I would say that sore feet are one of the most common complaints you hear from skiers, perhaps third most common, after – no fresh snow and cold feet. In a sport where it is essential to wrap your feet in rigid plastic, and then crank that rigid plastic as tight as possible, a product that may make your feet more comfortable is certainly worth exploring. This review will look at three different styles of SOF Sole insoles. My lovely fiancé assisted me in this test, so both womens and mens models were tested.
These ones are a ¾ length insole and are apparently designed to work in dress shoes. I wear dress shoes most work days, so this was the first insoles that I tested. They didn’t work thsat well. They did increase the cushioning, but because they were only ¾ length, I had to leave the factory insoles in so that my toes were not on the stitching of the shoes . On top on the factory insole the Sof Soles significantly decreased the volume of the shoe, making them tight and uncomfortable. In addition to this, the fact that they were ¾ length meant that there was a ridge where it ended, they are a nice soft material so the ridge wasn’t uncomfortable, but definitely distracting. My partner doesn’t where dress shoes, so she tried them out in a couple pairs of other footwear, and did not find a good fit with them, and really noticed the ridge.
According to some foot and footwear experts that I have spoken with, an insole like this one could be a good match to my foot type. I have quite a rigid foot, with a relatively high arch. What this translates to when my feet are in action is that they do not collapse too much.
This version is pure cushion – there is no structure in them and they are designed purely to be cushion underfoot. My partner tested hers in her running shoes and again had issues with reducing the volume of her shoes and making her feet sore. I had similar issues when I put them into my ski boots they completely changed the fit and made them tight. My feet were numb just walking around the house, so they didn’t get into the backcountry. It is possible that if you fit your boots with these in them that they may be okay, but I would worry that they would increase the pack out factor and you might end up with sloppyness after a while. I also wore these ones in my works shoes and they were good for that, no sore feet after a full day of walking and standing.
These ones get both a thumbs up from both my fiancé and myself. They are not just pure cushioning, these have a little bit of reinforcement in them to make them more like a custom orthotic or a rigid footbed, but they also have some air cushioning in them. There seems to be enough structure to reduce foot fatigue (maybe not enough for those with flat feet or collapsed arches) and enough cushioning to make cheap skate shoes feel like running shoes. They also seemed to take up less volume making them easier to fit. They worked well in all footwear tested, with the exception of my ski boots, where I still prefer a structured footbed. They were great in snowboard boots, where precise fit is less of an issue. Both my testing partner and myself found that there was a good amount of cushioning and structure for a day in the backcountry, check back for an update after a few months of wear and more touring.
A good product, however all models are not ideal for backcountry skiers. Really liked the Airr’s in my work shoes, and the Airr Orthotics are working great in my snowboard boots.
Price: Airr Arch $19.99, Airr $29.99, Airr Orthotic $34.99 US
Airr Orthotics are a nice combination of structure and cushioning, 100% recyclable and 30 day money back guarentee.
Some are thick for footwear that need a performance fit.
This is only our opinion. Do you disagree? Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Join the discussion in the forums here, and let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation.