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Pros and Cons for Custom Insoles made of cork

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Our local custom boot fitter (Le Feet Lab in Winter Park, CO) does custom insoles with cork and Dalbello books. I ski 30ish days a season (mostly bumps) and need comfort and performance. Winter Park is also very cold so I'd like something that insulates well. What are the pros and cons for cork? Are there other options I should consider?

 

 

 

post #2 of 14
Are you also getting thermo liners (Raichle/Intuition)?
post #3 of 14
cork is a good insulator but more importantly than the material that the footbed is made from is the skills of the guy making it, a good technician will make you a good footbed out of whatever materials and systems that they work with...if you haven't got a good technician buy an off ther peg insole and get a custom one wjhen you find a good technician

i don't know the shop you mention but i have heard reasonable reports about them from others, i am sure the comunity will tell you how good they are

if you want warm then the intuition liner that was mentioned above is a great option
post #4 of 14
I personally have not had very good luck with cork footbeds. Comfort and performance were not part of the experience that I had. The ones I tried had a very rigid, pronounced arch that killed my feet. I used them for three days over the holidays a few years ago at Sunday River in Maine, and my feet have never been that cold in my life. Ended up being the three most miserable days that I've ever spent on skis. I went back to where I got them from and had the shop work on them, but they never could make them any better, so I ended up getting rid of them. Can't say if all cork footbeds are like that, but I'm not going down that road again.
post #5 of 14
After years of skiing on various custom footbeds, I decided to spend $150.00 on a pair of SuperFeet Kork Vacs and when I tried them out, it was one of the worst skiing experiences I've ever had.  The Kork's were hard, cold, and extremely painful.  They were done by Inner Bootworks at Stowe which I will never do business with again.  I subsequently had a custom built orthotic made by Steiner's Sports in Glenmont, NY and what a great process and end result.  Both places are accredited by "America's Best Bootfitters" and the experiences could not have been more different.  In summation, the Kork probably works for those with "normal" feet and not others like the duck paddle I have for a foot.  Proceed with caution!
post #6 of 14
it aint the meat, it's the motion. i would not find credible any opinions on this forum concerning experiences with footbed types, brands, or materials. there is no way to know based on any skiers opinion, if they had their assessment or constructon of their footbed done by a competent fitter.

to second CEM's point, it is up to the person assessing your foot/boot and their skills in selecting and building the best device for you.

one brand or style of footbed in the shop = only one solution for every customer.

if the only tool in your bag is a hammer, every task looks like a nail.

jim
post #7 of 14
Mine were also the Superfeet Kork Vacs, but they were not done by Inner Bootworks. Sounds to me like it may be the product itself, as there is not a lot of variation as to how they can be made. I have read that there can be a lot of problems associated with overly rigid footbeds, and not just limited to the cork variety. Have had similar problems with other materials. Out of frustration I finally went out of my way to find a competent bootfitter, and my problems are a thing of the past.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post

it aint the meat, it's the motion. i would not find credible any opinions on this forum concerning experiences with footbed types, brands, or materials. there is no way to know based on any skiers opinion, if they had their assessment or constructon of their footbed done by a competent fitter.

to second CEM's point, it is up to the person assessing your foot/boot and their skills in selecting and building the best device for you.

one brand or style of footbed in the shop = only one solution for every customer.

if the only tool in your bag is a hammer, every task looks like a nail.

jim
Totally agree.  Just relaying my experience with the Korks...just like many here praise the Kork.  As I said, proceed with caution!

Inner Bootworks is supposedly a competent shop, especially considering it's ABB accredited.  

To the OP, remember there are many types of hammers and nails for many applications and finding the right "carpenter" to use them may take a little time.  
post #9 of 14
With the disclaimer that everyone's experience is different and all that...

I had cork footbeds made by Jaques at Le Feet Lab (then Le Ski Lab) and they lasted about 10 years. They did finally break down and had to be replaced. Jaques has a great reputation and we have purchased at least four pairs of boots from him over the years. Our experience with his bootfiitting, however, has been mixed, FYI.

He did not "post" the footbeds. I've been told both good and bad about that.

I replaced the cork footbeds with some from InstiPrint at the Boot Doctors in Telluride. Good rep for bootfitting there too. Hated them and pulled the cork ones out of the trash.

When they were too broken, i got another pair from ZipFit that were self molding. I have to say that, amazing to me, they are just as good as the old ones and way better than the instiprint ones. I use them now and love them. (cheap too)
post #10 of 14
anyone who has had a set of the superfeet kork footbeds and had a problem with them should have gone back to the store that provided them, they have a 60 day money back guarantee!!!, i do somewhere in the region of 650+ superfeet custom products over a 12 month period across the range, i see around 1 pair a month back as a return and a few that need a small alteration, the kork product is not right for everyone and it can be a number of things to cause an incompatibility, the two most comon is bad positioning (generally overly high arch when the product is being made and bad interfacing with the boot causing the product to not sit flat, the kork vac product is a little softer than the full kork and is better tolerated,
i also have access to sidas product in my store but use it far less frequently

Mac, it sounds like either the product was not well made or there was no space in your boot for it.....there is lots of variation on how the product can be made, for example there are lots of things that you can do to make it work badly, how you holfd the foot, position the product, and grind the product all have a dramatic effect on the end result, the flexibility or rigidity of the foot also has a large part to play on the suitability of the product

Mom, similar situation in reverse, sounds like the kork worked well for you and the instaprint didn't

it is a case as we have said before of getting the right person making the right product for you
post #11 of 14
I  probably got a 1000 days out of my Superfeet corks that Jack Raferty made.
post #12 of 14
Footbeds, cork or not, are only as good as the person who makes them.
CEM is a man who knows of what he speaks.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEM View Post

it is a case as we have said before of getting the right person making the right product for you

  That's sound advice.  Like several of the earlier posters, I've jettisoned footbeds from reputable bootfitters.  In my case because they were way too rigid to allow my ankles to articulate even though I'm on the large side. 

Like MAC, my solution was to hunt around for a premier bootfitter.  In my case I chose one who personally had similar foot and ankle issues to my own.  The footbeds that she made for me have made a world of difference in my skiing.  The right person and the right product
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks all for the great advice. I'm thinking that rather than just go to my local shop, I may research other premier bootfitters in Colorado and see what they have to say. It's a big investment and I wouldn't want them to end up in the trash.

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