If you wear wellies, Ugg-style boots, workboots or even walking-boots and fancy a little more support, warmth and anti-stink, then these insoles are aimed at you.
The first thing you notice about the WoolyWhites is that they’re wooly. Properly wooly, like a sheep. And the first time you sink your foot into them it’s like treading barefoot on a cotton-wool carpet. It’s enough to make a chap say ooh. In public. Rather too loudly.
Superfeet aren’t like other insoles. They aren’t floppy bits of foam, or gelatinous cushions. Instead they are a hard, moulded plastic shell which cups your heel and arch, and is then in turn covered by a thin layer of padding. The effect is to offer support to the foot and help align it properly. At the risk of getting technical, Superfeet claim to align your feet properly to reduce stress in your knees, hips, back and neck. Yes, we are still talking about an insole. You can read more about the theory here, on Superfeet’s site.
The hard heel-cup aims to help your foot’s natural fat-pad (in your heel) take the brunt of your heel-strike, and not rotate forward to stretch your plantar fascia ligament. Technical stuff, but if you suffer from a tearing, burning pain along the base of your foot (called Plantar Fasciitis) then Superfeet may help alleviate the cause. I have had PF a couple of times in the past and have worn Superfeet for a while afterwards. I can’t say definitively that they helped, but I’m fairly certain they didn’t hinder my rehabilitation.
The Wooly part of the WoolyWhites is leftovers from sock manufacture, which is a nice recycling story. Like woollen socks, they are great for both insulation and also for sweat wicking. In combination with thick woollen trekking socks, you do get a bit of an odd feeling, which I think is because wool has a self-lubricating nature – you get a bit of a slide inside your boots. It’s not enough to build up to a blister though.
Anyway, I can’t say much more without getting too technical for GearWeAre. However, I happen to know that Superfeet invest a lot in training staff in outdoor retailers, so pop in to your local dealer and ask them for the demo – try a pair out for yourself.
SUMMARY: Superfeet’s WoolyWhites are cosy and warm, don’t stink after a month in my hiking boots and are more comfortable than you think they’ll be when you feel them in a shop. It’s counter-intuitive, but the stiff heel cup doesn’t feel stiff at all when you walk on it – your foot does the padding… like it should. I’ve used Superfeet for years and don’t have anything bad to say about them, except for the price, which some may balk at.