your body in comparison to other shoes. More ground reaction force going towards your body equates to more stability and more power. For more information regarding how our shoes shift ground reaction force, please see our blog entitled, “If the Shoe Fits”.
Currently, we offer two insole options: a +3 option and a –4 option. The +3 option, in combination with our shoe, increases the angle of shifting ground reaction force towards the body and the –4 options, in combination with our shoe, decreases the angle of shifting ground reaction force towards the body. Which insole option to use, if any, is a personal choice.
As a general rule, we want our knee just on the inside of a line from the ankle to the groin when we’re in an athletic stance. I am fairly bow-legged, so the +3 option works well for me. For others that are not bow-legged, they prefer the -4 option. For others that are slightly bow-legged, they prefer to use the insole that comes with the shoe. For some others, they use the -4 option in their front side shoe to help with finishing their swing while using the +3 option or the neutral option that comes with the shoe in the back side shoe.
Like quality equipment, shoes should help your game. With our shoes, just like with equipment, one-size does not fit all. That’s why we provide the insole options. When you can customize your stability and power through your shoes, you can play better. And, as we like to say, “Better Play = a Better Day”.
I am the CEO and Founder of Athalonz, LLC., I am a founding partner of the patent boutique law firm of Garlick & Markison, I am a survivor of child abuse, and I am an inventor on over 300 patents.
Athalonz is a technology company based on Mesa, AZ. It develops and sells athletic footwear, which incorporates its patented technology that leverages the laws of physics to improve athletic performance. Website: athalonz.com
Garlick & Markison is a patent law boutique firm that assists clients in building a patent business within their business using proprietary tools and techniques. Website: texaspatents.com
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Today was a good bit of climbing. A little over 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Not as much as day 1 or day 2, but not trivial. I am really enjoying traveling through the small towns. The people have been friendly, the service has been good, and the food has been excellent.