Ready to shred the gnar? Make sure you’re properly outfitted from the ground up to ensure maximum comfort, safety, and performance while on the slopes. A pair of quality snowboard boot insoles can make a major difference in the fit of your boots and your performance throughout the day. Improve support, decrease pain or discomfort, and stomp the landings on those kickers.
Don’t Snowboard Boots Already Come with Inserts?
Generic snowboard boot inserts from the factory are made with low arch contours. These generic inserts won’t cause too much discomfort for most people, but they won’t provide much in the way of support, either. Snowboard boot makers expect serious snowboarders and skiers to retrofit their insoles to enjoy the most comfortable, performance-enhancing support.
How Can Snowboard Boot Insoles Improve My Experience on the Slope?
Your arches need proper support to apply maximum pressure on edges and avoid overpronation (turning inward) as you shift your weight. When your knees are bent over the board as you turn, your arches will flatten out without adequate support. This weakens your feet and causes them to overpronate. Having proper snowboard boot insoles ensures ultimate support and strength as you shift your weight over the board.
Aside from enhancing your performance on the slopes, there are many reasons why you need good-fitting, supportive inserts in your snowboard boots. Snowboard inserts:
Allow for the even distribution of pressure across the foot
Provide support for the arch, instep, heel, and ankles
Enhance control by stabilizing the foot in a neutral (non-pronated, non-supinated) position inside the boot
Reduce pressure on edges and friction during lateral movement by supporting the heel
Prevent fatigue of the foot by alleviating arch-strain and cushioning the heel
Constrain the width and length of your foot inside your boot, allowing for a precise fit and a smaller boot shell size
What’s the Difference between Inserts, Insoles, and Orthotics?
Before you get too confused with all of the terminology, it’s important to note that these terms are often used interchangeably, especially for the consumer. Inserts, insoles and arch supports generally refer to the same product: an insert that is made to provide additional cushioning and support for your feet. “Orthotics” is a term that was once used primarily to describe customsupportive insoles that are prescribed by a physician, but the term is becoming more widespread to describe over-the-counter products as well.
The key difference in determining what you need to buy is the distinction of a custom fit.
If you have an extreme foot irregularity that requires correction, your doctor may prescribe custom-fitted orthotics to provide support for and help correct your foot’s abnormality.
Know Your Options
Is it worth it to invest in custom orthotics for snowboarding? Let’s take a look at the types of options on the market:
Custom snowboard boot orthotics can cost upwards of $400 and require multiple modifications to ensure a proper fit. It’s true that they can provide a great fit and exceptional support, but that comes with a hefty price tag.
Typical over-the-counter insoles like those found in retail stores may be very affordable, but they are often made with less durable materials. These products often wear out in 3-6 months, and because they are one-size-fits-all, they may not provide optimal comfort or support for your individual needs.
Semi-custom insolesoffer a “like-custom” fit at a fraction of the price. Tread Labs semi-custom orthotic inserts, for instance, come in four arch height options and may be further customized for an ideal fit. They provide a combination of support and comfort, and are great for wear in snowboard and ski boots—all for $75, less than a quarter of the price tag on custom snowboard orthotics.
How Do I Pick the Right Snowboard Inserts for Me?
You can spend a little or a lot on snowboard insoles. When considering value, remember that the better fit, support, and comfort your inserts provide, the more enjoyment and control you’ll experience on your board.
Support. Whether you opt for after-market, semi-custom, or custom inserts, you’re looking for proper support for your feet, above all else. A firm footbed will ensure the right amount of pressure-resistance on your feet and will last longer than softer, foam, or heat-molded footbeds.
Heel Cup.Look for a deep heel cup that holds your heel firmly in place. Shallow heel cups can allow your heel to slip, creating misalignment and discomfort in the toe.
Fit. Your snowboard boots have a narrow heel and short toe box to help prevent movement of the foot while riding. Consider this when purchasing inserts. You may need to trim the insole to fit properly by removing the factory boot insert and using it as a guide to trace your trim lines.
Why Use Tread Labs Snowboard Boot Insoles?
We’re confident that our semi-custom insoles will improve your comfort and performance on the slopes. Here’s a quick look at some of the key features. For a more in-depth read on our insoles, check out our Why Tread Labs page.
30-Day Fit Guarantee. You can try Tread Lab inserts in your snowboard boots for up to 30 days. If you’re not completely satisfied with the fit, comfort, and performance you get from our footbeds, you can return them for a full refund.
Semi-Custom Fit.We produce four insole arch-heights to ensure the right fit for practically any foot size or shape. We also offer several insole products to offer a better match for various styles of footwear, including Stride (running, hiking, work boots, ski/snowboard boots), Stride Short (dress shoes, women’s flats, Chuck Taylors), and Stride Thin (sports cleats, snug-fitting casual shoes).
Better Performance & Comfort.Our technicians have developed inserts with durable, medical grade materials that help to correct biomechanical irregularities and provide foot support in all the right places. Experience improved foot strength and stability while on your board, and prevent common snowboarding foot problems like overpronation, collapsed arches, and plantar fasciitis.
Lifetime Product Guarantee. Our arch supports are crafted from molded polypropylene, making them incredibly durable. We are so confident in our product’s durability, we guarantee the arch supports for life.
Mark has always believed exceptional footwear can change lives. He's been in the footwear industry for over 30 years, working with podiatrists, pedorthists, foot care experts, and footwear makers. Mark started Chaco sandals in 1989 and developed a game-changing sport sandal that delivered comfort and durability. After Chaco sold in 2009, Mark ultimately started Tread Labs to continue transforming people's footwear so they can walk better, feel better, live better.
Ski gear is not cheap. Add lift tickets, transportation, and a quick lunch, and the cost of a day on the slopes can be substantial. Enjoying what you paid for can be difficult if your feet are uncomfortable. Good ski boot insoles can make all the difference in your experience.
The reasons people turn to orthotics are as individual and unique as the people themselves. Whether you’re looking to relieve foot pain, add comfort, or enhance your sports performance, here's what you need to know before you buy.