Shred Soles snowboard insoles are made specifically for sliding sideways. Does this give them an edge over the competition?
For those of you who have listened to what is perhaps snowboarding’s OG podcast, The Not Snowboarding podcast, you will have heard of host Nate Musson’s insole company, Shred Soles. Starting out with a snowboard-specific insole, they have since expanded to cover the skateboard insole market too. This past year they have come out with a new improved version of their snowboard insole and we jumped at the chance to put them through their paces (groan).
Standard snowboard boot insoles are notoriously bad, with little support or cushioning. For many people, the first thing to do after getting a new pair of boots is to slip in a pair of aftermarket insoles. If you don’t have any serious foot problems, you can skip the expensive full-custom insole route and choose an inexpensive semi-custom trim-to-fit insole, like these Shred Soles. What makes Shred Soles snowboarding insoles stand out is the arch support tech and built in canting which were designed specifically for snowboarding.
All you need to do is choose the size closest to your foot size, then line up the the stock insole from your boots over top of the Shred Soles insole. Trace the outline with a marker and trim the excess material off with a pair of scissors. You can see it being done quickly here, with a Shred Soles skateboarding insole. The process can be done in minutes and that’s it, you’re ready to ride. Shred Soles snowboard insoles will mold naturally to your foot as you ride them. For me, it took them a couple of days for them to break in perfectly. The first day they felt too thick but by midway through the second day I could feel my foot starting to settle in. By the fourth day I had stopped noticing them. Note that for those of you with high arches like me, it’s recommended that you buy the next size up and cut the toe area down to the proper size. You’ll get a bigger arch section with the bigger size which should fit your foot better. Don’t worry about cutting part of the blue EVA on the base, it won’t affect the performance.
You can see, in the photo above on the right, the long black section that makes up the arch support. Shred Soles calls this DynArch2 tech and it’s made of a softer material that dynamically flexes with your foot while still offering support. Shred Soles owner Nate explains the reasoning behind the flexible arch construction, “the arch muscle in your foot expands and contracts when transitioning from heel to toe. Stiffer arch insoles in snowboard boots frequently cause arch pain – as the arch expands and contracts over a fixed point. People oftentimes say it feels like there’s a golf ball under their arch. This is what we set out to avoid when we designed the DynArch2”.
Instead of having an overly high built in arch, Shred Soles flips the script and makes a deeper heelcup, lowering the foot into a properly supported arch position. This felt weird the first few days as I could feel the edge of the heelcup under the outside of my foot. It wasn’t uncomfortable but it was there. This feeling went away once they broke in. This deep heelcup, along with the flexible arch really keeps my foot in place and has eliminated the toe-bang I was getting with a previous insole (from my foot sliding forward during riding).
Shred Soles snowboarding insoles differ from the skateboarding insoles in that they have a 4 degree cant called ShWedge built in:
You can see the canting going on in the difference in foam thickness going from left to right. This worried me at first as it makes the insole forefoot a lot thicker than other insoles. However, since it’s a moldable foam, it will flatten out partially under the outline of your foot. If your boots are a really tight squeeze, I would recommend going with the skateboard insoles as they don’t have the ShWedge canting and so are thinner. On the other hand, if you are in between boot sizes, you can size up and fill the extra volume with this insole. Getting back to the point of this ShWedge tech, the canting is there to alleviate the strain on snowboarders’ knees caused by wider stances.
How do they ride?
After riding these for forty days now, the insoles have molded to my foot and while they’re generally firm, if I push down on them they still have a bit more give to them. The blue EVA pads under the forefoot and heel are especially well cushioned and I know they save me from back pain after a day of high impact landings. The best part of all this cushioning is that it’s there without giving up board feel. I still feel in touch with the board and there is no lag in response, which makes them good for any type of riding. As for the ShWedge canting, to be honest, I don’t notice it but can say that my feet, knees and joints feel good. It could be because they’re better aligned now.
Epic days can have you lapping powder all the way to the last run. It’s wise to have an insole that lets you ride pain-free for that long.
Basically you know an insole is working for you if you don’t notice it. Ok, I’ll admit I do notice the Shred Soles snowboard insoles when I first put my boots on and my foot slides into its molded imprint. That feels comfy! After that though, I have no more reason to think about them as I have no discomfort, toe-bang or cramping feet. After forty days, there is the indentation of the ball of my foot in the forefoot area and that’s it for what you could call wear and tear. The material on top still looks brand new! They don’t smell so far, even after some sweaty spring days, so I can assume the anti-microbial coating is working. Overall, I can see these insoles lasting for a really long time. In addition to the quality materials and design, supporting a rider-driven brand certainly has some merit and to me, that gives them the edge in keeping my feet happy when snowboarding.
Get more information on Shred Soles at their official site.
Disclosure: The Shred Soles snowboard insoles were provided by Shred Soles.