Everybody’s feet are unique – every body is unique – and this presents challenges for some in bicycling, skiing, snowboarding as well as many other sports we participate in. How are feet are supported or not is critical to the performance and comfort of your day on the slopes.
Through cycling and other sports, I have come to know how my own feet can cause performance issues or discomfort across a host of sports, so if I can improve my fit to better support the movements of a particular sport such as snowboarding, I’m happy to try it.
This year, we started stocking the EZ-Fit Snow insoles by Masterfit. These are an off-the-shelf insole designed to bridge the gap for those of us who may not need custom orthotics but are looking for more out of our footwear. Designed for winter use, Masterfit touts these as usable not only for ski and snowboard boots, but all types of winter footwear (including snowmobile boots and fishing waders). Now, I can’t speak to those uses but I will comment on how they worked in the areas of snowboarding and Nordic skiing.
I purchased these for my K2 Darko BC boots because even good boots don’t come with the best insoles possible. EZ-Fit calls these “Auto Adaptable” meaning the arch and foot bed will adjust over time to the contours of your foot. These come in a few different sizes and are a cut-to-fit insole. If you remove these from the packaging and place them above or below your current insoles, you should be able to trace the insole out to the shape and size needed. I picked up a XXL and per usual, needed no cutting to fit in MY boots (I’ll leave it up to the reader to figure out my foot size).
My initial assessment was that the support was an incredible improvement just walking around, no foot slop, it just cradled nicely. In talking to some of our store staff, they have been using these to good result with customers who were between two sizes of boot to really improve the fit, so you can expect they will take up a little more volume than your stock insole. The second thin I noticed was the prominence of the arch. For the fits 5 minutes of wear and use, I really noticed how present they were. I worried that they might be uncomfortable – and I have a high arch. All concern vanished within a run or two as the support was still present, but the extra push of the arch was missing. They settled in nicely, and continue to be supportive but not “pushy.” Throughout the first day of using these on hill I felt my feet were warmer (cold is another issue I deal with a lot on my toes) and landings as well as hill vibrations were lessened.
Color me impressed – I decided it was time for another test. I noted earlier that I do cross-country skiing in addition to snowboarding. My main goal with this is long distance, and over the course of 20-50 kilometers any issues become READILY apparent. My skate boots in particular left me wanting more control because of how my feet slopped around in them. Especially my left foot, where i felt I lacked actual ski edge control in pushing off because my foot did not engage. I moved the insoles to my skate boot, where they were a nice tight fit in the boot without needing trimming.
Wow. More comfort, more support, more power on push off, and better handling on corners! These insoles are amazing in this application as well. I recommend these to everyone who snowboards or skis – downhill or cross country. Erik’s stocks these online and in-store, so if you’re looking for a better fit in your boots, give the EZ-Fit Snow by Masterfit a try.