ProView – SOLE Active Medium
SOLE is a Canadian company that was born in 2001 and is focused on making a positive impact on people’s lives. It is worth mentioning in this review that their products are obsessively designed to help athletes of all skill levels while also putting a strong emphasis on sustainability. Using recycled wine corks in their new products and planting cork oak trees are just two examples of how they are offsetting their company’s carbon footprint. They are growing their company in a responsible way while providing great products to the outdoor industry. These facts encouraged me to perform this testing.
SOLE Active Medium
Product Description: Tried, true and proven effective, this footbed features our signature shape for everyday comfort. With SOLE's trusted customizable support, the addition of Polygiene® odor control technology, medium volume Softec cushioning and a moisture-wicking topsheet, this footbed provides comfort for adventure-ready feet. This footbed fits perfectly in most footwear including running shoes and casual sneakers.
Offer price: MSRP: $49.00
Lightweight, durable inserts for your trail running or athletic shoes. These footbeds provide amazing cushioned support and promote healthy alignment for adventure-ready feet.
- Clinically proven to reduce plantar facia strain
- Custom moldable
- Durable construction
- Comfortable fit
- Earth-friendly packaging
- No image customization or custom color options available
For this product review, I tested the Active Medium footbeds which are a perfect fit with running shoes, every-day sneakers, and tennis shoes. I have to admit that I had never used custom footbeds prior to this review, but I was pleasantly surprised with their comfort, quality, and performance when testing them in general running shoes and trail running shoes.
Overall, it was a good experience using the SOLE Active Medium footbed for general running and trail running. Keep reading to find out how these footbeds can benefit you and how they performed in each of the rating categories.
Out of the box, my first impression was a good one. The first thing that I noticed was how lightweight the footbeds were. The packaging was simple, straightforward and recyclable.
At first, I was concerned about the fit inside of my running shoes because out of the package, the footbeds looked a bit too long. However, once I removed my old insole from the shoes and replaced them with the SOLE footbeds, they fit perfectly. No trimming was required during my initial testing in the running shoes, but I did end up trimming them slightly for a perfect fit in my trail running shoes.
When looking at the side profile of these footbeds, one can see that they have been constructed with attention to detail and are high quality. The 1.6mm open-cell foam (blue layer) provides excellent shock absorption and comfort. These footbeds are latex-free and consist of three important layers – the moldable orthopedic base, softec cushioning layer, and a thin top sheet. The moldable orthopedic base offers personalized support to prevent the arch of the foot from collapsing and the deep heel cup provides cushioning and helps prevent lateral movement.
After inserting the footbeds and slipping my feet into my everyday running shoes, I instantly felt the cushioned support and I felt my weight distribute evenly over my feet. On my first run with these footbeds, I decided not to heat mold them and see how they performed. Then before subsequent trail runs, I followed the directions that were provided in the packaging and popped them in the oven for a custom fit.
Heat molding the footbeds was quick and easy with the following steps:
- Heated the oven to 175 degrees
- Removed the factory insoles from my trail running shoes
- Trimmed the top of the footbeds just slightly
- Placed the footbeds on a baking sheet for 5 minutes (3 min didn’t quite do the trick as described in the directions)
- Inserted the footbeds back into my trail runners
- Stood on them for 2 minutes
I found these footbeds to be super comfortable both before heat molding and after. However, heat molding them gave me an even more customized fit that left me wondering why I had not invested in custom footbeds prior to this testing.
During trail running, I typically have some heel pain and some mild soreness in my knees. However, I did not experience any pain while using this product during trail running sessions. I enjoyed feeling like I was floating on air as I took each step along the trail.
Room for Improvement
An added bonus to the consumer for these footbeds would be the ability to customize the graphics and colors online. It would be great to be able to match colors to running shoe colors as well as upload a custom image online that would be custom printed directly on the top of the footbeds.
Be sure to perform the heat mold method that is provided on the instruction card. It will give you a solid fit, faster than wear molding!
Here’s a quick list of features on the Active Medium footbed direct from the SOLE website:
- Provides cushioned support
- Reduces plantar fascia strain
- Improves balance
- Promotes natural foot alignment
- Distributes weight and pressure equally
- Heat and wear moldable for a customized fit
- Polygiene odor control
- Supportive arch and heel cup
- 90-Day guarantee
Width – Forefoot (approx.)
- Men’s 10 – 98mm
- Women’s 7 – 87mm
Length – Heel to toe (approx.)
- Men’s 10 – 290mm
- Women’s 7 – 245mm
Visit your local shop or order online. Head on over to their site now and check out these great footbeds.
➳ Outdoor Prolink provided equipment and associated materials for this review. All photos are a courtesy of LaGuardia Adventure Photography.
About the Gear Tester
John LaGuardia is a Colorado-born, American adventure photographer who has worked in outdoor industry retail for many years. It all began back in the late 80’s when he started up one of the first Colorado snowboard shops. Since then, he has worked with outdoor brands associated with snowsports, watersports, mountain biking, backpacking, trail running, and photography. His current work includes commercial photography and films that are related to outdoor active lifestyles. You can often find John out photographing nature and participating in the same activities as his subjects. You can connect with him on Instagram at @johnlagphoto