Footbalance Custom Insoles

Sweatshop have recently announced that they'll be providing this service - anyone tried it yet?  Noticed that there was no obligation to buy but no mention of cost in the publicity.

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Comments

  • they're an 'off the shelf' insole heated and moulded to fit - not the best systems but easier on the pocket. Others I would recommend are Sidas - full length 3D moulded and fitted around £80 per pair. Not sure where you are, but The Runners Centre in Lancaster fits Sidas. Not tried them myself - would be interested in your opinion.
  • Thanks for that Spamalot - am in Middlesex.  Sweatshop give the option to "try before you buy" so thought that they might be worth a try.  Interested to hear what people think.

  • can't go wrong with a 'try before you buy' image

  • Trigger,

    I have a pair, got them from the Expo - Sweatshop was doing them.

    I previously have had my gait measured by two different companies (not sweatshop) and been told that I was a neutral runner.   All O.K until I got Sciatica and just before London got Shin splints.  Went to this facility which they told me that I overpronate and I came out £40.00 lighter but with insoles.  I didn't run London with them and had a bad day.

     Since then I put the insoles in my neutral trainers and shin splints totally gone and now just have a slight pain with the Sciatica.  Everything's been fine using the insoles.

    The insoles helped me out a lot initially,  Sweatshop told me to go back in six months because your gait can change using them? - but nearest shop is over 50 miles away,  so have decided on trying out stability shoes. 

  • I have 3 sets for convenience. One for my work shoes, one for my lounging around trainers and one for my running shoes.
    They are well worth the money imo as I don't get the pains in my legs (slight pain in shins/Achilles/soleus/heel) anymore.
    Wear them for a few hours at a time until you get used to the new shape your feet will hold and then wear them all the time.
  • Thanks for the feedback guys - I'll definitely give them a try!

  • bought some of these insoles today

    My feet were analyzed with the use of a" podoscope". Flat unmolded insoles were heated for 2 mins in a special machine. The heated insoles were placed on molding pillows and the Footbalance expert molded the heated insoles to fit my feet perfectly while maintaining correct alignment.I had to stand still and then rock back as far as I could go and then go up on tiptoes. The insoles set hard within a few mins. I have high arches and overpronate. I wear rigid orthotics in my running shoes;but was wanting insoles for my everyday day shoes. The insoles + the molding etc cost £40. If I tried the insoles in the shop and didn't like them- they would be reheated and flattened to their original state at £0 to me.

    I found as soon as I put the insoles in my shoes I could feel the support esp  under the arch of my right foot- it felt really stable and was definitely relieving the pressure on the ball of my foot , I purchased the insoles and have worn them all day today(you are meant to wear them gradually if you haven't had insoles/orthotics before). I am v pleased with my insolesimage

  • Great post Bambi - I haven't taken the plunge yet but may do so very soon.  Good luck with them.image
  • I stumbled across this thread looking for reviews if these! I overpronate and have always worn adidas which I like due to my narrow feet, I bought asics this time with these insoles from sweatshop. After my first run my arches are sore and feel like I have pulled something!!

    If anyone has experience of these insoles should I keep trying in the hope I will just get used to them?
  • I went into Sweatshop today to have a gait analysis done and to buy some new shoes. When we got started on the test the first thing that came out was a pair of insoles, which he proceeded to heat up and then mold to my feet. I presumed these were some part of the analysis, so went with it. The test went well and I picked a pair of new shoes. It wasn't until we went to the till to pay that I realised the insoles were costing me £45.00. I've been having back and knee problems over recent months so I'm happy to give them a go but I felt a little bit rail-roaded into buying them. I've had them in my work shoes all day today and I can definately feel them there. I'll update in a few weeks..

  • Just resurrecting this thread because I'm really interested to find out whether it is common that the insoles are sold in the way Gary Gannon and Yiddarmy experienced.  I coach a lot of inexperienced/beginner recreational runners who are increasingly reporting that the insole fitting is non-optional if you want to try shoes at Sweatshop, and that the cost is not made clear.  I'd like Sweatshop to advise customers from the start of the process that the insoles are optional not necessary, so people have a choice, but am not getting anywhere much with my local branch.  I'd be grateful to hear what others think.

