Best *soft* insoles?
December 13, 2017 2:31 PM   Subscribe

I need some soft insoles to put in my ice skates, because the bottoms of my feet are killing me when I skate. I've tried "sport gel" and I've tried Superfeet's skate-specific model, but neither of those actually feel soft underfoot and they're not helping. Recommendations?

(I found some older posts along these lines, but the links to specific products were broken.)

I'm having ongoing pain issues with my feet while ice skating. The inserts with arch support don't seem to be helping at all. I'm thinking that I really just need straight-up soft cushioning. Not a big fluffy, furry type of insole, but one that is just very cushy. Like, the insole equivalent of memory foam.

I do have a custom-made orthotic that I wear in other shoes, but it's very non-soft, and I don't think that kind of support is what I need here. (The motion of skating is very different than what happens in a regular shoe.)

posted by BlahLaLa to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I cut up thickish yoga mats to use as insoles. It’s delightful, because I’ve not found anything as cushy.
posted by crankyrogalsky at 3:13 PM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

I had a problem with aching feet because I love to walk and do it everyday. I struggled through all sorts of inserts, when the thing that did the trick for me was to order up a shoe size with good arch and wear thinner socks. My feet were swelling due to increased blood flow, and me putting all sorts of inserts into my shoes was restricting blood flow and exacerbating the problem. I also give my feet a nice cooling Aveeno soak after a good walk. I hope this is helpful information.
posted by effluvia at 3:48 PM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Similar to repurposing old yoga mats for inserts, gel mouspads cut to size also work well.
posted by shortyJBot at 3:56 PM on December 13, 2017

Response by poster: (No suggestions, please, re: changing my skate fitting. Skate fitting is a Whole Thing.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:05 PM on December 13, 2017

Thinline makes saddle pads out of a yoga mat like material and also sells insoles in a couple thicknesses. I haven't tried them myself. I do have some shearling insoles and love them, very soft but not thick.
posted by sepviva at 5:31 PM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm soft seconding effluvia, in that padding may not be as critical as overall foot care and mindfulness of their circulation needs. I've have the same achyness in my feet for the first ~15 minutes of skating, despite wearing huge soft socks to allow me to fit into the pair of sweet hockey skates what that I found in the alley. Also foot pain for the first 10 minutes of walking, hiking etc. Putting any further pressure on my arches and feet is ongoing agony. I know that skate fitting is exacting, but perchance, could yours be a little too tight over the arch and toebox and possibly be exacerbating this pain?
recently I had my first acute bout of plantar fascitis, after over a decade of low grade daily foot bullshit. What changes I made (constant calf stretches, frequent heel icing, never foot naked) has actually improved the daily foot bullshit after the bout subsided. This reminds me that I need to get out on the ice this week, will report back.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 6:23 PM on December 13, 2017

Another vote for thinline, they are awesome.
posted by fshgrl at 8:34 PM on December 13, 2017

Seconding Spenco. They come in a variety of flavors, and one is likely to meet your needs.
posted by old_growler at 10:16 PM on December 13, 2017

pleasure skating, figure skating or ice-hockey skating - which are you doing, and at what level ?

You say "no fit changes", but for the latter 2 (figure, ice hockey), a boot/skate that solidly clamps down on your foot is what you need for anything beyond basic/rec level of action, and the thinnest liners will modify that (so your next question will be about lace bite)

Depending on your skating type and budget, I'd think you should investigate the skate brand/manufacturer. (Most hockey skates have a 2mm piece of leather between your sole and the rivets. Spend enough $ and you get the custom fit - Graf was one of those "we'll make a mold of your foot" folks - I never did, but folks who spent the $ raved about the comfort/fit)

There's also a possibility of your form when skating that's causing the problem -- how you balance, mechanics etc where a change or coaching on form could help.
posted by k5.user at 7:22 AM on December 14, 2017

Response by poster: Thank you, but I really only want an answer to the question I asked. There is a lot more to the story, so rest assured that I am aware of skate fitting, proper form etc. My question is about soft insoles.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:28 AM on December 14, 2017

Like, the insole equivalent of memory foam.

They make this, actually. Here's one brand I found in a quick search. I haven't tried these specific ones, but I've used memory foam insoles before and I think they're what you want.
posted by dust.wind.dude at 7:51 AM on December 14, 2017

I know it's not what you want to hear, but here's some more fitting advice anyway: I'm a figure skater who has had issues with foot pain (in my custom-made Harlick boots). Both cramping in my arches and the balls of my feet aching after a while. I solved the first problem by having a particular spot, on the inner foot behind my instep where my foot naturally curves outward, punched out (this spot was already accommodated for during my custom fitting, but apparently it needed even more space) and an arch-tilting undersole put in. All of that work was done by my skate manufacturer for free, FYI.

And... after finally solving the first problem, which took a few weeks of my feet "getting used" to the new fit, I realized that my ball-of-foot pain had also resolved itself.

I notice you said you wear a custom orthotic in regular shoes--it's probably too late for this, but custom skates can be made to accommodate a custom orthotic, and it's generally recommended if your feet like them. My experience--with weird but not orthotic-needing feet--makes me believe that seemingly unrelated foot pain could actually be related to alignment.

So... after all of that lecturing, let's assume that you already have a pair of skates, maybe they aren't custom made because those are $$$, and you have to work with what you've got. I would still make as sure as you can that the fit and *alignment of your feet inside the boot* have been adjusted properly. By all means investigate insoles, too; just be aware that sometimes one's feet are not going to fit comfortably into $300 stock boots, even with all of the aftermarket inserts/pads/sleeves. If in fact you're wearing customs already, I'd go complaining to your manufacturer because they should take responsibility for your skates fitting without pain.
posted by serelliya at 9:34 AM on December 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Man, I just went skating for the first time in a while (rental skates) and my arches were in agony. Was thinking about insoles of some kind. Will be watching this thread and hoping for some advice for me, too.
posted by nkknkk at 2:41 PM on December 31, 2017

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