SOLE makes several insoles, but the Met Pad with recycled cork really caught our attention. Made with recycled cork form wine bottles, the Active line of insoles also incorporate an ingenious “Met Pad” – a raised area under the ball of your foot to help relieve pressure. All this sounds great, but does the Met Pad and recycled cork footbed work?
SOLE offers three levels of cushion – light (none) medium (1.6mm) and thick (3.2mm). I tested the medium thickness insoles in a variety of shoes and boots. The insoles are trim to fit and come in regular sizes (no half sizes). Find the size that suits your foot best, then trim around your old insole and replace them with these. Once they are in your shoe, the heat of your feet will naturally contour the insoles. You can also heat then in an oven (follow the directions provided!) and speed the process up.
(Ed. Note – Your foot has three arches: medial and lateral longitudinal arch and the anterior transverse arch. Most insoles support the longitudinal arches. SOLE’s MET Pad support the anterior transverse arch.)
I set out to test the insoles in gym shoes, casual shoes and hiking shoes. I spent almost 2 months assessing them and taking notes. I have tested so many insoles that I have become pretty picky over the years. I have even gone though a half dozen professionally made orthotics. I have arthritis called Hallux Rigidus in both feet. Basically, that means that there is bone on bone at the junction of the big toe, keeping it from having proper range of motion. Hence “Rigidus” is an aptly named term. So finding relief from this is a top priority to allow me to enjoy outdoor activities. I found the Met Pad helped place the toes into a more relaxed position and allowed for some comfort and even a bit more range of motion. Big score in my book! Conclusion – the Met Pad performs. It may take a few minutes for the user to get used to the sensation, just as with all insoles, but I think it is a useful tool overall.
Recycled Cork – good for the environment and good for you feet!
What really puts SOLE a step ahead of other insoles, is that they use recycled cork for the footbed. This is a very resourceful and beneficial idea. SOLE is very proud of there recycling brain child, and they should be! They have collected over 75 million corks through their RECORK program. That is a lot of wine!! More than that, it is a lot of repurposed cork being given a second chance to serve our needs. It is a very noble idea and one that I would stand with (and on, as the case may be!).
Bottom line – SOLE is doing good work making quality insoles that utilize sustainable practices and provide great relief to those of us that use insoles. SOLE Active with Met Pad gets a full two thumbs up from me! Get them from Amazon.