Comprehensive Insole Review Thread

Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by VeritasC&E, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. VeritasC&E

    VeritasC&E Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Stockholm
    Since I am myself unknowledgeable about insoles and through the search function I see that many other persons found themselves in quest for help with selecting insoles, I thought maybe we could do a shared thread in which we share our experience and review of various insole models?

    I can list the following models so far, for some of which I've gathered valuable contributions from BC members:

    YONEX
    AC192
    "No good" - Scott Kam​
    AC194
    ?
    SORBOTHANE
    Full Strike
    "Thinnest and least supportive. Completely floppy and have no sort of structure." - Ouchie​
    Double Strike
    ?
    Sorbo Pro
    "Sorbo Pro are a little thicker but not as much as some and my heel only just fits into the shoe without slipping out. They have arch support and a heel structure. The insoles are 4mm thick around the toes and a misleading 21mm at the heel (with real world thickness < 10mm which is still more than the Yonex standard insole). I would prefer the heel to be thinner but with the same cup shape around the heel and arch support. I might remove the gel pad under the heel to see if that helps. They work well as replacements but the heel does not feel as secured as it did with the old insoles. They are currently my favourite because they are not going to extremes with arch support or cushioning."
    - Ouchie
    SPENCO
    Polysorb Cross-Trainer
    "Superb cushioning but still not too thick, good grip and durability and a fair price." - S_Mair
    "Amazing. Perfect protection for the knees, incredible cushioning and nice price." - BadmiCat​
    Total Support
    "More rigid support structures (arch and heel cup) and are a tad thicker overall. Overall too much
    support for normal feet." -
    S_Mair
    "Very stable, very cushy on landing, yet it doesnt feel like walking on pillow (i.e. i can still feel
    in touch with the ground)"
    - Justplaynow77​
    Total Max (Black Plate)
    "This is my go to. total max is appreciably more stable/sturdy/durable/rigid than spenco total (gray plate)." - Offbad​
    Ironman Total Support Thin
    ?
    KARAKAL
    Gel Performance
    "Original insoles or very thin and when these are fitted the first impression is that it makes me feel I'm too high in the shoe and have no support in the ankle but that may be down to the shoe being low. They are comfortable and my feet definitely took less punishment absorbed the impacts well. Definitely felt more bounce which was nice. I do have an ankle injury and wearing these made me more aware that I could roll my ankle but again could be the shoe"
    - dg-19844
    SIDAS
    3 feet Active, Low
    ?​
    3 feet Active, Mid
    "They are amazing. My feet are way less tired after a session and the extra heel support and cushioning is great. I don't play without it anymore. These have three different heights to cater to different feet arches, mine was middle. The non-active variant of 3feet had the top fabric roll up on the edges, and have more of a denting under the ball of the foot after months of use than the Active. I would recommend the Active variant for sport much more, the arches seem the same but has different fabric and a gel patch under front foot. Try the different heights!!"
    - Thyrif​
    3 feet Active, High
    ?
    PHYSIX GEAR
    Sport full length orthotics
    "Very stiff arch support and heel cup which was reassuring but the cushioning is absolutely minimal/non existent. The forefoot thickness is similar to Yonex standard insoles but the heel cup is thicker and felt my heel slipping if the laces were not pulled tight. With the laces too tight my foot would ache. It was hard to find a comfortable balance yet the arch support really did help by arches. Not ideal as a replacement in Yonex shoes, poor cushioning, great solid arch support and heel cup."
    - Ouchie
    SOFSOLE
    Fit Series, Low Arch
    "Good support but slippery top surface is not good for badminton. Best for casual wear or when you don't need quick, lateral, stop/cut movements-- like kwun mentioned." - Offbad​
    Mens Air Sport
    ?
    VICTOR
    VT-XD 8
    "Standard cushionning {...} good 'bounce' feel {...} as we lunge and skip around the court.
    Does a good job in keeping the foot stay in place. Makes me feel my foot is safe and snug properly."

    - Justplaynow77
    POWERSTEPS
    Pinnacle Maxx
    "It has better cushioning than either Spenco Total Max or Cross Trainer, but has an arch support that is in between the two. Great for badminton players with flat feet who can't afford to pay for those custom made orthotics that cost upwards of $400 cad. It's like a hybrid of the Spenco Cross Trainer and the Total Max, with both cushioning and arch support (to reduce overpronation)."
    - Visor
    SUPERFEET
    All
    "Superfeet insoles are popular for "other sports" like running, etc. but not good for badminton, the top surface is too slippery against regular socks and the feet will slide around. not good for badminton when lateral grip is vitally important." - Kwun


    Feel free to contribute with your experience and impressions with any of the listed models, or to add any model to the list!
     