  • We've just had a Sweatshop open here so went in to find new shoes. Was told they did a free gait analysis, which quickly became an insole fitting session. I told the guy I wasn't really interested and that I'd tried similar things before but never really liked them (they change the fit of shoes - make them too small), but he said there was no obligation, so went with it.

    I don't know if they'd have refused to let me try shoes on without going through the process, but they never mentioned cost - in the end I asked and it was £45.

    When they were done, they put them in the first pair of shoes, I told them I didn't like them and he put them to one side and we got on with finding a new pair of shoes. Overall just proved to be a waste of time.

    I have to say I wasn't overly impressed with the level of knowledge of the person serving me - made some very strange observations on shoes and technology. I would expect more from Sweatshop.

    That said, I have 30 days to try my new shoes and change them if they're no good. That seems a pretty good deal to me.

     

  • I'm actually really put off by the hard sell they give the insoles, but the manager tells me no-one's ever complained but me!  

  • No hassle with my recent vists to Sweatshop at either Hyde or Chill FactorE in Manchester.

    They didn't even try it on with me and I didn't feel anybody else in store waas getting any more than a soft sell.

    I supect it depends on the store staff and how busy they are.

  • Sweatshop staff are under instructions to mould these insoles for everyone who wants a shoe fitting. They are set targets for the number of insoles they must mould (as a percentage of shoe sales) and the number of insoles sold (as a percentage of those moulded). Staff have been dismissed for regularly missing these targets.

    What confuses me is that Sweatshop sell them as a "customised fit and are not a support" which contradicts what Footbalance say about them.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    It's these type of sales techniques that put me off going into Sweatshop.
  • and will they please shut up about bloody socks. It's like a stuck record. I got some socks from Aldi that claimed to do everything that X-Socks do. The Aldi ones lasted considerably longer X-Socks and they were 1/3rd of the price.

  • A colleague of mine got some of these three weeks ago and it's hurt her. She's taken them back for a refund.

    I had some insoles molded a few years ago and they were rubbish, plus they left bugger all room inside the shoe for my feet. They soon got binned.

     

  • KieranGKieranG ✭✭✭
    Just to say I went to SweatShop in Ipswich yesterday for gait analysis and new shoes. Sure, she brought the insoles out and moulded them, but she did make clear from the beginning that there was no obligation to buy them, and told me the price, and I could have said no to either the moulding, or the purchase at the end. I did not feel pressured into buying them. As it happens, they felt great in my new Brooks GTS14's and I did buy them, but I didn't feel I had to. If you don't want them, say no, simple really. I have never bought properly fitted running shoes etc. before so I treated myself, but if you're an experienced runner who knows what they want, then you should be able to say no to the insoles easily enough.
  • When I bought my current shoes in Reading a few months ago the sales assistant offered the insoles option.  I stated that if I'm spending £130 on a pair of running shoes then I hope they do the job without insoles. 

    That said, I've had terrible problems with shin splints over the past 10 months.  I've seen a physio and had ultrasound / massage etc and have been given some exercises to strengthen weak muscles.  The physio did say that if this didn't fix the problem then I would maybe have to look at orthotics.

    The problem hasn't gone away entirely so I'm now thinking about getting the moulded insoles from the Sweatshop.  Do you think this would be a route to go down ?????

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    It depends what has caused the shin splints?

    If its an over use issue then the insoles will probably make no difference.
  • I recently tried Sweatshop (Southampton) for the first time and have no complaints. I wanted gait analysis done and a brand change after having problems with the Mizuno Wave Inspire 10, which were crap compared to the 9. The girl who served me explained that they'd mould these insoles as part of the service, but it was no obligation. I tried on 4-5 different shoes, with and without the insoles, and ended up buying them with a pair of Nike Lunarglide as it felt so much more comfortable with the insoles. 70-80 miles later and I'm happy with them, worth the money.



    Seems to be mixed reviews, I'd say give them a try, it is no obligation and you can always tell them where to go if they try to push a hard sale.
  • Having a low arch foot I opt for the lower heel drop shoes due to them being similar to my arch. Add a arch support into a light trainer/race shoe and I have a good cheap running shoe that comes in at around half the price of the higher heeled running shoe with their higher price tags.

