Designs in insoles vary in philosophy. As consumers of mass-marketed products, we should tread lightly (excuse the pun) when we apply a force to our body. “The arch is hitting me in the wrong place” is a refrain heard often on the shoe showroom.
Some insole designers support the foot’s anatomy with a continuous, smooth surface that echoes the foot’s structure, albeit mass produced. Other designers add components, such as toe crests. What’s that? A toe crest is a ridge that runs across the insole, at the base of the toes. The ridge creates pressure that can be helpful in relieving pain caused by hammer, claw, and mallet toes. But for some complications and for some foot sizes, this concentrated pressure can be harmful.
The Daily Beast reports that Birkenstocks came back with a vengeance this summer. But that’s only because eighty percent of success is showing up*. So thank you to Birkenstock for making sure that your brand continued to show up in comfort shoe stores and online for the forty years it took for fashion to re-discover the benefits of wearing a sandal that doesn’t restrict the forefoot — causing all kinds of problems sooner than later, and definitely later.
* Statement attributed to Woody Allen