    #1 VeritasC&E, Sep 4, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    kwun and Cheung like this.
  2. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2018
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    96
    Location:
    UK
    I didn't review the double strike, only Sorbo pro ;) Oh, and the 21mm heel thickness is misleading, the real world thickness is less than 10mm but still more than the Yonex standard insoles.

    Here is another I used for the entire 2018/19 season.
    Physix Gear
    Sport full length orthotics
    Very stiff arch support and heel cup which was reassuring but the cushioning is absolutely minimal/non existent. The forefoot thickness is similar to Yonex standard insoles but the heel cup is thicker and felt my heel slipping if the laces were not pulled tight. With the laces too tight my foot would ache. It was hard to find a comfortable balance yet the arch support really did help by arches. Not ideal as a replacement in Yonex shoes, poor cushioning, great solid arch support and heel cup.​
     
    VeritasC&E likes this.
  3. VeritasC&E

    VeritasC&E Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Stockholm
    I'll edit as soon as I get back to my computer!
     
  4. thyrif

    thyrif Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2015
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    175
    Location:
    Netherlands
    You're welcome to add my experience with Sidas 3feet Active from the other thread, too.

    Small addition: the non-active variant of 3feet had the top fabric roll up on the edges, and have more of a denting under the ball of the foot after months of use than the Active. I would recommend the Active variant for sport much more, the arches seem the same but has different fabric and a gel patch under front foot. Try the different heights!!
     
    VeritasC&E likes this.
  5. kwun

    kwun Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    40,157
    Likes Received:
    1,157
    Occupation:
    BC Janitor
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA, USA
    superfeet insoles are popular for "other sports" like running, etc. but not good for badminton, the top surface is too slippery against regular socks and the feet will slide around. not good for badminton when lateral grip is vitally important.
     
    VeritasC&E likes this.
  6. offbad

    offbad Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    714
    Likes Received:
    222
    Occupation:
    student
    Location:
    USA
    i have flat feet prone to plantar fasciitis so i'm looking for stability in that area

    spenco total max (black plate):
    this is my go to. total max is appreciably more stable/sturdy/durable/rigid than spenco total (gray plate).

    sofsole fit low arch:
    good support but slippery top surface is not good for badminton.
    best for casual wear or when you don't need quick, lateral, stop/cut movements-- like kwun mentioned.
     
    VeritasC&E likes this.
  7. visor

    visor Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,959
    Likes Received:
    1,608
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    There's also Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx orthotics that has better cushioning than either Spenco Total Max or Cross Trainer, but has an arch support that is in between the two. Great for badminton players with flat feet who can't afford to pay for those custom made orthotics that cost upwards of $400 cad.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
     
    VeritasC&E likes this.
  8. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2018
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    96
    Location:
    UK
    My experiences with Sorbothane insoles is causing me real confusion. I used the Sorbo Pro again last night and had massive cramps and could not find a happy balance between comfort and no slipping heels. Either my shoes were too tight and gave me cramp or too loose and my heel slipped out when pushing forward or twisting. After a game I switched back to Full Strikes and immediately felt good again. The sorbo pro support is ok but having to tighten laces too much caused the problems.

    While I need arch support for flat feet I don't suffer any pain using the thinnest, flattest, least supportive insoles. I will proceed with my plan to hack the sorbo pros to make them thinner and retain the arch support. My experience with the uber-stiff Physix Gear insoles showed that cushioning is not required but a good fit and support is essential, it's a shame they were a little too thick in the arch/heel. I think I have just managed to reset my thinking and aims for what insoles should be. Support is important, cushioning is the enemy.
     
    VeritasC&E likes this.
  9. VeritasC&E

    VeritasC&E Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Stockholm
  10. visor

    visor Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,959
    Likes Received:
    1,608
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    What are you looking for?

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
     
  11. VeritasC&E

    VeritasC&E Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Stockholm

    I'm not exactly sure as I'm very unknowledgeable on the topic (and on the specificities of my feet). One thing I learned about my feet is that I have a medium high arch. *EDIT*: I also have very slight overpronation.