     

  • I have recently had a bad experience with Sweatshop and this automatic push to mold and sell the insoles.

    I went into the Stratford branch to have my gait analysed to choose my next set of trainers. I received good attention from the team and as part of the process (I assumed this was normal) assessed my foot contours and molded me some footbalance insoles. I was debating whether to buy the insoles or not as on top of the £95 on trainers another £45 seemed quite steep but when I decided to purchase the package of the trainers and insoles I was advised because I had gone through the gait analysis process that I would have a 30 day guarantee on my purchase.

    I used the insoles on 4 occasions with runs of between 3km and 5km to wear them in. On these occasions the insoles gave me painful blisters in my instep and pain on the top of my foot. I decided to try the trainers without the insole to see how they felt. Since removing the insoles I haven't had a problem.

    I returned to the store today return the insoles - within 30 days from original purchase. Initially the sales clerk was about to provide me a refund when a supervisor come over to the till to inform the clerk and I that there was no warranty on the insoles.

    When I was initially sold the product this was not made clear to me that the insoles were not covered. It was obviously not understood either by the staff in the store - given that the sales clerk was ready to provide my refund. Additionally it does not seem intuitive that if customers are sold trainers and insoles together it is the trainers not the product that was made and tailored for the customer in the store that would be eligible for a refund!

    I have asked Sweatshop to honor this refund...watch this space!

  • Ailsa Weatherall wrote (see)

    I have recently had a bad experience with Sweatshop and this automatic push to mold and sell the insoles.

    I went into the Stratford branch to have my gait analysed to choose my next set of trainers. I received good attention from the team and as part of the process (I assumed this was normal) assessed my foot contours and molded me some footbalance insoles. I was debating whether to buy the insoles or not as on top of the £95 on trainers another £45 seemed quite steep but when I decided to purchase the package of the trainers and insoles I was advised because I had gone through the gait analysis process that I would have a 30 day guarantee on my purchase.

    I used the insoles on 4 occasions with runs of between 3km and 5km to wear them in. On these occasions the insoles gave me painful blisters in my instep and pain on the top of my foot. I decided to try the trainers without the insole to see how they felt. Since removing the insoles I haven't had a problem.

    I returned to the store today return the insoles - within 30 days from original purchase. Initially the sales clerk was about to provide me a refund when a supervisor come over to the till to inform the clerk and I that there was no warranty on the insoles.

    When I was initially sold the product this was not made clear to me that the insoles were not covered. It was obviously not understood either by the staff in the store - given that the sales clerk was ready to provide my refund. Additionally it does not seem intuitive that if customers are sold trainers and insoles together it is the trainers not the product that was made and tailored for the customer in the store that would be eligible for a refund!

    I have asked Sweatshop to honor this refund...watch this space!

    Sweatshop used to give a 30 day guarantee on the insoles, but ever since Sports Direct bought the controlling share in Sweatshop, the insole 30 day guarantee has disappeared. They still do the guarantee on shoes, but be careful that they don't try to push a pair of Karrimor shoes on to you. I know, as I used to work for them. I left soon after Sporty D took over.

  • VDOT52VDOT52 ✭✭✭
    This is the one thing I wonder about. When you are fitted (up) in sweat shop and they recommend these moulded insoles and particular type of shoes, do they not give you a certificate of some sort that explains what service you had, the products bought and the extent of their 30 day satisfaction promise? If not then it is worth nothing as they can always squirm out of it by simply claiming you did not buy what they suggested in terms of size, model, cushion level etc.



    If they do not give you a 30 day return option on the hit that they are pushing onto you, then that is surely the biggest con going? The shoes will virtually always be ok as long as they feel comfy in the shop. The insoles are a different kettle of fish entirely.
  • I have a pair from Sweatshop and I've been very happy wit them. Does anyone know when you should replace them? I've run circa 1200 km in them and just recently my left foot has been starting to hurt a little. I'm changing my shoes regularly and always over pronators so thinking it might be the insoles, I assume they like trainers have a shelf life?

     

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