Wednesday, August 02, 2006


eSoles = Happy Feet

There's been a bunch of talk about hot feet lately. JK came down with a case at the Nationals this year, and KB mentioned them in an article here on CyclingNews. I started to write a product review a while back that just got filed away in the "drafts" bin and never finished - so here it is :

After very long (>8 hours) rides I have had trouble with "hot feet". Hot feet is a a condition that is caused by loss of circulation in the pressure bearing areas of your feet. Especially after long rides over rough surfaces with lots of climbing. It can get VERY painful. If you've never had it - you don't want it. If you HAVE had it, you never want it again. It will make you cry and scream. Yes - even you TOUGH guys. After the Sebring 24 this year I couldn't walk comfortably for 2 days. After 400+ miles at the ADK last year I was hobbled for close to a week. I've tried to battle the problem by keeping my shoes loose enough to wiggle my toes around inside, hoping to keep the blood flowing. It helps a bit, but doesn't come close to eliminating the problem.

Custom foot beds are by no means new to cycling or other sports. Most pro cyclists use one form or another. Most are made by podiatrists and involve foot impressions. Some places even send the impression materials to you to do at home. A while back at the Captech Classic in Richmond I got my feet scanned for some eSoles and ordered a set for my road shoes. As promised they showed up via USPostal ExpressMail in my mail box about 3 weeks later. The first thing I noticed when putting my shoes on with the eSoles in was how SNUG they felt. This worried me as I was used to keeping things loose enough to wiggle my toes. After a few short training rides, I went on a long ride and wrote this afterwards:

So I rode 175 + miles yesterday. 2 stops off the bike. Normally the day after a ride like that I'd have some foot and joint soreness. Tender ankles, sore knees,
some difficulty walking down steps without a hand on a railing. Today .................. none of the above. Everything feels so good I'm walking around on happy feet, jumping up and down just 'cause I can't believe it.

In the last ~6 weeks of wearing my eSoled shoes I have put in over 1300 miles, including a 24 hour race and at least a few 100+ mile rides. I had to loosen my shoes a small bit after 18 hours of the Saratoga 24, but that's just due to the normal foot swelling that occurs during long rides. I can say without a doubt that eSoles are the single best thing that I've ever purchased for cycling. No lie. I'm not getting paid or recieving any compesnation (or even a discount) for saying this! They are that good. Not only have they eliminated my hot feet, but made all my joints feel WAY better after riding. At close to 2 bills they aint cheap, but still, IMO, worth every penny.

The down side ........... Now my MTB shoes feel like they fit terribly, and I used to think they fit WAY better than my road shoes. The good thing about the process is that once they have your digital information, all you have to do is call and order another set. You DO need to know the shoe type and size you are wearing as the foot beds are manufactured specific for each brand.

You can read all about the eSoles concept on their site. If you see a booth at a cycling event, take the time to get scanned. There is no obligation to make the purchase at that time. They'll store the digital information until you're ready to buy............ and you'll be glad when you do!

Don't forget the pros that use them :

Dave Zabriskie
George Hincappie
and ......... yes ........ Floyd Landis!

(no they do not come with a testosterone patch)
OK that was a cheap shot. I really, really hope Floyd is cleared. The world needs some true heros.

RideOn (with happy feet)


more pics of the eSoles girl please
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