Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sof Sole, good for the sole

I mentioned last week that I received a most generous package from a company called Sof Sole full of goodies for my tootsies. I mentioned that I've been a fan of their products for some time, so it was great to try out some of their new stuff.

As soon as I arrived at my hubbys office to pick up the goodies (he's my doorman) I swapped out my current Sof Sole arch support full insoles for the new and shiny "Airr" insoles. I'd been complaining about my achey feet all week because my shoes were worn out, but once I stood up and walked around I was immediately a fan. They have an area in the heel with an air cushion that felt fantastic and a gel area in the ball of the foot, just where its most needed. I love them! The only thing I wish they had more of is arch support. I have super high arches and I'm used to the feel of cushy goodness under my arch. I wonder if they come in an "arch support" version? I'm considering pairing them with the 3/4 orthotics that I use in my running shoes.

The next thing I tried was a pair of the CoolMax socks on my Saturday group run. The weather was crappy and normally I'd wear a darker color for running in the rain/mud, but I put them on and didn't look back. My initial thoughts were "ooh these are cushy and soft and have no seams that are going to give me a blister! Love that! The toe "seam" is anything but a seam which meant no annoying pointy seam where the stitch is locked like on other socks. I was thrilled to notice no rubbing, even after a damp run on the trails. The socks kept my sweaty feet dry and cool (as promised) on my drier runs later in the week. I have A LOT of different running socks so I was able to compare and contrast a little- the SofSole socks are cushy on the sole and breathable on top and have a nice low profile. They're great for warm runs in nice weather. They got a bit muddy in the rain and that may not wash out too well.I'd love to see them in other colors, perhaps a grey or black. My only other alteration would be to add a bit more of an elastic component to the arch area. I really enjoy the SmartWool PhD socks for this reason. Can you tell my arches are pampered? :)

After a week of achey feet, I finally ordered new shoes on and they arrived on Tuesday! I was psyched to pair my new Asics with the SofSole gel arch and wear them to work on wed. My feet and lower legs were sore from the Tuesday night speedwork and needed some reprieve. When I walked out of the house on Wed morning I felt like I was bouncing on clouds. The combination was wonderful. The gel arch hugs the heel and arch in just the right places. There's no such thing as midfoot walking, people. The gel under my heel also helped ease a little pressure that I was feeling in my Achilles/Peroneal Tendon area by placing them in a slightly shortened position. Ahhh, so nice. Sadly, the red dye from my shoe rubbed off onto my new socks though! Oops.

Before my long run tomorrow I'll be switching back to the 3/4 orthotics in my Asics because that's my usual gear and because the gel arches add a little more weight to already heavy shoes. I'll be moving the gel arches into my new Saucony racing flats just like I had them in the old pair. While I do strike with a midfoot-ish strike in my flats, I enjoy the cushiness of the gel arch under my foot (esp in my arch) otherwise I get aching in my arch post-race. I will probably wear those for the upcoming Riverdale Ramble 10K on May 2nd. With all of those hills, I'll need the light shoes and comfort of the gel.

So all in all I'm really satisfied with the new Sof Sole products and will continue to use them along with my current Sof Sole Performance Arch insoles which I am always switching from shoe to shoe! I was impressed that their packaging is also 100% recyclable #5 plastic, unfortunately NY only recycles #1 and #2 though. Perhaps they'd consider a light recycled cardboard packaging instead? I'm not sure about the specs of the actual products and their makeup to know if they're at all biodegradable, but that would certainly be an awesome bonus.In NYC you can find SofSole products at Paragon Sports (love that place) and I know I've purchased many of their products at Sports Authority when I lived in NJ.

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