    All of the following things are important to me, in that order:

    Improved Ankle/Lateral Support > Shock Absorption > "Bounce"/Performance > Insole-Foot Interface "Grip" > Insole Lightweightedness > Insole Durability > Ventilation (if possible, small holes like on Yonex insoles allowing for the steam to exit the shoe through the outsole ventilation)
     
    #11 VeritasC&E, Sep 8, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  12. visor

    visor Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,959
    Likes Received:
    1,608
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm not sure any insole will provide lateral support... this is the function of the shoe instead.

    But the Spenco Thin will definitely have less shock absorption than the Spenco Cross Trainer.

    Like I mentioned in another thread, the Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx is Avery good choice. It's like a hybrid of the Spenco Cross Trainer and the Total Max, with both cushioning and arch support (to reduce overpronation).

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
     
    VeritasC&E likes this.
  13. VeritasC&E

    VeritasC&E Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Stockholm
    It has a very good rating on Amazon, but I'm afraid of two things: (1) That it might raise my heel too much and thereby decrease the ankle support within my shoe, (2) From the design, my feeling is that maybe they would not last as long as the Thin SPENCO Total Support Ironman.

    On UK Amazon these are priced at almost the price one can get a pair of SHB03Z, which would make it a very expensive trial if not the right ones. I'm thinking it's maybe better if I slightly undershoot than if I over-shoot: Slightly less-than ideal cushioning will still be a great improvement over stock insoles, but more than ideal cushioning can mean I might not be able to play at all with the insoles.

    What do you think?

    UPDATE: Several reports on Amazon relate short lifespans for the Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx.
     
    #13 VeritasC&E, Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  14. visor

    visor Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,959
    Likes Received:
    1,608
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Hmmm, re ankle support, if you really want to prioritize that then you should look at getting the mid rise versions of Yonex shoes.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
     
    VeritasC&E likes this.
  15. VeritasC&E

    VeritasC&E Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Stockholm
    I just bought a new pair of Aerus 3. It's because they already have limited support that I don't want to additionally rise the heel too much. I ordered a pair of Spenco Total Support which I'll test in conjunction with these. If too high I'll put them in my 03Z and order the thin version of the Ironman instead for the Aerus 3. If not, and if I feel I can do with less support / more cushioning, I might later order the polysorb cross-trainer and put them in my 03Z.

    And if I'm rich enough maybe in some time I will try the Powerstep Pinacle Maxx at the expense of a more frequent turnover. They had really good reviews. Only thing is they are very expensive in Europe (and the potentially higher turnover on top of that).
     
    visor likes this.
  16. offbad

    offbad Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    714
    Likes Received:
    222
    Occupation:
    student
    Location:
    USA
    have you ever thought of something like this
    if you don't have too much ankle instability and are only looking for extra support
     
    VeritasC&E likes this.
  17. DinB

    DinB Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2019
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Paris
    I feel the type of shoes and the original insoles determine a lot about which replacement insoles to use. I have an Asics gel-blade 6 with Spenco polysorb cross-trainer but unfortunately they don't feel compatible at all. The cross-trainer are great insoles, really good cushion, but they are still too thick for the gel blade. It makes your feet unstable and you have the impression that your ankles are about to leave the shoes at any moment.
     
    VeritasC&E likes this.
  18. VeritasC&E

    VeritasC&E Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Stockholm
    That was my fear about "overshooting" with insoles (especially on the Aerus 3): Putting more cushioning than the shoe can take before the lateral support is not enough to support the elevated foot. I think that the heel cup "depth" on some insoles might help a tiny bit with lateral support of the foot.
     
  19. VeritasC&E

    VeritasC&E Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Stockholm

    I've never worn one but I think it can help, and I considered one during ankle recovery but never bought one (I strapped my foot with my boxing bands in the same fashion that I would do with my wrists during boxing: it provided great support and allowed me to gradually release it over the weeks until I was back playing without it).
     
  20. offbad

    offbad Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    714
    Likes Received:
    222
    Occupation:
    student
    Location:
    USA
    i still strap up with zamst a2dx (by far the finest ankle brace btw) on my weak ankle
    but if you're fully recovered and confident in your ankle, looking for slightly more support-- i think a sleeve would offer that mild-medium amount of protection/peace of mind for you. at worst it isn't that expensive to try either.
     
    VeritasC&E likes this.

Share This Page