My good friend Damien Tougas over at ToeSalad.com has hooked me up with new foot related gear to test. He knows that I have completely flat feet and has been instrumental in my gradual transition to barefoot running, so he thought I would be the perfect
guinea pig candidate to test the new foot strengthening insole system from Barefoot Science.
The Barefoot Science system is said to work differently than traditional insoles that merely cushion the foot. This new system is designed to stimulate and strengthen the foot's supporting muscles as you advance through the progressively higher insert levels. It's a 6-week program with a new (thicker) insert level each week.
Due to my complete flat footedness, Patrick at Barefoot Science suggested that I start the program using no plugs/inserts. He thinks that the dome in the insole (above) will stimulate my feet enough for the first week. There are three types of systems available, I will be testing the "Active" version.
I'm excited to be testing this system out over the next several weeks, and thankful to Damien for giving me the opportunity to try the Barefoot Science system. Over the course of the next 6-8 weeks I'll be switching out the inserts and increasing the level of arch stimulation as part of this program. I'll also be taking bare foot footprints with paint to show the progression of the program week-to-week. According to Patrick from Barefoot Science it's not uncommon to see up to a 36% reduction in footprint after using this system to rehabilitate your feet.
At the end of the program I will be posting an article on ToeSalad.com that will included full details of my progress tracking, notes from each of the weeks, comparisons of my footprint, and conclusion of the Barefoot Science system.
I'm just wrapping up week one right now and can already feel the difference the insole dome (with no inserts) has made on my arch. This is going to be interesting and fun. If you have any questions, leave a comment below.
Disclaimer: The author (Brian) was provided with a free sample of the Barefoot Science insoles via ToeSalad.com for testing purposes. Brian is an occasional contributor to ToeSalad and has agreed to test the inserts on their behalf and document his results for a future article.
Brian is a Charlotte based backpacker, gear junkie, runner, and CrossFit(er). Originally from Southampton, England, Brian has lived in the US for over 20 years, finally settling in North Carolina. He spends as much time backpacking as his busy work schedule and family life will allow.