Footbalance Custom Insoles

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09/11/2011 at 07:01

Sweatshop have recently announced that they'll be providing this service - anyone tried it yet?  Noticed that there was no obligation to buy but no mention of cost in the publicity.

09/11/2011 at 10:07
they're an 'off the shelf' insole heated and moulded to fit - not the best systems but easier on the pocket. Others I would recommend are Sidas - full length 3D moulded and fitted around £80 per pair. Not sure where you are, but The Runners Centre in Lancaster fits Sidas. Not tried them myself - would be interested in your opinion.
09/11/2011 at 10:11

Thanks for that Spamalot - am in Middlesex.  Sweatshop give the option to "try before you buy" so thought that they might be worth a try.  Interested to hear what people think.

09/11/2011 at 16:54

can't go wrong with a 'try before you buy'

11/11/2011 at 21:29


I have a pair, got them from the Expo - Sweatshop was doing them.

I previously have had my gait measured by two different companies (not sweatshop) and been told that I was a neutral runner.   All O.K until I got Sciatica and just before London got Shin splints.  Went to this facility which they told me that I overpronate and I came out £40.00 lighter but with insoles.  I didn't run London with them and had a bad day.

 Since then I put the insoles in my neutral trainers and shin splints totally gone and now just have a slight pain with the Sciatica.  Everything's been fine using the insoles.

The insoles helped me out a lot initially,  Sweatshop told me to go back in six months because your gait can change using them? - but nearest shop is over 50 miles away,  so have decided on trying out stability shoes. 

12/11/2011 at 18:25
I have 3 sets for convenience. One for my work shoes, one for my lounging around trainers and one for my running shoes.
They are well worth the money imo as I don't get the pains in my legs (slight pain in shins/Achilles/soleus/heel) anymore.
Wear them for a few hours at a time until you get used to the new shape your feet will hold and then wear them all the time.
14/11/2011 at 10:10

Thanks for the feedback guys - I'll definitely give them a try!

03/01/2012 at 20:49

bought some of these insoles today

My feet were analyzed with the use of a" podoscope". Flat unmolded insoles were heated for 2 mins in a special machine. The heated insoles were placed on molding pillows and the Footbalance expert molded the heated insoles to fit my feet perfectly while maintaining correct alignment.I had to stand still and then rock back as far as I could go and then go up on tiptoes. The insoles set hard within a few mins. I have high arches and overpronate. I wear rigid orthotics in my running shoes;but was wanting insoles for my everyday day shoes. The insoles + the molding etc cost £40. If I tried the insoles in the shop and didn't like them- they would be reheated and flattened to their original state at £0 to me.

I found as soon as I put the insoles in my shoes I could feel the support esp  under the arch of my right foot- it felt really stable and was definitely relieving the pressure on the ball of my foot , I purchased the insoles and have worn them all day today(you are meant to wear them gradually if you haven't had insoles/orthotics before). I am v pleased with my insoles

04/01/2012 at 16:57
Great post Bambi - I haven't taken the plunge yet but may do so very soon.  Good luck with them.
28/10/2012 at 09:15
I stumbled across this thread looking for reviews if these! I overpronate and have always worn adidas which I like due to my narrow feet, I bought asics this time with these insoles from sweatshop. After my first run my arches are sore and feel like I have pulled something!!
If anyone has experience of these insoles should I keep trying in the hope I will just get used to them?
30/08/2013 at 20:34

I went into Sweatshop today to have a gait analysis done and to buy some new shoes. When we got started on the test the first thing that came out was a pair of insoles, which he proceeded to heat up and then mold to my feet. I presumed these were some part of the analysis, so went with it. The test went well and I picked a pair of new shoes. It wasn't until we went to the till to pay that I realised the insoles were costing me £45.00. I've been having back and knee problems over recent months so I'm happy to give them a go but I felt a little bit rail-roaded into buying them. I've had them in my work shoes all day today and I can definately feel them there. I'll update in a few weeks..

25/03/2014 at 08:39

Just resurrecting this thread because I'm really interested to find out whether it is common that the insoles are sold in the way Gary Gannon and Yiddarmy experienced.  I coach a lot of inexperienced/beginner recreational runners who are increasingly reporting that the insole fitting is non-optional if you want to try shoes at Sweatshop, and that the cost is not made clear.  I'd like Sweatshop to advise customers from the start of the process that the insoles are optional not necessary, so people have a choice, but am not getting anywhere much with my local branch.  I'd be grateful to hear what others think.

25/03/2014 at 12:46

We've just had a Sweatshop open here so went in to find new shoes. Was told they did a free gait analysis, which quickly became an insole fitting session. I told the guy I wasn't really interested and that I'd tried similar things before but never really liked them (they change the fit of shoes - make them too small), but he said there was no obligation, so went with it.

I don't know if they'd have refused to let me try shoes on without going through the process, but they never mentioned cost - in the end I asked and it was £45.

When they were done, they put them in the first pair of shoes, I told them I didn't like them and he put them to one side and we got on with finding a new pair of shoes. Overall just proved to be a waste of time.

I have to say I wasn't overly impressed with the level of knowledge of the person serving me - made some very strange observations on shoes and technology. I would expect more from Sweatshop.

That said, I have 30 days to try my new shoes and change them if they're no good. That seems a pretty good deal to me.


25/03/2014 at 17:30

I'm actually really put off by the hard sell they give the insoles, but the manager tells me no-one's ever complained but me!  

25/03/2014 at 18:47

No hassle with my recent vists to Sweatshop at either Hyde or Chill FactorE in Manchester.

They didn't even try it on with me and I didn't feel anybody else in store waas getting any more than a soft sell.

I supect it depends on the store staff and how busy they are.

16/05/2014 at 11:27

Sweatshop staff are under instructions to mould these insoles for everyone who wants a shoe fitting. They are set targets for the number of insoles they must mould (as a percentage of shoe sales) and the number of insoles sold (as a percentage of those moulded). Staff have been dismissed for regularly missing these targets.

What confuses me is that Sweatshop sell them as a "customised fit and are not a support" which contradicts what Footbalance say about them.

16/05/2014 at 13:16
It's these type of sales techniques that put me off going into Sweatshop.
16/05/2014 at 13:31

and will they please shut up about bloody socks. It's like a stuck record. I got some socks from Aldi that claimed to do everything that X-Socks do. The Aldi ones lasted considerably longer X-Socks and they were 1/3rd of the price.

16/05/2014 at 14:35

A colleague of mine got some of these three weeks ago and it's hurt her. She's taken them back for a refund.

I had some insoles molded a few years ago and they were rubbish, plus they left bugger all room inside the shoe for my feet. They soon got binned.


11/06/2014 at 07:44
Just to say I went to SweatShop in Ipswich yesterday for gait analysis and new shoes. Sure, she brought the insoles out and moulded them, but she did make clear from the beginning that there was no obligation to buy them, and told me the price, and I could have said no to either the moulding, or the purchase at the end. I did not feel pressured into buying them. As it happens, they felt great in my new Brooks GTS14's and I did buy them, but I didn't feel I had to. If you don't want them, say no, simple really. I have never bought properly fitted running shoes etc. before so I treated myself, but if you're an experienced runner who knows what they want, then you should be able to say no to the insoles easily enough.
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