For all the money we pour into our snowboard boots one might assume that everything inside them sits at a level that is above some magical made up standard. Truth be told after all the amazing leaps and bounds in technology that boots have the footbed still falls completely short in 98% of the boots on the market. This lack of arch support can be the major culprit of boot pains and shortened days on the shred stick. Luckily for us there’s numerous options on the market that can help rectify those situations where foot pains abound.
First and foremost I believe every person should reach into their boot, yank that piece of crap stock insole out of there and heave it into the nearest trash receptical. These things are such a joke and don’t do shit to cradle the foot like they should. Don’t believe me? Take the stock one out of your boot put it flat on the table and push your finger down where your arch would sit and see how much give it actually has. Probably flexes a bunch, now imagine if that was your whole body weight being pushed down on it. Not exactly what you’d want supporting you right? Like most situations in life there’s multiple options to choose from.
The first and cheapest option is to go with a pre-shaped trim to fit insole. These are one step above the stock insole and a step down from a heat molded footbed. The high point of these is that they generally are offered in multiple arch options, densities, and widths. Downside is the lack of customization unless you find someone that knows how to tweak them to get it to work with your foot shape, even still it’s highly limited on what can be done. The most commonly recommended of these are Superfeet.
Sometimes a bit more tweaking needs to be done than can be offered with a trim to fit. This is where the somewhat customizable insole comes into play. These are the ones that start out looking similar to the trim to fits but have some kind of mold-ability to them. You bump up in the cost of it but for a better fit it’s worth it. The upside to these is that you get a better direct mold to your arch shape which gives a more precision fit. Downside is that most people just toss it in an oven then have you stand on it, or they’re designed to have your body heat mold it. So while it cradles the arch it’s not fixing any of your problems. Superfeet, Remind, and Sole are a few that offer this in their footbeds.
The final option is going the full blown custom orthotic route. These is where you dump the cash to get things dialed in one hundred percent and it can even be an ongoing event that requires multiple visits to the boot fitter to get it dialed. The beautiful thing is there’s so many options of these whether it’s Foot Worx, DFP, Instaprint, and all the others. This is where you want a confident boot specialist working on you though cause this process takes some skill and a lot of hands on practice. But without a prefabricated shape to work with every nook and cranny of your foot will be molded into the footbed as it’s being built. With multiple posting options you can get one that’s more damp or more rigid depending on your riding style.
Is one option better than the other? Like a fingerprint every persons foot is completely different so what works for one might not work for another. Just see what fits your needs and what would work best with you. There are definitely shops that specialize in boot fitting that are pure crap and don’t do anything to really help your arch support. Typical sign of this is anything that takes a digital scan of your foot and then has a computer laser cut it out of some rubbery plastic without having the fitter do anything hands on with you. The more hands on a process is the more likely it’s going to be done right instead of some kid sitting in the back making some noise so it sounds like they’re doing something. But like all things boot related if you don’t feel comfortable with the person fitting you walk out it’s your money and your time.