Today there will be no question of hardware testing of padel but rather comfort on the track and in your sneakers. Stéphane Penso discusses the subject of soles.
The foot, a fundamental role
Before talking about comfort, replacement or orthopedic insoles, we just have to take into account that the foot is the only relay between the ground and the rest of the body. Due to its biomechanical constitution, it has a fundamental double role.
The first is to capture the variations of the ground as well as its different positions (pronation, supination, neutral). The second is the control and maintenance of all the posture of the body. In short, it is both a sensor and an effector.
For an athlete, it is important to have a balance of support, whether it is to perform a precise sporting gesture, or a repetitive gesture. In the case of padel, the supports are very important. The violent nature of the stops (Start - Stop) generates an automatic degradation of the quality of the downforce. The more balanced the foot, the better the energy return.
7 types of technologies
There are 7 types of technologies regarding replacement soles:
- Synthetic rubber foams
- Silicone rubber
- Polyvinyl Chloride Foams
- Ethylene vinyl acetate
- Polyurethane foams
- Polyurethane elastomers
- Polyethylene foams
The materials recommended to reduce vibrations, shock waves or to temporarily memorize a shape are viscoelastic materials (gel). This material, as the name suggests, is both "viscous" and "elastic". It possesses the ability, when under stress, to behave as an elastic solid and a viscous fluid. The combination of these two properties allows it to deform slowly when subjected to external stresses, then to regain its initial shape.
Why wear soles?
No matter what type of shoe you wear, you will notice that the sockliner is a component that is very often devoid of technology. However, the sockliner is the first component in contact with your foot, and has its full role to play in optimizing the mechanical properties of your shoes (cushioning and stabilizing the foot) and thus promoting your comfort. As a result, you guarantee a feeling of well-being throughout sports practice.
Your shoes, as well as their initial sockliner, are designed in a standard way to suit as many people as possible. However, it is quite common that these are not adapted to the shape of your feet and generate friction or even blisters. Very few shoes support the arch of your feet. The replacement soles provide thermoformable and dynamic support for the arch of the foot, respecting the cushioning and natural roll of the foot, and further promoting its attenuation and stabilization properties.
Wearing thermoformable insoles with anatomical cushioning allows the foot and ankle to be repositioned in their natural axes. The foot and ankle being the support of the articular and muscular chains of the human body, a repositioning of these generates a repositioning of the entire musculoskeletal system in its natural axes. This has an extremely beneficial effect in the long term, preventing or relieving degenerative joint and muscle pathologies, such as osteoarthritis and tendonitis.
One of the main advantages of wearing soles is therefore the reduction of the impact and the shock wave generated when the foot (in particular the heel) comes into contact with the ground. This additional damping reduces, among other things, your muscle and joint fatigue; which in fact promotes your recovery.
Finally, the replacement soles, unlike most of the sockliner initially incorporated into your shoes, are made of a coating that meets OEKO-TEX standards, with antimycotic qualities, and absorbs moisture up to 10 times. its volume with a dry touch, and dries in less than two hours.
Concerning me, after the first strides carried out on the track, the sensations are without any measure comparable to shoes equipped with their original soles. The strides are flexible, the shocks absorbed, the vibrations relieved and the comfort improved.
The gain is real! If you are good in your body, you are well in your head, and your performance is increased. But the most incredible thing is when you get home in the evening, no more bad joint sensations. The muscles don't pull like they used to, and my night was done in one go. It is clear that from now on, I will incorporate replacement soles into each of my new pairs. Because each shoe is equipped with an insole. Often the standard sole is very thin and made of inexpensive foam. It brings nothing to your feet. Worse, the vibrations will not be absorbed properly and the first symptoms will arrive fairly quickly.
Having high quality soles is very important and unfortunately still completely underestimated. Of course, the latest shoe models are very comfortable thanks to a soft midsole or other third-party technologies. However, these shoes are made for everyone and will not fit your feet. With a technical sole, the space between the foot and the shoe is optimally closed (you can resize them, so always take a size larger) and the pressure exerted on the foot by the weight of the body and by the movement is better distributed.
Did you know that 70% of adults have a foot defect that can cause pain in the feet, knees, hips, back or even head?
Insoles are the most effective help against this phenomenon, but only 20% of adults wear them during sports.
It is important that these insoles provide more comfort in the shoes and that they are dynamic, that is, they adapt to your foot with every movement. This is because each movement is based on different forces acting on your foot. Insoles can also help prevent injury. Because unfortunately, we often only start taking care of our feet when problems such as pain or fatigue in the knees and hips or ankle joint appear, and we have lost the pleasure of moving. .
In conclusion, replacement insoles can be offered in many pathologies of the foot, at any age, and also for damage to the spine and / or the lower limbs as a whole. They are to be incorporated into a therapeutic strategy for the musculoskeletal system and have real effectiveness on those who use them.
- Promote the muscles in your foot instead of weakening them
- Prevent injuries with increased comfort and optimal fit
- Support the natural movement of your foot instead of going against it
You will understand, anyone who respects their body must respect their feet. For that, nothing better than to adopt as quickly as possible the wearing of technical insoles! For less than 30 €, you are guaranteed a product that will eliminate as much as possible all the bad vibrations generated by sports practice, recovery times will be divided, and the risk of injury reduced.
Julien Bondia is a teacher of padel in Tenerife. He is the founder of AvantagePadel.net, a software very popular with clubs and players of padel. Columnist and advisor, he helps you to play better through his many tutorials padel.