Sidas – 3 Feet Insoles

High version with gel padding

Sidas is a French insole/footbed specialist with their roots in ski and medical orthotics. They’re growing in reputation in the UK and US, and their 3-feet range is an attempt to simplify the world’s feet into 3 types depending on arch-height, so as not to confuse the in-store customer with talk of medical sounding things.

With big, bold graphics on their packaging, they divide feet into High, Mid and Low, and each of the three insoles is remarkably different.

For those of you with high arches, the stiff sole holds your foot securely all over, with lovely thick gel-padding areas under the heel and ball of the foot. You can feel these as quite squishy when you first try them on. They also feature a Metatarsal dome, which helps to bring the pressure on your toe-bones back a bit and relieve some of the symptoms of painful toes (Metatarsalgia).

The Mid style insoles (which I’m wearing in my Carn Cobras now) also hug the foot well. They offer the same gel padding in the heel, but distribute their cushioning more widely across the forefoot than the High.

The Low style offer a flatter shape, but still feature a decent heel-cup to hold your heel-bone snugly, and some gel-padding to absorb shock when you first strike.

Low - less padding, more even support

All three styles feature perforations which Sidas say are for breathability. I doubt they make a load of difference, but Sidas also say that the upper material is Bamboo, which is naturally anti-bacterial. After 3 weeks of hard wear, I can confirm that they don’t smell like a Panda’s armpits, which is a pleasant surprise. The top surface is quite abrasive though, so if you’re wearing them in loose-fitting shoes, you will get some friction build-up.

The point of a correctly fitting insole is to cup and support your foot so that you aren’t compensating for any physical problems by walking strangely or mis-aligning your knees/ankles/hips/back. The 3 feet seem to cup my feet well, but I can’t say for sure if they’ve improved my gait or posture… that’s a very difficult thing to analyse. What I can say though is that they’re comfy, have lasted OK and are pleasantly squishy at the heel.

At £30rrp they come up against stiff competition from Superfeet and other brands, but with the semi-custom nature of the arch support, High or Low type users might well see an obvious benefit over the competition. As a ‘Mid’ wearer, I’m not seeing such an advantage.

SUMMARY: The Sidas 3 feet attempt to bring a degree of custom orthotic design to the mass-market. You may need to slip a couple of pairs into your shoes to appreciate the difference, but it’s immediately obvious if you are wearing the wrong type. They’re comfy, supportive and well cushioned. Pricing is quite high but after 3 weeks of wear they’re doing everything they say they should.

 Price: £30
 From: Sidas online branch finder 

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