Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review: Insolia Inserts

Saving Feet
How women wear shoes that hurt them is beyond me, really. I actually like my feet a lot and take care of them, not only with pedicures, but by wearing the least amount of heel and always choosing the most comfortable shoes. Not glamorous, I know, but I do not want pain or deformed feet in my old age... and neither should you, I may add.
It's physics, really
Put your x-ray vision on your shoes in high heels and imagine the slope. The variables are:
  1. Heel height related to shoe size. What may not be so high for a size 7UK (9US) may be sky-high for a 4.5UK (7US). Just think about the slope the heel creates.
  2. Placement of the heel. The further back the heel seats, the worse, as your feet will be pitched forward and all the weight will fall on the balls of your feet. A correct placement of the heel, just in line with your gravity centre, will provide ankle stability. Good shoes usually
  3. The form of the front part, if it lets your toes expand or not is also key (if your toes expand, there is more surface to stand on and viceversa).
So... why use them?
  • Enhanced buttocks.
  • Longer legs.
  • Contracted gams.
  • Looking taller.
Anthropologists will tell you that the whole change in your stance and the very way the muscles along your back, buttocks and legs change with heels is sexually attractive, plus all the cultural images around high heels. Feminists will tell you that over-the-top heels are a modern day version of bound feet for Western women perpetrated by themselves. Doctors, for their part, will tell you that the constant use of heels will eventually lead to back problems and all sorts of pain in your feet, and there are studies that prove it.
Fashion has gone crazy in this respect. I remember reading an article about young shoe designers, and that they all answered, as people in a trance, that the higher the heel, the better, like there was only that world view. I would say that is one kind of fundamentalism indeed.  If you need to be carried by your assistants to a runway show (like a well-known fashion editor had to a couple of years ago), there is something wrong going on.

And yet, we use them... let's do it in moderation and with some aid, then.

Insolia Inserts 2

Map of Pressure by Caroline Grant. I think this is a correct representation of the kind of pressures going on on your feet when wearing flat, high-heeled, and high-heeled plus Insolia inserts shoes. They do not perform miracles, though, so if you can barely stand in a pair of shoes, these will not remedy that.

Insolia Inserts
Insolias (as I call them) are really effective and the best shoe "accessory" I have ever had, and I have tried many... They do shift your weight back to the heel and away from the balls of your feet by a cushion-like insert that provides arch support. The only caveat is "learning" to use them, but really worth the time for doing so, and you will probably want them in all your high-heel shoes once you have mastered the placement on the sole. My advice is to invest some time reading the instructions VERY carefully (they are short, but you still need not to speed-read them) and placing them correctly. You will know when you have done so because you will stop noticing they are there.
I found this review on Amazon really good and detailed. The reviewer says they do work if you place them right, but that the liner is really difficult to peel off (they have since added tabs to the plastic liner, though). Another reviewer, who is actually Brian Hughes, an engineer from the company, explains in another review why they work (and how) or not.

Insolia Inserts

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